maandag 8 april 2013

GODLING # 10: Wild Times


GODLING # 10:  Wild Times
By Jochem Vandersteen


Godling stared into the black hole of the 9mm pistol raised at him.
Although with his powers he had no real reason to fear it, he did
respect it. He'd witnessed three thugs ready to set flame to one of
their enemies and had already taken out one of them. Time to face the
other ones. He readied himself to channel the invulnerability of
Achilles when there was a growl from above.
    A muscular black man landed next to him. The man was dressed in
what seemed to be a combination of leather and tiger-striped loincloth.
On his face he wore a mask that seemed to come right from some African
medicine man's collection. The man snatched the 9mm from the thug's
hand and hurled him against the alley wall. The remaining thug pulled a
knife on him, but the man dropkicked him to the ground. Then he turned
his attention to Godling.
   The man seemed to size the One Man Pantheon up for a minute, like he
wanted to make sure if he provided a threat to him. There was a
wildness in him, the fight or flight instinct clearly taking place
within him. Godling held up his hands, signaling that he offered no
threat. It made the black man's face ease. Where there was first a
feral display of teeth there was now an easy smile.
    "Godling I presume?" the man asked.
    Godling smiled back and nodded. "I am. I don't think we've
met before?"
    The man shook Godling's hand. "Safari. Seems like we share the
same purpose being here this evening."
    "If your presence here is about making this a safer neighborhood
then you're totally right."
    Safari nodded. "It is. Good to have you in my 'hood, hero.
There's a lot of work to be done before this is the safe place I'd
like it to be."
     "I haven't had the honor of meeting a fellow superpowered
champion before. Maybe we could sit down and talk for a minute?"
Godling asked.
     Safari laughed. "I don't think we'd be very welcome at a
Starbucks dressed like this."
     "Just give me a minute. How do you drink yours?" Godling
asked. Before Safari had finished the sentence 'black with sugar'
the One Man Pantheon was gone with the speed of Hermes.
      Safari scratched the back of his head. "Where did he go?"
      A second later Godling was back with two cups of steaming coffee.
He pointed up. "Let's take it to the roof."
*
Death Dog had his nose to the ground, sniffing out the scent of his
target, the masked crime fighter who'd dubbed himself Safari. What an
idiot that guy was. Dressing himself like some SM-version of Tarzan. He
could take an example from his own style. His expensive red leather
duster, his Oakley shades... That man was disgrace to the black race,
making them look like damned cannibals or something. He grinned at the
thought of cannibals. Actually he liked a casual bite of human flesh
every now and then himself.
    "You smell anything?" the thug with the shotgun behind him
asked. It was one of Abdar's stupid, cheap henchmen. They weren't
worth spit, but Abdar had insisted on them accompanying him. Death Dog
had agreed because he felt it might be good to have some witnesses to
how he would tear off Safari's arms and feed them to him. It would
serve nicely to increase his already formidable street rep. If he'd
built it enough Master Destiny would probably give him ownership of
Lower Troy.
    Quick as lightning he rose, his duster swirling behind him like a
cap. He grabbed the thug by the throat. "I smell your damn stinking
breath, piece of crap. Now stop breaking my concentration."
    In the corner of his eyes he noticed the other two thugs that
accompanied him raise their submachine guns at him. He smiled and
dropped the thug. "Don't kid yourselves. Even you fools aren't
stupid enough to take me on just because I'm picking on one of your
brothers."
    He was right. The thugs lowered their guns.
    Death Dog raised his head. What was that smell? It was mixed with
coffee beans... But it also clearly was the scent that had been on the
clothes of the last guy that Safari had taken out. Oh yeah, he had his
scent right there. Death Dog was on the prowl!
*
"So, your turf is Lower Troy?" Godling asked, leaning against a
water tower, holding a cup of coffee.
Safari nodded. "Yeah. I figured that part of the city could use some
extra protection, you being busy protecting most of Upper Troy and
Central Troy against the super powered freaks. The people here needed
someone to protect them from the gangs, the dealers and the pimps."
    "So you found a niche." Immediately Godling regretted his bad
joke. In a way he felt he'd been letting down the people of Lower
Troy.
    "Sort of I guess," Safari said. "Listen, if you don't mind
me asking... Are you really related to the Greek gods?"
    Godling sipped his coffee. "Not related directly, but the did
