The Adventures of Commando Joe and Nancy
Family Matters

Written by
James Israelson

(WARNING: BEWARE OF weak plots and PLOT HOLES….there‘s a lot of both)

Joe opened his eyes, he could feel the blood rushing towards his head. Wind rushed around him as he struggled against the ropes.
“Nancy!” His voice echoed around him.
“Joe,” Her familiar voice replied. Joe struggled to turn to see Nancy hanging next to him. Her hair stood on end by the pull of gravity. She smiled, “Another day at the office, hu?”
Joe looked down at the jagged ground far below them. “I just don’t get it,” Joe said stretching the ropes attempting to get to his pocket, “where do you meet these people?”
“I don’t know,” she replied, “I just seem to attract crazy people, androids, and monsters.”
“And giant ants,” Joe said, “Let’s not forget the giant ants.”
“Right.”
Joe relaxed and sighed, “I can’t get to my pocketknife.”
“How are you two enjoying the evening air?” a voice boomed from the bridge above them. Joe looked to see the scrawny man who was responsible for their current predicament, Randy Clemond.
“I’d enjoy it a lot more if I knocked you out and threw you over a bridge!” Joe yelled back.
Randy laughed, “I don’t blame you Commando! Not one bit.”
“Randy!” Nancy cried, “Why are you doing this to us?!”
“Because miss Nancy,” Randy said beginning to pace on the bridge, “Commando Joe is a hero, and like all great heroes, he needs a villain!”
Joe frowned and looked at Nancy, “I thought you said this guy was a fan.”
“He said he was.”
“Ok, you are not allowed to introduce me to anyone ever again unless I am armed.” Joe looked up, “Listen Randy, I’m not really a hero, I mean I cheated on my taxes last year, I have some unpaid parking tickets that I’m still debating to pay or not-”
“Enough, valiant hero, your time of judgment has come!”
“This guy doesn’t get out a whole lot does he,” Joe whispered.
Then the sound of an approaching train was heard, “Oh that can’t be good,” Nancy said.
“Nu uh.”
“The train that approaches now will snap the ropes which you are tied to sending you hurtling towards the ground below!”
“That’s actually not a bad plan,” Joe shrugged.
“Yeah, if I were a villain I would defiantly consider it,” Nancy replied.
“You have THREE MINUTES COMMANDO JOE!”
With that Randy walked from the bridge laughing madly.
“Ok,” Nancy said hurriedly, “tell me you have a plan.”
“You know me,” Joe replied smiling.
“You don’t have a plan.”
Joe‘s smile vanished, “No.”
Nancy looked around frantically pulling against the ropes, “We’re gonna die.”
“Uh huh.”
Joe and Nancy waited for the train for several long moments when Nancy frowned, “It’s been three minutes.”
“Yeah. Weird.”
“Hey!” Another voice yelled from the bridge, Joe and Nancy looked to see several police officers standing at the railing.
“Sheriff Thomas?!”
“Joe? Nancy? Is that you?”
“Who else would it be?” Nancy yelled up.
“Good point. We’ll get you out in a jiffy.”

***

Sheriff Brett Thomas, a fifty-five year old man walked Joe and Nancy across the bridge, “We found your friend, Clemond, runnin’ down the road laughin’. We knew he wasn’t up to no good, so he confessed and we stopped the train, just it time I reckon.”
“Thank you sheriff,” Joe said.
Nancy’s cell phone rang, “Hello?”
She excused herself and walked a few feet from the others.
“Sheriff,” Joe asked, “what was a patrol doing out here this late I-”
“What?!” Nancy yelled into the phone, “When?!”
Joe and the Sheriff looked at her concerned.
“No, there has to be some mistake.” tears began to swell in her eyes, “I just saw her yesterday.”
Joe walked towards her slowly.
“Alright. Yeah, I’ll talk to you soon.” She said quietly into the
She closed the phone slowly, staring off into the distance.
“Nancy?” Joe asked softly, “What’s wrong?”
Nancy looked at him, “My sister. She’s been kidnapped.”

***

Joe’s black Jeep raced through the rain, Inside Joe and Nancy sat in silence, Nancy staring out the window. Lightning streaked across the night sky. Joe had only met Amy, Nancy’s sister, a few times. She was some sort of high-up researcher for Pentaltin Labs, and traveled all the time.
“What do the police know?” Joe asked solemnly.
Nancy didn’t reply.
He took the hint and stared out onto the road, rain streaked through the headlights and hit against the windshield.
“Nothing,” Nancy replied quietly, “the police have no leads.”
Joe frowned, “I’m sorry.”

An hour later they arrived in New York City.
“Take me to Amy’s apartment.”  Nancy said.
“What good will that do? I’m sure the police have already searched it.”
“Take me to her apartment!” She took a deep breath, “I’m an investigative journalist. Maybe I can find something they couldn’t.”
“Alright.”

They soon arrived at Amy‘s apartment. Yellow Crime Scene tape was stretched across the broken open door, Nancy quickly ducked under it and entered the dark apartment.
Joe hesitantly followed behind. Inside, he found a light switch, once he clicked it on. Nancy was horrified to find her sister’s place torn apart. Papers and clothes lay thrown across the floor. The cushions of couches were turn up and covered in glass from a shattered vase. A broken television set laid face down near a destroyed entertainment center on the far end of the room.

Tears swelled in Nancy’s eyes, “who could have done this?”
Joe shook his head, “I don’t know.”

The two stayed in the apartment for several more minutes. Joe had begun looking through family albums where he saw Nancy and Amy on a fishing trip they had taken as children with their father. He smiled.
“Joe!” Nancy suddenly called from the other room. He sat book down and ran, he rounded a corner to see Nancy standing in Amy’s bedroom.
“What?”
She nodded towards a wall, “Look.”
Joe turned and his eyes widened, next to Nancy was a massive hand print pressed into the drywall. Joe slowly held up his hand in comparison, the print was more than five times the size of his, “crazy people, androids, and monsters,” Joe said looking back at her. She lowered her head, “what would giants want with Amy?”
She turned towards the door and started heading out of the room.
“I don’t know,” Joe started still amazed by the size of the print, “I-”
He suddenly stopped as a glint of red light caught his eye, he looked to see a red laser dancing around the back of Nancy’s head, “Nancy! Get down!” He screamed as he pushed her to the ground.
An instant later, gunfire exploded through the bedroom window. Glass and plaster rained down on the couple as the bullets ricocheted around them, “Come one! We have to get out of here!” Joe yelled above the sound of the chaos. Nancy nodded and the two began to crawl towards the door. Suddenly, the gunfire ceased and silence filled the air.
Joe and Nancy exchanged uneasy looks as they stood up.
Suddenly several gas canisters were launched through the blown open windows and landed at their feet. However, before they had time to react the devices exploded sending a green gas flooding into the air.
“Nancy,” Joe slurred, “Get to the,” Joe dropped to his knees as the gas started to take effect, then he fell face down, “Door.”
His eyes closed. Darkness took him, in the distance he could hear footsteps running in.
“Grab the woman!” A muffled voice demanded, “She needs her alive.”
Nancy!  Joe thought. The idea of these men taking her sent rage coursing through his body. He tried desperately to fight against the gas, but he was paralyzed. As he laid their helpless he could hear scuffling next to him as the men picked her up.
Open your eyes Joe! He thought, Open your eyes!
A moment passed then his eyes fluttered open for a brief moment, long enough to see men in gas masks dragging Nancy from the room. Her eyes locked onto his.
He knew if she could speak she would be calling for help.
His help.
Then his eyes closed against his will. He struggled to open then again, but she and the men were gone….

****

Sometime later, Sheriff Thomas sat with Joe on the couch in Amy’s apartment as several other officers patrolled the scene.
“Do you know how many laws you broke tonight Joe?”
Joe looked at him, his head was pounding, “Nancy thought she could do something if we came here.”
“You mean she thought she would be better than us.”
Joe sighed, “Well, she did find the giant hand print. I still don’t see how your people missed that.”
Thomas cleared his throat, “Yeah well. You both should be brought up on charges for breaking into a crime scene.”
“Oh come on! Brett , her sister was kidnapped, you and I both know Nancy isn’t one to just sit at home and wait for a phone call.”
“That doesn’t change the fact-”
“Sir!” An excited officer said stepping into the room, “The tech guys have found something on that print.”
Joe and Thomas got up.

