This is the first Book in the series. Chapters would be added by the author overtime until it is finished. Only the author (Commander Tool Belt) is authorized to edit this page.
Looking back on it,it was a messed up day.
It was a normal day in New York City, which meant it was noisy.
Birds sitting on the roofs, chirped away blissfully. Dogs barked. Kids yelled. The normal graceful sounds of New York.
I'm Kyle McAdams. I was a normal fifteen year old child before this fateful day.
I was just leaving the park with Lacy and Tom, my friends. Tom was busy annoying Lacy, who rolled her eyes a lot and occasionally tried to hit him.
Tom was like that. He was the class clown, silly billy, you name it. He was just naturally funny, quirky and smart-mouthed, which meant kids liked him, but teachers didn't. He got into trouble a lot. Lacy would never admit it, but everytime she rolled her eyes, or tried to hit him, there was a wry smile on her lips. She found his jovial traits endearing.
She was that type of person. She was the unpredictable, as the wind blows type of person. How she acted depended a lot on her mood, though she was more often than not the sensible but averagely loud type.
We walked along. We were passing the library when people started screaming and running. Children cried. Gunshots rang out. I was about to start running myself when a gun dug into my back.
"Don't even think about it," A deep voice said."Move."
He herded us into an alley. He wore a mask so I had absolutely no idea who he was. I glanced at Lacy. A tear was rolling down her cheek. Tom looked calm but I know he was scared. I was terrified.
"Who are you?" The man asked.
"Funny," Tom answered. "I was about to ask you the same question."
"Answer the question!" He ordered.
"What do you mean by that?" Tom asked. "Do you mean our names? Birth date? School registration number?"
He snarled. "Do you think you're funny?"
"I do rather," Tom replied cheekily. "Quite a lot of people agree."
The man raised the gun.
"Okay," I said, spreading my arms in a placating manner. "I'm Alex. He's Tom. She's Lacy."
The man might have rolled his eyes, but I couldn't tell. "Not your names fool! You're all students, yes?"
"Correct!" Tom exclaimed sarcastically. "You get a cookie."
Normally Tom's antics were funny, but I realized he was not helping our case,and this man had a gun.
"Yes," I answered."We are students."
"Good," He said. "So you go to this library a lot, yes?"
Lacy spoke, which I found surprising. "Yes. We come here a lot."
"Excellent," He said. "Where is the secret door?"
"Say what now?" Tom asked. The man ignored him.
"Umm," I started. "I am not aware of the secret door."
"Neither am I," Lacy said. She sounded good for someone who was crying.
The man produced a vial of clear liquid. "This is the most deadly bio weapon in the world. And if you don't tell me where the door is, I will drop it and kill you."
"And I suppose you're wearing a gas mask under that mask?" Tom inquired. "A double mask? That is some serious masking."
"Unfortunately sir," Lacy intervened. She caught my eye and I saw her motive. She was trying to avert his attention from Tom. "We don't know this secret door."
"Yeah," I agreed. "If I knew it I would have told you, but I don't. However,I'm not a fan of the whole dying thing. Could you please not kill us?"
The man might have smiled, but I couldn't tell.
He threw the vial.
My eyes fluttered open. I saw the white ceiling and white walls, and I wondered if I was actually dead. Then I sat up, and saw the doctor looking at me.
I was in the hospital. That couldn't be right. I never get sick.
"Welcome back, Thomas," She said. "How do you feel?"
"Fine," I replied. "Very fine. Just a bit tired. Like I just woke up."
"You were in an explosion," She continued. "Do you remember that?"
It all came rushing back. The library, the guy, the vial. "Yeah,I remember. I feel totally fine though. Guess that guy was bluffing about it being so deadly."
"Oh it's deadly," The doctor answered. "We found traces of Gavonite in your system. It is extremely deadly. You are lucky to be alive."
"Right," I replied. "What about my friends? Lacy? Kyle?"
"Lacy woke up shortly before you," She responded. "Same thing- she feels fine. Her mum is with her,sorting out her discharge papers."
"What about Kyle?" I asked. Her grim expression made my heart sink.
"He is still unconscious," She said. "But his vitals seem steady. Yours are as well. So were Lacy's. It makes no sense."
"Perhaps so," I agreed. "Can I go now?"
"We'll have to sort out your papers. We've been trying to contact your parents, but no luck."
I felt my rage rising. "Don't bother."
My parents weren't even my real parents. My real mother gave me up for adoption shortly after I was born. Apparently I wasn't very popular at Child Services because they did a shoddy job of checking if Mr and Mrs Walker were fit parents. All they did was go out and get drunk. I escaped home at every chance I got.
"Okay," The doctor said. "In that case,let us finalize your papers and you're free to leave."
When I got home, the door was locked. I sighed and groped under the mat for the spare key.
The house felt empty and sad. I didn't expect anyone to be home anyway.
I jumped out of my skin. It was Mrs Walker, sitting on the dining table, with a glass half full. A bottle of Scotch was beside her.
"Hey Mrs Walker," I grumbled.
"Where have you been you ingrate?" She got up unsteadily and stumbled towards me.
"Are you drunk?" I asked.
"Don't use that tone with me!" She yelled. "Where have you been?"
"At the hospital."
"You're lying!" She shouted.
I sighed. "Have you checked your phone Mrs Walker?"
"Don't you dare use that tone! I will tell Rich of your behaviour."
