The Defenders #5

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The Defenders #5

Post  Paul E. Schultz on Sun Jun 24, 2012 3:27 am

Defenders #5
"International House of Carnage!"
By Paul E. Schultz


"This is Joanne Candelario reporting for WMU Action 3 News," said the young blonde on the 52" flat screen. "And I'm standing as close to what remains of this International House of Pancakes as the police will allow me, where we're told none other than the so-called Mad Thinker's 'Awesome Android' is currently on some sort of rampage. The results are sketchy and witnesses report the Thinker, also known as Dr. Jose Santini, was seen fleeing the restaurant just moments after his android literally burst onto the scene. Witnesses also report Santini was seen dining with another unidentified male in a gray hoodie who is currently nowhere to be found."

Behind her, the police were doing their best to discourage curious onlookers from getting too close. Squad cars clotted the parking lot, their lights flashing in the morning haze. The noises beyond the squad cars, emanating from the all but wrecked restaurant, rose and fell like the raging cacophony of rampaging elephants.

Michael Hayes stood before the wide TV mounted on the brick wall of his darkened basement bedroom and watched patiently in spite of his eagerness to join his companions. There was nothing else he could do at the moment. Behind him, the shinny black coffin stood open as if frozen in a yawn, waiting.

"Witnesses also report," said Joanne Candelario anxiously as the sounds behind her rose like a violent tide, "former UCW champion Dennis Dunphy, perhaps better known as Demolition Man and an unidentified Hispanic male in blue and gold armor of some kind are currently confronting the fifteen foot tall android."

Screams of panic rose as a line of windows exploded in a spray of shattered glass and a silvery, heavy-duty refrigerator sailed out over the crowd. Before the massive appliance could crash down upon the scrambling crowd, it seemed to vaporize in a brilliant flash of golden light.

Michael Hayes smiled inwardly as he watched the camera operator searching the sky overhead for the source of the flash. After desperate zig-zagging motions, the camera came to settle on the hovering form of Red Guardian, her hands still glowing from the after effect of the blast.

"Who the hell is that?" Hayes could hear a clueless Joanne ask off camera. "Google her, for Christ's sake!"

"How?!" retorted the camera man.

"Get back!" shouted Red Guardian as she leaned forward, quickly vanishing into the restaurant battle zone.

***

With a steel-like grip upon both of the giant android's massive thumbs, Dennis Dunphy thrust himself backwards to the floor, pulling the mechanical monstrosity down with him. With practiced precession, Dunphy brought his feet up between himself and the android. with an upward heave of his legs, Dennis released the giant thumbs. The Mad Thinker's Awesome Android flipped end over end, crashing into the kitchen of the ruined restaurant. Dennis was up and charging before the gargantuan could regain its footing. Eyeless, the creature relied on other sensory devices built in under its rubbery hide to sense its surroundings. Gripping the massive, silver refrigerator unit, the android hurled it towards Dunphy with the effort a normal man might toss a heavy book. Dunphy read the creature's projected movements and sidestepped the sailing appliance. He heard it hit glass behind him.

"Any day now, Diego!" called Dunphy, not taking his eyes off of his mechanical opponent as it got to its feet once again.

"Do you have any idea how long it takes to put this armor on, amigo?" Defensor leaped from the bathroom nearby, shouting back, "Not to mention the fact that I dropped it under a booth when it was only five inches tall!"

Before Dunphy could reply, a woman's voice caught their attention and that of the android as well. The three combatants looked over to see Red Guardian coming to a landing inside the restaurant. "I knew I should have came to breakfast with you boys!"

"All right!" cheered Dunphy, smiling broadly. "Now let's finish this overgrown lump of Silly Putty! I still ain't--"

What felt like the blow from a sledgehammer collided against Dunphy's right cheek, knocking the words back down his throat, sending him flailing across the restaurant, colliding with a line of tables.

Defensor's eyes went wide at the sight of the android, its fists now resembling massive hammers. "Madre del Dios!"

Lumbering forward, the android brought one of it's hammer-fists down upon the much smaller Defensor who had only a heartbeat to raise his buckler-like shield up. The Vibranium of the shield did its job, completely absorbing the impact. The android stepped back, seemingly stunned that its opponent was still on his feet.

"Frankly," said Defensor, smiling, "I'm as surprised as you. And why are you wearing a loin cloth, anyway? Are you--"

"Focus, Diego!" shouted Red Guardian as the monster leaped forward at him, swinging one of its hammers down again. Red Guardian released a gout of brilliant nuclear energy. The intense heatwave instantly melted the android's hammer.

