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E.G.G Episode 58: Heroes for Hire
AND THERE CAME A DAY, A DARK DAY. A DAY WHERE THE LIVES OF THREE FRIENDS WERE SINGLEHANDEDLY DESTROYED. BUT THAT DAY HASN’T HAPPENED YET. NOW, HISTORY HAS BEEN REWRITTEN, AND E.G.G WILL WAKE TO SEE A BRAND NEW DAY.
Previously, on E.G.G...
After the events of E.G.G v.s A.I.M, Josh officially stepped down as Director of E.G.G, and Eileen stepped up to the plate. Immediately she began changing rules, letting everyone in the Humpty Dumpty Hall, making it okay to date in house, and even demoting Josh to Captain! Josh did not like this one bit. While Eileen was trying to control E.G.G, Josh was on his own mission to get his organization back. He suited up in the Director's Revenge armor and almost killed Eileen in a crazed rage! Eileen beat him in an epic battle, and now she faces an uncertain future as the new Director of E.G.G!
Click here to read E.G.G Episode 57: Eileen Wuthrich: Director of E.G.G
Click here for the Episode 57 Q&A
-Heroes for Hire-
James walked out of a room in E.G.G base, closed and locked the door behind him, then proceeded to walk away, whistling.
“What you doin’ Collins?” Someone suddenly said.
“Gyah!” James shouted, spinning around to see Josh leaning against the wall with his arms folded. “Oh, it’s just you.”
“What are you making in there?” Josh asked, approaching him.
“It’s none of your business.” James replied.
“Listen, I don’t appreciate you running secret science projects in my E.G.G Base behind my…”
“I’m sorry, whose E.G.G Base?” James asked. Josh paused, growled under his breath, and began to storm off when he ran into Eileen.
“Oh, Josh, James, there you guys are!” She exclaimed. “I need both of you.”
“For what?” Josh asked.
“Let’s walk and talk please.” She said, leading the way as they both followed. “So, as you know, I’m really trying to shift focus towards the weapons development portion of E.G.G, you know, ‘cause we’ve been slipping big time.”
“It’s not us slipping!” Josh defended. “It’s jerks like A.I.M getting in our way!”
“And the Inner Circle.” James added.
“And the Masters of Doom!” Josh continued.
“And Technovore, and X-23, and Mystique, and everything else under the sun.” Eileen finished. “But I’m done making excuses. As the new director, my job is to make sure that the rest of you do your jobs. So, I’ve come up with a contingency plan to deal with these distractions while we make cool toys.”
“And that would be…” Josh said. Eileen led them into the Inner Shell.
“These guys.” She said, pointing to a tall, muscular African American man in a yellow shirt, and another man in a green suit with yellow gloves, boots, belt, a mask that came halfway down his face, and a dragon on his chest.
“Luke Cage.” The first man said.
“Iron Fist.” Said the second one, bowing. “Namaste.”
“No way!” Josh said. “The Heroes for Hire! Dude, alright!” He said, holding his hand up to Luke Cage. Cage raised his eyebrows. “What? A brother can’t get a high five?”
“Anyways,” Eileen said. “Like you said, they’re heroes for hire. So, I’ve hired them to take care of all of our problems while we work.”
“Um, yeah, that’s nice.” James said. “But Scramble or Gravity Master shows up, what exactly are they gonna do?”
“Are you kidding me!” Josh shouted. “This is freaking Power Man!”
“Don’t call me that.” Cage said. “Ever.”
“Right, okay, well, he used to be Power Man, back when he wore a tiara.”
“It was a headband!” Cage shouted.
“Whatever. He has super strength and unbreakable skin! Making him invulnerable to anything! And this guy…” He walked over to Iron Fist. “Iron Fist! You… still go by Iron Fist, right?”
“Yes.” Iron Fist confirmed.
“Good. Anyways, he studied the ancient art of Kung Fu monk style in the lost city of K’un-Lun!”
“It’s not so much lost as it is hidden…” Iron Fist corrected.
“Whatever. Either way, he beat a freaking dragon and gained the power of the iron fist, letting him channel his chi energy into his fists to pack double the punch!”
“It’s more like ten times the punch.”
“Again, whatever. These guys are awesome superheroes!”
“Yet neither of them are Avengers.” Acacia said, entering the room.
“Excuse me?” Cage asked.
“I said…” Acacia approached Luke Cage and noticed how much taller, and how much more ripped he was than her. “Nothing, I said nothing.”
