Description: After his daring rescue from the diabolical Russian scientists, Ace Detective Agent Daniel 'Jack' Little now finds himself on the run with Major Charlie Nash, the greatest American Soldier. Escaping to the Ural Mountains, the pair have found shelter in a secret base, and quickly wisk away into a private bunker. Little do they know that within that bunker, they will soon find themselves with questions they did not think to face, and with answers too terrifying to comprehend. Will Charlie and Daniel survive their adventure into... The Bunker Of Secrets?! (The cover shows the interior of a nazi bunker, with several swastikas appearing throughout the bunker. Daniel Jack is currently entangled in the grips of several slimy slithering mauve tentacles. One is around each of his legs, spreading them apart, while Daniel himself is busy struggling with a tentacle attempting to wrap around his neck, gripping the limb with both hands. The source of these tentacles come from the body of a beautiful woman, dressed in a strapless red dress, several tentacles are erupting from underneath the skirt and from the arms. The woman has the face of Hitler, scowling like a sour puss at Agent Little. Major Charlie Nash is bursting into the open door of the bunker as well, armed with a Thompson Machinegun. The All-American hero is firing a spray of bullets around Daniel Jack at the Squid-Hitlerina.) (45 cents)
The location? Deep in the mountains of the Urals, within Kazakhstan near the Russian border. The location was considered a neutral spot for purposes of the UN's relationship with Kazakhstan. A secret base... ish. U.S. Armed Special Forces kept a liason for watching the area, especially for paramilitary activity and incidents within the Russian territory. Right now?
Charlie had gotten Daniel out of Russian clutches.
The detective was captured by his own team member's forces after his fight in China. And long story short, a British agent was captured, and while Daniel had the promise of Russian cooperation.... he was also held in a hospital far too long, while the tournament continued without him. And then, Charlie came. Showing up at the hospital, the special forces member rescued Daniel Jack, and now, the pair was here, amongst the tents and sandbags in the mountain cold.
And by now, Daniel had just finished getting his kidneys flushed.
Agent Little emerges from the medical tent, dressed in BDU pants and a black undershirt, his replacement uniform from the local leftovers. The detective was feeling much better now, and hopefully... hopefully he was less eccentric. Because now that they were in a safe place, Daniel Jack had to lay things straight with Charlie. Rubbing his hands together, he nods firmly. He had to share everything. Well, maybe not the parts about the monster girls.
Maybe the parts?
Having ditched his tactical suit and the doctor's coat, the Major in question was busy waiting in a separate tent, warming up with the darkest cup of coffee available at this base. It was a bitter pill, but it was warm, and it was keeping him awake well enough. So it worked, and it was better than trying to warm up with a liquor bottle, something Charlie knew was the worst thing you could do for the cold.
As Daniel emerged from the medical tent, the airman looked out through the tent flap, face contorted in a skeptical look. "...what'd they say, Little?" he asks, pulling himself out of the tent finally with that mug of coffee still in hand.
Daniel Jack approaches Charlie.
The detective can't help but yawn himself. "They uh, they said that the Russians were apparently trying to put me in a 'fail safe.' I dunno how they put it, like they put drugs in me, that if they didn't get the drug to counteract it, I would basically turn into a vegetable. Was supposed to get me in place. Of course, they said I should have been a vegetable when I got them... and that my kidney might be more scar than tissue at this point, so uh..." Daniel Jack sniffs the air, eyeing the mug. "Is that coffee?" And Daniel pauses a moment.
"Is there any liquor to warm that up?"
Charlie takes another sip of his coffee, doing his best to hold in a grimace as it goes down. "You said something about that before, yeah. Sounds like you're going to need more treatment on that. They had you drugged up to the gills."
He then looks back down to his mug as Daniel sniffs and eyes at it. "It's not Irish, no. Just plain black coffee-like substance," Charlie notes, clearly dubious of how much of what he's drinking is actually coffee. "You're welcome to it if you want," he says, gesturing toward the tent he had just come out of.
Well, it would do.
