Hooty walked into the agency, he was being called in for the first time in months for a job. He worked on a security force, generally as a bodyguard now that the war with Galactor was over. He remained in his birdstyle whenever possible, because of the fact the ISO wasn't completely sure of Galactor's destruction. He still kept his identity a secret, to protect himself and the others, but he was working on a security force now, trying to make ends meet.
"Hey boss, what's up?" He walked past the secretary into the agency owner's office.
"Not much shadow. I called because I have a very important job for you. I can't spare anyone else for this job, but I don't want you to think that you are a last resort. I called you because you are the best we have." Hooty's boss would have gone on with the flattery for another hour if he would have let him, but Hooty was impatient.
"Get to the point, Brandon. I want to know who it is I am to be protecting and everything else I need to know." Hooty was staring intently out of his facemask. His birdstyle had changed though. He now wore complete black, with a one way visor, and a silver lining in his black cape. He still had all of the abilities from the war, but even better now because he had a chance to train now, and actually put them to use on the job.
"Well, Hooty, we need to protect Kathy. She is a 18 year old girl at Utoland high, and she needs protection. I can only give you where she lives, and her name. Any more information that you will need is up to her parents to give to you. Dismissed." Hooty stood up and walked out of the door. He was a little disgruntled about his job, but hey it was money that he needed. His ISO pension just wasn't cutting it.
He jumped into his car. It wasn't much to look at. A black chevy, armored of course, and unmarked, but very fast and very powerful under the hood, thanks to some work by Dirk. He pulled out the paper with her address on it. He pulled up to her door slowly and parked the car. He got out of the the car and made his way to the door. He knocked and soon the door was answered by a fatherly man, he stood about 6'0" and weighed approximately 180 lbs.
"Is this the residence where Kathy is residing?" Hooty was speaking in a drab, flat tone, so as not to give away any hint of feeling. He had learned to do that after his first job when he found out how much someone could tell by your voice what you were feeling. The man nodded and motioned for Hooty to come in, marveling at his size.
"Yes, sir. Are you from the agency?" Hooty nodded, his cape concealing everything from his neck down from their view. "Well, we need to have you protect Kathy at school for the next few days at least. She is having, umm, problems that the staff at school can't help her with, so we figured that we would hire you from the agency." He motioned for Hooty to sit.
"Is there any specific information that you can give me at the moment, sir? The more information I have, better I can protect your daughter." The man looked uneasy.
"No, not at the moment. But I would like you to stay as close as possible to her at all times." Hooty nodded. The man has not even bothered to try to see through his visor, as most people had. "Follow me to your quarters. I have to go to work, I work a night job, but I have an alarm set, so you will be able to go with Kathy to school tomorrow." Hooty followed him to a small room off in the corner of the house. Hooty fell right asleep and woke up to the sound of an alarm. He turned it off, and went out of the room into the family room.
"Good morning Sir, Kathy is waiting by the door for you." Hooty nodded and walked over to the door. He saw a beautiful blonde 16 year old waiting for him. Had he not had training in not showing emotion or what he felt, he would have dropped over right there. He walked over to her.
"Hello, I am your guard for the next few days. You can call me the shadow. I will be there whenever you need me." Hooty opened the door for her and lead her out to his car. He drove her to the school with relatively no problems traffic wise, and he followed her into the school. It took a lot of will power to ignore the remarks about her having to bring a bodyguard. He wanted so badly to smack one of them to shut them up, but he knew that it would be trouble if he did. He walked into her first period class.
"Kathy, it looks as if you have a visitor." Her teacher, Miss Nikolai, as Hooty could see on her desk, mentioned. All of Kathy's classmates turned and looked at Hooty. Some were nice looking kids, others were indifferent, but some looked at him with a look of contempt, like he was interrupting their game or something.
The first period of the day went without problem. Kids were eyeballing him all period, but that was about it. On their way to second period though, there was one kid in particular that was following very closely to them, and it was making Hooty a little nervous. Finally, when they were nearing the second period class and the boy was making his move closer, Hooty confronted him.
"Please step back away from her. You are invading her space." Hooty put himself in between Kathy and the boy. The boy looked defiantly at Hooty.
"You gonna do something about it? If you do, I'll press charges against you and take everything you've got." Hooty looked at the boy with a glare he knew the boy could not see through the mask.
"Listen here, boy. For one, I don't have anything but the suit I am wearing, and two, I have a liscence to use whatever force is necessary to protect her. So back off." The boy was laughing like crazy. Hooty turned around and saw another boy roughing Kathy up. He turned and instinctively grabbed the boy by the shirt. He threw the boy away from Kathy. The boy landed against the lockers with a thud, knocking the wind out of him. The halls fell quiet. Hooty wrapped Kathy under his cape, hiding her from view. He looked down the halls.
"Let that be the example. Do not attempt to hurt or assault Kathy or I will do the same, if not worse to the next one who tries." He kept Kathy under his cape and started walking to her class with her. He heard a voice, a female, from behind him.