“That’s what I thought.”
“Well, we’re happy to help any way we can Director Wuthrich.” Iron Fist said.
“Long as the check clears.” Cage added.
“I can’t thank you two enough.” Eileen said. “Now come on guys, let’s get crackin’ in the Humpty Dumpty Hall.”
“Sure thing.” Josh said, as he, James and Acacia left the room.
“What do you want us to do?” Cage asked.
“Nick Fury called earlier this morning with a priority one alert.” Eileen replied. “I can teleport you to the Helicarrier, he’s already been informed you’ll be filling in for us.”
“Alright then.” Cage said, cracking his knuckles. “Let’s bust some heads!”
“That’s the spirit!” Eileen said, powering up the teleporter. “Good luck!”
“Thank you.” Iron Fist said, bowing, as the two teleported away.
* * *
Moments later they both were standing on the bridge of the Helicarrier. Fury turned to them.
“Power Man and Iron Fist.” He said, shaking their hands.
“It’s Luke Cage.” Cage replied. “I don’t go by that name anymore.”
“Sorry, haven’t seen you since you wore that costume with the tiara.” Fury smirked.
“It was a headband!” Cage shouted. Iron Fist put his hand on Luke’s shoulder.
“Let it go friend.” He said.
“That aside, when I heard you two were coming, I figured you were perfect for the job!”
“What’s goin’ down?” Cage asked. “HYDRA goons? A.I.M punks? Sentinels?”
“No, none of that. The reactor core is overheating and needs maintenance.” Cage looked in confusion.
“Then call a maintenance crew.” He said.
“I did. Your unbreakable skin is perfect for withstanding the heat the reactor puts off. I need you to get in and fix it.”
“Glad to help Director Fury.” Iron Fist said. “But what can I do?”
“It gets pretty dark in there.”
“Don’t those iron fists of yours light up?”
* * *
Luke Cage and Iron Fist entered the Humpty Dumpty Hall, dirty and greasy from working on the reactor.
“No, no, no!” Eileen shouted.
“What now!” Josh shouted back.
“I told you to use a size 45 fission rod, not a 38!”
“It doesn’t matter!”
“It will when the gun blows up in your face!”
“Ahem.” Iron Fist cleared his throat, as Josh and Eileen looked their way.
“Oh, hello.” Eileen said. “How’d it go?”
“We spent all day unclogging a reactor!” Cage replied. “That’s how it went! Where’s our cash?”
“Please.” Iron Fist added. “Don’t forget to say please.”
“Man, whatever!” Cage said, waving him off.
“Um, actually, I had another assignment for your two…” Eileen said. “But if you’re done…”
“We’ll help any way we can.” Iron Fist interjected.
“Not unless we get paid!” Cage corrected.
“We’ll just add it to the tab.” Iron Fist said. “Now what else did you want us to do?”
“Thank you Iron Fist.” Eileen said. “Our friend Jake the librarian…”
“Jake the loser librarian.” Josh corrected. Eileen rolled her eyes.
“He called us a few minutes ago,” she continued. “He says that there are some super villains fighting outside of the New York Public Library.”
“Alright, alright!” Cage excitedly exclaimed. “Now we’re talking!”
“We’ll be there as fast as we can.” Iron Fist said, and the two were gone.
* * *
In a few minutes, Luke pulled up to the library in his truck and he and Iron Fist rushed inside. Jake was nervously pacing back pack and forth when he spotted them.
“Power Man and Iron Fist?” He asked.
“It’s Luke Cage!” Cage replied.
“Yes, that’s us,” Iron Fist answered. “Are you Jake?”
“Yes, I’m so glad you guys are here!”
“Hey man, just point us towards them villains then get outta the way.” Cage said, cracking his neck. “We’ll take care of it.”
“What? Oh, no.” Jake laughed. “The villains are gone.”
“Say what now?”
“Yeah, the Avengers already took care of them. But there was a whole bunch of banging, crashing, and quaking, and a lot of property damage ensued.”
“So you want us to fix holes in walls?” Cage asked, angered.
“No, Damage Control is taking care of that, I just need you guys to help put books back on the shelves.”
“Now I didn’t sign for-”
“We’ll help you Jake.” Iron Fist interrupted. “How many books are there?”
“Well…” Jake opened two double doors and walked into a large room with sky high bookshelves toppled over and mountains of books so large men in coats were using shovels to move through them. Cage’s jaw dropped.