"I'm sorry Mrs Walker," I answered.
"You better be! Anymore of this and you will clear out! You understand?"
"Yes Mrs Walker."
She grabbed her glass and continued drinking.
"Mrs Walker you're going to pass out if you continue drinking," I said gently.
"How dare you!" She screamed. "Oh,Rich would hear of this. He will."
She threw the glass at me. I dodged. She walked off into the kitchen, yelling. She came out with a frying pan, and started swinging it wildly, trying to hit me. She connected a few times, and I was starting to get angry.
I can't really explain what happened next. My eyes glowed. My body started to change indefinitely.
Mrs Walker stopped in her tracks in shock. "What is this?" She waved the pan in front of her, warding me off. "Stay away from me!"
I turned to the TV.
Instead of me, I saw a huge, white cat with stripes. My eyes were bright green. I was a White Tiger.
I don't even know how that happened. White Tigers are rare, and they are hardly my favourite animal. If I was going to do something weird like turn into an animal, I might as well turn into an animal I knew.
"I don't..." I started. "I don't understand. What happened?" My voice sounded deeper and richer.
"You can't fool me child!" Mrs Walker shouted. "Get out!"
"Mrs Walker, I..."
I strutted out of the door.
It had been a weird day. My mum kept fussing over me, bringing me a blanket and some cookies. This had really shaken up the poor woman. I'm the only person in her life.
My mum and dad split up shortly after I was born because my dad cheated on her. My mum kept custody of me, and she never had another child. She didn't even go on dates. She just worked round the clock, earning money to take care of me.
As I watched TV, I replayed the day over and over in my head. I remembered perhaps most worryingly of all, the way the doctor looked at me when I woke up so quickly. They hadn't been expecting me to wake up for days, maybe months. Maybe never. I wondered if there was something wrong with me. But if there was Gavonite in my system, I sure didn't feel like it. I felt normal.
At a point the phone rang. I got up to pick it. "Hello?"
"Lacy," A familiar voice said. "It's Tom."
"Hey," I said. I lowered my voice. "Weird day huh? The way my mum is fussing over me. She doesn't believe me when I say I'm fine."
"Hey, you're lucky," Tom replied. "The day Mrs Walker shows concern for me is the day pigs fly. Speaking of Mrs Walker, she kicked me out."
"What? Was she drunk?"
"No," Tom answered. "Well, yes. But she had a good reason. Is there anyone around you?"
I glanced at my mum, who was watching me through the kitchen window. "Yes."
"Can you come over to Kyle's?"
"Has he been discharged?" I asked in concern. "He was still out when I left."
"He's awake and he's at home," Tom responded. "Can you come?"
I thought about it. It was going to take a lot to convince my mum, but I could swing it. "Yes," I said. "I'll be right there.
When I reached Kyle's door, I rang the bell. Kyle answered it.
"You came," He said, which sounded a bit obvious to me.
"Yes," I replied. "My mum insisted on driving me. And she gave me a spare phone to use to call her when we're done."
Kyle smiled. "She's just looking out for you. You were in an explosion."
"So were you," I reminded him. "Do you feel like you were in an explosion?"
He shrugged. "It's weird. And then with what happened to Tom..."
"What happened?" I asked.
He opened the door wider. "He'll tell you himself."
I sat captivated and wide eyed as Tom explained what happened.
"So that's why she kicked me out," He concluded. "I left that house as a Tiger."
"How did you turn back?" I inquired.
He shrugged. "It took a lot of effort but I did it. I had to think hard."
"You're kidding," I decided. "This is a joke."
Tom looked at Kyle. Kyle nodded.
Tom grimaced with concentration. He started to morph, and in 5 seconds he was a snake.
I screamed and jumped back. Kyle looked horrified. Snake-Tom spoke.
"I told you," He coiled upwards. His eyes were green.
"How....how is that even possible?" Kyle asked.
Snake-Tom seemed to shrug. "I don't know."
"Let me get this straight." I was still in shock. "You can shapeshift?"
"Apparently," He said. He stilled his head, and 5 seconds later Tom was back.
He lowered his voice. "I don't know how it happens. When it happened for the first time, I felt something weird. It was like something extra had settled in my blood."
"Or DNA," Kyle muttered.
I looked at him. "What?"
"So the Gavonite, right?" He started. "It's meant to be a Bio weapon which destroys your essence- your cells, your DNA and things. If it didn't kill us however..."
"Then it at least entered our system," Tom concluded. "And gave me these powers."
I stared at myself like I expected to turn into some sort of animal anytime soon. It didn't happen.
"No one can know," Tom begged. "Please. I'll be a freak."
"No one can know about any of us," Kyle said. "There's a huge possibility that Lacy and I can develop powers as well."
"What if I get angry in school?" Tom speculated. "Will I turn into a Tiger again? Or a Lion perhaps..."
"No," I said soothingly. "You'll have to learn to control it."
"I'm with Lacy," Kyle agreed. "You have to train yourself to contain it. Or else you'll be in big trouble."
"On to other matters," I said. "Tom where will you stay tonight? Mrs Walker kicked you out."
Tom shrugged. "I have to go back to get my stuff anyway. I'll catch you guys later."
He concentrated, so I knew he was preparing to shapeshift. He morphed into an Eagle and flew out of the window.
I looked at Kyle. "He seems to summon it quite well."
