by Maureen S. O'Brien (mobrien at dnaco.net)
A giant silvery form dove through the clouds, revealing itself as a
sleek rocketship. With impressive maneuverability, it braked, hovered,
and landed on the roof of Quark Tower. A few moments later, another
silvery form -- a form that could only be called small by comparison --
jetted up from a hatch in the ship, flew up to the roof access door,
and stomped down the corridor to the office of Quark's CEO, Dr. Axel
Its scanners took in the scene: Donovan with Jenny the monkey on his
shoulder; two strangers, one male and one female, both in suits; and
one small boy robot, his face defiant and his beltbuckle beeping out
the Big Guy signal.
Big Guy's voice boomed out. "Where's the fire?"
Rusty whirled. "Big Guy!" He sighed with relief. "They didn't want me
to call you. They didn't think you needed to know!"
"Know what, son?"
It took Rusty a moment to be able to say the words. "Dr. Slate's
gone," he said, almost whispering. "There's nothing left of her
but her glasses."
The Big Guy didn't say anything for a minute. He stomped further into
the office, stopping in front of Donovan's desk so that he dwarfed
him. When he did speak, his tone was cold. "What's the story?"
"Well," Donovan said ingratiatingly, "we can't be sure she's dead,
exactly. But she's certainly gone."
"There was a flash of light, and Foureyes went poof. That's it," said
Jenny, a little more boldly. "Nobody knows more than that."
"Not exactly your kind of case, Big Guy," said the male stranger.
"That's why Dr. Donovan called us in."
The Big Guy turned to stare down at him. "And you are?"
"FBI," said the woman, a tiny frozen-faced redhead. "I'm Agent Scully;
this is Agent Doggett. We were flown in suborbital from DC because
we have experience with unusual crimes. We'll be investigating this
"You're a G-Man?" Rusty said, startled.
"G-Woman, actually." Agent Scully looked down at the boy robot, and
her expression turned gentle. "I'm sorry your Dr. Slate is missing.
Don't worry. Agent Doggett and I will find out why, and then we'll
"Dr. Slate's my creator!" Rusty objected hotly, "and me and the Big
Guy'll find out what happened to her without any of you."
Jenny laughed. "If there's anything left to find, which I...."
Rusty's expression turned despairing. The Big Guy gave Jenny a look.
"....am sure there will be," Jenny ended brightly.
The Big Guy turned back to the Feds. "Dr. Slate's a member of the
BGY Program, which means we have the right to look for her first.
We've got the equipment, and we know what kinds of things somebody
might be looking for in her head."
"We got jurisdiction," Agent Doggett objected. "You and Rusty can just
sit back and let us do our job."
"Well," said Jenny archly, "we are ready to rumble."
"Or," Agent Scully inserted smoothly, glancing warningly at Doggett,
"we can pool our efforts and work together on this."
Rusty looked up at the Big Guy, waiting for his answer.
New Tronic City
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