Welcome to Writers Guild Presents!
Starting us off this week is the guy who started the Writers Guild in the first place...the one (and honestly hopefully only) @dngn4774
Liberator’s Universe: Featherman #1
Arc 1- Light as a Feather
Part 1: Three Strikes
The Pantheon Hotel, Greece
The government agent sat unconsciously bounded to his chair as three intruders hovered over his body. Like vultures they waited for nature to take its course and slowly deliver a reward for their patience. Gradually the Agent’s eyelids batted repeatedly as the middle aged man came to. Before him he saw three blurred silhouettes come into focus. The agent had never met these people before but he recognized their presence to be a bad omen. To the left was a young latina wearing a white dress and a black shawl, to the right stood a large muscular man with brown hair dressed in a plaid shirt and blue dungarees, and finally, in the center, was a blonde haired man dressed in a fine suit that looked even more expensive than his own.
“Tell me…Ian, do you know what the definition of insanity is? As Mr. Franklin once put it, insanity is doing the same thing in the same way and expecting a different result. Unfortunately for you, nothing drives me more insane than having to correct the mistakes of crazies such as yourself.”
The tall man removed the tape. Ian grimaced as the adhesive peeled off of his lips.
“You’re dead you little sh*t! Do you know who the h*ll I am!”
The blonde rolled his fingers signaling for the hostage to be re-gagged.
“Why, yes…that’s why I’m here. You are the corrupt Head of the World Security Agency, but you still don’t fully understand whowe are. See that’s the problem with men like you; you assume that the badge on your chest puts you at some advantage when you negotiate with us. He leaned in closer to whisper. “It doesn’t.”
Ian started to panic as he fidgeted in the chair.
“HWP! HWP!” He screamed before being punched in the face.
“That’s not going to help.” The girl pouted as she began twirling he shawl. She danced towards a bag near the bed, pulling out a dish, and placed it between his feet before walking back to the bed.
The blonde man cleared his throat. “Do you like baseball McNair? It happens to be one of my favorite sports. As you might already know, in that game they have this thing called a three strike rule, where a batter is allowed to keep attempting to get a hit until he misses three pitches in the strikezone.”
“I really enjoy that rule because it accounts for human error. We all know that no one is perfect but you and I had an agreement with one another. You promised that you could get the Face to talk, and I promised to pay you handsomely. Unfortunately you were unable to live up to your end of the bargain; in fact, I can’t really imagine how you could have screwed up any worse than you already have. Agent Farrell is dead, Denisof and his lover are now in protective custody, and Roberts actually knows your name and face because you directly threatened her. What’s more disappointing is that within mere minutes after our generous tip that you were about to be questioned, you booked a flight back to DC for what I can only assume to be some cowardly, half-assed attempt to trade information on the Black Prince for immunity.” He leaned back in his chair and clasped his hands. So let’s do a brief review: you have acted insanely, habitually failed at your tasks, attempted to snitch, and most importantly, you have become a liability. Am I missing anything?”
“Nada en absoluto jefe.” The girl said.
“What she said.” The tall man affirmed.
“Well than that brings our discussion to an end.” He turned his head to the tall man and nodded. “Batter up!”
The tall man smirked. McNair screamed hysterically through the tape as the intruder came closer. The blonde man in the suit whistled the melody to Take Me Out to the Ball Game whilst the female pulled a knife from her bag and joined her associate.
The tall man flipped Mcnair upside down as the young woman slit his throat with the knife. He carefully shook the body as she steadied the bucket beneath McNair’s head. Once the last drops of blood were spilt the tall man had cut the restraints and laid the corpse gently on the carpet. The girl quickly drank all of the blood out of the bucket.
“That’s disgusting Maya,” the tall man sneered.
She licked her lips and palms. “All done!” As she walked to the bathroom to wash up, she stuck her red tongue out at her associate, causing him to wince.
The blonde man rose to his feet and brought both chairs back to the table. There, he placed a blank sheet of paper onto the desk. He pressed down on the page and mumbled a few words. As he raised his hand a signed note from Ian McNair had appeared on the sheet. He walked back and traced his fingers over the carpet and the corpse’s throat. The knife wound closed and all additional blood spatters had vanished. He rolled up the blinds and touched the window as the tall man propped up McNair’s body. “You ready Thane?” He asked, looking back at the tall man.
The bulletproof glass disappeared as the body flew out of the opening. The blonde man waved his hand, making the window reappear. As Maya came out of the bathroom, she placed the bucket and the knife back in the bag. The three intruders exited the room and casually walked out of the hotel.