"YOU!" Hooty turned around,assuming that they, whoever they was, was talking to him. "YEAH! YOU! In the black outfit. Come down to my office immediately and let Kathy go to class. She doesn't need you." Hooty guessed that this woman was the principal at the school. He made no attempt to release Kathy from the protection of his cape.
"I will not let her go. I was hired to protect her and she will not leave my arm's reach. She comes to your office with me, or I go to her class. You make your call." The principal motioned for them to come. Hooty walked slowly, his cape not letting anyone catch a glimpse of the frightened little girl under it. He walked into the office and closed the door behind him. Kathy took a seat and he took the other other. The principal was facing him with a glare on her face.
"What makes you think that you can just walk into my school and act like you just did toward the students, clearly endangering their safety, and get away with it mister...." Her voice trailed off. She didn't know his name, and he wanted to keep it that way.
"Call me shadow. I will not give you any more personal information. I have been trained to go through torture, so arguing trying to get information out of me is futile." He made his point clear and concise. Her glare didn't soften.
"Who do you work for Mister Shadow?" Her hand made it's way to the phone, her eyes never moving from his face mask that she was trying rather unsucessfully to see through.
"The utoland security agency downtown." She took her eyes off of him long enough to look in the phonebook and dial the number.
"Yes," She had obviously gotten through. "I have a person here claiming that he works for your agency?" She waited. "Yes, he says his name is the shadow?" Hooty reached over her desk and tapped in a code on her phone, which made very annoying sounds on the line, but his boss understood. The code he had just tapped in was to tell him that he wasn't in imminent danger or any such. The principal slapped his hand and glared at him. Following a few grunts of acknowledgement on her end, she hung the phone back on the hook. Hooty met her gaze, even though she could see it, she seemed to know his gaze was locked with hers.
"Well, madame principal? What did the agency have to say?" His hands were still folded calmly in his lap. She sighed deeply and her glare came back in full force.
"Well, the agency acknowledged your being their employee, and went on to say that you had legal rights and lisencing to use deadly force to protect your charge. However, I must warn you mister Shadow, if you do use deadly force on a student of this school, you will have a wrongful death suit and many other lawsuits on you." Hooty nodded, and then spoke over her.
"I will not use deadly force if I can prevent it, but if your students insist on badgering and threatening the well being of my charge, I will use what ever force I deem necessary to prevent harm to her. Do I make myself clear to you madame principal?" He had turned the tables on her faster than he thought he would be able to. She nodded slowly and waved her hand as a sign of dismissal. Hooty stood up and wrapped his cape back around Kathy and walked out of the office slowly.
During the next class period and the rest of the day, things didn't go better as he expected. Kids were making more attempts to hurt her than Hooty expected. One boy had tried to shoot her with darts through a straw, another had tried to get close enough to stab her with a knife in the hallways. And yet another pulled a gun and threatened to shoot her. Hooty didn't even think to ask why she was being attacked constantly during the school hours. He drove her home that night without a second thought about it.
Back at the house, Hooty went up to his room and stretched out on his bed until he was needed next. He had learned to put up with extreme boredom from the days of the war while sitting in the Phoenix all of those countless hours. He was almost asleep when he realized that someone was in the room watching him. He saw Kathy out of the corner of his eye. He shifted slowly and sat up.
"Hello Kathy. What's on your mind?" He turned and looked directly at where she was hiding. She slowly revealed herself as one who had just been scolded.
"I'm sorry mister Shadow. I didn't mean to intrude. I'll go away now." She started to turn to the door but Hooty stopped her.
"Wait, I didn't say that you had to go. I rather enjoy a good conversation now and then." He sat up and motioned for her to come over to the bed and sit. She obliged and sat down. "So what's on your mind, Kathy?" Hooty was looking at her intently, although she couldn't see it.
"Well, I just was wondering what it was like to be you? I mean, what's it like being a bodyguard? Do you have family?" She was almost going overboard on the questions but Hooty stopped her.
"One question at a time Kathy. I guess it wouldn't hurt to tell you a little about myself." He paused for a moment then continued. "I can tell you that living the life of a bodyguard is not an easy one. I have to stretch to make ends meet, but I managed to do it because that was the way that I have lived for most of my life. But the job also has it's rewards." She looked up at him.
"Like what?" She had a small gleam in her eye. Hooty couldn't understand it, but he was completely relaxed around Kathy, although he had a small part of him on guard all of the time.
He grinned under his mask a little bit. "Like protecting beautiful young women like yourself." He mentally slapped himself around. What are you doing, Hooty? Why are you making passes at a 18 year old girl? Snap out of it. He just didn't understand it. He felt as if she was trying to seduce him, but he wasn't putting up an effort to stop it. He didn't understand why. He noticed that she had put her arm around him and had grabbed his hand. He subconciously grabbed her hand, holding it tight.
"You're very tense. Just relax. I'm not going to hurt you." He was very tense and nervous. He liked her a lot, but he didn't know why. She was just the kind of person that he was extremely comfortable around.
