|"Are you the information center?"|
|What: When a group of robotic teens shows up to cause trouble, Superboy, Wonder Girl, and Impulse team up to save the day!|
Another Sunny day in Metropolis. The clouds are few, the weather nice, and all in all it seems like a perfect day to try out the training techniques Cassie has been learning from Wonder Woman. Which isn't alot, considering it's only been a day. But Cassie is confident! Cassie is ready! Eyes shining with anticipation, wind in her face, the blonde surveys the city below, muttering to herself as she scans the skies and the buildings below them. "Ok, where are you, you cousin-hating S-man... "
Superboy sits on the edge of a rooftop, feet dangling over the edge as he looks down at the busy daytime street far below. His elbows rest on his knees and his head rests in his hands, a look of utter boredom plastered across his face. He had thought being a superhero would be a lot more entertaining than this but so far all he's seen is a mugging that ended about three seconds after he arrived. He lifts his wrist to look at his watch and sighs.
Ever see those old Roadrunner cartoons? Well, Impulse pretty much steals a move right from there. He comes zipping up out of nowhere to stand right behind Superboy, plants his hands on his hips, flashes a giant grin, and announces, "HI!" It's not quite "Meep! Meep!" but, well, you get the idea.
Cassie zooms over Suberboy's rooftop, only registering a minute later the S she'd caught out of the corner of her eye. "There you are!" Flipping around with only a little difficulty (and awkwardness), she heads back toward the rooftop, ready for a confrontation! And that's when she sees them.
Half a block down from Superboy and Impulse, a trio of what appear to be teenagers are walking down the street. As in, down the very middle of the very busy street. The three, two girls and a boy of fairly attractive looks, are for the moment seeming to completely ignore the cars that are speeding by, honking, and swerving dangerously close to other cars in order to avoid them. Their faces are almost identical in their placid expressions, their movements so in synch they look like strange, expressionless dancers.
"Wha--huh!" Superboy swiftly climbs to his feet, shooting several feet into the air and staying there as he hovers and looks down at the speedster who just snuck up on him, "Who are you? Why are you--"
The sudden chaos in the street draws his attention from Impulse and without pausing to explain why he shoots down into the street, becoming a blue and red blur. Moving at speed, he attempts to scoop up the closest two of the children to get them off the road.
Or at least he tries ...
"Hey!" Impulse declares, and then he runs after Superboy, right over the edge of the roof -- and then down the side of the building. He dodges easily through traffic, also moving to scoop up one of the apparently imperiled teens and, if he succeeds, to carry them to safety!
Frowning, Cassie changes course again and moves toward the street. She moves slower than the two boys, keeping in mind the recent advice to think before charging into a situation. So she lands, carefully, on the sidewalk. Glancing around, she notices the signs on the sidewalks for the various shops. She grins, and starts to move again, but that's when Superboy and Impulse arrive, each grabbing at some of the weird kids and trying to move them to safety.
There's just one weird thing about trying to pick the three up. They don't fight at first. But they're heavy. Way heavier than normal teenagers of their size should be. Its more like trying to lift a large, full, refrigerator than a person.
One of the boys, picked up first by Superboy, tilts his head and frowns curiously at him, "Are you taking us to the information center?" He asks in a Perfectly Polite Tone.
Superboy has no problem carrying heavy loads, even to the point that he does not quite realize that they're abnormal. He sets the pair down on the sidewalk, glancing over his shoulder at Impulse and the other one before turning back to the one who spoke to address hs question.
"I, uh," Superboy reaches up, scratching the back of his head a touch nervously before admitting lamely, "I don't know what that is."
Thanks to the momentum he had built up, Impulse is able to move the oddly heavy teen. Unfortunately, he is NOT able to pick her up, so Bart ends up just scooting her along the road for a ways before he has to stop, for better or for worse inside a crosswalk, and stare at her in confusion. "Wow! YouweighlikeaTON!"
Hiding a smirk at Impulse pushing the girl through the crosswalk, Cassie moves toward Superboy and the two boys. "You guys realize that walking down the middle of the street is- hey!"
Before Cassie can finish her warning, the two boys glance at eachother, then turn in synch and head right back to the center of the road, aparently intent on keeping on course. The girl, meanwhile, frowns at Impulse, then politely corrects him. "Five hundred and fifty six pounds, actually. Are you the information center?"
"No no no," Superboy insists, reaching to grab the two departing boys by their wrists and attempting to lift them off the ground so they don't walk out onto the street anymore, "You can't go in the street. You'll get hit by a car and that's bad for you."
As he does so, he looks off towards Cassie and tilts his head, "Who are you?"
