Welcome back, fellow fanboys and girls, to another exciting clash between the forces of good and evil! I know you’ve been waiting on tenterhooks for the latest installment in the Superkid series. No, of course it isn’t the new Divergent book, you joker! Who’d wait around for that?
I have some bad news and some good news. The bad news is this isn’t a Superkid adventure. The good news is it’s the adventure of SuperKC, which is a lot like a Superkid adventure except in a different setting with different allies and different villains. Other than that, it’s pretty much the same.
You remember SuperKC, right? The clone of the original Superkid created accidentally by the nefarious Doctor Red—fought the real hero, thinking it was the real hero who was the clone when all along he was the clone fighting the real hero until something made him realize he was the actual clone and it wasn’t the real hero who was the clone, and made it up to him by helping him take down the evil doctor responsible for creating the clone, and after that… well, he drifted off in search of his own purpose in life—not as a clone, but as someone with his own unique identity that sort of borrowed from somebody else but then tweaked things here and there… er, yeah, he drifted off. And what he did after that… well, that’s what we’re here to find out!
Now hang on to your seats, ladies and gents, because we’re going to go for a ride like you’ve never been on before! Although I’d suggest you let go of your pal there because it looks like he’s turning blue.
A. E. Lucky is proud (so much so that his bladder burst with excitement… excuse me) to present… SuperKC and the Evil Procrastinator!
Chapter 1: After the Ride into the Sunset
When we last saw the duplicate of our original hero, he was drifting slowly into the sunset on his balloon-cape. It was in an ending to rival that of old western shows, with all the emotions that were usually packed in there: bittersweet, melancholy, grand, epic, that lead ball that settles somewhere near your pancreas…
But nobody ever tells you what happens after that bit. Oh sure, they make sequels that bring back the old heroes a few years after the incident, but I’m talking about immediately after that sad farewell part. What it’s like to trudge off into the big, red sun for an hour or so.
It’s hot. And thirsty. Both courtesy of that sun parking its big, red butt on the mountain range to watch while the poor soul wanders through the desert, trying to find a drink of water. Trust me, I’ve been there. Though I’ve never done it for three days, which is how long the hero duplicate drifted through the desert in his quest to find his purpose in life. The sun, of course, didn’t stick around that long, oh no, he had other people to torment, though he did come around from time to time to make sure SuperKC was baking just right. And after three long days, the kid was practically dying of thirst. His eyes were gummed up, and his costume was stiff after he had sweated in it and had it dried by the sun (isn’t that sun just a sweetie?). He was also in a state of hallucination.
So it’s understandable when he spotted the water sprinklers through his gummy eyes that he immediately yanked the cord that released the air from his balloon-cape and dropped on top of it like a panther from the trees. He didn’t mean to scare the living daylights out of four kids, but that was precisely what he did.
Here’s how it happened…
“It’s a beautiful day today, Tony,” his mother, Mrs. Ippi, said as she turned the bacon over in the frying pan.
Which Tony knew was the subtle hint that his mom wanted him outside today.
“It’s a great day for you to go outside today,” she added.
Which was the not-so-subtle hint that she wanted him outside today.
“So I don’t want you to sit inside playing computer games all day.”
That being the guilt-inducing hint that she wanted him outside today.
“Instead, I want you to go out there and get active—work off all that baby fat you’ve got.”
And that was the blatantly offensive hint that she wanted him outside today.
“But Mom,” Tony said in a plaintive voice he had practiced for over three days. It was the voice his younger brother and sister used to get their way, and it almost always worked. Tony, who almost never got his way, decided to try this technique of theirs and he felt he was doing a pretty good job. “Every time I go outside, Arwen picks on me. He calls me names like Blubber Boy, Pork Rind, Roly Poly, and even Son of a Whale!”