Daniel Jack nods, and dips into the tent. After a moment, he emerges again, face scowling, holding a cup of coffee. Half full. Maybe half empty. Swishing the substance in his mouth, he returns to Charlie. "Uuurgh." He groans.
He was half considering about returning to the Russians.
Still, what was done was done. Daniel Jack takes another sip. "Alright... urk. Alright Charlie. So I owe you a lot. A LOT." Daniel gestures with his free hand. "But considering you got me out of this crap, I think I better start with the basic stuff. Okay, uh, so." Daniel pauses a moment.
Charlie doesn't waste time once Daniel has his mug of the closest coffee substitute available to them. He knows whatever they're going to be talking, it's going to be...sensitive information. And while this is a safe haven enough, one can never be too careful. "This way, Little," he says, to a much more...secure bunker near where the tents are set up.
Once the door is closed behind them, he turns back to Daniel, frowning. "So. The aberrants," he says, getting straight to the point again, using the internal Special Forces terminology.
Sure, in private.
Daniel Jack didn't even have that filter anymore at this point. Everywhere he looked, there was them. It was sensative to him anymore. And yet, he was going into the private bunker with Charlie. And Charlie corrects him.
And Daniel can just shrug.
"Okay, aberrants. Darkstalkers. Monsters. Demons. Freaks. Mutants. Meta-Humans. Or just really, really weird people." Daniel Jack sips the coffee again. "They are people with freaky appearances and powers, a chunk of them are locals, and others are outside of this world. Some have a spiritual bent, that are like devils or angels or even gods. Others are just creeps that go bump in the night. At this point, I'm pretty sure every rumor of a monster has a grain of truth in them at this point." Daniel Jack looks around, and sighs. "There is just two constants I've seen. The first is that they are stronger than the average person..."
"... And they can be awfully human."
Taking a fold out chair from a nearby wall, Charlie takes a seat and sinks low into it, watching Daniel, still holding the mug of 'coffee' in his hand. "And then some are created, like the one that attacked UN HQ," Charlie chimes in as Daniel rattles off the various sources of the 'aberrants'. Something that clearly has stuck into Charlie's craw since then.
"So...stronger than the average person. What about the average fighter?" The Major asks...after all, no matter how much they can pretend, it's not like either of them are 'average' either. "Considering what humans are capable of, I'm not sure how much 'human' matters here, Little."
"And that, Charlie, is why I like you."
Daniel Jack holds up a finger, shaking it. "See, that's the thing. The difference between a sufficiently powerful human and an aberrant... isn't. I mean, remember that thing that flayed me at the UN? That was powerful, but really? I mean, pound for pound? I think you could take him. He just would be more stubborn than you. now the most powerful of these things, that's another thing. It's like, if you are powerful enough on earth, the planet just dumps you out. Cause uh, Charlie. There is something important I found out."
"Let me tell you the whole thing."
"There was Anarakis. An incident with a big Egyptian diety thing. Aberrant of significant power. I... annoyed it. And it sent me into, like, I think the Egyptian afterlife? I kind of wandered around there, and got rescued by a shaman and a miko, it was fun times. So at that point, I'm thinking that Earth culture comes from these weird alien critters from beyond reality? And then the Metro City incident happened. And then..." Daniel Jack nods firmly.
"That's when I met Doctor Tessitore."
"She opened my eyes to something a lot more important. Long story short? I ended up rescuing some weird beetle folk from a man trying to drain their life. Human... man. I ended up getting captured afterwards, and ended up on the slab for a few monthes while she played with me. She ended up, uh, fixing a condition that was inflicted on me by a abberant, and I kind of woo'd her, and one thing led to another, and she was happy to let me walk free. And you know we did, Charlie?" Daniel Jack pauses a moment. "We went to a steakhouse."
"An Italian Steakhouse, in a hell dimension."
Daniel Jack taps the side of his head. "Are you starting to realize what I realize, Charlie?"
Draining what little of his coffee is left, Charlie leant forward to place the mug down on the floor between his boots, listening and staring at Daniel. He forgot just how much the man could talk when he got going. Good thing the Major didn't have anything he needed to interject with.
