Saturday, January 30, 2010

You Have Chosen to Go to the Lab

Gold sprinted past the Robot Recovery Room and turned the corner.  Doc Magnus’s laboratory was ten feet ahead of him.

“Get back here!” Captain Boomerang shouted.  Another boomerang lodged with a *thwip* into the wall where Gold’s head had been half a second before.

“Not a chance!” Gold shouted back.  He skittered into the lab, slammed the door behind him and threw the lock.  He looked around and grabbed the nearest cabinet and tore it from the floor, beakers and graduating cylinders crashing and clinking and smashing as he hefted the cabinet in front of the door.

Captain Boomerang hammered fists against the blocked door.  “We’ll get you, mate!  And if not, there’s five more of you!”

Gold ignored him.  He turned and made a beeline to the back of the room where Doc’s desk sat against the wall.  He tore through the desk, upending stacks of papers, knocking books to the floor, pulling open drawers, his hands a whir of golden light.  It had to be here somewhere.  He made a mental note to apologize to Doc later for all the mess.

He found the bottommost drawer locked.  Gold lengthened his pointer finger and slipped it into the lock, depressed the tumblers with a click and then yanked the drawer open.

There it was, sitting on top a pile of yellowed comic books: a small, round device with a big red button.  Gold wasted no time in grabbing it.  He pushed the button and it blinked frantically.

“Stand back, you idiot,” he heard I.Q. say from behind the door.  The door heaved on weakened hinges but held.

Gold looked back down at the signaling device sitting in his open palm.  The red light stopped blinking.  A crackling, static-lined voice said, “This is Strange responding.  What seems to be the problem, Dr. Magnus?”  Strange?  It had to be Adam Strange.

This is Adam Strange.

Gold spoke into the device.  “I’m sorry to say, it’s not Doc Magnus.  It’s Gold.  We’ve got a problem here.  The Injustice Gang has infiltrated Doc’s lab.  We don’t know what they’re after, but we need backup.”

A pause and then another crackle.  Strange’s voice sounded distorted, as if he were speaking underwater.  “Copy that.  Can’t send backup, though.  Not at JLA Headquarters—*crackle*—solo—*crackle*—long story.  Over.”

“Where’s the League?” Gold asked.  Another thud rocked the door and it fell from its hinges.

“Like I said, long story.  I can —*hzzzzzz*—eta Beam you and your team out with me, if you want.  Over.”

“Say again?” Gold said.

“I can Zeta Beam you guys out.  Do you copy?”

Gold looked down at the receiver.  Wherever Adam Strange was, it didn’t sound particularly secure.  On the other hand, there were three villains about the burst through the door.  And, on the other hand (if one happened to have three hands at one’s disposal), there was a room full of kids at the mercy of three other villains a few feet down the hall.

Gold looked down at the receiver and thought about what to do.


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