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Superboy 2099 #5

"Here There Be Dragons"

Writer: Tony Thornley
AEiC: Ryan May
EiC: Lierson Morais

Pain. That was the first thing I felt when I woke up. I used my psi powers to
locate the source of the pain and deaden it. I took the oportunity to take in
my surroundings then. I seemed to be in some sort of craft. I couldn't move
much due to some metal cuffs holding me in place. First, I reached out using my
tactile telekinesis, but was unable to get a bearing on the cuffs. I guessed
that there was some sort of force-field between myself and the cuffs. I decided
to use a psi blast to free myself.

The psi energy splashed over the cuffs, shattering them. I stood up, and got
my bearings. We were on land, but I was unable to detect anything beyond that.

"Well done, Superboy!" That voice... It was Knockout. As I recalled the name,
I remembered what happened to me just before I blacked out. Knockout broke into
my apartment in Metropolis, and beat up Kara. She then laid in wait for me, and
quickly outclassed me.

"Where are we?" I cried out. "Where is Kara?"

"Ah, pup," Knockout's voice said, "So full of questions! I shall answer them,
in time. For now, it's time for us to get... familiar." A door opened, and
Knockout entered the room. She had little on, obviously trying to display
her... assests.

"My mother taught your predecesor how to use his powers," Knockout said, "And
so much more. Now you shall receive the same training from me." She undid a
knot in her clothing. I saw that knot held her clothing on. After staring for
an instant, I looked away. I knew about what had happened with Superboy and
Knockout in the twencen. For some reason the project taught me about it.

The woman seduced Superboy, using her training as a Female Fury and a stripper.
Knockout bared everything to Kon-El, and then murdered a man in the middle of
combat. She insisted she didn't kill the man, but in the end Superboy
discovered the truth and put Knockout down.

"Put your clothes back on, Knockout," I said. "It won't work. I'm better
trained than that."

"Are you?" she said, drawing nearer to me. She drew her hands around my waist
and pressed her frame up against me.

"I said-" A flare of psi energy came from my eye. "-it won't work!" Knockout
was thrown away from me and hit the opposite wall with a *THUD*.

"Very well," Knockout said. She walked up to where her clothes had fallen and
draped the fabric over her shoulder, not bothering to really cover herself up.
She headed for the door.

"Enjoy your stay in Hawaii, pup. You'll be leaving soon." With that, she left. I
used my telepathy to follow her. She passed several armored men (who couldn't
stop staring at her), and I guessed from the configuration of the armor who these
people were.

Silicon Dragons.

Early in Kon-El's career he encountered a group of techno-terrorists called the
Silicon Dragons. They believed in matching force with equal force. So Superboy
and a hastily assembled Suicide Squad went after the Dragons and blew up their
base. No one ever found a trace of the Dragons since.

Now I knew why. They were preparing for a comeback. Now was the time. The
Silcon Dragons were going to rise again in the world. And I had to stop them.

I knelt and took a deep breath. Pressing my hands to the ground, I reached
into the structure of the room. There had to be an air intake somewhere...

There. I looked up to the ceiling. It was nearly invisible, a panel sightly
raised above the others. Wasn't it convenient all villans left escape routes in
their holding cells? I flew into the air straight at the vent. As I came
closer, it became more obvious. My fingers easily went under the cover, and I
tore it away. I winced at the noise it made.

I descended to the ground and set the vent cover down. I hoped no one had
heard me tear it off. I ascended back to the vent, and looked in. It was a
simple fan, easy to get past. I went back to the ground and picked up part of
my broken shackles. The cuff was mostly intact still. I flew to the vent, and
inspected it again. After a couple moments, I jammed the broken cuff into fan
blades. The blades stopped quickly. I went between the blades and then kicked
the broken cuff out, allowing the fan to start again. I flew through the
ductwork, looking through vents for a directory of some sort.

I found a large room with a large bank of computers against one wall. I kicked
in the vent cover and flew into the room. It appeared to be some sort of
storage area. I could see the stuff I'd had with me in Metropolis sitting on
top of one crate. I went over and picked up my staff and overcoat.

"This is almost too easy," I muttered. I crossed the room to the bank of
computers. This escape attempt was almost a cliché. Find a nice, easy route
out. Find all of my stuff. Find an exit. I just needed the bumbling guard to
stumble on me.

"What the...?!" came a puzzled voice from across the room. I looked at the
door and saw a Dragon running to the nearest alarm console.

"Shock!" I cursed. It was not a good day. I extended the staff and prepared
for a fight.

***

By the time the Silicon Dragons got to the storage room, I was safely hidden
away. While they crossed the room with their back to me, I stood enough to see
the troopers. I raised the staff and channeled a stream of telekinetic energy
into the staff. It discahrged and took out two of the Dragons.

While they turned and pointed to where the blast originated, I ran around the
room, thanks to my enhanced speed. They started searching the crates, while I
stood and primed another blast.

"Oh ladies!" I whistled. They all turned and I fired right into the heart of
the group. I retracted the staff and ran down into the middle of them. They
jumped at me, but were each met with a speeding fist, a psi blast, or a plain
old kick in the gut.