Earlier, in El Salvador
It had only been a few minutes after the church had opened its doors. The preist was sweeping up the pillars, in preparation for the sermon that would soon take place in a few hours. Suddenly the Father heard a click as he noticed that two teenagers had snuck behind him. Neither of the boys could have been older than 16 but both were had webs tattooed on the backs of their hands, a trademark of the local gang known as las arañas (the spiders).
“Give us the offerings now!” One of the boys yelled.
The priest shook his head stared back into their eyes. “You’ll have to shoot me.”
“Pendejo!” The other boy snarled, before pistol whipping the clergyman on the head.
The boys skirmished around the altar then ran off with the tray of money. The cleric groaned as he slowly came to. As he rose to his feet he noticed a white, blonde haired man sitting on the recently swept pillar.
“Rough day?” The blonde man asked, placing an arm over the pillar and extending his feet into the next row.
The priest sighed, “I’ve had worse. Do you need any assistance, my son?”
The blonde looked over towards the crucifix before look back to the priest. “Hmm…can’t say that I do.”
Upon replaying the recent events in his mind, the holyman furrowed his brow in confusion. “May I ask how you got in here? I wasn’t on the ground very long and if the boys saw you they would have tried to rob you too.”
The guest smiled, “I go where I am needed. Let’s just say that I work in mysterious ways. Perhaps…you are the one in need, father.”
“In need of what?”
“Come now, there’s no need to be coy. You were just mugged and there are plenty of more children with guns in this neighborhood. What if we could take those firearms away from the children and replace them with bibles.”
“Are you saying you could help?”
“Well of course I can!” The strange said with glee. “I represent a collector of human capital; one who specializes in profound cases such as your own. Together we come to agreements that benefit the quality of life for all parties involved. In this case I would like your permission to allow my associates to store heroin in the church and launder a bit of money for us.”
“Servio del Diablo! Get out of this church now!”
The blonde nodded. “That’s about as well as I expected you to take it, but please here me out and I will leave of my own accord. What I’m offering is a chance to better the community. A powerful criminal network will be arriving in your town soon and it will devour all of the gangs. If you let them set up shop here things will be drastically less violent. They have also sworn not to recruit or sell to children if you loan them your support. However, if you don’t agree to the terms they won’t make any promises.”
The priest hesitated to speak. “Even if what you say is true, it is a sin. I can’t sell my soul.”
“We all have a price padre; we just refuse to admit its existence until the thing we want most is dangled in front of our faces. Luckily it’s a seller’s market and I don’t write receipts.”
“Very well.” The young man rose to his feet and shuffled through his pockets. “Just take my card.”
The priest drew his hand back. “I won’t need it.”
The blonde stuck the card in the clergyman’s hand. “Well, just in case.” As he walked away he shouted “the number’s on the back,” then exited the church.
The priest rubbed his face on the spot where he was hit and hesitantly glared at the card. He noticed a strange poem engraved on the back beneath the phone number:
They call me Featherman.
My touch is light.
I claim what I want,
through greed or by fright.
All those whom oppose,
shall welcome my blight.
Heroes save the day,
but I own the night.
Present Time, in Costa Sangre
The tall man and the latina entered the room and took their seats. They waited for their leader, the Black Prince, to make an appearance. An image of a black silhouette appeared on screen as the monarch addressed his audience.
“Iron Clad, Bruja, how was Greece?”
“Everything went according to plan. The Featherman staged the death as a suicide. It’ll still be hours before the WSA announce the death to the media.”
“I see, and where is Mr. Knight now?”
“He received a call from my sister on our way back.” Bruja answered.
“Sounds like the priest had a change of heart.” Said Iron Clad.
“Good. Now that the Aztecas have a new base La Santa should own all of the crime from Mexico to Panama by the month’s end.”
The door creached as the Featherman walked into the room.
“Well if it isn’t the man of the hour. You’re late.” The Black Prince hissed.
“Sorry” Knight replied. “The priest wanted me to stay over for my confession, but there just aren’t enough hours in the day!”
“Can he be trusted?” Bruja asked.
The Featherman nodded after a brief pause. “I don’t see why not. Besides, if he ever presents any problems we could always have a chat about baseball.” Knight smirked.
Iron Clad almost laughed but a gaze from their master made him think otherwise.
“We have a more pressing concern.” The Black Prince grumbled. “The Face is still breathing and his team has been keeping a low profile. Fix those problems.”
“Master, permission to speak freely?” Knight asked.
The Black Prince nodded.
“The Face is unpredictable and incredibly dangerous, but also formidable. You have requested the three of us to expand your Empire and to execute the Face along with his cohorts but doing so might be counterproductive to our primary task. The Face and his associates might actually be more valuable as allies. From what I’ve gathered these Marauders are mercenaries first and enemies second. If we put them on the payroll we would be eliminating enemies and gaining new soldiers.