Kyle smiled. "That's the relatively easy part. He has to learn to contain it."
There was a silence. "What about us?" I asked.
Kyle shrugged. "I don't know. Maybe the Gavonite hasn't settled in our systems yet."
"I kind of want to enjoy these moments," I said. "I want to feel normal for a few more days."
Kyle laughed. "It's funny. When we were young we always wanted to be superhuman but when it happens you don't quite want it."
I nodded and got up. "I have to call my mum to pick me up."
I woke to the sound of someone tapping my glass. I looked towards my window and jumped. It was a monkey. At first I was confused, then I saw it's green eyes and realised it was Tom. His eyes were hazel, but they always turned green when he shapeshifted.
Then I was snapped into reality. I realised I was floating.
I was confused. I looked across at the mirror and got the shock of my life.
Behind me were wings. Red wings. They were huge. I realised they must have sprouted when I jumped from bed.
I was about to scream when Monkey-Tom rapped on the glass again. I floated over to him and opened the window.
"Tom," I groaned. "It's the middle of the night! What are you doing here?"
He turned back to human. "I just finished packing all my stuff from Mrs Walker's house." He reached out and pulled in a bag from the window sill. He grinned. "Nice wings."
"Oh, shut up." I tried to retract my wings. They obliged.
"That's not fair," I complained. "You get to turn into any bird in the world and all I get are the wings of a bat?"
"Life's not fair," Tom quoted. He jumped into my bed. "I wonder what Lacy's power is."
When I woke up in the morning, Tom was gone.
Maybe it was all a dream, I thought. You don't have leathery bat wings. You're just a normal human 13 year old boy.
Those hopes were soon dashed. My wings sprouted again while I was in the shower. I washed them. I figured if I had wings, I might as well have clean wings.
I stretched out my hand to get my soap. Before I could pick it up, it flew into my hand.
"That's more like it," I muttered. "Powers 101."
I changed into clean clothes and headed down for breakfast.
Tom was there. He was calmly munching on some toast.
"Where's my mum?" I asked.
He pointed at a note.
Gotta go to work early. Have a nice day
I pushed the note away. "Why did you wake up so early?"
"I'm a light sleeper," He said.
"No you're not. You are a very deep sleeper."
He raised his hands. "Guilty is charged. I just did. I couldn't sleep. Then I showered and came down. Your mum was already gone by the time I came. Your dad as well."
The doorbell rang.
"Probably Lacy," Tom speculated. "Come in!"
Lacy came in with her backpack. "Why is Tom having breakfast here?"
"I slept here," Tom told her.
"He came in the middle of the night as a monkey," I told Lacy.
"Gave him a big shock," Tom grinned. "He grew wings."
I told Lacy about my power of flight.
She laughed. "That would have been quite a sight."
"What about you?" I asked. "Any powers yet?"
She hesitated. "I may have mistakenly ran up my bedroom wall."
Tom coughed. "What?"
She narrated the story.
"Super speed? Not bad," I said.
"We're going to be late for school," Lacy said. "Let's go."
"Is your mum driving?" Tom asked.
School was a breeze, as school days go. At least I managed not to grow wings. Tom managed not to turn into a guinea pig. Lacy did mistakenly break her plate at lunch because her hands were vibrating too fast or something, but nothing major.
We were on our way back home, quietly discussing our weird situation.
"I aced my geometry test," I said.
"I thought you were terrible at geometry," Tom reminded me. "Or what, superhuman intelligence?"
"Maybe," I said. "The questions seemed to just solve in my brain."
"How long can we keep this a secret?" Lacy wondered. "Hopefully forever. I don't want to use my powers for much."
"That would be a shame," A voice said.
I looked round, trying to locate the speaker. When I did, it didn't help matters.
He was lean and tall, with dark skin. He wore a black winter coat. He didn't make any threatening moves. He just stood there.
I tried to feign ignorance. "What would be a shame?"
"The Secret Three," The man chanted. "If you want some answers; and I bet you do; come with me."
He led us down an alley and into a garage. The man groped around on a shelf. I glanced at Lacy. She seemed more irritated than fascinated.
The man opened a toolbox on the shelf and pulled a screwdriver. The wall slid open.
He turned and smiled. "Come on in. We have a lot to discuss."
He led us down the corridor. The wall closed behind us.
The narrow corridor opened up. I gasped.
It was like the Batcave, or the Avenger base. My jaw dropped.
In one corner was a lounge, furnished with leather couches and a TV. Another area looked like a gym. There was a kitchen as well.
Lacy walked over to an area. She opened the wardrobes. Inside were all sorts of weapons, from grenades to boomerangs to guns.
On a far screen was a symbol. It was a hexagon. Inside it were three stars. Below the three stars was 'S3'.
The Secret Three.
"Man," Tom started. "I thought places like this only existed in movies."
"Me too," Lacy agreed. She turned to the man. "What is this?"
He smiled. "You must be Lacy Star. I am Michael Stone. And this...well, this is your destiny."
Michael explained every single thing. He knew all of our powers. He knew everything about us.
"Okay," I said. "You're either the world's biggest stalker or this really is our destiny."
"I must confess a little bit of both," He replied. "I have tracked all three of you for years. Now it is your time."
"Alright," Kyle agreed. "I'm not sure if we're ready to launch ourselves into the whole hero thing though."
"Yeah," Lacy chimed in. "I'll only use my powers occasionally, and if I feel like. I'm not really sure if I'm on board."
