The Super Babies - Part 2

The legend of the X-Babies continue! Baby Lindsay longs to join the X-Babies, especially after her parents died and she was orphaned. Eventually she got her chance, and before she knew it she faced the first foe and the first adventure she knew was coming. "An X-Baby lives to help others," Peter warns her, "not seek adventure." And even when Mr. Stupid NoHead goes his sons are still at large, as is a nearly-forgotten enemy...also, that's Lindsay on the cover.

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23. Showdown In The Volcano

It didn't take long for the Pinewood Derby to find Sebiscuits. Sebiscuits saw it and disappeared. Then he appeared several meters behind, clear of the Derby.

Suddenly, the Derby launched escape pods that tore after him. What do they think they're doing? He fired two beams at the crew, only to be intercepted by Lindsay. Then he fired several more, which blasted Telekinibabe cold. Then Force Baby. Then Baby Strength.

Sebiscuits finally managed to knock all five babies off their pods and into a volcano. After making sure they had landed inside, he focused his powers, and felt them flow. Now he knew they had survived, and flew in after them.

He found them regrouping on the volcano's pinnacle. The facility was dead ahead. He climbed out of his fighter and turned to Baby Intelligence. "Do not assume that because there are five of you and one of me, you have the advantage."

"Sebiscuits, please," said Baby Intelligence. "Villains only bring downfall on themselves. The dark side is easier, but it is not stronger. Look at us. Only one S.M.S.B. member has died. Only one NoHead is still alive."

"Don't lecture me, Baby Intelligence," said Sebiscuits, and turned to face away from him. "I see through your lies. I have brought power, justice, and happiness to our future criminal Empire!"

"If you fall, it will be a pity long remembered. One you will have brought upon yourself," said Baby Intelligence.

"Don't make me kill you," Sebiscuits snarled.

The words struck right at Baby Intelligence's heart, even though he knew Sebiscuits was speaking out of his own pain. Surely there was something left...but for him to say that? "Sebiscuits, my allegiance is to safety and freedom!"

"You are with me, or you are against me," said Sebiscuits flatly.

"Only a NoHead thinks in such a twisted way," said Baby Intelligence, and reached for his sword. "I will do what I must." He ignited his sword.

Sebiscuits' face twisted as he ignited his sword and lunged at his opponent. He used the jump as a vicious fulcrum for an overhead attack. Baby Intelligence parried instinctively, but was quickly driven back. Although Baby Intelligence barely needed to think to parry Sebiscuits' attack, he was quickly driven back onto the edge of the pinnacle.

Attempting to rally, Baby Intelligence worked his way around Sebiscuits. But then he was again driven back by Sebiscuits’ vicious frenzy, and the nearly one-sided duel carried them across a bridge. The other members didn't budge as Sebiscuits drove their master into an antechamber. The fury of their battle was like nothing they'd ever seen. In the chamber, Sebiscuits used one of his favorite moves against Baby Intelligence, but he remembered how much Sebiscuits favored the trick and parried it.

The duel spilled out into a larger room. Their swords locked eventually and slammed into a wall. Baby Intelligence worked his sword into a quick series of attacks. This time, Sebiscuits was the one being driven back.

Seeing his chance, Baby Intelligence attempted to take advantage of an opening in Sebiscuits’ offense, seizing the NoHead’s left hand and pulling him into an arm-lock before slashing at the back of his neck. Sebiscuits managed to bring his blade up to defend himself, and quickly wrestled free, renewing his attack. However, two parries and Baby Intelligence telekinetically summoned Sebiscuits’ sword to his hand. Unfazed, Sebiscuits grabbed Baby Intelligence’s wrists, squeezing on the hand that held his sword until Baby Intelligence was forced to drop it.

Sebiscuits kept hold of Baby Intelligence's sword hand with his left while clamping down on the baby's throat with his right and began bending him back, simultaneously throttling him and forcing Baby Intelligence's sword closer to his face. At the last minute, Baby Intelligence managed to kick Sebiscuits off of him, though Sebiscuits quickly retaliated in kind, disarming Baby Intelligence. Sebiscuits charged again, though Baby Intelligence responded by sidestepping and kicking Sebiscuits in the chest. Sebiscuits flipped over and landed heavily on his back, and Baby Intelligence telekinetically reclaimed his sword and moved to finish his enemy, though Sebiscuits managed to retrieve his own weapon and block the death blow. Then he got up and continued his attack.

Once again, Baby Intelligence attempted to rally, remaining toe-to-toe with Sebiscuits as they engaged in a swift flurry of swordplay. The bout ended with the two engaged in a blade-lock, which Baby Intelligence attempted to break with a telekinetic push, though Sebiscuits managed to counter with one of his own, beginning a vicious power-struggle.

