Captain Stupendous came bursting in through the front doors of the lair like a wrecking ball. Although the superhero was dressed in tight, form-fitting clothing, however, he was definitely male – and his muscles bulged as he sent the three-inch thick steel door cartwheeling across the interior chamber.
The man went rolling across the floor, popping up on his toes, ready to spring. And it was fortunate that he did so, as the Battle-Bots standing inside the chamber immediately came to life as their sensors detected an intruder.
The two machines, one on either side of the Captain, slowly advanced as the gatling guns on their shoulders began to spin. In under a second, hundreds of depleted uranium rounds were in the air – all flying straight towards the intruder at over a thousand feet per second.
At least, they were flying towards the superhero – until he moved.
Captain Stupendous broke into a straight sprint, dodging aside as the bullets cut through the air like angry supersonic bumblebees. He sprinted towards the nearer Battle-Bot, ducking and weaving to keep out of the line of fire. His strong legs rapidly closed the distance between him and the assaulting machine.
The Battle-Bot was equipped with titanium fists and electro-twitch muscles, but it still couldn’t match the Captain’s speed. He leapt up, slamming into the robot’s chest, his fist cutting in through hardened armor like it was butter. His hand closed around a handful of sparking wires.
“These seem important!” Captain Stupendous announced as he yanked the wires out of the robot’s chest. And indeed they were, as the machine’s legs immediately gave way, and the construction went crashing down heavily to the floor.
One bot incapacitated, one to go. The other Battle-Bot was now charging forward, fists raised, the entire floor of the chamber shaking from its weight as it lumbered towards its enemy. It was still firing off bursts from its shoulder mounted cannon, shredding the corpse of its companion with rounds.
Once again, Captain Stupendous was faster – if just barely. He dodged aside as the second Battle-Bot’s fist came down, and the robot’s attack pulverized the head of its former companion.
The Captain’s hand came sweeping around like a karate chop, slicing through the bot’s leg at the knee. As it came crashing down, he brought his other fist around in an uppercut, and connected strongly with the monster’s jaw.
Captain Stupendous watched, pleased, as the head of the second Battle-Bot was literally torn from its shoulders and sent flying up into the ceiling. The rest of the bot crumpled down to the ground, its gun still choking out a few more rounds into the floor before dying.
With the bots destroyed, Captain Stupendous advanced towards the interior of the chamber, where he knew the central command console stood. “Give it up, Fang!” he called out, his booming voice echoing around the chamber. “It’s all over – and as we speak, my companions are knocking out the last of your nerve gas missiles before your satellites can deploy them! Just come quietly!”
As he advanced further, his super-eyes adjusting to the interior dimness, the Captain spotted a high-backed chair at the heart of the semicircular control panel. He had never laid eyes on this supervillain before, but he knew that he had this opponent cornered. “Turn around slowly, Fang!” he shouted.
The chair rotated around. And the Captain’s mouth dropped open.
There, sitting in the chair, where he had expected to see some sort of masked man, sat a small puppy! The Captain wasn’t especially familiar with dog breeds, but this one looked like one of those weiner dogs with the long bodies and stubby little legs. There was a metal box mounted on the dog’s head, a short wire sticking up like an antenna, but other than that, the dog looked disturbing normal.
“Er, Fang?” Captain Stupendous repeated, a note of unsure confusion now entering his voice.
“Ugh, yes.” The voice seemed to come from the dog, but the little puppy’s lips never moved. “Great job, Captain. You’ve caught me. I can at least admit when I’ve been outmaneuvered.”
The Captain’s fists had been up in preparation of a final fight, but he lowered them now, instead scratching at his head. “Um, are you…” he began, but then stopped. How do you ask a supervillain if he’s a canine?
The puppy glanced down at itself, and then started licking its front legs, making soft slurping noises. “Yes, Captain, I am currently in the body of a dog,” Fang replied. “A dachshund puppy, to be exact.”
This time, the Captain realized that he wasn’t actually hearing the voice through his ears – it was speaking directly into his head. “I don’t understand,” he confessed.
The puppy, apparently now feeling that its feet were sufficiently clean, climbed out of the chair. The Captain had to stifle an audible “aww” as it struggled to reach the floor with its stubby feet and nearly collapsed as it fell. It managed to finally get to the ground, however, and sat up with a happy, dopey smile on its face.
“Trust me, Captain, this is not exactly how I intended to meet you,” Fang beamed into his head. “Let’s just say that there was an accident with a brain upload to give those Battle-Bots better intelligence, and there was a shortage of available donors. I needed a body rapidly, and my niece had brought by this ridiculous animal, and well…”
The dachshund had waddled over to Captain Stupendous’s feet, where it had collapsed down on his boots, apparently exhausted by the effort. Captain Stupendous lowered a fist, ready to grab at the beast in case it tried some sort of venomous bite, but the dog simply began licking at his fingers.
Inside his head, the Captain heard Fang sigh again. Even without breath, the emotion was clear. “Listen, this is really embarrassing,” Fang said, “but before you haul me in, do you think you could let me step out the back for a minute? This stupid creature has a bladder the size of its brain – so, in other words, miniscule. Otherwise, you may end up with an accident on the floor of your HyperJet.”
The Captain considered the image, and then shuddered. Cleaning up dog wee was definitely not in his duties as a superhero. “Yeah, go ahead,” he commented. He turned his attention to the control panel. He could at least make sure that the nerve gas missiles were all disabled.
“Thanks, Captain,” Fang told him as the dog padded off towards a small doggy door cut in the back of the lair, its stubby little tail flicking back and forth. “Give me a few minutes. This body apparently has to smell every single square inch before it’s ready to release.”
“Sure thing,” Captain Stupendous said absent-mindedly as he stepped closer to the control panel. The dog had vanished out the back, but he was focused more on a single red button that was blinking on the panel. There was a small display next to it. The Captain bent forward to get a closer look.
The display was showing numbers – counting down! And it was going very rapidly. Captain Stupendous spun around to stare after the doggy door, but he could already hear a rumble from the far side. The Captain’s super-hearing told him that the rumble sounded suspiciously like the rocket engine of an escape pod.
With a curse, the muscled man sprinted for the exit. Behind him, a mushroom of red and orange began to blossom up as the numbers hit zero…