MISC: Transparent Comics - Enforcers #3: "Pairs, Part 1"

Frumpy jmturner at fuse.net
Wed Jan 2 14:39:09 PST 2008

	Billy tossed another empty bottle of rum into the trash.  Then he let
out a loud yawn.  He slowly made his way toward an old cot in his
small, cluttered shack, but then he stopped suddenly.  He heard
footsteps outside.  A second later, someone knocked on the door.
Billy pulled a pistol from a drawer before cautiously opening the
	"You're looking ugly as ever, laddie!," Graybeard said with a grin.
"How long has it been since I visited me old first mate Fierce Billy
One Leg?"
	"Graybeard, you old sea dog!," Billy exclaimed.  "It is good to see
you.  It has been too long, but I know my old cap'n.  You wouldn't
have come all the way out here to the middle of nowhere just for a
social call."
	"Aye, you know me too well," Graybeard agreed.  "Billy, you were the
best first mate this old buccaneer ever had amongst his crew.  When
you were me second in command, I could always feel safe leaving me
crew alone.  I knew whenever I came back from wherever I had to go
that things would be fine.  You had a fine head on your shoulders,
lad.  I never had another sharp as you, and I could always trust you.
Truth be told, the other first mates I had in me crew over the years
were just waiting for a chance to mutiny and slit me throat.  You're
one of a kind, Billy boy, and I want you back as part of me new crew."
	"Cap'n, I'm almost as old as you are," Billy said.  "Wouldn't you be
better off with a strong youth behind you?"
	"Me new crew are all young and strong, but they don't know what
they're doing," Graybeard explained.  "It's all new to them.  You
can't find experienced hands like you used to.  The last bunch of
swabs I had were the same way.  Once I finally got them into shape,
they got captured by a bunch of costumed do-gooders called the
Enforcers.  I need at least one other man who knows what he's doing
with me if I want my plans to work, Billy boy.  Take a look at this."
	Graybeard handed Billy an article ripped from the newspaper.  It was
all about a new super submarine the Navy had built with amazingly
advanced technology.
	"Think of what we could do with that underwater ship once we steal
it," Graybeard said.  "You wouldn't have to hide out in shacks
anymore, me boy."
	"What's your plan?," Billy asked with interest.

