All Characters are Owned by Marvel Comics
Jester’s 11 #2 - Fixing the Odds
Jester - In the Box
Vapour - Smoke and Mirrors
Speed Demon - Run like the Devil
Diamondback - Heart Breaker
Volcana - Steaming!!
Snake Marston - Totally Flexible
Oriole - Bird Brained
X-Ray - Energized
Overrider - Backseat Driver
8-Ball - Pool Shark
Drill - On the RPM
Brass - 00111001
“That shot’s impossible.” Oriole squawked as 8-Ball lined up his cue with the white ball. With a smirk under his helmet 8-Ball potted the shot, the cue ball hitting the plain brown 7, the orb ricocheting off the pocket and heading back across the table before nudging the 6 into the left centre pocket, its own transect terminating in easy striking range of the cue in front of the far left hole.
“You just have to know how to play the table.” 8-Ball replied before potting the 7 with an easy strike. “Trust me bird, I’m an expert at these things.”
“Or maybe you’re cheating.” Oriole accused, “Besides I have other things to worry about. What do you think of Debbie, I mean Diamondback she’s hot right? I kind of thinks she’s into me.”
“Unlike the black ball,” 8- Ball announced as he sunk the final ball, “You don’t have her in the pocket. Trust me when I say that she is not you’re type.”
“I think old Ball is interested in her himself.” Drill snickered from the sofa as he took a swig from the whisky bottle in his hand, “I would be myself if Marsha and I weren’t banging. You know I love former fat chicks, they try so hard to please.”
“A word of advice.” 8-Ball hissed, “Stop thinking about her as an item and look at her as a person. You do that and you’ll find something better.”
“Are you queer man?” Drill laughed, “What I have is great.”
“He’s right though.” Snake Marston voiced as he stretched out next to Drill. “Treat you’re guy or girl right folks or they’ll work. As for you Oriole, my motto is nothing ventured, nothing gained. Even if you get shot down at least the question will be answered.” he added. “Still if you’re looking for something then I am more then ready to oblige.”
“Oh right you’re the queer.” Drill buzzed before getting up and walking to another sofa, “Nothing personal man but I don’t know where you’ve been.” he spluttered as the doors opened and the gaunt form of the Jester pranced in, the bells on his boots ringing as he waved a cane emblazoned with a parrot’s head around. “He must be like you as well?” he asked Snake as the rest of the crew trudged in after the energetic leader.
“Nah.” Snake answered. “He and Vapour have an ‘agreement’.” he added as Volcana sat and draped her arms around Drill’s shoulders and kissed him on the neck.
“Okay gang.” The Jester cackled. “The heist went brilliantly and with less hitches then something with very few. Maybe something like a fish, I hear that populations are dropping due to pollution and overfishing. I for one like fish and find this news distressing.”
“Does the plan involve fish?” X-Ray asked as he floated in the corner of the room.
“No don’t be absurd.” the Jester replied, “Who wants anything to do with fish?”
“I knew I should have rejoined the Thunderbolts.” Speed Demon moaned,“At least my usual patsy is still a member.”
“You.” The Jester barked pointing at Speed Demon, “You’re in my head man, do you know the plan?”
“Er no.” Speed Demon answered backing a few paces towards the door. “What is the plan?”
“Does anyone know what this is?” The Jester asked pulling out a sketch book, flipping through the pages to reveal a stick woman with bird wings and a gold line across her neck. “Anyone, if you know tell me.”
“Bad art work and a blazing display on the lack of funding for schools.” Snake suggested as Jester passed the book to Drill.
“Oh man I’ve seen that.” Drill moaned, “A few weeks ago me and my old crew did a job in Seattle for Zaran the Weapons Master. We were interrupted by those turncoats MACH IV, Blizzard, Orka and Songbird who was wearing something like that.”
“Well done cretin, I know a man who is willing to sell us one of these and that makes it essential to the plan.” The Jester replied, “Overrider hand everyone out their briefing folders, we leave for Seattle in two hours.”
