Vanguard Roll Call!

Vanguard Roll Call!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Issue 75A: Challenge for Supremacy!

Vanguard’s Inhuman! The Lair of the Primate. The Volcanic Island’s Laboratory. Congo.

With Vanguard’s communicator held beneath his beak-like nose, Inhuman was quickly running out of options. He explained a brand new alien threat, even worse than mankind!

Inhuman also said: "Let me be clear about this, I do not propose leaving the animals to a fate worse than that of man or even that of subjugation beneath the heel of man, I propose that you leave and take some animals with you in order to give some of our fellow beasts hope, if not for themselves, that then their species will survive.”

The Primate grew angier with every second that his direct instructions were ignored by this upstart.
“’Some animals’? Meaning you would leave the rest, the vast majority, to a cruel fate at the blood-stained hands of Man. Or to this new alien threat you’ve just pulled from your hat?!
I would leave none of my brethren to that fate.
But I wonder why you don’t propose taking “some” humans to your new world, warmed by the hope that their species will survive? Certainly that would be easier than transporting some of every animal species on Earth.”

His voice was deliberate, mocking, throwing Inhuman’s words back in his face.
“And would we not be likewise endangered by these ‘new aliens’ on your new planet? Perhaps more so as we struggle to understand a new environment?”

Inhuman tried to place the Owl between him and the others, but Snow Leopard followed him with a bemused expression on her face, like a cat toying with a mouse… or a fish.

Inhuman demanded, “Do you have anyone who can match that power? Or Primate, are you just planning on sacrificing others like you did the Ani-men who faced off against Vanguard?"
That did it. “Enough!” the Primate roared. “You’ll not deride the sacrifice they made for their beliefs, you who sacrifice nothing and whose beliefs are as mercurial as fish skin!
“Silence him!” he barked savagely to his Ani-Men.

Snow Leopard was ready. Eager even. With dazzling speed, the terrifying tigress raked razor sharp claws across Inhuman! SHRRKKKKK!!! It hurt!
She chuckled playfully.

The Owl visibly hesitated! He did not act against Inhuman!

Inhuman was the slowest combatant in the room! In one last desperate gambit, he yelled, “Betrayers! Follow the Path of Fools will you?!!? While you may think you can win against the Aliens and their army of Henchmen I shall have to prove bodily why that will never happen. I Call upon the Law of the Sea! I Challenge you, you mangy dumb ape to a battle for control of the Ani-men!! When I win, all shall obey me!"

The Primate powerfully charged forward on all fours with surprising speed for his mass! The true might and savagery of the super-intelligent simian were at last revealed! “A challenge, eh? Very well!” he growled.
The great ape pounded his massive fists mercilessly down upon the fish man with brutal rage!

Inhuman was savagely beaten into unconsciousness before he could hydro-kinetically seize the water around the microorganism, if it was even in the jar. As the last glimmers of consciousness faded, he heard voices, as if in a twilight dream.

Monarch said, “Just like Ratman said.” His voice was coolly unemotional.

The Primate said, “Yes. I had sensed it also.”
Then his voice became a snarl: “You’ve failed me! You said he was one of us.”

The Owl pleaded: “He was! He gave us useful information against Vanguard. I’m sorry, master.”

The Primate said, “Enact the defenses he recommended against the human ‘superheroes.’ And do not fail me again.”

Footsteps leaving. Then Snow Leopard purred, “Shall I kill the limp fish?”

The Primate said, “No. I want to know if the ‘alien threat’ he mentioned is real. And if it is, whether the microorganism will work on them.
But first, we must ready ourselves for the coming of Vanguard.”

Inhuman felt hands on him and the sounds of footsteps and voices faded away.
Inhuman’s mind fell into darkness.

To be continued!


The Primate’s voice was deliberate, mocking, throwing Inhuman’s words back in his face. > “And would we not be likewise endangered by these ‘new aliens’ on your new planet? Perhaps more so as we struggle to understand a new environment?”

Inhuman said: "As soon as others learned of this, there are many that would join you, however your attitude belies that you would not want them anyway So why should I offer?" Inhuman grew desperate as he realised that he wasn't receiving information from the Primate, like the others obviously were "As for the Aliens, if we don't stop them here I agree hope is small but better some than the none YOU offer."

When attacked:
"Arrgh!!!" Inhuman winced away from the blow "believe it or not I don't follow you from domination..." He barely whispered against the pain.

