An old beaten up car pulls up to the park. Lillian’s ears twitch. Water Boy stands in front of Lillian in case whoever is in the car wants to cause trouble. The car door opens and a girl gets out. One who doesn’t look to be old enough to drive a car.
“Ah! Heroes! I was told I could find you guys here!” the girl says and smiles.
“What do you want? I’m not letting you dissect Lillian,” Water Boy says.
“Dissect her?! Who would want to do that?!” the girl asks.
“The doctor and nurses at the hospital we just escaped from,” Water Boy says.
“No, no... I’m here to help!” the girl says and smiles gently at them.
Lillian burps and sits up, glaring at her.
“Is this a bad moment...?” the girl asks.
“Well... I was kinda hoping to stay in the park a bit longer...” Lillian says with a yawn.
“I’ve got a little house not far from here... um... I might have some things you’d like!” the girl says.
“Oh do you? Including a huge meal?” Lillian asks, tail wagging.
“You don’t appear to be in need of food... But yes, I do have some food I can offer... If you’d please just get in the car...” the girl begs.
“Are you driving that big metal thing?” Lillian asks.
“No, my friend is. I programmed him to be able to drive... um... I kinda borrowed the car though,” the girl says and sweats nervously.
“I like that... I’m getting in!” Lillian says, trying to get off the ground.
Water Boy sighs and lifts her off the ground, helping her into the car. Inside the car, a bulky golden robot sits in the driver’s seat. His helmet displays four neon green arrows with tiny red dots in them.
“Welcome aboard, next destination, Hero Headquarters!” the robot calls out.
“That’s Maygah, his original name is Omega, but he prefers just Maygah. And I’m Cynthia, leader of the Heroes Meets,” the girl says, pulling her red hood over her short, curly dirty-blonde hair.
“Well, nice to meet you!” Water Boy says.
“And you are?” Cynthia asks.
“Ugh... Of course you don’t know me... My name is Water Boy,” Water Boy says.
“Is that your real name or your hero name...?” Cynthia asks.
“My real name, I guess... You’re not the first to ask...” Water Boy says, “I have no other name...”
“Oh! Yeah! I asked him that same exact thing!” Lillian says.
“I know the dark haired one though... One of her future relatives was at a Villains Meet...” Cynthia says.
“Can I ask what year it is...?” Water Boy asks.
“Why do you want to know...?” Cynthia asks.
“Because... I died in 3101 and Lillian died in 1953, yet we’re both here together?” Water Boy asks.
“Ah, time is strange indeed! Here we are in 2013!” Cynthia says.
“2013?!” both Water Boy and Lillian cry out at the same time.
Cynthia giggles. Maygah drives the car all the way to a little trailer home.
“Here we are! Headquarters!” announces Cynthia.
“Hey, I wanted to announce that...” Maygah says, looking sad.
“Alright, pretend I said nothing,” Cynthia says.
“We have now arrived at Hero Headquarters!” Maygah says, smiling again.
“Wait... This is the Headquarters...? It looks like a metal box to me!” Lillian calls out.
“It’s a trailer home... Was there none in the world you’ve come from?” Cynthia asks.
“Nope, we all built our own houses. Didn’t cost anything but our time and energy,” Lillian says.
“Well, my mom and dad bought this house... But they’re always away...” Cynthia says.
“I have never seen this girl’s parents. I wonder if she lies about having any to make herself feel better,” Maygah says.
“Oh, my bad...” Maygah says.
“He has a mind of his own... Doesn’t he...?” Lillian asks.
“Yes. I didn’t build him... I just improved his software and programming and he learned everything else on his own,” Cynthia says.
“I was born on a planet far away from here and...” Maygah begins, but Cynthia silences him.
“Anyways, let’s just go inside,” Cynthia says.
Water Boy nods and climbs out. Lillian smiles and sweats nervously, unable to move herself out of her seat.
“You’re stuck? Ugh... Hang on...” Water Boy says and pulls Lillian out of the car.
