1736Captain Marvel #81
- Apr 12, 2010Los Angeles, California.
Three two-foot-tall pyramids hovered two feet above the ground, each possessing one large human eye and one smaller cybernetic eye, along with mechanical arms that swung out cartoonishly, with gloved hands with six fingers, delicately sewing the fabric of spacetime back together.
These were the Suture Artists.
Their job was to fix rips in the spacetime continuum wherever they presented themselves. There had been one recently in Los Angeles, purely at random, a late ripple effect of the event popularly referenced as the Others Event.
As the Suture Artists were working in a rarely used alleyway, no one was present to witness the scene, as they pierced the fabric of space with cosmic needle and invisible thread, returning it to a state of order and sensibility.
With a pop of pushed-out air, the young mutant known as Shift appeared behind the three Suture Artists, who immediately took an interest in the lad. The teenager had the unfortunate mutant ability to travel through time and space unconsciously. When and where he would go, he could not say. He could not even control when his body took on the urge to shift its coordinates in spacetime.
"Oh," Shift said, witnessing the three Suture Artists before him, imagining them some strange form of alien life or a brotherhood of strange mutants. "Oh."
"Anomaly," one of the Suture Artists said, "Anomaly!"
"Anomaly," the other two agreed, as they floated through the air towards him, bobbing like debris floating on the waves of the ocean.
Panicked, Shift turned and ran out onto the street. Brakes screeched and horns honked as the mutant narrowly avoided being crippled by the vehicles. He did not turn back to face the Suture Artists for fear that they would still be there.
"Anomaly," the Suture Artists chirped, as they floated towards the intersection. A brown-furred, goat-legged man stepped in their path, arms crossed, shaking his head. He was wearing sunglasses, trunks, and a Hawaiian shirt.
"I don't know who you are," Woodgod said, "but this is my neighborhood. Why don't you try picking on someone my size?"
Half Kree. Half Titan. A bastard child, born in a laboratory. Some even say he's destined for greatness. Destined to become something above the photonic energy manipulating powerhouse he is right now. He is Genis-Vell. He is Captain Marvel.
Captain Marvel #81
"A Good Day for a Surgery"
Writer: John Flint
Webmaster: Liam Gibbs
"Acceptable contemporary," the Suture Artists agreed of Woodgod, and floated past him as though he was no concern. They held out their oversized sewing needles towards Shift, who was still navigating through the tight spaces between suddenly parked cars, their drivers still flashing their middle fingers at him in rage.
When the drivers and their passengers noticed the Suture Artists bobbing towards them, their attention was held for an entire second before the group unanimously decided to flee on foot, abandoning their vehicles to fate.
"Hey," Woodgod said, grabbing the third Suture Artist and swinging him around in the air, "I wasn't done talking with you yet!"
"Acceptable contemporary," the Suture Artist said of him once more, and tried to float away from Woodgod's grasp.
"Anomaly!" The other two screeched as they neared Shift, who was backing away from them slowly.
"Hey, Illuminati!" Woodgod shouted at the other two Suture Artists, "Have I mentioned that I hate robots?"
He gripped the third Suture Artist with both hands and tore it apart. He was expecting a mess of wires to fall out. Instead, darkforce energy exploded out from the insides of the Suture Artist's shell, knocking Woodgod off his feet.
"What are these things?" Woodgod whispered to himself as he struggled to his feet and watched the two halves of the destroyed Suture Artist bob around in circles, unable to find each other again.
The other two Suture Artists came over and began to work on the third, sewing his two halves back together and stopping the constant outflow of darkforce.
"C'mon, kid," Woodgod said, grabbing Shift by the arm and running, "it's time we blew out of here!"
Within seconds, the third Suture Artist was in one piece once again, as good as new, and bobbed above the ground, following the other two in pursuit of the mutant anomaly.
The Surgeon General watched from another dimension, displeased. The Suture Artists had been sent out on a routine sealing job, and now they had run into yet another anomaly. This one a living being!
"Oy vey," the Surgeon General said after slapping his own face, feeling ridiculous. His enormous belly jiggled as he stormed towards the control console and flipped a switch. "Slashers," he spoke into the mic, "help Suture Artists 3 through 5 in Sector AMU-17-CD."
The Surgeon General unconsciously twirled his mustache as he thought for a moment, then added, "if anomaly cannot be returned to its proper coordinates in spacetime, it must be destroyed. Order must be maintained, at all costs."
That would restore the balance. The Surgeon General nodded his head in satisfaction and lumbered away, cape billowing after him.
As Woodgod practically carried Shift down the sidewalk, still pursued by the three Suture Artists, they had to stop dead in their tracks as the air before them tore itself asunder.