"Don't you guys see?" Michael started. "You have powers. Whether you like it or not you do. Can you imagine you sitting around in your house while out in New York robberies and gang violence is killing innocent lives?"
"I don't think that was a gang at the library," Kyle said. "They won't be able to afford Gavonite."
Michael's face darkened. "No, it wasn't a gang. It was merely a party sent by a much bigger group. There are dark times ahead of New York. And that is why you are needed."
There was a silence.
"I'm in," I decided. "I don't want anything to happen knowing that I didn't do anything to stop it while I could."
"Me too," Kyle agreed. "Lacy?"
She smiled. "Well someone has to make sure you two don't do anything stupid."
Michael smiled. "Secret Three. You have a lot of work to do."
Michael showed us everything, including our suits with inbuilt earpieces. Tom got a green suit, from head to toe. Kyle's was red, the same color as his wings. Mine was blue, with a hood. They fitted snuggly, and came with belts loaded with grenades and boomerangs. Kyle and I also opted to throw in pistols. Kyle put them at his two sides on the belt. I took just one. Tom decided against it.
We trained everyday after school and on saturdays. Michael trained us to control our powers. He trained our technique. Soon Tom's shapeshifting was so fluid he could change without much effort. He could even change into inanimate objects. He could even change just part of his body, into things like hammers or blades, or attain part of an animal. Kyle could sprout his wings without a sweat. I could run up and down walls and across pretty much any surface.
Kyle was maybe the most impressive. He was apparently the closest to the Gavonite, so he was affected the most. He could move objects with his mind, had X ray vision, and never missed with his boomerang.
Tom even learnt how to summon a part of an animal to him. He once obtained the canines of a Lion.
One day we were taking a break from training and were relaxing in the lounge when an alarm went off. I looked at Kyle.
"Progress," I told him. "Your wings didn't sprout this time."
He made a face.
Janice, the cave interface's voice boomed. "Emergency."
I looked at Michael. "What?"
He shrugged. "You heard her. Emergency."
We suited up while Janice gave us the rundown.
"There is some criminal activity going on at the Barclays branch on west eastwood," Janice told us. "It seems to be a robbery."
"Thanks Janice," Tom replied. In his green suit, he looked like a ninja that had lost a game of paintball. "Let's go!"
Michael hit a button and the ceiling split open. Kyle grew wings and flew out. Tom turned into a bald Eagle, grabbed me by the talons, and flew out.
It was by far the most exciting thing I had done in my life. I could see Kyle flying just ahead of us. Occasionally, his wings flapped, but most of the time he was just gliding along.
"What do we do, Janice?" I yelled over the wind.
"Turn right," Janice ordered.
We followed Janice's directions until we reached the branch. Kyle tucked in his wings, dived, then rolled. Tom did the same, but hit the ground as a human.
People were screaming and running, a civilian's natural answer.
Kyle regarded the building, scanning it. "About 20 guys. They're at the vaults. We got seven dead people, including two security guards."
"Police should be on their way," Tom added. "How do we play this?"
"Split up," Kyle suggested. "Gradually take them all down. Leave."
"Sounds good to me," I agreed. "Let's go."
We trooped in silently then split up. Tom morphed into a dragonfly and flew on. Kyle went for the vaults on the last floors. I zoomed around in bits, trying to locate the men.
I snuck up behind one and grabbed him in a chokehold. He struggled silently.
"Shhhh," I whispered. I let him drop, unconscious. "Guys I have one down."
"I have two," Tom bragged. "What can I say? I'm as strong as an Elephant."
"Who are you?" A voice said.
I turned. It was one of the men. He must have snuck up on me.
He regarded me. "Great gimmick, kid. You think you're a hero?" He made a weird sound that might have been laughter. "Rick come see what we have over here."
Another guy appeared. He laughed, though much more clearly. "Who the heck is she?"
"Don't know," The first guy said. "Don't really care. You are interfering and therefore, you are dead."
He cocked his gun.
I was quicker though. I knocked the gun out of his hand and struck his neck solidly. He crumpled. The other guy started to bring out his gun, but again, I was faster. I produced my gun and shot him twice.
I realised that was a bad move. I could hear whispers and shouts alike of confusion. I sped away.
"Gosh Kyle," Tom began. "Whatever happened to silently?"
"It wasn't me," Kyle protested. "Lacy?"
"Guilty," I admitted. "I panicked. Some guy was about to shoot me. I was quicker."
Police sirens started to sound in the distance.
"Kyle what's your location?" I asked.
"I'm at the smaller vaults. I'm just reaching the big vaults."
"You can't take them alone," Tom pointed out. "I'm coming."
"Same," I agreed. I sped up the stairs.
When we met Kyle, he was crouching behind a pillar, watching the men. They were about ten. The leader, was busy shouting at his men.
"I heard gunshots!" He scolded. "That means there are other people in this building. Take the men and go and take care of them!"
"I found BJ unconscious," One squeaked.
"Go!" He shouted.
They all trooped off in the opposite direction.
"If there were ten here," Kyle reasoned. "Then there were ten lookouts. How many guys did you knockout?"
"I did three," I told him.
"Five," Tom countered.
"So there are only twelve men remaining," Kyle calculated.
"There are only two guys at the vaults now," I said. "Go time?"
I ran in past them.
"What was that?" One asked.