He raises his eyebrows as Little rattles off his involvement with Anakaris, leading up to his 'involvement' with Tessitore. THAT'S when Charlie deems it necessary to interject. "Alright, I think you said enou-" Of course, it's too late for him to stop Daniel on a roll...
Good thing too since it went a completely different direction than he expected. "...Italian Steakhouse..." That makes Charlie pause, leaning back into his seat as he absorbs everything. "...You said if you get too powerful, the world spits you out, I assume into this other dimension. From those two things...I can think of several conclusions."
Leaning forward, Charlie starts counting off on his fingers. 1) More people than just you have gotten kidnapped and stayed there, surviving long enough to influence culture there." Another finger. "2) That steakhouse and other places like it simply got absorbed into whatever world you're talking about. Or..." 3rd finger out. "3) People from our side are going over willingly, or simply too powerful to stay on our side, and end up in that world. Because I'll be honest, Egypt being influenced by something out of this world, I can buy. Olive Garden...not a chance."
"You got it, Charlie."
Daniel jack nods, his eyes going wide. "And that also means, that the cultural shift is going both ways. Vampires are a great example, most of them I've run across are Eurotrash. Think about it Charlie. A thousand years ago they might be nobility, but now the only culture they can sustain is eurotrash. Fio Tessitore, the spider lady? She was a professor over in Italy. She's always going to be a professor from Italy, that's locked in time for her now, and everything around her in that culture-starved wasteland of another world will surge with that."
"I mean, my god Charlie, look at our cultural progress in the last 100 years."
"Earth is a cultural powerhouse, we're pouring in our entire existance into singular explosions. We have transformed so much, and these creatures... these creatures on the outside know it. They want what we have now. They'll try and take it, because that's all they know, but they want it. They crave it. And the weaker ones... they can't destroy us. But they can join us. And they can become a part of us. This isn't simply man against monster. This is the beginning of trans-dimensional imperialism, and we're the first ones to realize it. And that's the thing, Charlie. That's why I'm doing all this."
"Because there isn't a singular 'aberrant.'"
"You got your artificial mutants, twisted and trasnformed by science... or whatevers. You got your natural creatures, born 'different' or inheriting their state. You got the spiritual creatures from beyond, or around, bound into a state between life and death. Gods and devils, angels and demons. We need to draw lines, we need to start treating these as what they are. Different, unique... and things that become a part of us, and things that need to be stood up against. We need a way to start sifting between the good and the bad, Charlie. We need a way to stop the real monsters, and help the downtrodden. We need to make a task force that takes this problem head on."
"And your the one man who's honorable enough, charismatic enough, and trustworthy enough to be at the helm."
That's...quite a lot to absorb for the Major. After all, when he started conceiving the Program, it was focused purely on human fighter and those who were running afoul of the law enough to require special intervention. THis...this is a completely different animal, far beyond the scope he had intended. And it's a deal that needs a LOT of consideration.
"I'll be honest with you, Little. This is far beyond what I was getting ready to involve myself in. When that aberrant went after the UN building, my concern was more with what created him." Shifting in his seat, he leans closer in toward Daniel, eyes narrowed a bit.
"I get what you're saying. It's a whole scale of things beyond us. And from what you're saying...a lot more who want to opt in rather than take over or run roughshod. Admitting that, Little...the problem is...what the hell do WE do then? How do we do this? This is gonna need more than a handful of Special Forces soldiers and INTERPOL liasions."
"I know how we do this, Charlie."
Daniel Jack runs over, scrouging around the bunker for paper, for pen. Finding one of each, he brings it over to the table. "See, that's the thing. We find out who is behind someone like the flayer at the UN... and we find out its us. And then nothing happens. That's how these things happen, right? Like at Interpol, they still think that the Metro City incident was just a terrorist attack. That's the paradigm. We keep treating things as monsters or not monsters, nothing in between. And Russia gave me my opening.They recognize these things. These meta-humans. They probably want them for the power, right? And who can we get than just Special Forces, and INTERPOL?"