"Would you take your mask off mister shadow? I want to give you a back rub and maybe relax you a bit." Hooty nodded, but he stopped before he took of his mask and cape.
"Where are your parents, Kathy? I don't want them to get the wrong idea or anything." He had turned and looked at her.
"My parents are gone for a couple of days. You and I are alone. They had a business trip." Hooty nodded. Inside his mind, he was an extreme mess. What are you thinking Hooty? Well, it's okay, it's only a backrub. No! She's a galactor agent. No she's just a eighteen year old girl. Don't take off your disguise, Hooty. What's it gonna hurt, Hooty? He was arguing with himself and then the relaxed part of him won over. He unclasped his cape and pulled off his helmet. He pulled them both of and put them next to the bed.
"Okay, lay on your stomach Shadow. By the way, you are a very handsome bodyguard. I expected you to have a scarred up face, or some disfigurement." Hooty obeyed her and was laying on his stomach and he felt her straddle his back, giving him a very relaxing backrub. He was lightly asleep when he noticed something. She was nibbling on his ear, whispering unintelligible things.
"What the heck, Kathy?" He was about to roll over, but he realized that she was still on his back.
"Just relax shadow. Let me do all the work, just roll over and let me take care of things." Hooty obeyed her, and saw her straddling his abdomen, naked, with the obvious look of lust in her eyes. Hooty snapped out of his obediance mode.
"Wait! Hold on. What am I thinking? Doing it with a 18 year old? Brighthead would skin me alive. I mean, don't get me wrong Kathy, I like you a lot, it's just that I am 21 years old and you're only eighteen. That's too much of a difference there." The look of lust was gone, but it was replaced with a sadness. Hooty put his arm around her. She looked up at him. He thought for an instant. Tomorrow's saturday. He was almost completely over taken by hormones, but not quite.
"Let's take it easy and talk it over. I'm sure that we can come to a better solution to things than this." He pushed her away slightly, but she didn't move away.
"I'm 18, I'm an adult and I can make my own choices. I don't care what my parents say." She leaned closer to him and kissed him. Hooty backed away.
"I don't want to do anything that is going to interfere with my ability to protect you during my charge with you. Maybe after, we could talk about going out, but I don't want to ruin my ability to protect you." Hooty had finally managed to snap out of it. "Now put on your clothes and lets talk all of this out." She backed away sullenly.
"Okay." She slipped back into her clothes and sat back down next to him. "What do you want to talk about?" Hooty looked at her, remembering that he still had his mask and cape off. He reached for them, but she stopped him. "It's okay. No one is here and I am not going to tell anyone that you took them off." Hooty nodded slowly and left them on the chair.
"For one, why was your dad being so secretive about why I was hired and all of that?" He was trying not to forget that he didn't have his mask on, but he was quickly failing at that.
She grabbed his hand and looked at him. "For one, they aren't my real parents, I don't know who they are. They are my protectors as they keep telling me. I guess I was given to them at a young age by my real parents until they could come back to get me or something like that. Aside from that. The reason that you were hired is because I witnessed something. I witnessed a murder and rape by a few of the staff members and gang members at Utoland High after school one day. Knowing that they couldn't do anything during school hours, I was safe, almost, until charges were pressed and I was brought in as a main witness. Then attitudes around the school changed. I know some self defense, but I was being attacked almost daily, and my protectors were worried, so they hired you on. You are supposed to protect me from them." Hooty was in the process of taking it all in, when he perked up to the sound of a door opening and closing. He grabbed his cape and helmet and snapped them into place immediately.
"Hide in here. I'll go see who it is." Hooty stood up and walked out of the door, not trying to hide his size by slouching or using his cape to cover himself. He walked out of the door, silently, using his ninja skills that he had learned back in G-Force. He hid himself in the dark corner of a room and listened. He could depict two male voices.
"Yeah, the bitch should be in this house somewhere. That's where the boss said she'd be." The first voice was talking to the other.
"Well, the boss said that she would be here, but somehow, I don't have a good feeling about this. Let's check upstairs and then if she's not there, we'll just put up with the boss' wrath." The voices started getting closer. They were almost on his position when he stepped out into the light.
"Who are you?" The first man's voice was trembling. Both of the men looked about 20 years old, wearing grubby clothes, and holding some sort of a weapon. The first man had a club, and the other had a piece of pipe. Hooty's adrenaline kicked in.
"I'm Kathy's bodyguard. My instructions are to keep her safe at all costs and I believe that you intend to hurt her and I will not allow that. I will stop you using any necessary force to do so." Hooty stood his ground as the second man stepped forward.
"I'd love to see you try to stop us. Just because you've got fancy clothes and instructions doesn't mean you can follow through with them. We've got orders too and we are going to follow through on them whether you like it or not." He tried to step past Hooty, but was thrown on the ground before he knew what was going on. Hooty grabbed the other man by the shirt and threw him on top of his friend.
"I told you. I will use whatever force I need to fulfill my purpose." The men stood up and came closer to Hooty again. Hooty grabbed both of them and slammed them together. "Now, go back to your boss and tell them that I will not let harm come to her in any shape. Got it?" The two men shook their heads and sprinted for the door when Hooty put them down. He went back up Kathy's room. She was curled up on the bed.
