PS238 #38: The Soccer Game
"I don't know. I do like sports, and it is hard to find worthy opponents. But soccer is so…'old Europe'." Patriot Act is saying as Julie and the rest of them read the rules for the proposed soccer match between PS238 and the Praetorian Academy. It's all supposed to be in "good will" but Julie really thinks it's a chance for this Academy to show off. It's also been several weeks since Moonshadow died and life is mostly back to normal even if there is a large hole in her where he used to be.

"I think it's great!" Emerald Gauntlet replies. "And we get to play this 'Praetorian Academy' place. So it's super kids against super kids, right?"

The words are innocent but Julie doesn't like the idea of them fighting against each other.

"Kick ball! Olé-olé-olé-SMASH!" Bernard chants enthusiastically.

Maybe a friendly game will be okay. It will give them a chance to practice with their powers.

"There are more rules than usual, to make up for us having powers, I guess," she muses.

"It's also good public relations. It'll help the metahuman and normal populations come together as Americans…by watching a sport that doesn't involve runs, baskets, or touchdowns." Patriot Act adds. Julie is pretty sure he's trying to be sarcastic since "The American Way" is the only way for Patriot Act.

"We've got 'till tomorrow to sigh up, and then two weeks of practice in gym. I think I'm gonna do it!" Emerald Gauntlet says.

"BASH LIKE BECKHAM!" Bernard exclaims.

Julie decides she needs to think about this alone and so flies off to the Moonshadow memorial to think (like she typically does). When she gets there, the glass tube holding his equipment and costume has melted down. The costume and equipment are gone and a thrill of hope burns in her chest. "Oh my GOSH! C'mere! You gotta see this!" she calls out and the others race over.

Emerald Gauntlet throws his fist in the air in triumph and yells, "I KNEW IT!!! I told them he was still alive!!"


Two weeks later and it's the day of the game. Julie had decided to sign up so she can make sure everyone was okay. The game started well enough but quickly turned…challenging. The Praetorian Academy's team was well organized and ruthless. The worst hit was their first goal, as the masked student who made the goal turned out to be none other than Ron Peterson, aka Captain Clarinet, who was once one of her friends.

She immediately latched herself on to him as their powers were nearly matched.

"You really like it better at the other school?" Julie asks him as she guards him.

"Yes," Ron replies focused on the game.


"Because they're teaching me how to not make mistakes. And how to be part of a team, which is why we're winning."

"We were a team once remember?" Julie points out as they chase after the ball. Ron sounds so…emotionless that Julie is beginning to wonder if he's a robot and not the Ron she knows after all "We stopped Charles from teleporting everybody all over the place. You made him stop, didn't you?"

"I shouldn't have done that. When I…hit him…my parents got mad and split up. I don't want to talk anymore. Go away!"

Julie is shocked and confused by Ron's words. They did a good thing when they stopped Charles. She did a good thing, she was useful.

There's a blur and then Franklin, their team's speedster is there. "Why'd you stop chasing him?"

"He said to go away," Julie says, sad that someone she considers a friend wanted her to go away.

"But…this is a soccer match!" Franklin says exasperated.

"Oh! Right!" Julie says and gets back to business.


The game is halted by a dimensional rift which neither side chooses to claim responsibility for. People and players start to panic and then, silhouetted by the sun, appearing larger than life, Moonshadow swops down on wings of darkness and drops something into the Rift. A few seconds later and there's an explosion of arcane energies that knock everyone off their feet.

"It's gone!" Julie cries out picking herself up. "Moonshadow is even more powerful than before!"

"For all we know, he caused that…whatever it was!" Ron argues.

Julie doubts it. She's also not sure about Ron and is very worried about him but Moonshadow is back and somehow that means everything is going to be okay.

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Flea-va, Las Vegas! Epilogue
"I would like to thank you Miss Finster, you saved a lot of people from injury as well as saving my casino considerable money." Mr. Godwin says as he enters the nurses office wherein Julie, Poly and Miss Kyle are being examined to make sure no one was injured. Julie is trying really hard not to stare at Mr. Godwin's head but it's hard as it's made of glass or crystal. "And please feel free to stare. I know I am something of a curiosity."

"I'm sorry," she says abashed.

"Think nothing of it. I understand. Now, as I was saying, you did a great service to my casino and I would like to repay you. What can I do?"

"But...I'm a hero, we do things like that for free." Julie thinks Mr. Godwin smiles at this but it's hard to be sure.

"Be that as it may, I insist. What would you like? My casino is at your disposal."

Julie thinks hard for a few minutes as this is a tempting offer. She could take money like Zodon; her family does always seem to be having money problems. But then dad would get upset and start yelling and besides taking money just feels wrong. Her eye catches the towel she's been using as a cape and then she knows what she wants. "Can I get a new costume?"

"You have your choice of the resources of one of the largest casinos in Vegas and you want a new costume? Child, you give me hope for the next generation of super hero. Of course you can. Anything in Heroic Xpressions is yours. And when you are older, if you need a job, contact me and there will be one waiting for you. Good day."

"Thank you!" Julie calls out amazed at how a great day just keeps getting better.

"Are you sure of your logo?" Pamela, the saleswoman of Heroic Xpressions asks. "Once the suit has been branded, it can not be changed."

Julie looks into the mirror at the hologram of her new costume. She turns to Poly and asks, "Do you like it?"

"I think it's neato!"

"I worry I'm making a mistake," Julie admits as no one has ever chosen a hero name like hers.

"I thought you said you weren't going to worry anymore," Poly points out with a smile.

"Yeah! That's right!" Julie says adjusting her hair and standing a little taller as her new self, 84. She's sure a lot of people won't understand it but that's okay. "I think it's perfect!"

"Great!" Pamela says with a smile. "This is a nana-fiber that has extensive self-repair capabilities, and it can be automatically resized for the lifetime of the garment at any of our stores. I'll just put the manuals in the bag with your other clothing, and you'll be set!"
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Flea-va, Las Vegas! Part Six
 The next morning Julie is hovering above the casino's morning crowd with Bartholomew, the Masquerade's head of security. He also happens to be another FISS but what's weird to Julie is that he doesn't seem to care about all that, the way every other FISS Julie has come across does. Or maybe he just cares more about his job. After last nights...challenges, Julie is feeling a little better. The towel isn't an ideal cape but it works. It also turns out Zodon had made an arrangement with the owner of the Masquerade, a Mr. Godwin, to help the casino catch some one who was cheating in some way that Julie really didn't understand. Fortunately, she wasn't needed for catching the person and was allowed to help Bartholomew in his stakeout of the casino floor as they tracked Zodon down below.

"Mister Godwin?" Bartholomew said into his cuff after spotting a pre-arranged signal from Zodon. "The kid has signaled he's playing with one of our card counters, but he's not having me move in." Julie doesn't hear how Mr. Godwin responds as Bartholomew is wearing an earpiece, but does hear him say, "Roger that."

Julie turns to watch Zodon and can't help the smile as she sees the silly little hat he's wearing as part of his disguise. As she watches, she sees Zodon talking with a woman on his right. Then there's a man talking to Zodon and Zodon seems to be getting agitated. Then, seemingly out of no where, a huge guy (like bigger than coach Rockslide) wearing an armor plated costume is there and yelling at Zodon. Zodon is saying something to the huge man when suddenly the huge man is raising his arms to strike....Julie's gone in a flash from Bartholomew's side and is near enough to Zodon to catch him saying, "Oh, jumbalaya! There was a mental tripwire in his brain too!" Then she's caught the huge man's fist in mid-air, a fist which is almost as big as she is.

"Security says STOP!" she yells at him trembling with nervousness. What am I doing? part of her screams.

The huge guy's only response is to smile and throw another punch whose concussive force is enough to knock several bystanders off their feet. Julie just floats there holding both fists at bay, a look of sheer determination in her eyes as she stares down the huge man. Behind her Bartholomew says, "Mister Greg Stone, aka 'Thunderclap', I'm ordering you to cease all hostilities and accompany me to our security center or risk a lifetime ban from this casino and possibly the city of Las Vegas. And you'll be lucky if 'assaulting a minor' isn't added to your list of offenses."

Thunderclap's response is to pull back his fists and suck in a big lungful of air.

"Get Back Everyone! He's got a sonic..." Bartholomew yells reaching for Julie. He's interrupted by Thunderclap's sonic yell which knocks him and Julie back but just as quickly the scream is cut off as Poly wraps herself around Thunderclap's head.

"Naptime!" she calls out. "I did this to my brother once. My mom said never to do it again because it might give him brain damage."

All seems taken care of until Thunderclap breaths in again. "Whoop!" Poly says. "You have stronger lungs than he does!" Fortunately, while Poly has him distracted an officer of the meta-human task force is able to get a stunning and power inhibiting device on the back of Thunderclap's head and then he's out like a light. "Some more guys are on the way with the heavy-duty restraints, boss," the officer reports to Bartholomew who has picked himself up.

