dinsdag 26 maart 2013

GODLING # 9: Alter Ego


GODLING # 9:  Alter Ego
By Jochem Vandersteen

Uzi's rattled, spraying the crackhouse with bullets. Marcus Walker,
a.k.a. Safari had to use all his animal-like agility to avoid getting
shot. The three shooters were dead-set on getting him shot.
    The shooters, clad in either leather or Adidas had been dealing their
filthy drugs in the crackhouse without any interference for the police
for weeks now. The honest people in the neighborhood were of the
opinion that either the police didn't care about them or was too
afraid to visit Lower Troy. Safari cared though. He cared, and had the
courage of a lion.
    While diving for cover Safari produced a blowgun and fired off a dart.
The dart hit one of the shooters in the neck. The poison made him go
down in seconds. Using the confusion that action caused Safari took out
the second shooter more up close and personal. He somersaulted and
landed right on top of the shooter. One punch was all it took to knock
him out.
    The third shooter started to run, but there was no way he was as fast
as Safari, who could run as fast as a panther. The hero grabbed the
runner by the collar and stopped him dead in his tracks. He lifted him
and threw him against the wall, leaving him as unconscious as his
partners.
    Safari stood triumphant. He was taking back the neighborhood one thug
at a time, and it felt great. All he had left to do now was burn the
crack.

*
Professor Quentin Alexander was walking across the campus ground
accompanied by professor Monica Sawyer. They were both heading for the
classes they had to teach, their arms filled with books.
    "So, what do you think about that Godling anyway? You're the
expert on mythology... Is he really a demi-god like some people say?"
Monica asked Quentin.
    "I'm tempted to say no. After all, the common theory is that the
ancient Greeks made up their gods to help them explain phenomena they
were unable to at first. But, then... Seeing him in action makes you
believe he can't be anything less than one." Of course, Quentin
knew exactly what Godling was. He changed into New Troy's own
super-powered protector almost every day, keeping the streets safe from
villains, aliens and disasters.
    "Wade thinks he's a blasphemer and a fraud, calling himself
Godling."
    Quentin shrugged. "I don't know. He never said anything about any
other religion as far as I know, so why call him a blasphemer?"
    "I guess you're a bit right about that. Of course Wade also thinks
he's a menace to society. He thinks Godling causes a lot of the
problems we've been having. Personally, I disagree. I've personally
seen him do some pretty great things."
    Quentin couldn't help sticking up for his alter ego. "Wade should
check the history books. New Troy was being plagued by supervillains
months before Godling first appeared."
    "Wade suspects Godling was just waiting in hiding, waiting until the
need of the people was big enough for him to be greeted as a big
hero."
    Wade was irritating Quentin more every day. What to say about
accusations like that. And how to say something about them and not give
away his secret identity? "But what's in it for Godling then?
It's not like he's charging money for his heroic actions or
anything."
    Monica nodded. "Wade says he's probably just waiting for the City
to be so dependent of him that he'll start sending the bills as soon
the citizens really can't live without him anymore. Like a crack
dealer giving you a free taste to make you an addict and then charging
you for more."
    Quentin dropped his books. "What? He's comparing me to a drug
dealer?"
    Monica's eyes got wide. "Did you just say 'me'?"
    Quentin cursed himself. How could he make a mistake like that. Or was
it that big a problem? What if Monica knew his secret? She was a fan of
Godling, right? Or was she so attached to Wade she was starting to
believe the rumors he was spreading about him? Would she tell his
secret to Wade, who was obviously keen to make his life miserable.
Maybe Wade would try to get him in court or something for the damages
he did in some of his heroic actions. Or what if he would leak his
secret identity to the press? Wouldn't the villains he took out in
the past try to get their revenge for defeating them?
    Monica started to laugh. "Hahaha! I think you're into Godling a
bit too much, Quentin!"
    Quentin followed her cue and started to laugh as well. "When I was
four I used to think I was John Wayne, so that shouldn't come as a
surprise."
    Monica wiped away the tears that had come with her laughter. "Well,
I've got to run off to class. See you, my hero!"
    "Yeah, see you" Quentin muttered as he bent down to pick up his
books. He sighed when he saw her running away, her body like poetry in
motion to him. He cursed himself for being such a love struck puppy.
Hadn't he picked up anything from Aphrodite's advice (last issue
- JvdS)? There were so many women in the world, why was he still
dreaming about the one he couldn't have? Was that what Apollo was
talking about when he told him love would hurt him (also last issue -
JvdS)?
*