Normally, a tragic tale like this told in the masterfully woeful voice of his younger siblings would instantly pierce her tender heart, causing her to break down, bring them close and offer them a platter of soft sugar cookies with butterscotch chips (their favorite), followed by bold promises to protect her children, which led to furious phone-number dialing and ending with a shouting match between her and the offender’s mother (the victors varied, keeping the matches interesting). In this case, though, Tony’s attempt was more like him flinging a bunch of cheap suction-cup darts at a tank, meaning that his mom responded without missing a beat, “He wouldn’t have reason to call you any of those names if you’d just go outside and exercise.” Before Tony could recover from this harsh return-fire, she continued, “But if he bothers you all that much, why don’t you have Jeremy beat him up for you?”
Ah, Jeremy. he’s quite an interesting character. But I’ll tell you more about him when we meet him.
Tony tried another tactic. “But there’s nothing to do outside except dodging cars.”
“Oh, I’m sure there’s more out there to do than that,” replied Mrs. Ippi. Truth be told, she wasn’t all that concerned about what her son would do outside for fun. She had simply hoped that, once outside, his imagination would take over and he would be on his way to becoming a prodigy of some sort. Television and video games rotted the brain, so it stood to reason that fresh air and exercise did the opposite. But in an effort to meet him halfway, she suggested, “Why don’t you and your brother and sister set up that swimming pool that’s in our garage?”
Which was a doomed-to-fail suggestion. Even as she finished, she could see his pained expression.
“Really, Mom? Do you know how hard it is to blow that thing up? It’s got two separate parts! And besides, it has a hole in it.”
“What do you mean it has a hole in it?” she demanded in that rhetorical way mothers tend to be when they’re feeling hawkish.
Tony was ready this time, so he fired back, “It happened last year at Ceddie’s birthday party.” Ceddie’s his younger brother, whose real name is Cedric. And while I’m at it, we can get his little sister, Amanda, out of the way, too.
But it wasn’t for nothing that a good general looks to the good mother for inspiration when pressed under the assault of the enemy. She returned fire, “You can still have a water fight.”
Yet the enemy would not relent. “We don’t have water guns.” Seeing an opening in his mother’s defenses, he covertly sidled up to the stove, his eyes on the bacon in the pan.
She scooted the pan away and raked the bacon onto a plate waiting with a paper towel over it to soak up the excess grease, denying him the spoils he sought. She placed the pan back onto the stove and started cracking eggs into it. “Use cups if you have to.”
It was an intense battle of wits, both sides giving their all for the chance of personal victory. Then something happened that distracted them.
Jeremy came into the kitchen.
“Hey, I might have a couple of water guns…” he began. Then he stumbled over the slight step leading into the kitchen from the hall. He tried to stop himself by grabbing a chair but he ended up bringing it to the floor with him and with a loud crash. Tony and his mom winced. She asked, “Are you all right, Jeremy?”
Jeremy groaned a bit and rolled over slowly. Then he grunted, “I’m okay.”
Despite his reassurance, he wasn’t moving to get to his feet, so while we wait for him to stop whining long enough to get up, I’ll describe him to you. He is a twelve-year-old kid, who is fairly bulky for his age, somewhat similar to Tony. But unlike Tony, whose bulk was mostly blub, Tony’s bulk came from muscle. This made him the strongest kid in his grade, as well as the fastest. You would expect that this would make him the first pick for every sport, but unfortunately, he had another trait that discouraged his classmates from that: he was also the clumsiest.
Which did nothing to abate his enthusiasm for sports, to his friend’s disappointment. Tony appreciated that Jeremy was willing to look out for him like an older brother, but hanging out with him was, well, to be honest, kind of exhausting.
By now, you’ve probably concluded that Tony and Jeremy are friends but not brothers, and now you’re wondering what Jeremy was doing in Tony’s house at breakfast time. If you guessed he had been there for a sleepover, you’d be partly right. If you guessed that Jeremy was pretty much like family to Tony, his mom, and his siblings, you’d be partly right again. And if you guessed he was that annoying neighbor that came by hoping to get invited to stay for breakfast, I’d say you have some issues to work out. Just ask him to help cook. That should scare him off. Worked for me.
