Chapter Five - Faster Than a Speeding Tall Building
The Ultimate TG Experience
by McKenzie Rigby
as told to
Chapter Five -- Faster Than a Speeding Tall
The wind tickled my eyebrows as I flew my daily patrol over Tinytown, USA.
For me, the world's most powerful kid, the patrol took less than a minute,
on a good day. I mean, how many things can go wrong in a mostly rural village
that spread out over twenty square miles, tops?
I flew back to Tinytown Middle School, with my red and blue
cape fluttering behind me. Landing just outside the schoolyard, I wondered
again, why the Earthling children never realized that I, SuperKid, a visitor
from another world, went to the same school as they did, or that I was actually
their contemporary, Clark McKentzie, in my every day guise.
As always, the kids crowded around me. I was pleased to note
that Lana Ledo and Barbie Bennigan were among them. These two girls were always
fighting for my attention.
"Hey, SuperKid," said Harry Hooter, one of Clark's
best friends. "Can you get me Bat Person's autograph.
"No, get Spider Guy," called out Freddie Fudrucker, another chum.
I gave them both my classic, pensive pout and asked in my whiniest
voice, "And why not mine?"
"That's okay, Superkid," they both said. "Maybe
some other time."
"You can autograph my blouse," Barbie simpered holding
open her sweater. "Right here, by my heart."
"And just what is wrong with my autograph?" I asked
Harry in a more serious tone.
"Nothing, Clark-sorry, Superkid-but you've already signed
everything I own twice and three times so far. I mean
I know someday, when you grow up to be SuperPerson, defender
of Truth, Justice and the Politically Correct
Way, all those autographs will be worth a major fortune, but
give me a break now, okay?"
"Okay, chum," I said and flipped my head to get my
bangs off my face.
I noticed the grins that spread across the faces of all the
boys present. "What?"
"It's nothing," Lana said. "Ignore them, Superkid."
"But he's turning into SuperChick again," said a boy
in the eighth grade. "You promised to go to the last dance with me, SuperChick
and I mean to hold you to it, this time."
Reaching up to my head, I found that I indeed had a head of
now glorious blue black curls that just touched my shoulders and my bangs
were now just above eye level. I looked down to find that the rest of me had
"Not again, this is the fifth time this month," I
groaned. "Who could be doing this to me now?"
"What about young Alex Applebee?" Barbie asked. Last
month Alex had tried to change me into a mermaid.
"No, young Alex is still in St. Cuthbert's Home for the
Criminally Insane and Children's Sweatshop, but not for long, knowing him."
"Then could it be another fanfic author pandering to the
prurient interests of his Internet readers?" Lana asked.
"No," I said with a long sigh. "I'm underage,
and PC Comix would never permit it. Besides, all of us here are too young
to understand any of that stuff."
Everyone laughed in agreement with me-I hoped.
"Then you'd better see Dr. McDonald, the official PC Comix
Pseudoscientist, SuperChick," Freddy said. "He can tell you what
you need to do."
"You're right, thanks." I said raising my arm in farewell
to my friends before jumping into the afternoon sky.
I flew the distance to Majormetropolis, where someday I hoped to work as a
reporter for a good-sized metropolitan newspaper, if only I could get my grades
in English up. A few seconds later, I landed outside the office of Dr. R.
McDonald, pseudoscientist, whose motto read: "We make the logically impossible
not only plausible but almost believable." Just my kind of scientist.
On the door, however, I found a note that read: Thanks for stopping
by, but I'm on an extended vacation in Cancun. Please see my colleague, Dr.
Wendell Whitecastle for any of your pseudoscientific needs. This means you,
too, Superkid. I'm on vacation and you won't find me no matter how hard you
I can take a hint, I thought as I flew over to the next building.
There I found the office of Dr. Whitecastle easily enough, and walked inside.
"I'm SuperKid," I told the girl behind the front desk, who looked
smashing in her dark red business suit, with mauve blouse and accessories.
"I need to see Dr. Whitecastle right away."
"Go on in, Kid of Iron-or is it Girl of Germanium-he's
been expecting you since Doctor Ron went on vacation."
Dr. Whitecastle was an older man, dressed in a lab coat, with rather grubby
looking jeans and a badly stained gray t-shirt underneath. He peered at me
through his thick glasses. "SuperKid?"
"Yes, Dr. Whitecastle, I need your help. I'm turning in
a girl, again."
"But that is logically impossible, SuperKid. Other than
your rather feminine hairstyle, I see no sign of other female characteristics.