"They'd better hurry. We've only got a few minutes 'till the inhibitor's battery starts to fade," Bartholomew says checking Thunderclap's pulse. "I'd hate to have to file the paperwork for using one and have it come to nothing."

"I've never felt lungs before," Poly says pulling herself out of Thunderclap. "It's kind of weird."

Since Thunderclap is taken care of Julie looks around. "Where'd Zodon go?"

"And Thunderclap's accomplice is gone, too." Bartholomew says standing. "I'll get her photo out to every police department in the state."

As she looks around some more Julie is hit on the head a few times by a fly. What the heck? she thinks before remembering Flea's powers include controlling or talking with insects. "Hey..." she says as she follows the fly, which leads her to a door where a bunch of ants have spelled out, 'In Here'.

"Psst! Julie! Over Here!" she hears Flea call as she opens the door to find the woman Zodon had been playing cards next to, Flea, Zodon himself and a woman she doesn't recognize holding Zodon's head and sweating.

"Four of hearts. Two of curves. Ace of girlfriends. King of spade..." the card player woman is mumbling from the floor.

"What's going on?" Julie asks as she approaches the group.

"This is Beryl," Flea reports. "She's the clerk who gave me our room key. She can also do stuff with your brain if she touches you. When I came in here, she told my brain that my legs are frozen, so I called for help with some bugs. She's been like this with Zodon since I got here. I think they're...fighting, kinda."

"So what do we do?" Julie asks stepping much too close.

"Not so close!" Flea calles out but too late.

"Why? Isn't she..." is as far as Julie gets before Beryl's right hand switches from Zodon's head to hers. Suddenly it's like she's floating in a violent storm. Black clouds roll and lightening strikes. Up in the clouds a giant Beryl and Zodon glare at each other while lightening strike between them.

"I can feel you weakening!" Beryl gloats. "You've got the strongest mind I've tackled so far, but you'll still do whatever I say in the end!"

"Get zambonied, you knockwurst!" Zodon fires back. 

Julie wants to fly up there and help but just as she thinks it, she's chained to a rock.

"Fight her!" Zodon yells at her, suddenly her size. "Do something!"

"I can't!" she cries back.

"Why don't you at least try first?!"

"But these chains are too strong! I can't...!

"They're just an illusion! If you...Cilantro it! Forget I asked! What else should I expect from a little girl wearing a towel?"

"But my cape..."

"What did you ever need a reroofed cape for? You're just a mousy little disappointment to your cornmeal-poor family who thinks she can be a superhero! Take your eighty-fourth copy-cat powers and go cry in a corner somewhere if you can't even starching pretend to be useful to anyone!"

"But...but I...?" Julie says looking at the chains and crying.

"What does he know?" says a voice she knows but doesn't recognize. She turns to see the dark clouds part as Zodon swells up to giant sized again. Down at her level the clouds fade to show...herself?

"Who...? But you look'"

"We're in a dreamland place, so why not?" says the unmasked, happy, confident Julie. "I think I'm the part of you that took on Thunderclap, that helped stop Charles and what made you wrap that gold guy in that giant mask. I think I'm what you can do when you quit worrying so much about being someone people want and start being someone people need. Get it?" The unmasked, confident Julie holds out her hand to the masked worried Julie.

"'s scary to try.." the masked, worried Julie says reaching for the hand.

"I know," Julie says. "And that's okay."

Back up in the clouds, Beryl is monologuing. "You'll make up even better schemes for me! With your genius under my control, we'll take on the Stock Market! We'll...."

"Hey! Beryl," Julie yells interrupting as she flies up with the rock she's still chained to. "This is your rock. TAKE IT BACK!" Julie swings the rock, knocking Beryl's psychic self in the head. Julie and Zodon are instantly knocked back into their bodies and everyone falls to the ground.

"I think...we won!" Julie exclaims happily, sitting up.

"Great," Flea says. "I think whatever she did to me is wearing off. I can sort of move my legs again...sort of."

"Treehouse, my head hurts," Zodon says as he rubs his temples and sits up. "But if this Rasputin wanna-be here has stolen as much as I'll be worth it!"

Julie picks herself up and gives Flea a shoulder to lean on as they stumble out of the office. "Thanks for not carrying me," Flea says.

"I don't know if I could fly straight right now anyway..." Julie replies.

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Flea-va, Las Vegas! Part Five
"I'm sorry about your cape, sweetheart," Miss Kyle says leaning over to give Julie's shoulder a sympathetic rub as they road teh elevator. After the meta-human task force and casino security had taken away the man in golden armor, they were reunited with Miss Kyle and shown to a private room where they could be questioned. After only fifteen minutes it was pretty clear the children were not the aggressors and so we released only to be reunited with Zodon (who seemed to be grinning that world conquering grin that made the teachers edgy). Now they all were riding the Masquerade's VIP elevator to the suite Flea had somehow arranged with the intention of getting a good nights sleep.