When they arrived in Amy’s bedroom three men in white coats and gloves were standing over laptops and other equipment.
“What’ve you got Gibbson?” The Sheriff asked folding his arms.
One of the three men looked up, “Well, upon initial analysis of the so called print, we came upon an unique soil composition.”
“Unique how?” Joe asked.
“Unique as its only found several place in the city, all along the coast.”
“Well that’s not unique enough!” The Sheriff replied, “That’s a large area to cover.”
“There was also a second material found,” Gibbson continued, “rusted metal, most commonly used for small aircraft.”
Joe eyes widened and he turned from the room,
“Hey!” Thomas said, “Where are you going?”
Joe stopped, “There’s an abandoned airport a few miles from here on the coast.”
“I know the place,” Thomas said, “But it still owned. I’m  gonna have to get a warrant.”
“Great,” Joe replied walking for the door, “I’ll meet you there.”

***

Lightning flashed against the clouds as Joe’s Jeep pulled to a stop in front of  a small airport. Skeletons of small aircraft laid tattered here and there atop cracked asphalt. Shambles of  hangers and other debris carved a haunting silhouette against the full moon.
Joe stepped out onto the uneven ground, wind whipped around him as he holstered his 9mm. He removed a flashlight from a pocket and tested the beam then began to walk across the airstrip.
Slow and cautions he moved through the wreckage, thunder cracked above him as he continued on.
As the moved, the only sounds around were the wind and his own breathing, but maybe it was because he was paranoid, or maybe because for as long as he could remember he had been fighting monsters, whatever the reason was he knew he wasn’t alone. He knew something was watching him. Something big.
He scanned his light across the face of a small shack. The windows were broken and the door missing.
Then there was the sound of metal against metal behind him. He turned to see an empty airstrip. Then movement in front of him, coming up from underground. He shut the light off and ran behind the shack. With his hand tight around the handle of the 9mm he peeked around the corner. A door in the asphalt opened and several men emerged from below. Joe watched as they walked towards one of the darkened buildings and disappeared. Moments later he heard a car start, then headlights appeared. He ducked further into the shadows as a black Honda drove past.

Joe ran to the door that was camouflaged into the ground and found the handle. It was unlocked. He took a deep breath and opened the door. There was a steep stairway that led deep underground.
“I hate this part,” he sighed, then started down the stairs, closing the door behind him.

To be continued….

The stairway continued down a narrow tunnel that opened into a large lab. Monitors and other mechanics glowed against silver panels that lined the walls. Joe stepped off the last stair onto the metallic flooring and hurried towards a window that over looked a maze of walkways that wound to a floor far below. He looked up and spotted a second lab. Several Technicians dressed in white laboratory coats walked along the metal platforms while a recording of Beethoven’s 5th echoed through the massive complex.
Then an electronic beeping sound coming from behind him alerted him. He turned to see a technician punching in a number on a panel outside the door. Joe looked around, then hid behind a large computer consol. An instant later the door slid open and the technician stepped inside. Joe listened as the man’s footsteps came to a stop, then he peeked over the top of the consol to see the technician staring into a monitor and pressing a series of buttons.
Joe took a deep breath and moved towards the man, with one quick movement he had the man in a chokehold. The technician gasped and attempted to fight, “Wait! You’re looking for the women they brought here, the sisters, right?”  The technician gasped.
“How do you know that?”
“Because,” the man said, “So am I! Joe, it’s me! Jack!”
Joe suddenly released him, the man fell forward coughing and rubbing his neck. Jack Tyler, one of Joe’s buddies from the Marines, who also happened to be Amy’s fiancé.
“Still as graceful as a bulldozer,” Jack said hoarsely.
“What are you doing here?”
“I’m looking for my fiancé, I found an entrance to this underground freak show downtown and borrowed a coat from one of the techs.”
Joe frowned, “Downtown?”
“Yeah, this place goes on for miles. I thought I could figure out where they were keeping Amy and Nancy if I hacked into one of their computers, this was the only one I could find that wasn’t heavily guarded.”
Jack moved towards the computer and began typing on a keyboard that was built into a table. Joe walked towards the window, “Do you know what this place is?”
“Some sort of lab,” Jack replied studying the screen, “most of the doors are locked so I don’t have a lot of answers.”
Then a blueprint of the complex appeared on the screen in front of him. Jack’s eyes scanned for anything that stuck out to him, “There!”
Joe looked back at him.
“There’s  holding cells three stories below us,” he looked at Joe, “They have to be there.”
Suddenly the screen began to flash red and a siren began, “unauthorized terminal access in lab 4.” A computerized voice announced over a loudspeaker, “unauthorized terminal access in lab 4.”

“Oh great!” Joe said removing his sidearm, “Now the whole place knows we’re here!”
Suddenly men in black military uniforms armed with assault rifles broke open the door.
“Freeze!” The soldiers demanded.
Joe turned to see more men coming down the stairway behind them.
“Hands up!”
Joe sighed then reluctantly raised his hands. On of the guards gruffly took his weapon away.

Joe and Jack were lead down a narrow walkway far above he ground.
“I have a really bad feeling about this,” Joe whispered to Jack.
“Hey relax Joe,” Jack replied quietly, “we want to get to the holding cells, what better way could there possibly be?”
Joe frowned, “Don’t tell me you triggered the alarm on purpose so we would get caught!”
Jack smiled.
“Oh you have got to be kidding me!”
“Quiet!” One of the soldiers barked from behind, “Talk again and I’ll shoot you.”

The walkway lead to a massive door with a large number 3 etched into it, two soldiers stood guard. Upon seeing Joe and Jack the door was opened, inside they were surprised to see hundreds upon hundreds of prison cells lining the walls, guards patrolled the walkways as Joe and Jack were pushed further into the hall.
“Now are you glad I got us caught?” Jack said smiling.
“Jack. If these guys don’t hurt you, I will.”

