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E.G.G Episode 1: The Incident
Previously, on E.G.G...
This is the first issue, so there is no previously. But before you crack this egg open, I strongly suggest you read the Introduction to E.G.G, which you can get to by clicking here. You can get by without doing so, but it might be a little easier!
Rexburg, Idaho. A small city. Everyone knew everyone, life was peaceful. And slow. Nobody was in a hurry, it was actually quite relaxed. But no one knew, that high in the sky, above their heads, floated a gigantic metal egg. But this was no ordinary giant egg. This was Mother Egg, floating headquarters for the Experimental Government Gadgets division of S.H.I.E.L.D. Personally sanctioned and funded by Director Nick Fury himself, Experimental Government Gadgets, or E.G.G for short, built and tested new weapons for S.H.I.E.L.D and other superheroes that may have required their services.
Our tale begins aboard the Mother Egg in the Inner Shell, the bridge of the flying fortress. It was a large room with computer monitors mounted on the walls with a range of information on them. There was a large window, with a full view of everything outside, and the main control panel to the entire base directly under it. Eileen Wuthrich, expert in hand to hand combat and a certified trainer, led a group of young new cadets into the Inner Shell. They all looked about, pointing and whispering to each other. This was the coolest thing they’d ever seen in their lives. Eileen stopped in the center of the room and turned to address her audience.
“Good morning everyone,” She began. The whispers fell silent as she spoke. “My name is Eileen Wuthrich; I am a hand to hand specialist and will be responsible for training you to be the perfect agents. This is the Inner Shell of the Mother Egg, where everything is run and operated.” Eileen took a deep breath and smiled. “Welcome to the beginning of the rest of your lives. Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to E.G.G.” As Eileen finished her sentence, the room went dark. There were murmurs of confusion among the crowd, when suddenly a holographic figure of a man appeared in the center of room, posed with one hand behind his back and holding an egg in the other.
“Formed from the brilliant mind of Joshua Westbrook,” Eileen continued. “The Experimental Government Gadgets division was a way to ensure the safety and security of all new weapon and gadgetry development for the Strategic Hazard Intervention and Espionage Logistics Division, better known to most of you as S.H.I.E.L.D.” There were whispers of excitement at the mention of the top spy organization in the world. Eileen smiled and continued her speech. “Joshua Westbrook was an agent of S.H.I.E.L.D, he worked in their R&D division. One day, the terrorist organization known as Hydra broke into the S.H.I.E.L.D Helicarrier, and not only stole weapons, but plans, prototypes, and all sorts of other things that put Nick Fury in a very bad position with the World Security Council. This is when Joshua Westbrook ‘hatched’ an idea. He proposed that all weapons manufacturing and storing facilities should be moved elsewhere, somewhere discreet, hidden, and out of sight to all enemies of S.H.I.E.L.D.”
“Rexburg, Idaho is the perfect choice for off the radar.” An eager cadet chimed in. Eileen nodded.
“Yes, it is, very good cadet. A few signed papers and some months later, Mother Egg was dispatched high above the skies of Rexburg, and E.G.G was born. Since it was his idea, Nick Fury appointed Joshua Director of E.G.G, but he couldn’t do it alone. Before going to Fury with the idea, he ran it by myself and Special Agent Acacia Blanco, you’ll meet her later. Together, we planned it out. What we would do, where we would go, how we would pull it off. Acacia and I were very proud of the acronym we came up with, it fit so perfectly. So here we are, today, in the flesh.”
“Accept for the so called Joshua Westbrook,” a cadet pointed out. “He’s apparently a hologram.” There were a few laughs among the crowd. Eileen’s face straightened quickly.
“Excuse me, but I respect that man to the highest degree. Not only is he my best friend, but without him, none of this would be possible.”
“Best friend? More like boyfriend!” The cadet retorted. “The way you talk about him, I wouldn’t be surprised flirted your way up to his right hand woman.” There were the ‘ooohhs’ of a fresh diss and the shocked looks due to a new recruit insulting a high commanding officer. Eileen blinked once.
“What is your name cadet?” She asked.
“Abraham Coria.” He replied proudly.
“Step forward Mr. Coria.” Abraham smiled wide, pushed out his chest, and strutted his way to the front of the crowd. He was very tall, and Eileen was significantly shorter than him, but that didn’t stop her from looking him straight in the eyes.