"Their lynch mobs."
"Ayame. Zach Glenn. Ryu Hayabusa. Monster hunters, demon slayers. They have dedicated their lives in killing monsters that threaten the world. Or just being monsters. If you are a simple vampire trying to make a living on the night shift, these are the guys that will kill you. And why not the aberrants themselves, Charlie? Why not them? They are outsiders and outcasts. If they aren't loyal to the demigods on the outside, who can they be loyal too? The refugees, the pariahs. Society isn't present to accept them. But why can't we? Why can't we take the sane ones, the strong ones, the ones who want opportunity to fill our ranks. Monsters, Monster hunters, Special Forces, and Interpol. And our singular goal? To protect the world from the powerful, the monsters and the men who are monsters. People like Vega, Charlie, or like Lord Dhoma who stole away Metro City."
" They are all alike."
"The scale, isn't beyond us anymore, Charlie. Because if it is beyond us, it is beyond anybody. Look at who we are Charlie. We aren't simply soldiers, or agents, or tools for governments. We're more than that. We're leaders. We need to be leaders. Because if we don't make the direction, then what happens now... will continue. Enemies from outside the world will lash out. The world will respond with fear. Innocent aberrants will be strung up. And the real monsters of men will take the horns, and lead the people into the endless cycle. That is what will happen Charlie."
"We have to step up to this Charlie.
The whole thing clearly has Daniel inspired and animated. But Charlie is still trying to approach things analytically. It's easy to say what should be done, but the logistics of it all is a whole different beast no matter how you try and put it.
That said, he looks on intently at Daniels scratchings, particularly about who to try and recruit for this quickly expanding idea. "Appropriating our culture bombs is one thing, LIttle. But how many do you think are going to go in for this even if we open our doors to them? I get recruiting the demon hunters. Hell, Glenn was part of the Program at first, I doubt a return is out of the question. But a big thing like that's going to get scrutiny from a whole lot of directions, and that means a lot of eyes on people trying hard not to be seen until they know they're safe."
Daniel... wasn't quite getting the logistics on this.
Instead, he was grasping the ambition. "We don't have to have the doors wide open. We can just have them a crack. And as far as eyes on it... yes, Charlie. That's the point. We want all eyes on us. We want eyes on the monster hunters, eyes on the monsters, and eyes on us. We don't want these to be in the shadows. We don't want these people to be trapped in the light Charlie either. They have to be in the open. They have to be safe. We have to provide both... and we have to do so as a professional, centralizing force."
"Because, Charlie, what else with they have?"
Daniel Jack looks at his scribbles. And that is what they were. The detective slams his fist on the table. "We're damning them into becoming criminals, outlaws, and terrorists, if they have no other alternatives. These tyrants from beyond are recruiting them, and anybody we take in can betray us, I understand. If we do nothing, Charlie? If we simply just investigate? Then we are reacting, while they are reacting. You can't be the kind of person who wants that? Running around in circles, while the villains turn the monsters into actual monsters? No, I understand the logistics aren't making sense. But Russia has extended a hand, and Interpol has finally given me a chance. The time is now Charlie."
"It's just how it has to be."
"And it has to begin with us, Charlie. I know you don't believe all of them to be monsters. I know you don't believe all of them can't be saved. There has to be a line drawn, there has to be a distinction. There has to be a shelter for the good aberrants, and an ultimatum for the bad ones. The same with the victims of our tyrants, and those who uphold them. This isn't just for the Lord Dhomas or the Butchers or the monsters who bump in the night. This is for the Vegas, the Kiras, the monsters across the world. It isn't time for divisions, Charlie. It is time for a unity, and a future."
"And the future cannot keep these people in the darkness any longer, scuzzy."
Ambition is fine, but it doens't mean anything without the ability to act on it. That's where Charlie knows the big problem lies. For all the high talking and moral sturm und drang, how do you act on your intentions? "What else do they have? THey have all those options you just listed even if we make the effort, if we don't have enough people or the right people. That's exactly the problem, isn't it?"
