about us? Are you just going to leave us here to drown?”
The Pokacu shook his head. “No. The Mother World will need to see exactly what kind of forces that the planet Earth has defending it. You remind me of the superheroes my people fought, so I imagine that by studying you, the Mother World will be able to design a new army that can combat you superheroes.”
“But I don't have my powers anymore,” I protested. “They were stolen from me by another human.”
“Is that so?” said the Pokacu. He aimed his organic hand cannon at me again. “Then I will just kill you and throw your body out into the ocean. After all, I have sufficient memories of the invasion to provide the Mother World with the information she will need to devise a counter strategy to resume the invasion.”
“Hold it!” I said suddenly, before the Pokacu could shoot at me. “Just because I'm powerless doesn't mean it would be a good idea to kill me.”
“Why wouldn't it?” said the Pokacu. “You have nothing to offer me if you are powerless.”
“But I work with the Neohero Alliance,” I said. “Do you remember them? They were one of the organizations that fought against your people.”
The Pokacu paused, as if he was doing a Google search in his own memories. “That name … it sounds familiar. Yes, I recall many of my brothers and sisters being slaughtered by an organization that went by that name. One in particular stands out to me, who wore a helmet and used advanced Earth technology to kill many of my siblings. If he were here today, I would kill him without thinking about it.”
I bit my lower lip. I didn't know for sure which neohero this guy was thinking of, but the description certainly sounded like Dad. I wondered what the Pokacu would do if he found out that I was Dad's son and Mom was his wife. It probably wouldn't be very pleasant.
So I said, “Glad you remember them. Did you know that I know a lot about them? Like who their leaders are, what kind of powers they have, their base's defenses, and so on. You know, the kind of information that your, uh, 'Mother World' might find useful during the next phase of the invasion.”
“You know all of that?” said the Pokacu curiously.
“Of course,” I said. “And I am perfectly willing to tell it to you, but only if you promise to spare my mom and me. If you kill me, after all, then you will never be able to get this information from, information that could mean the difference between victory and defeat for the next invasion.”
The Pokacu looked like he was thinking about my offer. I hoped it would work, because it was the only chance Mom and I had of surviving this crazy alien who had apparently been living on the bottom of the ocean for fifteen years.
Finally, the Pokacu nodded and said, “Very well. If what you say is true, then I will spare your life. And the life of the female, as well, at least for now, unless she also happens to know some important facts.”
“Yes, yes, she does,” I said, nodding quickly and eagerly. “She knows how to make the best damned mashed potatoes in the world.”
“Mashed … potatoes?” the Pokacu repeated. “What is that?”
“I'm not going to tell you until you let me and my mother free,” I said. “So why don't you let me go, and I can tell you all about the NHA and everything else on Earth your Mother World might need to know in order to succeed next time.”
“Tell me?” said the Pokacu. “Why do I need to convince you tell me anything? I can simply get what I need to know directly from your head, which decreases the chances that you will give me misinformation.”
“Get it directly from my head?” I said. “What do you mean?”
“You will see soon enough, once I take you out of here,” said the Pokacu. “All you need to know is that the information gathering process will be quick … though not painless.”
T he Pokacu—who called himself Graleex—poured a weird red liquid onto the