The Man in Red|
In the middle of a very large lab, some scientists are walking around a device that snakes back and forth. The object is very tall, and could have a megadeus stand in the center.
A voice over a loud speaker makes a loud hissing noise and says, "We're ready to start, Professor Frink."
"Good, good I'll be up to the booth in a minute," says the professor as he starts to walk into a protective room.
"If this works then maybe we can get it to do more than make a pretty circle," Professor Frink says laughing, as he hits a yellow button in the middle of a console.
The machine starts to turn and spin. In the middle, a blistering sound starts. A ball forming in the center of the machine gets larger and larger. In the middle of the circle two human size objects are thrown onto the floor. There is a yellow glow coming from the two bodies.
The larger of the two gets up. It stretches. Its face has a huge grin on it. Then it proceeds to destroy the lab and the machine, gives a huge yell, an inhuman husk of an animal yell, and smashes through the walls to the outside.
The other human figure gets to its knees, and stands up.
"No, no.... I failed," says the figure. As he looks up, his face looks stretched and twisted toward his left eye and around his nose. He gets up. He starts after the other creature. As he leaves, his armor glistens red in what little light there is.
The background of usual city noise fills the air. Dorothy is standing out on the roof, staring into space. Roger Smith stands on the floor below.
"Why are you standing up there?" he yells to her.
"I just have a feeling, that's all," she says in a quiet voice.
Puzzled, Roger says, "Dorothy you can't feel".
"I know, but I still have a feeling." Still as quiet as a mouse.
Norman comes out onto the floor to join Roger. He is carrying a silver tray with a phone on it.
"Sir, there is a Mr. Trotsky on the phone for you sir," says Norman with his usual snooty accent.
"Who?" retorts Roger.
"A Mr. Trotsky," repeats Norman.
Staring up at Dorothy, Roger takes the phone.
The city is in its usual busy, busy manner. As Roger and Dorothy drive over a bridge, they hear some people playing a harmonica under it. Dorothy seems to like the music. But she is still in her usual quiet manner.
"What does this Mr. Trotsky want, Roger?" asks Dorothy.
"He said that if I help him figure out who destroyed his lab, I could name my price," Roger says smugly.
"But Roger, I thought that you didn't do Investigation work," says Dorothy, now looking at Roger.
"Usually I don't, but I can name whatever amount I want. I can't pass this up," says Roger in an unusually smug voice as he starts to have a little smirk.
The car rolls up in front of a large skyscraper. Roger and Dorothy get out and are greeted by a man in a black suit standing in front of Roger. He is just slightly taller than Roger and is wearing the same suit.
"This way to the lab Mr. Smith," says the man.
They arrive in a large lab with various tables of chemicals. After going through a few doors, they arrive into a really large room, large enough for Big O to walk around in the middle. There seems to be some kind of machine that spheres around and snakes into several circles. Or at least that is how it would look if it wasn't in pieces.
Immediately Roger notices a rather large hole smashed through the wall. A few other labs have smashed test tubes, tables, and a cage large enough to hold a large gorilla.
"So, what were you doing in this lab exactly?" says Roger to the tall man.
"We were researching this large machine. We think it has importance, or at least I think it has importance," says the tall man.
"Did you ever figure out what it was for?" asks Dorothy.
"Not really," says the tall man.
"All we could get it to do is make an orb float in the middle. It looked pretty, so we thought it was some kind of amusement device. But it made all these machines we found go crazy. We have yet to determine what all these machines and markings mean." After speaking, the tall man points to several signs that have the same marking.
"U.S.M.C.? Well, it's an acronym. I guess it's a research group," Roger says.
Roger writes down all the different symbols. U.S.M.C - ??? Some older people had tattoos that said U.S.M.C. It must be related. Haz Mat. - ? A funny symbol with three triangles around in a circle, Roger had noticed these before in old basements that were large, but over those it said "Fallout Shelter." This one had more pointy edges and a little different scheme. The last Roger did know, SPEC-OPS - it was used by the current police for special groups like the SWAT team.
"I think this was a military instillation," Roger says to the tall man.
"WHAT!?" The tall man is almost beside himself. "That would explain a lot, but it doesn't explain what came out."
Roger passes by Dorothy. "Maybe we should get some help."
Walking through a smoky bar, Roger sits at a table next to a man reading a newspaper, staring of into space as he starts to talk.
"Have you ever heard of the term U.S.M.C.?" Roger asks while sipping his drink.
While checking his hearing aid, the informant speaks. "Yes, I have heard of the Corps." He pauses and starts to read his paper. "They were some kind of crazy group before the event. The U.S...I have no idea, but the M.C. means the Marine Corps."
