Templars, Owls, and Giants - Oh My! Page 8 Picture

White Owl awoke to find herself in a place she did not recognize. Instinctively, she checked to ensure her mask was still on, then leapt up to check her surroundings.

"Calm yourself, my dear," came the voice of Professor Dandridge next to here, "You're safe."

"Where are we?" White Owl asked, a little reassured, but still not ready to let her guard down.

"Underneath the museum."

"You have a secret base beneath the museum?"

Dandridge smiled, "We do."

"She wake up?" the voice of Argos called from a nearby room.

Dandridge walked over to a small voicebox on a nearby wall, turned it on and said in a mildly irritated tone, "She has."

"Great!" Agros shouted in reply, "I'll be right there!"

Moments later, Argos entered the room. He had cleaned himself up, and he had either repaired or replaced the tattered costume he had worn earlier.

"If I may ask," inquired Dandridge softly, "What was the point of installing an internal communication system down here if you refuse to take advantage of it?"

"Sorry Billy," Argos replied with a grin, "I keep forgetting that it's there."

Dandridge sniffed in reply.

"So, White Owl," Argos said, turning his attention to the heroine, "I've got a few questions and I imagine you might as well."

"As a matter of fact, I do."

"Well, ladies first."

"Alright, what on earth was all that about, who was that we were fighting, and what are a British Professor and a man named after a Greek city doing in a secret lair underneath a famous museum?"

"We prefer 'base' to 'lair'," said Dandridge, "Villains have lairs, we're not villains."

"As to the name," replied Argos, "It's actually based off of that giant with all the eyes."

Dandridge rolled his eyes, "He is referring to Argos Panoptes, more frequently called Argus, the hundred-eyed giant who guarded the white heifer for Zeus in Greek mythology."

"Does your choice of name have anything to do with your fancy eye-piece, there?" asked Athena.

"Actually, that was added after the fact," replied Argos, "The main reason we went with the name was that Argos reputedly never slept, neither do I."

"You don't sleep?" White Owl asked incredulously.

"Not a wink. Don't get tired either. I also have yet to be knocked out and I'm immune to neurotoxins."

"Why don't you just tell her your secret identity while your at it," chided Dandridge quietly in the background.

"As to who we were fighting, that was a Ritterbruder, he was an elite member of a group calling themselves the Templars."

"Not the Templars of conspiracy fame," Dandridge clarified, "But rather, a group of glorified white supremacists whose goal is to restore the supposed 'master race' to a position of dominance. They actually more closely resemble the Teutonic Order of Knights than the Knights Templar, suggesting that their founders did not have a terribly firm grasp of history."

"Ok," replied Athena, "I suppose that explains in part why you were fighting with him, but he wanted something from you. A flash drive?"

"Oh, this," replied Argos, pulling the small device out of his boot.

White Owl asked, "What's on it?"

"This is one of two drives that contains detailed information about the Gauntlets of Midas. Specifically, where they might be found. One of the gauntlets is reputedly able to turn anything it touches into gold, whereas the other can return anything that has been transformed back to its original state."

"Strange that I've never heard of these before," Athena replied, "though I can certainly see why people would want to get their hands on them."

"It would give whomever possessed them access to incredible wealth," said Dandridge, "In addition, my research indicates that the second gauntlet's restorative properties are not limited merely to something that has been turned to gold, but may in fact work on anything that has been unnaturally transformed."

"Ok, we've answered your questions," said Argos, "now tell us, what is the famous protector of Queen City doing all the way out here?"

Athena was quiet for a moment. She was fairly confident at this point that they weren't criminals, otherwise they likely wouldn't have been so forthright with her, but she wasn't sure if it was wise to explain her motives for being here. Secrecy was best maintained when the number of people in on the secret was kept to a minimum. That said, it might not hurt to have a few allies who were more familiar with Coastal City than she was, and the thought of hanging out in a secret base directly underneath a museum did appeal to her. Ultimately, it was unlikely that she would be able to rescue Curia and Amazon Arrow from the Clue Gang without some kind of backup, and these two certainly seemed to make a good team. Finally, Athena decided to explain her reasons for being here and see if she could convince them to aid her.

The two men listened attentively as she explained all that had happened with her friends, and all of the information she had managed to squeeze out of the Clue Gang's minions over the past few weeks. When she had concluded her tale, they both looked at each other inquiringly for a moment, and then Argos finally replied.

"Well," he said, "it just so happens that we have reason to believe that the second flash drive is currently in the possession of the Clue Gang. If we manage to free your friends, finding and retrieving the drive should be a cake-walk after that."

"Excellent," replied Athena, "I have a fairly good idea where they are being held; we should leave as soon as possible."

"Ready when you are," Argos agreed.

"Just one thing," Athena said, turning to Dandridge, "do you have a lab or a workshop down here?"

"We do, as it happens."

"Good, then if you don't mind, I'd like to make a few things before we head underway. My Utility Belt could use a bit of replenishing."

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EXPOSITION!

The plot becomes clearer, and the story progresses. Looks like it's time for a rescue!

EDIT: A friend of mine recently objected to the way I depicted the Teutonic Order in my text here. For reasons of clarity, allow me to explain that Dandridge's claim that the Teutonic Order was a group of white supremacists is not true. The Nazi party disbanded the Teutonic Order when they rose to power and then took elements from the Teutonic Order, perverted them, and utilized them in their propaganda to play on German nationalism and add credibility to their own beliefs on racial superiority. Dandridge was raised in England during WWII, and his parents fought against the Nazis both during and after the war. As such, his only real knowledge of the order is from the propaganda utilized by the Nazis, which has colored his view of them.
Had I known someone would take offence to it, I would never have included that bit of character perspective. I hope no one was insulted, as that was never my intention.


White Owl is the OC of
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