"My mom said she worked hard to buy it for me..." Julie replied guilt clear in her voice.

"Can't it be fixed?" Poly asked.

"It's a 'steel wear' cape. Once you break the surface tension of the material you might as well toss it and get a new one," Zodon interjected with his usual disregard for the feelings of others.

"WE CAN'T AFFORD A NEW ONE!!!" Julie yelled completely done with Zodon's snark.

Stunned, everyone in the elevator was quiet for a few seconds before Miss Kyle couldn't take it anymore. "Wow...we're going a long way up, aren't we?" she said to hopefully break the tension.

"Almost there," Flea replied from his spot hanging upside down on the roof of the elevator.

"How did you get this room without committing a swirling felony?" Zodon added as the elevator finally reached their floor.

"It this the hallway?" Miss Kyle asked in awe.

"This is a 'foy-yay'," Flea answers leaping from the roof into the suite.

"This is part of your hotel room?" Poly asks just as amazed as Miss Kyle.

"Airfreshener me sideways!" Zodon says, as always unable to keep his mouth shut.

For her part Julie just shuffled out of the elevator not bothering to look up. How was she going to explain her ruined costume to her mom?

"I'm gonna go change," Flea said leaping across the room. "The blue suitcase on the couch is full of candy. Help yourself."

"Hotel rooms come with that?" Poly asks checking out the candy.

"Not usually..." Miss Kyle answers still in a daze at the size of the suite. The hotel room she had would fit in the suite's living room. Heck, her whole apartment back home would fit in here.

"This place has five bedrooms! Who did you kill to get this room?" Zodon says continuing to ramble.

"I'm going to the bathroom," Julie says so she can have sometime to herself. Once there she closes the door to shut everyone out and lets out a big sigh. She shouldn't have yelled in the elevator. It wasn't Zodon's fault her costume was ruined. Glancing over she notices the door to one of bedrooms connected to the bathroom and she pokes her head in. Maybe if I got a new cape I'd feel better, she thought as she spotted the bed and its sheets. Those would be too big but maybe one of the towels? she thought heading back to the bathroom. 

"I have claimed the westernmost bedroom as my sanctum sanctorum. Trespassers shall be dealt with harshly," Zodon is declaring as Julie walks back into the living room.

"Which is the...?" Poly asks around a mouthful of candy.

"For those with no sense of direction, that's the room nearest the TV."


"Does this look stupid?" Julie asks, interrupting before Zodon gets to lecturing too much. She holds out a corner fo the towel cape so everyone can see it properly. "This towel is all I could find. The bedsheets are too long..."

Miss Kyle kneels down to her eye level and gives an honest look before replying, "Oh, honey, it''ll be fine..."

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Flea-va, Las Vegas! Part Four

From a nearby shuttle bus, Julie watches the hotel nervously until she sees the golden armored guys flying away and without Miss Kyle! "They don't have Miss Kyle with them." she tells Zodon and Poly.

"Then she wasn't who they were looking for," Zodon replies.

"Where is this bus going?" Poly asks as it pulls away from the curb.

"To the Strip. It's where all the big casinos are," Zodon informers her.

"I could have flown us away," Julie points out.

"That's what they were expecting. They're probably scanning everything in a cape right now."

"So what do we do?" Poly asks finally getting a little worried.

"I don't know about you two, but I'm going to make the most out of this trip..." Zodon says with that worrying grin of his.


One shuttle ride later, the three kids step out into the neon glare of the Las Vegas casino strip and look around. They start walking and are dazzled by all the casinos and their myriad themes.

"So if those men are looking for us, shouldn't we go inside?" Julie asks Zodon as she's pretty sure the teachers back at school described doing just such a thing once.

"Well, duh, but I didn't get a chance to research the casinos online, so we'll have to pick one at random."

"I wanna go to that one!" Poly exclaims pointing to the Masquerade casino, whose logo looks an awful lot like her domino mask.

"Gee, I wonder why..." Zodon dead pans.

"What about Miss Kyle? She told us to run and get help," Julie points out. After all, how do they know if Miss Kyle doesn't need their help?

"We are getting help," Zodon replies turning to walk towards the casino. "Our help is in there, just a card draw or a level pull away."

Julie's not convinced but decides to go along for now since Zodon is the better planner. "I wish I'd packed some clothes. I really need to wash my outfit."

