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The Best Defense #71




Schulmanator: Both of those guys are a couple of crafty characters! Everyone needs to watch out whenever they're around!

PREVIOUSLY on The Best Defense: Coyote Versus, the infamous scoundrel and bounty hunter, wants to join the Defenders? Why?? What's he REALLY up to? Oh, and Morning Angel wants to break out and she has help on the inside. Media Week continues to its end as we gear up for A Perfect Reality.


Titus and Sensational Girl walked to the club house from the roof landing area after a long night at Fort Mison...

SensationalGirl_zps876cf726.jpg Sensational Girl: Ugh, what a night... I do not ever want to do that again...

8d1ae231-a319-425e-ad3c-52cb875e66fc_zps6735e598.jpg Titus: How many buckets did you fill up while we were working on the UPNs?

SensationalGirl_zps876cf726.jpg Sensational Girl: Two. And I still don't feel right. Probably won't for like, a decade... Did you guys get the job done?

8d1ae231-a319-425e-ad3c-52cb875e66fc_zps6735e598.jpg Titus: Well, we were able to improve a few things about it, but the way Morning Angel's getting closer to her powers, it's only a matter of time before she overwhelms our fixes. Dr. O'Sullivan said he's going to work on a better upgrade for it in his lab now that he has some better readings on her. At any rate time is short.

SensationalGirl_zps876cf726.jpg Sensational Girl: Yeah... Well, I'm gonna try to eat something and then get some sleep...

Sensational Girl opened the door for the club house.

SensationalGirl_zps876cf726.jpg Sensational Girl: If you need me-

8d1ae231-a319-425e-ad3c-52cb875e66fc_zps6735e598.jpg Titus: Coyote Versus!

Titus pulled Sensational Girl back out into the hallway and had his weapons locked on to the scoundrel before him. Versus stirred, looking up groggily. He had apparently been sleeping there on one of the plush chairs with his feet up on their table. He rubbed his eyes and peered over at Titus and the blonde girl hopping up and down to see over the armored shoulder blocking her view and a smile blossomed on his face.

CoyoteVersus_zpsb5456938.jpg Coyote Versus: Titus! And the lovely jumping bean behind you must be Sensational Girl! You guys-

8d1ae231-a319-425e-ad3c-52cb875e66fc_zps6735e598.jpg Titus: Shut up, Versus! Surrender or face the full fury of my armor!

CoyoteVersus_zpsb5456938.jpg Coyote Versus: Surrender? But we're teammates!

8d1ae231-a319-425e-ad3c-52cb875e66fc_zps6735e598.jpg Titus: Teammates? What are you talking about?

Cosmette_zps8ec9f2b9.jpg Cosmette: Titus! Titus Titus Titus!

Cosmette came streaking into the room, flying over Titus' and Sensational Girl's heads to land between the pair and Versus, her hands up defensively.

Cosmette_zps8ec9f2b9.jpg Cosmette: Wait! He's our teammate now!

SensationalGirl_zps876cf726.jpg Sensational Girl: Titus, I can't feel any powers besides your suit and Cosmette, I don't think he's controlling her mind or anything. What do they mean, teammates?

CoyoteVersus_zpsb5456938.jpg Coyote Versus: Teammates, like, people who work together for a common goal within the same organization. Lots of times they're actually friends with each other. Being friends with you guys would be a heck of a lot easier for all of us than being enemies, so here I am.

8d1ae231-a319-425e-ad3c-52cb875e66fc_zps6735e598.jpg Titus: I don't like it. What's your game here, Versus?

CoyoteVersus_zpsb5456938.jpg Coyote Versus: No game. Tell him, Cosmette.

Cosmette_zps8ec9f2b9.jpg Cosmette: He's not lying, honestly. He showed up when Halloran and his Offenders jumped us last night. They were going to beat us and he saved us, and finally got them captured. Apparently, Halloran's from the future!

CoyoteVersus_zpsb5456938.jpg Coyote Versus: Yup. Sure is.

Cosmette_zps8ec9f2b9.jpg Cosmette: I can't really tell anything more about Coyote Versus other than he is telling the truth and he actually wants to help us.

Titus lowered his weapons slightly as he addressed Cosmette in disbelief.