“Sweet Christmas…” He said.
“Make sure to use the Dewey Decimal System.” Jake said as he left the room and closed the door.
* * *
Luke Cage and Iron Fist walked into E.G.G Base, Iron Fist with an armload of books.
“You should have checked some out Luke.” He said to Cage. “I think you might have been interested in a few.”
“Danny, shut up.” Luke scowled. They walked into the Humpty Dumpty Hall where Josh was talking to Acacia.
“I call them my Razor Bats!” Josh announced, showing Acacia a small bat-shaped device.
“Yeah, so remember the part of my origin story where the Green Goblin killed my master with razor bats?” Acacia asked, folding her arms. Josh blinked.
“Scratch that, new name: my Egg Fliers! Each one has a small camera inside that feeds data directly to a port of my choosing. They’re tiny, unassuming, completely capable of stealth, and remote controlled! Now I can find out exactly what James is up to!”
“Or we can, you know, use them to spy on bad guys.” Acacia said. Josh just stared. “No? Okay then.”
“Yo!” Cage interjected. Josh and Acacia looked towards him.
“Oh, hey, what’s up guys!” Josh exclaimed.
“Hey. What’s up. Where’s our cash?” Cage demanded.
“Please.” Iron Fist added.
“I’d tell you to talk to Director Wuthrich about that,” Josh said. “but she left on date with Mr. Thinks-he’s-so-perfect Collins.” Josh jumped excitedly. “Ooh! That’s what guys can do! I want you to go spy on Eileen and James! They said they were headed to the pizza joint down the street!”
“Now listen here,” Cage said. “We ain’t seen a cent since we started…”
“We’re happy to help.” Iron Fist said. “We’ll just add it to your tab. Why do you want us to spy on James? Do you not trust him?”
“More like I don’t like him.” Josh said. “And my Razor Bats…”
“Ahem.” Acacia said.
“Sorry, Egg Fliers aren’t online yet.”
“Well, if that’s what you want.” Iron Fist said. “Come on Luke.” Cage mumbled to himself under his breath as the two left.
* * *
Moments later they were on the roof across the street from the pizzeria looking in on James and Eileen rubbing noses.
“This is stupid man.” Cage complained. “They’re playin’ us for chumps!”
“We’re getting paid Luke.” Iron Fist said.
“Those crooks ain’t so much as tossed us a dime Danny!” Cage exclaimed. “When do you think we’re gonna get paid?”
“Patience is longboat that glides down the river of revelation.” Iron Fist replied. “Once you reach the other side, you reap just reward for your virtuous nature.”
“Dude, I don’t know what on earth you just said.” They continued to watch. “Hm, kid’s got some play.”
“Indeed.” Danny agreed.
“Think he’s goin’ for first base.”
“They’re in a public place Luke.”
“… Didn’t stop me and Jessica.”
“Just sayin’!” They continued to watch. Then Cage looked at Iron Fist. “Dude, did you just tickle my leg?”
“What? No!” Iron Fist defended.
“Then what the heck just…” Cage looked to see a giant bushy tail brushing against his leg. “Gyah!” He shouted, jumping up.
“Aaah!” Squirrel Girl shouted, jumping up from her sleep.
“Who are you?” Iron Fist asked, his fists lighting up yellow.
“I’m Squirrel Girl!” She said frantically, cowering in fear. “Please don’t hurt me!” Just then Rice walked onto the roof with a bucket of chicken.
“I got you the wings and legs,” He said. “But the thighs and breast are all…” He looked to see Luke and Iron Fist. He dropped the chicken and took out his swords. Cage stepped forward.
“Try it!” He dared. Rice paused.
“Power Man and Iron Fist?” He asked.
“It’s Luke Cage!” Cage shouted. Rice put his swords away.
“Yeah, sure, what are you doing up here?”
“Spying on Eileen Wuthrich.” Iron Fist replied. “What are you doing up here?”
“Same as you, except it’s my job.” Rice took out his badge. “Kyle Rice, Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D.”
“Oh,” Iron Fist said. “I had no clue. We’ll get out of your way.”
“No we won’t.” Cage said. “We’re runnin’ the clock up. I’m gettin’ all the cash I can get outta these useless jobs.”
“Well, if you’re not gonna leave,” Kyle said. “You think you can teach me some of that Kung Fu? I’ve always wanted to learn the ancient art of the hidden city of K’un-Lun”
“Ah, one who respects the art.” Iron Fist said, bowing. “I’d be honored to teach you.”