"I thought all capes and stuff came with self-cleaning molly-cues?" Poly asks a little confused.

Julie looks over at Zodon who's walked ahead of them before replying, "My folks can't afford anything like that. This is one of the old 'steel wear' starter costumes. It's just really hard to rip."

"I'm glad I don't have to worry about costumes," Poly replies back to her cheerful self.

Julie stops short, not quite sure she got that as Poly has always worn a costume...or at least she seemed like she did."You don't?" she asks hesitantly.

"Nope," Poly replies undaunted until she catches the look on her friends face. "What?"

"Nothing," Julie replies as they enter the casino. "Just...nothing."


Later in the casino's mall, Poly and Julie are window shopping at Heroic Xpressions. They had decided to take a break from Zodon and he had been just as glad to not have the girls "slowing him down".

"That's what you need. Maybe something with fins," Poly says pointing to a 50's style retro-future number.

Julie sighs. "I wouldn't know what to get. I don't even have a hero-name picked out."

"You don't? I guess I'm lucky. My dad says 'Poly Mer' is a name for plastic."

"Your parents named you after plastic?"

"Mom says my great-gramma was named 'Polly' and 'Mer' means 'ocean' in French. At least, that what she says whenever I ask. Then she gives dad a bad look. I dunno why."

Julie decides to let that go and change the topic back to costumes. "I don't have any money to buy stuff like this. My parents don't have much, either. I'm the first person in our part of the family to get super powers, and mine aren't that special, anyway. I wonder if it would've been better if I didn't.." she finds herself saying before being distracted by Poly blowing a bubble with gum. "Can I have some gum, too?"

Poly turns to look at her as she blows another bubble. "What gum?"

"That's kind of gross," Julie can't help saying as she realizes Poly is basically chewing and making bubbles with herself.

"What?" Poly replies not getting it. An idea occurs to her then and she blurts out, "Hey, maybe Zodon can win you a new costume. With fins!"

"I think he wants his doom-bot things more." Julie replies. Their talk is interrupted by a loud pop and crash of the light bulb their fellow student Flea had dropped from the rafters.

"What was...?" Poly exclaims as they both turn to the sound. Julie immediately looks up to see one of the golden armored guys that had attacked them with Miss Kyle holding a squirming...Wait, is that Flea? Julie thinks before saying and pointing, "Up there!"

Up in the rafters, the Armored figure says, "Tell me where Zodon is and nobody gets..." or at least tries to before Flea kicks, hitting the figure in the head and bursting free. Shocked, it takes Julie and Poly a second before their school training kicks in and they split to provide two targets instead of one. The armored figure fires an electric burst which nails Poly but doesn't really bother her as being made of rubber she's naturally insulated.

The figure continues his attack however, firing a cement-like insta-adhesive to trap Julie. He misses her but nails her cape. Her momentum carries her forward and while "steel wear" is hard to rip, it can't withstand Julie's powers of flight. The cape is ripped from her. She turns to hold the torn cape in her hands and can't think of anything else but all the extra weekend and evening shifts her mother put in to buy it. Blinking furiously to keep herself from crying she looks up and sees a giant steel sculpture of the Masquerade casino's domino mask.

Flea and Poly meanwhile have moved in and are wrestling with the golden armored figure, keeping it (him?) from harming any civilians. "Uh-oh," Flea says catching sight of the shadow first. "What? Oh" Poly and the armored figure say in unison as they catch sight of the giant domino mask and the pissed off little girl who carrying it as she flies at them. Flea and Poly break free just as Julie wraps the mask around the armored figure.

"Everybody freeze! You're all being detained by the authority of the Las Vegas Meta-human Task Force and casino security! Cooperate fully and you will be fairly treated. Resistance will be met with appropriate force..." calls out a suited man who comes flying in as several other personal in heavy riot-like gear arrive on the scene. Julie stands off to the side with her arms folded. She still too upset to talk but she'll not cause anymore trouble.

Poly stretches around the armored man wrapped in a solid steel domino mask and can't help feel pride for her best friend. "Wow."

Flea just stands there casually and hooks his thumb at the wrapped bad guy. "Hi, there! Can I keep this guy and take him home? Nobody there believes me when I tell them about him and his friends..."
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Flea-va, Las Vegas! Part Three

"You can dance, you can jive, having the time of you life, whooo-oo-oo," Miss Kyle sings as she finally makes her way to the hotel's pool. After the alien invasion and worse yet, that long airplane ride, she is looking forward to a nice long soak in the hot tub and one of those too-large drinks. "See that girl, watch that scene, diggin' the dancing..."

