“We will, of course, keep you updated on Angela’s condition as soon as it becomes available,” J.R. announced. “But right now, we have to move on with our very first ‘Off-Site’ match of the evening!”
“The show must go on,” April sighed regrettably.
“‘Off-Site Match’?” Daffy pondered. “What the heck is that?”
“Good question Daffy,” J.R. opened. “Daisuke?”
“Thank you, J.R.” Daisuke prepared to explain, but as soon as he began the camera feed was interrupted by loud static.
* * * * *
The image that appeared on the giant screen in the stadium, as well as the millions of television sets across the globe, was that of an average blackboard. In front of the educational tool stood a little girl, approximately 12 years old, with very long, spiky pink hair and bangs that loosely resembled the limbs of a crab.
“Pardon me guys!” The young girl said with a prideful smile. “Why don’t you let me, Washu ‘The Greatest Genius in the Whole Universe’, answer your question!”
Two small Washu dolls appeared on the genius’s shoulders.
“Do it Washu!” Shoulderbot “A” cheered. “You know everything!”
“That’s right!” Shoulderbot “B” agreed. “You’re the smartest Washu!”
“Of course!” Washu crowed, her hands placed on her hips in a superior pose. “But all of you in T.V. Land can just call me ‘Little Washu’! Okay?”
The shoulderbots disappeared as Washu then reached up to the blackboard and flipped it over. The other side revealed hundreds of highly advanced chalk equations, designs for massive science fiction-type weapons, and a couple games of Hangman and Tic-Tac-Toe.
“Now to business!” Washu announced, her mode of dress now reflecting that of a college professor. “An Off-Site Match means exactly that; a match that must be held outside of the EMW Arena. The reason for this is that at least one of the participants in said match has powers, abilities, or weapons that can’t be safely exhibited in the confines of the average ring (Like my genius for example!). And as we all know, it’s all about safety isn’t it folks?”
With that Little Washu pulled a laser blaster twice her own size out of nowhere and decimated the blackboard, leaving only burning ashes behind her.
“Now, where’s this little punk I’m supposed to fight?”
“No one is a match for your genius Washu!” Shoulderbot “A” cheered.
“You’ll win for sure Washu!” Shoulderbot “B” agreed.
* * * * *
With that the camera feed returned to the six confused commentators.
“That is what you were going to say, right?” Daffy asked dryly.
“Something like that, yeah,” Daisuke signed and fished a Game Boy Advance out of his pocket. “If anybody needs me I’ll just be playing ‘Mega Man.EXE’.”
“Anyway,” J.R. said, trying to save face. “We now take you live to Dexter’s Laboratory, where our very first Off-Site Match is about to get underway!”
* * * * *
Deep underneath his parent’s home in mainstream suburbia, Dexter, Boy Genius, worked diligently on the highly technical, ultimately advanced, and terribly delicate aspects of his latest invention.
Okay, so the little red haired boy in the lab coat and thick glasses was just continuously tightening a bolt on a piece of metal.
“At last!” He shouted in triumph, holding his device up to the heavens. “My greatest invention is completed!”
“Ahem,” A female voice behind him coughed.
Almost on instinct, Dexter whirled around and shouted at the intruder in a thick Eastern European accent, shaking his purple-gloved fist.
“Dee Dee! How many times must I tell you--”
He stopped when he realized he wasn’t yelling at his “stupid sister”.
Instead, he found Washu, dressed more conventionally, yet somehow more formally, in a green and navy blue long-tailed jacket, with her long hair tucked into a cap of the same color. Her crab-like bangs the only part of her pink hair protruding from under of her hat.
“Who the heck are you?” Dexter asked the intruder.
“What?” The pink-haired girl crowed. “You don’t know? I am the great Washu! I’m only the greatest genius in the entire universe! But you can call me, ‘Professor’.”
“Oh, well,” Dexter absently responded. “In that case--Hey! Wait just a minute! You cannot be the greatest genius in the entire universe! I am the greatest genius in the entire universe!”
“Is that so? Well, why don’t you put your science where your mouth is?”
“LET’S GET IT ON!”
“And the match begins!” Hiroshi hyped as the two geniuses leapt into the air.
Following a brief, faster-than-the-eye-can-see, martial arts exchange in mid-air, Washu landed in an odd traditional stance.
Dexter, however, landed flat on his face with a loud thud.
“And Washu lands in the traditional stance of the Sacred Genius Fist!” Hiroshi cheered.
“How could you possibly know that?” Daisuke blanched in amazement.
“Oh come on now,” Washu sneered. “I know you can do better than that.”
