Alaskan Silver The Octopus Tank 

  
“Four generations at least, possibly more.” The man said, sitting at the table. He was referring to the Medici family that had once ruled parts of ancient Italy. “Then along came Machiavelli…” The man interjected at the appropriate time.

Mayor Lafayette responded, “Of course, people forget that the Medici shut him down.” “Yes, they do sir.” Was what the man replied, but this was his response mentally. “I never forget that, it’s why I’m still alive, and sadly, why you are, for now.”  

Pin and Carl didn’t know it at the time, but their dinner companion was so much more than the mastermind of the Pick Axe group. A political adviser and a friend, and their worst foe. He contributed to every force, society, and every power group in town.

Sherlock Holmes had described Moriarty as a spider, but Wynton Strand preferred the analogy of the octopus to the arachnid. He had his tentacles embedded in Alaska. Strand slowly tightened each as he sent out a cloud of black to cover his actions.  

If his plans succeeded, one day the Governor’s office, the Senate, and finally, either the Supreme Court or the Presidency would be his. He toyed with the idea of both, either way, he planned on ruling Washington.

Right now, what he needed was two heroes. Men that the people would trust, untouched by graft or greed. This was the real reason he had spent years, and part of his family fortune, building up the Pick Axe’s.  

He had to give Lafayette and his Hired gun a villain they could seemingly take down. He would ride their victory into his own power, and then let the Pick Axe men he kept free, finish them off. Strand was pitting both armies against each other, playing Chess against himself.

The two men joined Strand in his study for coffee after the meal. They never dreamed they were in more danger here, than when staring down the barrel of a Pick Axe man’s rifle. After all, this was the villain’s lair, or if you will, the Octopus’ tank.  

The Sea Horse: Justice In Oceania 

 The rest was a free for all.  Hyperbole’s holographic projector began firing lasers, clashing with Mimic.  Sea Horse and High Society locked in a life or death battle.  Every ally had invaded the villain’s underground base.  Mimic signaled for reinforcements, and Carbuncle and all the rest of his hired mercenaries plunged into battle.

Meanwhile, the force the Infantino Machine was generating on the outside surface of it’s metal hull was heating up.  The yellow glow grew brighter and brighter.  It was time to put the Sea Horse’s plan into action.  Mimic expected a double cross, so he gave him one.  Hyperbole was more than willing to act the role of a decoy, even if it was in reality, a minor part.

Prism, the young lady determined to stop Malady, finally allowed herself to be seen.  “All right Dr, let’s get out of here.”  “They sealed us in, I’m afraid we can’t.  Spectrum could blow the casing, but he’s unconscious.”  “He is, but I’m not, and neither is his energy.  The wonderful thing about a prism doctor, it isn’t just almost invisible without light, but when light is present, it magnifies it.”

Prism connected with the power battery draining Spectrum’s power, and redirected it.  Soon the force was ripping the ship apart.  The centrifugal force threw the three of them into a chasm as the rest exploded in two separate blasts.  They were bruised, but okay.

While still extremely powerful, they had weakened it just enough to avoid the destruction the trio of villains had promised.  The Sea Horse and his allies had won the day.  High Society, Titanic, and Mimic were placed in maximum security, as were most of their hired guns.  Dr. Melvins’ daughter, and the others were rescued, and there was a momentary victory.

That did not curb Oceania’s crime problem however.  Thanks to Martin Pott’s funding, and the unknowing contribution of “The Elite’s” bank accounts, the Wonzu and Armor were now the leading crime family in Oceania.  The Sea Horse promised to take them down as well, but it would take time.

They didn’t know it yet, but other secrets still remained for them to uncover.  The team’s battles were just beginning, but together, they would succeed. The adventures of the Sea Horse were far from over, but this chapter was ending.  Those behind the tragedy of Norm Silva were behind bars, and Oceania was a better place.  Tomorrow would bring a new threat, but today, there was justice in Oceania.

The Sea Horse: Kidnapped

  The three villains and their army struck during the night. Soldier and his recruits did their best, but Dr Melvins was still abducted.  The ransom note was sent to Spectrum over the airwaves. “Your freedom for his safety, nothing else, nothing less.”

