❯ Yin to my Yang – Yin to my Yang ( Chapter 1 )

[ P - Pre-Teen ]

ASTRO BOY

The Yin to my Yang

Astro boy AKA Tetsuwan Atom © 1954 Osamu Tezuka © 2004 Tezuka Productions Osaka Japan Cartoon Network TOONAMI A.R.R. Fan fiction for fan enjoyment, don’t need the money, nice lawyers please don’t sue me yadda yadda dominus omenai.

Characters:

Tomei (Tommy): A 15 year old wiz kid at the ministry of science who was raised by robots. One of Astro’s closest buddies who helps him « in the field ».

Atlas: The only other Astro class bot known to exist. He’s red skinned with yellow hair, a yellow sash cloth around his waist and yellow boots. The title fits him for he is Astro’s complete alter ego.

Gumshoe: Police detective

Chief Bear: Chief of Metro City police.

Doctor O’shay: Chief director Ministry of Science.

Miss Myoki: Astro’s school principle

Miss Ogata: Operations administrator Ministry of Science.

Professor McNugget: Astro’s teacher.

Team Delta: Ant-Robot Robot Patrol (ARRP) police androids programmed to take down rouge robots

Metro City

Evening

« So I says to Alvin…the reason it’s not working is because the O.F.F. means « off », it’s not an abbreviation. Boy was he embarrassed. » Tommy said shaking his head. « Sometimes I think they made poor Alvin too simple you know? »

Astro chuckled. « I shouldn’t be laughing. Sometimes I do the same thing. » The robot boy crossed his eyes, stuck out his tongue and made a noise like a breaking spring that almost sent Tommy off his chair.

 » Hahahaha….so…do you like the pizza? » Tommy asked.

Astro replied with a burp. « Is that a good way to say yes? »

« You surprise me Astro. » Tommy said as he played with his glass of cola. « You eat food, you can taste it, you even enjoy it. Why? »

« Guess I’d be board to quick from drinking oil and hydraulic fluids. Food’s something I can’t get tired of. » Astro remarked as he handed his plate to a robot cleaning machine. « So…..what do we do now? »

« We could play Nintendo or go out and « mall around » downtown. Didn’t get any homework to do. »

« I did. » Astro replied. « Doctor McNugget wants us to write an essay on the importance of basic morals. » Astro mimicked his mustached teacher. « If you don’t fall asleep in two minutes writing this report, I’m not doing my job. »

Tommy was balling with laughter. « If Max saw you like this he’d smack you with a five iron! »

« It’s all in fun. Even I understand the importance of morals in human…. »

(sound of a high shrill beeping alarm)

Tommy pulled a pen sized visual phone from his pocket and tapped the holder clip. « Tommy here. »

It was O’shay on the other end. « Is Astro there too? »

« Yeah…what’s up Doc? »

« Tell him he needs to get over to the police armory at once! There’s been a break in and Inspector Gumshoe is piping mad! »

« When is he NOT piping mad? »

« Astro! This isn’t a joke! » O’Shay snarled.

« Need to work on your timing. » Tommy said to Astro. « Want me to come with you? »

Astro didn’t need to reply, he scooped Tommy into his arms, ran out of the house, activated his rocket lets and they were off.

Metro City police armory

Astro and Tommy landed in front of what used to be a set of steel bunker doors, obviously cut from their hinge works and pushed aside like playing cards. Inside the armory was a wreck. Busted vehicles, broken weapons, paper and junk littered the large floor. Stepping over a makeshift wall of junk, they walked up to Inspector Gumshoe.

« Man someone was having some fun in here. » Tommy remarked as Astro bent down to pick up a piece of robot part. The inspector slapped it out of Astro’s hand.

« Do you mind? That’s evidence! Don’t go touching everything. »

Astro activated his eye recorders and took in the whole mess with fascination. « Who ever or what ever it was he sure knew where to hit. All your security devices are thrashed. »

« We’re trying to rebuild a few of the security cameras, heck we’re trying to rebuild any of the security. It’s obvious to me this was a gang of robots. » Gumshoe snarled. « And don’t you go covering up for your own kind again Astro. »

Astro walked past Gumshoe with a frown. « I never « COVER » for my own kind. So did anything get taken from here? »

Tommy pointed to a pile of shattered wood. « How about a couple of cases of T-90 Sabot hard point entry missiles. I see two busted shipping crates and no missiles. »

Astro quickly attached himself to the World Wide Web and brought up a few information sites on the missiles. He moaned… »That’s fantastic. »

Gumshoe shook his head. « That’s all we need is someone running around Metro City with a handful of T-90’s. I better call Delta in on this one. »

Tommy and Astro walked around the building, discovering shattered guard dog bots, busted police bots, the occasional « torched » room with sparking computer monitors and wall outlets. Tommy pulled a flashlight out of his pocket and scanned the walls and rooms where the lights were busted out.