This is a bit more than you're supposed to know at your young and impressionable
SuperKid, but males cannot turn into females; not even young
males from Kryptune. However, they can take on a female appearance with years
of hormone therapy and extensive plastic surgery. Is someone threatening you
"No, of course not, Dr. Whitecastle. I have been changed
into a female more times than I can count, and it is happening again. I need
you to help me figure out how and who is doing it to me this time."
"I see, and with all those so called 'super powers' of
yours you cannot tell?"
"Are you sure you're a real pseudoscientist?"
"Of course not, SuperKid. I have my doctorate from M.I.T.
I have more letters behind my name that even you could lift. I am a real scientist.
I deal in cold, hard, observable facts, not this mumbo jumbo about space aliens,
and ghosts and E.S.P. I can help you, but an investigation like this could
"I see, thanks, Dr. Whitecastle but I am a space alien
and I need a real pseudoscientist."
"In that case, I'd suggest Kevin Koá«nigburger. He's
a good man, and his office is one floor up."
I found the office easily enough, and went inside. Dr. Koá«nigburger
was a tall, pale man, with a dark goatee. He asked me to sit down.
"Tell me what's going on."
I filled him in on my latest changes. He nodded his head and
wrote it down on a notepad.
"And you say you have been a girl more than once?"
"I get changed once or twice a week. It started a while
ago with this lady from outer space. I thought she was just some space bimbo
with a feminist agenda, but I did come to learn that her changing me into
a girl was a good thing. I needed to get in touch with my feminine side. But
after that every super villain with a grudge has been changing me."
"I see, and has this presented any problem at home?"
"No, my foster family has been great about this. I'd swear
that I have more girl's clothes at the house than boy's clothes."
"And you are comfortable with this?"
"Dr. Koá«nigburger, I have a reputation to maintain.
I have to be well adjusted no matter what I look like. Otherwise, I'd have
to transfer my contract to that other comix company, you know the one, Marvelous
"I see. Now, when you are a girl, do you feel like a girl?
Have you considered dating boys?"
"Doctor, please!" I exclaimed. "I'm underage.
Plus, like I just said, I am obligated to the youth of America and PC Comix
to be well adjusted, morally pure and one hundred percent heterosexual no
matter what my gender. I mean at PC we are liberal, but not that liberal."
"I see, but these days, don't you find PC Comix a bit commercialized?"
"Whatever do you mean?"
"Never mind. But, if you are that well adjusted and comfortable
with being SuperChick instead of SuperKid what's the point of changing back
into a boy when you will just be changed back a day or two later."
"I can't let the villains win, that would be sending the
wrong message, wouldn't it? I'm the Superhero-or I guess it's Superheroine
in this case. We're required to win in the last few frames."
"But don't you find winning and losing to be just so much
masculine posturing? Competitiveness isn't something that should concern you,
"In many ways I know you're right, Dr. Koá«nigburger,
but I have my plot line to think about. Oh well, thanks for the help."
"I might suggest you see that new pseudoscientist in town,
Ivan Ihopsky. He might be able to help you further."
With nothing left to lose, I flew on to Dr. Ihopsky's office.
Dr. Ihopsky was a big, beefy man who wore a full black beard.
He welcomed me into his office with open arms. "Ah, da, da I yam Ihopsky
and I yam an official pseudoscientist at your service, SuperKidsky. Please,
vont you sit down?"
"Dr. Ihopsky, I'm surprised at you. This is PC Comix, after
"Ah, yes, I forgot and by using my accent I have inadvertently
poked fun at people from different cultures. I am apologizing to all Slavic
speaking peoples that may have been offended by my accent. Is that PC enough
for the editors?"
"It should be Doctor, and thanks. As you can see I am turning
back into SuperChick and I need your help."
"Is this a problem? You are a rather attractive young lady,
after all. Much more attractive as SuperChick than SuperKid."
I felt myself blush. "You really think so? No, I can't
forget myself, even for a moment. I am SuperKid and I have to find out what
arch fiend is doing this to me this time."
"Hmmm, simple enough. Is there anything new in your life,
friends, objects, hairstyles?"
"No new friends, and my hair always does this when I change
to SuperChick, but Barbie gave me this locket yesterday, and Lana gave me
Dr. Ihopsky nodded, and said, "If you were to look inside
those items with your x-ray vision what do you see? One or even both of the
girls might have been duped."
"Yes, of course," I agreed. "That has happened
quite a few times in the past." I scanned the locket and said. "Nothing
there, but a picture of me and Barbie. I signed it, of course, and…."
