[misc] The Goddess & The Bomb #3

rickhindle at gmail.com rickhindle at gmail.com
Mon Feb 20 12:53:25 PST 2006

The Goddess & The Bomb
"Pain, the Other, Other, Other White Meat"
by Rick Hindle

[cover shows Athena and Clusterbomb backed into a corner, the Great
One's shadow heading towards them.  Cover copy reads: "Pain, It's
What's For Dinner!"]

	Dave Norfleet shook his head and looked up at attractive nurse staring
down at him.  "Doctor, he's awake," she stated without taking her
eyes off of him.
	A middle aged doctor took her place, shining an annoying light into
Dave's eyes.  "Hmm, his reactions are fine, all things considered,"
the doctor mumbled.
	"All things considered?" Dave responded.
	The doctor's eyes widen slightly. "You really don't remember?"
	"Remember what?  The ninjas that sacked my apartment or the Great
One beating the crap out of me and kidnapping my friend?"
	"Maybe you do remember."
	"I remember getting punched so hard I ended up going through the
wall of a bar."
	The doctor nodded slowly. "Well, you did manage to make it out to
the street."
	"What happened then?"
	"Well, that's when they found you."
	"Who found me?"
	"The Protectors."
	"The Protectors found me?" Dave asked.  He tried to sit up but he
suddenly felt extremely tired.
	"That's what I said," the doctor responded.
	"I've got to go find them," Dave stated.
	"Why's that?"
	"I need to find my friend."
	"You need to rest."
	Dave tried to get up. "But-"
	The doctor shoved Dave back down into the bed. "But nothing.  Rest,
Mr. Norfleet.  Or I'll get someone to beat you up enough that it puts
you back to sleep."

*  *  *

	She could feel sweat mingling with blood on her lips.  Athena was
hurt.  How bad, she wasn't entirely sure.  Her ears rang from the
pounding she had taken earlier from the Great One.
	Sure, he was a fraud, she told herself.  But, man, he could pack a
punch.  Shaking her head, Athena looked around the room, trying to
figure out where exactly she was.
	The entire room was being lit from a single light bulb that she could
see by tilting her head straight back and looking up.  It behind and
well above her, parallel to the joint that her bonds fell from.  Moving
her head back to its natural position, Athena could determine that the
entire room was made of cold, off-white concrete.
	Athena also determined that the room would be uncomfortable to be in,
even if she wasn't hanging a couple of feet over the concrete floor.
It was early fall, but the entire room was humid - like it would be
in the dead of August.  "Probably near the water," Athena muttered
to herself as she began to struggle at the bonds.
	"Did you say something, my dear?" a deep voice boomed throughout
the room.  Athena tried twisting around to see if the voice had come
from behind her, but she could not see anything.
	"Who-" she stopped herself.  Athena knew who it was who.  That
much was easy to determine.
	"I wouldn't waste my time struggling against those if I was you,"
the Great One told her.
	Athena struggled briefly at the the iron chains that were wrapped
around her wrists and ankles.  She decided to heed to the Great One's
	"Good choice.  Do you know the Ironsmith?" he asked her.  He
standing right behind Athena.  She could feel his breath on her back.
	Athena nodded.  "Used to work for General Golgorich, correct?"
	She obviously could not be sure, but Athena knew that the Great One
was smiling.  "You are very astute, my dear."  Athena thought she
heard an accent beginning to mix into the Great One's speech.  She
shook it off as he came around her and took position with his back to
	"So, this is how you repay me for saving your life?" he asked her.
	"Saving my life?  How about destroying this city so you can become
something you're not?" Athena retorted.
	The Great One did not flinch.  "Something I am not?" he repeated
slowly and softly.  He repeated, again: "Something I am not?"
	Suddenly, he wheeled around, grabbing her by the throat.  "Something
I am not?" Athena's eyes were wide in terror. "I am a hero!"
	He looked into her eyes, wide with fear.  The Great One's eyes were
wide open now, flaring with red hot anger.  He shoved Athena away and
she slowly swung back and forth, trying to catch her breath.

