Chapter 13: Inspired!

Our story so far,

Young Captain Chicken has rejected the advice of his friend, and mentor, "the old man" and gone into town by himself to see a movie at the drive-in theater. The feature playing that evening was 'Mystery Men'. Being new to the ways of men, Young Captain Chicken takes the film far more seriously than its producers intended.

After the movie ended, Young Captain Chicken foraged for food in the trash left behind by the other movie patrons. In one pile of trash, he finds a 'Mystery Men' promotional button. He decides to keep the button as a memento of his first movie experience.

Realizing the lateness of the hour, Young Captain Chicken begins to hurry home through the woods. Lost in thought, he fails to notice the approach of a gigantic flying robotic arm. The arm scoops up the little chicken and carries him off to an unknown destination.

That destination is soon revealed to be a hidden laboratory located deep within the Earth. The laboratory is filled with strange machines and even stranger occupants. On arrival, the little chicken is dropped into a large glass jar.

Unable to escape from the jar, the little chicken attempts to discover the motive for his abduction. In a flash of insight, the little chicken concludes the aliens are determined to take his button. Young Captain Chicken is then faced with a moral dilemma. If he exchanges his button for his freedom, will this act of surrender encourage the aliens to abduct others? The question is simple, should he give up? The little chicken takes strength from his role models, the old man and the 'Mystery Men', and decides that he will not surrender. This decision will change the little chicken's life forever. Young Captain Chicken hides the button beneath a strange blue mat laying on the bottom of the jar. He then vows to watch his captors, learn their secrets and then use those secrets to escape his prison.

While watching his captors, Young Captain Chicken is witness to an astonishing sight! The aliens disappear, one by one, from the laboratory. Even casual readers of science fiction know this phenomenon as 'teleportation'. To the little chicken, the "strange creatures" are "just gone". Only now, does the little chicken begin to understand that he is facing forces beyond his imagination!

When his captors return to the laboratory, Young Captain Chicken becomes the victim of a bizarre alien experiment. The little chicken is shocked senseless and then violated by an alien probe. The probe implants a capsule inside the little chicken's entrails. The aliens take great satisfaction from this process.

The aliens use an "activation harness" to bombard the capsule with radiation. The capsule absorbs the radiation and uses it to grow tentacles which invade the little chicken's organs. The tentacles allow the capsule to merge with the little chicken. After evaluating the status of the capsule, the aliens deem this phase of the experiment to be a success.

The little chicken is returned to the jar to recover from his ordeal. His rest is cut short as the aliens place the little chicken inside a gigantic microwave oven. The aliens microwave the little chicken until he passes out and collapses. As the little chicken is being returned to the jar, one of the aliens activates the implant inside him. The implant is revealed to be the central element of a data collection system. The implant transmits the information it has collected about the little chicken back to the alien's control console. This entire episode has been a test of the little chicken's reaction to microwave radiation.

After yet more time in the jar, the little chicken is placed inside the 'cold chamber'. Exposed to the cold, the little chicken reacts with violence against his captors! The aliens respond in kind with an electromagnetic pulse. The pain takes the fight out of the little chicken. The chamber grows colder and colder. Finally, the little chicken collapses. Just before he passes out, the little chicken observes that "the sting" hurt less than the last time. Is this a key development? Only time will tell!

After recovering from his ordeal in the cold chamber, the little chicken is returned to the main laboratory. He is placed on top of a strange mat. To the little chicken, the mat resembles a snake skin. Next to the mat is the orange robot, now armed with a shock stick. The orange robot uses gestures to instruct the little chicken to lie down on the mat. The mat is soon revealed to be yet another alien testing device. The mat wraps itself around the little chicken, squeezes him and cuts off his air supply. Young Captain Chicken struggles but is unable to free himself from the clutches of the mat. After the little chicken collapses from a lack of oxygen, the mat unwraps itself and the little chicken is returned to the jar.

The little chicken's ordeal continues when the aliens force him to participate in a series of "fight" tests. His opponents range from the common to the bizarre.

During his first fight, Young Captain Chicken is defeated by a large lizard-like creature. While waiting to be eaten, the little chicken wishes he could fight well enough to protect himself from being eaten by predators and tormented by his captors. Luckily for the little chicken, these fights were not to the death! When the little chicken regains his courage and stands up to fight, he finds his opponent is gone! Happy to be alive, the little chicken redoubles his efforts to learn to fight.

As the test continues, the little chicken begins to display an unexpected aptitude for physical combat. For reasons still unexplained, the little chicken's feathers prove to be impervious to attacks by pointed objects! He wins some matches. He loses others. But in every match the little chicken gains self-confidence and improves his fighting skills.

