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Reality Check by Pintail
Reality Check by Pintail
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Realitycheck

This was one of those "my muse has got me by the short and curlies" type of stories. It was inspired by a 'Legends of the Dark Knight' comic I stumbled upon a week or two ago. Now I just need to get around to writing a fic about Tiny and I will have covered the whole team!

This isn't your typical BotP episode.
<insert standard 'I don't own any of this' disclaimer here>

--------------------------------

Reality Check
By Pintail

Keeyop hugged the old tree as tightly as he could, pressing his body against the rough bark and barely daring to breathe. It was difficult to do. His lungs were practically on fire and when he tried to breath out of his nose his nostrils flared, making whistling noises. He opted for mouth breathing instead, touching his lips against the musky bark in an attempt to mask the noise. It was almost dark now, with any luck they would mistake his shadow for a bulge in the tree. Flashlight beams criss-crossed the lawn about twenty meters in front of him.

A sigh of relief escaped him and he resisted the urge to laugh. There was plenty of time to cross the small stretch of grass to his left and then scale the stone wall. He practiced the route in his mind, twitching his muscles as he envisioned the changing leap from sprint to climb. One deep breathe. Check the beams. Still far away. And… GO!

A large, uncomfortably firm hand on his shoulder jerked Keeyop backwards just as he was about to make his move. The orderly was adorned in typical fashion - a white scrub top, white cotton pants and a black belt. His large build was a credit to many long hours spent sweating away in a dimly lit gym. His large build also allowed him to manhandle Keeyop like a doll filled with straw.

"Jimmy," he growled, "Not again."

His face was not unkind, just twisted up in an expression that bore pity and frustration all at once. Keeyop knew this man and liked him. That reason alone prevented him from doing any serious damage to his would-be captor. Keeyop was not above a decent escape attempt however.

"Oh no you don't, kiddo." The orderly must have seen the telltale twinkle in Keeyop's eyes because he had twisted the boy around and encased him in a reverse bear hug before the thought was complete.

"You've really done it this time, Jimmy. Even Susan is mad at you. She was on her way to a real nice party until you managed to pull this stunt. Don't look at me like I'm the bad guy squirt, you're the one who crawled down from a third-story window."

The orderly trudged back into the plain brick building from which Keeyop had previously made his escape. The boy continued to squirm and kick in his embrace, but the two strong arms were not budging even a fraction of an inch. The ungainly pair passed through the entranceway doors into a sitting room filled with old couches. A small woman armed with four walkie-talkies tucked under her arms paced behind a pale blue sofa. She looked up as the orderly grunted a grumpy "I've got him".

"Great job, Bernard! Let me call back the others," the woman turned away and began speaking into the walkie-talkies. Her voice was smooth and calming.

"I hate it when you call me that," the orderly grumbled under his breath.

"Okay, Bernard," she turned back to face them, one hand holding a walkie-talkie up to her ear, "The Doctor wants you to take him straight up to the hospital right away. I'm afraid he can't go back with the other children tonight."

"Right," Bernard answered, "Thanks Susan. Sorry about your party."

She sighed in a resigned but content sort of way, then turned to answer another summons from one of the little black boxes.

--

When Bernard finally let Keeyop go, the boy had to rub the outsides of his arms for several minutes just to get feeling back. He glared at Bernard, and constantly reminded himself that this was a good man in front of him, just doing his job. He did not deserve to die at the hands of a ruffled teen-aged ninja. The orderly came and knelt in front of Keeyop, placing one hand on the boy's shoulder.

"Don't make it hard on yourself, little guy. We just want to help you."

Keeyop managed to smile a half smile. Bernard beamed back in response and tousled Keeyop's hair as he rose. He stopped in the doorframe - which he nearly occupied completely - and winked before stepping outside and letting the door shut softly behind him. Through the square window three quarters of the way up, Keeyop could see Bernard standing on the other side with arms folded.

