Molly hadn't been to London in years. Her father had hated the city
with a passion, and only brought her along on one of his rant-filled
visits to the English city. He probably would have left her at home if
her mother and Paddy hadn't been sick with chicken pox. As a child she
hadn't understood why her father had hated London so, but she grew up
listening to his rants and speeches about the "dreadful, bloody city and
the un-Godly, heathen English that lived there".
In the earliest days of her super-hero career as Shamrock, she shared
that same opinion of London, England, and everyone that lived there. It
was one of the few traits she had that her father had been proud of then.
She remembered with some level of shame how she had spurned Captain
Britain upon their first meeting because he wore the emblem of Great
Britain with such pride. (1) In truth, the sight of the Union Jack still
made her cringe purely out of reflex, but she had learned the error of
her judgmental ways. She couldn't quite openly trust the Captain, or any
of the English heroes she'd worked with and met over the years, she
didn't immediately turn away from them whenever they crossed paths
either. Thankfully, neither did they.
It wasn't that job that brought Molly Fitzgerald to London on that fine
afternoon, though. Shamrock had the day off. Today, she was just plain
Molly, newest owner of the Fitzgerald Pub in Dublin, and she was only
here to pick up supplies. New billiard balls for the twin tables in the
pub, a box of darts, and five brand new leather bar stools for around the
bar where the regulars had worn out the others. Normally, she would have
just had the items delivered, but Molly had one additional stop to make
while she was in town.
Molly hadn't been the only one of the Fitzgeralds to come into
ownership of the pub when her uncle Sean passed away. Her cousin, Seamus,
had also been left a share, but he eagerly signed his portion over to
Molly. He claimed to be just as comfortable living in London and working
as an inspector with Scotland Yard. Molly may have been the only one to
believe Seamus' story, though. The rest of the family seemed determined
to think Seamus had lost his mind. She knew how much he loved his job,
however, and was proud to see him doing so well. So proud, in fact, that
she had decided to stop and visit him while she was in town.
As she drove through the city, towards the distributor's warehouse,
dark gray clouds rolled in over London. As she glanced up from a traffic
light, Molly sighed. That was never a good sign, and she really didn't
care for her luck to turn sour when she'd been having such a good day.
Unlucky In London Part 1 of 3
Writer: Josh Greer
Webmaster & EIC: Liam Gibbs
"Where..." the man groaned, propping himself up with his remaining arm.
For a second, everything was a blank, even his name. Then he slumped to
the side and bumped the still-fragile wound located where his arm had
once been against the cool, gritty stone wall. It all came back with a
sudden clarity. He had been a referee in the Great Game, and they took
his arm. All because of her. All because of that b****, Shamrock. (2)
That explained the arm, but not where he was. He tried to clear his
vision, but everything was clouded around the edges, like the dreaming
effect they used on TV shows. He could smell...mold and mildew, and felt
the coarse grit and fine layer of dirt that covered everything. Stone
walls surrounded him, and the door before him was open. The air was cold
and stale, and he didn't feel even a hint of a breeze or see a window
anywhere. If he didn't know better, he would have sworn he was in a
"Hello?" he called, fighting his way up to his feet, careful not to
bang the stump against the wall again. He staggered forward and was about
to push the door open, when it was pulled open from the outside.
"Hello," the dark figure before him said. "You should lie down."
"All in good time. Lie down and rest. You lost a lot of blood before I
found you. Sleep and recuperate, then we'll discuss who I am and what I
have to offer."
The referee barely heard those last few words. As soon as his head hit
the surprisingly comfortable pillow, the world began to slowly swim
before him. The man's boxy figure lapped at the edges of his eyes like
the tide, then everything faded to black.
Molly flipped through the latest copy of M-Sighting, a small European
magazine dedicated to spotting some of the world's superhumans at work,
while the warehouse owner loaded her supplies into the evergreen truck
she'd rented for her visit. Every so often they managed to corner one of
her erstwhile co-workers for a quick interview before the inevitable
catastrophe hit. She'd almost been pigeon-holed for such an interview a
few years ago, but she'd managed to avoid it. She never liked how the
reporters twisted the quotes around to fit whatever they wanted it to
sound like, and desperately wanted to avoid being tied into anything
scandalous. As she turned to the section that was usually occupied by the
Interviews, though, she saw that Scotland's Kinsmen hadn't been so lucky.
The Highlander was being painted in the unfavorable light of the violent,
pro-mutant protester. The group's little interaction with the Guard a
while back probably didn't help the matter any, either. (3)
"All right...I think that's got it, Molly," grunted the owner, George.
