The brilliant scientist, Portage McPeeve, does not want to take over the world.
He’s discovered a way to travel the stars, using them as gateways into other realities. With his Gateway Manipulator, he hopes to rule allthe worlds of the multi-verse with an iron fist. However, when his beloved kitten becomes lost through the machine, he does not hesitate to cast plans for multi-world domination aside; instead, he follows her through the cosmos – encountering zombies, higher education for Supers, Greek gods, and killer ninjas along the way.
Will Portage find Mrs. Bumblefrost before it’s too late?
Interlude: Origin Point
The outcast gazed down the hall with trepidation. As in dreams, the walls narrowed and the corridor elongated, lined with fellow students, few of whom he considered his compatriots. His nemesis stood halfway between him and his shop class, surrounded by his cronies.
The teen hugged his books to his chest, narrowed his gaze to the floor directly beneath his feet, and moved forward. He could walk past unnoticed while the other boy sipped from the old fashioned metal water fountain. Other teens lounged around the corridor, watching him. A girl waited nearby, chewing on one of her long blond ponytails, but all the teen saw were her size seven bowling shoes.
He was almost past.
“Hey, Brainiac,” called the voice he’d dreaded hearing, “Off to shop, I see, with the other dumb jocks.”
The gangly youth’s only sport was bowling, but he wasn’t about to argue.
“Cut it out, Portage, ” said the blonde next to him. “Leave him alone.”
The bully looked at the girl, then the lone man standing at the end of the hall; the man said nothing, just stood quietly with folded arms, watching the exchange.
His nemesis paused and, after a second glance at the adult, resumed his taunts. “No,” he said, “no, I don’t think so. I mean, just because he managed to get in on some sort of pity program, doesn’t mean he really belongs at Brainiac High. Did his mother invent anything noteworthy? Has his father contributed anything to science?”
“I just want to get to class, ” said the other teen. “I don’t want any trouble.” He glanced from his antagonist to the girl.
She gazed anxiously down the hall at the silent adult. “Portage…”
“Listen, I’m sorry the other shop guys called you, uh… by your initials-”
The villain’s eyes narrowed. “Those are NOT my initials. My last name is McPeeve.”
“Portage,” said the girl, “just because your middle name is Mac-”
“I mean,” said the teen, “P.P. isn’t the same as pee-PEE. I mean, what about P squared? Or, uh…” The bully’s eyes followed those of the girl and found the man again. An almost imperceptible nod from the adult drew a sigh from the contentious youth. “Dammit, Dad,” he cursed, then shook his head.
One of his minions stepped forward and, before either startled teen could react, shoved the outcast’s head into the fountain’s battered metal spigot. “Take that, Shop-boy.”
Bone shattered as his face crashed into the steel valve, sending the nozzle sliding across the hall. Water sprayed across the floor, turning the linoleum pink with the boy’s diluted blood.
The injured teen blacked out. He missed Portage’s pained look as he gazed down at the teen’s unconscious body. He missed the small grin that flickered across the face of Mr. McPeeve, the school’s physics teacher, before the man pulled out his cell and phoned the ambulance.
The room slowly swam into focus; white walls, white sheets, and the white coat of the doctor were illuminated by the sunlight streaming through the hospital room’s lone window. Voices grew louder and more distinct as he swam his way up through murky depths. “…and with advances in facial reconstruction…. of course, for… … dental work.”
His head felt like it would explode. He tried to move his jaw to speak, but pain flared sudden and violent. The last thing he saw before blacking out was the symbol of a hammer in a clenched fist, the emblem of mighty Hephaestus, embroidered on his shop teacher’s hat.
What he wouldn’t have given for the strength of the god and the tools to protect himself. Heck, not just himself but all who needed protection from evildoers. Unable to speak, he silently vowed to acquire them, so as never to be at someone else’s mercy again.
Then he passed out.
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**Look for the next exciting installment of Pinholesnext Tuesday, same cat-time, same cat-channel… uh, blog. I mean, blog.