[misc] The Goddess & The Bomb #1
rickhindle at gmail.com
rickhindle at gmail.com
Fri Jan 6 16:31:21 PST 2006
The Goddess & The Bomb
"The Best Laid Plans..."
by Rick Hindle
[cover shows the beautiful Athena holding up the word 'Goddess' and the
black-suited Clusterbomb holding up the word 'Bomb'. In the middle is
the Great One, holding up the ampersand (&)]
* * *
The media loved him. It was easy. He was handsome, strong, clean
cut. He was The Great One.
It was a self-appointed name. The media had, however, picked up on it
very quickly. He was pre-packaged goodness. A city like this needed a
wholesome package to make it forget about the constant threat of
The Great One could fly, he was super-strong, and the various
manifestations of evil that he fought seemed the cower before him. In
fact, it had been nearly two weeks since the press had reported another
heroic effort by The Great One.
"I will continue to clean up this city," he had stated during his
first press conference, held near the Pinnacle City complex. "It's
been too long since the so called 'superheroes' around here have done
Just as he was finishing up, a monstrous robotic ape appeared,
smashing its way towards the throngs of people. Stepping deftly away
from the podium, The Great One shifted his weight slightly and was
airborne, flying quickly towards the machine.
The aggressive feux sapien swung menacingly at The Great One, who took
the shot directly. He fell to the ground quickly. Slowly, The Great
One stood, his eyes narrowing.
Metro Television, the City's largest and most recognizable station,
caught it all on tape. The Great One muttered something, translated by
lip readers as "Drop dead."
The superhuman again flew upwards, but this time slid away from the
machine's swing. He stopped right in front of the creature's
mid-section, then went straight up towards it's head. The cameras lost
focus for a moment as the Great One crashed through the machine's head.
With the Great One hovering over it, the machine fell backwards until
it landed on its back in the middle of Continental Boulevard. Slowly,
a massive cheers built throughout the crowd until the Pinnacle City
district was a wall of sound.
The Great One smiled, gave a slight wave of his hand, and then picked
up the massive being. According to television news helicopters, the
Great One had flown out into the harbor and dropped the creature
outside of the shipping lanes.
Quickly, the Great One was making himself more popular then any of the
other 'heroes' that operated in the City - the Protectors, Nighthawk,
the Triad, Athena, even Mayor Jim "Rush" Stockard.
At a press conference, Mayor Stockard had joked that if he didn't do
something before the end of his current term, there was a good chance
that the Great One could step in and take over. Some pundits thought
that Stockard's suggestions was so bright, they should just switch now.
Athena Copperwood shrugged off all of the talk about the new guy in
town. She had seem them come and go. Heck, she had once been one of
the new folks in town. Eventually, the Great One would have to
eventually start dealing with the more mundane criminal minds of the
City - folks like Athena and her friend David "Clusterbomb"
Norfleet dealt with everyday.
"I'm getting tired of all this b.s., Dave," she muttered across
the top of her appletini. She and Norfleet were sitting in a little
bar across the Pinnacle City mall from where the Great One had slain
the Robo-Ape a mere three weeks ago. "You'd think he came in and
saved the world a few times."
"Well, according to the press, he did," Dave replied in between
sips of his Barkley's Brew.
"You're no help, you know that?" Athena stated. She brushed a few
loose strands of her dirty blond hair out of her eyes and took a deep
sip of her drink.
Dave smiled, "I do try." Athena shot him a slightly angry glance
that quickly disappeared. Her eyes traveled down to her expensive
wrist watch. Her brow shot up in surprise.
"What's up?" Dave asked. Athena quickly downed her drink.
"I'm late," she exclaimed.
"For an important date?" Dave joked.
Again, Athena shot him a dirty look. "No, I'm supposed to meet my
sister. She's in town for a couple days looking at schools. I
promised my folks I'd take her around."
"Call me later?" Athena asked as she stood up and turned to leave.
"Why don't you call me, it'll be easier," Dave recommended.
"Sounds good!" Athena called over her shoulder as she maneuvered
smoothly through the bar and out the front door. Dave could only
admire her figure - long legs encased in designer blues jeans, a well
proportioned figure that was toned from many hours in the gym. As well
as in her night profession - fighting crime with Dave.
He smiled as she disappeared into the crowds outside along the
Pinnacle City mall.
* * *
Athena moved quickly, ignoring the stares from men as she wandered out
of the Ingle Street subway station. Her eyes quickly adjusted to the
sinking daylight. Ingle Street was the heart of the City's fashion
district. Designer boutiques and small bistros mixed with small
gardens and beautiful brownstones along the street.
And, apparently, so did giant robots.
Screaming men and women ran past Athena, nearly sending her plummeting
back down into the subway. Her super strength managed to help push her
through the crowd towards the machine, whose attention seemed to wander
about the street, wanting to smash whatever was close.
The machine did not notice Athena as she picked up a downed street
lamp and brandished it like a javelin. Unnoticed, the beautiful
goddess hurled the lamp, broken end first, towards the machine. It
lodged near the robot's neck, causing it to flinch backwards briefly.
As it turned it's attention towards Athena, the robot failed to notice
the Great One as he scooped in and grabbed Athena. "Hey, what the
hell?" she screamed as he placed her delicately on a nearby roof top.
"Sorry, have to get you out of the way," the Great One explained.
"I don't need your help. I can take care of myself," Athena
retorted. "I'm not some amateur."
"It's just too dangerous," the Great One again stated as he took
off, leaving Athena behind.
The machine swatted him aside easily. The robot's entire attention
was turned towards him. Athena picked up a rock nearby and tossed it
towards the robot's glowing red eye. Her strength managed to crack the
glass fairly easily.
