Ken surveyed his team.
They were all in position: Ken and Joe behind twin pillars at the back of the room, close to Katse's chair. Jun and Jinpei were flanking them, at the ends of the room, hidden in shadows. Ryu was guarding the main exit.
There was no way Katse could get away now. He had slipped through their fingers too many times. This time, they had him.
They watched the Galactor leader enter the room, green-suited minions bowing and scraping before him. Ken nodded at Joe.
"Groovy!" Joe mouthed to Ken.
Together, they jumped into view, spraying bullets from the guns in their hands. Katse ducked and ran to the side of the room, where Jun leaped out of the shadows and dealt a quick side kick to his ribs. Falling onto the ground, Katse rolled away, only to come face to face with Jinpei, who pointed a gun in his face.
"You're finished, Katse!" the youngster cried.
"Not quite, Mister Swallow!" the purple-clad villain exclaimed. He dashed to his chair and sat down, activating a hidden button.
"Come, Mr. X!" he commanded, as a small bird with an extremely large head waddled up, only to be grabbed just as a silver compartment began to surround Zoltar.
Ryu ran up to the chair, arriving a moment too late to grab Katse as silver doors closed and the words 'Cryogenic Freezing Beginning' appeared on the device.
The Groovy Ninja Team fell backward as the room began to rumble and shake. Before their astonished eyes, they saw the silver capsule shoot up out of the room.
"Looks like Katse gave us the slip… this time…" Ryu said.
"This time?" cried Jinpei, "He always gives us the slip!"
"But we stopped his evil plan to take over the world!" Ken said. "That's what matters, dig?"
"Besides…" drawled Joe, "What else would an evil nemesis do? If he didn't escape, we'd be out of a job."
"And now…" grinned Ken, "Since the mission is over…"
A flash of light signaled his de-transmutation, and four other flashes quickly followed. Clad in his usual blue velvet suit, Ken smiled winningly at Jun as he scooped her into his arms. He leaned her back, her psychedelic miniskirt swishing, before he gave her a big kiss.
"Shall we shag now, or shall we shag later?" he asked huskily.
"You make me horny, Ken." Jun flirted, "Let's shag now!"
"It's party time!" Joe shouted, as hidden doors opened up to let in hundreds of shagadelic women. Colored light flashed, the strains of Soul Bossanova were heard, and suddenly Katse's former base was the site of a groovy swingers club.
Joe saw Ken exit with his wife, presumably to take her up on her suggestion. Frankly, Joe preferred the variety of birds he saw around him. Easy prey for this swinging Condor.
Jinpei and Ryu were already in the middle of the dance floor, their yellow and green velvet jackets swirls of color among the sea of go-go boots and day-glo wigs.
Joe sighed. 1967 was definitely the year of ultimate grooviness.
As Ken and Jun lay together, exhausted by the throes of their passion, Ken's necklace began to beep. He picked up the male symbol medallion and pressed the tip.
"This is Ken. What is it, Doctor?"
"It would appear that Katse's escape was more serious than we thought." Nambu explained. "It seems that his cryogenic freezing device was placed into a mecha in the shape of Bob's Big Boy."
"Wild…" mused Ken. "So he's hungry now?"
"Not only that," Nambu continued, "but the mecha was sent into space. We suspect that at some time in the future, Katse will return to Earth, assume a new identity, and resume his plans for world domination. With the cryogenic freezing, he would not have aged, and would be able to continue his plans for many years."
"We have to stop him!" Ken cried.
"I'm with you, Ken!" Jun added.
"Gather the team." Nambu ordered. "Meet me at IGO Headquarters in one hour."
"Right away, Doctor!" Ken replied.
Exactly one hour later, the Groovy Ninja Team was gathered in Dr. Nambu's office. Ken and Jun reclined on a circular couch, while Jinpei and Ryu sat in egg-shaped chairs. Joe leaned against the wall as usual, in his trademark pose, checking his chest hair darts to ensure that they were properly concealed in his red velvet sleeve.
"As you know," Doctor Nambu began, "It is the job of the International Groovy Headquarters to ensure peace and love throughout the planet. Now, that mission is in jeopardy, because of the cryogenic freezing of Katse."
"I don't understand…" Jinpei protested. "If Katse is frozen, isn't that just as good as his being gone? Galactor is useless without him!"
"Except that he's not gone." Nambu explained. "He could re-appear at any time. It might be soon, or it might be many years into the future."
"How many years?" Joe asked.
"It could be decades." Nambu revealed. "He may try to wait until he is certain that you are all dead, and then return to Earth to resume its conquest."
"So what do we do?" asked Jun. "We can't just let him return, even if we are dead."
"I have a plan." Nambu stated. "You're not going to like it."
The Groovy Ninja Team gasped, as one.
"We need to send two of you into the future, in cryogenic sleep, to be re-awoken when Katse appears. The remaining three will stay here, in 1967, prepared to fight Katse if he shows up now."
"That sounds like a good plan, Doctor." Ken replied. "But who is to be frozen, and who is to stay behind?"
"I have chosen you, Ken, and you, Joe, to be put into a state of cryogenic sleep, for re-animation in forty years."
"Forty years?" exclaimed Joe, "what makes you think Katse will wait that long?"
"Analyzing the trajectory of his Big Boy mecha, it appears that the most opportune moment for a future landing will be at that time." Nambu explained. "It is very likely that it he does wait for decades to re-appear, that will be the time."
"But… Jun!" Ken protested. He put an arm around his wife. Damn, she made him horny in that groovy miniskirt.
"Jun needs to stay here, in 1967." Nambu said firmly. "She is best equipped to lead the team in your absence."
"Don't worry, Ken." Jun said softly, "Our love can wait, to save the Free Love of the entire world!"
"But Jun… you're one happening bird!" Ken exclaimed. "How will I live without you for forty years?"
"You'll be sleeping, Ken!" Joe exclaimed. "It's Jun who'll be doing the waiting!"
"Just think of the reunion we'll have, Ken." Jun purred.
"Yeah, Baby!" Ken cried. "We'll shag like minxes!"
Jun traced the glittering number 1 embroidered on the lapel of Ken's velvet jacket.
"I'll be waiting…" she promised.