But no, the reason Jeremy was at Tony’s house was because his parents were on vacation in the Bahamas. Of course, they could have waited another month for school to get out for the summer and then Jeremy could have gone with them, but on that bizarre and quite expensive whim that parents tend to have, they instead opted to complicate things by making arrangements for Jeremy to stay at his best friend’s house while letting the school know that Mr. and Mrs. Ippi were Jeremy’s temporary guardians, as well as scheduling plane tickets to the sunny islands. But everything must have worked out because now they were gone, and Jeremy was here – you know, still sprawled on the floor while Tony’s mom asked him repeatedly if he was all right. Tony managed to sneak two strips of bacon from the plate while she was distracted.
“I’m all right, Mrs. Ippi,” Jeremy assured her as he finally got to his feet. “I’m sorry about the chair.”
“Oh, it’s nothing,” she said, tipping it back on its feet.
“Let me make it up to you,” he insisted. He turned to the plates visible through the cupboard’s glass. “I’ll set the table if you want.”
Mrs. Ippi said hastily, for the plates were made of glass, “No, no! You’re all right, Jeremy. I think you’d better just sit; you may have a concussion. You took quite a fall, after all.”
“But I didn’t hit my head,” Jeremy tried to protest.
“Still, you can’t be too careful.” She told him sweetly. She hurried back to the stove and slapped Tony’s hand as he reached for another bacon.
It took a while but somehow Mrs. Ippi managed to convince the klutzy but kindhearted boy not to touch the glass plates. She almost made the mistake of asking Tony to set them on the table until she remembered that Tony did nothing without Jeremy jumping in to help. And so, though it pained her to do it, she asked Ceddie and Amanda to do it instead when they trooped into the kitchen.
“Aww, but why?” Amanda whined. Ceddie was digging into his ear so he didn’t hear what his mom had asked.
“Just do it for Mommy, okay?” Mrs. Ippi pleaded.
“But the plates are too heavy for us!” Amanda argued. “And we’re too short to reach them.”
Tony snorted. His little brother and sister sure acted small and helpless when Mom was around, but when her back was turned they were like little devils – sneaking into the sugar snacks above the refrigerator, putting bugs into everyone’s drawers, dropping eggs from atop the roof… They never got in trouble, of course. Tony was the one who was supposed to be “responsible” for them, so he was the one who got hit with the book, and that meant cleaning out “the pantry” – a dark, little storage room under the back porch with walls coated in rotten fruit and crawling with hundreds of millipedes the size of your pinky. Hey, don’t laugh! Seriously! Hold your pinky up to your face and imagine it’s got a million little legs… not laughing anymore, are you?
Fortunately, though, Mrs. Ippi had one last trick up her sleeve. When asking nicely and pleading didn’t work, bribery got the job done. She told them, “If you help set the table, you can have an extra strip of bacon.”
Ceddie brightened. “We’re having bacon?”
Amanda frowned. “One bacon?”
“Hey,” Jeremy interrupted, “if I set the table, can I have an extra bacon?”
“No, no, Jeremy!” said Mrs. Ippi. “You’re our guest. You get an extra one just for that.”
“What about two extra…”
“Two extra pieces of bacon!” said Mrs. Ippi desperately, turning to Amanda and Ceddie.
Ceddie turned to Amanda. She bit her lip in thought. “Um…”
“And I’ll make your favorite butterscotch chip cookies,” she added as a final offer.
“Okay!” Amanda beamed angelically and scampered to the cupboard, with Ceddie chasing after her. Mrs. Ippi sighed and turned back to the eggs.
Tony asked, “Hey, Mom. Can I have two extra slices of bacon if I help set the table?”
His mom turned and flashed him a stern look. “You should just do the right thing without expecting a reward.”
Which was the exasperated hint that she wanted him outside today.
