Chapter 1—What a Lucky Day!
"STOP IT!" K.O screeched, tears spewing out his eyes. "This is...killing me!"
"K.O., will ya quit banshee-screaming and answer the problem?"
K.O. groaned at Carol and slumped his head into the living room table, right on top of his math homework. "This is the last homework sheet I have, but I don't understand any of it..." he moaned. "Algebra," he spat, fist clenched. "It's the worst enemy I've ever faced!"
"Come on, honey, you can do it!" Carol said. She then pulled out the math sheet from beneath him and read the problem again. "If x equals 2, y equals 6, and z equals 3, what is 'xyz?'"
K.O. lifted his head, still slouching on the table, and concentrated. He hummed and stuck out his tongue as he thought, banging his pencil against his tall, spiky hair. Then he gasped and sat up straight, smiling wide. "I've got it!"
Carol grinned eagerly. "Yeah?"
"'xyz' is the last three letters in the alphabet!"
Carol froze with shock at her son's incredibly unintelligent answer. "No, no, sweetie," she said as politely as she could, "That's not correct."
"What?" K.O. whined. "UGH! This math homework makes no sense!"
In his rage, K.O. summoned a powerfist and lowered his blue, flaming hand towards the sheet of paper.
Carol gasped and immediately took K.O. by the wrist. "K.O., stop! Don't incinerate your homework!" she yelled.
The boy extinguished the flame from his hand.
"You know, you can't just powerfist every problem that comes your way!" Carol reproached.
"It works when Boxman's robots come my way," K.O. murmured.
Carol sighed with a roll of her eyes, then placed a caring hand on her son's shoulder. "Sweetie, why don't you take a break?" she said. "You've been working yourself to the bone all week with your schoolwork."
"I can't!" K.O. said. "I just have to finish this one last sheet and then I'm free for the rest of the weekend!" K.O.'s eyes shone eagerly as he said, "Free to hang out with Rad, Enid, and Mr. Gar—and Dendy!"
"Dendy?" Carol repeated. "Your little genius techy friend? But don't you see her at school every day?"
"Yeah, but we've barely talked at all this week!" K.O. replied.
The boy's mind traveled back to the past school week, when he and the kappa girl had time only to wave to each other before sitting silently in class to take pages of notes. They had tried to meet after school to study, but whatever little free time they had, K.O. gave to Gar's Bodega.
"I really want to finish my work so we can spend some time together," K.O. said with a sigh.
"Well, alright then, I'll let you get back to your work." Carol said. She gave her son a sympathetic pat on the shoulder, then stood to her feet.
Then they heard the faint, tinny sound of their mailbox opening from outside. K.O. and Carol looked out the window.
A postman with the haircut and build of Superman had placed something into their mailbox. "Mailman Man, awaaaaay!" he shouted, as he lifted his arms and ascended into the sky.
"Ooh-that must be the mail!" Carol said excitedly. "Be right back!"
Carol left the house, and a few seconds later she returned to the living room with an orange envelope in her hand. K.O. was again attempting to lower his powerfist unto his homework sheet, but when she saw him, he dropped the paper and smiled sheepishly.
"A letter came for you in the mail, sweetie," she said. She flicked her wrist and the envelope went flying out her hand to K.O, who caught it with ease.
K.O. squinted to read the address of the letter, then his eyes widened. He tore the top part of the envelope off, and out came a sheet and two small slips of paper. After reading the sheet, he gasped loudly and smiled from ear to ear.
"I won!" K.O. cheered, leaping to his feet. "I won, I won, I won!"
"Won what? What did you win?" Carol asked eagerly.
"I was randomly chosen to receive a reservation for two at a really cool restaurant in the Plaza! A totally-free three-course meal—including dessert and beverages!"
"That's fantastic, kiddo!" Carol cheered. "Hey! Why don't you use this opportunity to spend some quality time with Dendy?"
He gasped again. "You're right! I better go tell Dendy right now! Bye, Mom!" he said, dashing out the living room.
"Hey, wait!" Carol called after him. "You didn't finish your homework!" Too late, K.O. was already ninja-running down the block.
Carol smiled and sat down on the floor where her son had been working. "Oh, I guess I'll finish it for you," she said, picking the math sheet up off the table.
Her eyes widened at the incredibly complex math problems staring back at her. She slowly lowered the paper back on the table.
"Ha…looks like Algebra is my worst enemy too..."
K.O. ran excitedly down the street in pursuit of Dendy. It was fairly early in the afternoon still, so she was likely to be out.
He looked nearly everywhere for the girl. He searched in the bush she had hidden inside when they had first met and in the junkyard where she liked to take spare robot parts, but she wasn't there. Now he vigorously searched the plaza.
There she was in the main square, analyzing a leaf with her hackpack.
K.O. ran to her, making sure to hold the tickets behind his back.
"Dendy, Dendy, Dendy!" he called.
When she turned around, the typical cheer of children sounded. "Hello, K.O.."
"Dendy!" K.O. greeted. "It's been a while since we've seen each other outside of school! What with all the homework we've been having, right?"
"Yes," Dendy replied, "We had received unpleasurable amounts of work this week to do after school."
"Sooooo...I was wondering iiiiiif…" K.O. said, stretching out his words for dramatic effect, "you would like to go with me toooooo…"
Then he whipped out the two tickets in his hand and flashed them in front of her face.
"'A ramen-ticky dinner for two at Cheese Ramenticky!'"
Dendy's eyes fell on the words K.O. quoted on the tickets. They read: "A 'romantique' dinner for two at Chez Romantique."
Her eyes widened.
"I hear it's a really nice restaurant with incredible food," K.O. said, smiling, "and I was thinking we could go 'cause it'd be kind of special, 'specially since we haven't hung out this week!"
"I wonder what 'Cheese Ramenticky means," he muttered. "Maybe it's their special meal they're known for! Cheese that tastes like ramen! And whatever 'ticky' is!"
Dendy blinked again.
"Well, do you want to go there?" K.O. asked. "The reservation is set for tomorrow night!"
It took a little while for her to unfreeze, but when she did, Dendy gave K.O. a small smile. "Yes, K.O., I would like to go with you."
"Cool!" K.O. chuckled. "See you there, friend!"
And then he dashed away.