Tom turned into a monkey and entered. He screeched.
"Awww," The second guy said. "It's so cute!"
"Shut up Travis! Scoop the money into bags now. Forget the monkey."
Travis grumbled, but he obeyed. Tom screeched again.
Travis turned. "I really think we should...."
Kyle, with deadly accuracy, threw a boomerang. It arced perfectly and planted it's sharp edge in Travis' head.
"What the heck..." The first began to say.
Monkey-Tom hit him hard on the head. He crumpled.
I looked at Kyle. "Nice throw."
"Thanks," He replied. "Ten to go."
A gunshot rang out.
Tom morphed back into his suit. "Police."
He was right. The sirens kept getting louder and louder, followed by a herd of gunshots. A shooting was about to commence.
"Let's help out," Kyle decided.
Tom turned into a gorilla. He barged straight through the window, then turned into a giant spider. He thrust webs and swung down.
"Check me out!" He yelled. "I'm like Spider Man!"
Kyle grew his wings and flew out. I ran straight down the building and onto the ground.
The shootout was in full swing. The police ducked behind their cars and shot. There was glass everywhere. Bodies- policemen and robbers alike- littered the scene.
Kyle wasted no time in joining the action. He produced his pistols and shot. Tom turned into an Elephant, trumpeting with his trunk, hitting and stomping on robbers. I sped around, causing a nuisance.
It wasn't long till the robbers were all dead.
The policemen looked at us weirdly.
"Who the heck are you guys?" He asked.
"Just call me Firewing," Kyle said, then flew away. Tom morphed into a horse and clopped away. I ran.
We entered the lair. Lacy looked at me strangely.
"I thought it was nice."
"Mine's better," Tom interrupted. He spread his hands. "Green Cobra."
Lacy rolled her eyes. "You are both pathetic."
"Well done!" Michael announced coming out of the shadows.
"Yeah, thanks," Tom answered. "Lacy put us all in danger though."
She knocked his head.
"A good day's work," Michael said. "Go home. Have fun. Enjoy the time you have before things get serious."
"How?" I asked. "Michael what's going on?"
"I'll tell you on Monday," He promised. "Now go! If anything bad is happening, stop it."
We went out, feeling quite good with ourselves.
We were watching TV in my house when there was a knock at the door. I went to open it.
It was a red haired lady I had never seen before. She smiled. I didn't.
"Yes ma'am?" I started. "How can I help you?"
She produced a badge. "Kelly Palmer, Child Services. I'm here to see Tom."
I managed to peer past her. I caught the sight of an armored truck, and some more men. One was holding a taser. Another was holding a net. I saw what looked like a squad car, before the woman caught my attention again.
"Tom," She prompted.
"Sure," I said. "He'd be right out."
I closed the door. "Tom!" I made it very loud so Kelly could hear. "There's someone at the door for you!"
I went upstairs.
Tom laughed. "You're kidding. No one can be looking for me."
"Well I'm not. It's child services."
There was a stunned silence.
I gave them the rundown about the taser and the truck and net, along with the squad cars. Tom peered out the window. He cursed.
"Mrs Walker must have told them about me turning into a Tiger," He said. "Those guys with tasers and a net- that's not child services. That's animal control."
"It's an animal extraction squad?" Lacy asked, shooting to her feet. "Why would Mrs Walker do that?"
"Because she's an evil drunkard," Tom answered. "I've got to go."
"Well you can't keep animal control and child services at my house," I told him.
Tom looked desperate. I think he had a pretty good idea what would happen to him if he went with them. And it wasn't pretty.
"Guys," He said. "We can fight."
"Oh no no," I argued. "This is law enforcement. We're outside the law on this. We said we will abide by the law."
"Please," Tom begged. "I don't deserve to be kept in a cage and tested. You guys are the only people who can help me."
"We're outside the law on this," Lacy repeated. "If we help, we're wanted men. That means no matter what we do as the Secret Three later will be outside the law."
"No one would know it's you," Tom reminded her. "And we are already running interference."
Lacy caught my eye. We had a silent conversation.
Tom is our friend, Lacy seemed to say. We can't turn our back on him.
Lacy won. I sighed.
"Sure," I said. "Suit up."
Kyle and Lacy put on their suits. I didn't. Not yet. I peered out the window. They were still there.
There was another knock on the door.
I took a deep breath. The plan we had worked out was in order for the element of surprise. It could either go really well or really bad and get Kyle and Lacy sent to prison.
I opened the door. "Miss Palmer. You wanted to see me?"
"Yes," She said. "Hello, Tom."
"Mrs Walker kicked me out, so I have every right to be here."
"No you don't," She disagreed. "It is Mrs Walker's duty to hand you back to child services if she doesn't want you anymore."
"She was a terrible mum," I told her. "All she and Mr Walker did was go out and get drunk. Do you know how bad it is to live in such an environment? I was in an explosion and Mrs Walker didn't even come to see me."
"And you were a terrible son," She countered. "Turning into animals? What type of activities have you gotten engaged in, Tom?"
I tried to act surprised. "I can't believe she told you about that."
"She did," She confirmed. She produced handcuffs and cuffed me. "Animal control are here if you try anything. You need to be tested."
I looked up. I could see Kyle, in his red suit, standing on the opposite building. I couldn't see Lacy, but I knew she was standing by.
"Alright Kyle," I said into the spare earpiece in my ear. "Do your thing."