Tony was outside today. Not that he had much choice. After booting the four of them out, Mrs. Ippi promptly locked the door and then gestured through the front window to go play. With a defeated sigh, Tony turned to his siblings and asked, “All right, guys, what do you want to do today?”
“Go to the park!” they both shouted. That’s where the pirate ship was. Amanda and Ceddie loved to crawl through its tunnels and swing across its monkey bars and, best of all, turn the ship’s wheel.
“That’s a great idea,” said Jeremy, giving Tony a friendly punch on the shoulder. “And you and me can play catch with my dad’s football.”
“Will he mind?” Tony asked, dreading the answer.
Jeremy guffawed. “Of course not! Tells me every day that I can play with it whenever I want… as long as it’s outside and I put it back when I’m done.”
Which was exactly the answer Tony feared. True, Jeremy’s dad had been the star quarterback (or was it linebacker?) in high school and could throw a really mean ball, but he was an all-around nice guy with a great sense of humor. No, what Tony feared was that his friend looked up to his dad and was trying too hard to follow in his footsteps while dragging Tony behind him. All that dragging really chafed. Nevertheless, Jeremy quickly grabbed his dad’s old pigskin and the four of them were off to the park.
It was quite a walk… five blocks of it, in fact. If that wasn’t bad enough, good, old Mr. Sun was there turning up the thermostat. With the unholy combination of hot weather and exercise, by the time they made it to the park, the four of them were drowning in their own sweat, and their faces were steak red (beets are cliched, you understand), their legs fish limp, and their mouths beef jerky dry – well, now I’ve gone and made myself hungry. Someone fire up the grill! In the meantime, let’s get back to our hapless hero’s future comrades.
“I want a drink a water!” Ceddie wailed.
“Me too!” cried Amanda.
“I want to sit down,” Tony puffed.
“I think there’s some drinking fountains somewhere in the park,” said Jeremy, wiping his forehead. He gestured vaguely in a direction. “Somewhere over there. Come on, guys.”
They started in the vaguely gestured direction. After a few minutes, Ceddie squealed without warning, “Sprinklers!” and began running.
“Wait, Ceddie! Wait for me!” Amanda cried and tore after her brother.
Oh great, thought Tony, if they break that sprinkler, it’s going to be my fault. He called, “Hey, guys! Don’t touch that sprinkler!” and he chased after them.
“Last one there is a rotten egg!” Jeremy crowed as he broke into a run.
And so the race was on. Ceddie was in the lead, but Amanda was closing in on him fast. Tony had a head-start on Jeremy but Jeremy soon whooshed past him and started gaining a lead until he tripped on a dip in the field and went sprawling. Tony soon caught up to him, placing himself in a steady third place. He really had no hope of catching up to Ceddie and Amanda, though. Ceddie was pushing himself for all his worth but Amanda was gaining on him. Now they were neck in neck and then it was Amanda – no Ceddie! – wait, Amanda! – no, Ceddie again! – Amanda! – Ceddie! – Amanda! Ceddie! Amanda! Ceddie…
Wait, it’s all over, folks! In a shocking move that caused Ceddie and Amanda – as well as Tony and Jeremy – to scream and leap backwards, someone else flopped on top of the sprinklers from completely out of nowhere! What a shocker!
After all, it wasn’t every day that somebody fell out of the sky like an angel from heaven, who had gotten lost in the underworld and mauled half to death by a bunch of little, red imps with pitchforks. He must have been thirsty too because he grabbed that sprinkler by its ugly head and began guzzling down its water. The sprinkler put up a valiant fight, hissing, twisting, and jetting water into his eyes, but in the end this mysterious person from the sky had his fill and he allowed the sprinkler to return to its lawn-watering with as much dignity as it had remaining.
Slowly, he stood up. On his back, a cape unfurled, its colors the deep blue of a cloudless sky, pure, noble, untainted by the dark clouds of wickedness, marked only by two letter overlapping each other within a circle: KC.