give me my superpowers. How did you end up with yours?"
   "A couple of years back I was a lawyer in Upper Troy, making money
like you wouldn't believe. I worked for the mob, for the stars and
millionaires. I partied a lot as well, slept around. It got harder and
harder to be there in court after a night of partying hard and too much
booze. That's when I started to use speed, just to try and keep up
with my lifestyle. I became more an more of a ruthless bastard, doing
anything to make a buck so I could pay for my expensive lifestyle. I
bribed witnesses, blackmailed clients... And then, one night I woke up
in a hospital... I'd had too much of the wrong drug and if the hooker
I was sharing the bed with hadn't recognized the symptoms fast enough
to get me to a hospital I would've died..."
    Safari gave Godling a curious look. "Why am I telling you all of
this?"
    Godling shrugged. "Maybe you trust me. Maybe it feels good to
unburden yourself."
    "Guess that's it. Anyway, after I was saved in the hospital I
had one of those moments you see in the movies. That life-changing one.
I decided that if I didn't clean up my act I'd die within a couple
of years and would probably go straight to hell. That's when I
decided to go back to my roots, to lead simpler life, far away from the
temptations of sex, drugs and booze. I went to Africa. There I was kind
of adopted by a tribe that helped me kick my habit. Their medicine man
took care of my withdrawal symptoms and concocted a special potion for
me made from plants, animal blood and other secret ingredients. This
potion not only fought the withdrawal symptoms but also granted me the
powers of the animal kingdom."
    "Wow, and I thought my origin was interesting," Godling mused.
    "Anyway, when after a while I was ready to return to the States I
was a new man. Not only had I learned how to hunt and survive in the
jungle, not only had I kicked my bad habits and possessed a mysterious
potion granting me superpowers but I also returned with a new sense of
honor and purpose. The tribe had taught me how important it is to look
out for your brothers and to be a righteous, honest man. I decided to
make up for my past life by finding a place to live in Lower Troy and
take cases for the poor and downtrodden."
    "Nice, very nice. But how did you end up wearing that costume
then?"
    "I saw your deeds in the papers and on TV and understood how much
more I could mean to my people when I would use my potion as a champion
for justice. Inspired by your costume, fast becoming a symbol for
justice, I donned one of my own and started to fight crime on the
streets."
    "Well, I could sure use the help."
    "Good to know you appreciate it. But you've made me kind of
curious... You told me your powers were granted to you by the Greek
gods... Could you tell me more about that?"
                                                                  *
Death Dog watched the conversation between the two heroes from the
rooftop door. He thought about the situation. This was his chance to
take out two of Master Destiny's enemies in one strike. But he
hadn't prepared for that. And he knew about Godling's powers, which
seemed to be harder to beat than Safari's. And besides, his mission
was to kill Safari, not Godling. He had an idea.
    "Kill them," he simply ordered the henchmen that were with him.
    Without question, frightened by what he would do to them were they
to disobey his orders they attacked.
                                                                   *
Just as Godling was ready to tell Safari more about his origin three
armed black men appeared, dressed like they were from a rap video. They
shouted they were going to kill them and fired their machineguns.
     "Watch out!" Safari yelled, his jungle-honed reflexes
immediately assessing the situation. He pushed Godling down so the
bullets went over their heads.
    Then it was Godling's turn to save his new friend. Using the
invulnerability of Achilles he got up, stood in front of Safari and
caught the bullets the thugs were firing at them. Meanwhile, Safari
took a swallow from his potion.
    "Why won't that #@% die?" a thug cursed frustrated.
    Safari jumped over Godling, his fingers forming tiger-like claws.
He landed on one of the henchmen. Two punches took him out before he
could get Safari in his sights.
Another thug aimed his gun at Safari. The hero produced a bolo from his
belt and threw it. The bolo's rope wrapped itself around the gunners
hands, making it impossible for him to get a good aim. Godling used the
martial powers of Ares then to take the guy out with a roundhouse kick.
That left only one thug to beat. Safari and Godling slowly walked to
him. The thug was carrying a Glock 9mm that he emptied into Godling's
now invulnerable body. There was a dry click as his Glock's chamber
