In this episode of Protectors of Emerald City, we took a step back three months into the past to revisit the discovery of K12.
Doctor τ was in his lab when he received a strange call about sightings of Adamantite in a cavern northeast of Emerald City. He was suspicious of the caller, but intrigued enough to explore the report.
He arrived at the cave entrance, and equipped with his trusty
portal blast headlamp flashlight to light the way, he headed into the depths of the cave. After some time he reached a fork, when a green glimmer along the left path caught his eye. He approached its location to investigate, but found nothing. Just then he spotted another glimmer further down the cave. More suspicious this time, he immediately explored that area through a peep-hole with his flashlight, and again found nothing. Nonetheless, he went over to its source and investigated the area more thoroughly.
In this spot, he found an unnatural crack in the rock wall, which seemed to be a secret doorway. Doctor Tau grabbed a rock nearby and made a feeble attempt to pry the door open.
Meanwhile, K12 stood in a cell made of steel bars with a strange force-field that prevented his powers from penetrating them. He had lived like this for as long as he could remember, always in a cell. This cell sat in a larger room with a number of controls on one of its walls. Hearing a strange sound of rocks grinding through the door of the room, K12 asked who was there?
Doctor Tau heard this strange sound from through the wall, and discerning that it was probably language, made a peep hole to see inside. Shining his flashlight through and “yelling stuff” like “hey”, “who’s in there?” and whatnot, K12 responded asking Doctor Tau to let him out.
After some time the two decided they could trust each other, to some degree, though Doctor Tau thought it might not be a coincidence that the call this morning led him to this captive, and K12 was still mistrustful of Tau’s powers (though convinced he could take Doctor Tau on if he had to). K12 discerned that Tau was human, and Tau found out that K12 is an Allauron (whatever that means). K12 does not know much of anything about the Allaurons, who never answered his questions. Doctor Tau experimented with the force field of K12’s cell – when he moved a pebble towards it, his gravity glove lost grip of the pebble which fell to the ground inside the cell. Eventually Doctor Tau pulled down a conspicuous red lever, which shut off the force field.
Of course, K12 was still inside a steel cage. As the two of them pondered what to do, the lights went out. Doctor Tau turned on his flashlight once more. K12 did not want to go through Tau’s portal, instead choosing to break a hole in his steel cage using his newly-freed ability to clash rock against the edge of his cell. Having broken this hole, the room began to shake, and pieces of rock began falling from the ceiling. Not wanting to spend time trying to bust open the door that Doctor Tau had feebly tried to open earlier, K12 began tunneling through one of the side walls as Doctor Tau followed, with the tunnel collapsing in behind them.
After a short distance, the shaking stopped. Not having any idea where he was, K12 waited for Doctor Tau to give him some direction. Eventually the two tunneled up and out of the mountain they were underneath, coming out to a majestic view of the surrounding valley. Exhausted after all the tunneling, K12 sat down for a minute to catch his breath. But K12 was also exhilarated, free to use his powers for the first time ever! He wasn’t even sure he had used all of his powers in the past. He began flying, breathing fire, whirling air, pulling water out of clouds. K12 was very curious about Doctor Tau’s adamantite-powered devices, and Tau showed him the devices in detail. K12 explained that he had seen this crystal often in the past, and wanted to know more about it.
The two decided to return to Tau’s base as K12 was getting tired. They flew to the outskirts of town, and then landed so as to avoid attracting attention to themselves. The idea of being seen by the hundreds of thousands of people in Emerald City intimidated K12, who had seen fewer than a hundred beings in all of his memory. They called Monsieur Placard to arrange a car to pick them up, but Placard was too busy having a nap so they called Alexis instead who arranged for them to be brought to Doctor Tau’s lab.
While waiting for the car, the two heroes visited a smoothie shop and bought a banana smoothie for K12. Having only eaten nourishing paste before, K12 was overwhelmed and pleased by the flavor.
Once at the lab, Tau and K12 discussed their plans for the future. K12 was interested in learning more about adamantite and staying with Doctor Tau, and was willing to work with the Protectors as compensation. Wanting to know more about K12 and his origins, Doctor Tau was happy to accept this arrangement. K12 might make a good lab assistant. Alexis agreed that this seemed like a good arrangement, though she was somewhat surprised at how quickly things were moving between K12 and Doctor Tau. After all, they had only met a few hours ago and they were already living together. But the Doctor knows best!
Remember to join us next time on Protectors of Emerald City!