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1213Roll Call - Grodd: Monkey Business (expanded) (Formerly Roll Call Part 2)

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  • vendikarr_dewuff
    Sep 11, 2013
      By Earth Elemental 99 and vendikarr_dewuff

      Central City, June, 1988.

      Drowden tried to relax in the rear of the rented limousine, reviewing the events of the coming day. Later this morning, Commissioner Turtle would announce the formation of the SCU, and reveal the members of the unit. Turtle and he had tried to maintain absolute secrecy, for fear the Crime Syndicate would disrupt the proceedings. All they could do now is hope for the best.

      Their recruits had been training for two months, preparing for their debut as super powered operatives. While they started out less than enthused, they slowly came to embrace their new assignment. It had been a rough two months, but he was lucky. He had Pamela to help him through it. He glanced over at his companion, sleeping beside him in the car, and remembered their first meeting.

      Arkham University, March, 1987.

      The occupant of the cage had been grown restless since his abduction and return to Earth. The Weaponers of Qward had never anticipated such potential in a terran simian. They had performed many experiments on the creature, hoping to use it in dealing with the inhabitants of the world known as Earth-3.

      Where before he had been a simple creature, he now had a powerful mind, and they demanded monumental tasks of it. He did not wish to aid them in their schemes, but to simply return home. He performed the tasks asked of him,wanting to make his hopes a reality.

      Once they were done with their tests, and for reasons he didn't understand, they did return him to Earth. But upon his return, the reality of his situation set in. He was now a being with an advanced intellect, in the body of a beast. Deposited in a place called Gotham City by the Weaponers, the humans caged him as such. But instead of being sent to a zoo, he was locked away as a lab specimen, mirroring his Qwardian captivity.

      One of his Qwardian enhancements was the power of speech, and he feared the reaction of humans should they learn this fact. Over the course of several days, he came to observe a young lady whose job it was to clean the lab. She would greet the various animals in their cages, and she had a calming effect upon them all. She seemed very sincere in her love for the animals.

      She approached his cage, and petted him gently. She spoke in friendly tones, and his loneliness got the best of him.

      "Sweet girl, my name is Grodd," he said, pausing briefly and then continued, "As far as I know, I am the only ape in this world who can speak as you humans do. I would appreciate it if you could stay and speak with me. I need a friend."

      Young and impressionable Pamela Isley shrieked from the surprise, but she did not turn to run away. Her stance soon turned to one of fascination, and the animal-loving young woman soon became enthralled by the concept of a talking ape.

      Over the next several weeks, the girl and the gorilla conversed for hours at a time. Finally, Grodd spoke to her of his greatest concerns.

      "Pamela, when I was a prisoner of the Qwardians, I vaguely remember other apes. I cannot say if they were enhanced as I, but if they were, I cannot be certain they have benevolent intentions as I do. I also think the Qwardians let me loose in this city with the hope that I would bring harm to the humans here."

      The young woman listened, giving the ape her full attention. Grodd continued.

      "I also fear the Weaponers may return to take me back. My developing mind may someday help them create machines that may assist them with their evil deeds. Pamela, believe me when I say I wish harm upon no one."

      "I do believe you Grodd," she said. "After all our conversations I know you to be the kindest, most gentle man.. err ape I've ever known."

      "And Pamela," said Grodd, "I fear the longer I stay here at the university, the more likely it is that I will be killed by your fellow humans in one of their shortsighted experiments." He paused, watching the young woman, then continued "Please help me to escape this place."

      Stunned by the ape's request, Pamela Isley gathered up her courage, swallowed and made the first impulsive decision of her entire life.

      "I'll do it. I'll help you escape," she said. Grodd smiled at the fiery young lady, and she then continued "But let me come with you. Once we liberate you, we'll find out if there are other apes like you somehow. And we'll be able to protect as many endangered animals as we possibly can."

      The gorilla beamed. He had never imagined he would ever find such a loyal friend. Grodd reassuringly touched the lovely girl's face.