"It's about time," Zodon says rudely interrupting her song and day. In shock she looks around and quickly spots him sitting at one of the pool's tables eating a steak with...Poly and Julie? "It took a while to find you, but this is the only hotel offering complementary poker chips and a steep discount to teachers with free shuttle service to the Strip and the airport. I probably could have just googled 'Vegas', 'hotel' and 'cheapskate.' Isn't it nice to be so well-defined? By the way, do you know who's staying in four twelve? I've been charging stuff to their room while we waited for you to show up."

And then Julie is flying towards her pleading, "Please, please don't quit teaching at PS238, Miss Kyle!" and Poly is lunging out of her seat saying, "We'd miss you and it wouldn't be the same without you!"

Stunned, Miss Kyle raises her sunglasses off her face. "Poly...? Julie...? Here?"

"We heard you say you'd wanted to leave for months, so we came after you to try and make you want to stay." Julie says floating at eye level.

"Please say you're not going to quit your job and leave us!" Poly adds.

"Oh, no! I wasn't talking about leaving my job, sweetheart. I was talking about taking a vacation!" Miss Kyle says to Julie before sparing the stink eye for Zodon. "Which I'll bet someone knew all along..."

"Maybe this will teach you not to push people into drooling alien creatures, 'Mom'. Sigh, this steak is about as medium rare as a shoe..."

"'Mom'?" she asks still in a bit of shock.

"I'm thinking that as much as it'll drive us both crazy, you're in charge of us. 'Unaccompanied minors' sounds so bad at a performance review, doesn't it? Where's the dessert cart?"

"So we did it! She's staying! We can go home now, right?" Poly asks Julie.

"It's getting dark, and we'd have to go back to the airport and grab onto another plane," Julie muses.

"You rode on my plane? But I didn't see you." Miss Kyle says overhearing.

"We were outside. Could we get tickets this time?" Poly replies.

"Not on her salary. Maybe after I hit the casinos," Zodon adds.

"I don't believe this. I need to think." Miss Kyle says sitting in a chair before her legs give out.

"That looks like a hot tub over there. Would that help you think better?" Julie adds helpful as always.

"Bad idea. She might decide to go under and not come up," Zodon interjects.


Later, after Miss Kyle has recovered and the kids finish eating, she takes them to her room. As they walk the hallway she says, "I'm going to have to call your parents. Why didn't you girls talk to me back when we were at PS238?"

" rushed off so fast after you said you didn't want to be there..." Julie replies, beginning to get worried she was in trouble or that she did something wrong.

"And everyone was so busy fixing everything, and we didn't know where you lived..." Poly adds.

"But who gave you the idea of following me to..." Miss Kyle says before her brain catches up. "Never mind. I'm a little slow today."

"Innocent until proven guilty," is Zodon's reply as they stop before her hotel room. It's then that she realizes she left the key in the room.

"And I left my key in the room! Darnit!"

"If only someone could flatten themselves, slide under the door and open it from the inside." Zodon muses.

"Hey! I bet I could do that!" Poly says excitedly.

"You can? Stand back as I shoot surprise out of my pores."

"Do not do this to other people's rooms," Miss Kyle lectures as Poly bends and flattens herself to slide under the door.

"Are you sure this room is yours?" Zodon asks with his ear pressed to the door.


"Then run," he says turning to do just that, though he does grabs Poly's legs first.

"Wait, why are we running?" Miss Kyle says as she and Julie catch up.

"Because when Poly went into your room, I heard her ask, 'Who are you guys?' and 'Are those guns?'"

"Maybe Miss Kyle has friends staying with her." Julie suggests.

"Let me explain something to you about Miss Kyle..." Zodon starts to say before an explosion interrupts him.

"Who are they?" Miss Kyle says stopping to turn and face the two figures in golden, high tech looking armor who are stepping from her room...or what was left of it.

"Don't worry, I'm a nin-su-later! Electric stuff doesn't hurt..." Poly says as her upper half catches up with them.

"I thought nobody could fight in Las Vegas." Julie says confused by the rule breaking.

"Maybe nobody read them the irrigating rules at the airport!" Zodon says as he turns to grab Poly's arm and Julie's cape to get them to continue running.

"Everybody run and find a police officer. Ask them for help. Don't worry about me, just go." Miss Kyle says switching to superhero mode.

"But..." Poly says while Julie gets a "We..." out before Miss Kyle yells, "Go!"

"Sounds great! Write us if you win!" Zodon says pulling Poly and Julie with him as he makes it to the outside exit.