He turned around and saw the four kids gaping at him. He pointed to the sprinkler. “That wasn’t yours, was it?”
Ceddie shook his head. The rest of them were speechless.
He continued, “Sorry if I scared you. Just hadn’t had a drink in a long time.”
“It’s okay,” Amanda finally said timidly. “We were thirsty, too…”
Then Ceddie burst out, “How’d you do that?! You just all of a sudden came from nowhere! Can you do it again?”
“Quiet, Ceddie,” said Tony, still staring.
Jeremy strode forward with his hand outstretched and shook hands with the stranger. “Well, hey, my name’s Jeremy. This here’s my pal, Tony, and his little brother, Ceddie, and little sister, Amanda.”
The stranger nodded. “Name’s SuperKC.”
Tony snorted. “SuperCasey?” Ceddie hopped and cried, “Wow! So you’re a real superhero?”
SuperKC shrugged. “Well, more like a costumed crusader.”
Tony asked, “What’s the difference?”
So the costumed crusader explained, “A hero is recognized by the people. A crusader is someone fighting for a cause, though that’s not always a good thing.”
“Is that why you’re wearing a cape?” cried Amanda, pointing. She was bouncing excitedly so her aim was constantly being thrown off though it wasn’t difficult to guess what she was pointing at.
“What’s your superpower?” asked Ceddie.
“My superpower?” SuperKC looked uncomfortable, shuffling his feet and rubbing the back of his neck. “Well, uh… you see, the only power I possess is to… control the temperature of my breath.” Seeing their stupefied expressions, he added brightly, “But hey, I can actually do some pretty cool stuff with it.”
“Like what?” murmured Tony. “Cool your soup?”
SuperKC grinned. “Watch this.” He grabbed the little hose dangling over his shoulder and puffed hard into it. Behind him, his cape suddenly ballooned and lifted above his head. Another puff later, the costumed crusader lifted into the sky. He was soon hovering five feet above their heads. He waved to the astonished group.
He puffed more air into the hose and then yanked it. From pocket vents in his back rushed the air from his balloon-cape, jetting him through the air for a good distance until he tumbled onto the ground and bounced onto his feet.
Amanda, Ceddie, and Jeremy burst into applause. “Awesome!” said Ceddie.
“So,” said Tony as SuperKC walked back to the four of them. “Where are you from?”
“I come from a planet called Poolington.”
“Really?” Jeremy’s eyes widened excitedly. “Did it blow up after your parents sent you to Earth, just like Superman?”
“He was joking, Jeremy,” said Tony in exasperation. “I’ve heard of Poolington. Some town to the east of us. All sorts of weird stuff happen there. I heard that there’s even a superhero that appears when it happens.”
“Superkid?” said SuperKC. “Yeah, that’s my clone – er, that is, I’m his clone. He’s got things handled over there so I’m kind of drifting around, looking for places that need my help…” He shrugged. “You wouldn’t happen to have bad guys here, would you?”
Jeremy snapped his fingers. “Hey, now that you mention it, there’s been some viral videos on the internet about a gang of criminals going around town and robbing places! Got some weird names, too, like Guvnuh, Gasbag, and Cache.”
“Really?” the youthful vigilante’s eyes twinkled mischievously. “Sounds like my kind of trouble.”
His trouble, actually, would come from a different source. Guvnuh, Gasbag, and Cache were merely appetizers for the big buffet of trouble that was to come.
Chapter 2: To Whet Your Appetite
His name was Mr. Hector Nathan Alder. Sounds a bit boring, but chew on this: he was the son of the late Mr. Ethan William Alder and Mrs. Raven Leila Copelli Alder, who were the fabulously wealthy owners of the Alder Estate and managers of Alder Construction until their timely and rather dull demises, which meant he was now in charge of the estate and company. You see now?