“And what about the Face’s little stunt. Why should we forgive him for his insults so easily?” Iron Clad inquired.
“No one said they would be forgiven Thane.” Bruja retorted. “They will have to earn our master’s respect, just as each of us had to.”
“Well said Maya and you as well Noble.” The Black Prince complimented. “I’m willing to entertain the notion of letting them live if they manage to prove themselves in my service. Still, the Face can’t be of any use behind bars, can he?”
“The plans are already in motion, master.”
“Excellent!” The Black Prince muttered as he touched his fingertips. “Then this meeting is adjourned.”
The monitor flashed off as The Featherman’s team prepared their next move.
To Be Continued...
And finishing us up this week is @jonny_anonymous with Metal Gear Winter #1!
'The experimental weapons development facility on A.I.M Island off the coast of Alaska's Fox Archipelago was attacked and captured by former UN peacekeeping task-force S.H.I.E.L.D being led by members of the Howling Commandos. They are demanding that the government turn over the remains of the legendary solider Captain America and they say if there demands are not met within 24 hours, they'll launch a Gamma weapon. You'll have two mission objectives. First rescue CEO of Hammer Industries, Justin Hammer and the president of ROXXON, Calvin Halderman. Both are being held as hostages. Secondly you are to investigate whether or not the terrorists have the ability to launch a gamma bomb and stop them if they do.'
'What's the insertion method?'
'You'll approach the facility by sub'
'We'll launch a one man SDV. After the SDV gets as close as it can dispose of it. From there on you'll have to swim.'
'What can you tell me about the enemy?'
'Next-Gen Special Forces Unit Howling Commandos. Your former unit....
...and one that I was a Commander of.'
'So there still around....'
'There are six members of the Howling Commandos involved in this terrorists activity. Dr Faustus, the Master of Men's Minds. Madam Hydra, the beautiful and deadly sharpshooter. The Chameleon, master of disguise. Nuke, giant and heavy weapons specialist. And Crossbones, master at interrogation and a formidable gunfighter. And finally, in charge of them.. the Howling Commando's squad leader, Nomad.'
'The man that uses the same code name as Captain America. The weapons facility covers the whole island, I'll instruct you by your communicator after you reach your target.'
'Anyone going with me?'
'As usual, this is a one man infiltration mission.'
'Weapons and equipment OSP?'
'Other than your arm, yes. This is a top secret black op. Don't expect any official support'
Alaska - Bearing Sea
The SDV takes me as far as it can before I discard it and I swim the rest of the way. The visor in my goggles help me make out my surroundings in the dark and gloomy water. I know the temperature of the water is well below freezing, but I don't feel a thing thanks to this sneaking suit Colonel Fury's techs cooked up for me. I make my way to a small cargo dock at the rear of the facility and pull my self out of the water. I immediately spot two SHIELD agents and another man heading to the elevator.. his face...
'Stay alert. He'll be through here. I know it. I'm going to go swat down a couple of bothersome flies'
He has my face but not my voice. Who the hell is this guy? Sirens blare as he man ascends up the elevator and I decided to contact Fury.
'This is the Winter Soldier. Colonel can you here me?'
'Loud and clear. What's the situation Soldier?'
'looks like the elevator at the back is the only way up. There's two armed SHIELD agents but nothing I can't handle'
'Good. Head to the surface but make sure you aren't seen'
My arm gives off electromagnetic waves that maps out my surroundings and detects biological reactions and then the information is displayed on my masks HUD. I see two armed SHIELD agents armed with sub-machine guns. One is is patrolling the perimeter and one is standing guard at the elevator. SHIELD weapons are coded to the genetics of it's user so I'll have to do this the old fashioned way.
Silently I pad across the cargo bay watching the patrol man’s movement. Once he's out of view of the guard I disarm him and snap his neck with my cybernetic arm. He doesn't make a sound as he dies. I hide the body then make my way over to the cargo elevator still staying out of site. No way to sneak by the guard so I rush him. He tries to bring his weapon to bear but I close the distance. I shatter his weapon with a single chop of my cybernetic hand and crush his throat with my other. He crumples in to a heap. I hide both bodies in the water when the blare of the elevator sirens cut through the night. Some ones coming down.
I take up my position to the right of the elevator wondering if it'll be the man with the same face as me but when then a SHIELD agent walks out yawning. I ghost him then wrap my arm round his neck squeezing the life out of him. I take the elevator to the surface and in the distance I hear the beat of helicopter blades.