GODLING’s WORLD # 1: B.E.M.
by J. Vandersteen
– GODLING – THE ONE MAN PANTHEON & DR. PROTON in: B.E.M. part 1
Tesla City. A lab filled with incredible high-tech stuff. Monitors and machines, computers and mechanical arms, glowing diodes everywhere. Clad in a white skin-tight suit with red boots a man is looking through a futuristic microscope.
“That’s indeed very odd, Detective Simpson. How did this bug end up on a crime scene? It’s not in any database,” the man in white tells a stocky black man in a cheap suit standing in front of him.
The black man says, “I don’t know, Doctor Proton. That’s why our crime scene guys asked me to visit you. They just don’t know what to do with it. Do you think it’s alien?”
“It’s a bit too soon to tell,” Dr. Proton says. “It might be. Tell me more about the scene of the crime.”
“We found it in a nice suburban home. The residents, a young happily married couple was found there, their hearts ripped out.”
“Yow. Superhuman involvement?”
“Only explanation I guess. No idea who, though. More and more of those super-villains are finding their way over from New Troy. Good thing we have our own superhero like they have.”
“I’m a scientist, not a superhero,” Proton says.
“Well, you kicked a lot of villain-behind, that makes you a hero in my book,” Simpson says.
Proton smiles. “Thanks, I guess. Any idea why that couple was killed?”
Simpson shrugged. “No idea. They were hard-working folks. Not involved in any shady business whatsoever. Nothing seemed stolen. No signs of break-in.”
Proton rubs his chin. “Maybe I should have a look at the crime scene.”
“Sure, you’re welcome to it. I can drive you over in my Crown Vic.”
An energetic smile appears on Proton’s face. “I can get there faster…”
A few minutes later a VTOL plane the size of a small car zips off from the roof of Proton’s spherical lab building…
New Troy. A building site. Godling is fighting against a creature that appears to be half-human, half bug. It looks like a beetle standing erect like a man. Godling’s hands are wrapped around two spindly legs that the creature uses like hands.
“I don’t know what you are or where you came from, but you will pay for killing those construction workers,” Godling says.
Five cops stand close to them, weapons in hand.
One of them is Officer Janson, “Can’t get a clear shot of that thing. I don’t want to hit Godling.”
The cop next to her says, “Godling can probably take care of this thing on his own.”
Godling kicks the beetle in the abdomen, sending it flying through the air. It crashes against a bulldozer.
Godling summons a lightning bolt with the power of Zeus. The lightning crackles in his hand. The beetle gets up and flies towards Godling. Godling throws the lightning bolt, but the beetle manages to avoid it. The bolt hits the bulldozer instead which erupts in flame.
“Crap, now we’ve got a fire as well!” Janson says.
The beetle has reached Godling and get its claws on him, mandible snapping at the hero’s neck. Godling headbutts it, using the strength of Heracles. The armored head of the beetle cracks, the pain making him release Godling. Then Godling grabs a wing and swings the beetle around, letting go… And the beetle flies right into the burning bulldozer. Only a cadaver remains.
Janson winces. “Fried insect, nice…”
“What the hell was that thing, anyway?” the other cop wonders.
“I don’t know. Never seen anything like it…” Godling says, scratching his head.
“Maybe one of Master Destiny’s creations we hadn’t locked up yet?” Janson suggests.
“Might be. But it seemed a bit too alien for that. Maybe that’s what it was. Of alien origin. Captain Wrakk’s attack showed us we’re not the only ones in this galaxy.”
“Yeah, I guess. So now what?”
“It might be good to investigate this thing further. I’m going to take it to Tesla City. There’s some kind of superbrain living there who might have an idea what that thing was.”
“I heard of him. Doctor Proton, right? He’s also a bit of a superhero, right?”
“According to the news. He recently took care of some of our supervillains that thought Tesla City would be an easier prey than New Troy. Apparently they hadn’t heard of Doctor Proton yet.”
“I think it must be cool for you to see how you inspire all those other folks to put on a costume and try to do some good.”
“It feels a bit weird, to be honest,” Godling says. He knows the Greek gods are happy about it, though. Inspiring people is what they want him to do, hoping it will make more people worship them again.
Doctor Proton and Detective Simpson exit the VTOL, parked in front of the house of the murder victims. There’s still some remnants of crime scene tape.
They enter the house. Doctor Proton is carrying some kind of scanner.
“What’s that you’re holding?” Simpson asks him.
Proton looks up from his device. “It scans for all kinds of stuff. Radiation, energy sources. In fact it is picking up some unknown kind of radiation.”
“Wait… Is it dangerous. I don’t want my hair to fall out!”
“You can relax. It’s not strong enough. A regular Geiger counter wouldn’t even pick it up. I’ve never seen its particular wavelength before, however. That’s odd.”
“What do you mean by that?”
“Well, for lack of a better term… It seems to be alien.”
“Crap! No kidding.”
The floorboards suddenly break and from underneath the same beetle-like creature Godling fought pops up.
“You figure that’s alien too?” Simpson asks, distressed.
“It might be,” Proton says and barely manages to avoid the beetle’s claw that slashes at him, smashing a chair in the process. “Let’s call in the cavalry.”
Doctor Proton uses his superhuman ability to split himself up in smaller copies of himself. More and more appear until there hundreds of him, the size of a mouse. The Protons surround the beetle.
“Time for some pest-control,” the hero says.
TO BE CONTINUED….Hope you enjoyed the first issue of this new series. It is partly based on the Invincible Universe and partly on Marvel Team-Up and gives me the chance to show more of Godling's world and introduce some new heroes.