Woodgod's eyes widened as the fabric of spacetime was again punctured. Three black robots, vaguely humanoid in shape, stepped out, their arms jagged machetes that ripped at the air as they moved. Their eyes burned red.
The Suture Artists bobbed past Woodgod and Shift and began work on sewing up the giant hole in the air behind the Slashers. The Slashers marched forward, one going on each side of the pair of Woodgod and the teen.
"We really know how to get into a fine mess, huh, kid?" Woodgod asked, taking off his shades and slipping them into his shirt pocket. "Oboy."
Suddenly, the ground shook and everyone turned to look behind Woodgod, where Giant Man had just stomped down on the sidewalk, his bulk sufficient to pound the pavement. Black Knight emerged from a hole in space behind him. The hole quickly sealed itself before the Suture Artists had to interrupt their work to seal it off.
"I told you something was happening in L.A.," Black Knight told his friend.
"Yeah, yeah," Giant Man said, "helps that you've got that magic mirror in your basement."
"Less talk, more action," Woodgod suggested, "For some reason, these robots want to take my pal here."
"Well, we can't have that, can we," Black Knight said as he raised an arm at the Slashers, his wrist-computer scanning them.
"Giant Man smash!" Giant Man said as he plowed into the nearest Slasher, smashing him against the pavement without cracking his armor. "Whatever these guys are made of, it's tough! Wish I still had my gamma strength!"
"Extra-dimensional, if my analysis is correct," Black Knight said, unsheathing the ebony blade and slicing through the nearest Slasher to him. It cut through the Slasher cleanly, decapitating it. The ebony blade's curse was not activated because the Slashers have no soul, no blood, no true sense of life within them.
"Down," Woodgod told Shift, who did as told and crouched down as low as he could. Woodgod jumped up, kicking the third Slasher with all the great strength in both his goat-like legs. The Slasher stumbled back, knocked around but unharmed.
"What the heck are we dealin' with here?" Giant Man asked as he threw his undamaged Slasher at the Suture Artists who were done sealing the air and had begun to bob towards them.
"Everyone, behind me," Black Knight commanded, and Giant Man, Woodgod, and Shift obeyed. The two Slashers stomped towards them while the Suture Artists began to mend the fallen Slasher. "Okay, let's hope this doesn't tear us all apart."
Black Knight hit a button on his wrist-computer and a bubble of extra-spatial energy popped into existence around and behind him, enveloping him and his three allies. The Suture Artists and Slashers outside had stopped moving, as had everything else.
"You did it," Shift cheered.
"Frozen time?" Woodgod asked.
"No, we are just off-center from the time-dimension," Black Knight explained, "they can't follow us. Let's get back to my castle and figure out what our next move is going to be."
"Are you sure they won't be able to trail us here?" Woodgod asked as he jingled a set of keys made of finger bones hanging from the wall. "Nice place, by the way."
"Thanks," Black Knight said, "and as many mystical safeguards as Merlyn put on this place, I think we'll be safe."
"Merlin? You know Merlin?" Shift asked, excitedly.
"Dane's been all over time and space," Giant Man said, "and the guy just can't stop mentioning that he knows Merlin."
"It is impressive," Woodgod admitted.
"Captain Britain knows him, too," Giant Man argued, "you don't see him bragging about it all the time."
"Okay," Black Knight said, removing his technomagical helmet and setting it down with a bang against a wooden table. His entire castle was a mixture of high-tech and archaisms, ancient tomes next to books on computer code.
"Do you have any idea what those things were?" Woodgod asked.
"Nope," Shift said, honestly.
"I had a dream about them last night," Dane admitted, "I believe it was a dream transmitted to me by, yes, Bill, Merlyn. He wants us to help you, I think, and stop them from whatever it is they're doing.
"The little ones are Suture Artists, the black robot things are Slashers. I don't know what it means or what their goal is. It's something big and something way beyond me.
"I think it's time we used this Champions Network I've been developing, call on whoever we can find and put these things out of business."
"This looks like a job," Giant Man said, "for the Secret Defenders, ha ha."
"Don't worry," Woodgod whispered to Shift, "the jokes are just to comfort ourselves, relieve anxiety. We are taking this as seriously as you are, we don't take human lives lightly and those"
Woodgod had put a hand on Shift's shoulder and, cut off in mid-sentence, Woodgod discovered that someone touching Shift can be transported with him when he travels through time and space.
Black Knight and Giant Man looked on as the air rushed into the suddenly empty space.
"We'd better find out where they went," Giant Man said.
"On it," Dane said, scooping up his helmet and slamming it back down over his head.
And the chase was on.
[To be continued ]
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