vrijdag 30 december 2011

GODLING # 3: NO GOOD DEED...

GODLING # 3: NO GOOD DEED...
By Jochem Vandersteen

Three remarkable men filled the sky above the New Troy Police
Headquarters. They seemed to glide through the air. They were clad in
mesh of spandex and what seemed to be metal. On their gloves fins
seemed to protrude, on their heads they wore a big fin as well. They
had large teeth, like a shark's.
One of them told the others, "Airsharks, there are our targets.
Engage."
"In other words, tear them apart!" another one remarked. With that
they swooped down.
Beneath them four armed cops were guiding two super villains into an
armored car - Panzerman and Icepick, both out of costume. The cops
were being led by sergeant Wade Hudson. He was the first one to notice
the three men fall from the sky. "What the hell?"
The Airsharks attacked without mercy. One of them picked up two cops,
flew up and dropped them down on the pavement. A second one ripped out
a cop's throat with his teeth while the third used his fins that
appeared to be sharp as razorblades to slash open another cop's gut.
"Monsters!" Wade yelled furiously an unloaded his gun on the
attackers. They bullets didn't seem to hurt them though. They just
laughed.
"Just keep on laughing. I'm just going to need some heavier
artillery," Wade said and ran off, heading towards a parked police
cruiser.
"You do that, meanwhile we complete our mission," the Airshark's
leader said and grabbed hold of Icicle's throat.
Icepick struggled, trying to get free. An icicle formed in his right
hand. He wasn't fast enough, however. The Airshark broke his neck.
Panzerman, powerless without his armor ran as fast as he could.
"Dammit, Master Destiny must've sent those creeps. Afraid we might
spill something."
He walked straight into the arms of two Airsharks who had simply flown
past him. They smiled, baring their fanglike teeth. The remarked
Panzerman was dead meat.
When Wade returned with a huge shotgun the Airsharks were already
airborne, leaving the corpses of the two captured supervillains
sprawled on the pavement. He shot a few times into the air, but it was
no use.
"I'll get you monsters for this," he swore. "Whatever it
takes."


*


Godling entered the first aid part of the New Troy Hospital. Nurses,
doctors and patients stared at him, full of amazement. It was not every
day a man with a perfect physique in garish clothing walked in like
that.
One of the nurses, a pretty, freckled redhair recognized him, "I saw
you on TV. You captured those superpowered bank robbers and saved that
security guard. You're Godling!"
The hero gave her a warm smile. "I'm becoming a celebrity
already."
The nurse blushed. "What can we do for you? Are you hurt?"
"No, I'm not. Actually I'm not here for myself. I'm here to do
something for these people," Godling said and made clear with a
gesture of his muscled arms that he was talking about the patients.
"I'm here to heal them."
"Like you did what that security guard?" The freckled nurse was
fascinated.
A male nurse, pushing a cart with a bleeding man on it said, "Then
start with this guy. Bad blade wound. A cop. He'll be dead if we
don't act fast."
"All right. I will," Godling said and walked over to the bleeding
cop. He was bleeding from the stomach. Godling asked the nurse what
happened to him.
"Three supervillains I heard. They attacked the police station. This
guy was one of the luckiest of the bunch. Three others got killed."
Godling's thought confused him. Part of him felt anger towards the
villains who'd hurt these men, but part of him wondered if maybe Wade
Hudson would be one of the victims, leaving Monica Sawyer single and
available for him. He felt disgusted with himself. Time to show himself
he was a noble being. Time to heal.
He put his hands on the wound like he'd done a few days ago to heal
the security guard at the bank robbery. He felt his own life energy
coursing outside of him again, through his hands, into the wounded man.
The wound closed.
"That is fantastic!" the male nursed exclaimed, full of excitement.
Godling smiled, feeling very good. "It is, isn't it?"


*


The Airsharks entered the room where Master Destiny usually resided. As
always he was surrounded by beautiful women and blinking monitors. His
spear was in his right hand.
The Airsharks' leader bowed before Master Destiny. "We were
successful, Master. Panzerman and Icepick won't be able to rat you
out."
"That's very good. Very good," Master Destiny said. "You have
given me confidence you are up to your next mission. There's this
being who has taken out several projects of mine. He needs to be
eliminated. It is a man who calls himself Godling."
The Airsharks' leader saluted his boss. "He's as good as dead,
Master."


*


Dozens of patients were lining up in the hospital to get cured by
Godling. Knife wounds, broken arms, food poisonings, every injury or
ailment known to man seemed to pass by his healing hands.
Godling felt his own energy being drained every time he healed someone.
Finally, try to use his healing powers on a badly beaten up kid he just
collapsed.
Worried, the freckled nurse kneeled beside him. "Godling? Godling?
Are you okay?"
Godling managed to sit up. "Just a little bit woozy. It seems I may
have exhausted myself a little bit."
Impressed, the nurse asked him if in healing these people he was in
fact damaging his own health.
"It seems so," he answered.
"Wow, you really ARE a hero, aren't you?"
"Well, I guess maybe I --," he started to say. But suddenly Circe,
the mythical sorceress appeared. She grabbed his hand. In a flash they
were gone, leaving the pretty nurse quite confused and without the
hero.