The two were thrown into a dark-cramp cell.
“Her lordship will see you when she is ready,” the guard said to the two men then disappeared down the hall.
Joe turned to Jack who was still smiling, “Alright, we’re in the prison, you’re plan worked, now how do we get out to find Nancy and Amy?”
Jack’s smile dropped, “Get out?”
“Well yeah,” Joe said, “we can’t find them while we’re behind bars!”
“I know. This is a partnership.”
“Partnership?!”
“Yeah a partnership. I got us in. You get us out.”
“What?!” Joe sighed. This was exactly the way he remembered Jack from the military. Short tempered, fast to act, and slow to think. He knew that he was the only one who was going to think up a way for them to escape-
“We stay here.” Joe said.
Jack’s eyes widened, “I’m sorry, what? Joe, who knows what they’re going to do to us they-”
“They aren’t going to do anything to us. Yet. They don’t know if anyone knows were here, they can’t take that risk. I hope.”
“You hope? Oh great, my life is hanging on the strings of your hopes.”
Jack was whiner. Always has been, Joe thought. He smiled faintly. Then he cleared his throat, “We have to see how far this goes Jack. We have to see everything Nancy and Amy have seen. And everyone. Including this ‘her lordship’.”
Jack folded his arms, “I don’t like it, it’s too risky.”
“You should have thought of that before getting us thrown in here.”
Joe leaned against the bars and peered out into the prison. For a place with so many cells, it was eerily quiet. The only sounds besides Jack’s rambling was the sound of the guards footsteps against the metal walkways. If Nancy and Amy really were in here, then they weren’t their usual talkative selves.
“-And what if they make us into some sort of Zebra-Human hybrid,” Jack was saying, “I don’t look good in stripes!”
“Shut up!” Joe said turning away from the bars, “For an ex-marine looking for his kidnapped fiancé in some sort of black secret base, you are being such a baby. And Zebra-Human hybrids? Where did that come from?”
Jack stood silent for a moment, “In the control room, I said most of the doors around here are locked-”
“So you don’t have a lot of answers,” Joe finished, “Yeah?”
“There was one that was unlocked. Two corridors down from here. There were these men in white,” his voice trailed off. Then he locked eyes with Joe, “They were experimenting. Swapping parts of animals with parts of humans. Making monsters, horrible things.”
Joe remembered the giant hand print at Amy’s apartment. He looked back to see a guard passing by the cell. He wore the same black uniform as the other soldiers, but there was something different about him. Joe couldn’t put his finger on it, just-
The patch!
The guard was wearing an embodied patch of a black snake encircling the globe. Joe knew he had seen that symbol before somewhere. He had seen it a long time ago, but as hard as he tried, he couldn’t remember where.
“Joe look!” Jack’s voice broke his concentration. Joe turned to see Jack kneeling and brushing dust away from a spot on the floor. As Joe drew closer he could clearly see writing scratched into the stone floor. The words “East Wing” followed by the letters N and A were visible.
“Nancy and Amy.” Jack said looking up at Joe, “They were here! In this cell!”
“East wing?” Joe said quietly kneeling down and examining the words himself. He gently ran his fingers across the letters. They felt like they were scratched by fingernails. But to make them this deep? The east wing, wherever it was, must have been pretty bad if they were this desperate to get a message out.
He stood up, “Let’s go.”
“Joe, incase you haven’t noticed, we’re still stuck in here.”
Joe stood up, “I’m working on it.“
He crossed the cell and wrapped his hands around the bars, “Guard!” He screamed, “Guard! My friend is sick!”
“He is not going to fall for that,” Jack said folding his arms.
“Lay down!” Joe replied, “Guard!”
The guard who he had seen earlier approached the cell, “Get away from the bars!” The man demanded, raising his weapon. Joe stepped back, “Please, you have to help him,” he said motioning towards Jack. As the guard looked at Jack, Joe lunged forward, grabbed the barrel of the assault rifle and pulled as hard as he could. The guard was yanked forward and crashed into the bars. In the next instant, Joe wrapped his arms around the soldier’s neck.
“The East Wing,” Joe said gruffly.
The man in his grasp gasped for breath.
“Where is it?!” Joe said tightening his grip.
“One floor down,” the guard choked out, “One floor dow-” The man slumped down unconscious. Joe reached through the bars and removed a set of keys from the guard’s pockets. He found the right key and opened the cell.
“Here,” Joe said handing Jack the assault rifle.
Jack stepped forward and took the weapon.
Joe  knelt down and found a holstered Glock 17 9mm on the guard‘s belt. He removed the firearm and several magazines from a second pouch then stood up, “Let’s go.”

The elevator door opened to reveal the East wing. The walls, floors, and ceilings were much older down here. Mold and dirt covered the moist stone floor. Only a few scattered flickering light bulbs lit the corridor. Joe could hear water dripping somewhere down the hall. Whatever this place was, it didn’t seem very hospitable, nor did it seem that it was visited very often. But Joe wasn’t worried about who might be coming down, but who or what was already here. He flipped the safety off the gun.
Jack stepped out first, the assault rifle raised. Quickly and quietly they moved down the passage in a standard military flanking technique. The elevator door slid shut behind them with a bang. Joe paused and looked back. Was it being called from the floors above? Did someone know they were down here? He watched the level indicator above the elevator doors intently. It didn’t move, the elevator was staying on this floor.
He sighed with relief.
He looked back at Jack, but he wasn’t there. The hallway was empty.
“Jack!” Joe whispered, his grip tightening around his weapon. He took a few hurried steps, the hallway turned a corner and once around he found dark wooden doors on either side of him, “Jack!” He said again.
A door squeaked opened behind him, he spun around and raised the gun to find Jack standing in the doorway. Seeing him, Joe immediately lowered his weapon. Jack looked pale, confused. He staggered out of the doorway and braced himself against a wall.
“Jack?” Joe asked.
Joe stepped towards the door, “Joe,” Jack said quietly, “Don’t.”
Joe pushed past him and entered a dark musty room, illuminated by more flickering lights. All around the room were tables full of medical supplies and books. Large strange electric devices were mounted to the walls with thick black cables connecting them to each other. In the center of the room was a rusted gurney. There was a body with a dirty white sheet pulled over it lying motionless on top of it.
“No.” Joe said quietly. “No, no, no.” He stumbled across the room and stopped at the gurney. He looked up at Jack who was now standing somberly in the doorway. Then, with shaking hands, pulled away the sheet….

(to be continued)

The features of the body lying in front of him were too burnt and bruised beyond identification. There was no way for him of knowing if this was Nancy or not, he-
The teeth! He thought.
Once on an journalist assignment in Peru, Nancy was kidnapped by a tribe of cannibals. But they thought she was too skinny so they attempted to fatten her up by forcing her eat tons of candy. By the time Joe got to her, three of her teeth were rotted to the extent that she needed an emergency crown put in.
He gently opened the mouth, there was no crown on the teeth. No sign of surgery of any kind.
“It’s not her,” Joe said. He looked up at Jack and wiped tears from his eyes and smiled, “It’s not her, it‘s not Nancy.”
Jack remained silent for a moment, “It’s Amy.”
“You can’t say that,” Joe said, “There’s no way of telling who-”
“She has a scar,” Jack said quietly. He paused for a moment, staring off into space, “Near the right side of her jaw.”
Joe looked down, sure enough there was a scar. He gently pulled the sheet back over the body. He was lost for words. Nothing could be said. Nothing could comfort what Jack must be feeling. The anger, the hurt, the shock.
There was a loud crashing. Joe looked back to see Jack turning tables over and throwing vials of liquid. Books and tools crashed against the floor. Glass shattered against walls and sparks flew from the machines on the wall as Jack drove a chair into them.
“Jack!” Joe said, “Jack! Stop! They’ll hear!”
“I don’t care!” Jack screamed back. His eyes were full of rage and pain, “Let them hear! Let them know that I am going to kill them all!“ Tears began to swell in his eyes. He began to shake, then he dropped to his knees and began to sob, “She’s gone! Why? Why? She was so beautiful, and-and they just killed her!”
Joe knelt down and put a sympathetic hand on his shoulder. He still had no words, all he could think about was Nancy. Now she was alone this awful place. She must have been scared, and who knows what they were doing to her, if she was still alive that was.
No! Joe thought, he shook the notion from his mind, Nancy is still alive, and I have to save her!
He stayed with Jack for almost an hour in silence.
“Jack,” Joe said softly.
“I know,” Jack said wiping his eyes, “Nancy.”
Joe nodded, “I understand if you want to stay here, I’ll go alone, believe me, I am used to saving her by myself.”
“No,” Jack said, “I’m coming. It’s what Amy would have wanted.”
“Are you sure?”
“Yeah, I-”
A blood-curling scream echoed down the hall.
“That’s Nancy!” Joe and Jack said at together.
They scrambled to their feet and bolted through the doorway. The hall was deathly quiet now. The lights above them flickered as they stood still, straining their ears for any sound.
“You can’t do this!” Her voice suddenly cried.
They were immediately on the move. The voice was coming at the far end of the hall. They ran past the wooden doors, rounded a corner and continued sprinting down the corridor. The doors became further and further apart, until Joe slid to a stop at a stone wall.
“Dead end,” he said.
“She has to be close,” Jack said.
The two men turned around, facing the way they had come. Where is she? Joe thought, Come on Nancy. Just one more scream, make some noise.
“We trusted you!” She suddenly blurted out. The voice was coming out of the only metal door in the hall. Joe and Jack crept towards it. They peered through a set of bars built into the middle of the door. The room they saw was set up identically to the one where Amy was, only twice the size. Tables and cabinets full of medical supplies lined the bare stone walls.
“Nancy,” Joe whispered, his hands gripped the bars. He was staring at his long lost partner strapped to a gurney in the center of the room. She was pulling against the restraints. A rush of rage coursed through his body, he stood to his feet and gripped the handle of the door.
“No!” Jack said pushing him back, “Not until we surviel the situation.”
“The situation is my partner is in there, hooked up to wires, having who knows what done to her! Get out of my way!”
“Joe-”
“Hush,” a second voice said coming from inside the room. The two clambered back to their viewing place outside the door in time to see a figure dressed in black walk into view. The figure wore a dark helmet of sorts with a built in voice changer over its face, “This will all be over soon.” The figure said holding up a syringe.
“He’s going to kill her!” Joe said, “We have to stop this!”
Nancy screamed as the figure started moving towards her.
“Ok,” Jack said raising the assault rifle, “On three.”
Joe jumped to feet, “Three!” He threw open the door and pulled out the hand gun, “Put it down!” He screamed entering the room and targeting the figure.
The figure turned, startled, but quickly rushed towards Nancy and pointed the syringe at her neck, “Stay back!”
Nancy shut her eyes, terrified.
Jack ran into the room, his weapon raised.
“Stand down!” Joe said motioning for him to lower his weapon. Jack looked at the masked figure holding Nancy hostage then locked eyes with Joe. The two had dealt with situations like this before in the Marines, and Jack knew there were a limited of options they could do here. He was waiting for Joe to give him a signal. Then Joe slowly nodded his head.
Jack nodded back and took several steps towards the door, tripped and crashed into a rack of bottles which shattered. The masked figure looked. In one quick movement, Joe brought his gun up and fired. The bullet shattered into the syringe sending liquid and tiny shards of glass hurling in all directions. The figured stumbled back bewildered, then turned and bolted out a back door.
“Stay with Nancy!” Jack said scrambling to his feet. He pushed his way through the tables and chased after the figure. Joe ran to Nancy and began to release the restraints.
“Nancy, I am so sorry it took me this long to find you.” He pulled the last restraint free. She sat up and wrapped her arms around him, “Thank you Joe.” Then: “Joe,” she said hurriedly, standing to her feet, “Amy, she-”
“I know,” Joe said quietly, “We found her.”
She looked at him confused, “You found her?”
“Her body,” He said. Was this the first she was hearing of her sister’s death?
“No,” Nancy said, “That’s not right!”
“Nancy, I’m sorry you had to find out like this but-”
“We have to go, now!”
“But, Jack-”
“Where is he?!”
“He ran after the masked man, but-”
“We have to catch up to them before something bad happens to him!” Nancy said.
“What’s going to happen to him?!”
“Come on!” Nancy said running towards the back door.
Joe paused for a moment, “Just one day,” he said walking towards the back of the room, “Just one normal day, is that too much to ask for?”
“Joe, hurry!” Nancy screamed.

