Friday, April 8, 2011

STARDUST #6 "Stardust vs. BP" - pt. 1

And now, the never-before published 6th and final issue of Stardust...

Thanks to Jerry Siegel for Action Comics #3

Even by the sixth of June, 2010, it was still all over the media what BP oil's CEO Tony Hayward said. “I want my life back,” he had complained about the intense media scrutiny. Then people who knew nothing else about him all over started criticizing him for his selfishness in the middle of an oil spill disaster. Well, Tony Hayward knew what to do to answer his critiques.

He'd throw a party. And screw his critiques.

His secretary handled the basics – renting the convention hall in New Orleans, hiring the caterers, and inviting the usual rich socialites who gravitated to fancy parties thrown for no good reason other than to be seen at a party. What had thrown him and necessitated Tony's intervention was the shortage of guests.

“Fer Crissakes!” Tony Hayward hollered at his secretary in private. “Only eleven bloody people! I'll be a laughing stock when word gets out about this.” He fumed silently for a moment with his arms crossed in front of him, thinking it out. “I'll show them. This is going to be the most bloody amazing party and everyone's going to so regret not coming when they hear about it. Get me two company helicopters. Big ones.”

His secretary, a pleasant-looking Indian woman in her 20s, normally kept her face focused on a clipboard when Tony was ranting, but she looked at at that request and asked him to clarify.

“Helicopters?” she repeated.

“You know, those big ones we use for airlifting people. We're going to load all of the guests into one and the caterers and food into the other. I know just where to take this party to make it really special.”

An hour and twenty minutes later, the party was being transported by helicopter over the Gulf of Mexico. The guests had not been told where they were heading and none guessed until the abandoned oil rig was in sight. Everyone stared, slack-jawed, out the helicopter windows until one guest turned to Tony and said, “You are crazy. This is...this is the ballsy-est thing anyone has ever done, ever.”

“Yeah, well, nothing but the best for my guests!” Tony said with a grin as their helicopter cast its shadow over the helicopter pad atop the Deep Horizon oil rig.

The oil rig was a broad, squat skeleton of metal pipes, scaffolding, catwalks, and connected rooms sitting over the gulf waters atop giant leg-like pilings. The helicopter pad sat atop all of it as if balanced precariously there. It was on this surface that both helicopters touched down.

“Welcome to the most exclusive party site in the world!” Tony bragged to his guests as they exited the craft one at a time. His secretary raced across to the other helicopter and began instructing the caterers to set up their tables and food right on the pad once the blades stopped spinning.

The guests were all impressed, either because of Tony's daring or because they had already drank too much at the party and would have been impressed by anything. Tony Hayward, for his part, was just happy to be surrounded by no one but people who appreciated him or people who worked for him and knew better than to criticize him.

The food was soon set up again and Tony helped himself to some caviar.

“Hey,” one of the caterers said to Tony. “Can I ask you something?”

“No, you cannot,” Tony said. He gave the man a second glance and saw he looked like he was still about to ask something. “Bloody 'ell, you're not a reporter, are you?”

“No, I'm not a reporter,” the caterer said, “but one did help me slip in with the real caterers. No, what I was wondering was, what's it like not having a conscience?”

“Who are you?” Tony Hayward asked him angrily.

“I'll get to that. Hold on,” the man said. Then, amazingly, he ran to the edge of the helicopter pad and leaped off of it. The man sailed over 20 feet through the air and landed on a tower of pipes that stood just slightly taller than the pad. He yanked on the pipe until he found one that was looser than the others and he pulled on it with both hands until he pulled it completely free. It was a huge section of pipe, easily weighing over 200 lbs. The man leaped back to the pad, swinging the pipe in both hands like a bat. “Tell your pilots to take off,” the man said.

“What?” Tony asked indignantly. Everyone was watching them. He was not going to back down now no matter what this magician could do. “Tell me who you are?”

“I’m Stardust!” Stardust answered. People backed out of his way as he came over to the nearest helicopter. “And I said get these 'copters in the air!”

No one knew what to say and the pilots just sat in their helicopters. What few were not stunned speechless tried to ask how he did what they just saw him do. It was not until Stardust cracked the windshield with a one-handed swing of the big pipe that the pilots stopped waiting for orders from their boss and started switching on their rotors. The wind picked up and threw the party into chaos, blowing table clothes off of the folding tables and the clothes pulling the food bowls off with them. The female guests held down their dresses and some of the men laughed. Stardust walked back and forth, like a batter warming up before going up to the plate, practicing with the pipe until the helicopters were in the air.

No comments: