Now your mission lies ahead of you
As it did mine so long ago
To help the helpless ones who all look up to you
And to defend them so the end
Manowar, Defender

William Macgregor concentrated then heaved. The hydraulic machinery that encased him strained and groaned in protest, resisting his mucles as he pushed upward. Strained and slowly, slowly relented with a mechanical squeal. With a grunt William fully pressed the hydraulic weight, a fine sheen of sweat coating his face from the effort.

Linda shook her head, looking into the readouts. "That's a personal best, Willie… 2000 kilograms. Keep this up and we'll be able to get you a job as a crane." Linda was a small woman, about 5 ft tall and rail thin. Her lab coat seemed to swallow her and thick glases hid her eyes. She had blonde hair, tied into a bun. "Ok… enough for now… it's time for you favorite… blood samples."

Macgregor groaned, getting to his feet. He wasn't really much taller than Linda, but broad, hugely barrel-chested, legs thick as stumps, thick with muscle and straning the black shorts he wore. His arms were huge, a body builder's fantasy. William's face on the other hand, was boyishly handsome, almost cute under his classic military buzz cut.

"Jesus… a 400 pound baby…" Linda grinned. "Come on." She led him out of the test lab thourgh a set of sliding doors to the medical facilites. It resembled a mix of hitech emergency room and chemical lab, which was basically what it was. "Sit down." She gestured to a reinforced chair.

"Now…" A chirp from the phone cut her off. "You get it.. nobody calls me here." Linda said idly preparing a syringe. William picked up the phone, listened for a few minutes,nodded.

"No, she's not here… sorry," he said, and hung up. Linda turned and stared at him. "Well, you said nobody called you here, must have been a wrong number."

His deadpan face broke a moment later under her glare, he chuckled. "Okay, okay… we got… I got something to do… seems some operative has got himself cut off and the men upstairs have decided to activate me. We meet him in a few hours, take him in and hold him until pick up." Linda sighed. "Nothing is ever that simple…"

William Macgregor tried to not to feel too self-conscious but the stares he drew made that difficult. He was an imposing figure, short and barrel chested, hugly muscled. The fact he was standing the middle of a comics store,in a suit no less, didn't make him less noticable. When he found out who picked this rendevous point… Linda, for her part, looked more the collegate type that seemed to frequent this place, The Dragon's Dungeon or Den or what ever. In a sweater and loose jeans, she looked a like a grad student as she browsed the comics.

Hmmm, these things have changed since I was a kid, she thought, flipping through an issue of Jadestorm. "Wonderwoman would never do that," she muttered, raising an eyebrow at a particular panel, "they'd kick her right out of the Justice League… " Well it wasn't as strange as that other one… Ivy. Willie was still blushing over that. She grinned to herself, adjsting her glasses she walked back over to him. "When is he supposed to get here?"

"He's got 10 more minutes, then we assume… well, the worst." Will hated this spook stuff. But inter-agency co-op was at an all time high. Was this even technically legal? He was military, operating on American soil… then again, was he even Army anymore?

Linda grinned. "Look at this… you might like it… help kill time."

He shook his head, "No, no way… I'll never eat a salad again after the last one." Glancing out the window, he caught sight of a figure in a black long coat. Our man? he wondered.