“What’s up toots?” Abraham asked. “Am I gettin’ a promotion already?” And with that, Eileen reared back her foot and kicked Abraham very hard between the legs. Abraham shrieked in such a high pitch agents looked away from their monitors. The cadets broke out laughing as Abraham toppled over and fell to the ground, crying literal tears of pain, and screaming like his arm had been cut off. Eileen smiled nice and wide, feeling very triumphant.
“Eileen!” Called a sudden voice from behind her. She whipped around quickly to see the man himself, Joshua Westbrook, approaching her.
“Josh, I was…” she began.
“Breaking in the new recruits?” Josh finished, as he looked down Abraham Coria, still blubbering on the floor. Eileen giggled.
“Something like that.”
“Right,” Josh replied, leaning down next to Abraham. “Son, you just got your butt kicked by a girl half your size on your first day of the job. Obviously this isn’t for you. Come back next year, and we’ll see if you’ve… improved by then.” Josh signaled some agents, who then rushed over and dragged the crying man out of the room. Josh stood up and brushed his hands off. “Well, now that we’ve taken care of all the rotten eggs, I hope the rest of you hatchlings will be slightly more promising. Yes, you are hatchlings, you have to peck your way up the chain of command until you become Eggheads, like us. And no, I do not run out of egg puns, so don’t ask.” Josh turned to Eileen and smiled. “And you did a very nice job with the welcome this time around. I do believe you referred to my mind as brilliant.”
“I was just reciting the speech.” She replied. “You know, the one that you wrote.” Joshua frowned, then looked over at the hologram.
“Fine, we’ll get rid of it next year.” He turned to the cadets. “Anyways, welcome to E.G.G! If you all would make your way to the Nests, that is where you will live for the remainder of your basic training. I will have my esteemed agents lead the way. And be sure to assemble in the Coop at 4:00 pm sharp for the next session of your welcome experience!” The cadets departed led by a group of agents. Josh and Eileen walked over to the main control panel. “How’s she holding up?” He asked her.
“All components functioning at 100%.” Eileen replied. “Mother Egg’s never looked better.”
“Good, that’s very good.” He said. “Now, we need to address a certain issue that’s been on my mind lately…” Eileen laughed.
“Josh, I’m not calling you ‘sir’.”
“But Eileen! I mean, come on, at least in front of the hatchlings!”
“No! I’ve know you since the sixth grade, I’m not going to address you as sir!”
“You said you respected me!”
“Well then what’s the problem?”
“Josh, there’s a clear difference between…” at that instant a frazzled agent rushed into the room, out of breath.
“Sir, we have a problem.” He breathed.
“See,” Josh said to Eileen. “He calls me sir!” Eileen lightly punched Josh in the arm and approached the agent.
“What’s wrong?” She asked.
“It’s Agent Blanco, she…” Suddenly there was a noise that echoed throughout the halls. A familiar noise. Josh and Eileen looked at each other, horror in their eyes.
“She found it.” They said simultaneously.
Josh and Eileen rushed through the doors into the Feeding Pen, the cafeteria. Suddenly, in a puff of smoke and a bamf, the third and final of the trio, Acacia Blanco, appeared in front of her two friends. She wore a device that was strapped to her chest, with a glowing yellow circle in the center.
“How could you guys not tell me about this!” She exclaimed. With another bamf and a puff of smoke, Acacia teleported herself to the complete other side of the room.
“Acacia, the Bamf Vest is still in the prototype stage, it hasn’t been fully tested yet!” Josh stated.
“Seems fine to me!” She replied, teleporting again, this time on top of a table, which she began dancing on.
“Acacia, it’s only passed the primary testing phase!” Eileen shouted. “Keep using it and you could bamf yourself out of existence at any time!” Acacia stopped dancing.
“Seriously?” She asked.
“Yes!” They both replied at the time.
“Oh,” Acacia sighed. She stepped off of the table and took the vest off. “Well that sucks. I was just starting to have fun with it.”
“Go play with the Thwip Blaster.” Josh replied, taking the vest.
“But I already played with that a million times!” Acacia complained. “It’s boring now!” Josh gasped.
“Nothing fashioned after Spider-Man himself is boring!” Josh shouted.
“Well Josh, it was kind of the first thing we invented.” Eileen defended. “It’s way past its glory days.”