He and his brother Fred were old friends of the Fitzgerald family,
despite their English roots, and Molly always enjoyed talking to them.
There were a bit rugged, and usually dirty while they worked, but she
didn't mind a bit. They always did good work, and never failed to make
her laugh. She'd already come close to spitting soda through her nose
when she'd arrived to find that Fred had painted an almost perfect
likeness of his brother in drag on the top of his helmet.
"Fine work as usual," she smiled, passing George the check. She shook
his hand, then Fred's, and wished them well before she left. Then it was
back out onto the open road for a little while. She was supposed to meet
Seamus for a late lunch at a little street-side cafe not too far away,
but it wasn't quite time for that yet, so she had some time to just drive
around and see the sights. It had been ages she laid eyes on Big Ben or
any of the other typical English tourist attractions, after all. As luck
had it, though, she wouldn't get that far.
Somewhere ahead, thick, dark smoke billowed into the sky, and she swore
she felt a shake in the ground as she drove towards it. She saw the wall
of automobiles stopped ahead and slowed down as well, hoping it wasn't
anything series. Molly looked up at the smoke, wondering what, shy of a
car exploding, could have caused such a thick, almost black pillar of
soot and smoke. As she watched it rise she found out. A small, pink-ish
man hovered about two blocks ahead of her, six feet off the ground, and
from the way he was positioned, he wasn't alone.
When she left her apartment, Molly wondered if she should even bring
her costume. It had been almost a week since the Great Game struck, and
everything had seemed relatively quiet since then. Then she remembered
her own luck. Despite her name, and her probability altering powers,
Molly Fitzgerald wasn't lucky enough to avoid trouble. She never had
been. In the end, she thought better of tempting fate and balled up the
parts of her costume she couldn't wear beneath her clothes. Better safe
than sorry. As she watched more smoke streak the skyline before her, it
was a decision she didn't regret.
There were three of them, and none of the drivers around knew what to
make of them. They had to be mutants, they just had to be. One of them
was pink and floating, another had tusks, and the third had fists almost
as big as a toaster. The question was, what were they doing blowing up
the middle of the road? John Urit had just been driving down the road,
minding his own business, on his way to meet his ex-wife and pick up his
daughter. The next thing he knew, there was a sewer grate crushing the
front end of his Volkswagon.
"Where is he?!" The hairy one had bellowed as soon as he could scramble
through the hole in the road. His toaster-fisted friend emerged just
behind him and peeled off a bandanna so his third eye could look around.
The little pink man was already moving from car to car, though, walking
on thin air and peering through windshield's like the police at a drunk
driving checkpoint. None of them looked anything resembling normal or
happy. These people were very, very angry.
"He isn't here," the pink one squeaked, turning to face his comrades.
The toaster fisted one's third eye, which was white at the iris and a
pale blue everywhere else, turned towards him a second before the other
two "normal" eyes. The furry, tusked one also turned towards him. John,
who was in the last car the pink one had checked tried his best to look
as uninterested as possible, but the gaze from the tusked, bestial mutant
almost made him wet himself with fear. He was scared out of his mind,
surrounded by mutants and cars that had stopped cold, and there was no
"They think they can send this bloke in to attack us then hide them
now, do they?" grunted the tri-eyed mutant, his third eye glowing a
little now. "I don't fink I care for that much. D'you know what I mean?"
John didn't have clue one as to what he meant, but he nodded
emphatically all the same. The tri-eyed mutant laughed a little, but then
he balled up his abnormally large fist and marched towards John's car.
Something caught his attention, though, and a second later he heard a
light thump on the roof of the car. He didn't know what it was, but it
got that murderous look out of all three of the mutant's eyes, and as far
as John was concerned, that was worth just about anything in the world.
He just hoped he didn't soil himself before he got to give his unseen
savior his gratitude.
[The roof of John's car]
As Shamrock stood atop the half-crushed car and looked down at the trio
of mutants before her, she wondered if, perhaps, she had made a mistake.
The three of them didn't look like they were happy to begin with, and she
was certain that her sudden appearance hadn't helped the matter any. She
could almost feel the brute of the trio's eyes burning into her chest as
he angrily eyed the shamrock emblazoned on her costume.
"If you have a problem with the roads, there're better ways to get the
message across, lads," she said. None of them seemed to think the joke
was funny, but she thought she heard a faint chuckle from the driver
"Perhaps," said the pink one, turning towards her, "it isn't a 'he'
that we should be looking for."