Flea-va, Las Vegas! Part Two
A few states and several hours later, they landed at the McCarran International Airport in Las Vegas and with some careful maneuvering (mostly Poly shaping herself into a large trunk around Julie and Zodon), managed to exit with the baggage as it was unloaded with none the wiser. They had just made it to the baggage claim area when they saw Miss Kyle. Charging forward, they were sure they had finally got their chance to show Miss Kyle how much she meant to them when they were stopped by a security officer.

"Slow it down, kids. If Atlas and Galac-torque can keep themselves from horsin' around, so can you."

"But Miss Kyle is..." Poly started say just as Julie exclaimed, "She's getting away!"

"Is she your mom?"

"No." Poly admitted.

"Is she a relative?"

"She was our teacher," Julie explained.

"I see your folks didn't tell you young ladies about how things work in Las Vegas. We have a strict "No Fighting" policy. Every superhero and bad guy leaves their disagreements at the city limits, or we make them leave, you understand?"

"But..." both Poly and Julie tried to say.

"I didn't like my teachers much, either, but you can't go and get revenge for a bad grade here. You shouldn't do it anywhere really, but especially not in Las Vegas. The rules here about that are very strict, okay?"

"But we don't want to fight!" Poly finally managed.

"We came here on..." Julie started to explain before Zodon, with his holographic projector engaged, interrupted with, "There you are, uh, sister. Sisters. Mommy and daddy are waiting for us in the station wagon to take us all out for a day of good wholesome fun, so we should leave. Now."

"Sis...thuh?" Poly manages just as Zodon shoves her arms into her mouth to keep her quiet.

"But Miss Kyle is..." Julie tries yet again to get her point across.

"The one who gave you a 'D' in math, but the doctor said we shouldn't expect miracles, remember? Now let's all say 'Thank you' to the nice man and leave peacefully with no further suspicious activity, got it?"

Confused, the security guard just watches.

"Fangh hoo." Poly says from around her arms.

"Okay," Julie says playing along as Zodon is the better planner. "Thank you mister."

"Come along, 'siblings,'" Zondon says.

Shaking his head a bit, the security guard begins to fly off while saying, "Enjoy Las Vegas, little missy!"

Seeing another possible FISS, Julie calls out, "Wait, mister...your powers...are you a FISS, too?"

"'FISS?' Where'd someone your age hear about..."?

"What's your number?"

The security guard face palms as he floats above Julie. "Oh...I don't keep track of..."

"It's like everyone I meet knows my number. Don't you have one, too?"

"Forty-one," he says slowly sinking to the ground.

"Mine's eighty-four."

He feels bad for Julie and so takes off his cap to be sure she can see his eyes. "Look, kid, just because you aren't the first one to have the powers you do doesn't mean you won't grow up to do big things! Don't let what anyone else says get to you, miss...uh, I didn't catch you name."

"It doesn't matter..." Julie replies walking away.

"Hey, Julie! Zodon says he can find Miss Kyle, and that it won't cost us any money! Which is great, since I forgot to bring any." Poly says when Julie steps through the doors to the airport to rejoin her friends.

"But how does he know where she went?" Julie asks happy for the distraction from her feelings.

"If you want to find a room-temperature I.Q.," Zodon answers, "you go to a theater showing a movie based on a video game. We just have to figure out where a teacher would go in Las Vegas."

"Can you do that?" Julie asks.

"You'd better grooming believe it. Let's start with the hotel shuttle buses..."

Flea-va, Las Vegas! Part One
The next morning after the thwarted alien invasion finds Julie, Poly and Zodon hiding in the bushes at the end of a runway at the local Airport. Last night Julie had decided to talk with Ms. Kyle to convince her to stay and Poly had immediately agreed to help. What was surprising was Zodon volunteering as well. Unfortunately they never found a time when Ms. Kyle was alone and no one seemed to know where Miss Kyle lived, so now they were quickly approaching their last chance. Zodon had said he had a plan though and so Julie and Poly followed along as, aside from Moon Shadow himself (and perhaps Tyler, Julie would add if asked), Zodon was the best planner of the school.

"You're sure you know which one is Miss Kyle's plane?" Poly asks stretching her head above the bushes. Elastic powers can be useful at times.

"Flight one seven zero two," Zodon replied in a bored voice from his robotic chair while he read from his computer screen. "It'll be the next plane to taxi to our end of the runway."

"Why couldn't we sneak in through the airport?" Julie had to ask. She wasn't quite sure of Zodon's plan as it involved her and Poly stowing away on-board the airplane.

"Watch lists," Zodon replied still not bothering to look up.

"What are those?" Poly asked.

