Jonas McRobbie slowly opened his eyes and sat up. A moment before, he’d been running through the streets of Tétouan in pursuit of an opponent in a Nerf battle. That was until he’d suddenly appeared… wherever he was now. At least he still had his Lawbringer in case this was some elaborate hoax.
“Welcome,” said a voice from the other side of the small room. Sitting against the opposite wall were six boys who looked vaguely familiar.
“Do I know you?” Jonas asked suspiciously.
“Probably,” the speaker said, “I’m Carston Buck, and this is CJ Shepherd, Josh Montenegro, Micah Wideman, David Rogers, and Nathan Tam.”
“Jonas McRobbie,” he replied, still suspicious.
“We’re all TPSers,” Nathan said, “but we have no idea where we are or how we got here.”
“We’re just as confused as you are,” David added.
“Have you looked outside the room yet?” Jonas asked, standing up.
“Door’s locked,” CJ said. “Someone doesn’t want us to leave.”
“I know who,” Carston said, “I’ve figured it out. There’s only one reason all seven of us would be in the same place at once.”
“And why is that?” Josh asked.
“Joshua Wideman’s clay articles.”
“Hold up,” Jonas said, slowly connecting the dots, “that cloak dude… you guys have met him too?”
“Exactly,” Carston replied.
“Technically, David and I haven’t…” Micah muttered.
At that moment, Carston’s phone rang. He pulled it out of his pocket and spoke to the caller for a moment. “Oh, of course it’s you… yep, we’re all here… yeah, just a sec.” Carston held the phone out and hit the speakerphone button, allowing everyone to hear Joshua’s voice.
“Hey guys, sorry about this whole debacle. Very long story short, the cloak who interviewed most of you stays alive by using energy collected from asking questions and getting answers. He agreed to help me out with the whole spotlight thing since I couldn’t get to most of you. The problem is that he’s too powerful now, and he’s kidnapped you guys so he can finish collecting energy from you. So I’m going to beat him at his own game by using energy from questions and answers against him.”
“Okay, I think I got it,” Micah said, “but just in case… tell me the whole thing again, I wasn’t listening.”
Joshua muttered something under his breath and spoke again. “The cloak is evil, and I need to use his power against him.”
“But what does this have to do with us?” Nathan asked. “Do we just sit here?”
“Not quite,” Carston replied. “We’re the ones who have to give Joshua the energy.”
“Exactly!” Joshua continued, “If each of you can give me a question, I’ll take it from there.”
“That’s it?” Josh asked incredulously. “It’s that easy? We’re going to defeat a teleporting supervillain by asking you questions?”
“Okay then, what’s the first edible item you think of when you wake up?”
“Either oatmeal or cereal, depending on what I feel like making that morning. Who’s next?”
“I got one,” Carston said. “If someone made a movie about your life, which of your friends would you want to play you?”
“Ooooh, I might borrow that one sometime… I’d say Micah, since he knows me pretty well. Plus, he can rap and looks good in glasses, both of which would be necessary to play me.”
“Should I be flattered or offended by that?” Micah asked suspiciously.
“We’ll talk about it later. You got a question yet?”
“Sure. Do you like waffles?”
“Of course. Who doesn’t? David, how about you?”
“Uhhh… does your iguana have healthy blood vessels?” The room lapsed into an awkward silence. The other boys in the room gave him confused looks, except for Micah, who just smirked. At length, Joshua’s voice came through again.
“I don’t believe I’ve ever had an iguana before. I wouldn’t be surprised if one of my brothers got one though…”
“Good idea,” Micah said before muttering something to David about a Bleh song. “Er… anyone else have a question?”
“I do,” Jonas said. “In interior design, are you more of a cement-metal industrial kind of guy or a wood-fabrics traditional kind of guy?”
“Industrial. I typically prefer a more modern look to a rustic one. Anyone else? I’ve almost got enough power.”
CJ glanced up from his phone, where he’d been discreetly surfing the web for decent questions. “Try this one. What’s the dumbest thing you’ve ever done of your own free will?”
“Letting myself get shot off of one of those inflatable water catapult things. I came down in a half belly flop and couldn’t breathe for almost a minute.”
“I guess that leaves just me,” Nathan said. Before he could continue, however, the door to the room creaked open and an ominous black form floated in.
“Greetings, all,” the cloak said in its usual emotionless voice. “It is good to once again make your acquaintances.”
“Cut the chatter, cloak-face,” Carston growled. “We know what you’re up to.”
“Then perhaps you will allow me one final question. How does it feel to know you have helped bring about the end of your world as you know it?”
“How’s this for an answer?” Jonas said as he aimed his Lawbringer at the cloak’s head area. He quickly fired a shot, hitting it right where its face should have been. The cloak gave a loud gasp and crumpled, then slowly turned to dust before disintegrating altogether.
“Seriously?” Josh said, “That’s it?”
“That,” CJ added, “has got to be the lamest supervillain death I have ever seen.”
“Nice shot, Jonas,” said a voice from outside the room. Everyone turned to see Joshua walking in the door.
“Thanks… I think.”
“Where were you?” Micah asked.
“It’s a long story. I was harnessing the energy you gave me so I could shoot it at the cloak. Jonas’ shot coincided with mine to take that thing down for good.”
“But how?” Nathan asked, “You said you needed a question from all of us, and you never got mine.”
“I just needed a certain amount of energy. Turns out, Josh’s questions about how easy this whole thing is was enough to put us over the top.”
“So, I basically just saved the world?” Josh asked, smirking triumphantly. “You’re welcome, everyone.”
“So… can we go home now?” CJ asked.
Joshua smiled. “Ah, yes. I should have enough energy from your questions to send you all back.” Joshua pulled a remote out of his pocket and pressed a few buttons. One by one, the boys disappeared, until only Nathan was left. “Before you go, what was the question you were going to ask me?”
“Oh, yeah, what’s the longest period you’ve spent playing an instrument?”
“I don’t really play any instruments… but I’d be interested to hear your answer.”
“Ten hours. Orchestra rehearsal. Plus, another six hours the next day.”
“Sounds like a fun story. You’ll have to tell me about it sometime…” With that, Joshua pressed the button once more, and Nathan disappeared like the others.