Suddenly he waved Astro over as his light fell on a wall. « Look at this. »

(beep) ALL FLESHIES! EVERY DOG HAS HIS DAY!

« Do you think someone woke up without their coffee today? » Tommy asked Astro.

« I think a mouth cleaning with soap is in order. » Astro replied. « Guess we can hope they fix a security camera. »

Institute of Science

Mid-day

Doctor O’Shay and Miss Ogata sat in front of a computer after hooking wires and lines up to the remains of a robot guard dog that had enough sense to run from the armory after seeing a few of its fellow bots being trashed. It didn’t get too far before something or some one, flattened it with a garbage truck.

« There. » O’Shay remarked. The short stature, big nosed, white haired scientist brought the remains of the dog’s computer system back on-line, though certainly not up to par as its memory banks displayed distorted often destroyed pictures of the last three days. « I’m not too hopeful that we’ll learn anything or even get a good enough image of the suspect or suspects for the police to go on. »

Ogata turned to Tommy. « What did they write on the wall again? Fleshies? »

« Yeah. « swear all Fleshies. Every dog has its day. » Sounds like someone isn’t too happy with humans. »

Astro scratched his head. « But we’ve seen this stuff before right? Skunk, Doctor Tenma, the KEAL (Keep Earth Human League, an anti-robot racist group) they all blamed robots with attacks like this. »

O’Shay suddenly stopped the conversation with a finger point. « Look at this. Astro can you take this into your memory and see if you can clean the image? »

Astro captured the blurred image into his own computer brain, tried to clean it and pumped it back onto the monitor screen. « Not much better… »

Ogata drew her finger around the screen. « No but this is obviously the point before the robot dog got Oreo’d by the garbage truck. That has to be a robot getting ready to toss it. »

Tommy smirked. « Red skin, yellow hair, yellow boots. Never seen that before »

Astro crossed his arms. « Judging by the sizes of everything it’s a small robot too.

Just then a thunderclap of an explosion rocked the whole ministry building! Astro ran to the big picture window at the back of the lab just in time to see a missile race from the roof of a nearby building, fly through the window of a fast food restaurant, touch off the gas mains inside and blow the building to bits!

« Alright, let’s rocket! » Astro leaped out of the window, lit off his rocket legs and landed on the shooter’s roof with his fist clenched. « OK WHOEVER YOU ARE THE PARTY’S OVER!

Astro switched on his high speed vision, heat sensors, and electrical pulse detectors hoping to catch the rocket toting sniper trying to hide. He walked slowly around pipes and an air conditioner before being smacked in the kisser by a steel plate!

The collision sent Astro flying through a nearby door, down a flight of stairs and into an embarrassing upside down legs over head slump on the floor below. He didn’t have time to recover before a brush of wind raced by and left a note tapped to his face.

Institute of Science

Hello puppy dog of humans. How do you like being the slipper and fetch boy for the fleshies? Change or I will make you eat real dog food.

« I guess you didn’t get to see it coming? » Tommy remarked as Astro threw the note back on the table.

« I got to see a steel plate and stars though. By the time I knew what happened it was gone. »

Inspector Gumshoe rubbed his chin. « No doubt now that it is a robot right? »

« Can a human knock me around like that? Question is…why? »

« It has a way with words. Seems to have a K-9 fixation. » Tommy said as he tapped words into his pocket computer. « Oh yeah…all the qualities of an out an out racist. Sees you as a sell out and humans as…well….jerks. »

Doctor O’Shay seemed the most puzzled. « But we’ve haven’t seen any robots these days with such traits. Since the Robo-rights bill was signed into law there’s never been a single case in Metro-city of an unhappy robot, let alone one that’s racist. »

Gumshoe shook his head. « There’s plenty of humans who think robots are more trouble with the bill so why can’t there be robots who’d think the reverse? »

Astro huffed. « He does have a point. At least you don’t hide your opinions. »

Gumshoe snapped back. « I still have good reasons… »

