[misc] The Goddess & The Bomb #2

rickhindle at gmail.com rickhindle at gmail.com
Fri Jan 6 18:34:47 PST 2006

The Goddess & The Bomb
by Rick Hindle

[covers shows Athena and Clusterbomb in the foreground, fighting a
group of ninjas; in the middle, the Great One has a psychotic look on
his face, waiting to attack the heroes; in the background, a beautiful
woman keeps an eye on everything; title copy reads: "The Great One's
Revenge Begins!"]

	"I'm just wondering if it was a good idea, that's all, Dave,"
Athena Copperwood stated to her friend.  Dave Norfleet groaned.
	"What?" Athena retorted.
	"Wasn't it your idea in the first place to go after him?" Dave
replied.  He was referring to their unveiling of the Great One as a
fraud.  Until recently, the Great One had been the newest, greatest
superhero in the City.  However, the press and the people of the City
were now aware that all of the weird machines that he had been
defeating were in fact created by the Great One.
	Dave's words seemed to sting Athena.  She stared out of the window at
the street outside.  A light rain was now picking up.  Large drops
pounded against cars out on the Old Harbor's cobblestone.  She was
cold.  The sweatshirt she was wearing didn't feel like it was keeping
her warm at all.
	"I could use a beer and a burger," Dave said as he stood up.  He
wasn't a very talk gentleman, and was fairly stocky, especially for a
so-called 'superhero'.  Dave "Clusterbomb" Norfleet was not built
like a superhero.  He was an average guy, who liked jeans and t-shirts.
	"That sounds good," Athena responded.
	"Where do you want to go?  Buckey's?  The Apple Tree?" Dave asked
as he walked into his bedroom to grab his jacket.
	"Eh, Buckey's is a bit far," Athena replied. "What's that place
over on Spruce?  The Laughing Gas?"
	"The Laughing Gas?  Ugh," Dave answered. "That place scares
	Athena seemed slightly shocked.  "Scares you?  You've got to be
kidding me."
	"The Apple Tree is really good."
	"Where's that again?"
	"On Canal."
	Athena thought it over.  "Um..."
	Dave's picture window smashed open, sending glass flying.  "What
the-?!" Dave exclaimed as he ran back into the living room.
	Ninjas.  Dressed in black tunics, matching short pants and hoods.
Their faces were covered in white masks, their lowers legs and feet
covered in black stockings.  Swords and long bows in hand, the ninjas
- seven of them - ventured towards the two superhumans.
	One moved quickly, swiping his long, wooden staff at Athena.  As she
ducked, Athena stuck out her arm.  The staff hit her arm and shattered.
 The ninja stared at his broken staff for a moment before stabbing at
	This time, Athena sidestepped him, grabbed the staff, and threw the
ninja towards Dave's wall.  The wall cracked and shattered under the
force of the weight.  "There goes my deposit," Dave muttered as a
ninja with a sword came after him.  "You come after her with wooden
sticks, but you guys with swords come after me?" he asked to nobody
in particular.
	Dave ducked the sword blade and stood to the side as the ninja tried
pulling his weapon out of the wall.  Taking this opportunity, Dave
swung at the ninja's head, knocking the warrior backwards.  The ninja
shrugged off the blow and came at him.
	Instead of engaging the ninja in fisticuffs, Dave simply clenched his
fists and generated a series of small burst of energy, knocking the
ninja away.
	"So, you can't handle these guys without your powers?" Athena
asked as she picked up another ninja and tossed him aside.
	"No powers, huh?" Dave asked. "Yeah, I'm sure without
superpowers, you'd be able to just toss these guys around.  Don't ruin
your manicure."

*  *  *

	Anger.  Hatred.  Fear.  Anger.  Hatred.  Anger.
	The thoughts came and went.
	He knew he was angry.  And knew who he hated.
	The Great One sat in his small studio apartment overlooking the North
River, contemplating the steps that Athena had taken to show him up.
He knew he reeked of alcohol.  He had been drinking nothing but Jack
Daniels for the last thirty-six hours.
	His hatred was growing.  All the Great One wanted was to kill her.
	He didn't want to kill Athena.
	He wanted Athena to suffer.  To suffer for the crimes she had
committed against him.  To suffer for the pain and suffering she had
	"You want to hurt her, don't you?" a woman's voice asked from near
his from door.
	The Great One looked up, his bloodshot eyes staring ahead.  She was
dark-haired, beautiful, not a single line on her face.  She had gray
eyes that seemed to reach out and enter his mind.  He had never seen
anyone so beautiful.  Or felt anything so powerful.
	"You do want to make Athena pay for what she did for her,
correct?" the woman asked.
	The Great One nodded.  "Yes.  I do."
	"Good," the woman responded as she walked forward.
	"Who are you?" the Great One asked as he stood up shakily.
Despite all of his superpowers, alcohol was something that still
affected him.
	The woman stopped a few feet from him.  She was wearing black pants
with a white shirt and black suit jacket.  A smile spread slowly across
her face.  "My name is Aspen Carthage," she answered, "and I am
here to help you."

