This story is based on a popular trope of 80s/90s cartoons, in which the heroes and villains somehow wind up competing in sporting events. The concept here is that they've been abducted by aliens, who are forcing them to compete for their freedom. (This is more explanation than these episodes usually offer). This story covers the weightlifting event.
- The story runs on cartoon logic.
- It's largely action-oriented, though there is a tiny bit of character development with Remi/Dammage the beaver.
- All violence is of a comic book/cartoon nature. (These supers are very resilient and the worst that happens to them is that they get knocked out.)
- I know next to nothing about sports. I'm sure weightlifting in real life has all sorts of specific rules and weight classes and things like that. I'm just putting together a hero and a villain who I think will look good doing it, and then having the villain cheat and the hero try to deal with that, as the trope dictates. Anything that doesn't make sense can be put down to "cartoon logic" or "crazy alien logic".
- The story is not about the aliens and they don't actually appear.
PART 1 of this story is adult content, and is available to read on the Adult Literature forum. Basically all you need to know from that section is that the heroes' first champion, Streamline the otter, had his lift interfered with by the villains' cheating, and that the heroes' unforms are blue and white, while the villains' are red and black.
* * * * * * * *
The stocky young muscle-gut beaver slumped over to the weights and looked down on them with disgust.
*Grrrr. Sports. I hate sports! Oooh, you know what's exciting? Let's see who can pick up a thing and put it back down again the best! Why couldn't we be abducted by aliens who wanted to put together an intergalactic art exhibition?! Is the whole universe more interested in sports than artwork!?*
The heroes in the stands were cheering for him. He could hear Champion Cheetah's voice above all the others.
"Go, Dammage! Wooooooooooooo!"
*Well, I have to admire his passion,* thought Remi. (He was new to the superhero game and still tended to think of himself as Remi Vitoux rather than Dammage.) *But would he be cheering so loud if he knew what I was thinking just now about his beloved sports? Good thing his power isn't telepathy. His isn't...but someone else's is.* Remi turned and saw that his competitor, The Mind-Eating Lion, was watching him with sharp green predatory eyes. The first two fingers of the cat's right hand were casually laid against his temple. *Is that why I feel so angry?*
*Look at him,* said Remi's brain. *He thinks he can control your thoughts! NOBODY tells YOU what to think. You know what you should do about it? Pick up the weight and throw it at him.* But I'll be disqualified! *Do it. It'll feel good.* But Idey and all the others are counting on me! *Like Streamline? You saw what they did to him. Go ahead. It'll be worth it. Just imagine it wiping that grin off that lion's smug face. Just imagine. Jussssssst imaginnnnnnnnne...*
Dammage was imagining the grin being wiped off his smug face...when he "picked up the thing and put it down" better than than some insecure wimp who had to cheat to win! GRAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH!
Mind-Eater had inadvertently unlocked his latent spirit of competition.
The lion frowned deeply as Dammage lifted the weights, issuing a guttural cave-rodent GRUNT. He held them high over his head, his body looking as solid as one of the statues he sculpted. Setting the weights down at his feet, he looked at Mind-Eater as if to say, "Do whatever ya want to me now. It's TOO LATE."
Mind-Eater looked like he was under the influence of his own anger mind-control attack. He was clearly more concerned with why his mind-control hadn't worked than the weights he was now picking up.
He was just about to give the final push - the same point when Streamline had been overcome - when all of the heroes thought, simultaneously, about Dammage's victory. Mind-Eater's brow clenched, and the weights slipped from his grasp, landing at his feet with a crash.
He stared down at the weights, with his mouth hanging open. Usually, the lion's gaping maw was one of the most frightening things a super could see - it meant they were about to be mentally reprogrammed. But now, it just looked pathetic. He let loose his rage with a Fear Roar attack on the heroes section, but it was drowned out by a huge cheer for Dammage.
Identity turned to her boyfriend, Dobes "Guard Dog" Gillis. She gave him a jab with her elbow, and commented, "Can I pick 'em, or what?" (Dobes had not always been behind the addition of Dammage to the team).
