When Alpha-Woman saw two of the men exiting the Comeback Diner, she snuck up behind them quietly and tried to lasso them both with her rope. But the breeze shifted at the last moment on Alpha-Woman and her improvised lasso only fell harmlessly on top of one of the two men.
"What the--?" he cried as the two turned around and saw a black-haired beauty in a dark flannel men's shirt and jeans attempting to capture them.
The Silver Scorpion drove up on her chromed motorcycle to the Comeback Motel. Noting the car with the empty basket on top, she parked beside it and disembarked, stretching lithely after such a long ride. She looked around for anyone nearby.
Is this really the place? I hope I’m not too late! she thought to herself. She noted the two men coming out of the diner and was about to try and catch their attention with a smile and a wave when she noted someone sneaking up behind them. What in the..., she thought, her face showing her concern. She quickly moved forward to stop any nefarious deeds that may be afoot, keeping a careful eye on the un-lassoed man. She was ready to disarm him if he should pull a gun.
"Let's no one be too hasty or I'll have to lay all of you out, alright? Now, what's going on here?" Silver Scorpion demanded.
Alpha-Woman replied to the stranger in the silver jumpsuit. "These guys have been doing suspicious things. I've been watching them for a week. There is two more not here." She also attempted to grab them both so they could not move.
"Funny business, hey?” Silver Scorpion said. “What do you have to say for yourselves?" she demanded of the two men. But she was ready to stop both them and the mysterious woman if any of them tried to flee the scene.
Alpha-Woman managed to grab one of the two men by the shoulder as he'd brushed the lariat off his shoulder, but the other one saw her coming and stepped back to dodge.
"You should'a just asked, doll face," the guy Alpha-Woman grabbed saied. "Steve, show 'em your badge."
The man apparently named Steve opened his jacket and pulled out a badge. "He's right, ladies, we're the FBI. Your little sting operation only caught us eating pie at taxpayer expense. Are either of you two here about the ads?"
After more cross-examination, it became apparent that Silver Scorpion, from out of Minneapolis, had not been targeted for recruitment, but had read the classified ad meant for the Daoist and guessed it was suspicious enough to investigate. And Alpha-Woman was just in the right place at the right time.
"You two babes want in on a mission?" asked the agent not named Steve as he took his shoulder back from Alpha-Woman.
Still a little suspicious of the guys, Alpha-Woman reluctantly agreed to join in on this mission.
"A mission? Sure, that's right up my alley!" Silver Scorpion said, more enthusiastically.
The two lady-vigilantes were led to the storm doors that Alpha-Woman had seen the FBI agents descend down many times. She was right to suspect they had a secret lair under the motel, though their activities were not what she had suspected.
"Agent Fletcher," the agent in charge said, identifying himself to the two once they were in the main room of their underground headquarters.
"What's the mission?" Silver Scorpion asked boldly.
"First, Saul, go up topside and see if any more vigilantes show up late!" Agent Fletcher sayid to one of the other G-Men. "Pardon me, ladies," Fletcher continued, turning back to Alpha-Woman and Silver Scorpion. "We'd actually heard about female vigilantes operating in the Minneapolis area and right here around Duluth, but...you know, we thought this might be man's work. Still, you showed a lot of initiative and detective skills just finding us, since we set out only to contact four vigilantes initially.
"The mission is this," Agent Fletcher continued. "We've got three agents missing in the field, we presume captured by a bunch of nutty rooster-loving cultists up north in a little out-of-the-way place called Highland Township. We're trying to get them out quietly, which is why we took the unorthodox method of contracting the job out to costumed vigilantes. We sent our recruits there a few hours ago."
"Hey, boss!" Saul said when he returned abruptly. "Some guy in a costume just showed up in a red, white, and blue car!"
"Cripes! I've turned this place into Grand Central Station for vigilantes!" Agent Fletcher cried. "If this doesn't work, I'm gonna be fired! Somebody get me an aspirin! You two," he said, pointing to Alpha-Woman and Silver Scorpion. "Intercept this new guy for us, find out if he's got the chops for vigilante work, and let him tag along if you think he'll be useful to you. Me, I'm seriously gettin' a headache..."
Alpha-Woman and Silver Scorpion returned to the nighttime air and meet Captain Liberty in the parking lot.
Silver Scorpion waved to the newcomer. "You arrived just in time. We're off to Highland Township to stop some cultists, you in or what?" she asked with a smile.
"This is a lot for one day, but very exciting!" exclaimed Alpha-Woman. Then she shook the man's hand and added, "Yeah, are you in?”
"I'm Captain Liberty. Count me in," the last arrival said.
Alpha-Woman offered to give anyone a lift, as she also had a car parked nearby, but everyone felt more comfortable taking their own vehicle and caravaning to Highland. Captain Liberty produced a map, held it up under the neon light of the motel sign, and they all found the route they would take.
"So, how are we going to play this?” the Mountain Man asked. “Bash in the door of the place or try to join up? My inclination would be for goin' after 'em hard. I'm not to keen on the sneakin' about." The Mountain Man asked this as soon as the caravan of vehicles had stopped at the south end of the dirt road serving as the main street through the township, within sight of Town Hall and the closed businesses.
The Daoist was the first to answer the Mountain Man's question. "I do not think I wouwd’ find much ‘ruck joining their group."
Dice Morgan cracked his knuckles. "Heh. I sez we just goes in swinging. Can't be more'n, what, a hun'red of 'em in there at most."
The direct approach seemed to be favored by everyone -- only, no one had yet come up with any idea for finding this temple. Most of the buildings in town were pretty small to be hiding temples in them and the only place they could look for one without breaking and entering was Town Hall. So they tried that first.
The lobby of the Town Hall has some old, weather-beaten chairs in it, a dying potted plant in the corner, and a ceiling fan overhead that did not move. The walls were decorated with a moose head and some mounted fish. Town Hall sounded quiet and deserted at first, but soon they heard footsteps approaching.
Iron Man by Bob Layton
13 hours ago