"They were here for me weren't they, Shadow?" She saw Hooty nod slowly.
"But I took care of them. I won't let them hurt you. It would take more than Galactor's army to keep me from protecting you." Hooty realized his slip in words too late. She perked up. Hooty hoped that she missed it. "I think I'll go sleep on the couch tonight and you can sleep in here. I'll leave my cape in here for you to curl up in." He bent over her to put his cape on her. She reached up and wrapped her arms around him. She moved her hands up and undid his helmet, letting it fall to the floor. Hooty gave in. They locked into each other's embrace.
After the fact, Hooty put his cape over the both of them and they fell asleep in each other's arms. Hooty had thrown caution to the wind and let things happen as they would. When he awoke, he found that he had been bound to her and there was a group of green goons standing around them.
"Galactor! What are you doing here?" Hooty was enraged. He struggled to get free.
"Well, looks like we have a bargain here. Two for the price of one." The head goon was laughing. "Now shut up and don't try to get out, because if you do, Kathy will die." Hooty felt defeated for an instant. He obeyed their orders, seeing as he had no other way out.
"Just tell me why you are kidnapping us." Hooty's voice was raged filled. The Galactor soldier chuckled.
"Well, because she noticed what some of our agents did to a member of her school, and she tried to do something about it. Our Lieutenant tried to warn you to stop and go away, but you didn't listen, then you attacked some of our other agents yesterday. And you wonder why we have come for you?" The group laughed, but Hooty was still struggling against the bonds. He heard a gun click. "Now stop struggling and shut up. If you don't, the girl eats lead for breakfast. Do you understand?" Hooty nodded slowly. He felt someone hit him in the back of the head and he lost conciousness.
When he awoke, he didn't know if he had been out for hours, minutes, or days. He was completely disoriented and was frantically looking for something to tell him where he was. He saw that he was no longer bound to Kathy, but he was still bound up. He felt the bonds were semi-loose but he decided not to test them for Kathy's sake. He saw his room was completely enclosed, not like other Galactor cells he had been in. He hoped for Galactor's sake that they had not done anything to Kathy. He started struggling with his bonds and managed to loosen them up.
The door slowly opened up to his cell. Hooty had managed to loosen his bonds up just enough to make an escape attempt easy, but not enough for them to notice. He watched as a couple of green goons walked in. They pushed him into the corner and sat him up so that he could see the whole room. One of them made a motion and a couple more brought Kathy into the room. She had been stripped of all clothes, and bound up. The goons threw her onto the floor of the room. Hooty was wondering for a split second what they were going to do, but he would have slapped himself if he could have done it. He knew that they were going to rape her and in front of his face just to make it that much more painful. They had started hitting her and Hooty went over the edge. His bonds were loose and he easily ripped them apart. He lunged for the first goon who was on top of her and slammed him into the wall. The rest of the goons were screaming in fear and stumbling for the door. He didn't bother going after them. He took the clothes of off the galactor goon that was dead on the ground. He untied Kathy and gave them to her. He stood watch at the door while she got the clothes on. They were too big for her, but they did the job of covering her up. He motioned for her to follow him. He slipped out of the door with her on his tail.
"Who are these people? Why are we here?" Hooty turned back to her.
"I'll tell you when we get out of here. Right now, just be silent and we should be out of here in a short while." He kept going with her on his heels. They came to a large hall where everything was silent. He heard someone breathing that wasn't Kathy. He turned to her.
"Go Kathy. Run and get out of here. I'll follow you shortly, I have something to do." She nodded and took off without argument. As soon as she was gone, Hooty turned to the open room and took up his composure.
"Okay Galactor. I know you are here, so you can turn the lights on and spare the surprise." Suddenly the lights went on and there were Galactor soldiers all around.
"How perceptive, shadow. I don't know how you knew that we were here or anything else, but now you are going to die. We thought that you might have been one of the G-Force members that we are so desperately trying to destroy, but we were probably wrong." A figure in some shadows was speaking in a booming voice. The person stepped out and it became apparent that Galactor was still alive. "Destroy the imposter." There was a flash of gunfire, but Hooty's reactions kicked in, and he started dodging them. They rushed and he was fighting them back. He knew that without Ace and the rest of the team, he was a dead man. He started to push them back, and he turned to run out and he heard galactor speak again.
"Stop shadow. If you value Kathy's life, you will stop." Hooty stopped and looked up in Galactor's direction. Kathy was being held there by a multitude of soldiers. "I will kill her if you make and effort to keep going." Hooty nodded slowly and jumped over the goons. He climbed his way up to Galactor. He put his hands out to receive the handcuffs. Kathy was in tears and Hooty was enraged that he had been beaten.
There were placed in a different cell this time. Now they were in the same cell together and it was open air with bars around it. There was always two blackbird ninjas on guard outside of their cell. One night about five days after their initial capture, Hooty was getting anxious to get out. He pulled Kathy to the furthest, darkest corner of their cell.