	Magic King wanted to have a team meeting, so Waterboy left in the
lighthship to pick up the other Enforcers.  He picked up Electric Lady
first because he wanted to see her the most.  They got to spend about
3 minutes alone before picking up the Bulb.  Not long after that, they
picked up the Bouncer.
	"What's this team meeting all about?," Bouncer asked.
	"I'm not sure, dude," confessed Waterboy.
	"Will Worm Woman be there?," asked the Bouncer.
	"Sure," Waterboy said.  "She's a member now, and she's been staying
at Magic King's place like I have."
	"Shouldn't we have all voted or something about her membership?,"
Bouncer questioned.  "Magic King just called her up and made her an
Enforcer without even discussing it with us."
	"I kind of see your point, but if Magic King hadn't done that, we
might not have been able to stop Prince Zomibe," Waterboy said.  "If
we did vote, no way would I vote against her.  She proved herself."
	"I would have voted for her in a second," added Electric Lady.
	The Bouncer dropped the subject as they arrived at Magic King's
home.  Everyone got comfortable, and Magic King began to speak.
	"Friends, the Navy has made a request of us," he said.  "They are
unveiling some new type of submarine tomorrow, and they would like
some of us to be there in case there is any trouble.  Bulb, I know
your schedule is open tomorrow, so we'll send you and one other
Enforcer.  Who would you like to accompany you?"
	"Are you available tomorrow, Bouncer?," asked the Bulb.
	"Yeah, I'm free," the Bouncer said.  He seemed surprised the Bulb had
asked him.
	"Then we'll send the two of you," declared Magic King.  "We also have
one other piece of business to discuss.  Super Knight has sent us a
	The others all frowned at the mention of Super Knight's name.
	"How did we get a letter from him?," Worm Woman wondered.
	"He asked the mental institution he's in to send it to the
authorities," Magic King explained.  "The authorities contacted me, so
I went and picked it up this morning.  I read it, and I must say that
I didn't expect it to say what it did.  He sent us a letter and a
map.  In the letter, he said he wants to atone for the wrong he did.
He heard about the destruction of our headquarters, and he wants to
donate his old base of operations to us.  The map shows how to get
	"We sure could use a new HQ, but I don't trust Super Knight,"
Waterboy said.
	"I think we all echo your sentiment, my friend," Magic King
continued.  "My question to you all is should we dismiss it or look
into it?"
	After some discussion, the Enforcers agreed it was worth checking
out, but extreme caution would be needed.  Magic King said he would
investigate Super Knight's old base later that evening.
	After the meeting, Waterboy flew Bulb and Bouncer off to the Navy
base where the unveiling was to take place the next day.  They would
spend the night there.  Then Waterboy returned the lightship to Magic
King.  Waterboy and Electric Lady went out to dinner, and Magic King
prepared to leave alone.
	"I'm going out in the lightship," Magic King told Worm Woman.  "I
don't know how long I'll be gone.  I have a few errands to do before I
investigate Super Knight's base."
	"Why can't I go with you?," Worm Woman asked.  "It would definitely
be better than sitting around here by myself."
	"It has been difficult for you, hasn't it?," commented Magic King.
"I talk you into joining us and leaving your home behind.  Then you
spend the greater portion of your time sitting here in my house.  It
does get awfully cramped with you, Waterboy, and I all staying here,
but with no headquarters for the Enforcers anymore, that's how it has
to be.  There isn't much for you to do here in the house either.  I
suppose you could accompany me.  Let's go."
	The two Enforcers soon arrived in a New Jersey town.  Magic King
landed the lightship in a dark alley, and they stepped out in civilian
	"Is it safe to just leave the lightship here?," Worm Woman
	"It should be," Magic King told her.  "If someone does find it, they
won't be able to get inside.  I have the key.  You could stay here
with it if you like."
	"No thanks," she said.
	"It might be better if I go in alone," Magic King suggested.
	"It wouldn't be better for me," Worm Woman insisted.
	"Very well," sighed Magic King.  "Follow me."
	They walked a few blocks until they came to a very nice apartment
building.  They went in and took an elevator up to the fourth floor.
Magic King knocked on the door of Apartment d-5.  A very thin woman
with long, dark hair opened the door.  She was very surprised to see
Magic King.  She didn't know Worm Woman.
	"This isn't your time, Nathaniel," the woman said.
	"I know, but I need to see you for another reason."
	"I've never had anyone come to see me out of turn before," the woman
said.  "It's very unusual.  Come in."
	The apartment was dark with all sorts of strange decorations around.
The three of them sat down on a couch.  The slender woman sat between
Magic King and Worm Woman.
	"Lucinda, you told me once that Dracula was your great grandfather,"
Magic King recalled.  "Is that true?"
	"It is," the slim Lucinda confirmed.  "Why are you asking about him?"
	"We recently encountered a being claiming to be Dracula," Magic King
	"My great grandfather was in America?  I find that hard to believe.
He hates America.  The few times he's been here were not pleasant for
him.  He's been staying in Europe for years, and he only deals with
mortal civilization when he has to."
	"You mean when he needs to feed on blood," Magic King said.
	"Couldn't he feed on animal blood?," inquired Worm Woman.  "Then he'd
never have to deal with people at all."
	"He could, but it wouldn't suit his taste," Lucinda answered.  "Human
blood is much more pleasant to our kind.  To a human, that would be
like rejecting a steak dinner in favor of a can of potted meat.  What
did this so-called Dracula look like?"
	When Magic King described him, Lucinda said it did indeed sound like
her great grandfather.  Magic King explained everything that happened
during their brief meeting with him.
	"You don't need to worry," Lucinda told the two Enforcers.  "From
what you have told me, I would say my great grandfather only wanted to
get his stolen staff back.  He probably went straight back to Europe
after retrieving it."
	"What if you're wrong?," Magic King asked.
	"I'm not," Lucinda said firmly.  "I know my great grandfather.  He
was considered an evil fiend long ago, but now he just wants to be
left alone.  He isn't a menace anymore, and he hasn't been in quite
some time.  There is nothing to fear."
	"Well, you should know better than us," Magic King concluded.  "Thank
you for your time, Lucinda."
	"I'll see you again in a few weeks, Nathaniel," Lucinda said.  "I am
a little surprised to find you come to me willingly."
	"What do you mean?," Magic King inquired.
	"I use my powers of the mind to make men return here," she said.  "I
more or less program them to return in so many weeks once I get what I
need from them.  I thought you were just like the others, but you're
not, are you?  Your magic wand has been protecting you from my powers
over the mind all this time.  You've been coming back to me because
you want to.  Then again, maybe I shouldn't be surprised.  The
sensation can be quite pleasant to a victim when a vampire is gentle,
and I'm always gentle."
	Magic King was trying not to turn red.
	"You should have known coming to me now would expose you," Lucinda
smiled.  "I program all my visitors not to remember what I truly am.
Would you like me to tell your friend how we first met?"
	"No thank you," Magic King replied quickly.  "Farewell, Lucinda."
	As Lucinda chuckled, Magic King and Worm Woman left her apartment.
	"How did you meet her?," Worm Woman asked.  "You don't want to tell
me, do you?  Well, I could always go back in there to ask her."
	Magic King sighed.
	"If you must know, I'll tell you," Magic King said.  "One night while
I was between relationships, I was feeling an overwhelming
loneliness.  I went out to a bar, and I met Lucinda there."
	"She meets men in bars, and then she takes some of their blood,"
determined Worm Woman.  "The men who go home with her think she's a
prostitute, don't they?  She makes them think they fooled around with
her before they leave when she's really just getting her blood from
	"That's about the size of it," admitted Magic King.
	"Does she actually take their money, too?,"
	Magic King nodded.  They just stared at each other for a few
seconds.  Worm Woman slapped Magic King across the face.  Then she
continued on her way back to the lightship.  Magic King followed after
her.  Without speaking further, they boarded the lightship.