Spectrum was already on his way when the Sea Horse contacted him.  “You can’t go.”  “It means his life.”  “His welfare is jeopardized when you walk through the door.  They need you both at first.  Him to control the machine from the inside, and you to power it.  Once they have that, they intend on you dying in the explosion.”

“Sea Horse, do you have a plan?”  “Yes, but it’s risky.”  “It’s better than doing it their way.”  “All right, meet us at these coordinates, I’m bringing someone I want you to meet.” Spectrum touched down and waited for the Sea Horse, Swordfish, and the other allies.

A short while later, the villains were chaining their two victims to the inside of the Infantino Machine. “What if the President refuses your price?”  “Well then, it will be unfortunate for the East coast.”  Mammoth responded.  High Society spoke from the rafters.  “He’ll cave, they all do to pressure.”  Mimic, was the only one that was speechless.

“Do you want this enough to hurt that many people?”  It was then that Hyperbole strolled in, or rather his hologram did.  He floated around the room, taking it all in.  “Silence.  You three see what they are doing don’t you?  They want to get you to fight among yourselves.  Really, not that hard considering your past history.”

“Why are you here Hyperbole?”  Mimic asked, suspicious.  “Too bargain of course.  While you loot the countryside, I want the museums.  All of the artifacts that fill the Met, the Smithsonian, and more.”

“What makes you think you can demand of me?”  “Actually I don’t, you see this is what’s called stalling.  Sea Horse and his crew needed to get in, and I didn’t want to see the Statue Of Liberty crumbled to dust.  So we made a deal.”  “You’re a hologram, you can’t do anything.”  “Oh no, except relay the visuals around me, including the way to open your door.”

Mimic ordered, “Start the machine now!”  Titanic complied as the energy drained from Spectrum’s body.  Dr. Melvins spoke, “One factor you ignored.  Now that you have us both, and are hurting him, I have no reason to direct this machine anywhere.  You will die with us!”

High Society responded.  “I don’t think so.  Do you think that you were the only kidnapped victim.  Look at your monitor, I believe you’ll recognize your daughter.  She is safe, as long as you obey.”  The Dr. had no choice, piloting the sphere deeper into the Earth and the fault line.

The Sea Horse: The Fall Out

  “What happens when three partners fall out, especially when one tries to kill the other two?”  “Nothing, if he succeeds.” “What happens when he doesn’t?”  “Then they kill him, if they can. If they can’t, they do what you’re doing, negotiate.  You still need me, or I’d be dead.” 

The two, tired villains had escaped through a skylight, just ahead of the debris from the explosion.  They had found Titanic’s lair, making a new entrance through the ceiling.  High Society and Mimic we’re willing to listen, but their patience was thin.

“I may not survive if I go in the Infantino machine, but I will, if we use a proxy.”  “Who would volunteer to take your place?”  “No one, but then I have no problem with drafting either.”

Mimic sat down, “Who?”  “Of all Oceania’s costumed annoyances, Spectrum is closest to my power abilities.  He will accommodate, if it means saving someone he cares for, such as his stepfather. Why do you think I chose Dr. Melvins?”

“Leverage, you had a backup plan.”  “A good soldier, or scientist, always does.”  “How do we get him?”  “He is hiding in their “New Protectors” training facility. We take him by force, very simple.”

“We’re supposed to forget you tried to kill us?” “No, you’re supposed to compartmentalize it, and move on.  We have a scientist to steal!” 

The Sea Horse: Concentration 

  “He cannot control it completely.  This energy apparatus he wears, that’s why the changes in his appearance happen.  They are a side effect of the energy of the machine.  The Infantino Machine will magnify his power yes, but it will also increase his instability.”  

Dr. Melvins had found the Sea Horse.  “So Doctor, since they already are planning mass destruction, what does this mean?”  “At best, their lives are also endangered, at worse, an atomic explosion ten times what they’ve threatened!”

