A Tangled Web

by Mary Christmas (unicorn_76010 at lycos.com)

Hehe, plot bunnies are annoying creatures....

New York City -- not exactly the best of places to visit with a rambunctious eight-year-old. Unfortunately, said eight-year-old was one of the military's strongest weapons as well as being the only fully functional creation that used nucleo-protonic energy. It didn't matter, then, that Doctor Erika Slate had been dead set against showing Rusty at the annual Robotics Convention -- Donovan had made it clear that it would be her job on the line if she didn't go, and that Rusty would be taken regardless. Since there really hadn't been any major reason not to take the boy robot, Slate had relented.

Now she was wishing she had stood firmer on her former decision, as she pulled herself from the rubble of what was once a very nice doorway in her hotel room. Rusty was nowhere in sight, having been taken by the group of dark-clad men -- possibly women -- who were responsible for the hole in the wall. She got shakily to her feet, looked around for and spotted the Big Guy Signal device she normally wore around her neck. It was busted into small pieces.

"Wonderful," she muttered, searching for her glasses in the mess. When she found them, she was surprised to note that they were in almost perfect condition, with just a tiny scratch over the right lens.

Sirens could be heard from a distance. Just a little late, don't you think? she thought to herself, right as Donovan and a couple of the other scientists who were presenting at the convention walked in.

"Slate! What just happened here? And where's the kid!"

"I'm right here, Dr. Donovan!" a cheerful voice chimed in from somewhere behind Slate. She turned around to see Rusty standing in front of an open window, a huge grin on his face.

"Rusty! What happened?" She ran over to him and checked him over. He didn't seem to have any damage at all, just a bit of spiderweb on his back.

"It was really awesome, Dr. Slate!" Rusty cried, "I was in power down mode, but I still knew what was going on. Anyway those guys in black took me out of here, and then I was pulled away from them by this guy in a weird blue and red costume. He set me down and then took care of those guys. And do you know what he did then? He spun a web! Just like a spider! Isn't that just the coolest thing! And then he turned me on. I don't know how he did but he did. Then he brought me back here and left."

As all this was said in a rush, it took Slate a while to work out the details. Then she whirled on Donovan. "Sir, I think Rusty and I are going back to New Tronic City. This has just become a major security issue. And, if you don't think so, I'll phone General Thorton and see what he thinks of the matter."


Agent One glowered at the video feed that was still transmitting from Agent Five. This was supposed to have been a simple mission -- according to her employers at least. Grab the Boy Robot, make sure no help would be forthcoming from the Big Guy, and get back to base. However, the men who had commissioned the Agents hadn't mentioned anything about a freak in a costume.

She slammed her fist down on the computer terminal, causing sparks to fly. This was far from over. She didn't leave a job unfinished. Pulling out her radio she contacted her remaining agents.


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