Superheroes – Once upon a Time in 1968 – Issue 7 – Pirates Ahoy!

26 April, 2021

Like this with a pirate ship for the main bodyA few months after Issue 6.

CoverCaptain Kraken with cutlass in one hand and flintlock in the other menacing our heroes.

Opening page:  The helicopter-ship of Captain Kraken shattering through the museum skylight (“Kerassssh!!!) as well dressed guests gasp in terror, a keen eyed reader may notice Roboto in a tux in the crowd.

A page detailing how did we get here?: Shadowfist finds that some in Chinatown appreciate her and her friends weakening the Black Dragon triad, other dislike outsiders getting involved in Chinatown affairs.  808 is finding that the Federal Government would like to get a look at some of the out of dimension technology (the New York police just want it off the streets) , Jack Diamond is running interference for 808 but warns him of the Federal Government’s designs (especially the DoD).  Roboto is dealing with the fallout of the Daily Herald newspaper headline “Roboto and his gang destroy Chinatown Business in misguided illegal raid” written, of course, by R Richard Robertson.   Horizon is investigating, at the request of her grandmother. a mysterious Eastern European man (whom the locals have nicknamed “the Count”) who may be responsible of several young people with the Sight, but he proves difficult to follow.  Vulpix get an invitation for her and the team to attend the opening of the Treasures of the Age of Piracy exhibit at the Museum of Historical Art, which she accepts and convinced her uncle that she needs a new costume for.

The targetThe team is at the party for the exhibition, all well dressed, Roboto is wearing a tuxedo complete with cummerbund.  It is just about to the unveiling of the centerpiece of the exhibit, a genuine treasure chest complete with a wealth of gold and silver coins in situ only the sea water has been replaced with a clear chemically dosed water to preserve the items, when bursting through the skylight is a massive helicopter-ship, the Sweet Charity, filled with pirates and commanded by Captain Kraken!

The pirates, armed with belaying pins and colorfully dressed, repel down from the ship to menace the guests.  “Cooperate and no one needs be hurt,” shouts Captain Kraken. Kraken claims to be from the golden age of piracy, haven been shipwrecked through time by the strange forces of the Bermuda Triangle.  He has a peg leg and a pirate and fights with a brace of pistols loaded with “jellyfish shot” which paralyzes its targets and has a “magic cutlass” that will cut through most things.

Roboto, as is his want, charges is, the Pirates’ belaying pins are no match forhis metal hide and mechanical muscles but they give it a good try.  (“I am not getting my deposit back on this tuxedo,” thinks Roboto.)  808 creates hologramic duplicate of himself to help with the evacuation of the crowd (“Please move in an orderly fashion to the nearest exit.”) while Vulpix and Shadowfist help those who have trouble.  Horizon draws power into himself, causing the tables to rattle, though it is hardly noticeable with the helicopter-ship overhead.

Seeing the robot tear through his henchmen, Captain Kraken orders, “Give that one a taste of the hot shot, Mister Mate!”  Mister Mate dutifully rolls a cannon up to the edge of the helicopter-ship and fires at Roboto.  It is well aimed, but Horizon uses his power to slow the cannonball down and then drops into the fountain releasing a burst of steam.  808 using his heliokinesis to focus a laser beam that cuts out a section of the ship causing the cannon to crash to the museum floor.  “My ship!” shouts Kraken and fires a flintlock at 808.  Or what he thinks is 808, as the jellyfish shot goes through a hologram and hits (and paralyzes) R Richard Robertson.  Shadowfist leaps in and unleashes her kung fu but is soon surrounded by pirates so Roboto scoops up the, now only warm, cannonball and uses it to bowl for pirates!   Vulpix uses the reputation of her legacy, combined with the efficiency of her friends combat abilities, to get the majority of the pirates on the ground to flee before they get captured.

“Execute plan two, Mister Mate!” shouts Captain Kraken and twelve harpoons shoot out, impaling display cases and begin the reel them in as the Sweet Charity lifts up.  “Stop them” shouts Vulpix.  Roboto grabs a harpoon chain and rips it free, destroying a display case in the process and wraps it around the fountain to anchor the helicopter-ship.  Horizon lands on the ship and uses his power to increase its mass keeping it from lifting further.  Shadowfist runs up the anchoring chain to board the ship.

808 teleports Vulpix up so she can join in and Vulpix and Shadowfist moves to engage Kraken.   Roboto hand over hands up the chain and climbs aboard just as Mister Mate aims another cannon at Horizon.  Horizon halts the shot and Roboto crushes the cannon with his machine strength, Mister Mate grabs a bag of gunpowder, stick a fuse into it and throws it at Horizon, Roboto grab the bag of gunpowder in midair and plunges with it into the fountain.  Horizon loose focus and the Sweet Charity rises, straining to tear free of the fountain.

After a brief exchange of blows with Captain Kraken, Shadowfist tags out with Vulpix to chase Mister Mate.  Vulpix exchanges quips with the pirate before disarming his sword and taking it for herself.  Horizon guards Vulpix from a blast of jellyfish shot and she then slices through his remaining pistols.  808 blasts one of the helicopter-ship’s rotors and it slowly crashes down to the floor of the museum.  Kraken surrenders to Vulpix, complementing her on a well fought battle.

Kraken shuts down the Sweet Charity so neither it or the museum would take more damage. 808 uses Leonard, his dirigible, to lift the Sweet Charity out to the street. The police arrive and cart away Kraken, Mister Mate and the pirates who were knocked out earlier.  “We stopped the pirates and no body got important got hurt,” says Roboto as the paralyzed R Richard Robertson is wheeled off to an ambulance behind him.

Afterwards, they go to celebrate with ice cream floats.  Vulpix talks about starting her own collection of trophies with Captain Kraken’s cutlass.  Shadowfist confesses to 808 that she feels out of place with powers and is not even sure she should be there, 808 reassures her using Mandarin Chinese, which he had been learning from her.  Shadowfist teases, “Thank you for saying that my duck is handsome” and kisses him on the cheek.

End of Issue 7.  Issue 8 is still being written.

Notes: Always fun to have pirates show up and Captain Kraken is just a fun character.  His parrot will spring him and Mister Mate before they go to trial.

Photos CH-47 Helicopter photo from Public Domain Aircraft Images (who knew such a thing existed?!) and the treasure chest from Clker.com, both are in the Public Domain.

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