Dobes responded with a "Hey, what do I know?" shrug, and the two shared a celebratory kiss.
"Don't look so smug, Idey!" yelled Zoria the skunk at her rival coach. "You know we've got the ultimate ringer for this event."
Identity didn't even bother to growl. She knew it was true...the supervillain Barbell was the strongest super there. But she believed that her Dobes could still beat him....somehow.
* * * * * * * *
In spite of everything - the alien abduction, the forced comptetition, the constant cheating that took out his teammates - at this moment, Dobes felt pretty good. (He had been in the superhero game a long time, but still tended to think of himself as Dobes Gillis rather than Guard Dog). He was just doing a few warm up stretches in the "backstage" area before his big face-off with Barbell.
Perhaps to make it more of a contest, the aliens had set an upward limit for how heavy a weight could be chosen. Barbell had, of course, chosen the maximum. But Dobes had been working even harder than usual to build up his strength in preparation for this event. He remembered the local toughs at his gym back in the Bronx, who tried to show off more strength than they really had and wrecked their bodies. Since then, he made sure to know his limitations, and this was just within them. He might have to struggle and strain while Barbell could phone it in, but maybe he could at least come out of this with a tie. And perhaps there was the tiniest chance that, by some mishap...he could actually win?
As Dobes stepped out on the platform, Champion Cheetah looked straight at him and give a small nod. Both heroes had ongoing rivalries with Barbell, and shared an understanding of what it meant to beat him -or to be beaten by him.
Then, Dobes looked beyond Champ and noticed that Idey and NightVision were missing from the crowd. This was an odd moment for the coach and the team medic to vanish. Partly, he was worried that something had happened to them, and partly, that they were off finding some way to cheat. Not that his ego was the most important thing here...but ideally, he'd rather beat Barbell fair and square, even if it was by some crazy alien rules.
* * * * * * * *
Meanwhile, in a nearby service corridor, two other supers were preparing for the event. Other than both being muscular, they could not have looked more different. Magnus was an eight-foot-plus statuesque Great Dane, whose smooth body was infused with reflective metal. He wore matching metallic shades. Power Pirate was a shorter, stockier and feather-ier parrot. He wore an open, sleeveless black leather jacket, gold chains bearing "dubloons" and other trinkets, and a "Dread Pirate Roberts" mask.
Magnus was trying to magnetically unlock a door that led under the weightlifting platform, without tripping the alarm.
"Me only regret," said Power Pirate, "is that we won' be able ta see the look on ol' Dobesy's face. It's like makin' someone walk the plank from below decks. Where's the fun in that, eh, matey?"
"We're alone down here," said Magnus, in his metallic tone and refined English accent. "You don't have to keep up the pirate talk for my benefit."
The door finally clicked open, and the pair walked through.
"Well, frankly oi'm surprised yer don't respect me devotion to theme!" The parrot went on. "I mean, en't yer supposed to be a robot er sometin'? An'I never seen yer break character yesself!"
"I have no idea what you're talking about. Can we just focus on our common goal - crushing Guard Dog?"
"Have yer ever thought o'gettin' surfin' lessons from that otter feller, an becomin'the next Silver Surfer?"
Magnus groaned, and bured his face in his hands. At that moment, a clear-plastic chain whip came flying towards his face. He barely looked up in time to dodge it, and sent a few metallic support beams flying at his attacker - Identity the bloodhound. But he didn't want to bring the platform down, so he was limited in how many projectiles he could throw at her. She flipped out of the way, then used the whip to ensnare one and knock the others out of the air with it. Swishing it back towards Magnus, she pushed a button on the whip's handle and out of its tip came a plastic collar and muzzle. Another flick of the wrist, and she had them snapped around the Great Dane's neck and head. The bloodhound snarled and began pulling her struggling quarry towards her.
As for Power Pirate, a curvaceous shadow was stalking silently towards him, its glowing cat-eyes staring directly into his. It was NightVision, the panthress! The two heroines must have noticed their absence from the stands and tracked them down here! Her eyes, which were swirling hypnotically with multiple colors, had already drawn his in, but he wasn't totally under her power yet! In fact, her power was about to become his power, too!