"Kathy. We have to get out of here. So far, Galactor has kept us reasonably safe, for what reason, I don't know, but I have good reason to believe that it won't last long. I don't want to see you hurt." They were holding hands and their gaze was locked. She nodded slowly. "I won't be able to get out with you, but I can get you out. When I get you out," He paused a second, noting that he didn't tell her if he got her out. "Get to a phone and call the ISO. When you get through, ask for Doctor Brighthead and tell them it is a birdalert. Chances are, you will get through immediately or at least very quickly. When he gets on, tell him that Hooty has a green problem and needs assistance. If you have found your location, give it to him. After that, just wait for the cavalry to arrive." Hooty pulled her close and kissed her on the lips. He knew that his plan was a longshot, and that it might take time, but he was ready to suffer to get out and keep Kathy safe. He heard their cell opening.
"Time for your food, scum." One of the blackbird ninjas was holding a tray of slop for them. Hooty leapt into action. He grabbed the blackbird ninja and snapped his neck. The other one leapt into the room and grabbed Hooty, but realized all to late that his strength was weak compared to Hooty. Hooty slammed him into the bars, bending them, and leaving a limp body caught up in them. He motioned to Kathy. She was trembling a bit, but she still followed obediantly. They managed to slip out of the room. He avoided everyone that they could and he killed the ones that they couldn't. He got her to the door and pushed her out.
"I'll bring help Hooty!" She called as she ran away. Hooty turned around and saw a whole group of Galactor's waiting there for him.
"Bring it on you sorry excuses for soldiers." Hooty mumbled under his breath as he rushed headlong into the battle.
In his office at the ISO, Doctor Brighthead was sitting reading a paper on cybernetics that was just submitted to him. He was reading it contently when his phone rang. He picked it up.
"Yes? I thought I told you not to call me. I wanted time to read this paper and get some work done." His voice had an edge to it. He hated being interrupted while trying to work, especially after telling his secretary not to interrupt him.
"I'm sorry sir, but the lady on the other line says that she had a bird alert, or something like that." The secretary was obviously upset by the scolding she had just received. "I can tell her to call back later if you want me to." The doctor had put his paper down on the desk and sat up in his chair.
"No, by all means, put her through and put her through on a secure line. I will handle this." The secretary acknowledged and he heard the line click over to a secure line. A seemingly scared voice came over the line.
"H..Hello? Is this Doctor Brighthead?"
"It is, young lady. Now who is this and why are you calling?" The doctor was being very calm and patient. He had expected one of the G-Force members, not an unknown young lady.
"This is Kathy. I called because of a birdalert. I was told to tell you that Hooty has a green problem and that he needs assistance. I don't know where I am, but I don't think it's safe to stay on the line much longer. They might be watching me." The doctor had already hit the trace button on his phone. He spoke.
"Okay. I think we can help. Is Hooty there with you?" The doctor felt his stomach knot up a bit. He hadn't had to deal with the stress of being G-force's protector for a long while.
"No. He is in some sort of base. I think I see one of them coming. I need to go. Just send the Cavalry, please." Doctor Brighthead heard the line click off. He watched as a printer on his desk printed out the exact location of where the phone call had taken place from. He turned to his console to contact G-Force. They didn't have their bracelets anymore, but he generally knew where to find them. He sent out teams to each location where they could be.
In the Snack J, Aggie and Peewee were cleaning the bar after the dinner rush and were about ready to lock up for the night when the ISO agents came to the door. They knocked and Peewee let them in, cautiously.
"Is the Swan and swallow here?" The man was very straight forward and stiff necked.
"Who wants to know?" Aggie was being very cautious. She had Peewee right by her side.
"ISO is in need of G-Force's assistance once again. We have orders to find you and transport you to headquarters." Aggie nodded in sync with Peewee. They leapt over the bar and on their way out, locked the door. They got into the transport and were immediately handed a briefing.
At the raceway, Dirk was just cleaning up his car after a good day at the races. He heard someone behind him. He turned and leapt over to the other side of his car using it as a barricade between him and the intruders.
"No need to worry mister Daring, we are ISO agents. We are here to transport you to headquarters. We are in need of your assistance once again." The agent was motioned over to a van and Dirk followed, grumbling the whole way that it had better not take to long.
At Ace's airway, He was just coming in from running some air mail and landed. He saw the men on his runway and after he land, at once, he was on the offensive, but the head agent put his hand up. "Mister Goodheart, we are ISO agents here to escort you to headquarters. You are needed there." Ace followed the man to the van.
The next morning at the base, all of the G-Force members, minus Hooty were together in the all to familiar briefing room. Doctor Brighthead walked slowly in.
"I'm glad you are all here. We have a very big problem. Galactor is back." He paused and Ace took the chance to interrupt.
"Where is Hooty? He should be here too." He readjusted and he could see the doctor do the same.
"I was just getting to that Ace, Hooty has been captured by Galactor. We don't know his condition, or if they even know that he is a G-Force member, but we need to rescue him none the less." He handed them sheets of information. While they looked over them, he continued.