As I checked the watch, I felt shivers running up and down my spine. Inside
the watch I saw a small pebble that had a distinctive pink glow. I tore open
the watch, and found a grain of pink Kryptunyte of all things. As soon as
the pink glow touched me directly, the rest of me changed. I felt my hips
widen and my chest expand, but just a little; after all, I was still underage.
"It would seem that we have found the answer. Pink Kryptunyte,
I would imagine, a remnant of your home world of Kryptune."
"But what can I do, Dr. Ihopsky?" I asked as I flipped
my hair and posed prettily with one hip slightly forward.
"We cannot look at this logically, SuperChick. Think about
it. You came from a world that we know must be hundreds of light years away
from Earth. Your parents bundled you, as a baby, into a space ship that had
a faster than light drive, which of course is a logical impossibility right
there. When the planet exploded, dramatically enough moments later, pieces
of Kryptune, no matter how violent the explosion could not have been thrown
into space at speeds faster than light, so it is a logical impossibility that
Kryptunyte could even exists, let alone cause you so much grief now.
"So, we have to postulize that the faster than light drive
of your ship must have created some sort of vacuum that not only sent the
ship to earth but pulled along a substantial amount of matter from your home
world with it. That matter, during the trip must have been bathed by the ionic
after burn of the FTL drive which would account for it's changing from harmless
dirt and rock to deadly or unusual Kryptunyte. Now a lot of that matter would
have burned up in Earth's atmosphere if it had been ordinary space debris,
but since it was transformed into Kryptunyte instead we can assume that all
sorts of different colors of the stuff actually landed intact here, on Earth."
I applauded. "Now that's what I call great pseudo-science,"
I said. "I believe it. I believe it."
"Thanks for that vote of confidence, SuperChick. Now, logically
it would seem that if pink Kryptonite would make you female then blue Kryptonite
would make you male, but again, logic has nothing to do with this, so I'd
say you need to find some yellow Kryptonite real quick. Not gold, not blue
but yellow." He rubbed his hands. "Just think, SuperChick, if my
hypothesis is correct, that spaceship, your salvation from the destruction
of your home planet could, ironically enough, be the cause of your own destruction.
Good luck, and find that yellow Kryptunite before this change is permanent.
I'd say you have less than twenty-four hours, so get moving."
"I will, Dr. Ihopsky, and thanks. Thanks for everything,"
I said and took off through his window. After the sound of shattered glass
faded-most pseudoscientists install glass-free windows to avoid exactly that
problem-I did a quick flight around the world, scanning for yellow Kryptunyte.
I must have spotted tons of green and red Kryptunyte but no yellow, and no
time to destroy the vile stuff that I did find.
After a brief venture into outer space, I still had no luck
in finding yellow Kryptunyte. Depressed, I finally flew home to Tinytown.
I had less than eighteen hours to find some and there was none to be found.
The secret door behind the barn on my adopted family's farm opened and I flew
in through the secret tunnel into the secret closet in my bedroom.
"Great jumping horny toads," said Pa McKentzie as
I flew into the basement workroom. "Ma, Claire is back-again. What happened
to you this time, girl?"
"Pink Kryptunyte, Pa," I sighed. "I must find
some yellow Kryptunyte in the next twenty-four hours to counteract the change."
"Oh good, Claire, you're back. A new catalog just came
in and I need your help with some things,"
"Just a second, Ma," Pa said. "The girl needs
some yellow Kryptunyte. Know where she can get some?"
"Oh, sure, mothers always know these things, Pa,"
Ma said and shook her head. "I just read in the paper this morning about
the big Kryptunyte show that Arthur Applebee is holding at his place. He's
got every color including plaid and paisley. Now don't you go trying them
"Arthur Applebee, isn't he young Alex Applebee's dad?"
"Why yes, I guess he is. Now just because you and Alex
don't get along, sweetheart doesn't mean you should hold that against his
folks. If Arthur has this yellow Kryptunyte you need I'm sure he will let
you have some. Good folk, those Applebees. Always concerned about the neighborhood.
They serve a mighty mean barbeque, too."
"Way to go, Ma," Pa applauded. "Your Ma's got
this non-commercial commercial business down to a 'T', don't she, Claire?"
"Where is this exhibit being held, Ma?" I asked ignoring
"Over at the middle school, of course, but I guess you've
been too busy fighting crime and saving the world from alien scum to notice.
Oh, and don't forget to put all your dirty costumes in the hamper dear."
"I should have known that. The writers love that sort of
irony," I sighed. "I'll be right back."