Ah, so now you’re interested! Well, if you plan to kiss up to him, here’s how you’ll recognize him: he’s a tall, lean man with blonde hair that falls like a pair of curtains on either side of his narrow face and sky-blue eyes that twinkle mischievously. He’s always got this smile on his face that makes you think he’s got a prank to pull. Take that as your signal to get away from him as fast as you can because if you don’t, you’ll soon find yourself in one of those situations that take years to recover from. Take it from his college buddies; although, now that I think about it, college frat boys aren’t exactly Einsteins-in-training, are they?
But his days of putting live iguanas in the dean’s office and filling the dorm rooms with helium were behind him now. Now, he was the CEO of a construction company, which meant a lot of responsibility and hard work. Why don’t we observe him on a typical day?
“You call that shooting? My secretary can aim better than you!” he taunted from behind a berm, which was flashing enough colors to trigger epilepsy in an elephant. He held a laser gun in his hands.
“At least I don’t hide in the corners all day!” his opponent retorted. “Why don’t you come out and say that to my face?”
“Which end is that?” was his snappy comeback… at least, it would have been if his cell phone didn’t just suddenly buzz. With a sigh of irritation, he pulled it from his pouch, swiped its screen, and jammed it to his ear. “You have the worst timing, Bertie.”
Bertie replied evenly, “Sir, I’m calling to remind you about the merger proposal meeting you have today.” His real name was Bertrand Turmal and he was the CO under Mr. Alder, though it oftentimes seemed to be the other way around.
“That’s today?” exclaimed Hector as he poked his head from behind the berm and fired his laser. “But I have hours until then, right? Four thirty?”
“Two thirty, sir, which gives you fifteen minutes.”
“Oh, fudge,” he cursed, glancing at his Rolex. He fired another shot over the wall. “Couldn’t you postpone it? Set it to a later date, say, September?”
“You had it postponed three times already, sir, and this merger is something I would recommend. These people are gunning for their slice of the pie and if they can’t make a deal, they will find some way to destroy the company… your great grandfather’s company,” he added with emphasis. “Agreeing to this merger would placate them and allow you to keep an eye on them. And I don’t think I need to mention how many jobs it would create – something that would greatly boost the economy of Piner City.”
“And it would put little Timmy in school, and little Suzy would get her operation,” Hector responded flippantly, firing another burst at a player who had appeared around the corner. “Look, why don’t you take charge of the merger proposal? I mean, you’re better with the old farts than I am. They don’t even like me.”
“That’s your job, sir. You’re the head of Alder Construction, the legacy of your great grandfather, Harold Alder. When he started this company…”
“…dinosuars walked the planet and everyone ate rocks,” Hector finished, running to new cover and firing at anything that moved.
“All I’m saying, sir, is that you should make a real effort to direct this company. And you can start by showing up to this merger proposal meeting. I’ve already sent Wade to pick you up.”
Hector sighed resignedly. “Fine, whatever you say, Bertie. Business casual, right?”
“I would suggest ‘professional’ if I dared. I still cringe at your last meeting when you wore that outlandish sombrero.”
Hector had been rather pleased with it. None of the managers had been able to take their eyes off of it, and the meeting had concluded with many of them blinking rather stupidly as they swayed out the door. But he promised Bertrand, “Don’t worry. I’ll be walking into that meeting, wearing my Sunday best.”
“That’s what has me worried,” murmured his CO.
They were a grim bunch – squat, round men in suits so stiff they made the tinman look flexible. Their toupes looked like enormous spiders crouched defensively on their heads, ready to lash out at anyone who dared to suggest they weren’t real hair. The men didn’t talk – much too busy pressing their lips thinner than their personal file labeled “Fun Things to Do.” Mr. Alder was already eight minutes late – very unprofessional. His CO was present, attempting to make small talk while they waited, but their patience was wearing thin. They had little tolerance for tomfoolery.
