It was the next day at school, and the students were busy making their bi-weekly show and tell presentations. Sheen took his seat after having shocked the class with his 'limited edition' Ultralord underwear, and Ms. Fowl came to the front.
“Settle down chillldrennn! There’s only one person left for show and tell, and you know what thaaat means!”
There was a collective moan among the students.
Ms. Fowl let out another squawk. “That’s right, class! It’s time for another excitttinnngg presentation by JimmmmmyyyBEBOCK!”
Jimmy strutted up to the front of the room, and Ms. Fowl leaned down and whispered in his ear.
“Jimmy, can you pleeaaaase keep the radioactivity to a minimum this time? Half of the students are still glowing from laaaast weeeek’s experimeeenntBRAWK!”
“Of course, Ms. Fowl. I assure you, my demonstration this week will be up to the highest safety standards.”
With a chicken-like flap of her arms, Ms. Fowl took her seat, and Jimmy cleared his throat to speak.
“Ladies and gentlemen of our fair classroom…and Cindy…”
She stuck her tongue out at him.
“…Be prepared to be awed and entertained by my latest invention. Before beginning, however, I feel obligated to provide a disclaimer. I warn you, what you are about to see may be too much for your meager minds to comprehend.”
The kids gave him a blank stare. Nick tossed up a coin and caught it. “Dude, just get on with it.”
“Ya, some of us would like to get out of here before we actually learn something,” said Butch.
“Fine. Unimaginative troglodytes...Ahem! Without further ado, I present to you what might possibly be…and I know I’ve said this before…my greatest invention ever!”
Reaching into his pocket, he fished out the red triangle. He held it up above his head, and when it caught the light, it sparkled with a beautiful crimson aura.
Britney leaned forward in her seat, eyes gleaming. “OOOH! It’s so pretty!”
“Hey, Check out the bling!” sneered Nick, pointing. “So, Nerdbomb, you making jewelry now too?”
The students laughed raucously.
“It’s not jewelry!” protested Jimmy. “It’s a highly sophisticated teleportation device! It can transport people or objects to any location instantly. All I have to do is attach it to my specially designed Quantum GPS here.” He pulled a GPS from his other pocket.
“Greatest invention ever, huh?” scoffed Cindy. “How many times have we heard THAT before? Do us all a favor and skip the theatrics, Neutron. I for one am eager to see a demonstration. Maybe you'd like to start by teleporting yourself somewhere far, far away...say, the center of the sun?”
“Funny, Cindy. But no. I have a better idea. How about I transport you somewhere very, very near...say, the top of that flagpole out there?”
Jimmy grinned menacingly as he adjusted a few settings on the GPS. Before Cindy could say another word, he aimed the triangle at her. A beam of the sun’s light shot through it, refracted, and hit her square in the stomach. She glowed red for a second, then vanished, instantaneously reappearing on top of the flagpole outside. She wrapped her arms and legs around it with a yelp.
“Neutron, you jerk!” she called, shaking her fist at him. “Get me down from here!”
He ignored her cries and instead turned back to the class. “As you can see, the Triangle uses solar power to initiate the transmission of objects, or in this case people, from one place to another. And it works like a charm, if I do say so myself. Any questions?”
Sheen jumped from his chair and grabbed Jimmy by the shirt.
“Jimmy! You have to let me use that thing! I need to get to Ultralord’s homeworld in the Nebulon Galaxy, right now! The festival of heroism is about to begin, and if I don’t make it there, life will be meaningless!” He dramatically 'fainted' on Libby’s desk, and she pushed him off.
Libby leaned forward in earnest. “No! I need to use it to get into Smallie Big’s concert! C’mon Jimmy! I’ll buy ya a t-shirt while I’m there!”
“Hey that’s not fair,” whined Carl. “I want to use it! Jimmy can I use it please? I want to go to South America!”
Butch rose up and loomed over him. He curled his fingers into a fist. “You’d better give it to me, Neutron, OR ELSE.”
“Guys, you can’t….”
Britney interrupted him. “Like, what about me? I want it!”
Nick was next. “Uh, dudes, I think you’re all forgetting about ME here. I mean, really…”
Ms. Fowl rose from her chair and joined in. “Jimmy, is there aaaannnyyy chance that it could send me on an all expenses paaaaiid vaaaacaationnnnBEBOCK?!”
“Guys, back up!” shouted Jimmy, raising his voice to speak over the crowd. “There’s something I have to tell you! Hey, guys? Hello! Hey, would everyone please LISTEN UP!!!!”
His audience blinked in surprise.
