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A HERO’S HERO


 

PART III

 

 

 

After a few pep talks, Atomic American’s band of heroes had crossed
through the inter-dimensional portal to Tyrant's dimension (Albeit
without a hundred tanks).

 

The team had carefully sneaked through Tyrant's base, avoiding the many
guards, until they found themselves near Tyrant's throne room,
concealing themselves in a shadowy corner. The Arch-Villain, unaware of
their presence, was gathered with a small group of his most fiendish
minions.

 

"Holy moley! That guy's just as big as Statesman!" exclaimed Hero Man.

 

Hero Man was right. Tyrant's costume might have been different than
Statesman's, but he had Statesman's towering figure as well as his aura
of might and confidence.  

 

"Alright, heroes, you know the drill." said Atomic American "Let's show
these villains who's boss!" 

 

The team had been fighting Arch-Villains all day long, and each knew
their role in the battle.  Hero Man bounded straight for Tyrant
screaming obscenities about the villain's mother. Liberty Belle was
quickly in the midst of Tyrant's most powerful lieutenants, while
Hellkitten hovered above roasting swarms of minions with a stream of
flaming death. The entire battlefield glowed green as Atomic American
poured radiation into it, weakening the enemy, yet energizing his
allies, as they tore through Tyrant’s forces.

 

“It's time for a a flaming Cat-a-clysm!" screamed Hellkitten, as she
let loose a mighty fire blast that incinerated the last of Tyrant's
guards, leaving the Arch-Villain alone the battlefield, facing the four
heroes.

 

“For Justice!” cried Hero Man.

 

“For Freedom!” joined Libertie Belle.

 

"For Statesman!" yelled Atomic American and they leapt upon Tyrant,
with fists, flames and Gamma rays.

 

At first it felt like they were hitting a brick wall with a sack of
Nerf balls. The four of them didn't pack the punch of a Panzer brigade,
but they were a mighty team, and gradually Tyrant began to show the
rigors of the battle. Battered, scorched and irradiated, the villain
slumped to one knee, and then toppled over, his helmet clattering
across the room.

 

The helmet came to a rest against a huge metal "X" and there, strapped
onto those metal crossbars, was Statesman himself! His hands and feet
bound by mystic energies, preventing Paragon's greatest hero from
freeing himself.

 

"By the dawn's early light!" exclaimed Libertie Belle, "It's Statesman!"

 

The combined might of the four rescuers tore open the restraints, and
the Hero's Hero fell to the ground, his bucket-like helmet clanking
unceremoniously on the floor.

 

"That's it?" asked Hellkitten "This is it? We spend all day getting our
tails kicked by Arch-Villains, and all for some overrated do-gooder
with a bucket on his head? This pansy was sooo notworth it!"

 

"Shouldn't have..." muttered Statesman, too badly wounded to even stand
"Shouldn't have come for me... Too dangerous... Shouldn't have...
risked yourselves..."

 

"See, he agrees with me."

 

"Shut up Kitten!" whispered Libertie Belle "Do you guys here something?"

 

Hear something they did; a rumble of charging footsteps. 

 

"Tyrant's... guards..." came the explanation from Statesman, with
labored breath.

 

"All those guards we snuck past on our way here... Hundreds and
hundreds of 'em..." echoed Hero Man.

 

"They know we're here now." Libertie Belle said as the footsteps of a
thousand soldiers came closer.

 

"Well that's friggin' great!" screamed Hellkitten. "We go through all
this to save Captain Buckethead, and now we're gonna die! You got
another lame pep talk for us now, Atomic? What've ya got to say now?"

 

"There's only one thing to say." replied Atomic American "Up AT'EM ,
STATESMAN!!!"

 

*       *        *

 

There's not many people who'd call Statesman a bucket-headed pansy, and
Hellkitten ate her words as she watched Statesman (Restored to health
by Atomic American's powers) smash his way through Tyrant's
minions. Without their leader, Tyrant's men were easy prey as Statesman
hurled boulders at them, sent shockwaves through the air with
thunderous hand claps or rippled the very ground with mighty foot
stomps.

 

His four rescuers took down many a foe, but even the brash Hellkitten
conceded that it was Statesman who won the battle.

 

Once safely back in their own dimension, Statesman accompanied the
heroes to City hall, where they parted company, seeking much needed
rest. Atomic American lingered a moment, though.

 

"I'm sure you don't remember this, Statesman, but you saved my life
once, before I was became a hero."

 

Statesman though for a second "I'm sorry, Atomic American," he began
"But I've saved more than a few people, and I just can't remember
everyone one them."

 

"I understand, though, maybe you remember a foolish pilot who
parachuted into a group of enemy tanks on D-Day."

 

A light of recognition came to Statesman's eyes, deep within his
helmet. "That one I do remember. I must have got shot by a hundred
tanks, saving you."

 

"Sorry about that Statesman." Atomic American blushed beneath his mask.

 

"Don't be. I'm a little ashamed to say this," admitted Statesman "But,
as those tank shells were pounding into me, for a moment, I found
myself wondering if it was worth it, to save just one man."

 

“Was it, sir?”

 

"It always is. Always."

 

END


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