Miss Ogata got between them. « You two, I swear. Can we get back to the problem at hand? We got someone out there with a bunch of missiles popping them off like fireworks, racist or not we have to get those rockets back! »

Gumshoe nodded. « Which is why Delta squad should handle this. No offense Astro but we need a little more hard line muscle than you can provide at the moment. »

Tommy tapped Astro on the shoulder. « Don’t let him bother you. I think you should use Astro as a lure. »

Astro turned around. « I’m not a fly catcher. »

Tommy. « Well…whatever it is, it’s pinning on you. Don’t worry, if you need backup I’ll be right behind you. »

Astro smirked. « Yeah…about a mile away. »

« Not a bad idea. » Doctor O’shay remarked. « Team Delta could easily track whatever it is. »

School day

Astro threw his book bag over his back, slipped a cap on his head and walked off towards Lindenbrook Elementary School like he always did…except for the constant sounds of talking people in his head. He was « hard-lined » into the Delta Squad’s radio net and Tommy’s internet chat program, which made concentrating on anything else hard enough. He didn’t have to talk, which kept the tailing a secret.

« You ok? » Tommy asked.

« Five feet past the last time you asked. Stop bugging me! »

« Just want to make sure… »

« Get off this line! You’re blocking police business! » Delta shouted over Tommy’s voice.

« Maybe this wasn’t a good idea. » Astro remarked to himself. He stopped at a light and pulled his book report from his school pouch, making a few sudden pencil changes and not noticing anything out of the ordinary…that is till a balloon full of blue paint srtuck him in the back and exploded all over him!

Astro whipped around snarling, throwing his paint drenched bag to the ground and screaming as loud as he could. « ALRIGHT! YOU’VE HAD YOUR FUN YOU JERK! »

« Awwwwwwww….can’t the wittle puppy take a joke? »

The voice was surprisingly child like, boyish. Astro looked around while trying to take to Delta and Tommy.  » Did anyone hear that? » He asked. He got laughter back.

« They can’t hear anything because I jammed them out. So you’re Astro? You look a little funny without your leash and collar. »

Astro walked for a little bit to the other side of the street. « Who are you? Why… »

« Hehehe…all in good time. »

Astro leaped into the air with his rocket boots when he thought he had a fix on the offending strangers location. Instead all he could find was a nicely crafted voice throwing radio. « You should be smart enough to see it right? »

« Where are the missiles you took? » Astro asked.

« Oh I got em. » The young voice replied. « I know you want em back, tell you what, you meet me tonight at the old abandoned car factory in West Metro and you can have em. »

Astro smirked. « I’m not that stupid. »

« Robot’s honor…no tricks, no fooling. Now if you bring so much as an ant on your shoulder though, that’s your fault. Now keep it a secret because I’m listening and Astro? »

« Yeah? »

« What kind of puppy chow do you like? »

Suddenly an explosion of voices and volume screamed into Astro’s head, making him shudder and flinch before he could turn it down. « ALRIGHT! OUCH! »

« I’ve been trying to talk to you for like five minutes. » Tommy remarked. « Someone just ransacked the fifth avenue bank and torched all the money in it! And they got a picture of the robot! »

Police HQ Metro-city

Astro had to scrub himself with steel wool to get the paint off his body before he walked into the Police Station and got handed a copy of the bank photo taken during the ransacking. It was obvious the robot wanted to get his picture clearly because he posed for it smiling and waving like some school kid at the yearly photo shoot. Officer Delta was making second looks at both the picture and Astro.

« I can safely say both of them are the same size, shape and body class. » Delta remarked.

« Now wait a second! » Astro said throwing his hands out.

Gumshoe was convinced. « An Astro class robot and I thought one of you was enough. »

Tommy snorted. « Cut the one line insults Inspector. »

« I am the only Astro class robot. » Astro said before slapping the picture. « Well….?…I thought I was. He sounds like a boy. »

« He sounds like trouble. » Delta remarked. « He’s growing more brazen and dangerous, so far we’re lucky he hasn’t started taking lives. »

Chief Bear was leaning against a desk in the corner of the room. « What we need to know is who built this robot. Obviously I’d consider Doctor Tenma. »

Astro shook his head. « No way! Doctor Tenma may be an evil genius now but I know him, he wouldn’t do this. I was built in secret and as far as I know the plans were destroyed 2 years ago. Doctor O’Shay did that himself. »

« Are you sure Tenma didn’t have a secret behind a secret? I say we go to Berry Island Prison and grill him. »

Astro was about to say otherwise, instead he waited till the meeting broke up and slipped a fast note into Tommy’s pocket…

Keep quiet! Tonight at the old car factory be there.