was empty.
   Safari smiled. "That's it for you, brother." With one punch
the last thug went down.
   "We seem to work pretty good together," Godling noted with a
satisfied grin.
   "It seems we do," Safari said and gave Godling a high five.
"Maybe we should team up more often."
   "Maybe we should," Godling agreed. Then he remembered he had an
early class to teach next day so it might be a good idea to go to bed.
"I've got to go now, but maybe we'll see each other later,
okay?"
    "You got it!" Safari said. "I'm out of here, got an early
court appointment tomorrow."
    Then they went their separate ways, Safari jumping from rooftop to
rooftop, Godling using the powers of flight of Perseus.
                                                                 *
Death Dog spit on one of the unconscious thugs. Such weaklings. But he
had no second to loose in scolding at them. He had to follow Safari. So
he took a big leap to the nearest rooftop and made sure he stayed on
the scent of the Champion of Lower Troy.
                                                                 *
Godling arrived in his apartment through the window, changing into
Quentin Alexander as soon as he was in. He was looking forward to a
good night's sleep before class tomorrow. Stripping off his clothes
he walked into his bedroom. What he found there shocked him more than
Cerebus, fanged flying villains or armed gangsters. She was in his bed,
naked and looking absolutely beautiful.
    "Hi professor," the female in his bed greeted him
    Startled, he took a step back. He recognized her then. The gorgeous
blonde was the student who'd tried to ask him out a day earlier.
"Amanda? What are you doing here?"
   "Isn't that obvious? I'm waiting for you," she said
seductively.
   "How did you get in?"
   "The super offered to let me in. I told him I'm your sister."
She brushed a strand of hair behind her ear. "A little charm is all
it took."
   "Please, put some clothes on and leave," Quentin pleaded. As
good-looking as Amanda looked, the whole scene felt morally wrong to
him. And besides that, he would get in a lot of trouble were he to
sleep with her.
   "Don't you want to join me?" she asked, running her hands over
her body.
   "Again, please leave."
   "I can't believe you don't want me. I've seen you looking at
me during class, professor."
    Quentin was getting sick and tired of the whole affair. He walked
over to Amanda and grabbed her by the wrist. "Please get out of
bed."
   She struggled, but Quentin wrapped the sheets around her and got her
out of bed. He found her clothes on the floor and handed them to her.
"Put them on and get out of here before I call the police. You're
trespassing in my house."
    She glared at him. "Nobody has ever turned me down, professor.
You'll pay for that."
    "Invoice me," Quentin said.
    Angry she put her clothes on. She stormed out the door. Shouting
again at him, "You'll pay for that!"
When he heard the door shut he let himself fall onto the bed. It had
been a crazy night again. Time for some sleep.
                                                                   *
Safari entered his apartment through the window. Hastily, he went for
his desk, getting some files he still had to read for court tomorrow.
Being a lawyer AND a superhero was quite a handful.
Reading the files he had quite some trouble concentrating. After all
he'd seen and done over the years he still was pretty impressed by
meeting Godling. Not only by the hero's powers but also by his sheer
presence, the sense of heroism and honor he seemed to exude.
Absolutely, Godling was a hero to look up to.
    The last remnant of his animal powers allowed him to sniff out a
scent that didn't quite belong in his apartment. Behind him!
    He turned around and faced a muscular black man with long Rasta
hair, a big red leather coat, expensive sunglasses and fangs for teeth.
Immediately, Safari was ready for combat again. The problem was however
that his potion had almost worn out its effects and there was no other
bottle within reach.
"Who are you?" he asked the intruder.
The intruder said, "I'm Death Dog. But for you, I'm only
Death."
                                                                  *
Quentin awoke from some loud knocking at the door. Still a bit groggy
he got up and padded to the door. He opened it and was greeted by two
cops. He recognized the pretty Officer Janson.
"Hello?" he said, surprised. He wasn't used to encounters with
policemen in his civilian guise.
"Hello, professor. I'm sorry but you'll have to come with us,"
Janson said.
"Why? What happened? Has something happened to someone? Monica? My
brother?"
"No sir," Janson said. "We're putting you under arrest for the
rape and assault of Amanda Reese."

NEXT ISSUE:
A Woman Scorned

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