“Thanks,” Lillian says.
Cynthia giggles and walks to the front door, followed closely by Maygah. They reach the door and Cynthia opens it.
“What?!” asks Cynthia, “Mom…? Dad…? What are you doing here?!”
Maygah peers around her.
“Oh? So are these your parents? I was wondering when I saw them earlier,” Maygah says.
“Shhh... Go hide... All of you...” Cynthia says, stepping forward to hide them from her parents’ sight.
“Cynthia! How dare you come home! School isn’t out yet!” the mother snaps.
“Don’t tell me you skipped school again!” the father says, angrily smashing his fists into the rickety table.
“Mom... Dad... You wouldn’t understand if I told you... Why aren’t you guys at work or out gambling as you usually do...?” Cynthia asks.
Her parents’ faces grow very red and steam comes from their ears.
“YOU HAVE NO RIGHT TO QUESTION US! WE’RE THE ONES WHO WILL ASK QUESTIONS!” the father yells.
Cynthia flinches and cries.
“Now tell us, what is all this rubbish in our house?!” the mother asks, picking up an attendance book.
“I... I can’t tell you... It’s against our code...” Cynthia says.
“Holding secret missions in our house, are you?!” the father snaps.
“GO TO YOUR ROOM, WE’RE GONNA DISPOSE OF ALL THIS CRUD AND YOU CAN’T DO ANYTHING ABOUT IT!” the mother says, lifting the attendance book and chucking it into the trash can.
“FINE, BE LIKE THAT, BUT WHEN THE HEROES COME TO SAVE US, I’M LEAVING WITHOUT YOU!” Cynthia yells, running to her room and slamming the door.
Down the hall, the parents are cursing and talking badly about their daughter. They find everything they can and toss it away, including a spare robotic hand. Cynthia curls up on her bed, sobbing.
“Oh dear... It appears that Cynthia’s parents are cruel. I suggest we do something about this,” Maygah says, losing all emotion from his voice in his sadness.
“We are heroes, aren’t we?” Water Boy asks, looking at Lillian.
“Yeah!” says Lillian, “We can save them!”
Maygah’s eyes glitter.
“Say, I could lay out a long trail of lottery tickets to lure the parents away... Then you guys can go in and help Cynthia!” Maygah says, finally speaking with emotion again.
“They love lotteries, I assume?” Water Boy asks.
“Apparently,” Maygah says.
Maygah closes his eyes for a moment and a slot appears on his arm.
“Dream-Tech,” Maygah explains, “You dream up something, and you get it. I just wished up a lottery ticket dispenser.”
“Cool!” Lillian says, “Maybe her parents would appreciate you if they knew you could produce lottery tickets for free!”
“I don’t want to abuse my abilities... This is only for this particular emergency. If her parents dispose of everything, we can’t hold Heroes Meets anymore!” Maygah says.
“Ready to begin?” asks Water Boy.
“Absolutely,” Maygah says and walks up to the front door.
He begins dispensing tickets, walking a bit further away each time. As soon as he gets far enough away to have a good lead on the parents, Water Boy jumps up and splats a ball of water into a window to get their attention. Water Boy and Lillian hide in the bushes. The parents angrily storm to the front door and notice the first ticket.
“Wow, look! A free lottery ticket! Maybe today is our lucky day!” the mother says.
“I get most of the money if it’s a winner!” the father says.
“As long as our daughter doesn’t get any of the money!” the mother says.
They then notice another ticket and pounce on it like wolves. They keep going on and on, getting further and further away from the house. Water Boy and Lillian high-five and sneak into the house.
“A-are they gone...?” Cynthia asks from her bedroom.
“Yep!” says Lillian, “They ran off like hungry animals!”
“Great! I guess we can work on getting you guys suited up for the hero business!” Cynthia says, grabbing her supplies out of the trash can and sneaking them into her room.
When they reach the room, Cynthia closes the door behind them. This bedroom is really small and dusty. Rather than having an actual bed, Cynthia has an air-mattress. On her shelves are tons of trinkets and trophies from various contests.
