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We don't get paid enough for this. - Scott



July 18, 1987

[Aside: the Fourth Estate]

The news reports of our night out glowed brighter than they have since Albert put his whammy on the city back in May. The Caduceus director and a variety of bystanders testified to our valiant efforts to protect the people of Boston, putting our own lives at risk. It was nice, but left me feeling wary, especially since we hadn't really done all that well in my opinion. I suppose some part of me feels that we'll eventually end up paying dearly for any undeserved good luck we happen to run into.
    "We need to find these people," I mused aloud once the news was finished. "We need a way of taking out that truck when we find them."
    "If I could just get through the windshield... a couple more shots and I probably could have done it, it was just going a little fast and I fell off. The grenade wasn't a bad idea, but you're gonna have to get closer," Scott told Phoenix Talon. "There can't be many places in Boston you can buy the parts for a super-truck. They have to buy some replacement parts, they just shed their entire outer skin."
    "Hm. Where do you buy solid rubber tires for an eighteen-wheeler?" I wondered.
    "I'll start making some phone calls," Scott suggested cheerfully. "Why don't you guys get some sleep?"
    While we organic sorts rested, Scott plugged himself into the wall and went to work. He first checked the database for information on Odin, and found a few prior appearances in the Midwest, a mix of straightforward robbery and mercenary work. His name was Albert Patera, and he'd been a prominent wrestler before he'd been hit too hard with a 2x4 one night, lost an eye and suffered some mild brain damage as a result. He'd volunteered for some cybernetics experiments, after which he'd begun calling himself Odin and ranting about how he would "elevate this Midgard into an Asgard" under his own control.
    I guess their attempt to fix the brain damage didn't work too well. Along with the cybernetic implants he'd gained an impressive array of technical knowledge, such as would suffice to create a truck like Sleipnir and his spear.
    Scott picked up the Yellow Pages and went to work on the Norse angle, looking for rainbows, bridges, and military cemeteries near the T.

July 19, 1987

When the rest of us got up we found the working room a veritable sea of Post-It Notes (tm).
    "So what the hell is all this?" Talon asked.
    "Depends on what quadrant you're in," Scott chirped. "This stuff over here is all the places that I can think of that you can possibly buy eighteen solid rubber tires in a hurry and the exterior of the truck, so I'm going to start calling those as soon as they open, to see if anybody's placed any orders. That's mostly an electrical socket. Over here is where I'm trying to figure out all the places they could be using as a base, and those are the taxes."
    We split up to pursue various avenues. Scott worked the phones, with Thunderbolt doing legwork. Phoenix Talon set the Blood Boards to work trying to backtrail where the truck had come from and any other sightings of Odin and Co. around town, warning them to be careful. From what they could find, it had driven down from parts north. I went to work on the other end, flying out over the harbor where it had disappeared to see if there were any likely hideouts there. Didn't see anything big enough to hide a super-truck, and there aren't any underwater caves on record. Sleipnir showed up on the radar at Logan for a few brief moments in its escape, but they hadn't seen it reemerge from the water. Of course, boat launches are not exactly rare around here.

[Aside: Phoenix Talon]

    About mid-afternoon Scott pinned down a good candidate: Middle and Gardeno Shipping. Their emblem was a section of highway branching into a half-cloverleaf, forming a stylized tree. Their headquarters were in Indiana. They'd been foundering three years ago, received an influx of cash, and had since developed an efficient routing and shipping program that allowed them to maximize their profits. Their Boston facility was north of the city proper, and had its own dock.
    He got some maps together and called the rest of us; looked good on all counts. We met up on a rooftop from which we could get a look at our target. There were a few boats unloading their contents into MidGard trucks, and an overall low-level hum of activity around the shipping compound.
    Phoenix Talon did his disappear-in-broad-daylight trick, and Scott turned to gas to check the place out with him. Thunderbolt and I remained on the roof.
    Not for long. There was a sudden sound of running footsteps, and Freki barreled into Thunderbolt, sending both of them over the edge. The raven women weren't far behind, and I threw myself out of the way of the attack I assumed was coming. One dart zipped past me harmlessly; I felt a light sting, looked down and saw a second sticking out of my chest. I didn't have long to ponder the difficulties inherent in sneak-attacks on psychic people before everything went away.

[Aside: Everybody Else]

    Last time I'd woken up under similar circumstances, I hadn't liked what I saw when I opened my eyes at all. This time all I saw was utter darkness, and it was very, very cold. I blinked a few times, saw Thunderbolt's bio-aura.
    "Hi, Paul." He seemed to be awake now as well. I got to my feet, shivering, and started feeling around gingerly. Nothing, and more nothing. There was ice on everything, making movement chancy. I headed back to my teammate. "Let's try not to get separated. I can see you, but you can't see me."



Editor's Note: This was a very short session, because Brian had come down with the flu the day before. As far as Amalgam Comics is concerned, most of this issue was taken up by impressive single-panel scenes. Also, we're not sure why but poor Thunderbolt did not roll higher than a 2 for damage all day.

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© 2001 Rebecca J. Stevenson