"Hello old man," Walker greeted the man sitting on the steps of his
office building.
    The old man looked up. "Hi Walker. Did you hear about that vigilante
guy who took out that crackhouse?" He was wearing glasses with one
lens cracked. On his head was a black beret.
    Walker played dumb. "No, I didn't, Uncle Terry. Is that the start
of a joke?"
    The old man laughed. "No, man! I heard there's this brother with
superpowers taking out the dealers in the neighborhood."
    "Superpowers? You mean like Godling?"
    Uncle Terry nodded. "Just like him. But then this guy is black and
not just fighting the superpowered baddies and aliens and crap like
that. He's really making this neighborhood a safer place."
    "That's good to hear. Kids around here need some kind of role
model."
    "Seems a better role model at least then the damned gangbangers,
drugdealers and guys like that. You know how many kids around here seem
to look up to those thugs? They think life is all about women, alcohol
and gold."
    Walker knew what he meant. "Bitches, booze and bling-bling."
    "You know, Walker when I was a kid the only thing I wanted to do is
get a real decent job like the white people had them. And now, when
we've got black Hollywood stars, novelists, politicians, football
players etcetera some kids still seem to think the only way they can
make a career is by being a thug."
    Walker smiled. "You forgot about black lawyers."
    "I'm not sure being a lawyer differs much from being a thug."
    Walker raised his eyebrows. Uncle Terry started to laugh hysterically,
slapping his thighs.
    "That look on your face! Hahahaha! You gotta learn to loosen up,
kid!" Terry said, wiping the tears from his eyes.

*

"And that concludes the story of Midas," Quentin Alexander said to
his class.
    "And this class," one of the more smart-alec students said.
    Quentin checked his watch. "So it does. Class dismissed then."
    A blonde, pretty girl raised her hand. Quentin welcomed her question.
    "Professor, I need some help with my paper on the influence of
mythology on popular fiction in the new millennium. Could I stay for a
few minutes and go over it with you?"
    "Of course, Amanda. The rest of you can go."
    While the other students left the classroom Amanda sauntered over to
Quentin's desk. He couldn't help to notice how short her pleated
skirt was. With her slim figure, blue eyes and dazzling smile Amanda
Reese was quite an attractive young woman.
    She leaned over his desk. She whispered in his ear, "I'm afraid
the paper was just an excuse, professor. I just wanted to ask you to go
out for dinner with me."
    Quentin couldn't have been more surprised if . "What? I can't do
that! I mean... That wouldn't be appropriate. You're one of my
students! I can't just..."
    "Don't you find me attractive then?" She gave a little sexy
pose. It seemed more of a mockery of Playboy model then really erotic
to Quentin.
    "You're a very beautiful girl. A lot of handsome students would
love to go out with you. If you weren't a student of mine I probably
would've loved to as well. But is just can't happen."
    "All right then, but you don't know what you're missing!" With
those words Amanda strode out of the room, slamming the door behind
her.
    Quentin sat there a while, staring at the closed door. Did he just
really say no to a beautiful young co-ed who seemed to be romantically
interested in him. He had to have been hit in the head a few times too
many playing Godling.
    Again the words of Apollo echoed in his head.