Well, Impulse is familiar with this game! He puts on a big grin, nods with the utmost sincerity, and informs the girl, "Yes! I AM the information center! Please note that ALL PEDESTRIANS MUST NOW USE THE SIDEWALK! So decrees the information center!" Well, hey, it might work. Possibly.
Cassie reaches out at the same time as Superboy, grabbing one of the boys along with him and pulling him up, taking a good chunk of the weight off, "Me? I'm... " She hesitates, then lifts her chin and says almost defiantly(and with only slight hesitation), "I'm Wonder Girl. Who are you?" Then she frowns, "And did you happen to notice that these guys weigh like a gazillion pounds each?"
The boy being held by both heroes frowns, "Please let us go. It is imperative that we find the information center." The other reaches out, and while smiling as politely as ever, grabs Superboy's hand with his free hand and squeezes hard enough to break the bones of a mortal Human.
The girl smiles brightly at Impulse, and as he makes his decree pulls a cord out of her ear (yes, her ear) and points it at Impulse, "I do not see your imput. Please indicate its location. Also, what is a pedestrian?"
"Superboy. Uh ... " Superboy ponders Cassie's words for a moments, hefting the boy up and down once or twice before saying, "Yeah, I guess they do seem a little heavier than normal. What do you thin -- hey!"
It takes a lot more pressure than that to break Superboy's bones. Nevertheless, he does notice it and he begins to shake his arm up and down without care for the lad's safety, "Stop that!"
Impulse stares at the cord. He stares at the girl. Nope, there's no way he's letting her plug that into his ear -- OR ANYWHERE ELSE, THANK YOU VERY MUCH! He clears his throat, holds up one finger in a "about to make a speech" way, and then turns to call over to the others, "BE CAREFUL, GUYS! I THINK THEY WANT TO NETWORK WITH US!" He then proceeds to back away, moving at fairly normal speeds for the moment.
"Whoa, watchit!" Wondergirl pulls back, dragging Guy#1 toward her as the shaking tosses guy#2 back and forth. This does not deter him from his attempt to break free. It just makes him fly back and forth like a cat-toy on a spring. It also gives guy#1 an idea. Taking advantage of everyone's distraction, he grabs both Superboy and Wondergirl and /heaves/ them both forward with speed and strength nearly matching what the three heroes have exibited, attempting to free himself. While doing so, he calmly states, "Lia has found the information center. It is below. We must update our programming immediately."
Lia frowns in confusion at Impulse, and once again corrects him. "We do not wish to nerwork. We must upgrade. Your function is to upgrade us. Why are you not doing so?" She steps forward and reaches out, pressing a finger to Impulse's nose, "Is there a switch to activate the upgrade? Is there a password? We were not programmed with passwords, please tell us how to proceed."
"I think they're not hum-aaaaaaaaaaaah!"
Superboy lets out a startled shout as he's thrown forward, smashing through a storefront and landing amidst a pile of well-dressed manequins. Climbing slowly to his feet, he points at Impulse and the girl robot.
"Wonder Girl, look! The fast guy is some sort of server."
Impulse turns to glare at Superboy. He then proceeds to rattle off a long string of probably dire curses under his breath at rather accelerated speed. "Okay," he tells Lia. "I understand now. Um. Protocols do not allow us to upgrade here! We must go to a secure location first. Please follow me!" He starts heading for the sidewalk. At least, maybe, he can get her out of the street.
Wonder Girl pushes herself to her feet, having been thrown across the street and through an awning. Pushing aside a small table that had fallen on her, she looks from Superboy to Impulse, eyes narrowing. Lifting back into the air, she zooms back across the street to intercept the speedster, and with hands on hips asks in her most authoritative tone, "Hey, you. These your, uh... people?"
The boys, thrown free in the sudden chaos, move to thegirl's side, and all three (completely ignoring Wonder Girl) move to follow Impulse, while one of the boys says to the other, "Brad, do you have any data on these protocols? It appears to have been erased from my memory. It may be necessary to run diagnostics before we upgrade."
Lia, however, has begin to frown. And not in confusion.
"I don't think these are children," Superboy points out, stepping out into the street to join Wonder Girl and Impulse, "If I were to guess, I'd say they are robots or cyborgs."
No duh. He points at Lia, the frowning one, "I think we should smash them before they overthrow the world."
Impuse does not seem to realize Lia's frustration, instead focusing on coaxing the trio onward. "These are emergency protocols to avoid, um, unwanted detection! We have to be discrete or the sky-net will find us!" When in doubt, totally rip off Hollywood. It might even work!
