Doctor Red's Invention
Welcome back to another exciting episode of Superkid! The amazing twelve-year-old who battles monsters, mad scientists, vampires, and black belt ninjas!
Okay, so there's only one monster (the giant spider), one mad scientist (Dr. Red), one vampire (the Vampire), and one black belt ninja (the Black Belt), but it's still exciting! It is the third edition after all.
If this is the first time you've heard the name Superkid I've got to ask, where have you been?
Don't answer that.
The point is this is the third edition of Superkid's adventures and I strongly recommend reading the first two editions first: Superkid and Superkid and the Vampire's Revenge.
But if you have read the first two already and this is indeed the third edition you're reading then keep on reading! For I now conclude this introduction and teleport us right into the action!
Dr. Red's Invention
You remember Dr. Red, right? He fought Superkid in the first edition, accidentally poisoned him with powers (I don't call them "superpowers" because, well… they're not really all that super), and then was chased off so that he could battle our hero some other day. Then in the second edition we found him working on an evil invention that was to be Superkid's doom! And at the very end, we heard him say these dire words:
"What shall I test the machine on?" These were the words that sent chills down your spine and made you eager for the sequel, right?
What! What do you mean 'no'? Why else would you be reading this if not for the thrill of Superkid's battle with Dr. Red's diabolical machine?
Don't answer that.
The previous story ended with the evil doctor wondering what to test his machine on. And this story begins where the previous left off. Dr. Red combed the old abandoned factory for some kind of creature to test his monster-maker on. But the building wasn't called old and abandoned for nothing—excepting present company. Even the spiders had vacated the premises, but they had generously left their cobwebs behind for anyone who needed them. Since he couldn't find anything inside, the diabolical doctor stepped outside into the hot, dusty desert. He squinted into the sagebrush that grew in clusters all around the building. Seeing nothing, he stepped forward.
A small lizard shot forward, grabbing his attention. It skittered a few paces and then stopped and turned to look at Doctor Red.
"Hello, my timid, little friend." The doctor grinned. He pulled out a jar that he used specially for capturing little critters. He crept closer, lowering his body slowly so he wouldn't scare it away.
"Now hold still," said the malevolent doctor, "while I…"
Suddenly he lunged. He slammed the jar onto the ground, causing a cloud of dust to erupt. He coughed as he waved it away. When it cleared, he looked into the jar.
It was empty.
"Curses!" He turned and saw the lizard looking back at him. It flicked its tail back and forth as though it was taunting him.
"You little…" He pounced again. The lizard was gone before the jar landed. The evil doctor turned and saw the lizard looking back at him with its mouth open in a smile—as though it was laughing at him!
"You think you're funny?" Dr. Red snarled at it. "We'll see who's laughing when I stick you in my machine!"
He chased the lizard all over the place. It darted from bush to bush, looking back at the mad doctor and waiting as he crept up to it, only to dart away at the last second when he slammed the jar down. Understandably, the mad doctor only got madder.
After approximately fifteen minutes of cat and mouse, Dr. Red finally had it skittering unhappily in the bottom of the jar. Doctor Red watched it as it tried to scramble up the glass jar only to tip onto its back, and he smiled malevolently.
"It's what you get," he told it, "for making me chase you and for laughing at me!"
Which made sense… somewhat. Making him chase it was only natural because who wants to be trapped in a bottle? But laughing at him—that was just asking for it.
Dr. Red carried the jar with the lizard in it to his machine. Then he stopped and studied the machine with a puzzled frown. He glanced down at the tiny reptile, which stared back pleadingly.
"What do I combine with you?" he asked it. He frowned and cast his eyes around for ideas.
You see, he wanted to be cautious this time. He wanted to look before he leaped. In other words, he wanted to test the machine on something non-threatening in case something went wrong-which was rather pointless since things like this invariably do, but why spoil his fantasy?
He looked down at the lizard in his hand and he spotted his answer.
"Aha!" He reached across and plucked something from his shoulder. "A hair! For the test, I shall combine a lizard and a hair! And together they will create… a hairy lizard!"
He laughed evilly and the lizard cowered in its glass prison. The evil doctor opened the booth of his diabolical machine and tossed the hair in. Then he upended the jar, dumping the lizard so that it fell onto the hair. Before the lizard landed, the evil doctor slammed the booth shut, trapping the poor critter inside. The little reptile scrabbled against the glass door desperately.