*
Big D Abdar sat at his desk, counting money. He wasn't happy. The
returns from his local dealers were down with 20%. It all had to do
with this new superpowered character who'd turned up, taking down his
dealers and crackhouses all over Lower Troy. He wasn't just the
ruling crime lord of Lower Troy. He was also a businessman, which he
emphasized with the Brooks Brothers suits he was wearing. He understood
he could take a hit of 20% once, but not too many times. He had
employees to pay, women to keep in jewelry, rent to pay, guns to keep
loaded. This Safari posed quite the problem.
    His door opened. Two of his thugs rolled in, badly bruised. Abdar got
up, getting the gun from his desk drawer. He pointed it at the man
standing in the door opening.
    The intruder was wearing black boots and pants. His muscular torso was
clad in a red leather jacket. He had the strangest pair of ears Abdar
had ever seen. They seemed to belong to a dog. In fact, the nose on
which an expensive pair of Oakley sunglasses was perched resembled a
snout. But that was nothing compared to what he saw when the intruder
smiled. He had the teeth of a damn Doberman.
    "Put down the gun, Abdar. I'm here to help," the intruder said.
It almost sounded like a growl.
    Abdar hesitated. "Who are you?"
    "I'm called Death Dog. Master Destiny heard about your problems.
He doesn't like it when one of his franchises is doing badly. He sent
me in to track down that Safari-guy and take him out."
    "Tell Master Destiny Big D Abdar takes care of his own business."
    Death Dog snorted. "You've been working for the Master long enough
to know he doesn't run a democracy. Either you let me fix your
problem or he's going to get you replaced."
    "I've got my own men."
    Death Dog kicked one of the thugs on the floor. "These? Did you see
how easily I took them down?"
    Abdar lowered his gun and sighed. Maybe this freak had a point. "All
right, but I get to spit on Safari's dead body."

*
After his encounter with Amanda Quentin felt like blowing off some
steam. It was probably all that testosterone running through his veins
with no place to go. He decided to visit Lower Troy. So much of his
time had been spent making Upper Troy a safer place he'd almost
forgot about that neighborhood. Was it because he was living in Upper
Troy himself? Was it because most of the people he knew lived there?
Wasn't that a bit egoistical and narrow-minded? Crime was higher in
Lower Troy than anywhere. They could use Godling.
    Flying over the streets of Lower Troy he noticed three men leaving a
SUV. Two of them seemed to be guiding the other one. He had a closer
look. The one being guided had his hands cuffed behind him. Were the
other two cops? They were carrying guns.
He decided to see what was going to happen, landing on a nearby
rooftop.
One of the gunmen was carrying a can of gas. The other one put his gun
against the head of the prisoner, forcing him to kneel down. The guy
with the gas held it above the prisoners's head and started to douse
him with it. Godling had seen enough.
    Godling jumped down from the building, totally invulnerable while
channeling Achilles' powers. He landed right between the gunmen, just
in time to snatch the lighter from one of the gunmen's hand.
    "Didn't your mother tell you not to play with fire?" he said and
punched the guy out.
    The other guy pointed his gun at the hero. "You should've stayed
out of this neighborhood, Godling!"
    At that exact moment there was a loud growl and a human shape came
jumping down from the rooftop.


NEXT ISSUE:
Godling and Safari finally meet!