Wonder Girl scowls at being ignored and, in aparent agreement with Superboy, rushes forward and reaches out to wrap her arms around the the nearest one- who in her mind is Impulse! "Okay, Mr. Cyborg server. Show us how to shut down your little friends or... else." 'Cause that sounds threatening. Right?
Lia stops suddenly, her frown starting to become angry. "Sky-Net is a fictional concept. I do not believe this is the Information Center. We are being Deceived." Brad turns to the other boy, "Mark, the flying boy is threatening us. We should deactivate him before he interrupts the program again." And then, as one, the boys run full-speed at Superboy, fists held out before them, aimed at his face!
"Ifyou'rerealkidsI'msorry!" Superboy manages to spit out in the split second before the robot child flies at him, clenching his fist tightly at his side and driving it across his attacker's jaw as he flies in close to him.
"The robots are attacking! Smash them!"
"Darnitwhydidyouhavetoseethatmovie!?" Impulse blurts, putting even Superboy's explosion of words to shame as he suddenly blurs into motion. "I'msorryIgottadothisbutIcan'tletyouhurtanyone!" explodes from him as he drops into a nearly horizontal run, leaning over sideways, and reaches out to shove a wildely-vibrating hand INTO Lia's knee joint with every intention of shaking it apart. Obviously they're robots! They have USB ports!
"Wait- what?" Cassie blinks as Impulse is suddenly GONE. She frowns, looking up, and takes a couple seconds to process. "Okay. He's /not/ one of them. Kinda makes more sense considering the costume and omg not important right now Cass stop the robots d'uh!" Pep-talk over, she flies at Matt, grabbing him by the shoulders as she swoops past and flipping him over her with a heave that flings him into the pavement.
Brad stumbles from the punch, which takes a layer of skin from his jaw to reveal the metal structure beneath. Stopping, he reaches up to feel the 'injury', then scowls at Superboy and tosses another punch, this time at the boy wonder's chest.
Lia's knee falls to pieces, the leg falling away from the torn skin and falling to the ground with an audible CLANK. "That was not nice." She says calmly, before reaching out for Impulse's throat.
"I knew it! Robot!"
Superboy doesn't have time to gloat, however, as Brad-Bot flies at him in another effort to punch him. He's prepared, however, and he darts off to one side and begins to hover. If strength won't do it, then he'll try something else. His eyes begin to flare, the air before his face shimmering with the heat, and suddenly he lets off a blast of heat vision that is not exactly precise. Sure, it flies in Brad-Bot's direction but it also slags the pavement and sets fire to a parked Mitsubishi.
Fortunately, Impulse moves like (as they say in Alabama) the dickens. He accelerates away from Lia, though this gives her more room to maneuver (as much as she can on one leg). "Stupidrobotswhycan'twealljustgetalong!?" he sputters, then he blurs into motion again, trying to zip past and trip Lia up, hoping to knock her down on her stupid robotic FACE.
Wonder Girl inches forward, eyeing the crater caused by Matt's fall carefylly. She's a few inches away when there's a rumble in the streets and Matt starts to rise, a chunk missing from his shoulder that's shooting sparks. Moving with strange jerking motions, he reaches out for Wonder Girl's leg, but she moves faster, aiming a punch at the robot's chest that sends him back into the pavement again, creating a deep rut in the middle of the street. There definitely won't be any cars here any time soon.
Matt turns to Superboy, but too late, he's already starting to melt. More sparks fly from him as he crumples to the ground in a pile of ash and flaming metal.
Lia is severely slowed by her missing limb, and isn't at all prepared for Impulse. She's trying to move forward even as he moves past her, and so down she goes, landing on the ground with a loud CRACK that might be from her spine or might be from the pavement she hits. Slowly, she turns her head and asks one last time in a voice that sounds more and more mechanical with each syllable, "Do you... know where the... information.... cen...ter is... "
With the robots smashed, Superboy turns to the flaming car and looks a little nervous. Superman doesn't set fire to cars, so Superboy shouldn't. He breathes in deep, chest swelling and then unleashes a burst of cold air. It works and the car frosts over, the flames extinguishing, but the hurricane force of the wind causes it to roll out into the street.
"Oh! Uh ... "
Superboy runs over to the car, picking it up over his head and placing it carefully back in it's place. Except now it is blackened, frozen and half-melted. He looks over at Impulse and Wonder Girl with a guilty half-smile.
Impulse stands over Lia for a long moment, looking just vaguely sad as she shuts down. He then lifts his head and raises his hands to the sky, crying out in sudden melodramatic fervor, "WHHHHYYYYYYYYY!? Why couldn't they use their ROBOTICS for GOODNESS and NICENESS instead of ROTTENNESS!?"