But that’s precisely what they got when Mr. Alder finally arrived. The minute he walked through the door, they could do nothing but stare. He was quite a sight, for he was dressed as a continental soldier from the Revolutionary War, complete with musket. He wore a blue double-breasted coat over a white shirt with ruffles down the front, white leggings, high-top boots, and, of course, the tricorn hat that was distinctive of that era. He marched to the front of the table, did an about-face, and then brought his hand to his temple in salute.
“Private Hector Alder of the Wolcott Regiment reporting for duty!” he barked, startling the majority of them. “And I’m itching to kill me a redcoat!”
Mr. Turmal groaned into his hands.
It took the assembled a while to gather their wits, but it wasn’t long before the quickest among them – a round man with multiple chins and bushy nostrils – spoke, “Mr. Alder, glad you could make it.”
Hector beamed. “Oh, good show, Mr. Oreal, that sounded so sincere, even the devil would think you were serious!” He plopped his musket on the table, spun his swivel chair around and leaped onto it, his legs dangling over the armrest. “So. What can I do for you fine, old fossils today – I mean, other than donate you to the Smithsonian?”
The men all harrumphed indignantly. Mr. Oreal, however, responded in stride, “We have requested this meeting with you in a concerted effort to arrange a mutually beneficial agreement for those of us in the profession of construction.”
Hector had been picking his teeth with his fingernail, but after this announcement, he turned his gaze thoughtfully to the ceiling for a moment and then looked back at Mr. Oreal and bobbed his finger at the pudgy, old man. “So you’re saying that the slithy toves did gyre and gimbel in the wabe, and all mimsy were the borogoves, and the momewraths outgrabe?”
“I’m saying,” growled Mr. Oreal, a vein pulsing at his temple, “that we’re offering you a deal.”
The young CEO snorted. “A deal? That’s a funny way of saying you’re on your hands and knees, begging for a handout. You know what my dad called those people? Scum. The sort of rot that destroys society by leeching its vitals – never contributing anything, always taking. Is that what you are, Mr. Oreal?”
Mr. Oreal turned purple with fury. Mr. Turmal rushed in, “Mr. Ethan Alder valued ingenuity and hard work, and he respected the people who displayed that. He was also aware that success is not inherent and often took time to show results, and he also knew that the success of one was dependent on the success of all.”
Hector threw out his arms. “Hey, we’re all one happy family here – the kind where your dad is a millionaire, your mom an artist, your brother a rock star, your sister a runway model, your cousin a doctor, your aunt a teacher, your uncle a preacher, and, of course, you, the stray that little sis found one day, starved half to death.”
“I’ve had enough!” bellowed Mr. Oreal, pounding the table and startling the other men. Then he stabbed a finger at the continental soldier in the CEO’s chair. “You call me a parasite, but you? You are a spoiled brat born to a life of wealth, never working to earn your keep. You have ridden on the success of your ancestors as your father and grandfather did. They, at least, understood this. You? You’re cocky and arrogant… a lazy good-for-nothing! Mark my words, Mr. Alder, it won’t be long before your incompetence sees your empire crumble beneath you and leave you with nothing. And when that day comes, I pray I’m there to see it.”
Hector flashed him a winsome smile. “I’ll be sure to have you buried on the tallest hilltop in that case, Mr. Oreal… you know, for when that day comes.”
He huffed irritably and got to his feet. He turned to his colleagues, “This meeting is adjourned, gentlemen. Let’s not waste any more of our time here.”
Obediently, the rest of them stood and filed behind him out the door. When it clicked shut behind them, Mr. Turmal turned to his employer, “Sir, I think you’ve made a big mistake.”
Hector shrugged. “So I steamed him up a bit. It might help to boost his company’s productivity – put a little fire in that pot-bellied stove.”
“Don’t underestimate him, Mr. Alder. If you’re not careful, your arrogance will defeat you. And Mr. Oreal – and all your other enemies for that matter – will not be gentle on you.”