Eventually, the air pocket compressed by the combined pushes ruptured and exploded, flinging both duelists against opposite walls. Sebiscuits recovered first, leaping across the control room at Baby Intelligence, who narrowly managed to evade the attack and pin Sebiscuits' blade against a console. However, their misdirected weapons accidentally destroyed the power controls for the facility's shields, exposing the exterior of the facility to the intense heat of the volcano's lava flows.

Out into the hall they fought, then onto a balcony above the lava river. Sebiscuits unleashed a flurry of attacks before kicking Baby Intelligence in the face. As Baby Intelligence staggered backward, Sebiscuits started slicing shards of metal out of the walls, telekinetically blasting them at Baby Intelligence. Driven to the end of the balcony, Baby Intelligence leaped backward onto a steam pipe, where a single misstep would send him plunging into the fire.

He retreated along the pipe with Sebiscuits in close pursuit. Attempting to gain the offensive, Baby Intelligence attacked first, only to be driven back by Sebiscuits' relentless assault. He jumped onto a collection plate, which was big for him but smaller for a man.

Sebiscuits leaped after him and attacked. With a heavy backhand, Sebiscuits shoved his enemy. Baby Intelligence recovered quickly and held off the attack. Sebiscuits seized the offense and viciously drove him across the arm.

Then their blades locked...and suddenly, a spray of lava erupted and fell onto the unshielded collection arm. This melted the supports and provided the last straw. A huge section of the collection arm broke away and fell sideways into the lava, carrying the two babies with it.

Still, the fight continued, even as the collection tower slowly sank into the lava. And still, neither baby could gain the advantage.

But that's not really true, Baby Intelligence thought as he ducked, wove, and parried. Both of them felt the anguish to kill the other. And while the light side had rendered him unstoppable thus far, Sebiscuits had a destructive power he couldn't match.

As the collection tower sink deeper into the lava, Baby Intelligence looked fora way to escape. A chunk of rock floated nearby. Baby Intelligence took another swipe at Sebiscuits, then grabbed on to a cable and swung out toward the platform. At the height of his swing, he flipped himself down, landing precisely.

Baby Intelligence leaned to one side, steering the chunk away and hoping the sinking tower and lava could finish what he'd been unable to finish. Alas, Sebiscuits ran across the falling bridge and jumped onto a platform just as the project sunk into the lava.

Although Baby Intelligence hadn't seen that, he looked back and saw Sebiscuits on a different platform, coming up fast. "Your fighting skills have always been poor," he taunted. "You're called Baby Intelligence because you can't fight!"

Paying the comment no mind, Baby Intelligence swung his sword, beginning another bout of swordplay with his opponent. Finally, Baby Intelligence leaned backward, steering the platform out of range. "I have failed you," he said. "I was never able to teach you to think."

With that, he leaped above Baby Intelligence onto the platform, landing awkwardly and almost losing his balance. Baby Intelligence attempted to take advantage of this and attacked, but Sebiscuits managed to recover and countered, beginning another flurry of swordplay. Eventually their swords locked. Baby Intelligence broke the contact and made a soaring leap, landing on the high bank of the lava river.

"It's over!" he shouted, looking down.

"It's never over!" Sebiscuits snarled. Blinded by rage, he jumped and landed behind Baby Intelligence. Two parries, and their swords locked atop the bank. And then Baby Intelligence's sword moved, breaking the contact, then slicing through Sebiscuits' knees and coming up to take one of his arms. Sebiscuits' sword landed at Baby Intelligence's feet, and what was left of him fell on the burning black sand by the lava.

Sebiscuits scrabbled at the sand with his remaining arm, trying to pull himself away from the lava river. Baby Intelligence looked down at the maimed body, and at last felt tears sting his eyes. "What have you become? You pledged yourself to the S.M.S.B. for life!" he said, not to his evil opponent, but to the friend he once fought with. "I loved you like a brother, but I can't help you."

"I hate you!" Sebiscuits roared. A moment later, his feet caught on fire, and the flames engulfed his body. Sebiscuits screamed as the flames horribly burned and disfigured him. Baby Intelligence stared in horror, unable to move. Dashing tears from his eyes, he finally ran.

But he was halfway across the lava bank when he decided to go back and help him. He signaled the other members to come. The Pinewood Derby, once again with Baby Strength at the wheel, hovered across whatever remained of the site both combatants had destroyed and went over to him.

Lindsay climbed out. "What is it, Master?"

"We've got to save him," said Baby Intelligence.

Lindsay looked confused. "Why?" After all, this was the monster who had wounded her, had purged the police, who had murdered one of their own.

"I'll tell you on the way." Baby Intelligence turned. "Baby Strength, the bed!"

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