You and your friend have begun tracking the movements of The Drunkard.
You each sit approximately twenty feet behind him, monitoring his every move. So far he has not stirred, but you have only been watching for three hours, and these things take time!
More time passes, and soon you are nodding off.
Just then the door swings open, and The Suit walks in. He is carrying the same briefcase, and as you look at him, you see that he is tucking a red folder into his overcoat. He plops down next to the smelly drunk, and orders a bourbon with ice.
Trying not to puke into your own mouth at the thought, you crane your head forward, listening to what he is saying.
"...know why they are not listening anymore. It's all wrong, and you are not even trying to help! We are going to have to do something, and quick, before The Red Hammer wakes up. What do you know?! Anything will help. What about...what about that idiot, Golden Tate?"
Listen, Golden is the most bad ass wideout this side of the Rio Grande. And you can take that to the bank, boyo. He is a power-packed murder machine, pirouetting his way to pay dirt without a care, or thought, in his brain. Golden is a Magic Bullet: he may be small and compact, but he gets the job done. If you ever need a receiver to reach the cookies your mom stashed on the top of the fridge, probably call someone else. But if you ever need a receiver to sprint over muddy, barbed-wire filled trenches while he dances through a hail of gunfire? Call Golden H. Tate the Third.
The "H" stands for "hallelujah", motherfucker.
A man-sized weeble, Golden showers his enemies with blows while slashing and flashing his way through battle, with no regard to his own safety. He is a mechanized man-eater, a wolf humping warmonger that cannot be contained or controlled. Has he always been a sparkling example of morality? Hell no, but all that glitter is not Golden. Sure, he has made a few mistakes in life, but I refuse to hold that against him. At the end of the day, when we need to put numbers on the board, give me a guy with the ass of a running back and the voice of an angel. Every time.
Many members of the Seahawk Horde are represented by tunes like "Ride the Lightning", or "The Trooper". Golden Tate is unapologetically Taylor Dayne's "Tell it to My Heart".
The tale of Golden's conception is neither sordid, nor is it dark. It is a lot like the man himself: pretty damn weird.
Mr. John Schneider has made some odd companions in his many travels throughout the thirty-two kingdoms. He supped on peppered goat testicle with the Nepali shaman named Surmaj Kuttal. He swam nude through the Djiboutian harbor with the Sheikh of Piallahi. He bumped rails with Frodo outside Mordor. He has a thousand names in his contact list, and each name is a different tale.
One of these companions was an acrobat from KwaZulu-Natal, known as Zwelitate BheZulon. His friends called him Tate, and John Schneider was his friend. They had met one night at a poetry slam session: Tate did an interpretive dance, John played the pan flute. Schneider won, obviously. Afterwards, John and Tate went to a local watering hole and proceeded to burn that mother down. They caroused well into the night, trading both stories and cups of vodka soda, and became fast friends.
Schneider was a well-traveled man of the world. Tate was bat-shit crazy.
They left the booze-shack arm over shoulder, Tate teaching Schneider the words to "Umshini Wam". As they rounded a corner, they ran into a group of armed toughs who accosted them, and demanded monetary satisfaction. John Schenider is not the type of guy to back down from ten hardened cannibal soldiers wearing old Nike shirts, bumping Pochano, and toting AK's. He stepped forward and raised his dukes, preparing for a little rope-a-dope. His chest hair puffed with anticipation. The thugs took a step back, fear in their eyes. Mr. Schneider grinned in satisfaction, until he saw that they were looking over his shoulder.
Leaping over John's head, a nude figure landed in their midst. His face was masked in a gold cloth, and on each hand were large knuckle dusters.
Schneider was taken aback; he had heard of this man. Rumors echoed throughout the city of a thief, dressed in nothing but a golden cloth, who pilfered the homes of the corrupt rich, and used the wealth to better the slums. A little like Robin of Locksley, were Robin Hood a certifiably insane blathering lunatic with positive schizophrenic symptoms.
This masked-man is SUCH an accomplished bandit, that he once used sleight-of-hand to swipe something of incredible value from an entire city, and singlehandedly brought that pack of cheese-dick, mouth-breathing, sausage-hand, fried-mayonnaise-balls eating pig farmers to their obese knees as they mewled for recompense.
With gibbering laughter, the unknown assailant leaped, spun, and dove through the crowd of soldiers, whirling like a bloody dervish, his fists cascading into ribs and faces. Cries of pain echoed through the nights streets, and cut off in as short a time as it took to crush a larynx. He bounced from soldier to soldier, striking out and spinning away, never falling. This lasted mere moments, and soon every soldier was either on the ground, or running away. John Schneider stared at the man, stunned, until the figure turned and ripped off his mask, taking a bow.
It was, obviously, a very naked and bloody Tate.
Mr. Schneider laughed at the ridiculousness of it, and slapped Tate on the back. The grace he had just witnissed was outstanding. The athleticism was phenomenal: a foot had not been placed wrong and his balance was perfect the entire time. His body control was otherworldly. Tate gave a maniacal giggle, and struck a pose. He then leapt backwards, spinning as he did so.
Unfortunately he landed into the path of an oncoming doughnut truck, out for its nightly deliveries.
The impact, and subsequent meat-grinding action of the tires, served to ensure that no amount of medical attention would be salvaging the once supremely athletic body of Tate. He had been obliterated from the neck down. John sighed to himself as he knelt over the really flat corpse of his new-found friend. Good drinking buddies were hard to find, especially the kind who could fight off an entire squadron of violent rampokker.
Just then, a totally-rational-and-not-crazy-at-all idea began to form in his mind. Tate's head was still intact; what if he were to take it back to Mr. Paul Allen's lab, just to see if he could recoup the young acrobat? Then maybe Pete, his number one drinking buddy, could find a place for him as a member of The Seahawks. Congratulating himself on such a brilliant idea, John detached Tate's head from his smushed body and slipped it into his leather satchel.
He had a boat to catch!
Back in his laboratory, Mr. Paul Allen took one look at the head, and laughed, for there was no way he could recover Tate's body. John begged and pleaded, but still Paul Allen resisted. It was impossible for him to grow a new body, and even if he was able to, Tate's brain would not be able to acce...
Mr. Paul Allen froze. He had just come up with an idea.
Paul and John rushed to a covered table at the back of the lab. He swept off the sheet, which hid a myriad of brass tubes, copper wiring, gold gears, and one large steam engine. Rubbing his hands together, he told Schneider to leave the head and gee-tee-eff-oh, for he had work to do.
Over the next few months, the buzzing of the tools and the sparking of other tools were the only sights and sounds to come from the machining corner of the laboratory. Once, Peter Carroll peaked his head in, but Paul, clothed in a leather apron with brass goggles over his eyes, yelled at him until he left. After slaving away for much of the winter Peter, Paul and John met in the lab. Standing before them was a cloth covered object, approximately 1.78 meters in height. With a flourish, Paul Allen dashed the cloth away and presented his creation.
It gleamed, reflecting the lights of the lab off its burnished exterior. A steam engine, residing in its chest, hummed with power. Twin exhaust pipes rose from behind either shoulder. Tubes ran from the engine and down the length of the metallic frame's limbs. Inside the chest, the intricate movements of clockwork were visible, operating at unimaginable levels of efficiency. The back of the creation's head was clear glass, and one could see a brain floating in a bluish-green liquid within. A row of glowing, blue liquid-filled vials ran down the length of its spine. It raised its head, and widened the twin photoreceptors at the site of John. It lifted a hand in greeting.
Most astonishing of all (I guess?), The Automaton was plated in gold.
John walked up to shake his friend Tate's hand, while Paul Allen explained that the gold plating allowed the brain's neuro-electric potential to reach every facet of the clockwork man's frame, allowing Tate maximum control of his new body. Mr. Allen also claimed, with a mischievous grin, that he had given Tate a variety of new talents. This new, golden Tate stepped back from the others, laughed a maniacal, mechanical sounding cackle, and began dancing acrobatically. Shocks, gears, struts, and all kinds of apparatus worked soundlessly and seamlessly as The Golden Automaton became accustomed to his optimized form. As John clapped Paul on the back, Mr. Peter Carroll was busy planning.