“Boss the meet is in Boston.” Overrider reminded causing the Jester to cackle manically before kissing him on the cheek. “He he...what was I thinking of course it is.” he laughed before clapping sarcastically as he pranced out of the room.
“Why the hell am I working for this madman.” Overrider sighed as he trudged out, “I used to have standards.”
8-Ball strolled into the warehouse clutching a briefcase shadowed by the hulking form of Brass, the later holding a gaudily painted box. Looking from side to side he saw shelves of equipment and weaponry, the majority of them belonging to super villains although a few came from more heroic individuals. At about ten steps in the doors behind him slid shut plunging the whole space into darkness, a single red orb shining as it bobbed closer to where 8-Ball stood.
“Are you the buyer?” a male voice asked.
“I’m the Jester’s representative if that’s what you mean?” 8-Ball asked.
“He didn’t mention you.” the mystery seller stated, “He said he would come himself. If he really sent you then tell me the safe word.”
“So it appears the last laugh is on me.” 8-Ball sighed. There was a quick mechanical whirring and the lights flashed on to reveal a bald man dressed in red, mechanical parts covering his exposed skin. 8-Ball easily recognised the man as the Fixer, someone he considered a turncoat and liability not to mention an absolute braggart, all things he hated. Despite that he managed to smile under his mask, he doubted the fool knew what was coming for him. “The Sonic Harness, I was told you had one in stock?” he asked sliding the case forward. Fixer looked down and scanned the case with an optical laser mounted in his eye piece and grimaced before violently kicking the case back towards 8-Ball. “I deal in tech only.” he stated in a cold ruthless voice, “The contents of that won’t pay for the product you want.”
“How about this.” 8-Ball asked as Brass threw the box forward to land at Fixer’s feet. Fixer smiled and spat on the box before his tech pack spawned multiple blasters all levelled at the messenger. “You think I’m stupid.” he hissed, “My IQ is almost seventy points above yours. You think you can surprise me?” he asked as the box exploded open revealing the Jester armed with a custard pie and a pogo stick. “You think I didn’t know you were here clown?”
“Pie in Face.” the Jester snickered throwing the pie at Fixer, the food based projectile going wide and splating on the concrete before melting a hole in the floor.
“Is that the best you can do?” The Fixer asked as he charged his blasters, streaks of energy lancing out at the trespassers, the majority ricocheting off Brass’s chest as the robot behemoth lumbered forward and fired it’s own blasters, streaks of lightning slamming Fixer in the chest. In retaliation the ex-Thunderbolt’s tech-pack configured into a missile launcher and fired, the projectile slamming into Brass’s arm before exiting on the other side and flying over the Jester and 8-Ball as the former removed a detonator with a smiley face on the side and pressed the button. With a hiss the lid of the briefcase popped open and Snake Marston sprung out wrapping himself around Fixer as 8-Ball walked forward swinging a telescopic pool cue and placing it to the arm’s dealers head.
“Sayonara Jerk.” he said before pulling the concealed trigger and firing the tip through Fixer’s head. Releasing his prey Snake slithered pack and pulled on the dead man’s neck only for his head to pop off revealing wires and circuits.
“You may have offline one of my constructs but you won’t be able to pin the real deal so easily.” Fixer’s voice announced over the warehouses PA, “The four of you will die here and best of all SHIELD is paying me to do it. The only question is how long it takes before you expire.”
“Blow the bloody doors off.” the Jester ordered in a bad cockney accent. Seconds later the doors exploded as Volcana strode forward, her body sparking with excess plasma, the rest of the Jester’s crew in her wake. “The weasel is still loose with my prize.” The Jester explained, “Find him and kill him if you must but whatever you do secure the sonic harness, it’s the lynchpin to my plan, anyone who damages it gets to eat cake.” he added throwing a slice of chocolate gateau that he pulled out of his trousers onto the derelict Fixer construct, the frosted desert exploding on contact, the blast throwing circuits and wires across the floor, “And it will be the last meal you ever taste.”