"Who are you talking to?" Ms Palmer asked. "You're insane."
A boomerang skimmed past her face and cut clean through my handcuffs.
She turned. "What the heck.."
Lacy sprung into action. She kicked Ms Palmer who rolled down the steps.
"Get him!" She screamed at the animal control.
They all started charging towards me.
Kyle jumped off the building. Halfway down, he grew his wings and swooped in, throwing boomerangs and grenades and basically causing mass panic.
I ran back into the house and donned my suit.
"Green Cobra," I told myself. "Activate."
I charged outside. I grew claws and fought alongside Lacy and Kyle. I turned into a full Lion. I dodged a taser stick then snapped it in half with my teeth.
"Don't kill them," Kyle warned. "Just knock them out or leave them in pain."
Since they weren't even fighters int he first place, it was an easy win.
We were all just standing there, feeling good with ourselves when we heard sirens.
Lacy turned to me. "NYPD."
"Let's go!" Kyle shouted. He threw a grenade into the armored truck then flew away. I morphed into a pigeon. Lacy sped away.
I don't think any of us really understood the magnitude of what we had just done.
We were sitting back at the lair, back in normal clothes, watching the news. They were still talking about Thomas Walker, who was wanted, and who had escaped and been helped out by three friends with weird powers. Michael stood behind us, dumbfounded.
"These people are dense," Kyle quipped. "Can't they see that Tom is the green one?"
"Better that way," I warned.
Tom nodded. "She's right."
"NYPD also identified seeing us at the bank robbery, though they appeared to be helping," The news reporter continued. "Who are these people? New York City's new most exciting superheroes...."
Kyle hit mute. "At least it doesn't sound like we're in trouble."
"Not in the meanwhile anyway," Lacy agreed. "Seems more like they are fascinated with us."
"Indeed," Michael deigned. "While we may not be in immediate trouble, New York definitely is."
"Don't you feel this is a bit too soon, Michael?" Kyle asked. "What if we're not ready? We've only been training a couple of weeks."
"Honestly," Michael started. "I don't know if you're ready."
"So..." I speculated.
"We're about to find out."
"Huh," Kyle muttered. "This should be good."
"So remember we were wondering what those people could want at the library," Michael began.
"And they had to be serious. Couldn't just be any gang, since they could afford Gavonite," Tom agreed.
"Correct," He continued. "Because Janice is the best robot in the world.."
"Thanks boss," Janice cut in.
"...she was able to gain us access to the FBI database," Michael informed. "The FBI have discovered that in fact a book was stolen. The book was nothing special. However, a copy of the book stolen was found in a dumpster. A pattern of letters were circled.
I gulped. "A code? What did it say?"
"Pending," Michael replied.
"Who does that? Is there any chance it was just some toddler with a crayon messing around?" Tom asked.
I looked at Michael. He knew the answer and it wasn't pretty.
"Someone planted it there," I guessed. "For those goons to collect. This isn't just a coincidence."
"It's an active terror plan," Kyle finished.
Michael nodded. "We need to find out who planted that code there. Once we do that, we can stop these attacks."
Just then Janice spoke up. "The other news boss."
"Oh yes," Michael replied. His face said he didn't like this news much better. "You guys are not the only ones who were affected by the Gavonite."
"What do you mean?" Tom asked.
"There are others who have received powers," He said. "And they are not using them for good."
As if right on cue, Janice said. "Emergency. Trouble at Senate house, Kingston. FBI are involved, along with NYPD."
I looked at Michael. "Villains?"
"Yes," He answered. "Though this is different. Once you're done dealing with this one, you should go to the library. Try and access the CCTV."
"Wonderful," Kyle muttered."That would be easy."
As it turned out, the trouble at the senate house wasn't even real trouble yet.
I stood on the opposite building, scanning the senate house. FBI were evacuating the house. A bomb squad were trying to work to deactivate a bomb. NYPD were on the lookout.
"Guys it seems like a bomb," I said. "I wonder who planted it."
"Again can't be any cheap gang," Lacy grumbled. "Which is a pity. I'd have loved to face a cheap gang."
"They are easy," Tom told her. "We need real challenges."
"Tom where are you?" I asked.
"You really don't see me?"
I rolled my eyes. "If I did I wouldn't be asking."
"I'm in that tree," Tom responded. "The huge one on the green."
I scanned the tree and sighed. "A panther?"
"Yeah," Tom said. "A problem?"
"Tom you're too obvious."
"What? Panthers stay in trees all the time."
"Not in New York. Not in the city. And definitely not at the Senate house."
"You two argue like an old married couple," Lacy noted.
I noticed a flash on my right. I got a weird feeling. Something wasn't right.
"Guys," I started nervously. "Something is.,.."
The entire senate house was blown to bits. Sirens rang out. An armored truck pulled up and people- about three dozen- started piling out. NYPD and FBI charged to intercept.
"Who are those guys?" Tom inquired.
"No idea," Lacy responded. "But they look like they need a beat down."
Lacy and Tom raced onto the scene. Tom roared ferociously and attacked. Lacy sped around and made a nuisance of herself.
But something wasn't quite settling with me. That flash I had seen, just before the bomb went off; that couldn't be a coincidence.
"Something detonated that bomb," I decided. "I'm going inside."
Lacy looked up from down at the green. "Are you nuts?"
"Probably," I answered. "But I'm almost sure of it."
