[Continued from here]
Tommy was led through a room with three guards in it to another room where he was pushed down on the floor and has his legs bound tight with the same rope around his midsection. Next to him, lying unconscious on the floor, was Alpha-Woman.
"You just stay put until we come back for you," one of the guards said to Tommy. "You two are gonna have a real close view of the ceremony later."
"Hey," said the other guard. "What are we gonna do with that stinking coat of his and that weird rat mask? I don't want to sit with them all day in the guard room."
"We'll come back and leave that stuff with them..." the first guard said, with a nod to their prisoners, before they left.
In the dark of the cell, Tommy started to calm down once they were gone. He missed his rat mask and his fur coat and wanted to feel like Sewer Rat again. No, this was more like the old days, when he was first exploring the sewers. He kept only to the supply tunnels, pumping clean water to help along the process. Just a little waste from the homes; not like further down where everything accumulated. Not everything you found in the sewer was human waste. Everything that ever went down a gutter was in the tunnels. Candy wrappers in the Spring, tennis balls in the Summer, leaves in the Fall, and fresh melted snow in the Winter. He did his first good deed in the sub-unit in front of his apartment building, throwing back some keys a motorist had dropped. Boy was he surprised.
Tommy stopped his drifting thoughts and concentrated on the here and now. He relaxed his chest and felt the rope around him slacken. He knew it would still take some time to get out of those ropes. Whether he had enough time before the guards returned remained to be seen.
G-Man Rudy Malefor stood with his new comrades, taking in the situation in the chapel and hoping the others had a plan. In a low voice, he said, "I think we should get help before we go deal with whatever is going on up here."
"The moment we do that they'll know we're trouble. I can try one thing..." The Mountain Man whispered back to Agent Malefor. Then he raised his voice and answered the booming voice of the Doctor, saying, "Willy said to take 'em to the cells."
Silver Scorpion tensed, waiting for the response.
"Willy? Willy?" the voice said, sounding like the great and terrible Oz. "Am I to take orders from Willy? Get those prisoners up here!"
Agent Malefor, increasingly eager to return to his cell, reached the door to the gallery and held the doorknob, waiting to see if the others would join him. But it looked like they would continue to try and talk their way through this with the unseen voice, for whom Willy seemed to hold no authority. So Rudy came back and whispered the beginnings of a plan to the others. "The two people not dressed as guards should go to the dais as ‘prisoners’. Me and the other two men dressed as guards should go downstairs and look for the other two FBI agents that are probably still in their cells. We need them as reinforcements." He paused for dramatic affect, then added, "I feel something big is going to happen soon and we are going to need help."
The Mountain Man liked at least some of that plan. He roughly (mostly as show) pushed the Daoist forward toward the dais. He also grabbed Silver Scorpion and pulled her along as well. As he walked he whispered to them, "If this goes south we will fight them, so be ready."
The Mountain Man dragged his two ‘prisoners’ to the north end of the chapel. The mobster standing there had a lit cigarette dangling from his lips and nervous fingers on his holstered pistol. Glancing up, the heroes could see a second mobster on the balcony above watching them with a rifle in hand. Suddenly, one of the tapestries on the east wall moved aside and a man stepped through a concealed doorway. The man had thinning salt-and-pepper hair, wore glasses and a lab coat, while holding a cane. He raised a shaky hand and pointed it at the three closest heroes. "Yes, yes! You all are the ones from last night's attack! How unwise to return and face the technological might of -- Dr. McDermott!"
Agent Malefor realized that, without his gear, he was not ready for a battle. He quickly scampered off into the gallery, heading for the stairs down to the basement cells.
Realizing the jig was up, Silver Scorpion decided to assault the 'Doctor'. She ripped her bonds free and threw herself at him.
The mobster closest to the Mountain Man and the Daoist un-holstered his pistol and drew a bead on them with lightning speed. "Take it easy, boys," he said. "Let's see if Doc here is as good in a fight as he claims he is..."
Silver Scorpion launched herself at Dr. McDermott so quickly that the doctor was forced to back up. In an instant she had a silver knife in either hand and began her deadly dance with the doctor. The doctor was a somewhat skilled combatant, parrying several thrusts and recognizing some feints for what they were, but Silver had already fought better. Backed up to the tapestry, Silver pushed him through and they both disappeared into the concealed room he had come out of.
The concealed room was narrow and half-full of machinery. But there was no time to examine the contents, for Dr. McDermott was waiting to fight with that cane. Silver double feinted, got past that cane he'd been blocking her with for the past 30 seconds, and finally cut him. Dr. McDermott was moderately injured, his sleeve turning bloody. He continues to swing with his cane, never landing a blow.
Meanwhile, the Mountain Man, the Daoist, and Captain Liberty paused while they considered whether to wait this out and see what happened or take a more active hand. Looking up, the Mountain Man and the Daoist saw the guard at the balcony above was calling to some friends to come see. Captain Liberty, still at the south end of the chapel, saw a door open and two leather jacket-wearing guards come out and join a third guard who came from the entrance. Everyone was just watching from a distance for now, but with Silver Scorpion's personal duel now in a separate room, there was little to entertain them rather than capturing intruders.
Also meanwhile, Agent Malefor ran through the gallery to the far door, but it opened as he reached it and he and a mobster with no visible weapon on the other side surprised each other.
Also also meanwhile, Tommy nearly dislocated his shoulder, but managed to pull his arms out of the rope. The pain made him nearly pass out, but he managed to hold on and start working the rope off his legs. The narrow room he was in was empty except for him and the amazon-like Alpha-Woman (still unconscious and more expertly tied up than he was). There was a ladder leading to a trap door above him and the door the guards entered and exited through.
Back in the chapel, the Mountain Man seemed to grow another foot tall and another foot wide as he pulled his hatchet from its holster and charged the mobster holding a pistol on the Daoist and him.
Following the others' lead, the Daoist transformed into a brown bear and swiped at the same mobster.
The mobster with the pistol trained on the Mountain Man and the Daoist was taken aback by the startling transformations. His hand holding the revolver shook. The Mountain Man was surer in his grip on his hatchet as it came out of hiding within his jacket and he used its blunt side to clop the man in the head and take him down. The Daoist, losing his nearest opponent, charged the three at the south end of the chapel in bear form, scattering pews in front of him like a plow through snow.
Groovy Christmases Past: 1974
3 hours ago