In his final match, Young Captain Chicken's opponent is a sick cow. The little chicken refuses to fight! The aliens respond to his rebellion with shock sticks! Despite the pain, Young Captain Chicken holds fast to his decision -- he will not fight! The electrical discharge continues until the sick cow can no longer stand the pain! It stumbles forwards towards the little chicken. Young Captain Chicken easily dodges the clumsy attack. The sick cow falls to the mat. Unable to stand up, the sick cow can only lie on the mat, fearing what is to come. Those fears are soon realized when the large gray robot jams a shock stick into the head of the helpless animal. Young Captain Chicken is outraged at this display of cruelty! His attempt to defend the sick cow fails when he captured by the robotic arm. After the little chicken has been returned to the jar, the aliens evaluate the results of the test. Only now, have the aliens realized that Young Captain Chicken is not the "usual" sort of chicken!

The little chicken is soon returned to the laboratory. Still angry over the fate of the sick cow, Young Captain Chicken is in no mood to participate in yet another alien experiment! Will the little chicken's desire for justice exceed his common sense? It seems so! At the sight of the large gray robot, Young Captain Chicken launches himself at his enemy. The future Paragon of Poultry is driven by single thought, "The guilty must be punished"!

Before justice can be served, Young Captain Chicken is struck by a shock stick. The attack continues until the shock stick begins to overload! Weakened, but not beaten, the little chicken begins to retreat backwards across the laboratory. Like other worldly cowboys, the small robots herd the little chicken with their shock sticks. Finally, unable to retreat further, Young Captain Chicken is trapped, his back against the wall!

The large gray robot slowly begins to approach the little chicken. Wrapped around the robot's computational dome is yet another alien artifact -- "the tangler".

Attempting to escape from his enemies, Young Captain Chicken tries in vain to squeeze behind a mysterious blue tube. It is later revealed that the blue tube is, in fact, the central power core for the entire alien complex!

Although covered with an anti-radiation coating, the forces at work within the blue tube cannot be fully contained. A shimmering blue light radiates from within it. This is no ordinary light! No, this light is a unique form of radiated energy. An energy that carries the potential for action and reaction! For creation and destruction!

This same energy slowly begins to penetrate the little chicken's feathers, then his skin and finally into the depths of his body! Who can say what impact the exposure to this strange radiation will someday have on the little chicken?

Its slow approach complete, the large gray robot reaches the little chicken. Young Captain Chicken's hot breath condenses on the cold metallic surface of the mechanical menace. Without warning, "the tangler" teleports off the gray robot. A heartbeat later, it reappears wrapped around the little chicken and blue tube! Could this be simple random chance or perhaps divine intervention? Regardless of the reason, the situation has suddenly taken a turn towards the unexpected!

The little chicken struggles against "the tangler" but soon realizes that force alone is not the answer! If he is to escape the snake-like clutches of "the tangler", he will need to reason his way to freedom. Drawing inspiration from "the tangler's" snake-like behavior, the Young Captain Chicken begins to work his way up the side of the blue tube by flexing his stomach muscles!

As the little chicken climbs slowly up the side of the blue tube, the radiation pouring out of it continues to penetrate his body. Finally, the radiation reaches the alien implant deep inside the little chicken. The alien implant begins to absorb the radiation, storing the energy it contains for future use.

In an effort to prevent Young Captain Chicken from reaching the top of the tube, the large gray robot reaches up and jabs the little chicken with a shock stick. The electrical assault rips through the little chicken's body until it reaches the alien implant. The electron burst, combined with the energy from the blue tube, alters the alien implant's basic programming. Instead of simply monitoring the little chicken's responses, the alien implant begins to evaluate the little chicken for "deficiencies". Once the "deficiencies" have been identified, the alien implant will upgrade the little chicken to correct them.

Resisting the electrical assault, the little chicken continues to climb until he reaches the top of the blue tube. As "the tangler" slips over the top of the tube, Young Captain Chicken acts! Taking advantage of the sudden slack, he manages to remove "the tangler". Freed from "the tangler", the little chicken plans his next move. He will attack! Throwing "the tangler" into the air, Young Captain Chicken begins to dance a jig on top of the blue tube. Distracted by the little chicken's dance, the alien leader fails to notice "the tangler" falling towards her.

"The tangler" lands on target and swiftly begins to contract around the body of the blonde alien. She struggles against "the tangler" but to no avail. As "the tangler" continues to contract, the alien finds it harder and harder to breathe. Moments later, she collapses onto the floor of the laboratory.

The barefoot alien uses her console to summon the robotic arm. Within moments, the robotic arm arrives and begins to move towards the little chicken!

Young Captain Chicken puts "two and two" together and gets "four"! He now knows how the aliens control the flying robotic arm! But will this secret knowledge be enough to save the little chicken from his enemies?

Distracted by his discovery, the little chicken is easily captured by the cold, lifeless tongs of the robotic arm. The robotic arm lifts the little chicken from his perch on top of the blue tube and deposits on him onto the floor of the laboratory!

The barefoot alien delivers a savage kick to the body of the little chicken. The force of the blow is unimaginable! Young Captain Chicken collapses onto the floor. Unable to defend himself, the little chicken is shocked senseless by repeated attacks from the alien robots and their shock sticks! Eventually, the little chicken is returned to the jar by the flying robotic arm.

As the little chicken is being carried away, the alien implant downloads an edited version of the data it collected on the little chicken. All data regarding the "upgrade program" are deleted prior to transmission. This project must remain a secret!

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