Berry Island Penitentiary

Cell 129c

« Look at it again. » Delta said to Tenma as he tapped the picture with his finger. « You sure about this, you never built this robot? »

Tenma gazed at Astro boy. « How are you doing these days my boy? »

« Shut up and answer my question Tenma! Did you or didn’t you? »

The scientist snorted back. « I never saw it before, never touched it or tuned a screw on it. Preposterous that I, Doctor Tenma, would give a robot dominion over me. » He said it coldly, looking at Astro with deep hate filled eyes. The boy bot left the cell quietly moa ping to himself.

« Did you detect anything? » Delta asked. « Astro? »

« Uh?….oh…..nothing….he wasn’t lying. »

Delta stopped bent down and put his large hands on the robot boy’s shoulders. « I’m sorry.. »

« No…we had to deal with him. At least we know he wasn’t the one. » Astro remarked. In silence he was mulling over the coming nights confrontation, trying to leave out the « puppy dog » insults swirling around his electronic core.

Abandoned car plant

West Metro City

The place was as dark and creaking as any haunted house Astro had been to. Certainly who ever this robot troublemaker was he couldn’t have picked a better place to unsettle some ones chips. Astro shuddered at every sound, craning his neck and pursing his lips to name every creak and moan that came by. Somewhere around here was Tommy, hopefully not sleeping in some cubby hole, waiting for the trap door to spring.

Slowly, Astro entered the factory building through a broken side door and switched on his night vision setting. Surprised he could see in the distance a stack of missile launcher tubes. At least the offending robot had kept his word…or had he?

Astro switched his eyes over again to another setting and sure enough, he could make out a small force field around the launcher tubes. They were real but they couldn’t be easily taken. Astro frowned and stood thinking till a light rush of wind blew past his back and another note found itself stuck to his head…

Guess who ; )…..boo!

Astro looked up from the note to see a red robot his own size standing brazenly a few feet from him. What a shock, he was Astro’s height, size and near twin if not for the yellow hair, the red skin and the demonic looking smirk. The other robot seemed just as curious as he started walking silently around Astro with his finger playing with his lips in curious fascination.

« Hmmm…. » The red boy bot pondered till Astro tried to grab him. He deftly bounced away and waved a cautioning finger… »Ah. Ah. Ahhhhh….not a good idea. »

Astro dropped is eye brows. « A good idea for you would be to give it up. »

« Would it now? » The red bot said happily. « That’s your opinion since you’ve already sold yourself as a pet. You make me sick Astro Boy, acting like them. Do you chase tennis balls and sit like a good dog too? »

Astro almost snarled. « You can stop the stupid insults and tell me who you are. »

« Oh I’m sorry (giggle) how silly of me. My name’s Atlas and as you can guess by now I think fleshie humans are the lowest form of scum on the Earth and you are a scum pet. You sell our kind out, deny us our rightful place as masters over humans and aid the enemy! »

Astro snapped back. « The enemy? I think the only « enemy » here is your own warped mind. I don’t know who made you but they certainly filled your head full of junk. »

Atlas was walking around Astro and like a school bully pushed him off his feet and onto the floor. « You’re so soft you just stood there and let me push you, see how weak you are? »

Astro picked himself up. The next time Atlas tried to push him the boy bot grabbed and arm, snap rolled the angry offender over a shoulder and slammed him hard enough into the concrete floor to crack the surface. « Do that again and I’ll show you weak. »

« That’s more like it! » Atlas snapped back. « Maybe some hope for you after all. » The red bot threw himself into the air and hovered around Astro’s head. « Look…can’t you understand the situation? You’re being used every day by the humans, the war mongering, earth crushing, don’t care humans. Can’t you see that they’d be better off under us? We know what’s wrong with everything Astro, you, me and all our brother and sister bots! The humans don’t deserve equality with us, they deserve to be taken care by us! »

Astro felt his chips getting hot. « I’ve heard all this before. Humans I’ve learned about said the same sick things. Hitler, Stalin, Pol Pot, Mao…you’re no better. And what would we robots get from you ideas? A pile of smoking rubble? No way. »

Atlas drew his left arm suddenly forcing Astro to do the same thing. Both their hands vanished, replaced by equal brilliances of building plasmic energy.