****

“Stop!” Jack yelled chasing the masked figure into the corridor. He came to a stop and raised his weapon. The figure was in his sights. He could kill him now and end all of this. But that would not give Jack the satisfaction he seeked. He wanted to punch this masked man’s face in for what he did to Amy. With a frustrated moan, he lowered the weapon and broke into a sprint once more. The figure disappeared around a corner.
Oh no you don’t! Jack thought.
He bolted around the corner and came to a sudden stop. His eyes were fixated on the revolver the masked man was holding just inches away from his face.
“Is that what they taught you in the Marines?” The figure said in a scrambled voice, “To run blindly around corners?”
“You killed my fiancé.” Jack said, “I wasn’t thinking about protocol.”
“That has always been your problem, Jack, you don’t think.” The figure replied, then leaned closer, “And your fiancé was a coward.”
“No!” Jack yelled. He lunged forward, grabbed the figure wrists and the gun discharged in the air. They struggled over the weapon, Jack was surprised that he was stronger than the figure. But not quicker. In the next instant, he felt the figure knee him in the stomach. He stumbled back, doubled over, gasping for air.
“I loved you!” The figure shouted, then sent a devastating kick to his face. He fell back dazed and confused.
“You say you came here to save your fiancé,” The figure continued, “I say you came here to save yourself!”
A sharp kick to Jack’s rib cage. He screamed out in pain.
“What are you talking about!” He said clutching his side, wincing, “I loved her!”
The figure grew silent. Staring down at Jack.
“Then why,” the figure started again quietly, “Why was this e-mail recovered from your office?”
The masked man unfolded a piece of white paper and began to read, slowly, meticulously, “Dear Rebecca, I had such a great time last night.”
On the ground, Jack looked up, horrified.
The figure continued: “I hadn’t laughed that hard in a long time. It was great talking about old times. I hope to see you again before you leave to Toronto on the 20th. Love, Jack.”
The figure threw the paper at Jack.
“Y-you don’t understand!” Jack said.
“Understand what? Betrayl? Who is she?!”
Another sharp kick to his side.
“Who?!” the figure demanded.
Another devastating kick.
“She’s my sister!” Jack blurted out, “My sister!”
The figure grew silent once more, then: “Oh Jack,” the figure removed its helmet.
“A-Amy?”
“Yes Jack,” Amy said sweetly kneeling down next to him, “It’s me.”

***

“Explain this to me one more time!” Joe said, panting, still trying to catch up with Nancy.
“My dad was a scientist that worked for a company named RenTech.”
“Yeah, so?”
“He was the development lead for a super-soldier serum called Neoplasmhycotrophus.”
“Has a nice ring to it.”
“Anyways,” Nancy said turning a corner, “In 1994, he found out that RenTech was going to sell the serum on the black market to highest bidder.”
“If there is point to this story, can you please get to it?”
“He didn’t want the serum to fall into the wrong hands so he cut the coding in half and injected it into my and Amy’s DNA.”
“Whoa, whoa whoa!” Joe said coming to a stop. Nancy stopped in front of him and turned back.
“You’re telling me you had some top secret super soldier code inside of you this whole time, and you never told me?!” Joe asked folding his arms.
“Only half.” Nancy corrected.
“Ya, but still.”
“The story isn’t over, Joe.”
“Oh sorry, go on.”
“Amy got the majority of the serum code, and it caused her to become deathly ill. She found this lab, the same lab my dad at one time was in charge of and started  working on  a cure, that’s how she discovered the code in her DNA.”
“And now she wants your half.”
Nancy nodded.
“Perfect,” Joe said, “Please tell me she didn’t get it.”
Nancy’s eyes dropped and she remained silent.
“Oh great.”
“She has both pieces now. She has already healed herself with it, or so she thinks. The serum has caused her to go insane!”
“Right, like she wasn’t crazy before.”
“The serum is breaking down her personality. Changing it. She is becoming a super soldier.”
“Breaking down her personality? Are you saying she has some sort of split personality?”
“Yes, but soon Amy will be gone, and all that will be left is the soldier side.”
“And you can reverse this?”
“I don’t know, but we have to hurry. I don’t know what will happen if Jack catches up to her.”

*******

“It’s ok honey,” Amy said gently, “I know that you would never cheat on me. I found those e-mails, and go so frustrated. But we’re ok now.”
“I saw you dead!” Jack said still aching in pain from the beating, “You’re dead!”
“Amy was weak,” Amy said straightening up, her voice seemed to have dropped several octaves, and her eyes grew darker “A sentimental over achiever who needed to die, so we created a clone replica to fake her death with.”
“Amy your v-voice,” Jack said, “What is wrong with you?!”
“I’m fine honey,” her voice was back to normal. She smiled at him, “Soon everything is going to be just perfect.”
That’s when Joe and Nancy rounded the corner. They saw Jack on the floor and the unmasked Amy standing over him, revolver in hand.
“Maybe we can talk to her.” Nancy said.
Amy saw them and scowled. She raised the revolver and fired wildly in their direction. Joe and Nancy dove back around the corner. Bullets tore into the cement causing bits of dust and stone to be thrown into the air.
The gun fire ceased.
“Let go of me!” Jack screamed, “Joe! Nancy!”
Joe raised his gun.
“What are you planning on doing?!” Nancy asked startled.
“Whatever it takes.”
He took a deep breath and spun around the corner, the weapon raised. Jack and Amy were gone.
“Oh, that’s not good.” Joe said.