I flew to the auditorium to find the place swarming with kids
from the school, all there the see the exhibit. At the far end of the room,
Mr. Applebee stood collecting tickets. He let each child study a long display
case filled with glowing rocks.
There, I sighed as I spotted a small chunk of yellow Kryptunyte
right between the red and the green. I mean, how color insensitive was this
"Hey, wait your turn," some guy told me as I landed
a foot away from the display case. I glared at the dweeb until he apologized.
I had one chance to grab the yellow stone before the radiation
from the green or the red stones affected me. Using my blinding fast super
speed, I opened the case and snatched the yellow Kryptunyte in a millionth
of a second. As I stood back, waiting for the changes to start, I called out,
"I apologize for the interruption, but I have to borrow this."
Sure enough, as Dr. Ihopsky had postulated, the yellow stone
quickly transformed me back into SuperKid instead of SuperChick. Unfortunately,
the stone, once its purpose had been served, crumbled into so much yellow
dust in my hand.
"That was the only known specimen of yellow Kryptunyte
in the known Galaxy, SuperKid," Mr. Applebee shouted angrily.
"I know, and I am sorry, sir, but I had no choice. I…."
"Smile for the camera, SuperKid," a man's voice said
from behind me. I turned around to pose, only to have the flash go off in
my eyes. A pink glow surrounded me and seconds later I changed back to SuperChick.
I stared at the now useless yellow Kryptunyte dust in my hand for several
seconds as I counted to ten in several languages in order to calm back down.
The photographer lowered his camera. He was a tall man, swarthy-skinned
and wore a huge grin. "That was the only specimen of yellow Kryptunyte
in the galaxy and once again you fell for my trap, SuperChick. It is I,"
he said and removed a plastic mask to show the dark face of one of my old
"Doc Pappajohn," I gasped. "The Voodoo King."
"Correct, SuperChick. Better ingredients make for better
spells, don't you agree?"
"No, I don't, and my mom does those 'non-commercials' a
lot better than you do. I may be SuperChick again, but that doesn't mean I
can't arrest you. Maybe this time, they'll lock you up for good."
"Ah, but when are things what they seem?" the man
said and removed still another mask.
"Yes, SuperChick darling. I did this because I can't see
you, a real mega-babe, wasting herself on some mistaken notion that it's better
to be a dull clod of a boy."
"You won't get away with this, Ihopsky. I will…."
"You can't threaten me, SuperChick, I'm underage,"
the man said in a teenaged voice that I had heard before.
Once again he removed a mask to show the face of my arch nemesis.
"Young Alex Applebee," I exclaimed.
"That is so stupid," he said with a sigh. "Of
course I'm young, I'm a kid just like you, so there is no need to point that
"Yes, but the editors of this comic decided ages ago that
the kids that read it are way too mentally deficient to figure that out for
themselves, Alex. Those kids are reading this comic after all. So, you are
young Alex. What do you want?"
"The same thing I've always wanted from you, SuperChick-a
date. I mean really, I ask you out one time and you treat me like some sort
of master criminal."
"You mean to tell me that you went through all of this
just to go out with me?" I said with a slight smile as I batted my super
long eyelashes at him before demurely lowering them.
"Yes, I am telling you that. Go ahead and snatch me baldheaded,
SuperChick, but will you go out with me?"
I thought for a second and looked again at the remnants of the only known
specimen of yellow Kryptunyte in the universe. "I thought you'd never
ask, Lexie. Where do you want to go?"
"No, SuperKid," Lana yelled out, her voice growing
more and more desperate as she spoke. "Don't listen to him. There's got
to be more yellow Kryptunyte. You can find it. You have to find it."
As SuperChick and Alex walked hand and hand out of the auditorium,
in spite of the girl's protests, McKenzie Rigby sent his latest story to the
list. Now that's what fan-fic is all about. He turned off the computer and
sighed. He'd check his e-mail tomorrow.
Igor whined and Mac laughed. "Sorry boy, you can't be in
every story. Maybe next time."
"Say," Mac continued. "Isn't young David overdue
for your morning walk? Looks like I'm going to have to do some of that exercising
Janice insists would be good for me."
Grumbling, McKenzie was already huffing and puffing from the
exertion before he'd made it outside. Maybe this time he'd make it all the
way to the park before needing to rest and let the pains subside; four blocks
away. McKenzie wondered if David's absence wasn't part of another one of Janice's
machinations to get him to act healthier. Knowing Janice, it was an easy bet.
CONTINUED IN CHAPTER SIX
More [The Rigby Narratives]
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