jvdsteen jvdsteen at hotmail.com
Wed Dec 28 15:46:33 PST 2005

By Jochem Vandersteen (jvdsteen at hotmail.com)

Surrounded by two Airsharks, holding one other Airshark in his hands,
floating above the city of New Troy Godling seemed to be in a lot of
trouble. If he turned invulnerable he'd drop down. If he would let go
of the unconscious Airshark the villain would be the one plummeting to
a certain death. How was he going to be a hero and still survive.
The razorsharp fins of the two conscious Airsharks cut through his
skin, making him scream in pain. For a minute he entertained the
thought of using the unconscious Airshark as a shield, but he was
afraid that would kill the villain. He opted for another choice. He
swung the limp body of the Airshark in an arc around himself, hitting
the other Airsharks with the feet of their partner. That move was just
enough for him to create enough space for a moment to fly as fast as he
could down to a rooftop. He set the unconscious villain down on it.
He barely did so and with almost supersonic speed an Airshark flew past
him, raking him again with the razor-like fins.  Godling tried to hit
him, but there was some blood in his eyes, blinding him. He missed. The
Airshark's second shot was however again a direct hit. Blood poured
from his side.
The other Airshark joined his partner and punched Godling in the nose.
He went down, just before he could channel the invulnerability of
Laughing the Airsharks began kicking the limp body of the hero. But
then, when it seemed they were going to kill him a loud bang sounded.
An Airshark's head jerked back, his body going limp.
In the air a police helicopter circled. Sergeant Wade Hudson was aiming
a large sniper rifle through the window of it. His face was set in
determination. "You're going to pay for killing off my men!"
The remaining Airshark flew up, swerving around the bullets Wade fired
at him. He rammed his fin into the rotor of the helicopter. Sparks were
set off by the impact as the rotor broke against the impossibly tough
blade of the Airshark. Like a drunk fly the helicopter spiraled down.
Groaning, Godling crawled back on his feet. He saw the helicopter going
down and didn't hesitate for a second. Wiping the blood from his eyes
he jumped from the roof and channeled the powers of Perseus, allowing
him to fly. He reached the helicopter and climbed inside.
"Quick, grab hold of me before we hit the ground!"
"I don't want your help! You're nothing but a troublemaking
vigilante!" Wade yelled.
"Speak for yourself!" the pilot said. "Get me out of here!"
"We'll be dead in a few seconds," Godling said. "There's no
time to argue." With those words he punched Wade in the face,
knocking him out. Then he grabbed both Wade and the pilot and jumped
from the helicopter.
Floating in the air with the two rescued cops Godling saw the
helicopter crash into the side of the New Troy Bridge. There was a loud
explosion, cars crashed into each other avoiding the projectile from
the sky. A fire broke out.
"I've still got a lot to learn," Godling thought. It was pretty
hard to fight villains, save civilians and try to avoid destroying half
the city in the process.
He flew down to the bridge, putting the cops back on the floor. He had
to extinguish the fire before the bridge would burn down. But how? He
wasn't a firefighter. He needed water, lots of it. Of course! He
could use the powers of the one who mastered the oceans. The powers of
He concentrated on the water, imagining it to be a part of his own
body, like another appendage. Partly to his amazement it worked. A huge
wave rose up from the water beneath the bridge, crashing down on the
fire, dousing it.
The amassed civilians started to applaud this great display of power.
Wade, turned conscious again shouted at them, "He's the reason of
this catastrophe to happen! Why applaud him?"
"Sarge, he saved our skins! We should be grateful to him!"
Godling walked over to Wade. "I'm sorry I knocked you out, but I
had to. You'd be died if I hadn't. Now please sent someone over to
that rooftop where you shot down that Airshark. He might still be alive
and in need of medical help. I'm afraid the other two might've
gotten away. And right now I think I need some medical help myself."
With those words Godling dropped down to the water, willing the waves
to carry him away.


Marcus Walker walked out of the courtroom feeling very satisfied. He
was congratulated by several fellow black men. Behind him however he
heard shout "I'll get you for this, boy!"
Marcus smiled. He'd been threatened before but usually those cowards
didn't follow through on their threats. And if they did... Well he
could take very good care of himself since his exile in Africa.
He'd been a lawyer defending the poor people of New Troy for a few
years now. His fee was very minimal, not needing their money because of
his rich parents. The man threatening him was a slumlord who'd been
raising the rent whenever it suited him. He wasn't allowed to anymore
now. Sometimes justice took it's course.
Marcus walked out of the New Troy Justice Building and got into his
Lexus. He drove off, leaving the centre of the city, heading for the
working-class, mixed race neighborhood he lived. He could of course
afford something way better, but he wanted to live among the people
he'd chosen to help. They wouldn't come for his help if he lived in
some high-rise in Upper Troy.
On the car radio a reporter filled with enthusiasm told about how the
mysterious hero they called Godling had prevented the New Troy Bridge
from burning. Marcus obviously wasn't the only person doing good in
the city anymore. Of course, he did it on a much smaller scale than The
One Man Pantheon did. Also, he hardly ever used his superpowers.