“You’re the best there is, the best there was, and the best there ever will be Washu!” Shoulderbot “A” popped up to cheer.
“Yeah!” Shoulderbot “B” appeared to agree. “To be the man, you gotta beat Washu! You’re going to win for sure, Washu!”
“So true,” Washu laughed smugly.
“You think you are so smart?” Dexter scoffed as he got to his feet. “I too have creations made solely to praise my genius!”
With a grinding of gears, a fat robot parrot fought through the air and landed in Dexter’s nest of red hair.
“Now you will see true genius!” Dexter proclaimed and snapped his fingers at the green robot bird atop his head.
“Dexter’s a cookie!” It squawked.
“I am not a cookie!”
With a growl of frustration, Dexter grabbed the robo-recorder and smashed it on the ground.
When he looked up from the fresh pile of scrap, his opponent was nowhere to be found.
“Where did she go?”
“Where’s Washu?” King pondered.
Suddenly, Washu strolled out from behind a large computer made of blue tinted metal, eyeing the machinery as she went.
“Hmmm. This is a nice little set up you got here,” The galactic scientist said as she studied several blue-toned devices in the vast laboratory. “...Even if it is a bit primitive.”
“‘Primitive’?!?” Dexter shouted. “Did you just call my lab PRIMITIVE?!?”
“Mm-hmm,” Washu answered with a smug affirmative.
“NOW YOU HAVE GONE TOO FAR WOMAN!!!” Dexter bellowed in his high-pitched Psuedo-German accent.
“Uh oh!” Hiroshi . “Never mess with a little boy’s lab, right guys?”
“To be honest,” J.R. said with a touch of doubt. “I’m not too used to calling this sort of match.”
“Don’t worry J.R.!” Hiroshi cheered. “We are! Right Dai?”
“Yeah. Sure. Whatever,” Daisuke muttered never looking up from his video game.
“And I’m just not interested,” King admitted. “Washu’s too young for me.”
“King!” April snapped.
“What?” He replied.
“Washu may look young, but she actually has 20,000 of experience on Dexter,” April stated. “But Dexter still has the home field advantage. What do you think Daffy?”
“I’m gonna get a soda” Daffy said getting up from his seat. “Anybody else want one?”
Back in the lab, Dexter made a dramatic show pressing a button on his watch, which sent a pulse of brilliant white light across the massive laboratory.
“Oooo,” Washu said mockingly as the light harmlessly passed over her. “Nice light show.”
With a rush of air and a thunderous quake, a giant shadow was cast over the lab, much to the surprise of the diminutive space scientist.
Washu slowly turned around to find a giant black and white robot looming over her that looked oddly like her opponent.
“THERE IT IS!!!” Hiroshi plotzed. “OUR FIRST MECHA OF THE NIGHT!!!”
“And Dexter takes this fight to the next level!” J.R. followed suit.
“You’re getting the hang of it J.R.” Daisuke casually noted. “Good for you (Take that Guts Man).”
“So ‘Professor’,” Dexter said from the cockpit located in the head, his voice amplified by speakers mounted on the outside of the giant mecha. “How do you like my DEXTER-ROBO?”
“Eh,” Washu scoffed. “It’s not so great.”
A massive purple hand reached out to the small space scientist and the familiar whine of plasma cannons powering up began to echo loudly in her ears.
“Good luck Washu,” Shoulderbot “A” said before it disappeared behind her back.
“You’re on your own Washu,” Shoulderbot “B” announced before it joined it’s partner.
“WHAT?!?” Washu shrieked. “YOU TRAITORS!!! JUST WAIT UNTIL I--”
Washu wasn’t given anymore time to complain as a large yellow blast of plasma energy obliterated the small piece of the lab she currently occupied.
“Can you say ‘Overkill’?” Daisuke smirked. “I knew you could.”
“Oops,” Dexter said meekly, looking down at the charred black area that used to be part of the laboratory floor. “Maybe that was a bit too much. A-heh.”
“I’d say it’s not enough really.”
The boy genius spun his pilot’s chair around to find Washu, completely unharmed, standing behind him in the rather roomy cockpit.
Washu then noticed the outfit Dexter had changed into. A spandex black and white mech pilot’s uniform, complete with purple gloves and visored helmet.
“Cute outfit,” Washu said before she covered her mouth and pretended to cough. “*Rip-off!* *Rip-off!* Oh, excuse me! I must be getting a cold!”
“Is that so?” Dexter smiled while reaching for a button on the panel behind him. “Perhaps you just need some...FRESH AIR!”