“So, let’s start with Water Boy... What can you do?” Cynthia asks.
“Well, I’m pretty much made up of water and I can make water spontaneously appear. I can make little bunnies out of water,” Water Boy says.
“Hmmm... What if we gave you a water cannon to shoot water with a higher pressure? I’m sure I can work out how to imbed one into your shirt sleeves...” Cynthia says.
“My shirt sleeves...?” Water Boy asks, tugging on them, “Heh... I’ve never taken this shirt off before... It might be part of my skin...”
“Well... um... I’ll find a way!” Cynthia says.
“And what about me?” asks Lillian, “I have no super powers...”
“You don’t? Tell me a bit about yourself,” Cynthia says.
“Well... I can turn into a wolf... That gives me a little bit of extra speed and smelling ability...” Lillian says.
“Anything else?” asks Cynthia, “Something super secret that could come in handy?”
“Well...” Lillian says, sweating nervously, “There is one thing...”
“What is it?” Cynthia and Water Boy ask at the same time.
“I... I have an extra stomach...” Lillian says, looking very embarrassed.
“Really?” asks Cynthia, “Why?”
“To hold stuff... Like that lady I saved from the burning house... I think I may have been subjected to some experiment before I came to Fairwood Kingdom...” Lillian says.
“Where were you from originally?” Water Boy asks.
“Watashi wa nihon kara kita,” Lillian says, speaking Japanese.
“What was that?” Cynthia asks, staring in confusion.
“I said, I’m from Japan,” Lillian explains, this time speaking English.
“Oh, okay,” Cynthia says.
“I was born in Japan in 1938... I don’t remember much... But they mentioned a war before they sent me away...” Lillian says.
“World War II!” says Cynthia.
“Never heard of it...” Lillian says.
“Of course you wouldn’t... You said you were a baby?” Cynthia says.
“Yes... So how do you know about it?” Lillian asks.
“When I was younger, I paid attention in school... Now I don’t... I hardly ever go to school because I just can’t stand it...” Cynthia says.
“What happened? Couldn’t be worse than what my sister went through!” Lillian says, smirking.
“People now-a-days are really cruel... They say mean things and make you feel left out and dumb...” Cynthia says.
“Oh really…? Well, from the time I come from, they beat you up if you are even slightly different!” Lillian says.
“Same here...” Cynthia says.
“Ah, but I bet they’ve never whipped you!” Lillian says.
“No, why would they? That seems too extreme!” Cynthia says.
“Not from where I came from!” Lillian says.
“There was no school in my world,” Water Boy says.
“Why not?!” asks Lillian and Cynthia at the same time.
“Well... There was no need of one. Every life skill we needed, we naturally learned!” Water Boy says.
“Lucky!” both Lillian and Cynthia call out at the same time.
Lillian and Cynthia look at each other and laugh.
“You know, I stopped going to school before high school...” Lillian says.
“Hey, what are we doing just chatting? My parents can’t be held back for too long! Any ideas on a new outfit, Lillian?” asks Cynthia.
“Um... How about mostly black... with golden cuffs... and gold swirls... and a gold diamond...” Lillian says.
“I guess you like gold now?” Water Boy asks.
“Well... Gold does look fashionable with black...” Lillian says.
“How about a light blue cape to match Water Boy?” suggests Cynthia.
“Great idea!” says Lillian.
Cynthia pulls out a large bucket of materials she has been hiding from her parents and sets to work designing the water cannon to place in Water Boy’s sleeve.
“How long will it take?” Lillian asks.
“Uh... Well... This actually might take awhile... My parents will be coming back... I think...” Cynthia says.
“We have nowhere to go though... And I’m hungry...” Lillian whines.
“I lied about having food, actually... We’re so poor that we hardly have any food...” Cynthia says.
“Oh...” Lillian says, “I’m sorry...”
“I can offer a cracker though... If you’d like,” Cynthia says.
“No, no... Keep your food...” Lillian says.