donderdag 21 maart 2013

GODLING # 8: BALLAD OF LONELINESS


GODLING # 8:  BALLAD OF LONELINESS
By Jochem Vandersteen



The teeth of Cerberus came dangerously close to Godling's neck. He
could feel the hot breath of the hellhound in his face. With his left
hand the tried to hold back one of the creature's heads, with his
right another. Unfortunately that left the third head free to attack.
    "Cerberus, here boy!" A musical voice sounded, just as the
creature's teeth were ready to bore into the One Man Pantheon's
skin.
    The hellhound had suddenly lost all interest in its prey and simply
walked past Godling, seeking out the owner of the beautiful voice. When
the dog found the owner it sat beside her like a puppy. She patted it.
    Her beauty was beyond anything Godling had ever seen, even
surpassing Monica's. Her hair seemed to be made of gold, her skin
like alabaster, her eyes bottomless pools of blue. Butterflies and
doves surrounded her, seemingly wanting to bask in her beauty. She wore
a silk, pink robe, held together by an embroidered girdle. Godling knew
it was her cestus, the magic girdle that aroused passion for the
wearer. Perhaps a weapon even more powerful than Zeus' lightning
bolt. Her name was Aphrodite, the goddess of love and beauty. Godling
noticed his mouth was hanging open.
     "If you are so full of unbridled aggression you feel the need to
tangle with the hellhound you must be troubled in matters of the
heart."
     Godling sighed. He felt silly. Indeed, he was so full of
frustration and anger he'd just been looking for something to fight.
The hellhound had seemed a proper opponent to vent his rage. "No use
keeping secrets from a goddess, right?"
     She smiled. The radiance almost made him squint his eyes.
"Indeed, Godling. Sit down and tell me what ails you."
     She sat down on a large boulder and patted the boulder next to it.
Godling joined her while Cerberus lay down at her feet.
     "It's mainly all about this woman I'm in love with. We get
along great but she just doesn't seem attracted to me you know?"
     Aphrodite nodded. "The well-known 'you are a like a brother'
to her? Almost as old as we are."
     "Yeah, I guess. You know, all these powers I've got they just
make me see even more how useless my life is without love. All those
gifts you bestowed upon me cannot help me receive the love I crave."
     "Technically they of course can," Aphrodite said.
"Channeling my power you can make yourself attractive to anyone."
     Godling gave it a thought. He knew the powers of her cestus. He
could make Monica fall in love with him in an instant. But would it
really be love? Or would it be just empty lust? In essence he would
make her love him. Was that what he wanted? Force her to love him? Was
that really love that he felt for her then? He shook his head
vehemently. "No, that would be like raping her. I can't do that."
    Aphrodite smiled. "We chose the right emissary."
    "Hmmm. Thanks. Oh, but on top of that she's in love with
another guy. Someone who's way more macho than I am. Looks like some
movie star."
    "If I may say, you look like the embodiment of the ultimate movie
star."
    "Yeah, like this. But not as Quentin Alexander. Just take a look
at me." Godling changed to his normal identity of college professor,
a man of average build with glasses and a graying beard.
     "I think you exude a certain intelligence and charm. I am sure
many women find you attractive."
     "Thanks, but my track record isn't all that great."
     "Maybe because you've been focusing on your great love so much
you have not noticed the attention of others."
     Quentin laughed. "How many men have a goddess for a shrink!"
    Aphrodite gave him a blank stare. Apparently the gods were not very
good with irony.
     "I just feel lonely a lot. Since my mom died I've always been
hiding behind my books, studying and studying. Then I lost myself in
teaching, lecturing, writing. But being Godling has made me confront
death a few times now, making it clear to me that maybe it's time I
really started living before I'm dead. I mean, who will miss me when
I'm dead? I've been such a loner most of my life..."
     "You are of course always welcome here whenever you feel lonely,
but I understand your needs. It is very natural to find someone to
start a family with. You are a wonderful man, Quentin. That is why we
choose you. You will make someone very happy, I am sure of that."
Quentin put a hand on Aphrodite's leg. "Thank you, Aphrodite. You
are very kind."
     "What are you doing with my lover!" a voice rumbled, the
antithesis of Aphrodite's musical voice. It belonged to Ares, the god
of war.
    Quentin held up his hands. "Wait, this isn't what it seems!"
    Ares drew his sword. "Are you calling me a fool? I have killed
men for less!"

                                                        *
Marcus Walker was sitting in his living room, watching CNN. He was
watching the footage of how Godling had managed to chase off the
strange spaceship that had visited New Troy just days ago.
     The strange hero had everyone talking. He seemed to be a form of
hope in a city that was being plagued by more and more strange threats.
Almost a symbol for the good people of the city that you could fight
against the dangers and win. More or less this hero was what he wanted
to be for the people of his neighborhood. He wanted to show that one
man can make a difference. That you should stand up for what's right.
But was he living up to his full potential, just trying to help the
community in the courtroom? His potion gave him amazing powers, maybe
not as amazing as Godling's but significant nonetheless. Shouldn't
he be doing something with them?
     He walked into his bedroom and pulled a large chest from under
bed. It was decorated with African artwork. He opened it, gazing at the
traditional African clothing inside it. With some modifications it
might make the symbolic costume he would need to become his own
neighborhood's Godling.