      "Together my dear friend, we can accomplish anything otherwise thought impossible," said the gorilla, as the girl drew close and they planned his escape.

      **********

      Two days later, Pamela came into work two hours early wheeling in her cart with an attached trash bag and cleaning supplies. She went to the research lab and spoke with the researcher running the lab, Dr. Michael Mallow. Mallow was in his mid 30s, and could be described as a bit of a nerd. He also fancied Pamela Isley.

      “You’re here early today?” asked Mallow.

      “I have a date after work,” said Pamela, and then after noticing his look of disappointment, added “I have to date someone, you never asked me.”

      Mallow smiled at the thought of her being receptive to him, and sputtered out “You mean.. I mean.. If I had..”

      “Yes, Michael, if you had,” answered Pamela. “But not tonight,” then said “It’s not a problem that I came to clean early, is it?” She held up a paper bag on her cleaning cart and said “I even brought something to change into so I could leave right from work.”

      Mallow smiled and said “Ooh, can I see?”. Then he reached for the bag on her cart.

      “When you ask me out, not before,” she said as she playfully slapped his hand.

      Mallow pulled back and then said “Go right ahead and clean. It’s almost quitting time and we’ll be out of here soon.”

      Pamela slowly cleaned around the lab, keeping her eyes open for where the cage keys are kept. As she emptied the trash cans at the work stations in the lab, she saw Mallow returning a lemur to its cage, then place the keys in the pocket of his lab coat. ‘It’s not that easy,’ thought Pamela.

      The others had left the lab, and it was just her and Mallow. He walked over to his desk, and put the keys in his desk drawer, then took out his personal keys and locked them in. ‘Not that easy,’ she thought as she frowned. Mallow then put on a tweed suit jacket and walked past Pamela as he exited the lab.

      “I hope you have a nice evening,” he said, as exited.

      “You too,” Pamela called out to him as the door closed behind him. She then pushed her cart to his desk, and tried the drawer. It was locked. But Pamela was not to be deterred. She tugged on the wooden drawer, to see if it had any give to it. When that didn’t work, she removed a screwdriver from the paper bag on her cart, and began trying to pry the drawer open.

      From where Pamela was standing, she couldn’t see the door to the lab, and was surprised when Dr. Mallow returned and walked to his desk, only to see Pamela trying to pry his drawer open.

      “Pamela, what are you doing?” He asked, the surprise obvious on his face.

      Pamela looked up and saw him standing there dumbfounded. She hadn’t planned for this and wasn’t certain what to do next. Mallow leaned over his desk reaching for the telephone.

      “I’m sorry, but I’m going to have to call security,” said Mallow, as he turned the phone around. At the spur of the moment, Pamela picked up the receiver, and cracked Mallow in the head with hit. His eyes rolled back in his head, and he dropped to the floor. Pamela knelt over him and pulled his keys from his coat pocket.

      “I’m so sorry,” she said as she softly kisses his cheek. She then unlocked his desk drawer and removed the cage keys. After grabbing the paper bag off her cart, she moved to Grodd’s cage and stood there, staring at the ring of keys.

      “Pamela, are you ok?” asked the simeon. “I thought I heard...”

      “It’s ok. I needed a new job anyway, “ she said. She began trying the keys in the lock, when Grodd reached through the cage and selected one key. Pamela tried it, and it worked. She stared at the ape amazed, as he pushed open the cage door.

      “Put this on,” said Pamela, as she opened her paper bag and pulled out a huge fedora and an extremely large trench coat. “It’s not the perfect disguise, but since the sun is going down, it should get you off the grounds.”

      The ape looked at the makeshift disguise, and smiled at his friend. After slipping into the coat and hat, he asked her “How do I look?”

      “Adorable,” Pamela said as she beamed a smile at him.

      The angel and the ape moved through the halls, stopping at a junction close to the building’s exit.

      “Grodd, you said you needed to find out if there were any other apes like you? How are we going to do that?” asked Pamela.

      Grodd paused for a moment, and then replied “Those super heroes you mentioned. The ones who battle the Crime Syndicate. We will engage their assistance.”