"First thing, we have an area where an informant called from letting us know that he was in trouble. We have to guess that he is being held in that general area. If you can find her, you might have a better chance of finding the base faster. Second thing on my list of updates is the Phoenix. We have installed a new autopilot feature. We have already put in the coordinates of the area and it will take you there. Now go. Any other information will be covered in the briefing that I have just given you." The team stood up and gave the traditional salute and rushed out of the door. Once on the phoenix, they all transformed into their birdstyles for the first time in a long while. The majority of the trip was silent except for the silent humming of machinery in the background while the team read their briefing. They were almost there when the autopilot went off.
"Okay, We're almost there G-Force. Let's hope we can find her so we have atleast some sort of clue as to where they are holding Hooty." The phoenix landed expertly under the control of the autopilot and G-Force dismounted. They split up. Peewee had the north side of town, Aggie the east, Dirk the south and Ace the west.
They had been out for almost twelve hours, looking for anyone who looked like they might be the one who called. Peewee was about ready to give up and go back to the phoenix, but he noticed a girl following him, but keeping her distance. She would turn around and go into a store or alleyway whenever he tried to see who she was. Finally, he went into an alleyway himself. She followed him in. He got the drop on her without a problem but she noticed her mistake.
"Hey, wait. I just want to talk to you." Peewee called out after the frightened girl. She turned around slowly, her eyes full of fear. Fear that Peewee himself sometimes felt whenever he was close to losing someone close to him.
"Are you the..the cavalry that he told me about?" Peewee was caught off guard and had to think for a split second.
"Yeah. If you'll come with me, we can protect you and you can meet the rest of the group." She grinned. She was about a foot taller than Peewee, but it didn't matter in the present situation. He escorted her through the groups of people, never letting her arm leave his. He finally got back to the phoenix. He spoke into his bracelet.
"This is the Swallow. I have found the informant. Return the phoenix." He brought his communicator down slowly. She was looking at him curiously. "That is how we communicate. Don't worry. We will keep you safe, but we also need to know where you escaped from. We need to find our missing member." She looked at him funny and the at the Phoenix.
"Wait a second. You're G-Force!" Peewee put his finger up to his lips to silence her.
"Yes, uuhhh, what was your name? I don't beleive I caught it when we first met." Peewee blushed slightly.
"Kathy." She giggled slightly.
"Yes, we are G-Force, but keep it quiet. We need to have an element of surprise if we are to rescue our comrade." She nodded and then heard the group approaching from behind her. She turned and met their gazes.
"Welcome Kathy. We overheard some of your conversation but it would be safer to talk inside the phoenix, away from possible eavesdroppers." Ace motioned to the phoenix. Before she could react, Ace had put her over his shoulder and jumped on the phoenix with the team in following.
Once inside, they all sat down, and Kathy started to speak.
"I figure that you want to know where he is, right?" They nodded. "The place that I escaped from is about 2 miles north of here, but I think that it is heavily defended. I'm scared for him. I...I..." She burst into tears. Peewee of all people was comforting her. He slowly stood up.
"What are you standing around for? We have a comrade to go save." He headed for the elevator and the others followed. They glided most of the two miles in the air, but as they got closer, they decided to walk. Finally, they approached the mountainside. They entered through a door that had been left open.
Slowly they made their way through the base. Peewee couldn't stand it.
"Listen, if we want to find him, it'll be easier and less noticeable if only one person is going." Ace looked over his shoulder and reluctantly nodded.
"Who'll go, while the rest of us are waiting?" Ace knew who was going to volunteer, but he asked anyway.
"I will, Ace." Peewee had jumped on the chance that he knew he was going to have.
"Okay Peewee, but don't do anything too macho. If you need help, we are only a beep away on your communicator. Now go." Peewee nodded and took off into the shadows. Ace lead the team back out of the base, quickly, so they wouldn't be noticed.
Deep inside the base, Peewee came across the prison sector. He checked each cell and each time was wrong. Most of them were empty, but a few of them were holding soldiers who had ticked off their commanding officer. Finally he hit the jackpot. He took a good look at Hooty.
Hooty's left eye had been swollen shut and the rest of his face bruised and bloody. He was in his cell naked. Hooty's body was bruised, bloody and had cuts and open wounds on it. Peewee gasped, horrified at what he saw. He regained his composure and slipped into the cell. He put his hand on Hooty's shoulder.
"Hooty. I'm here for you." Hooty stirred slightly.
"Who? Who's here for me? Is that you Peewee?" He looked through his one good eye at him, and from what Peewee could tell, even that eye was not that great.
"Yeah Hooty. It's me, and let me be the first to tell you that you look terrible." Hooty's face tried to grin, but ended up wincing in pain.
"You should see what I did to those stinkin' galactor goons." His giggle came out as a hack and he collapsed back against the wall. Peewee brought his communicator up to his face.