"Kyle a bomb just went off in that building," Tom reasoned. "The ruins left could fall apart any second."
"I know," I assured him.
"Don't you dare," Lacy warned.
I launched into a deep dive then spread my wings. I zoomed straight into the senate house.
I touched down on the ground and retracted my wings. I stretched out my senses for living organisms. I came up with nothing.
The house was charred by the explosion. It had obviously once been beautiful, almost regal, but the explosion had ruined it. Soot and ash gaily decorated the walls.
My senses tingled.
I turned just in time to be lifted and slammed into the wall. I groaned and regarded my opponent.
If Tom was an improvised spider-man, than this guy was definitely an evil cyborg.
He may have once been a handsome man, but now he had somehow fused together with metal. Both of his arms were metallic grey. Other odd bits of his body were the same, including his groin, and part of his metal, blonde, hair. His face was merged so horridly that I couldn't make his face out. He stood at about 15 feet tall, which definitely wasn't normal. His legs seemed to have been elongated by metal.
He tilted his head, regarding me.
"So it's true," He mused. "Vigilante superheroes are roaming the streets of New York."
"Glad we cleared that up," I managed. "Who are you?"
He scratched his chin with his free hand. "I'll call myself cyborg."
"That's taken I'm afraid."
"Bah! Fine. How about Iron Man?"
"You wouldn't believe this, but that's also taken."
"Steel? Hmm. Very creative," I said. "And you Mr Steel, nice guy like you, would please let me down?"
"I'm not here to make small talk," He answered. "When that nasty explosion happened, so many were affected. Some died. Some survived, barely.Some received powers."
"You got an involuntary makeover," I suspected.
He nodded. "I was standing beside a trashcan. Somehow, part of the trashcan merged with me."
His smile was sinister. "At first I was spiteful. I was one of the richest guys in the world, and now I was a monster. And then I realized- I could take over the world."
"Yeah. You evil guys have a thing about that."
"I found out about the terrorists at the library. I approached them, and I made a deal."
"Terrorists you say?" I asked. "Interesting."
"They wanted to take over the world. I promised my help and money if I become their leader. They agreed."
"So more money for them then?" I questioned. "They already were quite rich though. They could afford Gavonite."
"Bah! One barrel of gavonite. With my money, they can afford hundreds!"
He grunted with satisfaction. "And then I heard about you and your friends; New York's newest superheroes. We decided we needed a diversion. We knew you couldn't resist. Once it was confirmed that you were here, our other attack began to unfold."
"Peachy," I told him. "But you see, like all the villains in the movies you made a vital mistake to any plan."
"And what would that be you runt?"
"Never tell the enemy your plan."
A gun fired.
I was thoroughly amazed with Lacy's aim.
The dude's back was scarcely covered by metal. If she had shot him anywhere but the tiny little islands of steel on his back, he would have died.
But because her aim is just that good, she managed to shoot straight at one of those islands- and the bullet bounced off harmlessly.
Which by the way made no sense to me. I'm pretty sure cars are made of steel, and bullets don't bounce of them.
Before Lacy could fire a second time, the man lifted Kyle and threw him straight at us, sending Kyle and I tumbling.
Lacy fired a few more times, but none of them- somehow- where on target. In three huge strides the metal guy crossed over to her and tried to hit her. She veered out of reach.
I got out of my stupor and changed form into a gorilla. I smashed at him, but he caught my arm. I tried to wriggle free, but his grip was as hard as iron. He flung me into the wall.
Kyle recovered. He threw a boomerang, which was arching perfectly to peg him in the eye, until he somehow plucked it out of the air and threw it at Lacy. Kyle dived towards her and pushed her out of the way.
Steel laughed. "This is fun! You're weaker than I expected!"
I growled, quite literally. I was now a tiger.
He faced me, which was unnerving, part of his face and general body of course, being metal.
"Hello whiskers," He taunted. "Want to play?"
I leaped towards him. He drew his hand back, ready to punch me, but Kyle held it back. He kicked me as an alternative, then smashed his other hand, with Kyle, into the opposite wall. Lacy sped forward to attack. She moved so fast my eyes couldn't follow, punching, kicking, and then twisting out of reach anytime he tried to hit her.
Kyle dragged himself up and grew his wings. He shot up and held Steel in a chokehold. In the meantime, I changed back to my normal form, then elongated my hand into a baseball bat. I pommeled him with it.
For a while, we were on top of things. Steel struggled helplessly to get Kyle off his neck. Eventually he staggered backwards and succeeded in crashing Kyle into the wall again.
I changed my other free hand into a hammer. I bashed one of his toes with it. He squealed in pain, clutching his big toe. A recovered Kyle launched into the air on wings and kicked him.
He crashed into the floor.
I would have like it that way. We all were feeling good about that victory until we heard the shaking of the building. It had just been bombed. Now a massive half metal being had fallen. It was about to collapse.
The building started tumbling, the exit becoming more and more difficult to reach. I changed into a cheetah and ran for dear life. Lacy leaped over fallen debris. Kyle flew.
It looked like we will make it. Lacy made it to the exit first, and urged us out.
"Come on!" She yelled.
I felt myself slowing down involuntarily. I cursed. Cheetahs were fast, but they could only keep that speed up for so long.