The Sea Horse had few options, all of them bad.  He chose the most direct, relaying over Oceania’s airwaves Dr. Melvins’ message.  His hope was that Mimic and High Society were watching.  His efforts were not futile.

“You can’t control it! When we’re you going to tell us, before or after annihilation?” Mimic screamed at his enormous associate.  “I wasn’t, no more so   than you shared your association with the attack on my parents.” 

“So you we’re seeking revenge on me.”  “Not merely you, your entire organization. Plus, my cousins have some unfinished business with High Society, this was a bonus.”  

The Sea Horse’s nemesis had been quiet until then, hovering in the corner of the room.  “Now I know the face, your two henchmen.  They did some work for me, they failed, so I failed to pay them.  So you intend to do what, now that we know your plans?”

Titanic laughed as he discretely placed a pen size object under the table, and headed for the door. “I intend to kill you both, and then take over.  The Infantino machine will never need to be used, but the threat of it, will gain me power.  That will fill my accounts, and then I will disappear to enjoy it.”

He was exiting as he spoke his last words. “That bomb I just planted, in ninety seconds, will seal the room with a thermal  signature. If anyone goes in or out, it will explode.  If your body temperatures rise or fall too much from what they are now, it will explode.  I suggest you focus your concentration, not on me, but on staying alive.”

The Sea Horse: Titanic Fears

imageTitanic woke up in a cold sweat. He picked up his phone. “Have you found the doctor yet?” “If you wish to live you will. We only have two days.” The voice at the other end, his cousin Cargo, knew he wouldn’t carry it out.

The verbal warning had been for emphasis, it reflected the man’s panic. This was probably the huge man’s only fear. Knowing what it was, Cargo felt he was right.

Two billion dollars was riding on the villain’s secret. That, and revenge for their family. Mimic wouldn’t know until it was too late, but he would know.

High Society was an unexpected bonus, Cargo would get his own revenge as well. It was time that Oceania was rid of them both. Titanic, Cargo, and his brother would rule the city, as long as they found Melvins in time. He was in Oceania, standing on the docks of Alligate, waiting for The Sea Horse.

The Sea Horse: The Survey

imageIn another city, a man sits at a desk. He is reading a report that should never have reached him. It’s a geological survey with some abnormal findings.

There is a knock at the door, and unlike the movies, he realizes in time what he must do. He grabs his coat, takes something out of it, and destroys the report before answering the door. As he answers the door, the fireplace crackles on the early fall night.

“Dr Melvins, do you have the Carrion survey?” “Come on in, but I’m afraid I don’t.” “You’ll forgive my doubts, but it was delivered two hours ago.” “It was supposed to be, but I don’t have it. You’re more than welcome to search the room if you don’t believe me.”

The man declined verbally, but did using his powers. It wasn’t there, so he allowed the man to live. The Titanic’s operative, Cargo, made an excuse and left. Dr. Melvins waited twenty minutes and headed for the airport.

It was only before boarding the plane that the Doctor hit send on the cell phone. Once the pics were sent, he destroyed the burner cell phone. He hurried to board, as the announcement for the flight to Oceania, made its final call.

The Sea Horse: The Recruits

recruitsSoldier, dressed in tan and black camouflage, a tan face mask, and black beret, addressed his cadets. “You are here to learn to fight for your city. It’s dangerous, even deadly. You’ve prepared, as much as you can mentally, for that. Now, face the fact that what you do is lonely. Most won’t know who you are, and if they care, it’s for the wrong reason.”

“You’re job is to protect, as quietly as possible, those around you. The reason you wear costumes is to draw the same attention a bullseye would on a target. You’re volunteering to be the bait, if they hit you, they won’t hit someone else. If you’re ready, we’ll begin. First, stop me from getting across this field.”

Each recruit gave it their best. The ones with powers relied too heavily on their abilities. The ones without relied too heavily on strategy. Only one was able to get close to stopping Soldier, and he stunned him with a stun staff. It was a last minute recruit, known only as PocketWatch, that almost made it.

