Monday, February 18, 2008

In some ways, don't we all wear masks?

I triangulated the signal that was being sent by the Dreadnoks using my Wristcomm and the Danger Sled and determined that it was being sent to South Dakota. I need to get there and find out who’s behind this plot to discredit me.

You do realize, Jon, that you may be walking into a proverbial snake’s den? Professor Xavier mentally asked.

Of course, I answered. I know that Zartan is primarily employed by the international terrorist organization Cobra, but if they’re there, I think I can handle it.

What if there’s a legion of Cobra troops waiting? he asked.

I can handle myself, I replied mentally. I’m just going to go check it out. If I’m above my head, I’m not going to cause trouble. And if it I do get in trouble, it’s a well documented fact that when Cobra troopers actually use their weapons, they can’t hit jack.

I’m still not convinced, but you are certainly entitled to make your own mistakes, the telepath said. There is, however, one more thing that I wanted to ask you. This abandoned warehouse where you’ve chosen to rendezvous with your ship. You do realize that it’s an Arbco Industries warehouse, don’t you?

Uh yeah. So?

So Arbco is an anagram of Cobra.

I paused for a moment.

I know that, I answered. It’s OK, it’s an abandoned warehouse. Nobody’s he--

My thoughts were interrupted as I was grabbed from behind by cold, metal claws. It felt like my ex-girlfriend from high school.

“Jenny? Is that you?” I asked as I struggled to free myself.

“I am Maskatron and you will be eliminated,” a robotic voice replied.

“Dude, that’s harsh,” I replied as I struggled to free myself from the robot’s metal talons. “Maybe we could discuss this over a cup of coffee. I’ll have the coffee and maybe you can have a can of 10W30 or something.”

“Your comments do not compute,” it replied flatly. “You will be eliminated.”

“I heard you the first time.” I dropped to one knee and attempted to throw the machine over me and onto its back. I did succeed at throwing it, but Maskatron landed on its feet with a certain amount of grace that’s unusual for a robot.

“You will be eliminated,” the machine said for a third time. The claw on its right arm retracted and some sort of suction cup on a cable snapped out. With the flick of its arm, the machine attempted to snag me with the cable.

“So antisocial,” I shook my head. “I appreciate your efforts to tie me up, but seriously, a suction cup on a rope? That’s a pretty lame attack.”

“Your words do not compute.”

“I know, I know. Nobody wants to program their killer robots with a sense of humor. You’d think a laugh or two would be welcome from a souless automaton, but no.” If I know my Maskatron robots like I think I do, there’s a structural weakness in the neck joint. If I karate chop it just right, I think that I should be able to snap it off. I’ve only got one chance at this, though.

“You will be elimin-errp!” Maskatron’s head snapped off and clattered to the floor. The body stood rigid as it rolled across the cement. With a satisfying grunt, I kicked the machine over and it slammed to the ground.

“You cannot destroy me.” The robot’s head was still talking! “I will complete my programming and eliminate you.”

“You just won’t shut up, will you?” I pulled out Betsy and shot it several times. The head erupted in a shower of sparks before finally falling silent. “That’s more like it.”

A shot rang out from the darkness and my pistol flew out of my hand. I quickly drew Winona out of her holster, but she was shot out just as quickly.

“Don’t move, dirt bag,” a voice growled from the shadows. A woman’s voice.

“OK,” I put my hands in the air. Let’s see how this plays out.

“Surprised to see that a woman can get the drop on you?” she said as she stepped out of the shadows. This woman was well armed with weapons, a Mohawk, and a sneer.

“I can’t say that I am,” I replied. “Women are certainly just as capable of making a good shot with a firearm as any man.”

“Heh, nice answer.” She stepped up close to me as she leveled her Uzi right at my temple. “It’s not going to save you, I’m still taking you out.”

“Taking me out?” I asked in surprise. “I have to let you know, though, that I’m married. No funny business, OK?” I know I’ve seen her before, but where?

“Funny,” she laughed ruefully. “But I’m not going to take you out to dinner, I’m going to take you out to the morgue.”

“Then why walk up to me like this?” I asked. “You had the drop on me from the shadows.”

“That would have been too easy. I wanted to see your face when you saw who shot you.”

“Yeah, except I don’t believe we’ve ever met.” I held my hand out to shake hers. “Hi, I’m Jon the Intergalactic Gladiator and you are…?”

“Keep your hands up,” she snapped. “My name is Lilith, though some people call me Gun Nut. And we have met before.”

That’s right. On the Enterprise Christmas party. She was hanging out with that creepy brain in a jar. But why does she want to shoot me?

“I have to be honest with you,” I chuckled. “I’ve met a lot of pretty faces in my day. Maybe we could just talk abou—”

“Don’t condescend me.” Her weapon snapped up with a clack. “You men are all alike. You think you can turn on the charm and the women’ll just turn to jelly in front of you. Well, I’ve got news for you, you can’t charm me.”

“OK OK,” I acquiesced. “I just don’t want to die. I especially don’t want to die when I don’t know why I’m getting shot in the first place.”

“Too bad,” she smiled maliciously. The tip of her finger tightened its grasp on the trigger of her weapon.


Henchman432 said...

Hey Jon, It looks like you don't need this extra wrist com. Thanks.

Gogeta said...

They just don't make killer robots like they used to.

Ookami Snow said...

Wait, how does Prof. Xavier mentally talk to people? Is it broadcast like a radio signal that anyone can pick up, or is it tuned to specific brains?

Because if he can tune his thoughts to a specific channel for a specific person that is a mighty large feat. Not only does he have the power to push his thoughts onto others, but he can also know what frequency to use, just by looking at them.

That prospect is quite amazing.

Shiara said...

[quote:it’s a well documented fact that when Cobra troopers actually use their weapons, they can’t hit jack. ]


[quote:“Too bad,” she smiled maliciously. The tip of her finger tightened its grasp on the trigger of her weapon. ]

Prof X hurry stop the bullet with your mind

Jean-Luc Picard said...

Gun Nut seems a pleasant young lady, though her Uzi makes her look rather tough.

Professor Xavier said...

Could be that Gun Nut name is just a smoke screen. Maybe she's really Jenny.

Merlyn Gabriel said...

*giggle* 'Dude, that's harsh'

that was just funny!!!

Jon the Intergalactic Gladiator said...

Just keep that Wristcomm, Henchy, it might remind you what it takes to be a hero.

This robot seemed like a throwback to me. Maybe something from the 70's.

I'm going to have to differ to Professor X's expertise for these questions, Ookami.

Shaira, can he do that?

Gun Nut seems to have a good side, Captain, though I do not appear to be on it.

Could be, Prof. TO be fair, Jenny and Gun Nut have different hair styles, though.

Thank you, Merlyn.

Dr. Zaius said...

A trip to the morgue would not be too bad, as long as the served plenty of WD40.