I heard a groan and risked a look back. Kyle, who had probably suffered a few too many knocks for one day, had been pegged back by a rock. I changed form into a horse and ran to help. He tried to wriggle free with no luck. I tried to roll it off with my head but to no avail.
"You can move things with your mind!" I shouted. "Move it!"
"I can't," He replied helplessly. "When I move things I need to be able to focus on them. I can't."
My mind raced. I remembered something I'd heard about a horses powerful hind legs. I positioned myself and kicked the rock. It didn't budge. I kicked it again. It cracked. The third time, it broke into pieces.
Kyle got ready to fly, but I wasn't waiting for him. I lifted him with my strong incisors onto my back and galloped towards the door.
"Hurry!" Lacy pleaded.
I spotted a huge rock dangling above me. It started to fall, right in front of the exit. We weren't going to make it.
Kyle took care of it. He stretched out his hands and the rock stopped sinking. That was good. He clapped his hands together. The rock burst into small pieces of shrapnel, making the doorway dusty. That was bad.
The whole building exploded in an explosion; it was relatively small, as if the explosion was meant to blow up a building already on the verge of collapsing, but it was an impressive sight. Kyle and I just about made it out before the explosion.
Lacy coughed and cleared the air of dust. Kyle was standing. I doubted that he was unscathed from the battle, but he seemed unharmed. I got off the floor groggily.
I dusted off my suit. "I guess there were two sets of explosives."
"Steel is still alive," Kyle grumbled. "He must have made it out through some kind of backdoor and then detonated it, hoping to kill us."
"If that was the plan he nearly succeeded," Lacy agreed.
"Drop your weapons!" Someone bellowed.
The dust was starting to clear. I made out a few squad cars and an armed truck. What was up with those things?
The squad cars surrounded us in a circle. Past the ruins of the senate house, I could see more, loosely stringed together. All of the cars had policemen peeking out guns pointed at us.
Kyle's face fell. "I guess that wasn't his plan."
"The witch," Lacy grumbled. "He just wanted to get us out of the way. This was his plan all along."
"Your hands up!" Someone bellowed.
We had no choice but to oblige. So many guns were trained on us that I was sure if we moved fifty or more guns would fire, and at least one of them would be on target.
I looked on helplessly as officers crossed over and cuffed my wrists.
Being arrested sucked.
We were bundled into the armored trucks in cuffs. I was tempted to start fighting, but I knew with all the guns focusing on my chest, that my not be the best idea.
We arrived at the station. I knew we were going to start fighting at some point, but we needed to be put in solitude so we could plan and then strike. It seemed like a good plan.
We were led to the sheets for mugshots. Tom stepped up first. He was about to take the shot when the person operating the camera stopped.
"Could you please take off your mask?" He asked.
"Yeah," Tom muttered. "Like that's going to happen."
"We need to see your face for the shot or else it's invalid," He prompted.
"And I suppose you'll be sharing this information with the press?" Kyle spoke up.
"Alright. I've lost patience." Someone who looked like the head barged through the crowd of officers and stretched out to take off Tom's mask.
Tom's hand changed into a baseball bat. He whacked him on the head. The guy crumpled.
There was a moment of confusion. Tom's hand morphed into knives and chopped off Kyle and I's cuffs.
By the time bullets started being shot in our direction, we were racing down the hallway.
The prison was largely confusing. Every twist and turn led into another corridor. The fact that a police force were on our tails didn't help.
We crossed into a room were an active interrogation was on.
The officer doing the interrogation shot to his feet. "What the heck..."
Tom whacked him on the head.
The guy who was being interrogated didn't think twice. He broke his handcuffs on the edge of his chair and ran.
"Over there!" An officer yelled. The force were at the beginning of the corridor, bullets ringing.
I looked at Kyle. "We're not going to make it out of here."
"I'm going to regret this," Kyle muttered. He stretched out his hands. Like magic, all the padlocks to the cells fell off.
Lacy's eyes widened. "Kyle are you out of your mind?"
"It's just temporary," He mumbled. "We'll put them all back where they were."
We kept going. Eventually, we reached what looked like an exit.
"Going somewhere?" The Officer in charge said. A loose arc of guns formed round us.
I realised how bad this looked. Not only were we breaking prison, we had released others as well.
"Look this is not what you think," I started.
"Save it," He retorted.
"Look Steel just wanted to get us out of the way," Kyle began. "As we speak another attack is unfolding. And we won't be there to stop it."
"Who needs your help?" He asked.
"So you think you're going to take down Steel and his minions alone?" Tom countered. "Good luck."
"What Tom means is that you need all the help you can get," Kyle continued. "And we can provide it."
"If you're looking for a contract you're out of luck," He quipped.
"We don't need a contract. At least let us help," Kyle replied.
There was a ping. The man slid off his walkie talkie and put it to his mouth. "What is it?"
"Criminal activity at Town Square Lieutenant Harris, some mutants involved." The voice said.
Harris looked up at the three of us.
"I told you," Kyle said in a last ditch effort. "We're your best shot."
"And how do I know you're not in league with these people?" He asked.
"You kidding?" Tom growled. "We could have killed all of you by now. Yet you're alive."
"Is that so?" Harris inquired.
I ran at one of the men and twisted his arm behind his head, grabbing his gun in the process.
Harris swallowed. "Point taken."
I hauled him up.
"Here are my terms," Harris started. "You help us today. You operate with us. If you turn out not to be helpful...well a prison cell was your destination anyway. Understood?"