woensdag 21 mei 2014

GODLING # 33: POLICE BRUTALITY

GODLING # 33:  POLICE BRUTALITY
by J. Vandersteen


– GODLING – THE ONE MAN PANTHEON:  POLICE BRUTALITY


A wall of the First New Troy Bank shatters, surprising the people in the building. In steps a man in a red and yellow spandex outfit. He’s wearing red flight goggles and his fists seem to be gloved in bulky armor with rockets mounted on top.
            “Here’s…. ROCKETFIST!” the man in spandex says. “Out of the way while I get to the vault.”
            A security guard pulls a .38 and fires it. Rocketfist activates a rocket on one of his fists, they seem to work as some kind of rocket thruster, greatly enhancing its speed. He seems to catch the bullet in mid-flight. He opens his hand and shows the bullet lying inside it.
            “You have to come up with something better than firing guns at me to stop me,” Rocketfist says. With a superfast punch he knocks the security guard out.
            “Good. I AM something better,” a voice says.
            Rocketfist turns around and sees the voice belongs to Sgt. Wade Hudson, clad in his new futuristic armor as created by Ninjoid-creator and supergenius Professor Tsuraya, glowing nightstick in his hand.
            “Good thing I happened to pass by on my patrol,” Hudson says. “Surrender.”
            “So the cops are upping their hardware now too? No matter, my rocketsfists will take you out anyway.”
            Rocketfist hit Hudson, right in the helmet, the impact sends Hudson flying through the bank, clienst running away to prevent from being hit by his flying body.
            Groaning, Hudson sits against the wall, trying to get his wits back together. His helmet is dented.
            “I told you so…” Rocketfist says, shaking his fists at the cop.
            Hudson draws a gun from a shoulderholster and fires a bolt from it. Rocketfist punches at it, destroying his glove in the process.
            Rocketfist gives his destroyed glove a quizzical look. “Huh? That wasn’t a regular bullet?”
            “You got that right. I’m packing a whole different calibre these days,” Hudson says and stands up. He points the gun at Rocketfist again. “You are under arrest.”
            “Forget it!” Rocketfist says. “I still have some rocketpower in store for you.”
            Using the thrusters he flies towards Hudson with rocketspeed. Hudson fires but misses, although barely. The villain’s rocketpowered fist connects with Hudson again, knocking him over.
            “You destroyed one of my gloves! You will pay for that!” Rocketfist says and hammers down with one rocketpowered thrust after another.
            Then his fist is caught by a powerful hand. The hand of Godling.
            “Good thing I was just stopping by to get a cheque cashed,” Godling says. “Stop hitting the policeman.”
            “Good, I will just hit you!” Rocketfist says and powers up the thrusters to such a degree his fist is freed from Godling’s grip.
            CRACK!!! A rocketpunch knocks Godling back a few steps. If he hadn’t used his Achilles invulnerability just in time his jaw would have been broken. Rocketfist steps forward, trying to plant another fist in Godling’s face.
            Godling ducks with superspeed, the swing resulting in a miss. Godling tackles Rocketfist and pins him on the ground. Rocketfist manages to hit Godling in the ribs, but Godling is back in invulnerable mode again, so he isn’t hurt by the hits.
            Using some wrestling moves, taught to him by Ares, Godling puts the villain in  an armlock. Rocketfist struggles, but is unable to free himself.
            “Leave him to me,” Wade says. “I owe him some hurting.”
            “No need for that. He’s not going anywhere. I just need to take his gloves off and then you can take him to jail,” Godling says.
            “Take those gloves off then,” Wade says.
            Godling peels off the gloves from Rocketfist’s hands.
            “Thanks, I’ll take it from here,” Wade says and pulls Rocketfist up. He twists his arms behind his back and slaps the cuffs on him. Wade prods the villain in the back with his glowing nightstick.  “Now walk!”
             Godling worries, He seems a bit more aggressive than I know him. Odd… Is the stress of the job finally getting to him? Or is that new armor of his upping his macho feelings even more? Good thing professor Alexander is one of the least macho person in the world. Fat chance of me becoming like that.
            Wade hits Rocketfist in the back of the head with the nightstick. “And this is for hitting me, perp!”
            The villain falls on his knees. Godling rushes in.
            “Sarge, take it easy. You got him already. Please, be a pro.”
            “Don’t interfere with police business, Godling. I’m tired of your meddlesome ways. I’m wearing the badge here and with this outfit I’ve got all I need to police this city without you.”
            “I just want to do good, help out. What you’re displaying here is police brutality. I won’t accept that kind of behavior. It is wrong.”
            “You’re a vigilante. That’s wrong!” Sarge points the nightstick at Godling accusatory.
            “I just saved your hide, Sarge. Won’t hurt to be a bit nicer to me.”
            “This city doesn’t need you. I don’t need you. I’d have taken out this guy by myself eventually.”
            “Just don’t pull a stunt like that again with a prisoner. You don’t want to make an enemy out of me.”
            “Sarge! Need some help?” Janson walked in, flanked by a SWAT team.
            “Yeah, you can take this bastard into custody. Let’s get out of here.”
            Godling wonders, Janson…  I like seeing her. But is it love that I feel? I’m not sure anymore. I’m not sure I feel enough for her. It’s definitely not the same I feel for Monica. Am I just not cheating on her, dating her without having the right feelings? Did that future Godling just make me believe I had feelings for her?
            “Hi Godling,” Janson greets the hero. “Nice to see you as always.”
            “Ditto, officer.”
            “Well, let’s get this guy in the car and off to jail. See you around,” Janson says and pushes Rocketfist to the door, flanked by Wade.
            Wade turns around before they walk out of the bank and says to Godling, “Watch your step, hero…”
            “Same to you,” Godling says.