Cassie looks from the robot imbedded in the road to Superboy, a similarly guilty grin on her face. She starts to say something when Impulse starts screaming like a cheezy anime hero. "Dude!" She yells, turning, "We won. Relax!" Stepping toward Impulse and Lia, she adds, "Oh and, uh. Sorry for thinking you were their server."
"I feel bad for the robots," Superboy adds, looking at the one that he, uh, melted, "They were just looking for an information center."
The Metropolis Kid quickly forgets that he was the one who suggested they smash them in the first place, shaking his head and walking over towards Impulse and Cassie, "Are you both clones as well?"
Impulse looks dejected for a full ten seconds before he turns and zips back over to Superboy and Cassie. "I'm not a clone," he explains. "I'm from the future!" He grins and points at Superboy. "But you're SUPERBOY! I always wanted to meet you!" He pauses, tapping his chin. "ButnowthatImetyoumaybeItotallyalteredthetimestreamorsomething," he mutters rather rapidly under his breath. "Anyway! Cool to meet you! I'm Impulse!"
Wonder Girl scrunches up her face as she tries to decipher Impulse's speed sentence. But she is forced to give up, shrugging with a kind of deflated look. "Me either. And I'm not from the future either, just here. Well, New York. Hey, do you know Supergirl? She's, like, my best friend. We should get together sometime." She looks from one boy to the other, nodding in encouragement and laughing a little, "Impulse, I like it."
"But this is the first time I ... " Superboy pauses, thinks it over and nods slowly, "Future. Right. Does everyone in the future run very fast?"
He looks to Cassie and is suddenly bashful at her question, shaking his head, "No. I just kind of adopted the name." He keeps the reason to himself.
Impulse laughs a little at Superboy's question. "NO," he says in the exact same tone he might say "DUH." He explains, and obviously this is obvious, "I'm FAST because the Flash is my grandpa!" Then he peers at Cassie. "You must be -- um -- Power Girl?" He glances with nigh-angelic innocence at Cassie's, erm, chest, and then changes his mind, "Nah. Can't be."
Cassie doesn't notice the bashfulness, mostly since she's being distracted. "The /Flash/ is your /what/?" She blinks, then scowls. "And just what is /that/ supposed to mean, Imp?" Crossing her arms over her chest, she eyes the futuristic speedster with menace, "And who the heck is Power Girl?"
"Hey, we, uh," Superboy begins, doing his best to get both their attentions, "We just smashed some robots. I don't think we should start fighting each other."
The namedrop of the Flash doesn't impact much on him and it becomes rather apparent that he doesn't know who he is, "Do either of you know Superman?"
"Um," Impulse says to Cassie, trying to find a way to explain, but then he darts over to stand beside Superboy. "Like Superboy says, we shouldn't fight! Power Girl's not that great, anyway. She's just like Superman's cousin or something." Which brings him to Superboy's question. "Oh! Superman's like the coolest hero EVER except for the Flash because obviously nobody's as cool as him but Superman's pretty much awesome and he can fly and he has a red cape and wait you totally already know what he's like huh aren't you two like brothers or something?" Yep. All in one breath.
Wonder Girl frowns at Superboy's question, an angry look in her eyes as she replies, "Not yet I don't." Eyeing Impulse a little suspiciously, she adds, "But I will. And I don't know how awesome he is, if he throws innocent girls out on the street for making pretty dang understandable mistakes." Yeah, someone is having issues. "But, um. Shouldn't we do something with them? And, like, not stand here in the middle of the street?"
"I'm a clone of him," Superboy answers, not seeing any reason to lie and not really understanding why he should, "I haven't been around very long. I haven't gotten to meet him yet."
He looks around a little bit at the mess they've made, stooping over to pick up the remains of the broken Lia bot, "Ummm ... "
He looks at it for a moment and then just does what seems like a good idea and heaves it skyward with enough speed and force that it doesn't look like it'll ever be coming back to Earth.
"Superman wouldn't do that!" Impulse pipes up, but he's gone just as soon as he's spoken, zipping around the area to pick up stray robot parts and deposit them helpfully in the nearest recycling bin. Once he's finished, he comes to a stop beside Superboy again and looks up after where Lia's torso got thrown. "Wow. You're really strong," he comments, rather stating the obvious.
Wonder Girl eyes Superboy, then with a thoughtful look yanks wassisbot out of the street, hefts him, then spins around until she thinks she has enough momentum and tosses him up, she hopes in generally the same direction. "Yeah?" She asks Impulse, "Well, he did. And I'm planning to find out why. Just as soon as I find him." Robots generally cleaned up, she rejoins the boys and gives each a measuring look before asking, "Who's hungry?"