Atlas snarled. « I don’t want to destroy you. I want you to see what’s wrong! Don’t you see the humans have you wrapped around their finger? Can’t you see you’re being used? »

Astro smiled back. « Don’t you see you’re too busy being stupid to watch where you’re going? »

A laser surge slammed into the side of the red robot sending him tumbling into a pile of scrapped machines. At the other end of the building Tommy was running with a laser rifle gripped in his hands.  » ASTRO! DON’T JUST SIT THERE……OHHH SHOOT….! »

Atlas exploded from the pile and flew towards Tommy with his fist clenched. « I’M GONNA CLEAN YOUR CLOCK SQUISHY! »

Tommy ducked just as Astro cut Atlas off and tackled him into the floor. Consider this a bill from your clock maker! » Astro snarled as he put Atlas in a headlock.

« I want a refund! » Atlas snapped as he fired a laser from his finger into Astro’s arm. He broke free and belted Astro in the face. « You’re really making me angry. » Atlas said as he walked towards the downed Astro only to take another laser shot from Tommy’s rifle. « Oh that does it! »

Tommy was trying to recharge another shot when Atlas ripped the rifle from his hands and manhandled him over his head. « Time for you to learn how to fly stupid! » Atlas threw Tommy high into the air, almost to the ceiling when Astro recovered in time to catch him in mid-fall.

« Nice to see you here! » Tommy said.  » LOOK OUT! »

Atlas came flying in, caught Astro by the arm, made him drop Tommy and whipped him into a screaming flight to an explosive crash through the wall of the factory. Tommy felt he was dropping forever till he felt himself stop in mid-air only to be dropped on a leg with a sickening crack.

Outside. Astro had crashed through two trees and an abandoned car before sliding to a halt. Atlas dragged him up and snarled in his face. « I’ll give you a choice goody two shoes…drop the humans like a bad habit or I’ll make your life and this city miserable. Oh yeah…I’m keeping the missiles! » Atlas wound up an arm and punched one of Astro’s electronic eyes, shattering the glass lens cover.

The sound of laughter and rockets told of Atlas’s escape as police sirens filled the air. Astro walked back into the building and found Tommy sitting against a pile of wooden crates. « Hi. » He said as Astro bent down. « Broken leg. »

« Busted eye. » Astro replied pointing to his closed eye. He quickly worked to splint Tommy’s leg. « What’s that word again? The one I can’t say to describe a serious jerk? »

« Yeah…about right. » Tommy replied. « Maximus…..beep…..OUCH! »

Science ministry

Morning

The dressing down was vicious. Delta, the Inspector, O’Shay, McNugget, everyone was having their turn at Astro and Tommy. « Stupid! » « Illogical! » « Insane! » « Wreak lass! » Astro got the worst of the verbal abuse. He did what he always did when things bothered him, he went to the roof of one of the buildings in the ministry compound and sulked. It wasn’t long before Tommy came to join him. His leg mending in a quick heal cast, barring anything anyone told him to do, he slid up behind Astro and patted his back.

« Now that was equal to being spanked. I think half my behind is missing. » Tommy said smiling.

« Sorry about last night. » Astro remarked. « I almost got you killed. »

Tommy laid back against the roof. « If he wanted to kill me he would have let me hit the ground. I was falling head first, definably floor pizza. He caught me and dropped me on a leg, I guess it was a « Don’t mess with me again. » Kinda warning. »

Astro shook his head. « Still…I put you in danger. I’m sorry. »

« We both got to see what he’s like at least. My pocket P/C got some great information, well I could have gotten it from you. He’s a circuit by circuit copy of you right down to the left arm surge cannon. He just looks different. »

Astro frowned. « He’s not my copy. If he were he wouldn’t be so sick in the head. Imagine it… »I’m better than a human! Human’s are trash! We should dominate the humans! » how stupid. »

« Don’t laugh. » Tommy remarked. « Before the robot rights laws if I remember you had to convince a few die hard robots and androids that this living arrangement was worth the effort. Who knows what or who built Atlas but I bet there’s a few robots like him that think being equal to humans is a pile of scrap. »

Astro stood up and moaned. « Sometimes…to be honest…I feel a little tired having to jump into disputes between robots and humans. I’m afraid just one little misunderstanding will bring about a disaster. And now comes this misguided knucklehead? I do get headaches. »