"Great." Keeyop said to the empty room. "Body guard."

Keeyop began investigating the room right away. It was your basic run of the mill hospital room. White walls, white floor, white sheets on a horridly uncomfortable white mattress. One imitation oak night table and a few empty metal trays. He took a peak out the window, and whistled softly. He was pretty high up, at least fifteen floors. Shiny cars that looked unnaturally long from above waited in the dimly lit parking lot below.

He shook his head and tapped his wrist communicator. Enough was enough.

"G-Force! Come in!" he called for the twentieth time that day. The hundred and thirty-first time this week.

Again, no response. Frustrated, he banged his fist down on the windowsill. It had been too long. Something was definitely wrong. They were supposed to have rendezvoused with him over ten days ago. Just as Mark had asked him too, Keeyop had been in radio silence for the three weeks before that. Keeyop wasn't overly worried when they didn't pick him up on the planned night, but when he couldn't even hail Zark two days later he became considerably more anxious. Ten days later he was downright nerve wracked.

"G-Force! Come in! Please!" he begged.

"Who are you talking to?"

Keeyop spun on his heels and mentally kicked himself for not hearing the door open.

"Who is G-Force?" the man asked him.

Busted.

--

Two hours and many denials later, Keeyop sat on the edge of the white mattress and slurped at an orange Popsicle contemplating his situation. Some of the sticky orange syrup had dripped onto the sheets. Keeyop tried to clean it, but only managed to smudge it into a bigger orange circle.

"Feel better?" Brian asked softly.

Brian. Keeyop had met him on the first day he had arrived here and had liked him instantly. He was in his mid-forties, with short brown hair and kind eyes. He had no wife, no children - he had said the orphanage was his family.

The orphanage. It had seemed like an easy enough mission at the time - infiltrate and go under cover, wait and see if Spectra shows up - now it was all shot to pieces. Keeyop regarded the man who had walked in on him speaking into his wrist communicator and who later had brought him an orange Popsicle as a peace offering. Could he trust this man? At this point, he was going to have to trust someone. Glancing at the door to make sure it was closed completely, Keeyop inhaled sharply and dove off the deep end.

"My name is not Jimmy." He began.

"I'm sorry?" Brian looked up from his cup of coffee.

"My name isn't Jimmy. It's Keeyop. I'm not supposed to be here."

"I see," Brian pulled a chair closer to the edge of the bed and sat, listening intently. "Key - op?"

"Keeyop. I'm not really an orphan. Well, sort of. I don't belong here. I'm on a mission, but it's gone wrong and I need your help." Keeyop tried to sound as official as possible.

"On a mission? For who?" Brian asked looking perplexed.

"For G-Force. I'm G-Force. G-4 to be exact."

"G-Force?" Brian was genuinely puzzled, "I've never heard of G-Force."

"That's because you live on the outer rim, on a gamma class planet. You haven't discovered space flight yet, and your people don't even know about Spectra yet."

Brian coughed sharply twice. "Space flight? Spectra? Jimmy, I think it's time we stopped playing around."

"No. I'm not Jimmy. I'm Keeyop!" Keeyop said tersely. This was going to be difficult.

"Watch me." Keeyop commanded.

Keeyop perched on the end of the mattress. He placed both arms out to the side and leapt. Twisting in mid-air, Keeyop did a somersault and one-half pike before landing with perfect balance on the rail of the bed. He followed up with a front tuck and flying kick that ended with a soft touch down on the floor in front of Brian.

Brian just stared at him.

"You see? Chief Anderson sent me here over three weeks ago. I don't belong here. I've lost touch with my team and I think they're in trouble. I need to get out of here and go help them."

Brian's eyes had widened ever so slightly.

"Chief… Anderson?" he said with recognition.

"Yes! Finally! Will you help me?" Keeyop beamed.

"Jim… Keeyop. Tell me why Chief Anderson would send a little - you - to an orphanage? What possible mission could you have here?"