“It is not!” Josh replied. “Anyways, I’m taking this thing back where it belongs.” Josh turned and stormed out of the room. He marched through a hall, down some stairs, then into a room, with a giant metal vault. He placed his hand on a scan pad, and a second later, a light above the vault blinked green and the large door slowly opened. Josh walked inside of the large room, with shelves upon shelves of weapons, gadgets, gizmos, all sorts of cool things. It was like a Wal-Mart for products that either blew something up or took someone down. It was the arsenal of all arsenals. It was the Hall of E.G.G. And only the three friends had access to it. Josh walked to the far side of the Hall and threw the vest into a large metal bin labeled “Phase 2 Testing”. It was full of all sorts of other things that had yet to be tested. But that’s the way they handled things at E.G.G, one step at a time. Josh turned to exit the room when he saw the first Thiwp Blaster prototype hanging on the wall, above it a picture of him, Eileen, and Acacia, all holding onto it, proud of their first invention. Josh smiled and took the Thiwp Blaster off of the wall.
“You’re not boring, are you buddy?” He said, examining it. Its red and blue exterior, same as Spider-Man. The dial in the corner that had three settings: Net, strand, and ball. Josh grinned. He flipped it on. It lit up. He switched the dial to net. “Thiwp!” He shouted, pulling the trigger and launching a web net from the gun. It hit the wall and stuck there. Josh laughed. “Thwip! Thwip! Thwip!” He shouted, launching a new web net in different spots of the room each time. Josh looked around and nodded. “Nope, not boring at all.” He said, putting back on the wall and exiting the Hall of E.G.G.
Meanwhile, Eileen and Acacia sat in the Inner Shell.
“Acacia,” Eileen said, continuing a conversation they had already started. “We have like, 50 other projects that have been waiting for much longer and we have to clear those first. Fury personally asked for a few of them.”
“Oh come on Eileen!” Acacia complained. “That thing was totally cool! We should have built it a long time ago! I want to jump it to first priority!”
“You already used your first priority call this month Acacia, remember?”
“I did not!”
“The Chimichanga Palooza Machine.”
“It doesn’t even work!”
“No, it did, but you overloaded it!”
“How was I supposed to know you could only make six chimichangas at a time?”
“I’m pretty sure that when you had to start cramming them in, that would have been a good indication to stop.”
“I guess…” Suddenly the entire room began flashing red. A loud alarm sounded throughout Mother Egg. Eileen and Acacia stood up abruptly.
“Check on the hatchlings!” Eileen yelled over the alarm. “Make sure they stay calm.”
“On it!” Acacia responded, running out of the room. Agents frantically typed at their computers, trying to solve the problem.
“Talk to me somebody!” Eileen demanded.
“It seems Mother Egg is being hacked!” One of the agents responded. “We… we can’t override it!”
“What the shell is going on!” Josh shouted, entering the room.
“They said Mother Egg is being hacked!” Eileen responded. Josh clinched his fist.
“Hall. Now. Secure everything.” He ordered.
“You got it!” Eileen replied, rushing out of the room. Josh turned to the agents at the main control panel.
“Are we still in control?” He asked.
“For the time being yes, but the hacker isn’t letting up!”
“Lock the door and toss key agent!” Josh shouted. “We maintain control at all times, do you hear me!”
“Yes sir!” The agent replied. Suddenly Josh’s communication device began beeping. He put his hand to his ear and pressed the button.
“Josh…” It was Acacia’s voice, but the transmission was full of static, and Josh was only picking up bits and pieces. “Hatchlings…… we couldn’t …….. missing a few……” That was all Josh needed to hear.
“Scramble a search party, we have missing hatchlings and I want them secured!” He ordered.
“Yes sir!” An agent replied, rushing to do what he was told. Josh activated his comm and called Eileen. There was static again.
“Eileen, what’s the status of the Hall?” He asked.
“Josh…” Her voice was panicked.
“Eileen? Eileen! What’s going on!”
“Can’t…….. too many……. disguised as…….. it’s Powell…….” Suddenly she cut out.
“Eileen!” Josh shouted. At that moment all of the monitors went blank. Then they all flashed back on, with a familiar face. The face of an enemy.
“Hello Josh.” All of the monitors thundered at once. “Long time no see.” Josh clinched his fist and gritted his teeth.
To Be Continued…
That was pretty intense! What do you think will happen next?
Remember to leave questions and comments so that I can address them in the Q&A this Thursday, August 7! Check and see if your question gets answered! And look for Episode 2: Agents of E.G.G, the next day August 8!