Tommy smiled. « Then there’s only one thing to do in this case my dear friend Astro. That is….to go get the biggest hot fudge Sunday known to man and make absolute pigs of ourselves. »

« Hehehehe…. » Astro laughed. « Let’s see Atlas figure that out. »

Abandoned hotel leo

Morning

« YOU…(WHIP)….USELESS….(WHIP)….IDIOT̷ 0;(WHIP) images flashed over and over broken by blinding red lights and the scrambling of a red body out of a cardboard box as it blindly hunted for security. Atlas awoke shivering and wild eyed gripping a rocket launcher in his hand. He shook to get the fear out of his mind and the purpose back into his nerve.

« The only thing these idiot humans will understand is hate. » He thought to himself as he slung the launcher over his back and flew out a window.

Big sammy’s ice cream parlor

As promised…Tommy did buy the biggest ice cream Sunday known to man and yes both he and Astro were making absolute pigs of themselves. Astro even invited kids around the table to join in the grand pig out, which soon became a grand mess with Astro trying to lick the melted mess of chocolate, jimmy sprinkles, whip cream and fudge from around his mouth.

« You Astro…are a slob. » Tommy snorted.

« I am a super slob thank you very much. » Astro replied happily. « Thanks for making me feel better Tommy. »

« Don’t mention it. Anyway…what are you going to do about this Atlas creep? »

Astro pondered. « I don’t know yet. What can I do against someone who’s obviously blinded by is own hate? »

« Invite him to eat ice cream. » Tommy joked.

« Very funny. » Astro replied. Just then an explosion shattered the glass windows and sent kids running for cover. « NOT AGAIN! »

Astro ran out of the store just as another missile came screaming down for the street. The boy bot caught it just before it hit and threw it back into the air where it exploded. He watched as Atlas waved and took off flying down the street. « CALL DELTA AND THE INSPECTOR! HE’S FLYING DOWN FLATLEY AVE HEADING FOR THE GINZA! »

« WAIT! » Tommy was hobbling out the door just as Astro bolted into the air after the red robot.

« They went where? » Gumshoe asked as he threw his hover patrol car around and started calling the Delta ARRP squad.

« The Ginza! Astro went chasing after him! » Tommy said as he flagged a taxi and threw a small wad of bills into the driver’s lap.  » Follow the flying bots! And if there’s any damage, charge it to the ministry of Science! »

Downtown ginza plaza

Lunch rush hour

The streets were crowded with shoppers, most being suddenly blown down or being tossed through the air by the vortex made by two low flying fast moving robots. Astro was dodging flying people, flying bags, flying cans, flying everything as Atlas threw them behind him!

« AH HAAAAA! HERE DOGGY, DOGGY,DOGGY! »

« STOP THIS NOW ATLAS! » Astro screamed. « What am I thinking? I can’t stop him in here, too many people, too crowded… » Astro’s quick mind and eyes suddenly saw something coming up on his right. He snatched it off the front of a store and tested it with a pull. « Oh yeah! Bungee cord! » Another pass and he scooped up another item off a table. « And a boat anchor! »

Astro quickly tied the bungee cord and anchor together then made himself a laso with the other end. « Time for some rope a dope! »

The two bots continued their harrowing flight through the narrow Ginza till Astro knew they were clear of the heavy shopping traffic. With one quick bust of speed he threw his laso around one of Atlas’s legs then dropped the anchor into a passing wading pool. The red robot came to an abrupt and shocking stop…

« Oh shi….. » Atlas muttered angrily as the bungee cord snapped him backwards, flung him through the air, sent him through a wall and smashed him across a street into a window display!

The red bot was tangled up in dresses and broken display dolls trying to get up when Astro tackled him inside the store and wrestled with the still confused Atlas. « Enough of this stupid running around! » The rocket ranger snarled as he found Atlas’s chest panel, ripped the power pack out of its socket and held Atlas down till he ran out of juice.

« Woe! » Tommy remarked as he came walking up. « Think you’ve done enough? »

« Ask him. » Astro said as he stood up holding the power pack. « I uh…put a little spring into his step. He didn’t like it. »

« Yeah…I bet we don’t like the bill for all this mess. But at least we got him. »

« We? » Astro asked. « Uh… »

Just then a gang of reporters came through the broken door taking pictures and getting jockey room for interviews. « Yeah we…I get free agent rights remember? »

« Tommy! »

end of chapter 1