“Thank you! What I’ve been trying to say is that NONE of you can use the Triangle. I haven’t perfected the system yet, and the chemical bonds are still incredibly unstable. If you let it build up too much of a charge, it could scatter your atoms or even plunge you into an alternate universe!”
Britney’s lower lip curled into a pout. “You’re like, such a party pooper!”
“Seriously, dude,” said Nick, easing himself back into his chair. “Why’d you even bother to show us the thing if we couldn’t use it?”
There was a loud bang as Cindy barged back in through the doorway, a smudge of dirt on her cheek and fiery revenge burning in her eyes.
“I can answer that question, Nick. He showed you because he’s a big, pig-headed, arrogant, show-off loser!!! He just wanted to remind all of you how smart and wonderful he is. RIGHT JERKTRON!?”
There was a moment of tense silence, and then the bell rang. Ms. Fowl and the kids took one look at the angry faces of Jimmy and Cindy and then bolted for the door. As soon as they were gone, Cindy stomped over to Jimmy and got right in his face.
“What is wrong with you? I just fell off a flagpole and practically ate my own weight in dirt thanks to you!”
Jimmy glanced down at his hand, curling and uncurling his fingers demurely. “Well then I guess you should have held on tighter, shouldn’t you have?”
“I can’t even believe you! You have absolutely no feelings at all, do you?!”
“Me have no feelings?” he scoffed. “You should be talking, little Miss ice heart. The day you care about something other than yourself is the day curved space freezes over!”
“You’re just jealous because I'll NEVER care about you!”
Jimmy was taken aback. “What? Give me a break! You just can't deal with the fact that I regularly demonstrate my superior intellect!”
“Superior intellect? How about superior nastiness, arrogance, and conceit!”
Jimmy gave her a pleasant smile. “Wow Cindy, you do such a marvelous job of describing yourself. Maybe you’re not so wholly stupid after all.”
“UGH! You little jerk! I hate you!”
She pushed him, and he pushed her back, and they continued arguing louder and louder. Sheen slapped himself on the forehead, and Libby walked up next to him.
“There they go again,” she said. “Why can’t they just get it together? I’m so sick of all this fightin’.”
“You said it, Libs. Psycho girl over there needs to get some serious anger management.”
“Um 'scuse me? Are you insultin’ my best friend?”
“No!” Sheen looked both ways, then lowered his voice to a mutter. “...But I don’t think it would hurt if she saw a shrink.”
Libby whirled to face him. “I heard that! And I wouldn’t be talkin’ if I were you. At least she isn’t a manic sugar addict who is in love with a stupid doll.”
“It’s an action figure, darn it! Get it through your head!”
Libby’s head tipped from side to side in time with her words. “Doll! Doll! Doll! Doll!”
“Shut up! I’m not listening LA LA LA LA LA LA LA…”
Libby and Sheen began arguing as well, and Carl stood off to one side, watching them all fight. He started to shake, then finally screeched at the top of his lungs.
“STOP IT! STOP! I CAN’T TAKE IT ANY MORE!!!”
They all froze and stared at Carl in surprise.
“Carl?” said Jimmy, approaching his friend slowly.
Carl wiped his mouth sheepishly. “Sorry, guys. But I couldn’t take it anymore. Your constant fighting was aggravating my irritable bowel syndrome.”
“You’re right, Carl,” sighed Libby, “we’re actin’ completely ridiculous. Here me ‘n Sheen were arguin’ about the other two arguing. Let’s all just take a deep breath and go our separate ways.”
Jimmy nodded agreement. “That sounds like a good idea to me.” He turned and walked towards the door, then motioned for Sheen and Carl. “C’mon guys, we’ve got to get back to the lab. I need the two of you to be test subjects in my catastrophic meltdown simulator.”
Carl shifted his weight back and forth nervously. “Now Jimmy, when you say 'catastrophic meltdown'…”
“Don’t worry Carl; it’s totally safe. It’s only a simulation, after all.”
Jimmy exited the room, and Carl and Sheen followed obediently behind him. Cindy kicked the corner of his desk, then plunked down in her chair and set her lips in a pout.
Libby put her hands on her hips. “Jeez, Cindy, moody much?”
“Back off, Libs. Just leave me alone.”
“Why are you so worked up? So what, he poofed ya outside onto the flag pole. He’s an idiot, you said so yourself.”
Cindy looked away. “He didn’t even say he was sorry. I could have been hurt, and he didn’t even care.”Cindy got up and stalked out of the room, leaving Libby staring after her in bewilderment.
-> Chapter 2
(Thanks again to Keirin-chan for the guest art!)