The ejection fail-safe expelled Washu from the head of the giant mecha.
As Washu flew through the air of the amazingly high ceilinged lab, Dexter took aim at his impromptu clay pigeon.
“TAKE THIS, ‘PROFESSOR!!!” Dexter shouted before firing off another plasma blast.
“WHAT KIND OF STUPID TAUNT IS THA--?!?” Washu retorted before exploding in mid-air.
“YES!” Dexter pumped his fist as smoke and large chunks of lab ceiling fell to the ground. The Dexter-Robo followed its pilot’s movements in a comical fashion.
“You’ve got to work on your aim!” Washu called from beside a massive machine of some sort.
“WHAT?!?” Dexter blanched and acted to rectify his previous mistake.
*BOOM! * The machine was destroyed in a shower of flame and shrapnel.
*BLAM!* There goes the super computer.
“No, over here!”
*KA-BOOM! * And the quantum accelerator.
“Or am I here?”
*KA-PLOOWIE!* Bye-bye time machine.
“WOO-HOO!!!” Hiroshi cheered. “LOOKIT ALL THE EXPLOSIONS!!!”
“Simple minds...” Daisuke sighed.
“Dexter appears to be having trouble getting a lock on the wily Washu,” J.R. observed.
“Dexter hasn’t landed a hit yet!” King laughed.
“At least, we think so,” April added.
By the time the smoke began to clear, Dexter’s laboratory looked more like a post-apocalyptic war zone than a blue-toned research facility, and Washu was no where to be found.
“Where did she go?” Dexter asked, frantically aiming at everything in sight. “Did I get her?”
A massive footstep shook the ground in answer to his question.
Wading through the smoke and debris, Washu piloted her mecha towards her waiting opponent.
“Washu decides to step up to the plate with her own self-styled mecha!!!” Hiroshi cheered.
“‘Steps up to the plate’?” Daisuke groaned. “Hiroshi, that was sad.”
“Even I have to admit that was kinda cheesy,” King agreed.
Washu’s moved her giant robot right up to her opponent and stopped to shoot off a superior pose. It really did look like a robot version of her, right down to the crab-bangs and the long shock of pink hair running down the back. Although they were the same size, the sleek look and smooth grace of Giant Mecha-Washu stood in great contrast to the massive bulk and sharp angles of the Dexter-Robo.
“Yoo-hoo!” Washu’s voice called from the other mecha’s external speakers. “Can I play too?”
“Oh, you want to play, huh?” Dexter smiled. “Fine. TAG!!! YOU ARE IT!!!”
Dexter-Robo lunged forward to deliver a massive right hook, but the Giant Mecha-Washu easily
“Apparently, Washu’s mecha possesses superior maneuverability,” April noted.
“But the Dexter-Robo has the edge in fire power!” Hiroshi responded.
As the Giant Mecha-Washu ran around the lab, explosions following her every step, she tried in vain to get close enough to strike her opponent.
“No good,” Washu angrily observed. “I can’t get close enough to hit him. He’s too well armed.”
True, the plasma blasts Dexter fired kept Washu at bay, but he wasn’t having any better luck hitting the giant Washu than he was earlier with the real one.
“I missed again!” Dexter pounded his fist on the dashboard in frustration. “I am only hitting where she was!”
All of a sudden, the boy genius was struck by a clarifying Epiphany.
“Which means, I have to aim...” The Robo-Dexter’s massive purple fists flew from the wrists like rockets (Exactly like rockets actually). “...Where she will be!”
The Giant Mecha-Washu turned its head just in time to see the incoming fist rockets.
“AAUGH!” Washu shouted as her mecha slammed into the lab’s unforgiving metal wall.
“WASHU IS DOWN!!!” J.R. shouted. “DEXTER SCORES A DIRECT HIT!”
“It kinda makes you wonder why Washu didn’t add weapons to her mecha,” Daisuke mentioned, still not turning his attention from his GBA.
“Why didn’t Washu add weapons to her mecha?” April asked.
“Ah-Ha!” Dexter laughed triumphantly. “This proves you are no match for me, Dexter, Boy Genius!”
“Lucky shot,” Washu groaned as she lifted her mecha out of the dent it created.
“‘Lucky’?” Dexter asked. “Girl, that was skill!”
“Oh yeah?” Washu taunted. “Why don’t you get over here and let me show you some of my skillz!”
“You want some?” Dexter’s Eastern European accent asked as new hands grew from his mecha’s wrists. “YOU GOT IT!”
