Loading ...
Sorry, an error occurred while loading the content.

Shamrock #2 "Unlucky In London Part 1: Ambushed!"

Expand Messages
  • Josh Greer
    [London, England] 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
    Message 1 of 1 , Oct 6, 2006
    • 0 Attachment
      [London, England]


      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.


      *****

      Shamrock #2
      Unlucky In London Part 1 of 3
      "Ambushed!"

      Writer: Josh Greer
      Webmaster & EIC: Liam Gibbs


      *****


      [Location: Unknown]


      "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
      dungeon.

      "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."

      "Who are--"

      "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.


      *****


      [London, England]


      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.


      *****


      [Ahead]


      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
      way out.

      "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
      beneath her.

      "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
      man-boar hit.

      "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
      tear up.

      "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.
      "Protesting Bacon-Bits?"

      "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
      move.

      "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
      range.

      "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...]


      Footnotes:
      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...
    Your message has been successfully submitted and would be delivered to recipients shortly.