* * *

	Dave Norfleet slipped the taxi driver a twenty and two fives and then
climbed out of the yellow cab.  The Protectors Mansion sat in front of
him, its modern, white architecture acting like a beacon to him.  Dave
needed help, and he was sure this was the place to get it.
	Norfleet walked up the tree lined path towards the front door of the
building.  The Protectors had always prided themselves on their openess
to the general public.  Dave had been to the mansion twice before -
both times for charity dinner parties as Athena's date.  This time,
however, there was very little ambience except for the small lights
that made up the path to the mansion's front door.
	He slowed when the large statue of Roger "Rex Pax" Falkirk, the
late founder and original leader of the Protectors.  It was giant, made
of a rare stone found on some far distant planet that the Protectors
had travelled to.  There was a simple sign on the bottom of the statue
- Roger Falkirk, Leader, Friend, Protector.
	Dave slowed and gave a slight nod to one of the greatest superhumans
that had ever walked before resuming his pace and heading up the path
towards the mansion.  As he neared the giant, etched metal doors, they
slid open effortlessly to reveal Ace and Ironwing.
	Ace was dressed in a green spandex suit that was trimmed in white.  He
wore an aviator's jacket with the Protectors' logo on the back and
matching brown leather gloves.  He wore a pair of old fashioned
aviator's goggles on his head.  A slight smile was stretching out below
his thin, slick mustache.
	Ironwing was a giant man.  Or to be technical, an average sized
Orcasian.  His metallic wings were folded behind him.  He was wearing a
traditional-looking kimono his muscular arms folded in front of him.
	"Can we help you?" Ace asked.
	Dave smiled when he saw them.  "My name's Dave Norfleet, you know me
as Clusterbomb," he announced.
	Ace looked up at Ironwing who nodded. "We found you earlier tonight,
right?" Ace asked.
	Norfleet nodded. "Yes, you did.  Listen, my partner-"
	Ace cut him off. "Listen, you really should be in bed, kid."
	Dave chose not to listen to Ace. "My partner is Athena," he
continued. "She's missing.  I need your help to find her."
	Ace looked at Ironwing. "Well, we'd love to help, but we're the only
ones here.  And we're trying to stay available for something major."
	"Something major?  The Great One has her.  He kidnapped her." Dave
was shocked.  These were the Protectors.  They were supposed to help
	"Sorry, sonny boy.  Run along now, I'm sure the Triad could help
	"The Triad's out of town," Dave replied, "On their European
	"Well, then, I'm sure there are some others out there who can help
you out," Ace stated as he turned and walked inside.
	Ironwing stood there, staring down at Norfleet. "Please," Dave
	"Hey, I-Dub, let's go!" Ace called from inside.
	Ironwing's head bowed slightly before he turned and walked inside.
The doors closed noiselessly behind him.
	Dave's chin hit his chest.  He closed his eyes tightly.  He could feel
tears welling inside of him.
	He shook them off and turned away from the Protectors mansion.  Dave
began to walk down the path, back towards High Ridge Road and the City
beyond.  He could already see the beautiful lights shining below.
	She was somewhere out there.
	"Your friend needs you, I suppose," a woman's voice said from
Dave's left.
	He wheeled around, dropping into a combat crouch.  Energy flowed
towards his fists.  "Who are you?"
	Car lights flipped on, blinding Dave.  A woman approached, she was
dressed in very dark clothing.  "The Sturgood and Ware building."
	"In the Old Harbor?" Dave replied.
	"You'll find her there."

* * *

	Athena groaned as the feeling began to return to her aching body.  She
was still hanging up in the empty concrete room, but now she was in
severe pain.
	"Feeling any better?" the Great One asked from behind her.  Athena
did not turn around or even acknowledge him.
	"Pretty girl doesn't want to play?" he chuckled.
	"What's so funny?" another voice asked.  Athena's eyes widened.
Dave? She thought.  Athena tried turning around, but the chains kept
her in one place.
	"Who are you?" the Great One snarled.
	"Would you believe a knight in shining armor?" Dave responded.
Athena could tell that Dave was wearing a part of a smile when he said
	"About time!" Athena called back.
	"Sorry, big and ugly here knocked me out for a bit," Norfleet
responded as he and the Great One began to stare at each other.
	"You going to get me out of here?" Athena now asked.
	"Um, maybe," Dave replied. "I'm trying to outstare this guy."
	The Great One charged at Clusterbomb.  As the massive superhuman
wrapped his arms around Dave, the smaller man gave off a burst of
energy.  It was a compact burst of energy that made the Great One
	Before the Great One had even dropped to the floor, Dave was over to
where Athena was hanging.
	Reaching up, Dave began to tug downwards on Athena's legs.  "Yes, I
have nice legs, and no, it's not working!" Athena shouted.  Dave
stepped back at looked up.
	"Hurry up!" Athena now shouted.
	"Keep yelling, keep hanging," Dave stated firmly.
	"Sorry, Mr. Norfleet," Athena retorted. "Can you please help me
get the hell down from here?!"
	Dave smiled and pointed his finger like a gun up the joint holding the
chains.  He fired a small burst of energy that broke the top links.
	Athena fell, landing on top of Dave.  "Oof!" they both grunted as
they collapsed onto the ground.
	"Why'd you try and catch me?" Athena asked.
	"Why'd you fall on me?" Dave responded.
	"Freeze!" a voice shouted.
	"Who said 'freeze'?" they both asked.
	Looking up, Dave and Athena both noticed a group of policemen holding
guns at them.  "Um, this isn't good, is it?" Dave asked.
	Athena didn't even bother to reply as a policeman hoisted her up and
began to escort her out the door.
	Another officer placed handcuffs around Dave's wrists.  "Um, huh?"
Dave asked.
	"You're under arrest for assault, battery, and destruction of
private property," he stated coldly.
	"Me?  Arrest?  What?" was all Dave could muster before he being
dragged away.
	As he neared the door, an attractive, dark haired woman stood with a
pair of dark blue uniformed officers.  "Poor Mr. Norfleet," she
said softly.  Dave's eyes widened.  He had heard that voice before.
	"See what happens when you're jealous?"

~To Be Continued~

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