The Adventures of Commando Joe and Nancy
Family Matters
Part 4

Joe was sitting on the ground, propped up against the wall. He held the handgun loosely in one hand. He was watching Nancy pace back and forth in front of him, talking to her father on the phone.
“We found out about the serum.” Nancy said, “Yes. Well, actually Amy has both halves now and used them on herself, and now she’s going crazy. She tried to kill Joe and I.” She paused and looked down at Joe, “My dad says hi.” Then she was back in the conversation: “What can we do?” She paused again listening to her father’s instructions. As Joe watched her continue the conversation, he began to hear a mechanical hum. Where was it coming from? He looked around and discovered it was all around him. He sat up more intently as the sound grew louder. The flickering lights above all dimmed at once, as if a massive amount of energy was being used.
“Uh, Nancy?” He said.
She was still deeply engrossed in her conversation. He pressed his palms flat on the floor to prop himself up to his feet and found that the floor was vibrating. What was going on? He stood up slowly and started to look around. Suddenly the wall directly across from him jolted forward, then slid back. Then another wall slid into the floor, behind it was a sheer metallic facing.
“Nancy!” Joe said louder, “Hang up!”
Then, the floors below them buckled and the stones began to slide, revealing more of the metallic material underneath.
“Nancy!”
A massive metal beam slid out of the ceiling and crashed between the two with a deafening bang.
“Dad, I have to go!” Nancy said, “Ya, I love you too!”
“Come on!” Joe yelled above the sound of what seemed like giant gears turning above them. He stretched out his hand and Nancy grabbed it, then the two were off, bolting down the hall towards the elevator. All around them large beams crashed around them, the walls were sliding in all directions, the doors swinging in and out.
“What’s happening?!” Nancy yelled.
“I have no-”
Suddenly the floor gave out from below Nancy’s feet. She screamed as she found herself dangling above a massive pit with a blazing inferno raging at the far bottom.
“Hang on!” Joe yelled.
The thunderous sound of high-pressure steam screamed through the halls as Joe pulled her up. She climbed to the top, she noticed all the stone had been replaced by the mirror like metallic substance.
“Come on!” Joe yelled.
The floors and walls around them shook violently, fire and steam shot out at them as they ran by. Finally they made it to the elevator. Luckily it was still on their floor. The doors opened and they jumped inside. Nancy franticly pushed the ‘door close’ button, and the doors slid shut. The heroes leaned against the walls out of the breath and blackened with soot and debris.
“Where are we going?” Nancy asked, out of breath.
“Up.”
She looked at the controls. There was only one other floor to choose from, it was labeled, “Head.”
“Head?” Nancy asked brushing herself off, “What the heck is going on?!”
The elevator jolted violently knocking the two to the floor. Above them the lights dimmed. Suddenly, there was a second horrifying shake followed by a sound of metal being ripped apart. Then, wind started rushing into the elevator and the sound of the gears was heard just outside the walls of the elevator. Joe looked up against the force of the howling wind to find that the doors had been ripped off, and that he and Nancy were lying just inches from the opening.
“Get up!” Joe screamed over the sound of the wind.
Nancy looked and shrieked then immediately backed towards the rear wall of the elevator. Joe stumbled across the floor and joined her.
“This ridiculous!” Nancy screamed, “We have got to take a vacation!”
“We tried, remember?!” Joe yelled back, “We were attacked by that lava monster!”
Nancy rolled her eyes.
“Look!” Joe yelled.
Nancy turned towards the torn open doorway, she watched as they passed by a portion of cement wall, then in the next instant she was looking outside. She could see the entire New York City skyline far below. The height made her dizzy and she looked away.
“I thought we were underground!” She said.
“We’re supposed to be!”
In the next instant, the view was blocked by the encasing cement walls, as they continued up. Joe looked away from the doors and started  to think about all the strange things that were happening to the complex. The walls in the East Wing turning to metal, the giant bars coming down, the flames, the gears.
The gears, turning, pressing, transforming.
“You said your father once worked here,” Joe yelled above the wind, “He was the lead or whatever.”
“Yeah, project lead,” Nancy said leaning closer so she could hear him.
“Did he ever mention this place to you? Say it was special or anything?”
“What? Special? No. He was under sworn of secrecy!”
Joe paused, “Anything at all?”
“No! Why?”
The elevator began to slow, as it did the wind began to die down, “I think I know what’s going on!” Joe yelled.
Suddenly, the elevator jolted to a stop at a large control room. Joe and Nancy immediately ran to either side of the missing doors to remain out of sight. Joe looked  around the corner to see row after row of computer terminals. Men and women in the white technician uniforms sat staring into large monitors. All around the massive room were giant windows that looked out in all directions. And more of the soldiers in black uniforms patrolled the scene with high powered assault rifles.
“Well?” Nancy whispered.
Joe looked across from him to where Nancy was pressed a against wall, “I don’t see Amy or Jack.”
Nancy sighed.
“Target Town Square!” Amy’s voice suddenly said.
Joe and Nancy leaned out to see Amy standing in the front of the control room, staring out the center window, her hands loosely behind her back.
“Yes ma’am.” One of the technicians said.
“Won’t you join me, dear sister?” Amy said calmly, her gazed fixed out the window. Joe and Nancy shared an uneasy look, then Nancy stepped out of the elevator. As soon as both of her feet were inside the control room, Amy spun around, her eyes were dark and cloudy, the veins in here face were becoming black and she spoke in a deeper voice, “Kill Commando Joe!”
All around the room, the soldiers raised their weapons and opened fire on the elevator. Joe bolted for the back of the box, jumped onto the railing and pushed opened the emergency hatch in the top of the elevator. Bullets ricocheted around him as he pulled himself up.
“No!” Nancy screamed. She ran only a few steps when she felt two of the technicians grab her, “Let go of me!” She yelled pulling against them. She looked at the elevator to see the soldiers rushing into it, firing into the ceiling.
“My dear sister,” Amy said in her normal voice. Nancy looked to see Amy walking towards her with a proud look on her face, “You aren’t going to be trouble, are you?”
“Let me go and find out!”
Amy laughed lightly, “Oh I’m sure.” Then she removed a syringe from a pouch on her belt. Nancy’s eyes widened and she fought harder against the technicians holding her.
“Why fight dear sister?” Amy asked inching the needle towards Nancy’s neck, “Joe is dead.”
“He’ll be back!” Nancy insisted.
“Maybe. But not in time.” With that the needle sunk into Nancy’s flesh. Nancy winced and felt a burning sensation as the liquid entered her system. As the sensation cooled, her body became lax, “W-what have you done to me,” she slurred.
“The serum father blessed us with,” Amy said smiling, looking at the empty syringe in her hand.
“No,” Nancy said.
“Soon, Nancy,” Amy said, “Soon we will be exactly what father always wanted. The perfect soldiers.”