*  *  *

	Athena watched as Dave tossed the last of the ninjas done.  They were
both sweating from the work.  Seven ninjas now lay on the floor of
Dave's apartment, all unconscious.
	"Who are they?" Athena panted as she grabbed a glass of water from
Dave's kitchen.
	Norfleet was crouched down next to one of the ninjas, studying their
clothing. "I'm thinking the Laughing Hand."
	"Laughing Hand?" Athena asked.
	Dave nodded his hand. "They're a group of mercenaries," he
explained. "The last time I had heard of them, they were working for
The Trojan."
	"The Trojan?" Athena now asked.  She had thrown her coat on as
they tried to head out for their delayed dinner.
	Dave again nodded. "The Trojan is a pseudo-godfather.  Supposedly
he's from around here, but I doubt it."
	"Why's that?"
	Norfleet looked around once they reached the street.  "Well, he
didn't appear in any reports until about three years ago.  And even
since he appeared, nobody's really heard about him."
	"They know anything really about him?"
	"Only that he runs the Laughing Hand and parts of St. Mark's
	The Apple Tree was fairly crowded as the pair walked in.  A waitress
told them it would be a five minute wait.  Dave nodded his ascent as
the two of them walked back outside.
	"Did those ninjas prove anything to you?" Athena asked as they sat
down on a bench outside the restaurant.
	"That their trainers did a horrible job," Dave replied.
	Athena shook her head. "Do you ever get tired of it?"
	"Tired of what?" Dave replied, looking over at his tall, beautiful
	She turned and looked at him. "Tired of being randomly attacked by
ninjas, and giants robots, and super powered strongmen."
	Dave gave off a slight smile. "Sometimes I do.  I mean, my apartment
just got trashed by seven sword wielding ninjas.  Could I have done
without it?  Absolutely."
	"Then what keeps you going?  Obviously it's not the fame, or the
	"Well, it's not like I get money in my day job either," Dave said
with a smile.  They both laughed sarcastically.
	"Seriously, Dave."
	"Seriously?" Dave's attention turned back to the street, his mind
spinning.  "Um...I guess it's the sense of doing something that's
right.  Here I am, given the ability to turn myself into a bomb.  I
mean, I could go ahead and blow up buildings and stuff, but I like my
	"What freedom do you have now?"
	"Well, I've got lots of freedoms."
	"Like having your apartment trashed by a super powered godfather's
private army?"
	Dave scratched his five o'clock shadow and sighed.  "She's right,
isn't she?" he asked himself.  Dave turned back to Athena, "While
you do have a good point, I've got to think that if we didn't do what
we did, the world wouldn't be safe.  And it's not just us.  If the
Protectors, or the Triad, or the Fedora.  Any of us.  The world
wouldn't be safe.  It would be safe for psychos to run around, killing
people and running the world.  But no, it's a safer place then that."
	As Athena began to respond, Dave's ears were suddenly filled with a
noise that reminded him of an on-rushing train.  He turned to look up
into the sky, but was knocked nearly unconscious as the Great One
slammed into him.
	Athena picked herself up and turned to face the Great One.  Before she
could make a move, he punched her in the face, sending her flying into
one of the large plate glass windows that made up the front of the
Apple Tree.
	Glass tore at her skin as Athena topped tables, chairs, and
restaurant-goers.  Athena tasted blood as she stood up.  She tried
grabbing at a table to hold herself up, but it was pointless.  She
nearly fell over again.
	A young man tried to help her, but she waved him off.  "It's not
your fight," Athena muttered before she tried walking forward.
Before she could reach him, the Great One grabbed her by the throat and
pulled her back through the window and tossed her into the street.
Athena skidded across the asphalt for a moment before stopping.
	Dave stood up slowly and ran at the Great One, his body charging to
produce enough energy to knock him out.  Seeing Dave coming, the Great
One stopped, dropped to a knee, and then quickly caught the Clusterbomb
and picked him up.
	As the Great One held Dave over his head, the energy charged
Clusterbomb triggered a compacted burst of energy downwards.
	Both Dave and the Great One fell into a heap.  Dave's clothing was
torn and singed.  A smell of burning flesh hung in the air.  Dave could
barely move.  It was easy for the Great One to pick Dave up and toss
him into the Apple Tree.
	Turning his attention to the bloodied Athena, the Great One walked
over and picked her up easily.  She was beginning to stir.  The Great
One considered his options for a moment, but decided to slam his fist
into her head again.  Athena moaned and passed out again.
	Smiling thinly, the Great One turned and lept into the sky, dragging
Athena by her hair after him.

*  *  *

	The room was dark.  A large wood and leather chair sat in the middle
of the room, large television staring at the audience.
	Aspen Carthage was leaning against the chair, one of her well
manicured hands rested on the chair occupant's shoulder.  Her attention
was solely on the television screen, watching the Great One prepare to
torture Athena.
	"What he does to her, I'm sure it will be fun," Carthage said, a
menacing grin spreading across her face.
	The gentleman grunted. "Fun?  Revenge isn't fun, my dear," his
eyes narrowed to slits.  "Revenge is necessary."

~To Be Continued~


Author's Notes:

Since I'm awful about starting a series and a story without finishing
it, I'm proud to say that I've already released the first two issues of
this series.  I've got the next two parts outlined, with eight more in
the chute after that.  So hopefully, I've given you all an early taste
of what might be "The Year of the Goddess & the Bomb" or something
similar.  Well, how about at least the weekend of?  Eh.  I'll settle
for a moment.

I'm also going to have "The Goddess & The Bomb" website up sooner,
rather then later.  That'll give everyone a chance to learn a little
bit more about the characters I'm trying to create.

Boston, 1/6/06

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