SG: WCD #40 Part one of two

Lawrence Brown lbrown at
Thu Jun 15 21:43:22 PDT 2006

TDSM tapped thoughtfully at his Alienware laptop.  A quick review of the logs
revealed to him the latest intel available for the Moose Illuminati.  Just
another day, it seemed.  Big crisis in Canada, and efforts of the Aurorans
had managed to stave off an invasion from another reality that (believe it or
not) sucked worse than our current one.  Guess it was for the better that we
missed out on that fracas, he mused.  Can't say I would have wanted to be on
either side.  Ah well, lesser of two evils and all that...


"Another drink, sir?" The flight attendant managed to stay calm and
professional as he proffered another cup of hot green tea. 


TDSM glanced his way with some of his eyes. "Not right now, thankssss.  How
ssssoon until dinner?"


The attendant stammered, "Um, uh, we have a choice of steak or oriental
chicken salad, with mandible oranges--MANDARIN oranges!"  The young man paled
even more . 


TDSM sighed and closed his laptop. "Whatssss your name?" He turned to the
attendant and gave him his full attention.




TDSM extended his hand. "My friendssss call me Trapdoor Spider Man, or TDSM.
Come on, don't be rude, shake my hand."  His hand, while not as scary as his
other appendages,  was still abnormal, far too hairy, too menacing, with
sharp claws.


The attendant gulped and tentatively paused, then reached out and firmly
shook his hand.


"There.  That wassssn't too hard now, wasss it?"


"No sir."


"Look Charley, if my teammatesss were here with me (which they aren't) they
would tell you that I don't kill everyone I encounter. Dessspite PR rumorsss
to the contrary.  Ssso, tell me, how did you get sssstuck with sssserving me,
of all people in firssst classss?  A coin tossss?"


"Ss-ss-strawss" The young man replied. 


"Are you mocking me?" TDSM grinned and put a hint of menace in his voice.


The attendant took a deep breath and stuck out his jaw. "Hell(tm) yeah."


TDSM snickered. "You've got ballsss, Missster. Look.  I didn't alwaysss look
like this. I wasss once normal. That isss, what passssess for normal in this
world." TDSM attempted to smile at his jest without making a face that looked
like he was going to eat someone.

"...what I am trying to ssssay is that I appreciate your effort to try and
ssserve me like any other passsssenger on thissss airline.  I get tired of
being a freak sssometimesss."


"Its ok sir, you should have seen the lady I had to serve last week."


"Call me TDSM. I'll have the sssteak. Rare. You work with the airlinesss


"Couple years now, just made it to First Class. Went from top of one ladder
to the bottom of another one.... but hey that's life, right? New
opportunities, more danger."  TDSM cocked his head. "...The passengers in
coach are relieved when I give them an extra bag of snacks; some people up
here think they own the plane.  I piss off the wrong person and I'll get
busted down to baggage handler.  But you do meet some interesting people..."


"I'll bet. Which way to the nearessst menss room?" 


"Nearest one is thataway, but the one nearest the flight attendants station
is up forward."


"Charley, I like the way you think."


WEST COAST DEFENDERS #40  "Knights and Pawns"

By the Amigoid, who needs a caterer for the wedding.


[32 hours ago] (I swear, if this keeps up Keifer Sutherland is going to show


Nikon Ninja sighed as he re-entered his darkened hotel room. Unslinging a
large duffle bag of camera equipment, he reached for the light switch.


"Having a good time?"  A voice in the shadows muttered.


Light illuminated the room. Sitting at the desk, Randall Ames frowned


Across his lap, Parker Peterson's sword lay unsheathed and gleaming.


The Nikon Ninja glared, "That doesn't belong to you, and I don't appreciate
people messing with my stuff." 


The elderly hero looked at the sword. "I understood this was to be wielded by
a worthy warrior. Perhaps the definitions have changed.  You were away for an
awful long time in that other realm.  Tell me, how does spying on your team




"Don't be an ass Parker," he tapped his head. "Your cellphone calls to your


The Nikon Ninja started, and then stiffened. "I didn't report any secrets.  I
just made sure that Karl got my scoops before the other papers did.  Spectrum
announced it in a public place. There were other reporters at the knighting
ceremony too.  I just took the opportunity..."


In a fluid motion, British Airwave stood and flung the sword at the Nikon
Ninja, who easily dodged the missile, "Hey! That's not funny old man, that
sword can really hurt someone." Parker pulled the sword out of the wall and
spun to where Randall had been standing.  


"So can a teammate that puts personal gain over the safety of the team."  A
muffled voice sounded in the closet. "Lets sort you out, shall we?"


The Nikon Ninja slowly stalked to the door then flung it open.  Empty.


"You know, boy, I have been in the business for more years than you can
imagine." The toilet flushed in the bathroom and British Airwave strode out,
ducking a kick from the charging youth. The next swing hit empty air. "One of
the things I learned early on was to make sure that you can trust your mates,
because lives are at stake more often than not.." This time the voice was
back at the table.  "So, we need to have an understanding.  A few ground
rules, then."


Parker planted his feet and pointed the sword at Randall.   "You aren't the
boss. Spectrum is.  I have as much say as you do, and you can't tell me what
I do, when I do it or who I choose to do it with! You aren't even on the
team, you are just some old dude that Mr. Tyler wants to have pushing the
papers for us.  You're like some sorta Alfred dude;   Spectrum's the Bat-guy,
and I'm, like-"


In a blindingly fast sequence, British Airwave disappeared, rematerialized by
the bathroom, flung his cane at the Ninja, disappeared again, reappeared
beside the youth, and stabbed his weathered fingers into one of Parker's
nerve points, causing him to drop the sword as the cane struck his solar
plexus.  A foot sweep later, and the young hero found himself flat on his
back, pinned to the ground by a mildly irritated Brit.


"I've found that Alfred Pennyworth was one of the most misunderstood
characters in modern comic literature.  Time and again he proved himself to
be capable of much more than anyone expected.  I believe you will find, given
time, study and reflection, that it was a labor of duty, honor, and love that
put him in the position of service.  Perhaps you may even aspire to his level
of greatness someday."


" me.."


"One moment.  You will confine your 'reporting' to items that are of common
knowledge, such as the public announcement of marriage, villains captured,
etcetera. You will make full disclosure of your intent to publish items
noteworthy to the team prior to doing so, and with the full consent of any
member involved.  When in doubt as to the sensitivity of any information, you
will seek pre-approval from either myself or the current team leader.
Deviation from this agreement will result in an outcome so harsh that you
will wonder how many favors can one agent gather in the course of a
lifetime-now-are-we-clear-young-man?"  Randall panted.




"Excuse me?"


"Yes. Sir."  The Nikon Ninja enunciated in irritation.


"Lovely."  And just that quickly, the man was gone.


The silence was broken a moment later by the hotel phone.  "I will see you at
Tyler Industries when we have returned.  Spectrum is planning to spend some
time in London with his fiancée, and I also have some personal matters to
attend to here. Yours and TDSM's flights are wheels up in 16 hours, do be on
time." The line clicked.


Parker Peterson flipped on the TV in irritation, and broke open the seal on
the minibar.


British Airwave lay in his bed, wincing and bathed in sweat.  His fluttering
hand dialed the front desk. "I need you to make a call for me please..."




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