	Allison Anderson and Mickey Hale were having dinner in a small
Chinese restaurant.  A waiter had recognized Mickey and requested an
autograph from the famous Waterboy.  Mickey was glad to oblige.
Allison smiled.
	"You know what happened today, Mickey?," she asked rhetorically.  "A
reporter showed up at the library.  He wanted to interview Waterboy's
	"The dude had no idea who he was really talking to, did he?," Mickey
	"No," Allison continued.  "To him, I'm just one really lucky local
	All of the sudden, Mickey stopped smiling.
	"If people are starting to recognize you as my girlfriend, that isn't
going to cost you anything, is it?," Mickey asked.
	"No," Allison said.  "An occasional visit from a reporter at the
library is no big deal, and if anyone was to try to get to you through
me, you know I can handle myself.  It's no problem, Mickey.  Even if
there was a problem, we'd work it out somehow.  How are things going
in your temporary home?"
	"It gets a little crowded, but it's not too bad," Waterboy responded.
	"Maybe you should move in with me," Allison suggested.
	"No way," Mickey said.  "You know how religious the Bulb is.  I don't
want to tick him off.  Besides, I want at least a little mystery left
for when we get married."
	Allison's jaw dropped.  Mickey made a hasty correction.
	"I meant to say if we get married.  That's what I meant."
	Allison didn't say anything.  Mickey decided to change the subject.
	"So how are things going at the library?"

	The lightship landed near a prison.
	"So why are we here?," Worm Woman asked.  "Are you visiting some
other vamp tramp?"
	"I have a quick piece of business here, and then we can go check out
Super Knight's base," Magic King replied.  "Just wait here, and I'll
return soon."
	"I'm not waiting here," she said.  "I want to see who you know in
there and what they know about you."
	It turned out to be a little boring for Worm Woman inside the
prison.  All she really did was walk behind Magic King and two prison
guards.  They took him to the cell of a super criminal called
Upchuck.  Upchuck could apparently release some sort of acidic vomit
at will to burn through almost anything.  The only way the police
could keep him inside his cell was if Magic King cast a spell on it to
resist Upchuck's vomit.  Unfortunately, the spell wasn't permanent, so
Magic King had to stop by to renew it every once in a while.  Once
that business was finished, it didn't take them long to reach the
location of Super Knight's old base in the lightship.
	"Super Knight said in his letter that there would be one line of
security for us to deal with, but he didn't say exactly what it was,"
Magic King warned.  "I guess he didn't think it would be much of a
challenge for us."
	"I'm surprised he even mentioned it at all," muttered Worm Woman.
"Let's find out what his little trap is.  Do you want to go first, or
should I?"
	Before either of them could step inside, Super Knight walked out to
meet them.  Then another Super Knight came out.  Three more arrived
after that.  They were robot versions of his armor.  One of them drew
his heat sword, activated it, and came after Magic King.  Magic King
used his wand to levitate all five robots about ten feet into the air.
	"I can't hold them up there forever," the magician said.
	"I know," Worm Woman said as she rushed inside.  "I'll try to find
either something to destroy them with or a way to turn them off."
	She spotted a small cannon of some kind and carried it outside.
Magic King still had the robots up in the air, but they were all
throwing their weapons at him.  He dodged a heat sword from one.  Then
he ducked as one of their shields sailed over his head.  Worm Woman
fired the cannon.  A small, glowing cannonball exploded on impact with
one robot.
	"That's one down," Worm Woman smiled as she fired at the others.
	After four robots were destroyed, the cannon was empty.
	"Give me a second to find another weapon," she told Magic King.
	"That isn't necessary," Magic King told her.  "Now that the load is
lighter, I can lift the robot much higher.  There!  That looks high
enough.  Now I'll just let him fall."
	The last robot dropped helplessly to the ground where it broke into
	"That takes care of the line of defense Super Knight mentioned,"
Magic King said.  "Now we can take a look around."
	The two Enforcers carefully went through the entire base.  They
investigated things thoroughly, and everything seemed to be fine.
Maybe this could become their new headquarters after all.

	The following afternoon, a large group was assembled at a Navy base
for the unveiling of the new super submarine.  The Bulb and the
Bouncer were among those congregated.  They were all standing on a
beach beside a platform.  A tall, distinguished-looking man stepped up
to the platform.  He switched on a microphone after clearing his
	"Ladies and gentleman, I won't bore you with a long introduction,"
the man said.  "You all know what you're here to see without me
telling you, so I'll simply say the Neptune 3000 has arrived."
	The super submarine emerged from under the water.  It was an
impressive sight.  The audience was obviously impressed; however, the
sounds of their enthusiasm were quickly drowned out by other noise
from behind them.  Five jeeps were driving wildly at top speed, and
all five were heading for the beach assembly.
	"What the heck are those jeeps doing?," the Bouncer wondered aloud.
	"You and I have to stop them," the Bulb said quickly.  "Let's go!"

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