Superpowers In A World Gone Mad
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Two Fisted Tales, Issue #002

October 27, 2013 in Two Fisted Tales Tags:

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Issue #002 – – – – – controlled by Mark Adams – – – – – Credits 13

Popper had his minions fan out as they approached the front of the old Delicatessen.  It had been closed for years, as had most decent businesses in The Yard.  A remnant of better times perhaps?  Now the windows were covered in rotting two by fours and the door was a sheet of aluminium that had been spray painted with a poor cartoon that may or may not have been a penis.  “You sure they’re in here?” Tiny asked, while Doug, Rowdy and Old Guy advanced on the building with their weapons drawn.
“They’re in here,” Popper snarled.  “Don’t forget, silver rounds only. These guys don’t give a damn about lead.”

Inside the building they could hear movement.  Nobody in there was even trying to be subtle.  Good, Popper thought, we’ve had enough teasing.  Shit or get off the pot.  The Full Moon Posse had been tangling with his people for weeks now, jockeying for a position on the ladder in the Yard’s lucrative drug trade.  Trying their little confidence tricks and generally terrorising the good folk who were unlucky enough to live here.  Popper wasn’t having any of that.  If people were going to be terrorised, it was his gang that would be doing the terrorising.  Not some hairy werewolf assholes with anger management issues.

“Hey boss,” Old Guy said, “You sure you want to be here?  I mean, this could be a trap.  Maybe you should let us expendables check it out first?”
Popper grunted: “You’re not expendable, Old Guy.  You’re my people.  I don’t hide behind body shields.  If you’re in danger, i’m in danger.  But don’t worry about it.  We can handle these pricks.”
“They are werewolves,” Doug pointed out.  Doug didn’t look worried about it.  The man was the size of a barn.  Or two barns.  So he didn’t worry about much.  But even so Popper felt the need to keep his team confident and calm.  “Yeah,” he said.  “But there are werewolves and werewolves.  These guys aren’t American Werewolves in London.  They’re Michael J Fox Teen Wolves.  Now let’s put an end to this and then grab a few beers and a pizza, whaddaya say?”
The guys laughed and Doug hefted the ram.  A sheet of aluminium wasn’t going to stop that muther’.  Any minute now they were going to find out, once and for all, which gang was at the pinnacle of power and which was history.

Captain Pink lay on his bed looking at the ceiling.  He didn’t remember going to bed.  Usually he just slept in his chair.  But a relentless and nagging neckache had driven him to actually do something.  Here, in the darkness of his room, he was trying to remember what he was supposed to be doing.  There was something.  He was sure of it.
“Back at base,” he said to himself.  “Bugs in the software.  Send a message something’s out there.”  A tune was turning in the back of his mind.  It wasn’t unusual.  Memories came and went.  Fleeting.  Like daydreams.  He wondered if Poptastic Boy was coming home any time soon.  He shouldn’t be out on patrol on his own.  It was dangerous.
“Captain?” The man asked.  He wasn’t there, of course.  Wayne Bruce was often visited by shadows of the past.  He knew them for what they were, but he spoke with them anyway.  So what?  Anybody can get lonely.

“Who is it?” Captain Pink asked.
“My name is Ninety-Nine.  You don’t know me.”
“Why have you come to visit me then?”
“We’re all kind of hoping you wake up soon.  It’s not a whole lot of fun, where we are.”
“Where are you?”
“That makes no sense,” Captain Pink pointed out.
“We don’t exist, Sir,” Ninety-Nine said.  “We didn’t fit tidily into the new world and so we’re unable to join it.”
“You mean you haven’t been born?”
“No Sir,” Ninety-Nine said, “We didn’t even get a chance to be born.  Our patterns have been over-written.”
“I’m not at my best, I’m afraid,” Captain Pink said.  “I’m rarely lucid. I am very ill.  My mind is failing.”
“No sir,” Ninety-Nine said.  “That isn’t the case.  Your mind isn’t failing.  It is being stolen.”

Poptastic Boy came home after Midnight.  The Captain knew it wasn’t really his home any more, he was grown up now.  He was no longer his ward or his sidekick.  But he still thought of this as the boy’s home, nonetheless.  There was something wrong with Poptastic Boy.   He had been injured!
“Are you okay?” Wayne Bruce wanted to asked, but it came out as garbled nonsense.  With drool.  Poptastic Boy looked at him with a mixed expression of pity and disgust.  It hurt to see that look on his young friend.
“Look at this shit!” Poptastic said.  He was covered in blood.  His face was badly swollen.  He was missing teeth.  The way he moved, favouring his left in a hunched shuffle, suggested broken ribs.  He seemed angry.  “How the fuck has it come to this?”
Captain Pink wanted to remonstrate about the language.  It wasn’t right.  They didn’t do this.  They didn’t talk that way.  But he was back in his chair and he seemed unable to formulate any useful sentences.  Instead he said: “Sandwich,” though he had no idea why he said that.  He wasn’t particularly hungry.
“I’ll get you some food in a minute,” Popper snarled.  “But where’s the nurse?  I pay good money for the nurse.”  He really did seem angry.