“We wouldn’t be so poor if my parents didn’t spend all their money on gambling... Though sometimes I feel as though it’s my fault we have no money...” Cynthia says.
“So how do you afford all these cool gadgets?” Water Boy asks.
“These parts?” asks Cynthia, “I used Maygah’s Dream-Tech.”
“Can Dream-Tech make food...?” Lillian asks.
“I’ve never tried that,” Cynthia says.
“Ah! You could totally try that! Then you could make yourself healthier!” Lillian says, red eyes glittering.
“I would... But wouldn’t my parents be curious as to how I get so much food?” Cynthia asks.
“You told us they hardly ever come home,” Water Boy says.
At that moment, Maygah runs into the room.
“In coming!” says Maygah, sweating, “Your parents figured it out!”
“Oh dear... How soon will they get here?” Cynthia asks.
The door to the trailer crashes open loudly.
“Oh dear...” Cynthia says and gulps nervously.
“Do I need to help your friends hide?” Maygah asks, opening up a compartment on his front.
“Yes, thank you!” Cynthia says and shoves both Lillian and Water Boy into the compartment.
Maygah closes the compartment and shuts down, pretending to be a trash can. Cynthia lies on her air mattress. Her parents burst into the room and look around furiously.
“Where is that giant hunk of rubbish?!” the mother asks.
“WE KNOW YOU’RE HIDING IT!” the father yells.
“What giant hunk of rubbish? I have no idea what you’re talking about...” Cynthia says, pretending to be innocent.
“The robot boy who printed fake lottery tickets!” the mother yells, her hair all a mess.
“Mom, why do you assume I’m responsible? I’m too stupid to even connect two large dots on a dot to dot...” Cynthia lies.
“Well... It is true that you are a complete idiot...” the mother says, considering this.
“Please, mom, dad, you don’t want to be in here... I might kill you with my stench,” Cynthia says, playing with her feet.
With that, the mother and father retreat. Maygah waits for awhile before turning back on. He opens up his compartment and pulls Lillian and Water Boy out.
“Sorry, the compartment really is built for only a single user,” Maygah says.
“Oh, don’t worry about us... We were just fine... Weren’t we, Water Boy?” Lillian asks, smirking.
“I...I...I...” Water Boy stammers.
“See! He’s alright, I’m alright!” Lillian says.
“Hmm... Keep your voice down... We need to sneak you guys out of here...” Cynthia says, “I promise I’ll find you guys when your equipment is ready.”
“How do we sneak out...?” Lillian asks.
“Well... I do have a sun-roof in my ceiling, you could try to jump through there,” Cynthia says.
“Alright!” says Lillian, “That’ll be easy!”
First, she leaps onto the air-mattress, almost breaking it, and then she jumps at the sun-roof, popping it open. She pulls herself out onto the roof.
“How am I supposed to get up there?!” asks Water Boy, “I’m not used to jumping!”
“Do you need help...?” Lillian asks, smirking at him.
“How can you help me?” Water Boy asks.
Lillian’s smile increases and she leaps back down. She approaches Water Boy and he backs up nervously.
“You know exactly how I plan on helping you... Don’t you...?” Lillian asks, cornering Water Boy.
“...Eep!” Water Boy says.
“Lillian, please don’t hurt him...” Cynthia pleads.
“Hurt him? Why would I ever do such a thing...?” Lillian asks, laughing and smiling innocently.
Water Boy cowers, hoping to slip away from Lillian. He sweats nervously as Lillian reaches out and puts a hand on his shoulder.
“Water Boy... Don’t hate me for doing this...” Lillian says before swallowing him down.
Moments later, Water Boy’s muffled reply is heard, “Hey, you weren’t kidding about having two stomachs!”
Lillian rolls her eyes and jumps back onto the air mattress, making her escape with Water Boy. Cynthia and Maygah both wave goodbye as Lillian makes her way across the trailer roof and down to the ground. Lillian transforms into a wolf as she runs off, her belly almost dragging against the ground.