"Build a few super-weapons and you'll find out," Zodon replies before finally looking up at them. "Okay, now, Poly, your elasticity will let you stretch over a mile right?"

"One time, I grabbed our mailbox when my mom was driving to the mall, and when we got there, my arm was..."

"That would be a 'Yes.'," Zodon interrupted as he swung his chair around to point the catapult-like gun towards the runway. "Grab hold of the projectile. It'll pull you to the plane."

"What about me?" Julie asks.

"Can you fly faster than a jet?"

"Uh...I dunno."

"Then tie one of Poly's legs around your waist or something. When she takes off, you go and try to keep up. Grab onto the plane's tail without tearing it off."

"Thanks for helping us, Zodon. We can't just let Miss Kyle leave our school like this!"

"Good thing you came to me for advice. Following her on, that is, to wherever she's going will show how so very, very sad you'll be when she's gone."

"Here it comes!" Poly calls out.

"This rocket is basically made of vinegar and baking soda on steroids. There's less forensic evidence that way," Zodon says arming the gun. "And so nobody notices you, the gun's scrambling field generator will...huh, something's already sudsing the Radar." Zodon notes as he plays with the controls a bit more.

"Are we going to miss the plane?" Poly asks as she watches the plane pick up speed on the runway.

"Zodon airlines is never delayed. Fasten your seat belts and don't forget to say 'Hi' to Miss Kyle for me!" Zodon says taking aim and firing. Poly is yanked into the air as the projectile flies and Julie takes off right after, doing her best keep up with it on her own. All seems to have gone according to plan as Julie reaches out and grabs the plane's wing.

"We made it!" she calls out surprised that she out flew both the gun and the plane. She looks over for her friend and only finds her hand. "Poly?" she says as she turns her head to follow the stretched out arm. "Oh, golly. Hold on!" she then calls out as she sees the rest of Poly hanging far behind the airplane. She sets to pulling her best friend in and soon enough Poly is close enough to say, "Thanks! But...I got hooked on something!"

"What?" Julie says looking back.

"VIVALDI! GOULASH! TENOR SAXAPHONE!" Zodon yells from the tangle of the leg not wrapped around Julie.

"Why does he say stuff like that?" Poly yells to be heard over Zodon and the wind.

"I think it happens when he tries saying naughty words," Julie yells back as she continues to pulls Poly and now Zodon in.

"I had plans for this week! This is setting world domination back five you realize that?!"

Alien Invasion Epilouge

Julie should be happy, she knows this. She helped repel an alien invasion and saved a teacher or two in the process, but as she stares at the crater where the public school that's supposed to above her school should be, she finds it hard to be happy. She hopes no one got hurt and she hopes the school's okay. She could ask someone but she can't stop staring at the crater.

"...And it was just his cape," she hears another student, Zach, telling her, Emerald Gauntlet and her best friend Poly, "sticking out from under all those rocks! And they said he had a virus or something, too!"

Wait, he's talking about Moon Shadow isn't he? she thinks just as Emerald Gauntlet says, "But he's Moon Shadow! He can't be...well, dead. Can he?"

"I thought he was supposed to be able to turn into a cloud of bad dreams or something. That's what Suzi told me, anyway," Poly adds.

"I never saw him do that," Julie says still in a bit of shock and not wanting to believe this latest bad news. "But Mister Cranston should know, he was down there. Let's go ask him." Everyone agrees so they walk over to where Mr. Cranston, the school principle, is talking with a teacher of theirs, Ms. Kyle (who also happens to be Julie's favorite).

They make it over there in time to overhear Ms. Kyle say, "Then we're done? I can leave tomorrow?"

"I think the school can make do without you." Mr. Cranston replies.

"Thank you. I've been planning to get away from this place for months now."

Shocked, the kids freeze as the two adults walk away. Finally, Poly says, "Miss Kyle is quitting our school?!"

"This is horrible!" Julie cries.

"Does this mean I'm not getting a 'C' in her class anymore?" Emerald Gauntlet adds.

Au Hogwarts Bio
Role: Student, 1st year Gryffindor.
Familiar: None yet.
Wand: 8 inch, pine with Roc feather, used but best family could afford. Constructed by Jimmy Kiddell, the wand is swishy and springy.
Specializations: Charms, eventually.

A Brief History: Julie is perhaps one of strongest super heroes of her generation yet due to the commonness of her power set, she doesn't see herself as anything special. In this canon her entire family has been Hufflepuff and she expects nothing more for herself as she's just not special and that's okay…really. Then the sorting hat put her in Gryffindor and now she's really confused as she doesn't see why. Can she learn what it is the Sorting Hat saw in her?


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