8d1ae231-a319-425e-ad3c-52cb875e66fc_zps6735e598.jpg Titus: Truth? You trust him?

SensationalGirl_zps876cf726.jpg Sensational Girl: Uh... I think he's telling the truth, too. How do you do that? I can't feel your powers at all! How do you do that?

CoyoteVersus_zpsb5456938.jpg Coyote Versus: Nothing, I'm not doing anything. But I was telling my new friend Cosmette last night, you can't lie to cosmic dudes and dudettes. They'll find out and then they'll dish out cosmic punishment, and I've had my fair share of that.

SensationalGirl_zps876cf726.jpg Sensational Girl: You have no powers, but I can tell you can do things we can't, it's all over your face. What are you? You can't be human.

CoyoteVersus_zpsb5456938.jpg Coyote Versus: Well, I am, and I amn't.

Juliet stalked into the room.

juliet_zps43d7b938.jpg Juliet: That's not a word. You're still here, wordsmith? Chilly reception...

The room fell quiet for a moment and the air cooled enough that they could see their breath at Juliet's words. She poured herself a cup of hot coffee, adding a bit of sugar and cream, and took a sip. Her eyes unhappily swept the room, and she settled them on Coyote Versus. He noticed and smiled happily at her, winking and making a “Pew!” sound as he fired an imaginary gun with his pointer finger at her.

juliet_zps43d7b938.jpg Juliet: I don't like this!

Juliet left her coffee spinning in the air behind her (not spilling a drop) to stomp over to Coyote Versus.

juliet_zps43d7b938.jpg Juliet: I don't like you! You're not a Defender! Don't act like one!

CoyoteVersus_zpsb5456938.jpg Coyote Versus: But isn't it a good thing to act like you guys? You're all good, right? Surely you don't want me to act like that idiot Halloran! Look, I'm here to help you guys. Give me a couple chances and I'm sure you'll see it! The two cosmic chicks, they can tell I'm telling the truth, and you know that when I say it, I simply cannot lie to cosmic chicks.

Cosmette_zps8ec9f2b9.jpg Cosmette: Or dudes.

CoyoteVersus_zpsb5456938.jpg Coyote Versus: That's right, so if Gragus were here, I'd have to tell his grumpy ass the truth, too.

Versus shuddered at the thought.

CoyoteVersus_zpsb5456938.jpg Coyote Versus: So, here goes, the official Coyote Versus Origin Story. There are people from a solar system pretty far from here, they're actually a lot like you guys, and I have it on good authority that mating them with you not only works, but produces excellent results!

8d1ae231-a319-425e-ad3c-52cb875e66fc_zps6735e598.jpg Titus: You're half-alien!

CoyoteVersus_zpsb5456938.jpg Coyote Versus: That's right, with magnificent alien technology from my father, talents as the result of their unusual pairing, and looks so good they could only be a gift from the gods.

The Defenders looked at him, unimpressed by his claim.

CoyoteVersus_zpsb5456938.jpg Coyote Versus: Look, it's the truth. I can fly, I'm a bit stronger and faster than normal humans and people from my dad's world, and I got these bi-beams that can put down a rampaging Lunatic.

Cosmette_zps8ec9f2b9.jpg Cosmette: Bi-beams?

CoyoteVersus_zpsb5456938.jpg Coyote Versus: Bi-beams, 'bi' like two, and beams like what you and Titus fire at bad guys. They come from my eyes, hence the 'bi.' I don't like using them, though, because I'm not such a good aim with them and they sting like crazy. My part-alien, part-future weapons are more fun to use.

juliet_zps43d7b938.jpg Juliet: Why now? Why come and try to join us now? Why suddenly turn good out of the blue?

CoyoteVersus_zpsb5456938.jpg Coyote Versus: Whoa, hey, I've always been good!

juliet_zps43d7b938.jpg Juliet: Right, I suppose you're going to tell me that all the times you've fought us are just figments of my imagination.

CoyoteVersus_zpsb5456938.jpg Coyote Versus: No, but I will tell you that your perspective was a bit off. When I first came to Earth, I was a bounty hunter (which is what I did in space). I made some money doing it, but the guy I was working through, he fed me bad information basically the entire time. I grew up in space with my parents (who engage in high-risk trading), so getting used to the way things are done here was a bit difficult for me, and that guy, he was an a-hole who, in turn, made me look like an a-hole.

juliet_zps43d7b938.jpg Juliet: Yeah, you don't need any help to do that.