It was time to see this new assault platform at work...
The wet air of Seattle could not affect The Automaton, as the golden plating resisted all oxidation, but it did cause the metal to glisten and shine in the sunlight. Tate approached the battle line, whistling jauntily and dancing a little jig as he prepared himself to charge. He looked across the field towards his opposition and, with a clang of metal-on-metal, saluted him.
A band of pirates, garbed in pale orange colors, has sailed up from the tropic climates of the distant south. Their eyes are set on the riches of the northwest, our lovely cuisine, and the plunder kept high within The Citadel. This cannot stand, and so Lord Commander Carroll has marched forth with the Seahawks, the Twelves marching behind him. They met these bothersome buccaneers on the field of battle, and The Archangel arrayed his forces to perfection. And so The Automaton stands, gears whirring as he opens and closes the skeleton-like hands of his metal frame.
The call for battle leaps forth from Russell Wilson and, like a gilded blur, Tate launches himself forth.
One of the sea dogs attempts to get his hands on The Automaton, to stop his momentum. But Tate whips his limb forwards, smashing the pirate's nose-bone into his brain hole, and spins away. Now, orange buccaneers are attacking The Automaton from all sides, but Paul Allen foresaw this event, and installed what is essentially a high-grade gyroscope within Tate's hips. Now, regardless of orientation, The Automaton retains the same moment of inertia and rate of speed, careening through battle with angular momentum.
A large bang echoes through the din of battle, and Tate knows that The Archangel has fired the payload. He whips his processing center around, and his optics focus on the flying Artifact. His Allen-designed mobile tracking system engages, and he accurately (to a p-value of 0.05) predicts the path of flight. His calculations are so precise, they border on prophetic.
As he nears the landing point, he leaps into the air. Cackling laughter bursts forth from his audio unit. The anti-gravity hubs located in his feet activate for the briefest of seconds, and he stays airborne long enough to grasp the soaring Artifact.
He lands and spins, beginning his jaunt into the midst of the pirate invasion. He briefly considers throwing the payload to one of his companions, but ignores the idea, after remembering that Paul Allen installed a faulty throwing mechanism. Instead, he fires his afterburners, the liquid-filled vials on his spine glow a college blue, and steam bursts forth from his vertical exhaust pipes. He gallops past his enemies, laughing madly as he does so. Suddenly, directly in his path, a lavishly dressed buccaneer moves into view. It looks to be some form of Baron.
The Golden Automaton's photoreceptors narrow. Nothing will stop him. He sprints forward shoulder-first, and as the baron bares his steel, preparing to run it through Tate's clockwork chest, The Automaton activates his primary offensive weapon.
His lower limbs lock into position, lowering slightly, and hum with power. Tate judges the distance perfectly, and engages. With a burst of steam, his legs leap from the turf and he flies towards the baron. His heavily armored shoulder makes solid contact with the young buccaneer, and his orange chest disintegrates under the impact.
Goodnight you mark-ass punk, you just met Paul Allen's Steamhammer.
Golden Tate easily slides into the midst of the crumbling army, and deposits the payload. As he watches the dirty wastrels around him retreat in dismay, he raises his hands towards his communication module, and hops up and down with infectious joy.
He just wants to do this forever!
As he finishes, The Drunkard reaches over and grabs the watery liquor from in front of The Suit. He pours it into his own glass, tilts back his head, and begins to chug. The Suit sees this, turns a light shade of green, and practically runs towards the bathroom.
Your eyes bore into the back of The Drunkard as he raises his hand and orders the tall bartender over. What does The Suit want? Who is The Red Hammer? What the hell does p-value mean?
You are shaken from your reverie by the approaching bartender. He carries with him a tray, and on that tray are two Shirley Temples, complete with umbrella.
You stare blankly at the drinks, and then look up at the bartender. Your confusion is plain on your face.
"These are courtesy of Mister R..." the bartender frowns, clearing his throat ,"Of that odorous man at the bar. Enjoy"