“Most of you did as expected, and that is not bad. PocketWatch you only made one mistake, you tried to disarm me, as if it were a gun. When the weapon is foreign to you, don’t assume what direction it fires. Now, we’ll reverse it. You all will try to cross the field, and I’ll stop you.”

Each time that day, Soldier won, but each time he taught them why. Their training would be difficult, but it had to be, because it would also be short. The recruits would be called up for active duty much sooner than anyone expected. It would take every Ally they could muster to stop High Society and Mimic’s war.

The Sea Horse: Boot Camp

image“Nicolai, I need your help.” “For you and Henry, Carla, I will travel to Singapore and back.” Nicolai smiled at his two friends. “I’m afraid we don’t need you to go anywhere, though that might be easier. We need a training center for heroes. Oceania is about to lose many of it’s heroes to other cities.”

“Inspector leaves for Chicago. Spectrum heads to Baltimore. Loggerhead will lead a team to Philadelphia. The Brittish Rose is being relocated to Washington.” “What about New York?” Carla sighed. “New York has a local person that has reached out to the Sea Horse. He has possibilities, but I’m uneasy of strangers. We knew the background of our allies, he is an unknown.”

“What does he call himself?” “He doesn’t, he gave his real name. He has a passion for his city, the problem is, he is a known personality. He wants to learn how to fight without revealing himself, and endangering his family.” “Who is he? How will he fund his war?” “Funding won’t be a problem, unfortunately, that’s because of who it is. It’s Walt Fleisher, the son of T. R. Fleisher, the richest man in New York.”

“He’ll be one of your first students. Walt will wear a mask his entire time here so no one will know. You can call him whatever you like, he wants help building a persona. Along with him, you’ll train four other individuals.” “Who are they?”

“A waiter from the area where Wonzu operates. A nephew of Tournament who wants to take down his Uncle’s crime family. A young lady who resents Malady’s intrusion into her city. An finally, an senior that, as a result of an accident, has the strength and stamina of a twenty year old. She feels she has a second chance to make a difference, and her goal is to remove the New Caterer’s gangs from her backyard.”

“Who chose them?” “No one, they volunteered. Before the others left, they were already reaching out to them to help where they could. We aren’t drafting heroes, we just need to let heroes know there is a place for them to get the training and the support they need.”

“This won’t allow just anyone to fight. Training will be hard.” “I understand, and we’ll help anyway we can. You’ll need to safeguard your identity as well.” “I will be what I am, and have always been. They will call me Soldier. This city is a battleground, and our base will be the bootcamp they need to make it in a city filled with danger.”

The Sea Horse: Clinics

imageHenry stood on the tarmac. Carla stood beside him. They watched as their adopted son, Aaron Matthews and his bride got off the helicopter and joined them. They had always been a little sad that Aaron had to give up medicine, but they understood. Aaron had a patient in Oceania that needed constant attention.

The problem was, now he had another patient, the whole country. Titanic was threatening the entire East coast. Oceania’s team of heroes faced a challenge. How to protect the country from one base. Ironically, the task that they needed to accomplish, didn’t need a crimefighter’s touch, but an administrator.

Henry brought this up to his son in the car. “Aaron, I’ve been thinking about your problem. I have a solution, but I don’t know that it will be accepted by your group.” “At this point, I think they’re willing to do anything, if it means stopping the epidemic Titanic is planning.”

Mimic, Titanic, and High Society were not only threatening to use his powers, coupled with the Infantino Machine to create a man made series of earthquakes, flash floods, and other weather related problems. They also were taking over gangs in major cities and supplying them with powerful weapons.

“You need more than a central hospital, so to speak, you need a series of clinics. Some of your allies need to move, at least temporarily, into the cities where the threats are. Oceania can generate new protectors, they set the precedent. The other cities don’t have time to learn it.”

Elizabeth looked at Aaron. “They’ll listen to Henry. They won’t like it, but they’ll listen.” Aaron sighed. “It’s the right answer, I just dread losing coverage here. We’ll have to start training people to take their place.” Carla spoke up. “No, not you two. Neither of you have the time, but I know who does.”