"Howsabout a starin' contest, missy? RAWK! Woo-ooh!"
The blue tips of his wing and tail-feathers turned black.
"Waitaminute!" he screamed. "What did yer DO to me!?"
Instead of imitating her hypnotic swirls, his eyes had become wide and unfocused. He couldn't see a thing.
"Her powers..." Magnus mumbled through the muzzle, "must require...external technology!"
While the Great Dane was distracted, Identity flipped over his shoulder and landed behind him. She grabbed his wrists and pulled them behind his back, slapping a pair of plastic cuffs on them.
"Rawk!" said Power Parrot, who was about to imitate someone else's power and regain his sight. NightVision fired her eye lasers at him. The white beams hit him in the chest and his whole body was bathed in light. He was knocked backwards and landed by a support beam. Identity judo-flipped Magnus into him, who landed against him with a clang. The bloodhound chained the two unconscious villains to the beam.
"Well, that takes care of that!" said Identity. "If we hurry, we can be back up there in time to see Dobes lift. Then we can tell the security 'bots to pick up the garbage and Barbell will be disqualified!"
"You were s'posed to signal when you got into position!" grumbled a deep voice. "What's taking so long!?" It was Barbell! How convenient! Before he could he even tell what was going on, NightVision started to hypnotize him. His eyes went blank and mirrored the swirls in hers, as his head began bobbing in circles. Identity pondered whether they should simply give him a post-hypnotic suggestion not to cheat in future events -for surely, that wasn't cheating -or if it was more fair to actually prevent him from winning, to balance out what was done to poor Streamline and the other heroes they had taken down.
Identity was roused from her thoughts - Magnus was stirring. That wasn't much concern - he could barely move. *Barely.* He jerked his facial muscles slightly, almost like a silent sneeze. NightVision gasped. He had crushed the tiny circuits in her cyber-contacts. Her eyes lost their focus and the swriling colors flickered out. Barbell's eyes were still swirling, but now they looked confused, as if he'd lost the thread of a conversation. The heroines avoided making any sudden moves, hoping the partly-hypnotized Dalmatian would remain in a trance. But Magnus managed to knock the metal shades off his face. They fell to the floor with a clatter. Barbell scrunched his eyes shut and shook his head. When he opened them, they were pure blue and filled with rage. He growled deeply and took a swing at the blinded panthress, who instinctively knew to duck. Identity threw herself between the two. She pulled off her detachable cape and threw it over Barbell's head, with the glowing violet side down. That disoriented him for a moment.
"I'll handle him," she shouted to NightVision. "RUN!"
"Rawk, WOO-OOH!" Power Parrot's muscles bulged and his wing tips turned white with black spots - he had copied Barbell's powers. In one swift move, he broke free of his plastic bonds, shattering them. "RAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAWK!" Launching off the floor, he flew at NightVision, tackling her into Identity, and both of them into Barbell's chest. The heroines screamed. The sound of the impact was like a thunderclap. The two villains looked into each others eyes, grinned, and threw their arms around one another in a massive double bearhug, (Cr-u-u-u-u-unch!)
When Barbell and Power Parrot separated, Identity and NightVision were plastered across their respective chests. After a moment, the two heroines peeled off and fell limply to the floor like very muscular rag dolls. Identity landed on top of NightVision, and they lie there in a heap, as the two villains grinned down at them with satisfaction.
They were down for the count, but just be on the safe side, Magnus bound them up by twisting a girder around them. They'd have to be returned, of course. The aliens would notice if they were gone for too long. But first, Mind-Eater would erase their memories of what had happened here.
* * * * * * * *
The weights were the size of large oil drums, and considerably more solid. There were many "unhs!" and "urrrrrms" and "grrrrrs", but soon enough Dobes had lifted them level with his chest. He was expecting some kind of covert attack from the villains'stands, but when none happened, he signed in relief, and with one more great big "UNH!" the weights were over his head. The heroes CHEERED and villains BOOED. Both were music to his ears.