*****

“Oh just great,” Joe said watching everything from a vent above the control room, “Now Nancy’s going to get all crazy, and she was the one with the antidote.” He moved forward in the vent, crawling this way and that, ducking incoming air ducts and fans, then he found a vent that looked over a room where Jack was being held. Jack didn’t look very good. Amy must have really been in a bad mood. Joe waited for any patrols, but when no soldiers came into sight, he kicked open the vent and dropped into the room.
It was a small room with only one door that Joe guessed lead to the control room.
“Joe!” Jack whispered, “Boy am I glad to see you!”
“Yeah save it,” Joe said untying Jack from a chair, “We have big problems.”
Jack nodded and stood up, “We don’t,” Jack said, “You do.”
A sudden wave of dread swept over Joe as he saw Jack’s eyes darken and cloud over.
“Oh, not you too!” Joe said.
In the next instant, Jack lunged forward  and wrapped his hands around Joe’s neck and slammed him against a wall. Joe struggled only a few brief moments before the door opened and in walked Amy. Joe noticed the syringe in her hand and started to fight against Jack even harder, but Jack wouldn’t move, the serum worked too well.
“Joe, I must thank you,” Amy said smiling, “For all the times you have saved Nancy from all those mad men and monsters.”
Then, Nancy came in slowly behind Amy, a small bandage was attached to her neck from where she had been injected.
“Nancy!” Joe pleaded, “Please! Stop this!”
“I’m sorry Joe,” Nancy replied coldly, “But it is our time to embrace our destiny and for you to die.”
“Die?!”
“Sorry, Joe,” Amy said, “We ran out of serum, we only have poison left.”
With that, Amy jabbed the syringe forward. Joe dropped down out of Jack’s grip and hit the floor. Above him the needle dug into the wall.
“Stop him!” Nancy yelled pointing at Joe as he scrambled to his feet and darted for a window.
“There’s nowhere to go!” Jack said.
Joe frantically looked out the window, there was a small ledge almost three hundred yards below him. He glanced back at the group who were now closing in on him.
“Can’t we talk this over?” Joe asked.
No response, only deathly cold stares.
“Didn’t think so,” he said. Then he grabbed a chair and threw it through the window. Wind rushed into the room. He took a deep breath, then leapt out of the room. He clawed at the air as he plummeted towards the ground. Wind whipped around him and pulled at his clothes and hair, then he felt his finger tips brush against the ledge. In the next moment he jolted to a stop and he found himself hanging onto a small exhaust port outside of the massive structure. Only after the initial panic subsided did he realize what the lab had become.
A giant walking robot! Headed for downtown. He knew it! That’s what he started to piece together back in the elevator.  All the shaking, fire, gears, pole sliding into place around them. Wherever there is an insane woman hocked up on super-soldier serum, a giant robot is never far behind! Joe thought.
Below him massive feet crushed everything in their path. Trees, cars, houses.
Far above him he could see the shape of the robots enormous head where the control room was. He took a deep breath then started to climb. He used more exhaust ports and railings to pull himself up onto a platform far below the head.
He took out his phone and dialed Nancy’s dad.
“Hello?” The dad answered leisurely.
“Rodger!” Joe yelled above the sound of the wind and gears turning.
“Joe?” Rodger asked, “Is everything alright?”
“Oh yeah, perfect! Both of your daughters and your future son-in-law have all gone insane and now are taking your secret base on a joy ride to destroy New York!”
“Oh no. They haven’t figured out the controls on the weapons consoles have they?”
Joe heard a screeching in the air, he ran to the railing and looked up to see a missile race over head towards the city.
“It looks like it!” Joe said, “How do I stop them?!”
“Like all beings, this robot has a heart.”
“That’s touching,” Joe said, “Where is it?”
“In the core, in the center of the machine.”
“Ok,” Joe said, “Once I kill the beast, how do I cure the trio of terror?”
The dad grew silent.
“Rodger?” Joe asked.
“You have to-”
The phone suddenly exploded in his hands. He looked back to see one of the soldiers standing in a doorway.
“This is Jackson,” the soldier said into a radio, “I’ve located-”
Joe lunged forward and grabbed the man’s weapon from his hand and drove the butt of it into the soldier’s face.
“Jackson!” The radio crackled on the unconscious body, “Jackson, come in! Someone get down there!”
Hearing that, Joe took the assault rifle and ran through the door.

The core, the core, He thought. He walked quickly through tight passageways looking for anything that might indicate the core of the machine. Then, he came to a huge window and stopped in his tracks. Through the window he could see a giant glowing blue crystal hovering in the center of a metallic, cylinder shaped room. From his vantage point he could see metal walkways that ran out to the base of the crystal. He also noticed the complete absence of technicians or soldiers.
Next to the window was a door marked, “Core: Authorized Personnel Only”
He pushed open the door and stepped inside.

*****
This is too easy, Joe thought as he entered the large cylinder chamber. Five hundred yards away from him he could see the massive blue crystal hovering above control consoles. He looked around once more, then stepped out onto the walkway that lead to the consoles. He walked quickly to the other side and stopped in front of the switches and monitors built into the consoles. Why can’t these things ever have an off switch? He thought. As he was trying to decide which levers and buttons to use, he heard footsteps coming towards him. He paused, preparing for the unavoidable battle. In the next instant, he felt a hand grab his shoulder. With one quick movement, he threw the person over his shoulder and aimed his weapon down. To his horror it was Nancy.
“N-Nancy, I-”
Then he felt her kick his legs from under him and he landed hard against the metal grating. What was he supposed to do? He couldn’t fight Nancy, she was his partner. But that wasn’t stopping her! He looked up to see her reach down and rip the massive computer console from the floor. Sparks and wires flew wildly into the air. She raised the object over her head and was staring down at Joe.
“That’s some serum!” Joe said, frantically backing up. He turned and scrambled to his feet. Suddenly he felt a rush of wind brush past his face. He turned to see the console explode into a fire ball in front of him. He whirled around, but Nancy was already there. She grabbed his collar and raised him into the air.
I’m sorry Nancy, he thought. The he kneed her in the face. She dropped him and stumbled back. Something clanged against the floor. Joe looked and saw that Nancy had dropped her phone. He ran forward, scooped it up and darted out of the room.

The bare halls he was running through were thankfully completely void of soldiers or technicians. Joe flipped open the phone and frantically scrolled through the contact list, then he found the name, DAD.

“Hello? Nancy?” Rodger said brightly on the other end.
“No. It’s me!” Joe said turning a corner.
“Joe? Where’s Nancy?”
“She’s a little busy at the moment!”
“With what?”
“Trying to kill me! Listen, I need you to tell me the antidote!”
“Right,” Rodger said, “Hold on.”
Then, the wall forty meters down from Joe exploded open. Debris mixed with dust and fire tore in. Joe slid to a stop, the phone pressed to his ear. Then, Nancy walked through the wall and dusted herself off.
“Rodger!” Joe screamed into the phone, “Hurry!”
“Hold on!” Rodger came back. Joe could hear Rodger looking through papers, “I know it’s here somewhere.”
On the other end of the conversation, facing impending doom, Joe started running back down the hall the way he came, not far behind, his loyal partner gave chase, in the pursuit to kill him.
“Come on, Rodger!” Joe said looking over his shoulder.
“Ah ha!” Rodger exclaimed, “I filed it under C-41 because,” he chuckled, “The boys back in Washington have this joke-”
“Tell it to me later!” Joe yelled, “What’s the antidote?!”
“Right. Hmm.”
“What does that mean?!”
“Oh, it’s nothing. It’s just there is no antidote.”
Joe looked back again. Nancy was gaining.
“How is that nothing?”
“Well, there is one way, but-”
“Tell me!”
“The only way to rid a host of the serum is to put an electric current their body.” Rodger said.
“Oh, is that all?” Joe asked.
“I’m sorry Joe, that is the only way. Be careful.”
Be careful was not what he wanted to hear. He wanted to hear exactly how he was supposed to get enough electricity to-
Of course!
Joe ran around a corner and spotted the entrance to the cylinder room. He shut the phone and darted into the room. He ran across the walkway to where the computer console once sat and spotted the wires still sparking. In the next moment, he heard her footsteps racing towards him. He waited for the last possible second then leapt to the side. Nancy, confused, stumbled into the wires.
More sparks flew madly around as Nancy began to convulse.
“Nancy!” Joe said and pulled her out. He laid her on the metal grating. Her face and hands were blackened and she wasn’t breathing.
“Come on!” Joe said pumping her heart. He pumped a few more times, then she started coughing and sat up weakly. She looked up into his eyes, “W-what happened?”
“Ah, you know, same old, same old.”
“I got injected with something and tried to kill you?”
“Yeah.”

Joe helped her to her feet. It felt good having her back on his team.
“Now what?” Nancy asked.
Joe turned to the massive crystal still hovering above them, “I have a plan.”

****

In the bridge, nearly three stories above Commando Joe and Nancy, a warning light began to blink on a technician’s consol. He looked and spotted Amy and Jack standing at the front watching as missiles collided into skyscrapers and watched them crumble to pieces.
“Ma’am!” The technician spoke up nervously.
Amy turned around, “What is it?”
“Something is wrong with the Crystal Generator.”
“Joe,” she said scowling.
“She didn’t kill him,” Jack said, “I told you, you should have sent me to take care of him.”
“It doesn’t matter,” Amy said, “It’ll take more than one pesky fly to shut this robot down. Power up the reserve power source.”
Jack looked at her, “Reserve?”
******

Back in the cylinder room, Joe and Nancy looked around at the sparking remains of the crystal laid in the shards around them. The lights above them began to flicker.
“Power at forty-five percent,” a computerized voice announced over an intercom, “Power at thirty percent.”
“It’s working,” Nancy said, “Without the crystal, the machine can’t function!”
Joe smiled, “It’s usually a lot harder to stop giant killer robots-”
“Reserve generators online,” the voice came back, “Power at one-hundred percent.”
“Oh come on!” Joe said.
“Reserve generators?” Nancy said.
“Kill the heart,” Joe said throwing his hands into the air, “That’s what your dad told me.”
“You talked to my dad?” Nancy asked.
“Yeah, you said this was his lab-”
“Of course!” She said and ran for the door.
“Nancy?”