"Ace, I've found Hooty, but he's in extremely bad shape. I don't think that he will make it out under his own power. He's bloody, bruised, cut up and I suspect he has broken bones and internal injuries. They did a job on this one." Peewee heard someone coming and ducked into the shadows. Hooty started stirring, coming to. The person passed, and Hooty tried to move. He winced everytime he tried to move, but he took the pain. Peewee watched as Hooty stood up and propped himself up. Peewee came over and helped him.
"Peewee? What are you doing here? Never mind. Let's get out of here." Peewee stepped in front of his comrade.
"You aren't going anywhere until the others get here, so we can get you out of here together." Hooty winced in pain, visibly clenching his teeth. Peewee heard someone coming and tried to hide a little too late.
"Hmm, looks like we have a little birdy here. Well, lets not let him get away." One of the green goons turned to the other. Then they turned back against Peewee, completely ignoring Hooty. Peewee backed up, trying to figure out what to do, when he saw Hooty rise up behind them, rage in his eyes. He grabbed them both and slammed them together, throwing them into a corner afterwards. Hooty turned to them.
"You made a mistake. You tried to hurt my little friend here. I don't take well to that. Be happy that I didn't do worse to you." Hooty gave them the talk, even though they were unconcious or even dead. Hooty stripped some clothes off of them and put them on, even though they were about three sizes too small for him.
"Hooty?! Oh my god. They really did a job on you didn't they?" Hooty turned, and almost fell over from the pain, to see Ace and the others standing there. "Let's get you out of here." They turned and headed down one of the main corridors. Hooty was limping behind them, slowly, with Peewee by his side. Suddenly lights flared around them and they saw an army of Galactor soldiers standing around them.
"What a nice effort G-Force, however, we didn't know that we had captured your team mate. Oh well, you will be dead in a few short moments anyway." Galactor dropped his hand and gunfire started. Ace, Aggie, Dirk, and Peewe went into action immediately, forgetting about Hooty for a moment. When the battle was still raging, Peewee couldn't see Hooty anywhere. He searched frantically for him, but still didn't see him. All of the sudden, the battle went cold, dead still. A shriek had broken the rage. Everyone looked up to see a beat, bloody, Hooty holding Galactor by the neck.
"Listen here, Galactor. We just want to get out of here. Now call your soldiers off and let us leave in peace, or else we will completely destroy this base and anyone who is in it. Do you understand me?" The figure in purple nodded slowly, trembling. The Galactor commander spoke.
"Do as he says, let them all go, no matter what. Keep this base intact." The soldiers withdrew back into the countless corridors and rooms, leaving the figure in purple, Hooty, and the other G-Force members in the room. Hooty looked at the figure straight in the eyes.
"You disgust me. You aren't worthy of even being called a Galactor. Get out of my face." Hooty suddenly threw the shrieking figure in purple off of the ledge. He then climbed down himself. The team had gathered around the dead body of what they thought was the body of the Galactor commander whom they had fought against all of those years.
"It's not Galactor. It's only a look a like. See, he's about 2 inches too short and the hair is brown, not blonde. Now if you don't mind. Let's go." Hooty turned to go out of the room and fell over, unconcious, the damage to his body finally catching up to him and his adrenaline finally gone.
Hooty awoke, not knowing if he had been out for hours, or days. He looked around and saw Kathy sitting next to him. She was asleep. He looked over himself. He found that he was bandaged up all over, but surprisingly he didn't feel much pain. He looked out and saw that it was still night, so he laid back, but didn't get to sleep for another hour or so. When he awoke in the morning, Doctor Brighthead was in the room and so was Dirk and Kathy with Dirk's Arm around her. Hooty sat up, and looked around. They looked startled that he was awake. Hooty wasted no time in getting to the point.
"How long have I been out, Doctor?" The doctor was taken by the suddenness of the question.
"Well, Hooty, I uh," He stuttered for a second, and waved the others out of the room. "There is a lot that we need to talk about." Hooty sat up, even though the Doctor was trying to get him to lay down.
"What is it that we need to talk about?" Hooty was puzzled and bewildered. "Is it about Kat?" Doctor Brighthead was silent. "What is it?"
"Well, Hooty, for one, you have been out for close to three months. Not naturally though, we had to keep you out using drugs because your body was so beat up that it would have taken much much longer to heal had you been concious and active." Hooty was getting angry.
"What about Kat? What is it that you are not telling me?" He readjusted in his bed. The doctor tried to turn away. "I don't think so Doc, you're going to tell me eye to eye, man to man. Or is it that horrible that you can't tell me?" The doctor made a visible effort to regain his composure.
"Hooty, Dirk and Kathy have been dating ever since you went out from the battle. He just proposed to her and she accepted." Hooty was enraged. He jumped out of his bed, almost losing his balance. He caught himself. The doctor came over to his side.
"Hooty, I..." Hooty shoved Doctor Brighthead.
