The rise of the fat mogul (the defenders saga book 2)

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The Rise of the Fat Mogul

 

 

Adam Oster

Also by Adam Oster

The Legend of Buddy HeroThe Agora FilesDaddy of the Dead

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Copyright © 2014 Adam Oster

All rights reserved.

ISBN-13:978-1500522506ISBN-10: 1500522503

 

Cover Image by Amanda Obenhoffer

Discover more books by Adam Oster athttp://www.fatmogul.com

 

 

For She-Gretch, Spider-Ollie, and the Mighty Donut

 

 

 

 

Previously, inThe Legend of Buddy Hero, book one of The Defenders Saga:Buddy Jackson, a washed-up boxer who lost his minimum-wage job and one-room apartment on the same day, is brought into a world of secrecy where he finds out that he was, at one time, the world’s greatest superhero.He’s quickly brought up to speed, and up to power, so that he can lead a group of intrepid warriors on a journey to battle his forgotten arch-nemesis, the over-powered Dominion.  Due to some quick thinking, as well as an odd mental link between the two, Buddy and the New Defenders manage to defeat this menace and send him off to another dimension where he will be no longer capable of bringing about his intended destruction of the world.  Or so they believed.People to know:Buddy Jackson– The one-time leader of the Defenders of America known as Buddy Hero.  Capable of amazing strength, which makes him all but invincible.  Buddy was, until recently, a burned-out drunk, but has now found reason to fight for mankind.  Part of that battle is against the demons left inside his head as an after-effect of his battle with Dominion as seen within the pages ofThe Legend of Buddy Hero.Zero Hamilton– The caped crusader who calls himself Kid Zero may appear to be simple-minded, but wields the great mental power of telekinesis.  A product of a lost time, Zero fights for truth, justice, and because it’s a whole lot of fun.  Having been sent to outer space at the time of The Great Mind Wipe, Zero is an outcast who still remembers what it feels like to be worshipped.Alexa Rose– The buxom and beautiful speed demon, and daughter of the original Red Rocketeer.  Alexa, fights alongside Buddy and Zero as part of The New Defenders.  Draped in mystery as the previous side-kick to the villainous Arthur Flores, Alexa generally wants to do good, although she may be led astray from time to time.Ryan Reed– The second generation Red Rocketeer works to get out of the shadow of his famous scientist father.  Although he may appear on the surface to be yet another trust fund-enabled playboy, he toils day and night to come up with the next great tool for facing off against whatever dangers he and the rest of The New Defenders may have to face.Oscar Reed– The original Red Rocketeer and father to Alexa and Ryan.  Not much is known about the leader of the world’s largest pharmaceutical and technology corporation outside of his previous connection to the original Defenders of America and his stated unwillingness to rejoin the good fight.Damon Memphis– The villain known as Dominion, capable of countless amazing powers.  So many in fact, that it would be easier to name the things he can’t do.  He believes himself to be God’s chosen Angel of Death, the man who will bring about the Great Judgment as well as the destruction of the world.  He was last seen in the pages ofThe Legend of Buddy Herobeing left in another dimension without any memory of who he is.Jeffrey Flores –Son of the infamous Arthur Flores, capable of duplicating the image and powers of anyone he meets.  His sole focus is on taking over his father’s empire, as well as taking down Buddy Jackson, whom he believes stands in the way of his goal.Arthur Flores– aka The Fat Mogul.  Leader of The Mogul Mob, a super-powered army bent on fulfilling Arthur’s every whim.  He’s known as a strong tactician and as someone who always gets his way.  Last known location: his secret underground bunker.Maggie Jackson– Buddy’s sister and sole confidant.  Behind the counter of her diner lies the one place Buddy can truly call home, and the one person who can actually keep him in line.

CHAPTER 1

 

“Good evening, Reverend.”

“Oh, um, Mr. Flores.  I don’t believe I—“

“I apologize for dropping in unannounced like this.  I’m certain it is quite disconcerting to have a member of The Defenders of America stop by your church and say hello.”

“Um, no, it’s not.  But, well, I’m just not sure that this is—“

“I know I’m also one of the last people you would want to see right now.”

“Oh, I wouldn’t—“

“However, in light of today’s tragic events, I simply couldn’t stop myself from checking in.”

“Oh, now, that’s not really—“

“How is your wife doing, Reverend?”

“She’s okay, I guess.”

“Okay?” Flores frowned.  “I was under the impression she was dead until I saw the item on the news this evening.”

“Me too, well, I mean--”

“With that in mind, I believe the word ‘okay’ may be a rather insensitive assessment of her current status.  In fact, the way I hear it, not only is she currently on life support, but the doctors have given you very little reason to believe she will ever awaken from her coma.”

“You’re,” the minister choked on his words, “you’re right.  Things aren’t good.”

“I’m sorry,” Mr. Flores said as he grabbed the minister’s hands and looked him deep in the eyes.  There was a long pause before he continued.  “On behalf of myself as well as the members of my former team, I want to--”

“Yourformerteam?”

