jvdsteen1974 at gmail.com jvdsteen1974 at gmail.com
Wed Dec 4 05:34:39 PST 2013

by J. Vandersteen 


Wade Hudson shakes his nightstick at Godling. “You really want to take me to jail? Forget it!”
Detective Darlene King says, “You’ve been committing an act of police brutality. There’s no way to deny that. I need to take you in.”
Wade spits. “You can’t take me on. Not in this armor you can’t.”
“We’ll see about that,” Godling says and attacks, his fist swinging at Wade.
Wade catches the fist on his nightstick and kicks Godling in the gut. The hero doubles over, switching to Achilles’ invulnerability from Ares’ fighting skills just a bit too late. The nightstick comes crashing down against his temple, but the invulnerability saves him from harm now.
“Damn you! Go down!” Wade yells and keeps clubbing Godling with the nightstick. While he isn’t hurt by it Godling has a hard time striking back with the hits coming again and again.
Darlene King and Officer Janson grab Wade’s arms and try to pull him away from The One Man Pantheon. Wade shakes them off, then turns to face them, gun pointing at them.
“Leave me alone, stupid cows!” he yells.
“No way! I’m taking you in!” King says and hits Wade in the face with a roundhouse kick. He takes it on the helmet, though and fires the gun.
King falls, smoke coming from her side where the gun hit her with a laserblast. “@#$ that hurts…”
“ENOUGH!” Godling says and with the speed of Hermes he ploughs into Wade, carrying him across the street into a building. It feels to Wade if he has just been hit by an F-16 fighter jet. Dizzy, he tries to get his gun up to defend himself but Godling is faster.
With the strength of Heracles Godling’s mighty fist knocks Wade through the wall he’d just cracked by being knocked into it.
“I think he’s down,” Godling says, panting.
Janson walks toward him, supporting the badly wounded Darlene King. “Detective King is hurt… Bad…”
“Don’t worry. That is nothing I won’t be able to heal,” Godling says and puts a hand on King’s side. His hand starts to glow and he uses the healing powers of Aesculapius to close and heal the wound.
“Ungh… Thanks,” King says.
“Thank you for coming to my aid,” the hero says.
“Sure. I don’t know what’s gotten into the sergeant, but it seems a good idea to lock him up so we can try to find out what happened to him,” King says.
“Think… When has he started to act this violent? Isn’t it since he started wearing that armour? Maybe you thought he started wearing it because his mental state had changed… But couldn’t it be possible it’s the armour that is in fact changing his mental state?”
“Hadn’t thought of that,” Janson admits.
“Me neither. Some detective I am,” King says.
“Let’s get this armour off him so I can have a better look at it,” Godling says.
The hero bends over Wade’s unconscious body and takes off his helmet. He looks at the inside. “Hmmm… There’s some pretty impressive circuitry inside. This is not just a piece of armour. It would be interesting to have better look at this.”
“Maybe you can do that in our crime lab?” Janson suggested.
“Sounds like a plan,” Godling says.
“Good, you concentrate on the tech, meanwhile I will interrogate Wade,” King says.
So they get to work… In the crime lab Godling uses microscopes and other diagnostical equipment together with the engineering skills of Hephaestus to analyse the armour. Meanwhile, in the interrogation room Darlene King grills Wade Hudson. Hours pass…
King and Godling meet each other in the crime lab five hours later.
“And? Did you find out something?” King asks Godling.
The hero holds up Wade’s helmet. “I sure did. This thing is lined with advanced circuits sending electromagnetic pulses. I think they are used to block out parts of Wade’s brain that control his moral impulses.”
“Say what? Is that possible?”
“There have been several experiments with it in the past. The way technology seems to advance these days it sounds like a possibility indeed. It would explain a lot,” Godling says.
“During the interview Wade seemed to become more logical and relaxed by the minute,” King says.
“That would be the effects of the pulses wearing off,” Godling explains.
“He told me he got the armour from some guy in Tokyo named professor Tsuraya. Apparently that scientist was also responsible for the creation of Japan’s biggest hero, the robot know as Ninjoid.”
“I actually once fought at Ninjoid’s side,” Godling says. “I can’t imagine his creator being responsible for something nasty like that.”
“Maybe it’s a malfunction or something? A glitch?” King offers.
“Something like that isn’t really anything you would engineer accidentally. A lot of thought and work had to go in it. I think I’d better have a word with Tsuraya.”
“Want some company?” King says.
Godling shakes his head. “No, you look after Wade. I’ll tell you what I find out in Japan. Will be there in minutes…”
Janson and Monica Sawyer are standing in a room next to the interrogation room, looking through a one way window. Wade sits at a table his head in his hands.
“I don’t like seeing him locked up,” Monica tells Janson.
“I don’t think you should see it that way. We have him here under observation. We just want to see why he was acting so eratically,” Janson explains. “But I can understand it’s not easy seeing someone you love in a situation like that.”
“Yeah… It sure isn’t. And on the subject of love… How are things going between you and Quentin?”
Janson sighs. “I’m not sure… We get along really well, but sometimes his mind seems to wander off… Like he’d rather be somewhere else. Or with someone else. Monica… The way he looks at you sometimes… Or talks about you… Do you think he might be in love with you?”
Monica blushes. “No, of course not! We’re just friends. More like brother and sister max. There’s nothing romantic going on between us!”
“How can you be so sure of that? You’re a beautiful woman, Monica, you must know that yourself. I’m just a chunky Irish girl with too many freckles. I can imagine him rather being with you than with me.”
“Now you’re selling yourself short. You’re a strong, feisty and funny young woman. And I think you’re a pretty cute looking one too.”
“Thanks for the compliment, but I really think he has stronger feeling for you than you think. Again, how can you be so sure that’s not true?”
Monica holds up her hands in defence. “Whoa! I feel like I’m on the other side of the interrogation room all of a sudden.”
“I’m sorry. I’ll shut up. I have no right to grill you like that. Ignore what I said. If you’re sure his feelings towards you are only platonic you are probably right. You know him a lot better than I do.”
But the thing is, I might not be sure of that anymore, Monica thinks.

