FDC presents "The Foggiest Notion"
The sonic sled traversed the skies, a trio of men aboard it. Lord Elgin Whitestone, who wore the grey-caped uniform of Lord Fogg; Lee Kelsey, whose black armour was identical to the one Richard Plante wore as Lionheart, except its lion emblem was blue instead of red; and Michael Bellamy, whose emerald uniform made him clearly recognisable as the Green Archer. They had been fashioned by Lord Marmaduke Ffogg into London's Guardians, and their eyes alert on the streets below them had kept the city safe.
It was on such a patrol that they saw unusual activity outside of London's Petra Bank. Lord Fogg clucked his tongue, thoughtfully. "An auspicious return to where London's Guardians had their debut*," he said. "Let us prove that we don't need EuroGuard or the Global Guardians to fight our battles for us." * as seen in Bren Crow's EuroGuard #11, http://www.fauxdc.com/Titles/main/euroguard-jle/euro-11.htm
Lionheart II sighed, recalling all too well the awkwardness of that encounter, particularly his feelings on being confronted with the original Lionheart, who was a member of EuroGuard at the time.
Green Archer reached into his quiver, nimble fingers selecting an arrow with a specialised sonic nerve disruptor.
As the sonic sled descended, Lionheart II utilised his flight-capable armour to disembark en route, weaving his way between the shoppers running away from, and emergency services running towards, the bank. Finally he managed a rendezvous with the police officers surrounding the location. "What seems to be the problem, officers?" he said after he introduced himself.
A grey-haired man approached him. "Erskine Hawkins, inspector with Scotland Yard," he said. "Based on our consultation with InterPol files, it appears to be a robbery by EuroCrime, which means Toad-In-The-Hole will be operating as field leader."
Lionheart II blinked, several times. "Toad ... In ... The ... Hole ... ?"
Hawkins nodded, "They are an international team, and choose their field leader from whichever of their members has the location of their current operation as a country of origin." He paused, "I don't know what they do when operating in a country which doesn't have a EuroCrime representative ... maybe they draw lots."
Lionheart II nodded, extended his thanks, and rejoined the rest of his team to communicate what he had learned. He stood at the ready as Lord Fogg piloted the vehicle down.
"EUROCRIME. REVEAL YOURSELVES OR WE WILL BE COMPELLED TO APPREHEND YOU WITH EXTREME FORCE," Lord Fogg's mechanically amplified voice wafted out into the streets. "I CALL YOU OUT TO FACE THE GUARDIANS OF THIS LAND."
Several moments passed; with no response, Lord Fogg was about to speak into the sonic sled's amplifier once more, the front doors ... previously repaired from having been blasted open by the Injustice League ... opened to reveal a man in a toad uniform. He tottered forward, opened his mouth wide, and extruding a super-elastic tongue which wrapped around Lord Fogg's face, gagging him.
Lionheart II activated his energy sword and shield, and swung at the tongue, but Toad-In-The-Hole retracted it before it was bisected. Several other costumed men burst from the doors of the Petra Bank, towards the London's Guardians.
Lord Fogg threw a noxious fog bomb at them, impeding their progress while Green Archer took aim, but Gyro spun like a whirlwind, dissipating it and sending arrows flying.
Lionheart II flew towards Gyro, but soon found himself surrounded by the Wurstwaffe: a quintet of villains, each dressed up as a sausage. He rose into the air evasively, but sensed a tentacle wrapped around his ankle, and looked down to see himself in the grip of Calamari. The squidlike criminal held him fast long enough for the Wurstwaffe to link their hands together, increasing their strength. One of them dragged him down, another grabbed his sword-arm.
"Let's even the odds a bit," Green Archer muttered to himself. He fired a series of arrows which attached to members of the Wurstwaffe, and which began to emit a series of constant vibrations, each at a different frequency. The contact between them began to be excruciatingly painful, forcing them to detach. With their individual strength back down to normal levels, Lionheart II's own enhanced strength proved more than the equal of the individual members. One by one he swept them up into the air, depositing them with a series of downward throws into the concrete, scattered around the circumference of the battle site. He hovered for a moment, and swept down to confront L'Escargot. With speed surprising for a man dressed as a giant snail, L'Escargot fired a slime gun at his attacker. "Ugchhh that's disgusting," Lionheart II said. He tried to re-activate his energy sword and shield, only to find the slime had jammed his emitters, with the result shorting out his armour.