*
That was pretty intense, Godling thinks as he enters his apartment a little later. I still have some papers to grade though, so I’d better shake that off and get to work.
            He sits down behind his desk, changing into professor Quentin Alexander, paper in front of him, pen in hand. Still, his mind wanders off again. He can’t stop wondering why Wade behaved like he did. He was never Godling’s biggest fan and a pretty hardhitting guy, but he never threatened Godling and was never guilty of police brutality. And then the whole business with Janson…
*
Monica Sawyer is in her apartment. Just like Quentin Alexander she’s grading papers. The door swings open, Wade Hudson steps in, still wearing his armor.
            “Hi,” Monica says. “How are you? You look a bit irritated.”
            “You bet I look irritated. That idiot bodybuilder Godling was meddling with my business again.”
            “Meddling?”
            “I was apprehending a superpowered bank robber and he interfered.”
            “Isn’t that a good thing? Helping you guys out against the superheavies?”
            “WHAT?! NO! He’s a vigilante. He has no jurisdiction pulling the stunts he does at all. That reckless behavior of his is going to cost lives.”
            “I’m sorry Wade, but as far as I know he’s only saved a lot lives.”
            Wade grabs Monica by her arms, shaking her. “Are you on his side? What, you have the hots for him?”
            “No! I just think he’s a hero. All of New Troy thinks he is. Why do you think differently? And please, let me go. You’re hurting me.”
            “Are you sleeping with him behind my back? Bitch!” Wade slaps her in the face. She falls down.
            Crying, she says, “You really hurt me. What’s wrong with you?”
            “Shut up. It seems I’m not wanted here. I thought you were loyal to me. Guess I was wrong.” With those words Hudson leaves, slamming the door hard enough for a vase to fall from a table.
            Sobbing Monica reaches for her phone.
*
            In professor Quentin Alexander the phone rings. He picks up.
            “Monica? What’s the matter? Why are you crying? What? I’ll be right over.”
            Not even bothering to change his appearance Quentin zooms off with the speed of Hermes.
            Monica opens the door for him and Quentin steps inside. He can see Monica has been crying from the mascara all over her face.
            “Huh? You got here quick,” she says.
            “Err… Yeah. I was lucky to walk into a cab just as I walked out the door,” Quentin explains. “Tell me what happened.”
            “Wade is acting stranger and stranger. He’s never been the most mellow guy… That macho side might be part of the fact I was attracted to him in the first place, but now… His animosity against Godling is getting bigger by the day. Today he hit me when we couldn’t agree about our views on Godling.”
            That makes Quentin think… So in part I’m to blame for this? Great, like there’s not enough matters to deal with.
            Quentin gently touches Monica’s face. There’s a bruise there. “Are you okay? That’s a nasty bruise.” Using the healing powers of Aesculapius would reveal his secret identity, so he can only offer, “Let me get some ice on that for you.”
            Monica puts a hand on Quentin’s. “Thank you, Quentin. You’re always there for me. I appreciate it.”
            Man, I still love her, Quentin thinks. It really isn’t fair that I’m trying to be with Janson.
            Monica sits on her couch. Quentin nurses her bruise with a bag of ice.
            “Maybe you should leave him,” he says. “Guys who put stunts like this rarely just stop.”
            “I know, I know. It’s just… He’s never been like THIS. Something has to be bothering him or something. I’m not sure if it’s some kind of post-traumatic stress syndrome thing…”
            “He did go through a lot with the whole battle against Master Destiny…” Quentin offers.
            “Maybe, but it all seemed to start with his return from Japan, when he was suddenly wearing that armor.”
            “Do you want to press charges?” Quentin asks.
            “No, not yet. That would ruin his carreer. I’d rather know what drove him to it.”
            “He could just be a bastard and was able to keep that hidden for a long time,” Godling says. He can’t help wondering, Is that what I really think or am I saying that because I want her to leave him so I have a shot with her?
            “I just can’t accept that. I’ve always been sure I was a better judge of character than that.”
            “Maybe I should go and have a talk with him.”
            Monica smiles, looking up at Quentin like he’s a superhero. “Would you do that?”
            “Sure. You and me are best friends, right?”
            “Absolutely. I’m not sure if he’s ready to talk to you though. He’s never been a guy that likes to talk about his problems. He might get angry.”
            “Don’t worry, he won’t hurt me.” Not with the invulnerability of Achilles at my side.
            “What do you mean? You trust him enough not to?”
            “No, the glasses. He wouldn’t hurt a guy with glasses,” Quentin quickly says. Well, I hope he wouldn’t. Or else it could get messy…
           

NEXT ISSUE: Wade versus Quentin!

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