      “But they operate in secret. It’s not like they have a super hero clubhouse we can go to. How do we find them?” asked Pamela.

      The ape sighed and said “We need to cause a disturbance to draw them out.” He paused and then “Do you think a rampaging ape would do?”

      “What?” said the woman.

      “Pamela, just run for the exit and scream,” said the ape as he removed his coat and hat and left them on the ground. “I really liked that hat,” he said to himself as he charged after his friend into the night.

      **********

      Animal Control officer George Taylor was working near the university when the call came in. He had just captured an uncollared shih tzu making noise in an alley behind a Chinese restaurant. He loaded the animal into a cage quickly, then started up his truck and headed towards Arkham University.

      George Taylor was the best there was at his job. He didn’t do the work out of a sense of altruism, or a love animals. He genuinely hated animals. If questioned, he would tell you he didn’t like people much either. When he was young, Taylor had wanted to be an astronaut, and explore space. That dream was ended when the Crime Syndicate decided that having humans in space was against the CSA’s best interest. The disaster the Ultraman made of the Apollo 13 mission was a global tragedy.

      Once robbed of his dream, Taylor was lost in finding direction in his life. But that was resolved on a fateful day when he visited the Gotham Park Zoo, and was the recipient of a chimpanzee throwing feces at the crowd. Taylor had taken it right to the face, cementing his hatred of animals. While he hated animals, he reviled primates. The call of a gorilla running amok at the university was a dream come true.

      Taylor arrived at the university, and stopped a fleeing student. He questioned him about the ape, and was told it was in the commissary. Taylor went to the back of his truck, and removed a tranquilizer rifle. He loaded it with a powerful sedative. His supervisors had laughed at the supplies he kept in his truck in the past. Who had the last laugh now?

      Taylor made his way to the commissary, and kicked in the door. Scanning the room through his scope, he tried to find his prey. Before long, he saw movement. A woman with red hair jumped from behind an overturned table.

      “Don’t hurt him!” she said. “He’s not dangerous.”

      As she moved towards Taylor, he motioned for her to be silent. When he neared the table, he moved to her and shoved her to the side. He kicked the table aside to find nohting behind it. Suddenly, the ape dropped down from the rafters above, pushing Taylor away.

      The animal control officer rose and took aim. Before he could shoot, the door burst open and a strangely garbed man jumped into the room, raised his arms up and to each side and shouted “Ta Da!”

      The woman ran and stood between the ape and the officer. After a momentary distraction, he turned and again too aim at the ape. The Clown moved to Taylor’s side and place his hand on the man’s shoulder.

      “You’re gonna hurt someone with that gun. Why don’t you take a nap and let the amateurs take over?” said the Clown as he pressed a joy buzzer into the man’s shoulder, zapping Taylor. He gently lowered the man to the floor, then turned to the ape. “Okay, who ordered the 50 pound gorilla?” as he removed a jester’s scepter from his belt and pointed it at the gorilla.

      “There’s no need for that, my good man,” said Grodd, who approached the crime fighter slowly.

      “Whoa, either I’m crazier than I thought, or that gorilla talks.”

      “Trust me friend, I do talk,” said the great ape. “I need to speak with the leader of your troop. Can you take me.. “

      “Us..” Added Pamela.

      “Us to see Alexander Luthor? It’s a matter of great importance, involving the Qwardians.”

      The Clown stood them puzzled, then said “Sure, why not. Just come close”

      Grodd and Pamela moved in close to the Clown. He motioned for them to come closer, and then closer still. At this point Grodd and Pamela were pressing tightly against him.

      “Mmmmm that’s good,” he said as he wiggled closer to Pamela.

      Grodd flicked the Clown in the back of the head, staggering him slightly. The Clown and turned to the ape, stuck his tongue out at him, and smiles.

      “Here we go, please remember to keep your hands inside the ride at all times” said the Clown as he flipped open his belt buckle and presses a button.

      “He really is insane,” whispered Pamela to Grodd as a bright light filled the room and the three disappeared from sight.
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