Juliet plucked her coffee out of the air from behind her and taking a hateful sip of it.

CoyoteVersus_zpsb5456938.jpg Coyote Versus: I'll ignore the magic-user's snide remark and just say that once I figured out what was wrong with the guy, he was jettisoned in favor of my own instincts, and I saw that the way to go was to walk on the side of the angels, so to speak.

juliet_zps43d7b938.jpg Juliet: You don't know anything, I still just think you're trying to trick us.

Cosmette_zps8ec9f2b9.jpg Cosmette: He's not, though. I could tell if he was. So could Sensational Girl, right?

SensationalGirl_zps876cf726.jpg Sensational Girl: Oh, like, totally. He's like, totally on the up and up.

CoyoteVersus_zpsb5456938.jpg Coyote Versus: There, see? You guys give me a chance, the only regrets you'll have will be that we couldn't have teamed up sooner.

The four emitted a collective sigh. He was a villain, but then he wasn't. Even so, they had fought each other a number of times (except Sensational Girl who had read his file a number of times) and he had proven himself to be a difficult (and rather irritating) quarry. Titus glanced at Cosmette and Sensational Girl. Cosmette seemed completely taken with him, and Sensational Girl was backing her up. Titus looked over at Juliet, but the magic using girl was completely unhappy with the situation, scowling at the stupid look on Coyote Versus' face. Still, with the endorsement of the two cosmic-powered beings in his midst, it was difficult to reject him outright. He thought about Fearless and wondered what the leader would do. Given his propensity for giving second chances to those who sincerely wanted to use them to do good, it occurred to him that perhaps it would be worth the shot.

8d1ae231-a319-425e-ad3c-52cb875e66fc_zps6735e598.jpg Titus: Versus, the two cosmic girls vouch for your honesty, and I find little reason to doubt them-

juliet_zps43d7b938.jpg Juliet: What? What about my doubts?! I don't trust him for a minute! What's gotten into you people? He's a bad guy!

Cosmette_zps8ec9f2b9.jpg Cosmette: Juliet, he's not, I told you, you know me. You know you can trust me, it's not possible to mind-control me. I'm telling you, he's honest, Versus honestly wants to join us and do good.

Juliet glared again at Versus, then looked at Cosmette, her expression tired and helpless. She sighed.

juliet_zps43d7b938.jpg Juliet: Fine. If he wants to prove himself, he can go right on ahead and prove himself. But I've got my magical eyes on you, bucko.

CoyoteVersus_zpsb5456938.jpg Coyote Versus: Magical eyes? Are they on me all the time? How will I pee if you're staring at me all the time?!

She scowled at him, and shot a quick glare at the giggle from Sensational Girl, then scowled at him again.

juliet_zps43d7b938.jpg Juliet: You screw up, and I'll find out! I will!

CoyoteVersus_zpsb5456938.jpg Coyote Versus: Well, you'll be happy to find out nothing, then. I'm here to help.

8d1ae231-a319-425e-ad3c-52cb875e66fc_zps6735e598.jpg Titus: Yes, and you'll be here on a limited capacity and a short leash. You follow what we say, you join in our training and patrols, follow orders in battle, and you'll eventually be a full member. Until then, though, this will have to be a bit of a trial run, you're a trainee of sorts.

CoyoteVersus_zpsb5456938.jpg Coyote Versus: You're no fool, Titus. I'll prove myself soon enough.

Cosmette_zps8ec9f2b9.jpg Cosmette: Yay! Welcome to the team, Coyote Versus!

Cosmette jumped happily, beaming up at him.

CoyoteVersus_zpsb5456938.jpg Coyote Versus: Thanks, at least one of us is happy about it.

Cosmette_zps8ec9f2b9.jpg Cosmette: They'll come around. Do you like tea? I'll make you some tea...

And Juliet finished her coffee, watching Cosmette dote on him affectionately while Titus and Sensational Girl left to rest after their long night. She was not happy with the new addition to the team. Not happy at all.

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