“You do that.” Cage said, sitting on the edge of the roof. He looked to see Squirrel Girl digging through the bucket.
“Hey lil’ girl.” He called. “Go on ahead and toss me a thigh.”
“No!” She shouted, running behind the air conditioner. Cage sighed, then buried his head in his hands.
* * *
Luke Cage and Iron Fist walked into the Humpty Dumpty Hall and immediately ducked under a laser.
“Sorry!” Acacia shouted, pulling the device that was firing the laser.
“Contain the ion field!” Eileen shouted. Josh spastically slammed a button and sparks blew out of it.
“Ah!” Josh screamed, covering his face. “It’s no good! The reaction is self-sustaining, it’s out of control!”
“We’re all gonna die!” Acacia screamed. Iron Fist closed his eyes and concentrated, then his fist lit up yellow and he punched the device, shattering it to pieces and shutting down the laser.
“Phew, that was close!” Eileen said.
“We’re addin’ it to the bill.” Cage said. “Which you have yet to pay!”
“I know, I know, sorry,” Eileen said. “But can you do us one more small favor.”
“Not a chance.” Cage stated.
“Pleeeeease, we really gotta finish this. Iron Fist?”
“I might have to go with Luke on this one,” Iron Fist said uneasily. “I mean, we’ve been running errands all day, and I don’t think…” Eileen looked at him with puppy dog eyes and pouted. “…Okay, one more.”
“Are you for real right now Danny!” Cage shouted.
“It’s just one more harmless job Luke.” Iron Fist replied. “So what do you need?”
“Our friend Kristen said she’s got a flipped car on the highway, and she can’t transport one of the victims to Lennox Hill. She says it’s a real emergency.”
“Sounds legit this time.” Cage said. “Let’s roll Danny.” The two were in the teleporter and out in a flash.
* * *
In seconds, Luke Cage and Iron Fist appeared on the highway.
“There’s the car!” Iron Fist exclaimed. They rushed over to see Kristen kneeling on the ground next to a woman. She looked up.
“Did E.G.G send you?” She asked.
“Yes, how can we help?” Iron Fist asked.
“I can’t get this woman to the hospital…”
“Don’t worry, we’ll clear the way!” Cage said.
“No, she’s having this baby now!” They both paused.
“Baby?” They said simultaneously.
“Yes! A baby! Now, Iron Fist? I need you get some damp towels out of my truck, stat!”
“Um, yes ma’am!” Iron Fist answered, rushing off.
“And… Power Man, right?”
“Luke Cage!” Cage corrected.
“Right Power Man has the tiara.”
“It was a head- never mind. What do you need?”
“You have unbreakable skin?”
“Good, come here.” Cage knelt down next to the woman. “Okay Margret, I want you squeeze Mr. Cage arm as hard as you can, okay?”
“Say what now?” Cage asked.
“Okay…” Margret moaned, gripping Cage’s arm.
“Oh man! I feel that!” Cage said, as she dug her nails into him.
“I’ve got the towels!” Iron Fist exclaimed, rushing back.
“Great!” Kristen said, grabbing them. “Now Margret, I need you to push! Just one more time!”
“I can’t… anymore…”
“Yes you can! I swear, this baby will be born today! Now PUSH!”
“RRRRRRRRAAAAAAHHHHHH!!!!” Margret screamed. Soon a baby began to cry. Cage’s eyes widened.
“Sweet Christmas…” he said, as his eyes rolled to the back of his head and he fainted.
“Oh look, it’s a boy.” Iron Fist observed.
“Good job Margret!” Kristen congratulated. She looked down at Luke. “Mr. Cage? Mr. Cage?”
“Don’t worry.” Iron Fist said, picking him up. “The same thing happened when his wife gave birth.”
* * *
Luke Cage and Iron Fist walked into the Inner Shell, Cage with an ice pack on his head.
“I never thought I’d have to see that again man.” Cage cried. “Never!”
“It’s okay Luke.” Danny said.
“Hey, guys!” Eileen exclaimed, greeting them with Josh and Acacia. “Glad you’re back, Jocasta just reported a serious…”
“NO!” Cage shouted. “No more! I done had enough of this now! I fixed a reactor, I put up some books, I followed your scrawny butt all around town, and I just witnessed child birth! Again! Now, I wanna know when I’m gonna see a paycheck!”
