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Interlude Twenty-one Point One: Patrolling the 'Parts

With all the activity at the Nest, Defender and Ka-Sador were forced to cut back on their patrolling in the 'Parts, but they did manage to hook up and spend a few hours going over the area.

As Defender leapt from roof to roof, Ka-Sador flew high recon overhead. It was he who saw figure below waving to attract his attention. He recognized the costume as that of the man the papers were calling Flex.

Ka-sador swooped around and located the rooftop Defender occupied and hovered over the edge at eye level. [EARTHLANDER FLEX, SIGNAL], indicating the location with a point of his long arm. Ka-sador and Defender had discussed this new hero before, uncertain of what to think of him. Now, it appeared, they were going to meet him.

The two heroes moved warily to meet the newcomer.

Flex felt nervous. "What is the matter with me," he thought. "I am acting like they are going to take me in, if only they knew what a past comes with these powers," thought Flex as the heroes drew wearily nearer.

"Gentlemen it is a real pleasure to meet you, I come with information and an offer."

Ka-sador eyed this newcomer suspiciously and sniffed instinctively. He stayed well behind Defender and circled about listening for anyone else in the shadows. [INFORMAYTION] the alien inquired.

"You have our attention," Defender said as he assumed a crossed arm posture.

"OK, where to start." Flex paused for a moment as he gathered his thoughts then said, "Well I got a tip off from some 'friends' and they told me that someone had it in for you guys. It seems you had been to good at what you have been doing here. Well anyway I staked out the place. I would have told you before like I am now but I did not know where the Bat phone was stashed so I went anyway".

Flex felt nervous now that he warmed to the story, he also began to pace as he unfolded the events to them. "So there I am. These heavy muscle types make sure the place is secure, it was not easy getting in on this meeting - it is clear they did not want anyone to interfere. Anyway some guys shows up they provide a chair for him and stand waiting when this super villain on some strange pogo stick arrives".

Flex stopped as he says as an aside, "I later stashed that piece of equipment at my, eh base. Anyway I waited to find out what was going on and as it turns out this guy had been brought in to take you out. He was handed some notes - which I later found out was a map of you prior patrol routes in the parts. Which how and why I have been waiting here for you. He, this supervillain - called "Pogo", would have been waiting to take you out except I stepped in and managed to stop it before it turned ugly."

Stopping to look up from his recollection, Flex turned to Defender and Ka-Sador and said, "You have upset some nasty people, my friends and they will not stop because of this - in fact I have also made myself an enemy by siding with you. But what can I say? I hate bullies".

Stopping to sit down, Flex pulled out a piece of paper from within his costume - the map he had found on at the site. "Here you might as well have this now, I do not need it - but I would like to ask you for something in return. Nothing beyond your means, but it does require you to trust in me".

Despite the fact that he was sitting down away from Defender, Flex's arm, true to his name, stretched out in an elastic fashion as he handed the map to Defender leaving his last words still almost hanging in the air as he waited for Defender to take the map and respond to the request.

Defender looked to Ka-Sador then back to Flex. Taking the map, he looked over the locations outlined. A look of concern fell over his masked face. "You're mostly alright, he said to Ka-Sador, but it appears that I've been way too predictable. Its a wonder I've not been ambushed before now. Might also explain why you tend to find the trouble first."

He handed the map to his partner and gave Flex a 'one moment' hand gesture. Snapping open the protective case on his wrist comp, he pulled up the files on Pogo's capture. The newspaper report came up.

"You turned him over to the police?" Defender asked. "Wonder if he's escaped yet. Well, you seem to be on the level for now. If you story is true, and I have no reason to not believe it at this time, we owe you our gratitude. Tell me what this request is and we'll tell you if it's in our budget, so to speak."

Flex paused, Defender noticed how he was getting ready to say something but that it was not easy. "Well, ermm, its quite simple - I want to join with your team, as it were."

-sador let out a whistle at the request, this newcomer's boldness was commendable. First inclination for the Orionid was to be skeptical, too often he had seen infiltrators placed into the arena for subterfuge; whether it be to inform on escape plans or to cause disarray in battle formations so that some wealthy politician could increase his coffers. Maybe things were different on this planet, but he doubted it; he had seen so much from the television and from the evil men they had dealt with -- and then there was the Krai. Ka-sador decided to defer to Defender on this matter, this was his planet after all, but there were others to consider. If asked, he would respond, but he knew his place as an outsider.