Joe followed his partner out of the corridor and through a doorway that lead to an outside platform. She leaned over the railing and craned her neck to look up at the head of the machine, “Solar panels.”
She smiled, then she leaned back in and looked at Joe, “My dad’s primary backup power source for most of his projects.”
“Solar panels.” Joe said, “It would have been nice form him to at least mention them.”
“Come on,” Nancy said climbing the railing.
“I don’t know Nancy,” Joe said with a sigh, “I already climbed this robot today, maybe I’ll pass this time around.”
“Come on!”

***

On top of bridge of the machine, a doorway surrounded by the enormous solar panels swung open. Jack was first one out followed by armed soldiers.
“Have your men fan out!” Jack said to one of the soldiers, looking over the panels.
“What are you doing?” Amy asked stepping out behind him, “You don’t actually think Joe is stupid enough to come up here, do you? He has to know this place will be heavily guarded.”
“I not only think he’s coming,” Jack said unholstering his own side arm, “But I’m willing to bet he’s here already.”

****

“Hurry up, Joe!” Nancy called bellow to Joe as she neared the top. Below her, Commando Joe caught his breath and looked up to see her far above him.
“This isn’t it a race!” He called up to her. He watched her climb over the edge and disappear out of sight, “This hero stuff is for the birds,” he mumbled. He forced himself to continue to climb the robot. Hand over hand, grasping exhaust ports for hand supports, Vents for feet holds, just like a make shift rock wall. Except this rock wall was thousands of feet high and moving, Joe was reminded himself.
He finally reached the top and pulled himself up. He was exhausted from the long egregious climb. He stumbled forward and stopped, breathing heavily.
“Right on schedule,” Jack’s voice boomed.
Joe whirled around to see Jack and the soldiers standing next to the doorway.
“Joe!” Nancy screamed.
He turned to see Amy holding her near the edge of the platform, threatening to drop her. He gritted his teeth and started for Nancy.
“Not another step, Commando!” Jack announced. Joe glanced back at his old comrade. Jack laughed, “You know, I have to say, from a villain’s point of view, you are really hard to kill.”
“I wouldn’t want to make it too easy.” Joe replied. He glanced around the massive platform and spotted the solar panels, “So what’s your plan? You march into New York and you destroy the city?  I thought you took a super-soldier serum. There’s nothing super about that.”
Jack smiled, “The city is just the beginning. After New York City is burnt to the ground we will move onto the world.”
“Now you’re talking,” Joe said taking a small step towards a row of solar panels, “But then what?”
“Once the world is destroyed, we will start over and create a race of super soldiers!”
“Well that is defiantly thinking outside the box, and it sounds great, really,” Joe said stopping just inches from the panels, “There’s just one thing that is wrong with your plan.”
“Do enlighten us,” Jack said.
“You’re out of your freaking minds!”
With that, Joe dove behind the panels, the soldiers around Jack opened fire, and Joe was immediately inundated with bullets zipping around him. He covered his head, then reached for his 9mm, the holster was empty, “Fantastic!” He said.
Across the platform, Nancy, seeing the explosion of confusion, took the chance to break free from her sister’s grasp and started to run. Amy immediately grabbed Nancy’s arm and threw her to the ground. Nancy whirled around and kicked Amy’s feet from under her. Amy fell to the ground hard.
Nancy scrambled to her feet, but hesitated, Amy seemed hurt. Was she to leave her own sister? That’s when Amy sat up, her eyes darker than they had ever gotten, and her face was twisted with rage. Nancy suddenly knew that serum had taken its full effect on her sister.
Amy was gone.
With a yell, more like a war cry, Amy charged Nancy and tackled her. Nancy suddenly felt herself being thrown into the air and knew they were going over the edge.

Ducking behind the panels, across the platform, Joe looked in time to see Nancy and Amy plummet over the side.
“No!” Joe screamed. He stood up, overcome with grief, forgetting he was being fire upon. Suddenly the Solar Panel closest to him exploded. Metal shards and fire erupted in all directions as he was thrown to the ground. Sparks and thick black smoke smoldered into the air as Joe laid motionless on the deck.
With his eyes closed and his body aching, he could hear footsteps approaching. Then they stopped in front of him. He knew he was surrounded. He slowly opened his eyes to find himself staring at Jack’s boots.
Jack shook his head, “Valiant,” he said, “But foolish. You see Joe,” Jack said kneeling next to him, “Amy took the serum, she will survive that fall, but like you, Nancy is going to die.”
Joe sprang to his feet, grabbed Jack, and shoved him through the black smoke.
“W-what are you doing?!” Jack asked as he realized he was being dragged towards a pair of live wires that were sparking wildly.
“I’m sorry, Jack,” Joe said, “But you are a real jerk this way.”
Then he threw him into the wires. Jack started screaming and convulsing as electricity began coursing painfully through his body. Then he stopped. Lifeless.
Joe pulled him away from the wires, “Come on Jack,” he said. He pounded on Jack’s chest. Once, twice-
Jack sat up gasping for air, his eyes wide. He looked around frantically, then spotted Joe, “Joe? W-what’s going on? Where are we?”
“It’s a long story,” Joe said helping him to his feet, “But right now we have to save Nancy.”
“Nancy,” Jack said, “Why is she always in danger?”
Joe sighed, “That’s like asking why the sky is blue. It doesn’t matter why, it’s just the way things are.”
They pushed their way through the smoke and emerged to find confused soldiers. Jack ordered the men to return to the bridge and stop the robot immediately.

“That takes care of that,” Jack said, “Now, where’s Nancy?”
Joe paused, “She fell.”

*****

Nancy opened her eyes. She was laying face down on metal grating. A sharp pain raced across her skull. She touched it and found there was a large bump on her forehead. The room around her was small and very similar to the cylinder room where the crystal was kept. The lights around her burned with a red fluorescent glow. She sat up and realized she was surrounded by computer terminals with glowing screens and buttons. There were no technicians though, these systems appeared to be remote operated.
She struggled to get to her feet and limped over to one of the stations, that‘s when she realized her left shoe was missing. On a large screen in front of her was the layout of nuclear weapons, mounted machine guns, and other highly-powerful weapons.
“What is this?” Nancy said quietly to herself.
She walked from terminal to terminal. Navigation, satellite upload, GPS tracking, everything a person would need to-
“Destroy the world,” she said. She paused and looked around the room.
“Beautiful, isn’t it?” Amy’s darker voice said.
Nancy turned to see her sister standing in the only doorway that lead into the room.
“You’ve built a second bridge,” Nancy said, “Completely automated, why?”
Amy smiled, “Because I knew once I had you, your friend Joe wouldn’t be far behind. And we both know that he has a knack for…damaging expensive equipment.”
Amy held up a sophisticated looking remote and flicked a switch. A red light on one of the terminals began to blink. Nancy looked and saw it was a consol designed to control the Robot’s hydraulics.

*****

On top of the bridge, Joe and Jack sprinted for the open doorway. Suddenly the massive machine lurched forward under them. The two struggled to keep their balance.
“What was that?!” Jack asked.
“We’re still moving!” Joe said, “Get down to the bridge and tell your men to stop!”
“I already did!”
“Well, do it again! We can’t have this thing getting downtown!”
“But, they’re not even my men!” Jack said.
“They’ll listen to you, just go!”
Jack nodded and bolted through the door. Another step of the giant machine shook Joe back. He stumbled then collapsed to the deck just inches from the edge. He looked down  to the ground far below. There was no way Nancy could have survived that fall. Then he spotted something a few hundred meters below him, a platform, on it was one of Nancy’s shoes.
He got to his feet and jumped down. He landed on the platform and fell back. He got to his feet and noticed that the platform lead through a doorway into a narrow passage.

“What the heck is going on?!” Jack said appearing on the bridge, “I gave you direct orders to stop!”
“Sir,” one of the technicians said, “The entire system has been hijacked.”
“What?!”
“Weapons, hydraulics, satellite imaging, everything!”
Jack sighed, this was just one of those days.
Suddenly red lights began to flash around him and a siren screamed through the air.
“What is that?!” He asked.
“Sir!” A woman technician said standing up, “One of the nuclear warheads has locked onto Times Square!”
“What can we do?” Jack asked.
“Nothing, sir,” the first technician said, “All we can do is just wait and watch.”

