Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Arms and the Robot!

“Arms and the Robot !”
Machine Man’s search is interrupted by the remnants of Brimstone’s Satan Squad; the first of many fights ensues. At the end, he’s no closer to the arm...which is in the hands of a skeevy sort who’s taken it to minions of Madame Menace. The robot arm impresses them, so they send the signal to coy Sunset Bain, who flirts and suggests to a senator her real story would shock him.
She leaves the party in his hands, and comes to examine her blindfolded visitor. She offers a thousand for the arm, and he wants twenty. The flesh-eating roach they’re working on is his cue to take what he can get. Like the Corporation, someone else sees a super=weapon to mass produce on the market, perhaps in components. Like Kublai Khan, someone else wants his body for profit.

Gears and Spalding banter, while MM decides there’s no choice but to find his irreplaceable arm. He disregards advice to “listen to Billy Joel...or plug into the Carson Show!” He decides to take a cue from TV and stir up trouble at a local bar; soon we’re in another fight, but for nothing. MM next takes apart one of Peter’s chairs to fashion a false arm to disguise in a sling, so he can go back to work at DelMar Insurance. Pamela notes his aloofness, and wonders if he realizes she’s alive. Maggie and Eddie banter.
Soon we’re back at Garvin’s Garage, where Gears affixes a home-made power booster, mounted in another false arm, and away he floats! He jumps into the trap: a seemingly deserted pier hosts a warehouse, where he’s instantly detected in the open skylight and blasted with electro-magnetic energy. He snarks with Madame Menace, who stretches his limbs out magnetically to leave him hanging in the air. He has a plan, though: recharge, first, then deal with the stasis trap.
He pulls a Samson and extends his limbs into the sides, shoving his telescoped appendages into the walls until the magnets overload! Kwak, Thud! Machine Man speeds away, levitating over the pier, where Menace has departed for a meeting across three miles of chilled ocean from Ambrose Lighthouse. The terrorist Zarkoff’s ready to make a deal to add robots to the revolution, but one fighting made but slowly moving living robot clambers aboard spoiling for a fight.
Zarkoff decides to snatch the case from Menace in the confusion, commanding his thugs to pile on. They’re spun away in a whirl and flicked over board. Menace has no time for his double cross, so she shoots Zarkoff in the arm, then decides “a good business woman knows when to liquidate her assets!”

Over goes the arm. MM snaps out of his wild rage; his homer’s active, and his finger sensors detect a timed device set off by Zarkoff. The ship explodes, but thanks to a prearranged signal, Machine Man seems the only one caught in the blast. His booster’s still tracking, he’s still ticking; he reaches into the “murky depths” for “my objective...Menace’s Sample Case! For within it lies...*click!*...my arm!
He’s whole again, but as he floats away he wonders why he behaved so irrationally. “And what of Menace? Did she truly perish in that fiery explosion?” He shudders to think.

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