Lord Fogg meanwhile found himself attacked by Lutefisk, with his deadly lye-spray. Gagging, he donned his filter-masque, and escaped by creating yet another cloud of man-made mist with his pipe of fog. While Lutefisk floundered, Lord Fogg crept up behind him, striking him on the back of the head with the reinforced bowl of his pipe. From a pocket in his cape he drew forth a handful of fog pellets, only to have them lashed out of his hand by Toad-In-The-Hole's tongue. Before he could respond, the tongue flickered out again, wrapping around his neck.
Calamari approached Green Archer, moving quickly. One by one his tentacles fell prey to the swift arrows, though Gyro's speed proved swifter still, and he whirled the bow out of his opponent's grip. Snarling, Green Archer drew another arrow from his quiver, intending to use the steel-tipped arrow by hand if necessary, when his vision was obscured by a blur of red.
He blinked, and realised in an instant that he had not been wounded; the red belonged to the tunic worn a mere slip of a teenage girl, who had appeared out of nowhere and stood between him and Gyro. "That hardly seems sporting, does it?" she said, and flew forwards, her small fist striking the spinning assassin with enough force to knock him off his center. She flew over to Calamari next, taking his remaining tentacles in hand and efficiently tying them into a decorative knot. She landed, finally, next to Green Archer. "A present to you from TNT Tina ... " she said brightly.
TNT Tom arrived seconds later. He flew towards Lord Fogg first, and his powerful fingers unwrapped Toad-In-The-Hole's tongue from around the man's throat. Dragging the criminal along by his tongue, he quickly wrapped it around Lutefisk and L'Escargot, his own knotwork less decorative than his cousin's but just as secure. "... and from TNT Tom," he continued.
Lord Fogg touched his neck, feeling that he had narrowly escaped the hangman's noose. "Yes, well," he harrumphed, "Pleased to meet you young children." He walked swiftly over to the prone Lionheart II, beckoning for Green Archer to accompany him. "Lee, are you all right?" he whispered.
Lionheart II groaned. "I feel like I was sneezed on then struck by lightning," he said.
Together they hoisted the man to his feet, and the teens landed next to them. "Need any help?" TNT Tom said. "Sorry for butting in that way, but it did look like you were outnumbered three-to-one, and we felt it fair to even the odds."
"You two youngsters are with the Seven Soldiers of Victory, no?" Green Archer enquired. "I think I've seen you in some of the newspaper reports."
Lord Fogg mumbled under his breath to himself about 'johnny come latelies.'
"Yes, we are," TNT Tom puffed out his chest. "We're the newest members except for Beefeater."
Green Archer smiled engagingly. "Pleased to meet you youngsters," he said. "I'm sure we'll be working with each other again, soon enough."
In the sitting room of Lord Marmaduke Ffogg, the London's Guardians removed their masques and reported on their current case. Lord Ffogg demanded, "Why didn't you invite them to re-align with the Guardians?"
Whitestone blinked. "We hardly need a pair of rambunctious children in our ranks. We've always done fine on our own."
Green Archer sighed, and walked to the bar, pouring himself a glass of scotch. He withdrew from the argument, leaning back against the bar to watch the conversation with dispassionate interest.
"That's not what your report makes it sound like," Lord Ffogg replied.
"Lee in particular," Whitestone nodded towards Lionheart II, "did particularly well. With Michael's help he grounded five of their members on his own."
"From what you tell me, those two children defeated the entire team effortlessly," Lord Ffogg reminded him. "That's the sort of raw power we need on our side."
"I beg to disagree," Whitestone said. "All three of us ... we may use special equipment but we're human through and through. We're precisely the people who are best qualified to know how to protect London."
Kelsey interjected, "There were more than three times our number in EuroCrime ... no other British heroes would have done as well against those odds."
"That's exactly my point," Lord Ffogg continued, extending his index finger accusatorily. "The superheroes Britain does have ... Godiva, Jack O'Lantern, that green giant the Seven Soldiers employ ... are all odd or freakish. We did have one real superhuman in our ranks, Beefeater, but due to your lack of leadership skills, Whitestone, we couldn't keep her. What we need is to form a team which will compete with the best the Americans have on offer. That country is packed with superhumans. Now we have a pair who could be our Superboy and Supergirl, and I want them in the Guardians."
Green Archer reached behind him, slipping two arrows from his quiver, and pinioned them in his right hand to make a 'v'. With a rapid movement he set the arrows into his bow, aimed, and fired them.
Lord Fogg cried out in horror as the steel-tipped points penetrated through the fronts of Whitestone's and Kelsey's throats, splattering him with blood before the men's bodies slumped to the floor. "There," Green Archer said with a broad grin as he walked up to the white-faced, cringing man who had been the team's sponsor, "turned out nice again."