*


Circe and Godling both reappeared in a green meadow filled with ancient
Greek buildings. The Greek gods whose powers Godling borrowed to make
his amazing feats possible were lined up next to each other, most of
them standing there with their arms crossed and a stern look on their
faces. Godling felt like he was standing before some sort of tribunal.
He was kind of right.
"Why are you all looking at me like that? Did I do something wrong or
something?"
Zeus stepped forward. "You have been breaking one important rule. We
do not decide over life and death the way you have been doing this
day."
"What, you mean by healing those poor people? What's so bad about
that?"
"If humans come to depend on us to much they will become weak. What
will happen then if we are not there to guide them any more. No, your
mission is to make them believe in us once again, but not by treating
them as your babies. You need to inspire them, help them realize their
maximum potential. Protect them from evil."
Godling found the courage in himself to disagree with the leader of the
Greek gods. "I am protecting them from evil, right? Some of those
victims were hurt as a result by attacks from evil ones, weren't
they."
All of a sudden a dark mist rose up from nowhere. From it a dark
humanoid shape stepped forward. He was tall, thin and dressed in a dark
cloak. His eyes were glowing a faint red light. "Shut your defiant
mouth, demi-god."
Godling felt like he was being gripped around the throat by a cold,
strong hand. The professor of mythology that was his alter ego
understood who this being had to be. "Thanatos."
"Yes. I am Thanatos, I am Death."
Pompous speech, but the God was speaking the truth.
"I visit the humans to take them away to Hades. You have no right to
whisk them away from my grasp. If you continue that way, people will
cease to believe in Death and I will cease to exist."
"So working to make people believe in the other Gods I will make them
stronger and you weaker? That doesn't sound to bad?"
Thanatos pointed an angry finger at the hero. "You think the world
will be so nice without Death? Let me show you what the world would
look like."
Godling became totally surrounded by the black mist. He started waving
his arms, trying to make the mist dissipate. When the mist cleared he
was looking at all kinds of scenes that seemed to happen in one space.
It was like having all kinds of computer screen standing next to each
other, but instead of computers the image were live, 3-D. He saw humans
shooting each other, getting up, then shooting each other again. He saw
men hacking into each other, blood everywhere. There seemed to be
hundreds of them. Building were burning down, stores were being looted.
An orgy was going on, dozens of people involved. There were people of
all kinds of ages lying on the floor, leaning against the walls,
shooting their arteries full of drugs. He saw no art, no love, no
peace, no sports, no kindness.
"What... How... What.." Godling stuttered.
Thanatos was right behind him. "That is what happens if men do not
fear Death. They have no reason not to take what they want, because
they do not need to fear the wraith of those they take it from. They
can fornicate what they want, because they cannot get any venereal
diseases. Because there is no Death there is no danger, no excitement.
They live forever and forever is too long a time for them, so they seek
their escape in drugs. They fight to unleash their anger because there
is no fear to die from their injuries."
"I... I never looked at death that way. As... necessary..." Godling
confessed.
"Come back with me," Thanatos said. "You seem to have learned
your lesson from me."
The mist appeared again. It hung around them for a minute and
dissipated. They were back with the other Gods again.
"Have you learned your lesson?" Zeus asked.
"I guess. But it's not like I'm making the whole world
immortal."
"No, but you are killing me..." a tired voice said.
Goding saw a weak old man, leaning down on a wooden cane.
"What do you mean?"
"I am Asclepius, whose powers you have been channeling all day. I
have almost no power left in me anymore to power you anymore. Not even
enough to power myself. You are using too much energy."
"So I should take it easy, is that the message?"
"Yes, in a way. When you come into a situation as a hero where you
encounter a wounded one you are allowed to heal them. But you cannot
walk around these men like a full God. You know I once killed Asclepius
for bringing someone back from the dead."
Asclepius groaned. "Took me a long time to get back to Olympeus
again. I do not want to go back to Hades."
Godling held up his hands in surrender. "I got it. You don't want
me to be a Prometheus. Good, if you think I am using my powers in a
harmful way like that, maybe I should take it easy."
"Good, now go back to Earth. As a reward for listening to us I will
lead you to the men that attacked those policemen," Zeus said. He
threw a thunderbolt at Godling who braced for impact. But instead of
hurting him the thunderbolt seemed to teleport him right into the base
of the Airsharks.


*
The Airsharks' base was the rooftop of a New Troy skyscraper. It was
sparsely furnished with a few chairs and a table and was mainly used to
divide the money they earned with their missions. They were just doing
so.
"And to think Master Destiny will double that money when we take out
that Godling character," the Airsharks' leader said, counting out
his share.
Another Airshark, watching his leader count the money, making sure he
didn't take more as the deal was said, "Yeah, this Destiny is
getting us filthy rich. But of course first we need to track down that
Godling guy. It's not like he's in the Yellow Pages, so we--,"
His mouth fell open.
Godling was standing right in front of them. "You are going to pay
for what you did to those cops."
"Don't let this opportunity pass by, Airsharks! Attack!" the
leader shouted.
Two Airsharks grabbed hold of Godling and whisked him up into the air.
They flew higher and higher. The hero looked down. That could be a
nasty drop. Time to act.
He raised his arms and grabbed hold of the Airshark's head fins.
Using them, he banged their heads together. CRACK! They dropped him.
Falling down, Godling channeled the powers of Perseus so he could fly.
He was glad he still had enough energy to do so. He flew towards the
two Airsharks. Dazed, they flew in a drunken pattern, like a fly that
had just been swatted.
He concentrated, flying as fast as he could, landing with both feet
into one of the Airsharks' face. The villain was catapulted right
into the wall of a large building. Unconscious, he dropped down.
Godling flew down to pick him up. He wasn't about to hand him over to
Thanatos. That didn't go with his idea of a hero.
Behind him the other Airshark and his leader were flying towards him.
Godling felt rather than saw them coming and turned around. The
Airshark in his arms hindered his maneuverability, leaving him little
chance to evade the oncoming villains. And if he channeled Achilles'
invulnerability he'd loose his flying powers.
The attacking Airsharks laughed. "That money is ours..." The razor
sharp fins clawed into the hero's skin.


*
On Olympus Thanatos smiled. It seemed there was another one to pick up
soon.


NEXT ISSUE:
The death of Godling?

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