Only a light year removed from Earth a grand spaceship was moving
through yet another wormhole. The ship looked like a large bullet,
surrounded by antennas and thrusters. On its bridge stood a tall man
with a long beard and long white hair. He wore a broad metallic belt
and knee-length boots. Obviously, he was the captain of the ship. All
around him semi-human looking robots were working on the ship's
"Full speed ahead, drones," the captain spoke. "Only a light year
to go before we arrive at Earth. We have a planet to destroy and a
galaxy to save!"

In an alley, near his home Godling landed. Coughing and wheezing he
took a moment to heal himself. Healed, he changed his appearance to
that of professor Quentin Alexander. His muscles sore it took him some
time to arrive at the door of the apartment building where he resided.
He took the stairs to his apartment. He opened the door and headed for
his couch. He crashed down on it. Talk about a tough day at the office.
He thought about Hudson. About saving him again.  He'd done so before
and for a brief moment he'd thought about letting him die, just to
lose the competition the policeman represented in his desire for the
attentions of Monica Sawyer. Actually, he wasn't exactly competition.
Competition would mean that there was some sort of battle going on,
while in fact Wade Hudson was Monica's boyfriend and she wasn't
interested in Quentin as a man in any way. Still, sometimes he'd like
to think that if it weren't for Hudson he might stand a chance. If
she'd just see the man behind the graying beard and glasses. Still,
it felt good to him in a way that this time he didn't hesitate to
save Hudson. He seemed to become more accustomed to his role as
superhero of New Troy that saving lives just felt natural to him. And
there was a lot of live-saving to do these days. Unfortunately he could
use his healing powers only to a certain limit by decree of the Gods.
A knock on the door startled him. He got up and opened it. It was
Monica. Dressed in black, pin-striped pants and a gray tight sweater
she looked awesome. She had red eyes. Obviously she'd been crying.
"Quentin! Have you seen the news?" She seemed to be tearing up
"Er... Why?" Quentin asked, not sure where this was going but
having a slight idea.
"Wade was on the news. He's been fighting supervillains again. He
fell out of a helicopter! He could've died!"
Before he could really think about whether his words would give away
his secret identity Quentin spoke, his only concern putting the woman
he was in love with at ease. "Er... I heard he got rescued by
Godling. And that he didn't quite fall but was..."
She started to cry now. She put her arms around Quentin, holding him
tight.  "I don't know how long I can stand the thought of Wade
putting his life on the line every day. Not with the way things are
going in this city these days. All those super-powered creeps running
and flying around... Why can't he just leave those guys to that
It felt so good to hold her. Her soft middle, her shiny hair brushing
against his cheek. She smelled so damn good. But she wasn't his. He
was just comfort. Just a friend. If felt so good but also so very
He pushed her away, gently. He put one hand on a shoulder and wiped
away the tears with another. "Wade is a tough customer. He can handle
himself, don't worry about him."
She sighed. Her hand moved to Quentin's, the one that was on her
cheek. She gripped it and gave it a small kiss. "You're so sweet.
You always seem to be there for me when I need you. I wish Wade was a
college professor or something safe like that."
There was nothing to read into that kiss, Quentin had to tell himself.
Nothing in that remark besides friendship. She loved Wade. As it always
seemed to do rationale took over. "I think one of the reason you fell
for him is his courage, his desire to do what's right. I'm not sure
you'd love him if he was a college professor, or an account or
something like that."
She sighed. "Maybe you're right. You always know the right thing to
say. I wish I had your insights in life. You really are..." Then a
cell phone chirped. Monica removed it from her pocket and answered it.
"Wade? Thank God it's you! Are you okay? God, I love you!" She
looked up at Quentin, full of happiness and excitement and said,
"He's okay!"
He forced a smile and mimicked he was glad to hear that. Inside him his
heart broke once again.

Marcus Walker parked his car in front of his office. A homeless man was
sitting against the wall, snoring. A crack dealer ran around the corner
when he spotted Walker. A girl who couldn't have been older than
sixteen walked by with a baby on her arm. Home sweet home.
	He entered the office building, climbed the stairs to the second floor
where his office was. He opened the door. There were three men there
who didn't belong. They were big, thick-necked and ugly. One of them
carried a baseball bat. They were probably sent by the slumlord.
	"We've got a message for you," the guy with the bat said.
	Marcus produced a small vial-like bottle from his jacket pocket and
drank from it. Wiping his mouth he smiled. "Bring it on, guys!"

The Arrival

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