Ka-sador reached for the map to inspect it as well as get a closer smell. Perhaps there was a trace of familiar scent, or some identifiable location that it had been before. Uneasy, the winged alien realized that the three of them were prime for an ambush. The accuracy of this map dictated that someone had been watching them, and whoever drew it was still at large. They could be watching now.

The map fell to the ground as he went airbourne to see if there were prying eyes. He would stay close by in case this 'Flex' was not what he seemed to be, or was not alone.

"It's not as simple as that. We aren't the YMCA. You can't just show up and pay a membership fee." Defender thought about it. "And that's not a decision I can make on my own. However, I'm not telling you it can't be done. It's just something you'll have to earn."

When Flex started to speak, Defender held up his hand. "Hold on. I mean no disrespect. I was new to the city's 'hero' scene not so long ago. I know how it feels. You want acceptance and you want to know that someone has your back in the rough times. So, let me make a counter proposal. Let's start out small.

"Patrol with us tonight. Let us see what you've got. This isn't an audition, so don't get all enthusiastic and do something crazy. I'd just like to know what you are capable of." Defender pulled a card from a concealed slot in his wrist comp. "Here's how to get in touch with us. Before the night is over, I'll need something similar from you. We'll give it a little time and get a chance to see each other in action. Good lord, you might NOT want to join us after watching us work."

Flex smiled. "I like your thinking," he said as he extended a hand to indicate his approval. "Shall we?" said Flex as he prepared to follow.

Ka-sador looked down at the handshake and was relieved that all appeared well. The 'Parts were dangerous and if someone, or something, was hunting him then he was glad to have packmates. The hunter never liked to be the hunted, and he knew that the tables were rapidly turning. 'Hey,' he said to himself, 'he just used an earthlander idiom' and a smile formed across his face. Higher he climbed to take in as much of the 'Parts as he could to look for motion in the dark streets.

The Patrol went quietly, a few drug dealers had the fear of God put into them, and a couple of young toughs moved along hastily when they saw the shadows float by overhead.

The heroes got a feel for their new acquaintance (and there's an interlude up for a description of some of his powers), and after a few hours, they stopped again on a different rooftop to conclude the patrol.

"It has been good to be with you tonight - I hope that you will see I am genuine. Powerful enemies make for a worry without back up - and we all need that. Anyway look if something comes up soon count me in, I am not busy at present, trying to sort that side of my life out still so count me in on anything that comes up. Likewise I will let you know anything if I find out about our mysterious enemies," said Flex as he concluded the evening by handing Defender a card with his number on and his hand to shake on it.

Defender slid the card into his holder. "I'll discuss your proposition with the rest of the group during our weekly meeting. You might hear something from us in a few days or it could be weeks. Try not to get discouraged and try not to get in over your head. We all make powerful enemies when we stand between the 'bullies' and the 'victims.' And if you run into anyone else like Pogo, give us a call so that we can lend a hand."

He took Flex's hand and shook it. "Good luck. We'll talk soon."

Ka-sador approached Flex, [YOO KNOW HOO MADE MAP?, MAYBE HEER NAME?]

Flex turned to the winged alien, "No I am afraid not - I can not give you anymore than I have. But what I can do is listen out for my contacts and see if anything like this turns up again. I cannot promise but what I can say is that if anyone is planning anything - well lets say the walls in the parts 'have ears'. I will keep you posted," said Flex who, although Ka-Sador could not see his face, at least seemed to smell earnest.

While Ka-sador asked about the map, Defender stepped away and put in a call to IPAC. "This is Defender. A paranormal going by the alias 'Pogo' was recently apprehended in Port Alexander. Has he been secured?"

"One moment. Yes, William Smith aka Pogo transferred from Port Alexander police, Defender," said the operator.

"All I needed to know. Thanks." Defender closed the comm curcuit and walked back to the group. "Oh, Flex. No need to worry about you buddy Pogo. He's in good hands. I think it's time to get some shut-eye. I bid you both a good morning."

"And to you both, goodbye for now" Said Flex as he leapt from the rooftop over to the floor below, where he quickly dissapeared among the alleyways of the 'Parts.

As Flex disappeared in the night Ka-sador spoke up, [VERY STRAYNG, EARTHLANDER.] [DEFENDR], he asked, [WHO MAYKE MAP, WHO WANTS TO HURT DEFENDR AND KA-SADOR]

"We've made some enemies. Not everyone is going to see the work we do as a good thing," Defender said as he shrugged. "I guess I should have expected something like this before now. As to who made the map, I guess we are going to have to shake some people down and get some info. This isn't either of our strong points, but I think the Beggar King might be able to help out."

Last Updated 9 May 2002