                                                                  *
Godling caught Ares' sword on his steel wristbands, preventing the
separating of his head from his body. Retaliating, he kicked the God of
War in the stomach.
Ares grunted and reacted with a roundhouse punch against Godling's
jaw. The godlike power of the blow lifted the One Man Pantheon from his
feet. With a thud he landed in the grass.
Ares charged, his sword above his head, ready to plunge it in the heart
of his mortal enemy. Godling however, did a leg sweep resulting in Ares
falling down in the grass beside him, dropping his sword.
     Usually, when facing hand-to-hand combat Godling channeled Ares'
powers making him almost invincible. This time he had to rely on his
own, very meager combat skills since Ares would of course not lent him
his powers now. What he could use of course was the strength of
Hercules! He grabbed Ares by the hair, lifting him by it and started to
spin around. When he'd gained enough momentum he let the God of War
fly, straight into a tree that broke in two upon contact.
     Godling ran at Ares. He punched the God of War in the face the
moment he got up again. Ares shook his head a few times like a wet dog,
seemingly to shake off the stars he was seeing and countered with a
roundhouse kick that knocked the One Man Pantheon off his feet.
     Ares put a feet on Godling's chest, pinning him down.
"Insolent dog!" Ares yelled and drew a dagger from his boot. "I
will kill you!"
     He raised his dagger above his head, ready to plunge it down in
Godling's chest. But before the dagger hit home a slender hand
enclosed the God of War's wrist, stopping it.
     "Don't," the owner of the slender hand said. That marked the
second time that day the voice of Aphrodite was the prelude of
Godling's rescue.
     Ares shook his wrist loose from her grip. "Do not meddle into
the affairs of warriors."
     Aphrodite crossed her arms defiantly. "I am not some stupid
nymph you can order around, Ares. I am a full Olympian like you. I
meddle in whatever affair I seek necessary. The fact that the reason
you fight is me gives me more than the right to intervene."
    "You like me fighting over you and you know it! Is it not that
almost blood-crazed lust for you that makes you so enamored with me?"
    "You have had your fight and I have had my ego caressed, all
right? Zeus would surely frown upon you would he discover you were
trying to kill the Emissary of the Olympians.   Have you forgotten the
duty we have chosen this human to fulfill?"
    "Maybe you are right," Ares grumbled. "I will allow him to
live."
    "Good, now please help him up and let the three of us go and
drink some nectar."
Ares held out a strong hand to Godling and helped him up. "Come,
Emissary. Let us go for a drink."

                                                       *


Marcus had no trouble jumping from rooftop to rooftop after ingesting
the magic potion that fuelled him with the skills and agility of the
animal kingdom. He was patrolling the streets more like a predator than
a policeman. Looking for a criminal to defeat, an innocent to protect
but even more to mark his territory as the new defender of New Troy.
     After an hour he found exactly what he had been looking for. Three
black gangbangers, all bling-bling and attitude having cornered a
shaking young black man against an alley wall. His animal-like hearing
allowed Marcus to hear every word.
     "You don't pay the vig we take it outta your head, man. We
give you a good kicking, make us feel better," one of the gangbangers
said. He hit the young man in the face.
     "Yeah," another one agreed. "You not able to pay for the
dope then the supply stops and we turn you into an example for the
other idiots that think about not paying." He kicked the young man in
the stomach.
     "Enough!" Marcus yelled and dropped down from the rooftop like
a predator from a tree.
     "What the --," one of the gangbangers uttered. A second later
Marcus knocked him out by landing on top of him.
      Another thug drew a pistol. "Don't know who you are but I'm
gonna cap you!"
      Marcus leaped straight into him, punching him in the face with
his left hand while his right grabbed the gun. Another thug down.
     The third one drew a knife. Marcus gave him a smile. "Run while
you can."
      The gangbanger was either stupid or brave. Whatever the case
might be, he attacked. Marcus grabbed him by the wrist and twisted it.
The knife dropped.
      Marcus stared the thug right in the eyes. The pantherlike pupils
of Marcus made the thug almost wet his pants.
      "I'm Safari. And I'm taking back the streets. Spread the
word after you wake up again."
      "Wake up?" the gangbanger asked. Half a second later a
headbutt took him down.
      Scared by the sudden appearance of the animal like savior the
young man was still cowering against the alley wall.
      "You have nothing to fear from me as long as you don't harm
others. But I heard you swallow the infernal poison these lowlifes
sell. Do something about it, because maybe next time I won't be
around to save you. Go to a detox clinic. Get your act cleaned up. Be
an example."
      The young man nodded. Marcus was not na├»ve enough the kid would
act upon his advice. But he had to try to make a difference. And this
was a start.
     He jumped up, grabbing hold of a fire escape and used it to climb
back to the rooftops again.