“Yes,” the large man nodded his head.  “I’m not sure I need tell you this, yet I feel as though you, of all people, deserve to know that there is someone on your side.  I tendered my resignation from the Defenders of America, effective immediately.  After seeing what had happened on the battlefield and how the loss of human life seemed to be inconsequential to the rest of them, well, I came to the conclusion that I could no longer be any part of it.”

“Oh,” the reverend said with a sigh.  “I see.  You’re here so you can relieve yourself of some guilt, then.  I’m sorry, but we don’t hold confessions here.”

“I am not here with the intention of unburdening myself.”

“Whatever it is, Mr. Flores, I’m quite certain that I can’t be of any help.”

“Please hear me out.  You should be aware more than most, Father, that sometimes things must happen, terrible things, in order for the LORD's work to be performed.”

“I’m not certain I follow, Mr. Flores.”

“I hope I don’t appear crass in saying so, Father, considering your current situation.  I am merely offering the suggestion that perhaps what is currently going on in your life is not some random occurrence.  Perhaps, it is, in fact, part of a larger plan that has been designed specifically for you.”

“Okay, I’ll bite.  What sort of role are you talking about, Mr. Flores?”

“The only role any man of the cloth could ever wish for.  To play an integral part in changing the future of the world.”

“I still don’t understand what you’re trying to say.”

“Desperate times call for desperate measures, do they not?”

“I’ve heard the phrase before, however I can’t say that--”

“You have shown your people desperate times; you have given us wine that makes us stagger. But for those who fear you, you have raised a banner to be unfurled against the bow. Save us and help us with your right hand, that those you love may be delivered.”

“Misquoting the Bible will get you nowhere, Mr. Flores.”

“Misquoting?  Is that not a direct passage from Psalm 60?”

“More or less, yes, but—“

“I believe you are that banner which is to be lifted.  I believe God intends for you to stand as his right hand to show the world that his power cannot be denied.  Even more importantly, that his power cannot be duplicated.”

The minister laughs.  “I’d have to imagine there would be a better way for God to call me to such a mission than with you as the messenger.”

“Hasn't he given you such a message, Father?  The Anti-Christ's head has arisen in the form of Buddy Hero, as well as the rest of those who would pretend to be our salvation.  Your very own wife’s life has been placed into a critical condition by these false gods.  I’m not certain how much more direct of a message you could be given.”

“What are you trying to say, Mr. Flores?”

“This is just an observation, that’s all.”

“I can’t help but notice that your observation, Mr. Flores, sounds an awful lot like you’re suggesting genocide.”

“Who said anything about genocide?”

“Are you trying to tell me that is not your intention here?”

“My intention is to do nothing more than to help guide you on the right path,” Mr. Flores said as he began pacing, his hands held behind his back.  “Now that you mention it, is genocide something that would truly be all that far out of the question?”

“If you’re talking about the cold-blooded murder of millions, then I think—“

“What about the Canaanites?  Were they not all subjected to execution at the command of the one, true God?”

“Well, sure, but they were--”

“They were heathens, residing in the chosen land of the chosen people.  Are you familiar with the Amalekites?”

“Fine, I see your point, but I just don't see how God could want to use--”

“Your constant need to fight your calling reminds me an awful lot of another important man in history.  His name was Moses.”

“Oh come now, Mr. Flores.  Attempting to compare me to one of the prophets is blasphemy.  I am but a simple man of God, here to spread his Gospel. I am no--”

“Moses himself was nothing more than a simple shepherd when God approached him within the burning bush.”

“I don’t know what you’re trying to do here, Mr. Flores, but I can honestly tell you that I don’t like it.  Don’t think I haven’t heard the rumors about your shady dealings with this city’s criminal element.”

“Is there not a place for sinners to do the LORD's work?”

“I fear you have more in common with the Prince of Lies than the Savior of mankind.  I think our conversation here is done.”

Arthur flashed a toothy grin.  “Ah, but Father, I have something for you.  A gift.”

“I’m not interested.”  The minister turned and walked toward the altar.  “You can show yourself the door.”

“Please, just a minute more of your time,” Mr. Flores pleaded as he grabbed the minister’s shoulder.  “Give me your hand.”

The minister reluctantly held out his right hand in front of him, palm up.  Mr. Flores grabbed the offered hand and placed one of his hands on top and one on the bottom.

“Close your eyes,” Mr. Flores said.

“But—“

“Please.”

The reverend complied and felt the other man’s hands remove themselves from his a moment later.

“Alright,” Mr. Flores stated, “open them.”

The minister looked down at his hand and jumped back at the sight of it engulfed in flame.  In slack-jawed awe he stared as he realized his hand did not burn, but was the source of the flame now heating the room.  The cuffs of his brown jacket smoked from the heat.

*******

“Our determined hero stands at attention upon his perch above the city’s streets, seeking out injustice in every corner of the metropolis he has dedicated his life to protect.  Yet, even with his ever vigilant stare, this once proud municipality strains under the weight of an invisible evil, an evil which lurks within every alley way.  Terrible troubling tragedies may befall each of these unsuspecting citizens without the guardianship of its sworn protector. 