The android wailed in what seemed like pain, it's other hammer morphing back into a three-fingered hand and gripping the mutilated stump.

By this time, Dunphy was back on his feet, shrugging off the broken furniture on top of him. He gasped, "What the hell was that?"

The trio watched in amazement as the android's stump began to shimmer and bubble. Within seconds, its missing hand was replaced by another.

"Now, that just ain't fair!" declared Dunphy. "How are we supposed to fight something like that?"

"Don't worry, my friends," came a tinny voice from behind the android as X-51 scurried up behind it. As the android turned to face its new opponent, the machine man shot forth a cybersinaptic harness net, which wrapped tightly about the man-made monster's head.

Seemingly unaffected by the snare, the android backhanded X-51 through an already shattered window. Screams of shock came from the direction X-51 had landed outside.

Jacquelene Farnsworth was a blur of golden and crimson flames as she rushed past X-51 who was busy trying to pull himself together on the asphalt parkinglot. Inside, she came to a screeching halt at the sight of the Mad Thinker's android ripping the netting from its head.

"For being the fastest one among us," declared Red Guardian, her sarcastic tone as thick as her Russian accent, "it took you long enough to get here."

"I was doing some homework," retorted Spitfire. The android seemed confused, his head turning this way and that at the verbal tennis match between the two women. "I told you X-51's harness wouldn't work on this thing!"

The android turned to swing its newly-formed fist down upon spitfire. Suddenly, from under it, a tiny figure began to rapidly grow. Within the space of a heartbeat, Claire Temple had the android in a bear-hug. It struggled against her strength, fists flailing uselessly. With a twisting motion, the android landed upon its back, knocking the wind out of Claire. She lay on the floor, gasping for breath as it climbed to its feet.

Spitfire rushed to the fallen woman's side, who had already reduced to her normal size of just over five and a half feet tall. "Sorry!" gasped Claire. "I couldn't...hold--"

"It's okay," assured Spitfire. She looked to Dunphy and shouted, "Dennis?"

"Gotcha, your Ladyship!" Dunphy bounded up behind the giant, slipping his massive arms up under the trunk-like limbs of the android, wrapping powerful fingers in a headlock behind the android's head. "He's a strong son-of-a-gun, though! Don't know how long--"

"Not long!" called Spitfire, rushing up beside them. With a single finger, she pressed an area of the android's rubbery "skin" with all the effort one might use to depress the cigarette lighter of a car. The android went suddenly limp, dragging Dunphy to the floor with it.

"You must be joking!" laughed Diego. "An 'off' switch? Seriously?"

"Not an 'off' switch, my friend," explained Spitfire, helping Claire to her feet. "Reed Richards called it a motor nerve terminal."

"Reed Richards?" asked Red Guardian. "Of the Fantastic Four?"

"The same," said Spitfire. "MI-16 has a file on our...Awesome Android, here. The Mad Thinker created it with designs he's stolen from Richards. According to our file, it's 'off' switch is located under it's right arm. Our Intelligence was right on the money, it would seem."

"So," asked Dunphy, rubbing the back of his bald head, "do we get to keep this one, too?"

"Freeze!" came a chorus of voices. In unison, the Defenders turned to see a small army of heavily armed police SWAT team members pouring into the ruined building.

***

The man they called mad sat laughing in his hotel room as the pretty blond woman on the wall-mounted TV announced: "Just minutes ago, after seemingly defeating Dr. Jose Santini's 'Awesome Android,' the six costumed individuals calling themselves 'The Defenders,' were taken into police custody. Chief Carlin of the SWAT team that took the six of them into custody is currently unavailable for comment."

"What's so funny?" asked the little man sitting on the other bed.

"I wouldn't expect someone of your limited...intellect, to get it, Sterns," said Santini.

"Try me," Sterns said flatly.

Still chuckling, the Thinker announced, "Once the damages to the restaurant are assessed, that will quite possibly be the most expensive 'dine and dash' in history."

Sterns chuckled, changing the channel. "You said 'ass.'"
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Paul E. Schultz

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Fun

Post  Nik Havert on Wed Jun 27, 2012 10:15 am

This was fun, Paul. The world needs comics like this.

Nik Havert

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Re: The Defenders #5

Post  Paul E. Schultz on Wed Jun 27, 2012 1:43 pm

Thanks, Nik. I really think we're all doing what we can to keep these types of comics alive. It's just too bad the Big Two have forgotten what made them great in the first place.
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Re: The Defenders #5

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