                                                             *

"...so I tell her, you should try to go into a juggling contest with
Geryon!" Ares clapped Godling on the shoulder, laughing.
       They were seated at a long table in a tavern, drinking nectar
from huge chalices. Godling felt more than a little drunk, but also he
felt a bit at home. It was nice to hear all these mythological stories
he'd never heard of before directly from the source.
       Aphrodite was with them, an arm around both of them. "Tell him
about the seven Cabiri!"
       Ares laughed again. "That is another great tale you might not
have heard..."
       An incredible handsome blond man came in and put a hand on
Godling's shoulder. "Enjoy your time here, Emissary. There is great
adversity to come your way in days to come. Love will exist to hurt
you, mark my words."
       Godling recognized the man as Apollo, and knew his prophecies
always came true. Suddenly he'd lost his taste for nectar.


NEXT ISSUE:
Godling returns to Earth and finds new dangers!

zondag 17 maart 2013

GODLING # 7: BATTLE FOR EARTH


GODLING # 7: BATTLE FOR EARTH
By Jochem Vandersteen


New Troy Main Square was filled with armed cops. All their guns pointed
at the sky where six hours earlier the strange UFO disintegrated a
police helicopter. Some cops were holding back the news people and
crowd that was trying to get an idea of just what was going on there.
But in all honestly, the NTPD had no real idea either.
Sergeant Wade Hudson was talking to his captain, Dirk Kray, a tall
man with graying hair and a face scarred by a lifetime of being a cop.
"Cap, where the hell are those Marines we asked for? We need some
serious help. I don't know where that ship came from but we need
something heavy to take it down. Regular bullets just don't seem to
do the trick. They just seem to bounce off."
"Come on, Hudson. You know these kinds of things take time. Even
with the whole country on a state of alert for terrorist threats."
A young, perky female cop asked, "Do you think it's a terrorist
attack?"
"What I think, officer Janson, is that this whole city is being
threatened by one strange enemy after another the last year or so and
I'm getting very tired of it. And it's even gotten worse when that
Godling showed up."
"But he's been doing some amazing things as well. He took out
those Speed Demons, those Airsharks, that Panzerguy and Icepick. He
seems to be an honest to gosh superhero!" Janson's face was full of
excitement.
Wade sighed. "Great. He's got a groupie." He looked up at the
UFO. "I'm getting sick and tired of waiting for what that thing's
planning to do. Get me some heavier artillery."
"Something like this," a SWAT officer said and handed him a
rocketlauncher.
Wade smiled. "That's the ticket. Let's see what that tin can
has to offer against this baby."
The excitement on Main Square suddenly grew even bigger. The flashes
of cameras were blinding. Everyone was talking all at once. They were
all either pointing or making way for the figure coming through the
crowd. It was a man with an incredibly muscled and athletic physique.
He wore blue skintight leather pants and a matching jerkin, a
gladiator-styled helmet and carried a large round shield. Both the
shield and helmet carried a big red ruby, encircled with gold pellets.
The same ruby was in the middle of the golden belt he wore. In his
right hand he carried a large mace that seemed to pulse with energy. On
his back was a quiver of arrows and a bow. Godling had arrived. Ready
for battle.
"Sergeant Hudson, please do not engage the UFO by yourself.
You've seen what was done to the helicopter when it felt
threatened," Godling said.
"Listen Adonis, all you've managed to cause is a lot property
damage. Why don't you leave this to the professionals?"
Officer Janson pointed at the sky. "It seems like some other guys
are stepping in now... Or should I say flying in?"
In the sky three figures were flying towards the spaceship. They
were wearing biker-outfits, all leather and denims. Also, they were
sporting pterodactyl-like wings.
"I don't know who those guys are, but they might be the
distraction I need," Godling said and flew up.