“This man, and his hardy group of heroic soldiers, stands ready to face off against the impending cataclysm.  This band of brothers is the only defense yet left in this world of gray who dare stand against this unseen villainy and punch it square in the jaw.  Their acts of bravado are not performed in expectation of recognition for their deeds, but done in the shadows, in the dark of night, and out of the public's eye.  Who, you may ask, would be so bold as to take the fate of this populace and direct it on its proper path without promise of riches and fame?  Who would be so fearless as to spit in death's face just for the fun of it?  There is only one foursome capable of such philanthropic feats, only--”

“Jeez Zero, cut it out already,” Buddy laughed, sitting on a tattered white lawn chair, nursing a warm can of beer.  “Isn’t wearing the costume enough?  You've been at this whole monologuing thing for an hour now.  Sit down, relax, and have a drink already.”

“Yeah, dude,” Ryan smiled. “It's a quiet night, okay.  We haven't heard anything over the scanner for hours.”

“First, as I’ve told you countless times already, it’s a uniform, not a costume.  Second, that's just what the bad guys want you to think, chums.  We must take our patrol times seriously. Terrible things happen when you least expect it.”

“Well,” Alexa said as she reached into the cooler to grab a new can, “you must not have been expecting it, because something terrible has happened.”

“Oh no,” Buddy gasped humorously.  “You don't mean. . .”

“Yep, we've run out of beer.”

“Damn,” Buddy yelled into the night air.  “Damn it all to hell!”

Alexa and Ryan laughed heartily as Zero looked on unamused.

“I believe it was all of you who had requested I be the one to develop training exercises for the group to ensure we were ready in the event something like the return of Dominion was to ever occur again.”  The group stopped laughing.

“Zero, look,” Buddy spoke as he stood and walked toward the only man he believed was capable of wearing a gaucho hat and manage to keep a straight face.  “I'm sorry.  This is important.  I get it.  We get it,” Buddy said as he gestured to Ryan and Alexa.  “The thing is, you've had us sitting on this rooftop every night for the past six months.  We haven’t had a night off since we took care of Damon.  But tonight is quiet.  It’s warm.  It seems to me that someone might want us to just take a night off to enjoy the starry sky.  I’m sure even you’re aware of how important it is to take a break from time to time.”

“Evil does not rest, chum.  Perhaps if we weren’t here on the low-visibility confines of the rooftop of Maggie’s Diner, we would be able to see more of the treacherous acts being performed across the city.”

“Zero, dude,” Ryan said as he walked toward the duo.  “The police scanner is silent, the streets are silent, the whole city is silent.  Chill out and take a night off already.”

“So,” Alexa began, “we giving up for the night, or. . .”

“As leader of The New Defenders, I order that we all continue patrol, under one condition.”

“So. . .” Alexa asked.

“Yes,” Buddy said, crushing his can as he spoke.  “More beer, please.”

Alexa disappeared in a swift breeze and reappeared just as quickly with another six-pack in her hand.

“It's a good thing your sister keeps that fridge fully stocked every night.”

“Oh sweet, sweet Alexa,” Buddy said as he neared her to retrieve a new beverage.  “It’s all part of the deal I’ve struck with her.  We keep her building safe; she ensures we’re well hydrated.  It's the least she can do.”

“Ha,” Ryan laughed.  “The Diner was the center attraction in the destruction of the entire world, because of you.  Having you anywhere near this place seems like she's asking for trouble.”

“Hey, I got it back, didn't I?” Buddy rebutted.  “Zero, come on over and have a beer already.  You look tense.”

“I can't, chum. I just know he's out there, waiting for me to rest.”

“Who?” Alexa asked.  “Damon?”

“Perhaps,” Zero spoke darkly.  “Perhaps someone far more sinister.”

“Alright, pal,” Buddy conceded, “You can have five more minutes to be on alert, but after that I expect you to shotgun at least one beer.  Even the best soldiers need a little R&R.”

“Perhaps you’re right, chum.  It is possible that I have allowed myself to become overly stressed as I await the arrival of our next adventure.  Maybe it would be--” Zero stopped speaking abruptly and looked over his left shoulder.

“Maybe it would be what?” Buddy asked, his back turned as he returned to his chair.

“Did you see that?” Zero asked as his eyes scanned the clear sky.

“See what?” Ryan asked.  “It's not another garbage truck you're mistaking for a bank robbery, is it?”

“No, unforgiving Ryan.  In the sky.  I'm quite certain I saw something flying through it.”

“Probably just the 10:34 flight into Boston,” Ryan answered.  “We see it every night.”

“But it is 10:38 young Ryan, and I saw the 10:34 fly past several minutes ago.”

“Looks like you’ve got 4 minutes left,” Buddy smiled as he took a glance at his watch.  “Anyone got a set of keys for the man.”

“Be right back,” Zero spoke as he ran to the edge of the rooftop and jumped, floating through the air away from the rest of his team.

Buddy, still not looking, “He did it, didn't he?”

“Yep,” Ryan said, already strapping his Thruster Pack to his back.  The over-sized engine wailed to life loudly.

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