"Enough!" a voice called as I finished mopping up. There stood Knockout in a
full green uniform. She wore a pair of sunglasses, and had her long red hair in
a ponytail.

"Hello, KO," I said. "You decide you wanted your butt kicked too, or just happy
to see me?"

"Lowlie," she growled. "Mother would have made short work of you."

"Doubt it," I replied. "Kon-El took her, and I'm more powerful than him,
multiple times over. But if you're willing to try, this time, I'm willing."

"Oooh!" Knockout giggled. "You're not willing to partake in carnal pleasure,
but when it comes to a good scrap, you're more than ready. I like that in a
man. More than one that would just take me. Means I can kill him in fair
combat, instead of while asleep in bed."

"Lady, you're sick," I retorted. I drew my staff and cast my overcoat away
from my body. "Let's get it on!"

***

Knockout circled me, popping each of her knuckles in turn. I spun my staff,
chanelling energy into it ever so slowly. Knockout smiled.

"You are good, pup," she laughed. "I recognise your fighting style already."
I pointed my staff at her.

"Why don't you get to know it up close and personal?"

"If that's an invitation," she replied, "I'm game." She brought her fist back
and rushed me. As she ran at me, I saw multiple images of her. Temporal
distortion. Meant to confuse an enemy. The Project had several distortion
devices and trained me in fighting against them. In fact, I think the Project
was the only corporation with them...

Knockout plowed full into me. The force of the blow would have shattered my
ribs if I didn't have my TK shields up. I grunted and brought my staff down on
her. She stepped back and caught the staff on my next swing. She threw it
aside, leaving me weapon-less, at least, beyond my powers. I mustered a full
psi blast, knocking Knockout against the far wall.

"You seem to have that effect on me, Superboy," Knockout laughed. "Let's see
what effect I have on you." She sprinted across the room, lept up, and landed
on top of me. While there she kissed me. I was surprised to find myself
returning the kiss. The two of us rolled around on the floor for several
minutes. Suddenly Knockout jerked up.

"This is the point where I'd normally have my way with you and then kill you,
but my employer has plans for you." That said, Knockout punched me across the
jaw.

My world faded to black.

***

"Mmmmm," I groaned as I woke up. I could still feel Knockout's kiss on my
lips. I had to admit, she was a good kisser. If that carried over to the
bedroom, I both envied and pitied her past conquests.

"Good morning, pup," Knockout said. I glanced up. She was sitting at the door
crosslegged. She was again in that outfit held together with one knot. "You
had the apetizer last night," she continued, fingering the knot, "now would you
like the main course?"

"As good as it sounds," I replied, really meaning it, "I'll have to take a rain
check. You know, girl back home, saving herself until we get married. I'm
planning on doing the same."

"Oh, Kara?" Knockout said, still playing with the knot. "She's here somewhere.
I'll have someone bring her to you." She started to undo the knot, and then
tightened it. "But it'd only be for a visit. You see, your cell is now
completely encased in a forcefield. I'm sitting outside it now, and it will
extend once I leave. The only thing that can get in or out is air. I'd love to
see you get out of this one."

"Oh, I will," I said. "When you least expect it." I thought of something.
"Back when we were, uh, together, you mentioned your employer. Who is it?"

"I'm surprised you haven't guessed yet, pup," she laughed. "Who else has
temporal distortion tech? Uses the fighting style that you do? I'm employed by
the Cadmus Project."

My heart sank. The Project. They were coming to get Kara and I back. That
couldn't happen. Not after all I've been through.

"Please KO," I begged, "Don't give Kara to them. Give me to them, but let her
go."

"Who said they wanted to keep you alive?" Knockout asked. "As far as I know,
they're going to execute you when they get here. I would have done it for them,
but Guardian requested the honor for himself."

"Knockout," I begged again, "You can't let them have her. Guardian's a sick
man. He'll do horrible things to her. He already has. Say she escaped or
something. Please."

"I'm sorry, Jake," Knockout replied. "Guardian will kill me if she escapes."

"Then let me go too," I said. "We can go together. Please Knockout-"

"Please," she interrupted, hanging her head, "Call me Kayla. Mother always
did."

"Kayla," I pleaded, "I'm trying to appeal to every fiber of basic human
goodness you have. Let us go."

"I'm only half-human," Knockout muttered, "but Kon-El's DNA held plenty of
basic human goodness."

"You're Superboy's daughter?"

"Mother took some of his DNA," she said, "Cloned sperm and inseminated herself
with it. I'm a test-tube baby, like you, Jake." She looked up at me, her eyes
moist. "I'll see what I can do."

"Thank you Kayla," I said. "Thank you."

"You're welcome," she said, standing. Suddenly she was back to her playful
self, adjusting her clothing seductively.

"Oh, and pup," she giggled, "I imagine that you're better awake than you are
unconscious."

"What?!" I exclaimed, but she was gone. She hadn't! Had she?

***

I stood in the middle of the force-field swinging my staff in dizzying
patterns. I was preparing. I knew that this would be the ultimate battle.
This time, it was me and Guardian. No Cadmus. No DNAliens. Just me. And
Guardian.

And only one of us would walk away alive.

***
To be continued...
***