**


Captain Wrakk saw the three winged men near his ship. He sighed. "Not
more of those idiots. What do they think they will reach with their
foolish attacks. They stand no chance whatsoever against the ship's
weaponry or my powers. It is like swatting flies."
"Destroy the winged ones, Captain?" one of the robots on the
bridge asked.
"No, bring them in. Let me practice my powers for a moment."
"Affirmative sir, I will activate the tractor beam."

**

Master Destiny sat watching his screens, witnessing the biker gang he
gave superpowers near the spaceship. He desperately wanted the amazing
technology of the ship to even further his wealth and power.
"What? What is happening?" He saw his men being enveloped in a
green beam, pulling them inside the ship.
At first he felt a degree of panic, but then he saw that there could
be some advantages to this. The cameras his men carried with them would
take him right there into the ship. That could be very interesting.
He shouted at his concubines to bring him some wine for him to enjoy
during his viewing.

**

Godling prayed to his Olympian benefactors that he'd been flying fast
enough for Wrakk not to get noticed. He'd arrived on top of it,
channeling the power of Hermes to not only render himself invisible,
but also to use his abilities as the patron and benefactor of
pickpockets, thieves and rogues to break into the ship. With godlike
lock picking skills he was able to open a hatch on the ship and slip
through.
He was back in the ship again (see # 5) but this time, so he was
hoping, Wrakk wasn't aware of his presence. The only chance he had
was the element of surprise, because he knew however powerful his newly
fashioned weapons were, Wrakk's powers were amazing and he had an
army of robots as backup. For a minute, Godling was overcome with fear.
He'd seen Wrakk simply disintegrate his enemies before they could
even think of defending themselves or fleeing to safety. He clenched
his fists. He could not think about the fear, not then. The lives of
everyone on Earth depended on his courage. And so what, if Wrakk had
amazing superpowers and an army of robots at his disposal? He had
powers as well and an entire army of Gods to help him out. He would not
fail. He could not fail.

**
The three winged bikers were dropped onto the steel floor of the
bridge, released by the tractor beam. Amazed they looked around them.
"Welcome to my ship, weaklings," Wrakk said. "What were you
planning to do?"
One of the bikers, sporting a panther tattoo in his neck stood up
and pointed a finger at the white bearded Captain. "Kicking your butt
and jacking your ship, Santa!"
Wrakk laughed. "What wonderful use of language. I take it by that
you mean you intend to defeat me and seize my ship?"
"You bet your ass!"
"Which again confirms the conquering and violent nature of your
planet. I will have no regrets destroying you."
The biker pulled a gun. "Good luck!"
Wrakk used his telekinetics to seize the gun from the biker's
hand, then made it float in the air just before his face. "Primitive
weapon, very primitive. Let me see what kind of damage it causes."

