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The Amazing and Indomitable Gatling Man

I just started this class on Saturday and today is my birthday, so this was, unfortunately, done in a bit of a time crunch, but I hope it still fulfills the assignment.

Copic multiliners and Prisma markers on paper.

The story behind the drawing...

The Amazing and Indomitable Gatling Man

 

            The “amazing and indomitable” Gatling Man sat across a sleek plexi-glass desk from the League of Do-Gooders’ HR guy, The Skillet, feeling anything but amazing and indomitable. He stared down at his flamboyant unitard and tried to retain his composure as The Skillet searched through a file cabinet for the appropriate paperwork.

            “Ah! Yes, here it is,” The Skillet said, approaching the crestfallen hero with a fist full of white sheets of paper, “I was looking under ‘A’ for ‘Accidental Manslaughter’, but the right forms were under ‘Negligence’; who’d have thunk?” He smiled a genuine smile, which Gatling Man met with a queasy and altogether unbelievable one.  He tried to loosen up, reminding himself about how nice a person The Skillet was (even if he was one of the more pathetically-powered Supers Gatling Man had met; the power to talk to breakfast food? Really?), and about how the League of Do-Gooders had already undergone the necessary procedures to ensure that both Gatling Man and their organization were both liability-free.

            “First things first,” The Skillet took a ballpoint pen and clicked it open; a simple action that Gatling Man knew would have ended in an ink explosion had he done it. Having super strength could often be more of a curse than a blessing, especially when it came to the fragility of objects.

            “Name? Hello? Name?” The Skillet waved a hand in front of Gatling Man’s face.

            “Ah…Gatling Man.”

            “That’s your secret identity; what’s your name?”

            “Oh…John Gats.”

            “Alright…What was the date of the incident?”

            “February first.” Gatling Man wove his fingers together and stared at the frying pan emblazoned on The Skillet’s unitard. It was funny; though The Skillet was just an HR guy, he was always dressed as if he were ready to go into battle with all the other Supers in the League.

            “And location?” The Skillet asked.

            “Aspen Lake, Oregon, United States.”

            “Okay…and now, describe what transpired.”

Gatling Man took a jagged breath, and recounted what had transpired.

 

            It was a frigid evening; most folks were inside eating dinner with their families. Gatling Man was trudging through the snow following a successful bust on the Legion of Ne’er-Do-Wells. He, along with Silver Sparrow and Human Tank, had destroyed their newest doomsday machine, Nancy; the Legion of Ne’er-Do-Wells was hard pressed for names at the time, since the League of Do-Gooders had been wrecking their doomsday machines at least every other week. They also kicked the snot out of them for good measure, leaving the local authorities to handle things. Silver Sparrow had flown ahead to the small town where they were spending the night, to confirm their reservations, since as superheroes they believed staunchly in fairness and in the idea that they’d have to get their lodging the same way as everyone else. So Human Tank and Gatling Man found themselves crunching ice and snow through the Oregon landscape, blue with frostbite and green with envy of Silver Sparrow’s ability to fly. They made small talk, discussing their most recent success, and quarreling over which of the two of them was responsible for it.

            “I don’t know what yer talkin’ about; I totally kicked the Ebony Viper’s ass.” Human Tank barked.

            “Yeah, while I was dealing with Dr. Despicable and Flying Talon.”

            “Ya had Sparrow’s help with the Flying Talon, and ya know it!”

            “Wait,” Gatling Man narrowed his eyes, and focused on a sound in the distance, “I hear something…”

            “Don’t ya try to leave this argument, ya pussy, I…”

            “Shut up! Listen.”

In the distance, the heroes could make out the sound of a child shouting. They discarded their argument and ran in the direction of the child’s cries. They came to a large frozen body of water; the sign read, in peeling paint, “Aspen Lake”. At the center of the lake, a little girl was sobbing and shouting, her voice becoming hoarse, and her leg stuck in a hole in the ice.  Gatling Man instinctively started toward the ice.

            “What are ya, crazy?” Human Tank blocked his path.

            “Get out of my way, I need to save that kid!”

            “Listen; I don’t know if ya checked recently, but the two of us are super strong and super fast, but not super careful. We need Silver Sparrow to fly over and get the munchkin.”

            “But I can-“

            “But nothin’! I’m gonna’ go get Sparrow. Stay here and talk to the wee thing. Yer better at that pussy word shit.” With that, Human Tank raced off. Gatling Man stared ahead at the girl, who continued to cry for help.

            “I took down the Legion of Ne’er-Do-Wells; I can do this.” With that, Gatling Man super-sped out onto the ice; he felt his boots slipping all over the place. Super speed without super-traction couldn’t help him in this case. The little girl saw him, and shouted for help. He grit his teeth; there was no way he could run over there with his super speed. He smiled a winning smile at her.

“I’ll be right over!” He promised. This seemed to quiet her as he set to digging his fingers into the ice and sliding himself her way. He overshot her. He cursed and swung himself around. He slid again, but missed her again. It was hard to control his distance with his super strength on the ice. The girl began to cry again. He needed a new plan of attack...if it wasn’t for all of the damn ice... that was it. He had to get rid of the ice. He raised his fists and brought them crashing down onto the ice. He heard the Human Tank, now returned, yelling something, but he ignored it. It would be worth the risk; he knew he could time it right, and save the girl from the icy water before she sank to the bottom. After all, he was Gatling Man. The ice fractured, and icy water overtook the chunks. He spied the little girl who was eerily silent as the frigid water swallowed her. He dove into it, reeling for a moment, as a disorienting coldness numbed his body. Where was the girl? It was so hard to move; perhaps this wasn’t the best idea. He squinted, seeing a shadow in the water. No. This was the only way. He forced his limbs to move, and he swam toward the shadow. It was the little girl, sinking. Why wasn’t she swimming? She couldn’t have drowned. No, he did the right thing. He still had time. Hands grabbed him from behind and hoisted him out of the water. It was Human Tank and Silver Sparrow.

“Let me go!” He shouted, “The kid!”
            “John, where is the kid?” She shouted back in a panic. He pointed to the ice.

            “Oh hell…” Silver Sparrow dove into the water, and after an eternity, brought up the little girl. She had a massive contusion on her head…that’s why she sank like a stone. When he broke the ice, it must have knocked her unconscious. Now she lay before them, very blue and very gone.

 

            “I see.” The Skillet said softly. He reached out a gloved hand and patted Gatling Man on the arm.

            “Well, you did all you could do, right?” He asked, “I’m sure everyone understands that…”

The amazing and indomitable Gatling Man stood up and stormed out of The Skillet’s office. How could those his peers understand? How could that little girl’s parents understand? How the hell could The Skillet understand?  What would he have even done in that situation? Ask some waffles for help? A blind disgust welled up in Gatling Man’s stomach. Sometimes a hero has to make tough calls, and he made one. He didn’t regret it. He probably would have reached that little girl if it wasn’t for Silver Sparrow and Human Tank, pulling him out of the water. The Skillet had no idea. He wasn’t even a real superhero. Though frankly, Gatling Man wasn’t so sure he could make such judgments anymore.

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