GODLING # 34: TRAUMATIC STRESS
by J. Vandersteen
– GODLING – THE ONE MAN PANTHEON: TRAUMATIC STRESS
Professor Quentin Alexander walks into the New Troy police station. The cop at the reception desk asks him, “What can we do for you?”
“I need to talk to Wade Hudson. He knows me.”
“Do you want me to give him a call?”
“Not necessary,” Janson says, just walking in. “I can take him to the sarge.”
“Hi,” Quentin greets her. “And thanks.”
“Why do you want to talk to the sarge, anyway?”
“He hit Monica.”
“What? No way! Not the sarge! He can be a bit of an ass sometimes, but hitting his girlfriend? No way!”
“Haven’t you noticed him acting a bit… strange lately?”
Janson scratches her chin. “He IS a bit testy lately. I figured it was just stress, you know. Taking on superpowered baddies every day can get to you.”
“Well, I want to talk to him about what happened.”
“In that case I want to come along.”
“Thanks,” Quentin says and kisses her on the cheek.
Together they walk through the station. They see Wade standing at the coffee machine. With him is Detective Darlene King, wearing leather pants and a red tank top along with a big shoulder holster, .44 Magnum inside. Wade is in uniform, but not in his new armor.
“Well, professor… To what do we owe the honor of you visiting us here?” Wade asks.
“I want to talk to you about what you did to Monica.”
“What are you talking about?” Wade asks.
“Stop the bullcrap. You hit her!” Quentin points an accusing finger.
“Whoa! What?” Darlene says. “My man Wade here? No way!”
“Why would Monica lie about it?” Quentin says.
“No idea. But I would never hit her. You’re not trying to put a wedge between us, are you? I know you have the hots for my girl, professor!”
“WHAT!?” Janson says.
Quentin puts a hand on her shoulder. “Don’t listen to him.”
“Come on, professor. Don’t lie to the girl. She’s got a right to know she’s just sloppy seconds,” Wade says.
“STOP IT!” Janson yells. “What are you trying to do?”
Wade holds up his hands. “Sorry, sorry. Seriously, where’s all this talk coming from. If I hit her, I would remember, right?”
“Yeah, of course. But maybe you’re lying,” Quentin says.
“We could hook him up to a lie detector?” King suggests. “But personally I think you’re full of crap, professor. The sarge here is a stand-up guy.”
“Yeah, that’s what I thought as well,” Quentin says.
“Hook me up if that will make you feel better,” Wade says. “But why don’t we just call Monica first.”
“Okay, sounds like a plan,” Janson says.
All of them walk into Wade’s office. He dials Monica’s number and puts her on speaker-phone. Everyone gathers round his desk.
“Hi babe. Wade here. I’ve got Quentin in here and he’s spouting all kinds of nonsense.”
“W-wade,” Monica stutters.
“Yeah. He says I hit you.”
“B-but you did. Please don’t deny it… I think you might need help,” Monica says.
“What are you talking about, girl? I didn’t hit you. I never did anything to hurt you, ever.”
“I’m sorry. But you did.”
“I really don’t know a damned thing about that!”
“Calm down,” King tells him, hand on his shoulder.
Wade throws the phone against the wall. “I WON’T CALM DOWN!”
“Wade…” Janson tries.
“She’s turning me into an abuser. I can’t have that.”
King says, “I don’t know what is going on but we will get to the bottom of it. Don’t worry. There has to be some kind of explanation for this.”
“Yes. You really seem to think you’re innocent of this,” Quentin says. “Maybe you did it but just don’t remember. Can’t that be some kind of Post Traumatic Stress thing or something?”
“PST? Why? How?” Wade says, burying his head in his hands.
“That whole thing with Master Destiny maybe?” Janson offers.
Wade points at her and King. “You’re the ones who got captured and tortured, not me…”
A young cop runs into the room, excited. “We’ve got a supervillain and his thugs in a shootout with a few fellow cops. We need some SWAT help, Sarge!”
“Details,” Wade commands.
“Swan Street. They were robbing an armored car when a patrol car passed by. The thugs are carrying some kind of high-tech blasters.”
“Sounds right up my alley,” Wade says. “Let me get my gear.”
“I’m coming along,” Jansons says.
“Ditto,” King says.
Quentin says, “So I guess we’ll be getting back to this soon enough…?” He is left alone in the room as the cops sprint off. He will join them soon enough of course, as Godling.
Swan Street. The armored car has been upended, lying on it’s side with the backdoor open. Six thugs, dressed in green skintight outfits with helmets and yellow goggles and yellow Kevlar vests are firing at two police cars with high-tech blasters. Commanding them is Cecrops, half-man and half-snake (seen before in # 24 & # 25).
“Shoot them!” he yells.
