The Origin of Night Fever.




Chapter 1

"Dr. Nightstien. Dr. Nightstien!"

"Huh? Oh, sorry." The voice of his young lab assistant jerked Stanley Nighstien back to the present in his lab at Paragon University and away from his favorite daydream, the one in which he runs away with Stephanie, the beautiful art professor whose office was just down the hall from his. She was MORE THAN A WOMAN, she was perfection. As he shook the cobwebs of fantasy from his head, Stanley was sobered by the fact that his daydream would never become a reality. Tina didn't know he existed. And why should she? He was just a shy, awkward scientist who had devoted his entire life to science and the acquisition of knowledge.

"Dr. Nighstien, I finished recording the results from today's tests. May I go home now?"

"Uh, oh sure. Thanks for your help." Stanley looked down at his own notes without seeing them.

"Doc, is there something wrong?" Stanley continued staring at his notes. "Look, why don't you just talk to her?" Stanley's head jerked up and he shot a startled glance at his assistant. "Come on, we all see how you look at her. Just talk to her. You are a distinguished scientist at this university. You have nothing to be afraid of."

"You wouldn't understand," Stanley replied. "I've never been good with women. I get tongue-tied and unintelligible around them. I just don't know what to say."

The assistant thought for a moment, then blurted out "2001 Odyssey!"

"I beg your pardon?"

"That's the night club where Stephanie goes dancing every Friday and Saturday night. That place is so loud you won't have to worry about conversation. After all, if you really want to meet her, YOU SHOULD BE DANCING."

"Heh, are you kidding? I couldn't dance to save my life." Dr. Nightstien looked down at his faded and worn brown shoes. "Do these look like BOOGIE SHOES to you?"

"Suit yourself, Doc. But if you could just get a little confidence I think you'd be fine." The assistant turned to go. "I'll see you tomorrow?"

"Yes, thanks." The assistant left Stanley alone in the lab with his thoughts. If only I could dance, he thought. That would give me the confidence I need to approach Stephanie.

"That's it!," he exclaimed. Before the echo of his shout had faded completely, Stanley was at his computer typing furiously. "If I could just find a way to tap into the portions of the brain that control coordination and rhythm, I could artificially stimulate them. That would increase my dancing ability and give me the confidence I need!"

Stanley found the information he was looking for on his pc and lept up to begin his work. Surrounded by test tubes, chemicals, and Bunsen burners, Dr. Nightstien worked through the night, thinking only of Stephanie. IF I CAN'T HAVE YOU, he thought, I don't want nobody, baby.



Chapter 2

The first thing that hit Stanley was the smoke. He had never been to a night club before, and the 2001 Odyssey club was as alien to him as a library is to a fraternity guy. The smoke, flashing lights, and pounding music combined to disorient him for a few moments.

He pushed his way through the crowd to the bar and ordered a seven and seven. As he sipped his drink he scanned the dance floor looking for Stephanie. He squinted as he examined the mass of undulating, polyester-clad bodies on the dance floor. He spotted her in the middle of the crowd, dancing with a man in an ill-fitting brown suit. Stanley put his empty glass on the bar and made his way to the dance floor.

He thought back over the last 8 months in which he had spent day and night trying to develop the formula that would give him the tools he needed to approach Stephanie. After failure upon failure he had finally found success, and tonight was the big night in which he would test his new formula.

The once shy and awkward scientist stepped on the dance floor with confidence, his white lab coat replaced with a white sport coat and black shirt, and his grubby khakis replaced with white dress pants. He was ready to dance. It was his night.

Stanley made it to the middle of the dance floor and approached Stephanie. A look of recognition flashed across her face, followed by a look of surprise. He smiled, took her hand, and began to move. His timing was perfect, and his moves were quick and fluid. He twirled and jumped across the floor with ease, and within moments everyone else had stopped dancing and had made room for the hot couple. They watched Stanley with awe and clapped along with the beat. Stanley could do no wrong; every move was perfect, and every step brought more applause from the crowd, and more smiles from Stephanie. He paused, thrusted his hand in the air, and smiled. I've done it!

The song ended and a slow song began. As the other dancers slowly crowded back onto the dance floor, Stanley pulled Stephanie closer to him and continued dancing. He was in heaven; it was what he had always dreamed of. He gently spun her around and took a step back, but stumbled briefly. The formula is wearing off!

Stanley gazed at Stephanie longingly, then let go of her hand and rushed off the dance floor and out of the club. He hated to leave her, but he was elated that his formula had worked. His dream was coming true!

Now, if I can just increase the duration of the formula... Stanley made his way back to his lab to do just that. The rest of the science building was dark and silent as Stanley worked on his formula.



Chapter 3

"There, that should do it." Dr. Nightstien examined the test results on the latest version of his formula and grinned with satisfaction. "That should increase the duration of the formula's effects at least 75%." He marked the test tube and placed it in the rack.

The stillness of the lab was shattered as 2 Rikti crashed through the window. One of them rushed to Stanley and siezed him violently. "Where are the plans?!?"

"What plans? What are you talking about?"

"The plans for the alien protection grid you've been working on. We want those plans and we want them now!"

Stanley knew the plans they were referring to, but he had long ago delivered them to the Paragon Defense Council. They must have just learned about the defense grid, he thought. But what could he do about the Rikti? He knew they wouldn't take "No" for an answer, and he couldn't tell them about the plans. He looked around the room as if searching for a way to answer the increasingly impatient alien.

"I said NOW," shrieked the Rikti. Stanley began to speak but a knock on his lab door interrupted him.

"Dr. Nightstien? Stanley?" Stephanie!! "I followed you from the Odyssey. I want to talk to you."

"Uh...I c-can't talk right now, Stephanie," he stammered. "It's...uh...a bad time. Can we talk tomorrow morning?"

"It's ok, don't be nervous. I had a great time tonight..." With that comment she opened the door and stepped into the lab. Before she saw what was happening, the second Rikti slammed her against the far wall like a rag doll.

"Nooooooo!" Stanley looked helplessly at her lifeless body.

"If you will not talk, you will die," uttered the lead alien. The Rikti tossed Stanley to the ground and moved towards the shattered window. He sent a blast of energy into the lab equipment and lept out the window. Stanley opened his eyes and saw the rapidly-spreading blaze. He looked again at Stephanie, and a mixture of tears and smoke stung his eyes and blurred his vision.

Then he looked back at his lab table and saw the flames leaping up to the test tube rack. "My formula!" He struggled to his feet and limped towards the table, hoping to save his precious work. As he neared the table the flames had already reached the formula, and before Stanley could react, an explosion rocked the lab.

When Dr. Nighstien awoke he was in Atlas Park Hospital. The doctors told him he had the most miraculous recovery they had ever seen. His entire body had been burned and soaked with a strange chemical, they told him, but he had healed in just 2 days.

As Stanley left the hospital he could feel the change in his body. He felt the confidence that he had experienced in the night club. He felt coordination and rhythm surging through him. But he felt a new sensation, too. Somehow the explosion had made the effects of his formula permanent, and it had also added a new effect. Dr. Nightstien was not only the universe's greatest disco dancer, but now he was also a master of fire -- a true DISCO INFERNO.

He knew it would be sometime before he had the strength to confront the Rikti, but he would devote the rest of his life to training and improving his powers. Someday he would have his revenge, but now he waits patiently, roaming the streets and fighting crime as NIGHT FEVER!