"Would they have anything to do with destroying labs?" asks Roger.
"They had their hands in all sorts of crazy stuff," the informant starts. "If I were you, I would go check out the place in dome three with all the little shacks next to the roads leading in."
Roger stands up, places money under the informant's paper, and leaves the bar. "Thanks."
"So this place should tell me a lot," Roger said to himself, walking into the large building the informant told him about.
Roger, standing and looking at the building, thinks, "This place must have been important to have all that security."
Dorothy asks, "Why is this place so important?"
"I don't know, but we'll find out," says Roger.
As they enter the building, whatever was there wasted no time.
"LEAVE!!!" shouts a voice hidden someplace in the complex.
"Who said that?" Roger yells back. Dorothy runs into the shadows.
"LEAVE!!!" shouts the voice again.
"Not till I get some answers!" says Roger, now angry.
"DON'T MAKE ME HURT YOU!!!" yells the voice, sounding frustrated.
"Look, just answer some questions and I'll leave you alone" Roger yells back
"I SAID..." the voice trailed off. Roger hears a loud thud in the distance.
"Roger, I have him," says the faint voice of Dorothy.
"Dorothy, what are you doing here?" Roger asks, now getting closer to Dorothy.
"I have him. He's big, but he was no match for me," says Dorothy.
Roger now sees Dorothy standing over a large husk of a human. The thing's armor is a deep dark red. His face looks like it had seen the bad end of a baseball bat. Even laying down it seems to be 8 feet tall. It also has a big bruise from Dorothy.
"All right, who are you?" demands Roger, sitting him up against the wall.
"My name is Staff Sgt. Getall. My mission is containment team 56. My serial number is 8767859," blurts the man almost as though he had said it many times.
"So you were in the Corps?" asks Roger.
"Yes. Now I don't have time to sit here and chat. I need to stop Job." Getall answers, out of breath.
"What is Job?" asks Dorothy, quiet as a mouse.
"It is a creature that will cause very devastating things if I don't stop him, and stop him now." While Getall speaks, the bruise under his eye starts to shrink, then disappears as though he had never had it.
Puzzled Roger asks, "What are you?"
"I'll answer all your questions after we stop Job. Now either help me or shoot me!" yells Getall, now standing.
"We'll help you after you tell us what all this mess is all about," says Roger.
"Ok, but let's trade. You help me get Job, THEN I'll tell you about this, and whatever else you want to know." Getall shakes hands with Roger.
Roger, looking hesitant, "agreed."
Roger in mid sentence "...Anything. You can heal anything."
"Well, anything except fire." Getall starts. "The way fire necrotizes the cells makes it so they won't grow back." Getall looks around, seemingly cramped from his big size in Roger's car.
"Now that's crazy. Is Job the same way?" asks Roger.
"No, but bullets can't kill him. It would take some miracle to kill him," retorts Getall.
"Ok, I don't believe you," says Roger.
"All right," says Getall, now opening his door. "I could tell you all day but this is the only way you'll understand."
"WHAT ARE YOU DOING?" yells Roger as he tries to grab his shoulder.
But it is too late. Getall jumps out of the car and gets hit by another. Roger stops his car, gets out, and runs to the pile that would be Getall. The other car's front seems to be smashed. Despite all of his big red armor, he is dead on the pavement.
"Now he was crazy," Roger says to himself as he walks to the other car to check on the people, seeing that they are all right. He pays them off. "...talking as though he was some kind of prophet sent forward in time."
"I'm no prophet," says Getall, now standing behind Roger.
Roger turns around and sees Getall, who is now standing over him. "AHH!" he yells as he starts to fall backward.
Getall grabs Roger's foot and holds him upside down and high enough so he could be head to head level with Roger despite him being topsy-turvy. Now he looks into Roger's eyes. "I got ya, but now that we have reached an understanding, let me tell you something. I was trained to kill. I don't usually get along with people, but I need your help, Mr. Roger Smith. I can't do it on my own. And if you ever want to finish your job for Mr. Trotsky, you need me. So let's stop questioning and let's get a job done, OK?"
Roger is slightly swinging, hanging by his foot. "Well, not the best negotiation I've ever done... but ok."
Roger and Getall get back into Roger's car. Dorothy asks from the backseat, "Getall, before we start to figure out how to kill Job you need to do something."
Getall looks puzzled. "What?!"
Dorothy says in her usual quiet manner, "Take a shower, you stink Mr. Getall."
Getall starts to laugh as the car pulls off. Roger's car goes down the road and turns. The city is silent as day turns into night. A loan guitarist plays a solo while the stars come out. R. Dorothy Wayneright and Roger Smith have no have no idea what they will need to do before they finish their deal.
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