Down below, they were music to Magnus' ears too. It was time. He assumed his fighting stance, with his hands directed up towards the platform above. He felt out with his powers and "grabbed" the weights.
Dobes clenched his teeth. He didn't know what was happening, but the weights couldn't actually be heavier...could they? Well, no matter. The hard part was over. He couldn't let them slip from his grasp now.
"Rawk! WOO-OOH!" cried Power Pirate, as he copied Magnus' power. His wing and tail tips turned silver. He immitated his partner's stance, and a wave of magnetic power flowed through his body.
Dobes trembled. All he had to do was place the weights neatly as his feet and complete his lift, but now they were pressing down on him so hard, he couldn't seem to move. All he could do was concentrate every molecule of his being on keeping those weights aloft.
The two villains strained their muscles in unison - "Hurr!" - and performed a "pulling down" motion, focusing their combined power, pouring it on.
*No!* Thought Dobes.
The near-7-foot tower of canine muscle crumpled. The weights came down hard on his shoulders and forced him face-down into the platform with a loud crash. Unlike Streamline, Dobes had no erection to distract him from his situation. He struggled and strained with all his might, but the weight crushing him didn't budge - it was just too heavy.
In the meantime, Barbell came forward and lifted his own, equally sized weight- with one hand. All the villains in the stands cheered, as Barbell strut around and flexed, eating it up. When his official lift was over, he picked his weight back up and strolled over to Dobes.
"Where's your coach and your medic? Oh well, I guess I'll just have to help you out."
Using his other hand, he effortlessly lifted the weight off of his rival. He grinned down at Dobes, who growled up in response.
"Don't be a sore loser," said the Dalmatian.
Barbell made a victory pose, holding both weights high above his head, and stepping on Dobes - bringing down his foot with his full weight between the Doberman's shoulder blades, crushing him into the the platform. Dobes issued a muffled yelp. Barbell howled.
From the stands, Mind-Eater was watching very carefully. He would would insert this image into the heroes'thoughts every chance he could.
* * * * * * * *
It wasn't until much later that Identity and NightVision finally arrived to peel the inert Dobes out of the muscle-Doberman-shaped hole. (The aliens were very particular about who they allowed on the platform.) Barbell's huge paw-foot had left an impression in his back.
Identity tried to remember how she'd let this happen, but everything after Dammage's victory was a complete blank. As a supers, Dobes and Streamline would survive, but they might be out of a few upcoming events in which they'd be sorely needed.
"Now that the platform has been cleaned up," the robotic voice announced. "We can commence with the awards ceremony for this event."
An Olympic-style three-tiered pedestal emerged from out of the platform. As each of their names were called, the supers stepped forward to receive their medal from the robot official.
"The Gold Medal goes to Barbell, of the Red Team!"
"The Silver Medal goes to Dammage, of the Blue Team!"
"The Bronze Medal goes to Sire, of the Red Team!"
Standing on the middle platform with the silver medal dangling from his neck, Remi would have much preferred to be flanked by Dobes and Streamline, but he was still proud he'd been able to snatch some victory for his team out of this fiasco.
Barbell was wagging his tail. Suddenly, he turned to the side and wagged it right in Remi's face. The dalmatian's tail was as strong as the rest of him. It slapped the beaver back and forth repeatedly, until finally, he fell off the pedastal onto his back, screaming.
"I'm just expressing my joy at winning," shrugged the villain with a smirk.
"That looks like fun," said Remi. "Let me try." And he slapped the platform with his tail. A crack moved across it and hit the pedestal, which instantly shattered into tiny pieces. Both villains fell on their rear ends. Remi got up and walked towards the platform. The two villains winced, as though they were worried the same thing was about to happen to them, but he just took some of the tiny pieces of pedestal and threw them in the air like confetti.
"Yaaaaaay! Second place!"
Then, he took a bow and left the platform.
"Come back here, ya little punk!" yelled Barbell.
"Don't be an ungracious winner," said Remi. "I hope we compete more directly next time."
*Did I really just say that?!* he thought. Yes, he did. And he meant it, too. What was happening to him?!