However, the machine didn't respond. It's attention was still focused
solely on the Great One. "Weird," Athena whispered as silence
descended upon Ingle Street.
"Drop dead," she heard from below. Looking over the side of the
building she was on top of, Athena noticed the Great One, standing by
himself. He was looking around.
"Is he looking for television cameras?" Athena asked herself. She
noticed a red light flicker on from a Channel Three news camera down
the street as the crew rushed towards the fight scene. "Why is he
waiting for the camera crew?"
As the camera crew rushed forward, the Great One jumped upwards,
rushing right through the head of the giant robot. As the machine
crashed down on top of a brownstone across the street, Athena noticed
Actually, it was something she didn't notice. There was no metal
strewn about that would be caused by the Great One flying through the
Before Athena could investigate closer, the Great One picked up the
robot and flew it away. News choppers were probably following him by
now, but Athena did not want to wait around to be interviewed.
She had other things on her mind.
* * *
Dave Norfleet groaned as he heard a series of sharp knocks on the
door. He was watching Saturday Night Live and had finally found an
episode that was worth watching. After putting down his beer, Dave
stood and walked towards the door. "I'm coming, I'm coming."
He swung open the door to find Athena standing in front of him. Her
shirt was dirtied, and she was obviously pissed.
"Hey," Dave greeted her as she pushed past him into his studio
apartment. Dave lived on Longchamps Street, in the Old Harbor section
of the City. Athena had spent the last two hours riding around the
subway and walking the streets of the City, putting her plan into
motion. "Where's -"
"He's a fraud," Athena simply stated, cutting Dave off.
"What? Who?" Dave responded, motioning for her to relax.
"The Great One, he's a fraud."
Dave sat back down on his couch. "I know you don't like him. But
what do you mean by 'he's a fraud'?"
Athena sat down on the other side of the couch and repeated what had
happened earlier in the day. "Okay, that's fishy," Dave said when
he had finished.
"Exactly," Athena replied. "That's why I've got a friend looking
"A friend? Who?" Dave finished his beer. His mind was racing in
over drive. How was she planning on exposing this guy as a fraud.
"I spoke to Shadowcaster," Athena explained, mentioning a mutual
friend of their's who was excellent at trailing people. "He's going
to check up on a couple things."
"Like where does the Great One hang out? What exactly does he do
with these monsters and robots that seem to constantly attack and draw
"Okay. That makes sense. But how do you plan on exposing him?"
"Well, I'm thinking about turning one of his monsters against
him," Athena answered.
"Well, I've got to figure that one out."
* * *
Continental Boulevard stretched from Pinnacle City down to Watkins
Point, which reached out into the harbor. It was one of the three main
thoroughfares in the City, lined with essential businesses, hotels, and
even massive luxury apartment complexes. Continental Boulevard was
what gave the City its image and fame.
Dave watched the large robot approach, his specially constructed black
protective suit hidden under a light coat. He was waiting - he knew
this monster was the Great One's. He wasn't exactly sure, however, how
Athena was going to pull this off.
Athena had made his instructions clear: unless she was in definite
trouble, then Dave was lie low.
Now she was standing out in the middle of Continental Boulevard,
egging on the machine until the Great One landed next to her, and
quickly picked her up. At this point, Dave knew she would be attaching
a small microphone to the superhuman's back.
That microphone was connected to a large speaker that she would flick
on when necessary.
Dave continued to watch as Athena was placed on a roof top and left
behind by the Great One. He landed softly, took a hit from the
machine, then flew up and knocked it over.
Before he could fly off, the Great One noticed something else.
Another robot. A little confused, he didn't notice the brief bit of
feedback from the speakers that was caused by his flying forward. This
robot didn't swing at him. Instead, it allowed the Great One to fly in
Dave watched as the superhuman flew straight up towards the robot's
head. Instead of shooting through the head like he had normally done,
the Great One hit the head and dropped towards the ground.
"Wait, I didn't build this one," he said. His voice traveled
through the crowd. Dave caught the sound of people talking in the
crowd. They were wondering what was going on.
"Crap, how do I beat this thing if I don't know how?" he asked out
loud. Now the crowd was beginning to talk louder.
"Wait a second, why am I hearing myself talk?" the Great One
Boos were beginning to come from the crowd. A video was being shown
on one of the massive video boards along the street. It was him, his
voice was being repeated. Over and over.
"...didn't build this one."
"Fraud!" someone shouted. More shouts of 'fraud'. The crowd was
quickly taking it up into a chant.
The robot was just standing there. "If I knock it over, they'll
think I'm still a hero." the Great One now said out loud.
"If I knock it over, they'll think I'm still a hero," his voice
Watching this, Dave was sure that Athena had a smile on her face. The
Great One turned and flew away, his head down.
"What did we just do?" Athena asked Dave as she came up behind
him. He nearly jumped.
"What that necessary?" Dave responded.
"That's exactly what I'm asking," Athena said.
"Um, I meant the scaring me part."
"But that other part? Isn't that what you wanted. You exposed the
guy as a fraud. Or at least, you created some mistrust."
Athena nodded slowly. For some reason, she was starting to feel
guilty. She shook it off.
"By the way, where's your sister?" Dave asked as they walked along
Continental Boulevard, past reporters talking about the sudden,
dramatic events surrounding the Great One's 'demise'.
Athena stopped dead in her tracks, her eyes on Dave. "Oh crap!"
* * *
He sat alone in the dark room, his red eyes staring at the television
screen. Athena and Dave were pictured prominently, moving quickly
through the crowd along Continental Boulevard towards the subway
station at Princeton Street.
A cruel smile spread across his lips.
His voice rasped simply, "Jealously can be a dangerous thing."
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