Inhuman also known as Carl Greenlove wanted to only drift away… float away in the darkness. After he was beaten bowed nearly in half not yet broken but close enough that he could snap under the pressure and never grow right again. The darkness at first seemed to pull with a heaving weight far beyond that of any mortal’s ability to fight. Carl/Inhuman had come close to winning but he had moved to hastily and resisted when he should have flown. Parts of him had become ice when they should have remained water and were then shattered as a result.

Carl had a feeling he had turned Three of the Seven with his words alone. The other Four he had no time for. No time to truly meditate on the ways to change that hardest of substances to physical blows yet the weakest to the challenges of words, the heart. Whether human or not, as Carl himself had proven, that muscle could be made to clench differently even if it was subconsciously. The Darkness continued to drag him away from the grey world of unconsciousness into depths that would lead to death when he finally gave in.

Then Inhuman felt something * him. It * him up from the bottom away from the darkness, something akin to waving him away from the depths he was floating into. The * was something between a push and a bump that surged like a wave but nothing passed him. Then for lack of better word he felt a giggle like movement. And the * happened again with more strength. It reminded Carl of a dolphin trying to be helpful even if their target wanted nothing but sweet oblivion. Carl turned and faced the void looking for that which had * him. And still saw nothing.

Inhuman did not have just the senses of normal humans so he looked with those too. He possessed a sense like the electro-sense of the Sharks and sonar like a dolphin and he still could not sense that which * him. All of his senses told him the void was there and there was nothing else. But the void seemed to be coming closer…

The Void continued not just staring at him any more but more like it was gaining on him. Either Inhuman by daring to look at that which is incomprehensible had somehow raised its ire or he was being drawn faster by weight of his heart now that he had acknowledged it. However the truth really was. It felt like it was rushing up to meet him. Carl braced for ‘impact’ with what his senses told him was too close to avoid when the mysterious * bumped him up and away again.

This time Carl focused all his unusual senses on the thing he instinctively thought was the likely direction for the * thing to have gone. He thought he detected something that was both nearly a mile away as well as within 75 feet depending upon which sense he believed. As close as he was to falling into the depths of eternal loss again he decided to ‘swim’ to the other thing that now was more curiosity inducing than Death had been after his first death.

The whatever it was began to move also at his same speed, maintaining the same impossible distances his senses told him it was at.

He moved father and farther through the grey area between life and death until he chased the thing through something and.

It was shivering against a loose plate leaning up against the building. That little bit of noise made the creature in the tank begin to notice her for the first time. At first he had no idea what to do, having left his humanity so far behind so long ago. But the noise of its desperate shivering made interfered with his listening to the music made by the rain passing though his thoughts. At first the monstrous being decided that the little noise that it made as it shivered was so annoying the beast was temped to use his powers to destroy the fragile intruder into his private world. Thinking that it would be easier to merely devastate the miserable thing and be done with it. Yet some small impulse of humanity made him stay his monstrous power.

Instead of crushing it he took but a small measure of his power and held the water softly around the youngling letting outer droplets of water cascade off of a thin inner layer that would retain the little creature’s body heat by reflecting it back at her rather than draining it like water normally did. Soon enough the shivering mess stopped rattling the thing up against his building and he tried to again concentrate upon the music of the heavens only he could hear. With a touch of irritation he realized from the churning of his mind that he deeply felt the little creature more than he was easily comfortable with as he protected her from the nasty weather, its heart beat, its breath moved her body and now that his attention was so focused he found it difficult to change it. Even though the music of the heavens continued, he no longer found peace in forgetting. He realized it was a she as well as being small and cold through and through. But soon her shivering stopped as the little form warmed up from its reflected body heat. Shortly after it/she stopped shivering then he realized it was asleep. Curious he scanned the surrounding area as well as he could, looking to see if something might notice her disappearance. Satisfied with protecting himself he used the water he controlled to hold her body in the same form so as not to wake her and slip her in though a window. He used more water to control the opening and closing of the window keeping it quiet so it didn’t alert anyone outside or wake her up.

He brought her inside and used a tentacle to clean a small hole in the algae on the side of the tank to get a better look at her from the dimly lit lights inside the building. He found her breathtakingly beautiful in an almost undeveloped way then blinked and began to find the flaws in her appearance that he had not yet discovered. He gently let her unfold taking care to keep her asleep. He supported her in mid air with thought and power alone turning her this way and that in order to get a better look at her while she deeply slept. She was much too thin for her true looks to shine though. Starved, malnourished and far too dirty for his liking, there was little upon closer examination to recommend her except for his first vision of her as being breathtakingly beautiful.

Carl/Inhuman pondered what to do with her.