"There are reports that Spectra is using children for medical experiments. We thought they were just rumors but we found possible evidence on our last mission. Princess found some records on the computer…"

"Princess?" Brian interrupted.

"Yeah, she's sorta my sister. She thinks she's my boss. She's real smart with science and stuff. Anyway, she showed the records to the Chief and he started to believe the rumors. The Chief figured that Spectra must be stealing the children from outer rim planets because nobody had reported any large-scale kidnappings to account for all the kids Spectra was using. He said the kids must be easy to round up to make it worth while for Spectra and sent the team out to investigate different planets. We all went to different planets, but I was supposed to be picked up ten days ago. I've tried to get in touch with them, but there must be something jamming my signal." Keeyop was breathing quickly to keep up with his pace of talking.

"Who else is on this team - G-Force?" Brian asked.

Keeyop eyed him warily. Why wasn't he jumping up and calling somebody? Didn't he believe yet? It didn't matter. Any Spectran would know G-Force was five members anyway. He decided to humor the question.

"Mark. He's the leader. G-2 is Jason. He's kind of a grump sometimes. Princess is G-3, I'm G-4 and my best friend Tiny is G-5. That's it. Five of us. And I haven't heard from any of them in ten days."

Brain stared at Keeyop in silence for a few moments, then rubbed his temple and half shut his eyes in deep contemplation. Finally, he motioned Keeyop to wait for a moment, and opened the door to stick his head out.

"How's it going Doctor?" Bernard asked.

"Well enough. Do you think you can get me Jimmy's file?" Brian asked.

There were a few minutes of pause. Keeyop began to swing his legs back and forth over the edge of the bed. Now that he had decided to make his move, every second seemed to last forever. He just knew the team was in trouble and he couldn't wait to get out of this place.

"Here you go." Bernard had returned.

"Thanks, Tiny." Brian called back.

Keeyop's spine was pencil straight. Had he heard correctly? It must be a coincidence. Plenty of big guys are nicknamed Tiny. That was the joke after all, wasn't it? Brian returned to the chair in front of the bed and placed the file neatly in his lap.

"Jimmy, this game of yours has to end," he said softly.

"No! My name is Keeyop! My…"

"Your name is Jimmy Fitzroy," Brian opened the file and began pulling out papers to show, "You were brought here when you were five years old, and have been with us for seven years now."

"That's what the file is SUPPOSED to say!" Keeyop argued, "We only met four weeks ago, remember?"

"That's because I'm new, Jimmy. Not you. This game of yours started-up again when I got here."

"No. NO. Look, the Chief put the file here to make it look real. If I'm under cover then…"

"Jimmy. You pull this stunt every time someone new comes here. You've been doing it for years now."

Keeyop looked nervously from side to side. This was going bad. He would have to get out on his own, and soon. Brian pulled out a picture and held it up for Keeyop to see.

"Who is this?" he asked softly.

The picture was a black and white. An old photo. A black-haired teenage girl was smiling madly, a beauty queen tiara rested on her brow, a white sash that said "Queen's County Princess" crossed over her front.

"I - I - I don't know!" Keeyop stammered.

"She's your sister Jimmy. The princess?"

"No. Stop it. You are trying to trick me. I don't have a sister. I don't have a family. I was made from a test-tube!"

"Oh Jimmy," Brian said sadly. His face was pained as he forced himself to continue, "You weren't made from a test-tube Jimmy. And you didn't get here three weeks ago. You've been here for seven years…"

"NO!" Keeyop began to shuffle backwards on the bed.

"Jimmy. Your parents left you here when you were five. Oh my poor boy. You aren't an orphan. You have parents. They left you here because they couldn't cope. After your sister was killed, your mother…"

"STOP IT!" Keeyop placed both hands over his ears and shook his head. He was Spectran. It was a Spectran mind game. They were trying to drive him insane.

"Jimmy. The boys who shared your room until they were adopted last year. The twin brothers. Do you remember them?"

