– OCTO-BOY: Raider Attack! by J. Vandersteen
Matt Tatum sits at the breakfast table, eating cereal. He thinks, “I just had to call in sick at school today. I really want to be there at the hospital when mom wakes up.”
He gets up from the table, thinking, “Time to head over to the hospital. And the quickest way there is with my tentacles. And to make sure they don’t recognize me through my regular clothes I will put on this…” He changes into his green-skinned monstrous form, undresses and puts on a purple wrestling singlet. “And to make it nice and snazzy I will put on this belt from an old Halloween pirate costume. It is really appropriate.” The belt he dons is a large gold one with a big octopus emblazoned on it.
He takes a look at himself in the mirror and says, “Now I really look like a superhero.” He puts on a small backpack as well.
He leaves the house through the backdoor, changes his legs into tentacles, using them to jump extra high. He reaches out with his other tentacles to a tree, swinging from it to another tree and from that tree to a truck. He uses the truck as a springboard to jump on a store. From the store’s roof he jumps to another building, thus making his way across the city.
While swinging he notices an armored truck on the street that is surrounded by five armed and masked men. There’s also some cop cars, but the cops are taking cover behind them because the masked men are spraying them with bullets from their automatic weapons.
One of the armed men shouts, “The money in that truck is ours! Nobody stops The Raiders!”
“Those cops need my help,” Octo-Boy knows and swings down, landing on top of the armored truck.
“What the–?” one of the Raiders exclaims when he sees the hero. “Shoot that freak!”
Octo-Boy jumps from the truck, extending his tentacles and knocks down two Raiders with them as he lands. “Boy, I’m so damned strong now!”
A Raider slams his rifle stock into the hero’s back.
“Crap! Snuck up on me…” Octo-Boy says, falling on his knees. Then he slaps his tentacle at the attacker behind him, knocking him into the truck. Another Raider aims his gun at the hero.
“No!” Octo-Boy shouts as he looks into the barrel of the gun. To his surprise a spray of dark ink leaves two glands from his neck, blinding the Raider.
“Where did that come from?” Octo-Boy wonders. “Well, I guess I shouldn’t be too surprised, being the human octopus I seem to be…”
He reaches out with his tentacles, grabs the Raider and swings him into the remaining Raiders, knocking them all down.
“Wow! Great work!” one of the cops says. “Thanks a lot. Those guys seemed to be more interested in killing us then the money in that truck.”
A sound from the sky is heard… WHUP-WHUP-WHUP-WHUP… A helicopter is landing. A Raider is sitting next to the pilot, firing a machine gun, forcing the cops and Octo-Boy to take cover.
The Raiders help each other up and into the helicopter, laying cover fire.
Two cops are hit. Octo-Boy watches the helicopter fly up again. He looks at the cops.
“I can’t leave those cops to follow the helicopter. Saving them has to come first…”
Octo-Boy sits down next to the wounded cops. “I’m sorry guys, I’m not exactly a paramedic but I will try to stop some of the bleeding until an ambulance gets here.” He rips off the sleeves of the cops’ uniforms and presses them on their wounds. The two policemen also on the scene and not wounded tell the hero, “Don’t worry. We got it. We’ll take care of them. The ambulance will be here soon. Thanks for the help.”
“I might be able to carry them to the hospital,” Octo-Boy offers.
“That might not be the most stable way,” one of the cops says.
“I guess you have a point. It always seemed like a good idea when the heroes in the comic books did that, but I guess that’s the difference between real life and the funnies,” Octo-Boy says.
Two ambulances show up, sirens blaring.
“Okay, guess you will be in good hands now,” the hero says. “Take care!”
Octo-Boy jumps on top of the truck, then from the truck to a nearby roof, to another one, and another until the cops don’t see him anymore.
“Such irony… I am heading in the direction that ambulance came from and will be going soon…” Octo-Boy thinks as he jumps and swings his way across the city.
He ends up on the roof of the hospital. “Let me see if these suction cups on my arms really work.” He uses a tentacle to lower himself from the roof, then uses the suction cups on his arms to scale down the wall.
“Awesome!” he thinks.
When he gets down he hides behind a dumpster and gets normal street clothes from his backpack and puts them on, meanwhile changing back to regular human form.
So, seconds later Matt Tatum walks into the room where his mom is staying. She is in bed, asleep. Several tubes run from her arms and nose.
Matt sits on the side of the bed. “Oh, mom… Your job can be so dangerous sometimes… I’m glad I’ve got the powers to protect you now.”
Slowly she opens her eyes. “Matt?”
“Yeah, it’s me. How are you feeling?”
“Still a bit woozy from the painkillers, but otherwise okay. I heard the operation was successful.”
Matt squeezes his mom’s hand. “Good to hear.”
Three young people walk in. Matt turn around, spotting a beautiful blonde, a huge black kid and Jenny.
“Alison, Orlando, Jenny! What are you doing here?”
Orlando puts a hand on Matt’s shoulder, “Offering our support, buddy.”
Matt says, “Thanks. I really appreciate it.”
“So do I. It’s great to see my son has such great friends.”
“And so do you, partner,” a voice says. It’s Agent Johnson.
“Oh, hi!” Matt’s mom, Marcia, says.
“It’s getting a bit crowded here. I don’t think the nurses will approve,” Johnson says. “I’ll wait in the hall.”
As Johnson turns around Matt spots something on the back o of his earlobe. Something that looks like… ink.
“Is that…ink? Does that mean… NO….” Matt thinks.
TO BE CONTINUED