"Too late!" Doctor Red laughed. "You are trapped and are about to become… a hairy lizard!"
He stepped in front of a panel full of buttons and poised his finger over a square blue one.
"And now here shall be… monsters!" With a dramatic flourish, he pressed the button.
The enormous machine behind the booth began rumbling to life. Wires began to spark and fizz furiously…
Light flashed up hoses. Rotors spun with noisy sputters. Pistons pumped. Pipes puffed smoke like chimneys. Gears clanked.
The machine got noisier and noisier as everything began going faster and faster. The malevolent doctor had to cover his ears!
The lizard inside the booth scrabbled around in panic. Sparks flew inside the booth like fireworks and a thick blue-gray smoke was rolling in.
The evil doctor felt excitement growing in his chest. "Just listen to the power of this thing!" he yelled above the growing roar of the machine.
The power of the thing was beginning to shake it apart just then. Bits and pieces began to fly off. Wires fell buzzing to the floor. A puffing pipe clattered onto the concrete very close to the doctor and one bolt zinged past his ear like a bullet, making him duck and cry aloud in surprise.
The booth where the lizard was still trapped was shaking so hard it was sliding forward. The wires, pipes, and hoses that were still attached to it were doing their best to hold it back but it wasn't a safe bet that they would hold on very long. If that monster-maker destroyed itself before making a monster, it could be disastrous to the story! What would Superkid fight then?
Don't answer that one either.
Doctor Red watched his machine nervously and had to restrain himself from stopping it too soon. He didn't want to stop it if it was close to creating his monster!
But when another bolt zinged straight through his lab coat, leaving a gaping hole the size of a gopher, he decided it was time to intervene. He lifted his arm over his head and stumbled toward the roaring machine as though fighting a hurricane—which, come to think of it, is actually a pretty good description: big like a hurricane, loud like a hurricane, and with things flying all over the place like a hurricane. But just as he got to its eye and raised his finger to flip the switch, the machine stopped. The wires stopped sparking, the lights stopped flashing, the rotors stopped spinning, the pipes stopped puffing, and the gears stopped clanking—and if you stop rolling your eyes, we'll complete the list.
Doctor Red slowly and cautiously straightened himself and slowly and apprehensively turned to the booth. He couldn't see inside the thing. Bluish-gray smoke completely filled it up.
He slowly approached it. Then, he slowly reached for the handle. After that, he slowly gripped it. And when he had slowly done that, he slowly popped it open and then ever-so-sloooowly pulled it wide (the suspense is killing me!)…
The blue-gray smoke rolled out and crashed over the evil doctor. He waved it away, coughing, and then peered into the gloom, preparing himself for the scare that was sure to come.
He jumped at a skittering sound at his feet. He looked down and saw a lizard—the lizard—skitter over his shoe. It looked back as though it was waiting for something. Then the malevolent doctor jumped again when a second lizard skittered out and joined the first. Then together they skittered off. Neither of them were hairy.
"What the?" The evil doctor watched them leave, perplexed. He had tried to create a hairy lizard and instead he got two non-hairy lizards. What went wrong?
Then he heard a shuffling sound behind him. The hairs on the back of his neck pricked up. He didn't quite dare turn and yet he had that irrepressible urge to do just that. And don't bother to scream at him, "Don't turn! Just run!" because he can't hear you and because that would just make you scream later, "What was it? Tell me! Tell me!"
Giving in to that irrepressible urge—but still influenced by his more cowardly side—he slowly turned to face whatever it was that was shuffling toward him.
There was still a bit of smoke but the diabolical doctor could just make out a vague figure… a human shape… a short human shape. It shuffled forward, stumbled and caught itself on the door frame. A hand went to its head.
Dr. Red's heart pounded in anticipation. What was it? What sort of abomination had he created?
He watched it stumble out of the booth. The smoke rolled out of the booth, obscuring the figure but quickly dissipating. The figure took one last step and was fully revealed.
Dr. Red screamed. He shielded his eyes and cried, "Not again!"
His creation spoke. "W-where am I…? What am I…? Wait. Doctor Red! What are you…" And then it screamed and cried, "What happened to me? What did you do to me? Where are my clothes?"
Dr. Red, still shielding his eyes, replied, "Uh—wait right there. I'm going to—get you some clothes… don't move!" Then he turned and ran across the old, abandoned factory toward the locker room. He burst inside and looked wildly around for clothes. He snatched a pair of coveralls and dashed out again to where his creation was waiting by his machine. He readied to shut his eyes as soon as he saw his creation.