Tokyo, Japan. Professor Tsuraya’s lab. Godling stands inside, high-tech gadgets, monitors and computers everywhere. Thick metal tentacles that are coming from the floor are wrapped around him.
“These things are pretty tight…” Godling groans. “But the strength of Heracles can… BREAK THEM!” And with those last words he snaps the tentacles in two.
Professor Tsuraya, an old, tall man in a red jumpsuit with a bald head and a goatee, walks in, Ninjoid at his side. “Next time, please just knock. You won’t have to break my security measures in half.”
“Err… Sorry? Are you professor Tsuraya?” Godling says.
“I am. I believe you already met Ninjoid?” The professor puts a hand on Ninjoid’s shoulder.
“Yes. He was a great helping fending off an invasion from another dimension a few weeks ago.” Godling extends a hand that Ninjoid shakes.
“So what can I do for the One Man Pantheon?” Tsuraya asks.
“I want to talk about the armour you donated to Wade Hudson.”
“Ah, yes. Nice piece of technology. Just the thing for a policeman to keep the streets safe.”
Godling points an accusing finger at Tsuraya. “It messed with his mind. What was up with that?”
“I don’t know what you are talking about,” Tsuraya says.
“Come on, when you built that thing you had to know exactly what you were doing,” Godling insists.
“I really don’t like the tone you are using,” Tsuraya says. “Ninjoid, escort this barbarian out please.”
Ninjoid steps forward. Godling balls his fist.
“I want some answers and I’m not going anywhere until I get them,” the Olympian hero says. “I don’t want to fight you, Ninjoid, but if I have to, I will.”
“Understood,” Ninjoid says and draws his laser-katana. “Let us battle then.”

NEXT ISSUE: Ninjoid versus Godling! The secret of professor Tsuraya!

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