One of the shots blows up a police car, the blast sending the cops flying.
A police helicopter lands. Out come Janson and King, wearing Kevlar vests and carrying shotguns. Then Wade comes out, wearing his armour and holding a blaster.
“Ha! More cannon fodder!” Cecrops says. “Shoot them too!” He fires a blast from the staff he is holding. The helicopter explodes as the cops duck for cover.
“Drop that weapon, creep!” Wade yells.
“In your dreams, pig!” Cecrops answers and fires another blast. It hits Wade who is knocked back against the still intact patrol car.
“Sarge!” Janson screams and runs to him.
King takes cover behind the patrol car and fires the shotgun several times. The villains are pretty well covered by the armoured care though.
“I’m okay,” Wade tells Janson. “This armour can take a hit.”
Godling lands on the scene.
“Not that costumed do-gooder!” Cecrops says.
“Cecrops… We still have a score to settle,” Godling says, shaking his fist.
“Consider it settled,” Cecrops says and blasts Godling in the chest with his staff.
Godling is knocked against the ground, smoke coming from his chest. Slowly he gets up again. “Is your memory that bad? It’s no use to shoot someone who can channel the invulnerability of Achilles!”
“Kill him! Kill him!” Cecrops orders his thugs who all fire their guns at the One Man Pantheon.
Shrugging off the blasts Godling slowly walks toward the villains. King, Janson, and Wade follow him, guns ready, shielded by the hero’s invulnerable body.
When they get close enough to the thugs the cops attack. Janson knocks down a thug with the butt of her shotgun, King takes out one of them with a flurry of martials arts kicks. Wade smashes a thug in the face with his glowing nightstick, shattering the criminal’s goggles and helmets.
Cecrops tries to hit Godling with his staff. Godling catches the staff with one hand and punches Cecrops in the face with another. Cecrops swings his snake tail at Godling, knocking him off his feet. When the hero is on the ground Cecrops fires his staff in his face, but he is unhurt thanks to the invulnerability of Achilles once again.
“Damn you!” Cecrops says and points his staff at Janson. He fires.
“NO!” Godling screams and uses the speed of Hermes to push Janson down, the blast barely missing her, but hitting him in the shoulder. He falls down, a hole in his shoulder.
“Crap,” he says.
“Holy… God… Your shoulder…” Janson says, kneeling down next to the hero.
“Yeah… Hurts like Hades…”
“Ha! Your stupid heroic attitude will cost you your life, fool!” Cecrops says and aims his staff at Godling again. Godling is in so much pain he has trouble channeling the invulnerability of Achilles, or the speed of Hermes…
“Drop it, creep!” King says and knocks the staff out of the villain’s hand with her shotgun’s butt. She follows up with a roundhouse kick. Cecrops answers with a blow from his tail, knocking King against the armored car.
“Help her!” Janson yells at Wade. Wade is busy kicking the crap out of a thug that is already down, however.
Wade looks up. “I’m still busy punishing this creep!”
“That supervillain will kill Darlene if we don’t help her!” Janson says. “And Godling is hurt too bad to help.”
“All right, I will deal with him first,” Wade says and aims his blaster at Cecrops.
Cecrops sees the blaster being aimed at him and punches a few buttons on his wristband. A purple shield of light appears from it, catching the blast. Then he fires a blast from his staff. The blast hits Wade, but his armor is tough enough to stop the blast from hurting him.
“I’m taking you down, piece of garbage!” Wade says and fires his blaster again, which is deflected by the villain’s shield again, though.
“Don’t you see? You can’t hurt me? But I can hurt YOU!” Cecrops fires the staff in rapid succession, slowly burning through Wade’s armor who falls down on his knees.
Cecrops raises his staff. “HA! I stand victorious!”
“No you don’t,” Godling says from behind Cecrops.
The villain turns around. “Huh?”
Godling hits him with the strength of Heracles, knocking him straight through the nearby patrol car.
“The sergeant bought me just enough time to concentrate enough to heal my shoulder channeling the power of Aesculapius, allowing me to kick your behind,” the hero says, walking toward the villain.
“NO! You will not defeat me!” Cecrops says.
Godling cracks his knuckles. “Wanna bet?”
“I must retreat,” Cecrops decided and pushes a button on his wristband. Suddenly he’s gone.
“Damn his teleportation tricks,” Godling says.
“Damn him indeed! I’ve got something to settle with him,” Wade says.
“That will have to wait,” Janson tells him. “I saw you kicking those thugs while they were down. I saw the fury that you unleashed on them with your nightstick. That was police brutality, plain and simple. We have to arrest you.”
Wade shakes his nightstick. “You can’t arrest me, weak little bitch!”
“She can with a little help,” Godling says, punching his open left hand with his right fist.
NEXT ISSUE: Wade versus Godling!