His creation was hunched over, trying to hide itself behind a metal strut. The evil doctor shut his eyes and hurled the coveralls at his creation. He kept his eyes shut as he heard his creation pick up the coveralls with the sound of a scraping of brass buttons on concrete. There was a pause, and then his creation demanded, "Where are my clothes?"
"Those were the only clothes I could find," Dr. Red answered.
His creation demanded again as though repeating its question, "What did you do with my clothes?"
"Nothing; I never had them."
"What—happened—to—them?" his creation demanded a third time, stressing each word.
"I DON'T KNOW! JUST PUT THOSE ON!"
At last, the malicious doctor heard rustling denim. His creation grunted a few times. The metal buttons and hooks jangled. Then there was a sound of a zipper going up.
"You done?" Red asked.
His creation didn't answer. Immediately suspicious, the malevolent doctor took the chance and peeked.
His creation was trying to sneak away. It was holding its pant legs up to keep from tripping over the baggy hems as it tiptoed across the concrete.
"Where do you think you're going?" Doctor Red growled as his eyes flew open.
His creation gave a cry and then sprinted off. It didn't get far though. It tripped over those baggy legs and fell onto the floor with an "oof!" Doctor Red ran up to it and planted his foot on its back.
"You're not going anywhere," he growled triumphantly.
"So what're you going to do, you psychopath?" his creation yelled defiantly as it struggled.
Red paused thoughtfully. "I don't know yet. I'm trying to decide how to make you useful."
"Why don't you just kill me? I'm never going to serve you! You kidnapped me and stole my costume!"
"Kidnapped?" the doctor sputtered. "Stolen your…? No, you don't know what you're talking about! Don't you know what you are?"
"What I am? I don't know what your diabolical experiments did to me, but I know I'm still Superkid!"
Red huffed in frustration and then growled, "No, you're not Superkid! You're a clone!"
His creation stopped struggling and tried to turn to give his evil creator a look of surprise. "A clone?" he said in shock.
"Yes, a replicate of my enemy," said Doctor Red. Then the implication of this fact hit him and he chuckled maliciously. "Which means that I can use you to find out his strengths and weaknesses and ultimately defeat him!" At this, he threw out his arms and laughed. It threw him off balance though, so his foot came off of the clone's back. This gave the clone a chance to jump to his feet.
When the maniacal doctor stopped laughing, he pondered aloud to himself, "That must have been Superkid's hair I tossed into the machine, which—of course!" He slammed his fist into his palm. "That's why there were two lizards! I've created a clone-maker!"
"So that's your evil plan!" cried the clone, pointing his finger at the startled doctor. "You've created a clone of me to take my place so that he can carry out whatever evil plan you cooked up! And that's where my costume went! You stole it off of me and gave it to your evil creation!"
The evil doctor blinked at the clone in surprise. "Wha…"
"And meanwhile, you were going to experiment on me! Change me into a monster! Make me evil! Make me a mindless zombie! Whatever evil plan your deranged mind thought up! But now I'm free! I'm going to find that clone and stop him! Then I'll come and deal with you—stop your evil once and for all!"
"Now wait a minute!" Doctor Red cried. "You're not getting it! You're the clone! You're supposed to be evi…"
But the clone wasn't listening. It ran to the machine and looked up at it.
"Doesn't mean I can't cripple you for a while," it said and heaved on the booth with all of its might. With a metallic groan, the booth tipped over, ripping wires and upon impact shattering the glass. Before Dr. Red could register what had happened, the clone dashed away, crashed through the front door and disappeared. The evil doctor stood there, blinking dumbfounded.
"He left me," he finally said. "My evil creation left me! To stop the evil of his so-called evil clone! He's crazy! I can only imagine what will happen when he meets himself…"
He blinked. Then an evil smile spread slowly across his face.
"When he meets himself, he'll fight him, so it doesn't matter. Evil or not, that clone will do exactly what he's supposed to do!" His laugh echoed throughout the factory, rattling the windows with its evil power.
Then he paused as a thought struck him. "But if he succeeds, then he'll be back. Back to 'stop my evilness once and for all'."
A cocky grin reappeared on his face. "Which means I'd better prepare some weapons. Wouldn't be much of a job for him if I didn't at least try to destroy him." And with one last evil chuckle, he went to work.