"No. I wasn't here. I only came three…"

"Mark and Jason. They're names were Mark and Jason," Brian said softly. He reached over and lightly touched Keeyop's hand, "Jimmy. Look at this. What does it say?"

Brian picked up the white lab coat that was folded over the back of his chair. He turned it around so that the nametag was clearly visible…

Dr. Brian Anderson. MD. Ph.D.

Keeyop felt his mouth go dry. His hands were trembling. His mind perched precariously on panic and grief, a bottomless black pit threatening to engulf his soul entirely. Just then Bernard stuck his head through the door to give Brian a message.

"Dr. Anderson - the social worker is here. Would you like me to send Mr. Zoltar up?"

--

It had taken three times the normally required sedatives to calm the boy down after that. Even Bernard's impressive physique hadn't been enough to pin him down. Brian sank wearily down into a couch that was two years past its prime and inspected the scratch running down his arm. Being the doctor, father and friend to all these children was turning out to be a bigger challenge than he had expected. He shook his head trying to shake off the negative thoughts. He was a dedicated man and these children needed him. Even if he did lose a few layers of skin in the process. Poor little Jimmy. The boy talked into a broken wristwatch like it was a telephone. He would jump from low places and claim to have performed acrobatic feats. He would kick at pop cans and call himself a ninja. There was a great deal of pain in that little boy. True, Brian had only known him for a few weeks, but Jimmy's history spoke for itself. Flipping through his chart, Brian quickly counted at least eight different escape attempts this year. It was not difficult to understand - most of the other children here were true orphans, or had been abandoned as babies. Not Jimmy. His parents were alive and well, an upper middle class family living fairly close by. They had left the boy at the age of five. Five years was plenty of time to grow family bonds and enough memories to be reminded that he was rejected not as an unwanted baby, but as part of a young family. Whatever their reasons, the pain that dwelled within Jimmy was enough for him to create his own fantasy world of which he was an integral part. He had to admit, however, it was a fairly complex tale for such a young boy. The adolescent mind never ceased to amaze him. Glancing down at the bottom of Jimmy's profile, his brow lifted in surprise.

"A SPECTRAN DOCUMENT"

How odd. Brian wondered how Jimmy had ever managed to glimpse his own personal file to come up with that name. Perhaps it was just coincidence. He also wondered what significance the name 'Keeyop' had. These questions and many more would have to wait until morning after Jimmy was rested and calm. Questions that would hopefully help the boy to untangle his own web until he was able to face the truth and grow from there. Absently, he wondered at the nature of "Keeyop's" adventures and what other abilities his alter ego might possess.

--

At a painstakingly slow pace, Keeyop opened his eyes to a slit. The room was dark, and no one was watching. He tested his arms and legs. He hadn't been tied down. Silently he slipped from his bed. He knew now that he had been tricked. This was all an elaborate Spectran plot to get information from him. He had probably said too much already, and the Chief would be mad at him. Of course he was Keeyop! How could he have even doubted? Wasn't the fact that he was awake already after having been poked with needles so many times proof enough? Yes. He was G-Force, and the team needed him. Using ninja stealth, he crept to the window and lifted the pane. The screen popped out with a gentle push. Gingerly he crawled out onto the ledge a tried not to look down. It was really dark out, and kind of cold. A trickle of sweat raced down his cheek. A plane flew by overhead. Was it the Phoenix? It could have been! Too dark to say. Keeyop closed his eyes and stood up straight. Here he was, brave G-4 about to make his escape. Stupid doctors. They had made him doubt himself and his family. He would have to ask their forgiveness. Oh how he missed Princess. Why was he crying? Stupid doctors. This was their  fault.

Mouth set in a firm line of resolve; he lifted his wrist over his face.

"Transmute!"

His skin felt all prickly. He lifted his chin to the moon and spread his arms wide.

"I'll show them who's G-Force."

Then he leapt.

---END---

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