"You what? Didn't know that this was going to happen? Do me a favor. Stick to your freaking science, not my life." Hooty turned and ran out of the door. He passed Dirk and Kathy, bandages falling off, and flapping in the wind. He kept running. When he got to his marina, he found a new sign on it that it was under new ownership. He didn't bother stopping. He kept running. He found an open door gym. He went in to relax. He immediately hit the weights. Other body builders watching him as he was putting up 400 plus pounds with no problems. He heard something. He looked and saw the biggest bodybuilder there, standing beside him.
"There's some skinny guy out there that wants to talk to you." Hooty nodded. He felt betrayed and hurt, but he was also in a rage because of it. He walked out of the gym into the alleyway. He saw Dirk leaning up against the dumpster.
"So go the breaks Hooty. If you want I'll make you the best man at the wedding." Hooty was getting extremely ticked.
"Why did you come here Dirk?" He was trying to be calm, but unsucessfully.
"Don't take it so hard Hooty. We were made for each other, not the way you wanted it, but it's the way things turned out." Hooty turned back to him.
"Listen Dirk, I've heard you say that about a lot of girls before, but they generally turn out to be galactor agents, or they die. If she dies, the blood will be on your hands." Dirk snapped and grabbed Hooty by the shirt.
"Don't you ever say that again. Now take it back or face my wrath." Hooty grabbed Dirk by the shirt and lifted him up.
"I WAS THE ONE WHO SPILLED MY BLOOD AND SHED MY TEARS FOR HER, AND YOU'RE JUST WALTZING IN TO TAKE WHAT I WORKED SO HARD FOR! DAMN YOU DIRK. I LOVE HER. I WOULD GIVE MY LIFE FOR HER, AND I ALMOST DID. CAN YOU SAY THAT YOU WOULD DO THE SAME THING? I DON'T THINK SO. YOU HAVE NO BUSINESS HURTING ME LIKE THAT." Hooty slammed him into the dumpster, denting the side in. He turned and ran like crazy out of the alleyway. He kept running. He didn't know where. He felt he had his bracelet on, why he didn't know, but he did none the less. Silently, he transformed and kept running. He came to the edge of land. Before he knew it, he was sitting on the edge of the cliff watching out over the water. He sat there, blank minded and meditating. The day slowly faded. He was sitting silently, when he heard someone behind him. He jumped back onto solid land and saw Kathy standing there. He walked over to her, noticeably more calm.
"Where is your lover and soon to be husband. Didn't he want to come rub it in about how I almost died for you and he is marrying you?" Her eyes started to tear over.
"I'm sorry Hooty. You were gone, and I needed someone to fill the void left by you. He was there for me. I found that as the time passed, I grew to love him more and more. I'm sorry Hooty. I still love you and I will never forget what you did for me. If I wasn't already engaged to Dirk, I would be with you." Hooty stepped back.
"You're sorry? Well, let me tell you, I would do it all over again because I love you that much. I would do it over again as many times as I needed to so you would be mine. But Dirk is always ruining my life. Why should this be any different. I have to live with the scars both physical and emotional, not him. I love you Kathy and I would do anything, but as always, I always get the brush off to the back burner, second best." She looked up at him with tears streaming down her face. He was in the same place. He couldn't hold his tears back.
"That's not true Hooty. You aren't second best. I love you." Hooty wiped his eyes.
"You're marrying him and not me. In battle, I got blamed for everything. I love you." He reached into his wings and pulled out a feather. He handed it to her. "Keep this always and remember me." He placed it in her hand. "Good-bye and have a nice life with Dirk." He turned and walked over to the cliff.
"NO! DON'T DO IT HOOTY!" Hooty jumped off of the cliff, letting his wings spread and carry him off over the water. He kept flying, tears streaming down his face. He didn't have a destination, but he knew he had to get away. He kept going into the dark, dark night, never once looking back.
The day was getting hectic for Dirk and his bride to be Kathy. Finally their wedding day approached with eager anticipation. Dirk was rushing around, happy as a clam, but Kathy was in with her bridesmaids sitting glumly.
"Why are you so down Kat?" Aggie was standing next to her, with her hand on her should. She saw Kat slowly turning a green feather in her fingers. "Oh, I see."
"I miss him Aggie. I'm so scared. Ever since he left, I have been thinking about Dirk and I. I've begun to wonder if a marriage would work between us. I've been thinking if I actually love him or not." She looked up to Aggie.
"I'm sure things will be just fine, now put that feather away and forget about him and don't let your wedding day get spoiled by old memories." Aggie smiled softly, but herself was wondering whatever had become of their green comrade. She took the feather from Kathy and slowly placed it in the waste basket and resumed helping Kathy get ready for her wedding.
The music was playing and they were marching down the isle. The wedding went perfectly, except for with Kathy. Though she united with Dirk legally, her spirit could never be his. She was forever spiritually united with Hooty, but she knew that she could never have him. After the wedding, everyone was so happy for Dirk and his new bride, that they failed to notice the big man in the trench coat and fedora, watching from the darkest corner of the church, with tears running down his face. He turned and walked quickly out of the door, leaving a green feather stuck in his chair with a note giving them his best wishes. Quickly following his exit, a flash of light and Hooty disappeared and was never seen or heard from by G-Force again.