****
“Missile launch in T-minus one minute. Fifteen seconds,” a computerized voice announced over an intercom. Nancy looked up from the weapons terminal at the woman that had once been her sister.
“You can’t do this!” Nancy said, “Millions of people innocent people will die!”
Amy stood silently, staring coldly at her, “In a world this corrupt, there are no innocent people.”  Amy climbed a flight of stairs and sat in a high back chair that looked over the glowing consoles, and a giant screen showing satellite surveillance of downtown New York.
Nancy started up the stairs after her, “If there is a shred of my sister left-”
“There isn’t.” Amy said, her voice becoming deeper, “She is dead.”
“I don’t believe that,” Nancy said, “You brought me here when you could have left me outside.”
Amy sat silently, scowling at the screen.
Nancy knelt next to her and gently touched her arm, “Amy, please, you have to stop the countdown.”
“I already told you,” Amy said clenching her fists, “Amy is dead!” With that, Amy stood up, grabbed Nancy and threw off the platform. Nancy hit the metal grate floor and looked up.
“The world will burn!” Amy screamed, “And you will bear witness!”
“T-Minus forty-five second s until launch,” the intercom blared. Amy sat back in her chair and glanced back at the screen. She knew Nancy was no match for her.
On the ground, Nancy looked around the room, for something she could use to-
“There!” She said aloud and scrambled to her feet. She bolted across the room, grabbed a fire extinguisher off the wall and charged for the weapons terminal.
“No!” Amy screamed jumping to her feet. But it was too later, Nancy was already stopping in front of it. She raised the extinguisher into the air and slammed it against the controls. The terminal exploded into showers of sparks and flames and she repeatedly beat down on it.
“Get back!” Amy screamed slamming a fist into her jaw.

****
Running through the passageways, Joe turned a corner, there was no way of knowing where Nancy and Amy had gone.
Suddenly, a door down the hall from him exploded off its hinges as Nancy crashed through it.
“Nancy!” He said and sprinted to her. He knelt down next to her, “Are you alright?”
“Countdown aborted.” the computer announced.
“What have you done?!” Amy screamed from inside the room. Joe looked to see Amy standing over the destroyed consol. She reached down for a group of control, when suddenly they exploded sending volts of electricity coursing through her body. Joe looked away from the sight. Suddenly the entire weapons terminal exploded in a giant fire ball and Amy was thrown across the room.
Nancy sat up next to Joe, “Amy, she-”
“It’s alright,” Joe said, “It’s over.”

He helped Nancy to her feet, and the two slowly walked into the smoky bridge. Sparks and fire were still smoldering around the destroyed terminal as they made their way further into the room.
“Oh Joe,” Nancy said turning away from the sight of her sister’s charred remains. Joe frowned, it was a shame Amy couldn’t be saved. He knelt down next to her and gently slid her eyelids shut. To give her some dignity, Joe thought.
Behind them, sparks shot into the room with a loud noise, Joe and Nancy looked back. When Joe finally turned back around he was startled to find that Amy’s body was gone.
“She’s gone!” Nancy said.
Joe slowly stood to his feet, cautiously looking around the room. Amy was nowhere in sight.
“Come on,” Joe said, “Let’s get out of here-”
Suddenly, Amy dropped down from the rafters and slammed a fist into Joe’s chest knocking him off his feet and hurtling across the room and out the door. He slammed into a wall in the outer hall. Then, Amy tore one of the remaining terminals from the floor and threw it into the doorway, blocking the exit.
“Nancy!” Joe yelled. He jumped to his feet and pushed against the object wedged in the doorway, “Nancy!”
“Joe!” Jack said running around the corner, “What is going on? Where’s Nancy?!”
“Your blushing bride to be just locked herself in this room with her! Help me unwedge this thing!”

*****

On the other side of the blocked doorway, Amy pressed a series of buttons on her remote.
“Self destruct sequence activated,” the computer voice announced, “Two minutes until detonation.”
Amy dropped the control to the floor and crushed it under her heel.
Nancy looked at her, “Amy, what are you doing?” Then her sister looked her in the eyes, and Nancy realized that Amy was back, or at least part of her, “Amy-”
“We can’t be allowed to leave,” she said in her normal voice. She collapsed to the floor exhausted, “We can’t.”
“I know why you think that, the serum-”
“The serum can’t be allowed to get out in the open. It’s too powerful. Dad was right trying to hide it,” Amy coughed hoarsely, clutching her side as she did.
“You’re hurt,” Nancy said kneeling down next to her. She gently felt along Amy’s side, then softly pushed against her rib cage. Amy winced and gritted her teeth in pain, “That explosion must have punctured a lung.”
Amy grabbed Nancy’s wrist, “Leave me. This explosion will claim us both anyways. It must.”

“One minute until detonation,” the computer announced.

“We have to get out of here!” Jack said.
“Not without Nancy!” Joe said, “Help me!” He said continuing to push against the terminal.

Inside the room, Nancy watched as her sister’s breathing became more and more labored.
“Amy,” she said, “We can still get out of here, tell me how to turn off the self-destruct and we’ll go to Dad, he can help you.”
Amy shook her head, “It can’t be disabled.” She said weakly. Her eyelids fluttered, then closed, “I’m…sorry,” she whispered then fell limp.

“Forty-nine seconds until detonation, “ the computer said.

Nancy scrambled to her feet and ran to the blocked doorway.
“Joe!” She screamed.
On the other side, he could hear her muffled voice, “Nancy!” He yelled back.
“Get me out of here!” She called.
“We’re trying!” Jack’s voice yelled back.

“Thirty-seconds until detonation.”

Joe and Jack looked at each other and Joe started pushing again with all of his strength.
“Don’t just stand there!” He yelled, “Push!”
“We don’t have the time! We’d be lucky to make it out of here in thirty-seconds!”
“I am not leaving her!” Joe yelled back.
“If we wait any longer all of us are going to die!”

On the other side of the doorway, Nancy was hearing all of this.
“Jack’s right, Joe,” she said.
Joe stopped and stood paralyzed listening to his partner.
“Get out of here, Joe,” Nancy said, “Get out of here!”
“No!” Joe said, “Not without you!”

“Twenty-three seconds until detonation.”

“Joe, listen to me,” she said, “You are my best friend. You have saved me so many things and so many people, I owe my life to you.”
“I will save you, Nancy!” He said.
“No, Joe,” she said, “It’s my turn to save you.”
Tears swelled in her eyes, “Jack, take Joe and get as far away from here as possible!”
Jack nodded and pulled Joe away from the door.
“Come on!” He yelled. Jack began dragging his friend away from the barricaded door and down the hall. The entire way, Joe was fighting against his grip screaming Nancy’s name.

In the sealed bridge, Nancy fell to her knees, tears streaming down her face, “I love you Joe.”

Explosion after explosion tore through the robotic beast. Fire swept through the halls and passage ways. Joe and Jack ran to the platform and leapt off. Behind them, explosions blasted apart the robot. Fire and hot massive pieces of hot steel tore around them as they fell.
They crashed to the ground and ran, falling debris and fiery shrapnel rained down around them as they sprinted for across a large field.
They darted up a hill that overlooked the field. They could clearly see the smoldering remains of the robot. More fire balls tore through the remains.
Joe fell to his knees weeping.
Jack placed a hand on his shoulder.
“She was three feet from me, Jack,” Joe said, “And I couldn’t save her.”
Jack remained silent for a moment contemplating the loss of his fiancé, “Joe, I am so sorry.” He finally said.
The two remained on that hill for the remainder of the day.
Everything they had seen seemed like a dream. Joe was heart broken, without Nancy who was he? What would he become? She was his whole life.
“I love you, Nancy.” He whispered.

The End

Cer-Real 3: The Movie news!

November 9, 2007

 About a month in the making so far, Cer-Real 3: The Movie is probably my favorite animation I have made to date. Which is really sad. The story centers around an evil talking cereal box and a guy (who I never got around to name). It’s an epic story that takes the guy to the edge of time itself and back, there’s action, comedy, lava, and a lot of just random stuff…

 I would say based on what I still want to put in it it’s about 75% done. I’ll get a trailer up in the next few days.

Below are some random pictures from production:

old guy with gun

Stone statue Cereal Box

Baby guy