**

Godling, still invisible was looking at the scene on the bridge from
the doorway. He could sneak up on Wrakk, try to take him out quickly
but he would never be in time to prevent the gun from going off in the
biker's face. He didn't know the winged man and the only mutated
people he knew where criminals but he couldn't just stand by and let
a fellow human being be killed just like that, could he?
The other two bikers were being held by the robots, trying to
struggle free, but not strong enough to break loose from the mechanic
arms. The biker with the panther tattoo stepped backwards, but the gun
just kept being aimed right at his face. He begged Wrakk not to fire
it.
By trying to save the biker and thereby loosing the advantage of
surprise, would Godling forfeit any chance of beating Wrakk? Would
saving one man mean the destruction of the entire planet? The hero
hesitated. What to do?
"Give me one reason for not killing you as you probably would do
to everyone on my planet just to conquer it?" Wrakk said to the
biker.
Then there were no thoughts, no strategy, no dilemmas. Only a human
being about to die and one chance to prevent it. Godling seized that
chance.
"Here's a reason!" Godling shouted, turning visible and
jumping like a tiger, right into the bullet's path, catching it on
his shield.
"The lone hero has arrived!" Wrakk said.
The biker fell down on his knees, shouting, "I'm alive! I'm
alive!"
Wrakk mocked, "You really insist on facing me again?"
Godling lifted his mace above his head. "I will keep facing you
again until I'm sure Earth is out of danger!"
Wrakk moved his right hand, ready to use his telekinetic powers.
Godling threw his mace, hitting Wrakk in the head. The Captain dropped
to the floor. Godling jumped with Hermes speed and snatched the mace
out of the air.
"Watch out!" one of the bikers yelled, making Godling turn
around, just in time to see the robots coming at him. Blocking their
ironfisted blows with his shield he waved the mace around him, clubbing
his enemies, making their robotic parts fly everywhere.
The winged bikers were inspired by Godling's actions. They picked
up metallic parts like robot arms and legs, using them as clubs to
fight off the robotic attackers. Also, their wings proved to be very
useful in swatting away robots that came just a bit too close.
Wrakk rose again, rubbing his head. "I will destroy you for
that!"
Godling, not having to worry about the robots now the bikers were
helping him, dropkicked Wrakk, getting him down on the floor again. He
started to batter him with the mace.
Wrakk found the strength to use his telekinesis once again, using it
to lift Godling from him, launching him right into the ceiling. There
was a loud crack and if the One Man Pantheon hadn't been channeling
the invulnerability of Achilles he might have broken his back. Instead,
he just fell down on the floor.
He rolled up, grabbing his bow and pulling three arrows from his
quiver. He fired them at Wrakk, using the archer abilities of Artemis,
Goddess of the Hunt. Wrakk put up a telekinetic shield however to stop
them from hitting him.
Wrakk started to belt Godling with telekinetic blows. "Just stop
it, you have no chance!"
Godling walked towards Wrakk, his helmet and shield denting from the
massive, invisible blows. "This... planet... is worth... fighting
for... Wrakk."
Wrakk let up the blows for a minute to speak. "Ha! A planet full
of power-hungry, war loving primates?"
"A people who keep overcoming great disasters and tragedies. A
people for who family means everything. A brave bunch of people. Just
look outside at the policemen doing their duty to protect the innocent
citizens from you."
"There is no use trying to talk me out of this. I know my duty."
Then, grimly Godling said, "Then I know mine." With those words
he channeled the speed of Hermes and started to beat his enemy with the
pulsing mace. So fast came the blows that Wrakk was unable to focus on
using his powers.
Godling felt disgust at the violence he was inflicting but he knew
he had no choice. For Earth to survive Captain Wrakk had to fall. And
fall he did...
Battered and bleeding Wrakk went to his knees... "Incredible,"
he uttered and went facedown on the floor.
Godling surveyed his environments. All robots seemed to be defeated
and the bikers, save for a few bruises seemed largely unhurt.
"Get off this ship!" he commanded the winged bikers. "I have
work to do!" The bikers complied, thanking the hero for his help in
defeating Wrakk and his robots, saving their lives.

**
"No! No! You idiots! Stay onboard! This is your chance to grab the
technology I want! Don't leave or I will destroy you myself!"
Master Destiny shouted at the screens in his room when he saw the
bikers leave the ship.
"I'm sorry, Master," the biker with the panther tattoo said
through the communicator Destiny had made him wear. "That guy saved
our lives up there. If he wants us out of the way, we go out of the
way." With those words he took to the sky, flapping his great
pterodactyl wings.
Destiny gripped his Spear so tightly his knuckles whitened. "I
will get you for your disobedience, fool!"

**

The ship's computers were pretty complicated, but if you have the
knowledge of the Gods at your disposal complicated things can get
pretty easy. He programmed the ship to set an automatic course back
home. He used the powers of the God of Dreams, Morpheus to send Wrakk
into a very long, deep sleep.
With all that work done, he flew away from the ship.

**

"The ship, it's leaving!" officer Janson shouted
enthusiastically. "Godling made it leave!"
Wade Hudson grumbled, "You don't know why it's leaving."
Cameras were rolling or flashing, capturing the image of Godling
flying away from the ship that, with light speed took off towards
space.
"Well, I think New Troy has one hell of a hero," Janson
exclaimed.

**

Flying away from the New Troy Main Square Godling wondered where he
would go now. To check up on how Monica was doing? No, Hudson would
probably be doing that. To visit his brother? No, they'd just argue.
To a bar, have a victory drink? No, he would feel extra lonesome,
drinking all by himself. Best just to get home, take a shower and read
a book. Not exactly the hero's welcome of ancient legends...



NEXT ISSUE:
A NEW HERO IS BORN!