Charlie rubs his face a little bit, mindful of his glasses. "And didn't I just have to save you from a Russian secret hospital? That doesn't exactly screen 'cooperation'." A frustrated sound comes from the Major before he finally stands up. "I'll see what I can put together. Because I'll be straight with you, Little, I have a pretty good idea how well that's going to go over with the chain of command back home, and that's not even counting the ones who are working their own agendas behind my back as it is....with all that said?" Charlie sighs, hands on his hips as he paced a little. "...you're not wrong."
"That's because, uh, well..."
Yeah, that was gonna be a hard sell. Daniel Jack rubs the back of his neck. "General Zima uh, found out through Sergei that I was talking with aberrants that were working for Fio. You remember my match with Team Sunshine at the Pao Pao Cafe? Two guys there were vampires; I followed them after the fight, and we talked. Sergei... observed the conversation, and reported it back to General Zima. General Zima was concerned that I was a traitor, and also I knew secrets. So after my match with you, with that fine Doctor Tessitore and her hopping vampires, he... lifted me to get the answers out of me. I mean, they're Russians." Daniel Jack shrugs. "They were pissed when I cured Sergei of what Tessitore did to him because I got him drunk!"
"Russians, Charlie, they just do Russian things."
"I'll report it to the Chief, and he'll promise to scold General Zima at their labor day BBQ. They are best friends, so what am I gonna do." Daniel Jack shrugs. "If it wasn't for the Russians, this wouldn't even be a thing now. As for people so far...We have Lieutenant Lita Luwanda of the Delta Red. We have Sergei Dragunov of the... Spetsnaz..." Or was it Spetsnaz, not the Spetsnaz? "There is me, Daniel Little of Interpol, and it's an UN backed deal. Your chain of command might get sweetened by the fact that I'm asking -you- to be at the head of this. The Chief would love to have a golden boy like you as the face, rather than, uh, the ladykiller." Daniel Jack looks aside. "Besides. You just wait until there is another incident, Charlie. And there will be. Dr. Tessitore and her people infiltrated the King of Fighters tournament; something sinister is going on behind the scenes involving the aberrants, and I don't know -what-. But somethings going to happen, Charlie, something soon. Fio's not telling me what. But I need to get a force in place before it happens. This needs international cooperation. And if your guys back home have a problem with that?" Daniel Jack digs his hands in the pockets of his BDU bottoms.
"We'll just ask again after another mini-apocolypse kicks off, I guess!"
Charlie definitely isn't too enthused by Daniel's cavalier attitude toward it all, judging by the glare the man gives the agent from behind those glasses....but it's a glare he doesn't keep up for too long. "You're still making this sound easier that it'll be. And judging from the General's reaction, I'm not sure how dedicated he's going to be if we start actually getting more aberrants on our side," he says, shaking his head a little.
"But I'll do what I can on my side. You work everything out on your end...and we'll see if this goes anywhere," he says, making his way to the bunker door and out. Looks like he's heard enough.
"It's gonna go somewhere Charlie."
Daniel Jack stares back at Charlie, meeting gazes. "It sounds easier because I make anything sound easy. It's hard. It's gonna be hard, and painful, and horrible. But it will not only save lives, but save futures, and make the world a better place. And it is better than doing -nothing-. It's gonna happen, whether we stand by the sidelines or take the helm. The question is, whether we're taking it for a ride, or it's taking us for a ride."Charlie turns, and leaves the bunker. But Daniel Jack lingers. He turns back to his scribbles, staring at it. Staring at the madness he put down.
And he touches a single shape on it.
"Fio..." He mutters to himself. "We're getting you a way out. You, and the beetlefolk, and the cats. The good people, in bad situations. We'll get a way out. A win/win. Working together. A future." Daniel Jack sighs. He had three people. And if he needed the army he needed? He would need Charlie. We would see if he was able to give enough of a pitch.
We would see.
Log created on 19:15:53 08/30/2016 by Daniel, and last modified on 18:15:33 09/01/2016.