“Please.” Iron Fist finished.
“For goodness sake, just pay the man Eileen.” Acacia said. “We can handle the 0-8-4 on our own.”
“Fine,” Eileen said. “Where’s the E.G.G checkbook?”
“Oh, we don’t have those anymore.” Josh said.
“What?” Eileen asked.
“Yeah, I should have given you all of the financial records… due to frivolous spending, that had nothing whatsoever to do with me, Fury stopped giving us money. He only gives us supplies.”
“So… we’re broke?”
“Yeah, we’re broke.”
“Oh no…” Cage said. “Oh no, you ain’t broke. But yo face is about get broke in a minute if you don’t front some cash!”
“Okay, okay, calm down.” Eileen said, taking out her personal checkbook. “How much is it?”
“The total bill comes to $6,255 and 76 cents.” Iron Fist said. Eileen closed her checkbook.
“Um… yeah… maybe we can set up a payment plan?” She asked with a little giggle. Cage’s eye twitched.
“Uh-uh, I done had enough of ya’ll.” He said.
“Iron Fist, can you calm your friend down?” Josh asked, as Cage started moving towards them.
“Sorry to say.” Iron Fist said, as his fists lit up yellow. “But I’m with Luke on this one.”
“We are soooooo screwed.” Acacia said.
“Come here!” Cage yelled, as they all scattered. Josh ran into a conference room and closed the door. Cage began to bang against it, denting it each time.
“You can’t kill us! You’re a hero!” Josh shouted, hiding under the table.
“I ain’t gonna kill you,” Cage shouted. “I’m just gonna bust yo head!”
Eileen and Acacia closed themselves inside of the Humpty Dumpty Hall.
“He can’t get in, right?” Acacia asked. Iron Fist stopped in front of the door, put his hands together, stood on one foot, then punched the door down.
“AH!” The girls screamed simultaneously.
“We would like our money now!” Iron Fist demanded. “Please!”
“Eileen, make with the Lightstream!” Acacia firmly whispered.
“Right.” Eileen said. She shot a bolt of lightning at Iron Fist, who caught it, rerouted it, and shot it back as chi energy.
“Ah!” Acacia screamed, as she put up a force field and Eileen dove behind a monitor.
In the conference room, Cage finally punched the door down when Josh suddenly jumped up with a flame thrower.
“Suck it Power Man!” Josh said, shooting fire at him. He stopped to see Cage on fire, glaring angrily at him. He grabbed the flame thrower and crunched it in his hands.
“I told you never to call me that.” He growled. Josh gulped.
Eileen and Acacia were running down hall, Iron Fist hot on their tail, blasting chi energy at them.
“What are we gonna do!?” Acacia frantically asked Eileen. She shook her head.
“I have no shelling…”
“AAAAAHHHHH!!!” They both looked to see Josh soar out of the conference room and crash into them. They all tumbled onto the ground. Luke Cage and Iron Fist approached the three friends as they scooted back in fear.
“Please, we’re sorry!” Eileen pleaded.
“You’re about to be!” Cage said, as he ripped a panel off of the wall and Iron Fist’s fists lit up.
“Please!” Josh begged.
“Don’t do it!” Acacia cried.
“Wait!” They all looked to see Celeste, standing with a checkbook. “How much do they owe you?”
“$6,255!” Cage said.
“And 76 cents.” Iron Fist added. “Please.” Celeste scribbled into her checkbook then ripped out a check.
“Here, in full.” She said, handing it to them. “Now can you stop wrecking the base? Jocasta and I are in the middle of my lessons!” Iron Fist looked at Cage.
“It’s legit.” He said, his fists powering down. Cage sighed and tossed the wall panel aside.
“Ya’ll fools got lucky.” He said, pocketing the check. “Come on Danny, let’s bounce.” He and Iron Fist got into the elevator and were gone. Everyone let out a huge sigh of relief. Acacia looked at Celeste.
“Um, Celeste,” she said. “Where did get all of that money?”
“Uh, hello! Both of my parents are dead with life insurance from S.H.I.E.L.D!” She replied.
“The kid’s loaded!” Josh exclaimed.
“Well, thank you Celeste.” Eileen said. “We’ll pay you back.”
“You don’t have to,” Celeste said. “But… I will take an increase to my 10 cookie a day limit…”
“Done and done.” Acacia said. “Now, shall we finish inventing?”
“Why not.” Josh said, and they all went about their day.