Hector placed his palms together and bowed. “Thank you, Confucius. I will cherish your words for as long as my attention span lasts.” Then he looked up. “Which reminds me, I have an appointment with Master Yao Wi at four thirty. We’re practicing some level-changing techniques. You can handle things without me, right?” He waved to Bertrand over his epauletted shoulder, “For God and country!”
Bertrand wordlessly watched him leave. Then he sighed and shook his head.
Four hours later, Hector returned to the Alder Estate, tired and beat (though not as beat as the other guy; he was going to be walking funny for a few weeks). His butler, Nathers, greeted him monotonously (as all professional butlers do) at the door and escorted him to the study.
“The latest news regarding the criminal team has been posted and awaits your viewing pleasure, sir,” Nathers informed him. There seemed to be an ironic tone in his voice except, as far as Hector knew, Nathers had no sense of humor or irony.
“Thank you, Nathers,” he said, accepting the remote his butler was holding.
Behind them, the door opened and Babs came in, carrying a tray with a bowl of macaroni-and-cheese and a large glass of cola. She set it on the waiting table next to his recliner. “I kept it warm for you, Master Hector,” she said sweetly.
“Thanks, Babs,” he said, trying not to look at the block of unmelted butter sitting in the macaroni like a tugboat frozen in the act of sinking into the sea. At the age of eighty-four, her eyesight was failing her. Not that it really affected her cooking and cleaning skills at all, considering she had the mind of a seven-year-old and couldn’t read instructions very well anyway. When a representative of the Employment for the Senior and Disabled Agency knocked on the door and introduced her to the Alder family, Hector’s dad had hired her with very little argument. Hector vowed to have her retired once he gained control of the estate, but eight years later after the fact, he had never gotten around to it.
Nathers and Babs left the room, leaving him alone with the video. He settled himself into the recliner, pulled up its footrest, and grabbed his bowl of mac-and-cheese. After a long and stressful day, this was what he looked forward to… well, not the mac-and-cheese, but sitting down to watch the latest escapades of the Governor (or “Guvnuh,” as he pronounced it) and his team of misfit criminals. It was like a combination of a Saturday morning cartoon and a reality TV show.
For two weeks now, they had recorded themselves pulling off heists and uploading the videos to the internet, reaping over a million views and inspiring several copycats, though they didn’t last very long. The Governor and his crew had never been caught yet, despite the fact that after completing each heist, they revealed the plans for the next one. For this one that they had detailed in the last episode, they were going to recover some art. The Piner City Art Museum, in response, had increased security measures in a futile attempt to protect its displays. This ought to be good.
It was good. To start off with, their target wasn’t the Piner City Art Museum, but the home of Mr. J. T. Tripe, who had an extensive collection of priceless artifacts from various historical sites around the world.
“‘Ullo, chums,” the Gunuh addressed the audience in his heavily British accent. He was dressed in his trademark bowler hat, white peacoat, and sunny yellow bowtie, and beneath his thick handlebar mustache, he sported a gap between his two front teeth that many fangirls found adorable. “Lahst week, we picked clean The Magpie’s Nest Jewelry and took all her pretty, shiny things. Tonight, my mates and I will appropriate some of the worlds’s greatest aht collection here at the home of the esteemed J. T. Tripe. The first step: infiltration.”
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Hello, salutations, and welcome to an exciting edition of a spinoff of a yet-to-be-known series of a young crime-fighter's adventures in crime-fighting! SuperKC--a clone of the original Superkid--takes his spicy brand of justice to the big city where things really heat up. Barely does he clean up the streets of a thief known as Guvnuh and his lackeys, when he finds himself challenged by a criminal enterprise known as the Coalition of Wrongdoers, led by an eccentric man calling himself the Evil Procrastinator. Will he have what it takes to defeat a menace who puts off things until the last minute? Or might he and his dastardly heifer prove too much for the youthful vigilante? Find out by downloading the ebook, curling up on your favorite armchair, and telling your mom that you're reading the homework assignment that was due last week.