The Dexter-Robo again flew forward in a punch. This time, however, Washu caught the fist in her own mecha’s hand and held on tight. Now it was Giant Mecha-Washu’s turn to try and punch its opponent, only to have its fist caught in a massive purple mitt. The two mecha stood locked in this pose, neither one giving or gaining an inch.
“AND THE TWO MASSIVE MECHA ARE LOCKED IN A DEATH GRIP!!!” Hiroshi screamed. “WHAT WILL HAPPEN NEXT?!?”
“They’ll stay like that until one of them weakens or makes a mistake,” Daisuke explained. “Right, King?”
“That’s the way it usually goes, yeah.”
While their mechas remained in a stalemate death grip, Dexter had another startling revelation. He pressed another button on his watch, and he instantly vanished. He allowed himself a small smirk now that he proved his personal cloaking device worked, and moved on to Phase two of his plan.
After setting the Dexter-Robo on autopilot, he silently escaped through a hatch on the side of the cockpit and climbed down to the shoulder.
He then ran up the stubby arm of his giant robot and slid down the long, slender arm of Washu’s. Using a scanner built into his watch, he suddenly realized he was virtually invisible and couldn’t see the read-out.
“Grumble, grumble, gripe, grumble,” Dexter grumbled as he turned off the cloaking device and tried again. When he found the secret entrance behind the ear, he picked the lock and snuck into the cockpit.
Once inside, Dexter found Washu pounding away at the control console, her full attention focused on the opposing mecha in front of her.
“Ha ha! Got you now!” She crowed, failing to notice Dexter sneaking up behind her.
“Who has got who now, Little Washu?” Dexter asked as he pulled an odd-looking ray gun out from the holster on his belt.
Washu allowed herself a small smile before a jagged blue light shot from the gun and froze her and the controls in a block of ice.
“DEXTER HAS FROZEN WASHU!” Hiroshi shouted.
“I’ve gotten the cold shoulder before,” King laughed. “But this is ridiculous!”
“Oh King,” Daisuke groaned in disgust.
“I’d say that’s the match,” April concluded.
“YES!” Dexter cheered. “Looks like we have proven who is the greatest genius in the entire universe, didn’t we?”
“Yup,” Washu agreed from behind him. “We sure did!”
Dexter turned around to find his opponent, wearing a wide smile and surprisingly not frozen.
“What the--?” Dexter stuttered as he raced to check on his previously captured opponent, only to find a life-size Washu doll encased in the block of ice.
Before Dexter could even react, Washu cracked him over the head with a simple blackjack, rendering the upstart unconscious.
“True, it’s not very scientific,” Washu confessed. “But hey, it’s effective.”
* * * * *
“There you have it!” J.R. reported. “With an impressive turn around, Washu has defeated Dexter and cemented her place as the Greatest Scientific Genius in the Universe!”
“What an amazing match!” Hiroshi cheered.
“I’m back,” Daffy said as he sipped his soda. “Did I miss anything good?”
“Nope,” King said. “No puppies.”
Back in the lab, Dexter was beginning to wake up with one whopper of a headache. Which had gotten even worse when a young girl with spiky pink hair appeared over him.
“Congratulations!” Washu smiled. “You passed the test!”
“Test?” Dexter pondered as he rubbed his aching head. “What test? What are you talking about you crazy girl?”
“Why, a test of intellect, of course!” Washu said matter-of-factly. “You passed with flying colors (Even though it took longer than I anticipated)! After all, I can’t have a dunderhead as my new pupil now can I?”
“‘Pupil’?” The boy snapped . “Why should I, Dexter Boy Genius, be the pupil of some stupid girl?”
“You got a bit of an attitude problem,” The galactic genius noted. “But we’ll work on that. I’ve had worse students. Let’s go!”
“Go? Where? What about my lab?”
“What about it?”
It was then that Dexter noticed his precious laboratory. Instead of the smoldering ruins he expected, his entire laboratory had apparently been completely rebuilt. The super computer, quantum accelerator, the time machine; all of the devices in his lab where fully repaired. In fact, many of them looked to be running better than they ever have before.
“H-how long was I out?” He asked as he stared in wonder at his surroundings.
“About three minutes,” Washu answered. “It’s amazing what medical science can do.”
“WHAT?!?” Three minutes? Dexter thought. If this girl could rebuild his entire lab in record time, then maybe, just maybe, he could learn a thing or two from her after all.
“Why me?” Was all Dexter could think of asking.
“That’s easy. You remind me of me when I was young,” Washu said in a reminiscent tone.