"I don't care if she did it or not," the tusked one said, a drop of
thick, white saliva splattering on the crumbled asphalt beneath him as he
glared at her. "She's either guilty, or hiding him, and I plan on gutting
her either way."
The mutant didn't wait another second, rushing towards Shamrock with
his claws and fangs bared. At first glance, he looked like some sort of
were-beast with unusually long fangs, but as he charged her, Shamrock got
a better look. He was a boar. Or rather, a man with the face of a boar,
and the wiry, coarse hair to match. His head was lowered as he charged,
and twitched toward her as a proper boar might, trying to gore her
calves, but she managed to cartwheel out of the way just in time, leaving
him to slam into the remains of the front end. The driver squealed as the
"Haw!" the three-eyed one laughed, not just at his friend's misfortune,
but at Shamrock, who had tumbled right into his grasp. "Gore might've
missed you, you bloody t***, but I don't fink you're goin' anywhere now!"
Shamrock winced as his enormous hands squeezed her right ankle and wrist,
but she managed to twist herself around and throw a quick punch, catching
him in the soft, oval-shaped spot between all three eyes. The brute-ish
mutant dropped her and screamed, cupping his face while his eyes began to
"Serves you right for saying such things to a good Catholic lass, such
as myself," Shamrock said, turning to notice that the tusked man, Gore,
was back on the warpath. To top it off, the little pink guy was starting
to look at her in an odd way that made her brain worry and her skin
crawl. "What are ye doing here anyhow?" she said, grasping Gore's
shoulders with impeccable timing and flipping up and over him.
"We are looking for the one who attacked our people," the pink one
said. They locked eyes for a moment, and Shamrock thought he
looked...confused for a moment, but she was forced to break eye contact
when the three-eyed brute drove one of his enormous fists into her back.
She hadn't been able to avoid the blow, but she managed to roll with it
and avoid the one that followed. Gore had been knocked aside by his
unusual friend, and was struggling to get back up, but the brute wasn't
having any such problems. His two normal eyes were clamped shut and were
still watering, which was causing problems with his depth perception, but
the unusual third eye with the transposed pigments was watching her every
"Git back here you filthy, Irish b****!" he roared, swinging wildly in
her direction, but she managed to stay at least three feet outside his
"If ye want help finding someone, this isn't the way to go about it!"
she shouted, ducking under one of the brute's swings and kicking his legs
out from under him. He fell, but the effort left Shamrock's shin feeling
like she'd just dropped a cinder block on it.
"Look at us, Shamrock," the pink one said. She spun and found herself
face to face with him. He had walked right up to her and she hadn't even
known. Usually when people snuck up on her, she got this sensation, like
she was being watched. She always figured it to be her anti-probability
field doing its work, and the fact that it hadn't warned her this time
both confused and worried her. The pink man didn't seem to care about the
confused look on her face, though, and continued. "Gore has tusks growing
out of a face that makes grown men wet themselves. James has three eyes,
and I, myself, suffer from unusual pigment issues. Do we look like people
that receive many offers for aid?"
"To me, or to the people ye've already asked?" she answered. Shamrock
had heard this line before. No matter how refined it was made to sound,
it was the same line. Their mutations had taken a turn for the worst, so
they didn't even bother trying to fit in after the first person decided
they looked a little too odd to be around. It happened a lot, even in
London where mutants were still a hush-hush topic to most people. She'd
met mutants that had it a lot worse off than these three -- well, maybe
not Gore -- though, and still made the best of it, so she wasn't about to
pity them for their plight. (4)
The little, five-foot tall pink man actually stepped back at that, as
though he had been slapped by the Irish heroine. He looked at her and
tilted his head, considering her stare for a moment, then stepped down as
though he was descending a flight of stairs and landed softly on the
ground. Looking past her for a moment, he spoke to the three-eyed mutant
that Shamrock assumed was the one the pink man had called James. "Help
Gore up. Our fight is over today."
"Wot? But I--"
"Help Gore up," the pink man repeated more firmly, and James moved to
do as he was told. Then the little pink man turned to Shamrock. "My name
is Arthur, most call me Floater for obvious reasons," he said with an
almost aristocratic air. "If you are truly willing to aid us, Shamrock,
then we should find somewhere to speak. Privately."
[To Be Continued...]
1. Back in Contest of Champions #1!
2. Last Issue!
3. Yup, the Scots made an interesting little guest-spot back in the Guard
#'s 17 & 18!
4. Kurt Wagner and Jonothan Starsmore, Nightcrawler & Chamber, both spent
quite a bit of time in the UK, maybe she means them. Who knows what
Shamrock's been up to all these years, after all...