Popper didn’t know why he had come back to his old mentor’s house.  The man was a wreck.  He was a shadow of his former self.  On nights like this he made Popper sick.  Just looking at what had become of the hero he had once idolised made Popper boil with fury.  But he knew the cause of his anger wasn’t Wayne Bruce, but the events of the evening.  They’d taken the Full Moon Posse down, but it had been costly.  Tiny was dead, his throat ripped out.  Rowdy was in hospital, but it was very unlikely he was going to make it.  People didn’t come back from having their guts emptied onto the floor.  Old Guy was injured, Doug was injured.  His best men out of commission and still it hadn’t been enough.  The Dire Wolf hadn’t even been there.  At least two of the cubs had escaped.  They were going to come for payback and Popper was running out of resources.  It was a mess and it was going to get worse.  Particularly if the other players got wind of his gang’s current weakened state.  Bloody werewolves.  They gave the term dog eat dog a whole new meaning.

“Listen to me, Wayne,” Graeme said.  He’d pulled his mask off.  He looked older than his years.  The strain was taking its toll.  “Listen.  It’s getting bad out there.  I want to come back to see you, but if anything happens…” his voice broke up.  He stopped.  He took a breath.  He remembered that he was a drug baron.  He didn’t have time for this emotional shit.  He had to be hard, because if he was not he was going to be dead.  “Listen,” He tried again.  “I’ve put cash aside.  The nurses will keep coming.  You won’t have to worry about bills.  There’s enough to see you through.  But if I stop coming I want you to remember me the way I used to be.  Before it all went bad.  Before it all went to shit.  Okay?”
Captain Pink stared at him through watery eyes and rasped out a response.  “Sandwich.”
Popper sighed and nodded.  “I’ll get you something.  You just rest, okay?  Everything will be alright.”  But he didn’t really think it would.  Ever again.

Wayne Bruce woke in the night with a pressure on his bladder.  A voice in his mind told him to just let it go.  Don’t worry about it.  A nurse was coming.  But Wayne Bruce had once knocked The Crooked Mile flat out with a right hook and that memory was enough to convince him that wetting the bed was a step too far.  He climbed wearily to his feet and stumbled to the bathroom.  Flicking the light on he turned towards the pan, but his eye caught something, just for a second, in the bathroom mirror.
“Huh?” He rumbled.  He turned to look.  Nothing there.  But he was sure he had seen something.
“Go on Captain,” Came a voice in his mind.  He recognised Ninety-Nine from their earlier dream conversation.  “Take another look.  Identify, clarify, classify.  Open up your eager eyes.”  Wayne Bruce tried to look out of the corner of his eye, instead of directly.  There it was again!  Something on his neck.  A fat, bloated thing.  Grey skin.  Scales.  Little wings.  A tail.  It’s mouth was fastened on his skin.  It was sucking.
“Gah!” Wayne Bruce cried out, horrified.  He grabbed the squat creature in one hand and tore it free.  For its part, whatever it was looked as surprised as hell!  “Gah!  Gah!  Gah!”  The Captain repeated as he pounded the small creature’s head on the edge of the sink.  He didn’t know what it was, but it was repulsive.  The only thing for it was to bash the tiny things brains in.  Which he did.

When the sun rises on The Yard it does not bring much in the way of warmth and comfort.  This part of the city is a cold place.  A loveless place.   A place of misery, corruption and despair.  But this morning something was different.  On the roof of one building a man stood, his cape sweeping behind him as it caught the fresh breeze rolling in from the bay.  He gazed out across the rooftops and down on the grimy, dangerous streets below.  He considered the people who lived here – trying to survive a harsh and unforgiving environment.  This was a monochrome place, full of monochrome feelings, black and white solutions.  But that was going to change.  He couldn’t remember a whole lot and he knew things were mixed up and very, very wrong.  But that just meant it was time to start putting it right.  Nor would he do it alone.  His ward may have taken a dark road, but no direction could not be reversed.  Nodding resolutely, he stretched his arms wide and rose slowly, gloriously into the air.  A flash of pink in a world of grey.  Hope.

2 Responses to “Two Fisted Tales, Issue #002”

  1. Keith Nixon Says:

    What happened to the Pinkmobile?

  2. False Bill Says:

    unpay speeding ticket perhaps?

    Welcome back Captain Pink!


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