“Of course, I’m still cuter!” She quickly added. “We’ve wasted enough time! Let’s get a move on!”
“To my lab of course (And you have got to move beyond these one syllable questions)!” With that, a laptop that seemed to be made of shadow appeared in the air before Washu. She tapped in a few keys and a portal opened in front of Dexter, revealing a laboratory that amazed even him.
It appeared to be in a dimension all its own; a pocket dimension filled with massive machines and amazing technology covered with thousands of colorful lights. Yet, another portion of the lab seemed to be devoted to cultivating a single plant bathed in artificial sunlight. Beyond all of that, Dexter could still see a massive tank holding an aquatic creature larger than anything seen living on Earth for millions of years. And it extended even farther than the young genius’s field of vision.
He had to admit, it was pretty impressive. It seemed to possess the greatest collection of technology in the known universe. It seemed to be the most sophisticated research facility in the history of science. It seemed...alive.
“C’mon Dex,” Washu said cheerfully as she grabbed her new student’s arm and lead him into the scientific tesseract. “I’ll show you my patented neurotomic protocore.”
It wasn’t the serene perfection of his own cold and sterile lab of course, but Dexter had a feeling he would be able to adjust.
Dozens of fighters stalked the hallways and corridors of the backstage area. Martial artists and maniacs, super heroes and psychos, monsters and men; they all have different reasons for being here tonight, they all have different reasons for fighting, but not all of them chose to act openly.
In a darkened corridor protruding from the main hallway, a lean figure in a primary colored costume crawled across the ceiling towards the busy well-lit main hall.
Completely covered from head to toe in a red and blue costume with a web pattern on it, the figure paused when he saw the sheer number of garbed costumed beings scattered throughout the area.
“Well, Parker,” The masked man said as he gazed out at the crowd. “You’re knee deep in it now.”
Yes, ladies and gentlemen, the amazing Spider-Man is in the building!
Spider-Man dropped from he ceiling, flipped through the air, and landed in a crouch on the cement floor.
“Wow,” Spider-Man whispered as he stood up and hid himself against the wall. “I can’t believe how many super powered psychos and manic martial artists there are back here. I better stick to the shadows. Pun intended. Even in this get-up I’d have a hard time blending in.”
Spider-Man whirled around to find himself face-to-face with a living shadow towering over him. Cloaked in black, it stepped forward into the light, revealing two sharp “horns” on the top of his head.
“GAHHH!!!” Spider-Man jumped back and prepared to fight the frightening figure staring down at him, a human muzzle is the only part of its body not covered in darkness.
Luckily (For who?), the young hero recognized the yellow symbol on the “shadow’s” chest before he attempted to cover it in web fluid.
“Batman! Geez!” Spider-Man shouted. “Give a guy a heart attack why don’t you?”
“I have,” The grim figure said. He wasn’t kidding.
“Riiight,” Spidey blanched. “How the heck are you even able to sneak up on me like that?”
“Your...’Spider-sense’ only reacts to something that intends to harm you in some way,” The Dark Knight explained. “I had no intention of attacking you, but even if I did, you still wouldn’t have picked it up.”
“And how do you know that, Mr. Tall, Dark, and Menacing?”
“I make it my business to know,” Batman stated simply, showing little patience for the colorful hero’s sense of humor. “Why are you here?”
“Well,” Spider-Man began. “I’m new in town and there are a lot of swell guys here. I thought you could show me around, introduce me to a couple of the fellas, get me a date with Catwoman...”
Batman glared at the web slinger.
“Is that a ‘No’?”
The fearsome vigilante’s pupil-less eyes burned a hole strait through both of their masks to the young hero’s very soul.
“Okay! Fine! Just stop staring at me like that! Geez!” Spider-Man snapped. “There are a couple of bad guys out there in the crowd just itching to attack those gargoyles. I followed them back here and hoped someone like you could give me a hand.”
Batman continued to stare at him a moment longer then turned his attention out to the main hallway, as if keeping a look out for some unseen danger.
“There are a lot of ‘Bad Guys’ around here tonight,” He finally relented. “Keep a sharp eye out. You won’t have to worry about blending in. Trust me.”
With that, the Dark Knight turned and started back down the darkened hallway, ready to lose himself in the shadows yet again.
“Did you...just accept my help?” Spider-Man mocked astonishment as the dynamic figure marched past. “Well, wonders never cease!”
“Don’t push it,” Batman stated flatly as he seemingly disappeared into the darkness. However, he was fairly confident in the fact that not even “Spider-sense” would be able to detect the small smirk on his face.
* * * * *
To Be Continued…