Wildcats is owned and being buried by DC comics, a division of Time Warner. It used to be owned by Jim Lee, part of Image comics, but those days are over so let’s not dwell. I make no claim to these characters and will return them in approximately the same condition I found them in with minimal wear and tear.
This is a slightly updated, slightly tweaked retelling of the original WildCATs miniseries. It takes place about 5 years later than the original series would have taken place. I hope you enjoy my new take on it!
Chapter 1: Wildstorm Heroes
The flash of strobe lighting was her cue. She took a deep breath before making her way onto the narrow stage lit only by the pale glow of two rows of pink rope lighting. Her lithe form started to instinctively move to the beat of yet another generic rock song as strobe lights began to follow her. She built suspense, stopping several times in her approach to the pole letting her hands roam over her dark tanned body. She took small steps as she rolled her hips and thrashed three feet of raven hair with abandon. She looked towards the bar with come hither steely blue eyes attempting to draw in patrons lined up away from the stage. After a few gestures meant to entice people closer she hooked her legs around the pole, closing her eyes as she spun around it. She exhibited herself for the money but it was the attention that she loved. The adoration of men who were rich, powerful and sophisticated is what she craved. Deliverance from a youth wasted in a no name town for the first eighteen years of her life was her debt to these men.
She writhed provocatively to the loud beat making it look effortless as she balanced in six-inch high heel patent leather boots. Her costume was a revealing black mini dress with a full zipper from cleavage to the hem. She felt larger than life up on stage, powerful and special. She faced the pole grinding her hips against it suggestively as she stared out at the crowd over one exposed shoulder. She closed her eyes in mock modesty as she indulged in a few demonstrations of pole gymnastics. She could feel all eyes on her, undressing her in their minds. She hadn’t even taken her clothes off and they were mesmerized by her; just like every other man who had encountered her. Not everyone could have this kind of attention without any more exposure than a flash of upper thigh and a momentary glimpse of cleavage from unzipping her dress. Her immense concentration was disguised as arousal. She was a splendid actress playing out a fantasy that she enjoyed the degradation of taking her clothes off for money. Maybe on some level she did. Maybe her precocious knowledge of the pleasures of the flesh in junior high school had warped her forever. Maybe it was the fate of a girl who had developed early and had male attention far before she knew how to properly handle it.
She sank down from the pole to her knees to retrieve a few bills that had materialized on the edge of the stage. She made sure to make eye contact with each of her paying admirers before picking up the money and depositing it in her bulging garter. She gathered up the last stray bills, blowing a kiss to a rich looking businessman as she flashed him her chest in appreciation of a generous tip. She stood up with the grace of an exotic jungle cat and let her body pick up the beat once again as she made her way to the opposite side of the stage.
Cole Cash had been in D.C. several times in the last few years but this was his first trip back to the bar he had known so many years ago. Here he and the other members of Team 7 had tried so often to quiet the ghosts inside their heads with strong doses of alcohol. It had been a dark time he preferred not to recall. Now it had a new clientele as the Hot Spot, a strip club full of breathtaking well proportioned young women giving their all for the dollars of politicians and tourists. As he walked through the club to the bar he felt the occasional sweep of a hand along his shoulder as the girls vied for his attention, or more likely, the contents of his wallet. He was here for business not pleasure this evening and ignored the women. Normally he was never too busy for the attention of ladies whether feigned or genuine but his partner had stressed the importance of this specific mission. There were no second chances. If he blew this he would never hear the end of it. He spotted a familiar face behind the bar as he sat down on a stool that was upholstered in what looked like red dyed ostrich skin.
“Hey, Wild Bill, you still own this place?”
“Cole Cash! I’ll be damned! How long has it been now? Ten years? Fifteen? You still look like a punk kid.”
“I owe it all to clean living.”
“Don’t kid a kidder.”
“So tell me, why is this place so hot these days?”
“Check out the center stage. Pretty little thing who wandered in here a couple months back, her name is Voodoo.”
Grifter turned towards the main stage. As strobe lights faded back they highlighted a tan doe eyed creature with long jet-black hair striding confidently on stage. Her hair whipped around countering every sway of her hips. She was stunning, but there was something else. He was unable to look away. She was drawing him in eyes that were nearly as pale blue as his own. Power was coming off her in massive waves. She batted her lashes at him in a practiced way as she undulated seductively to a song he had heard a million times, but had never sounded that good until now. He would be willing to wager that this woman had no clue to the power she possessed. The intelligence was right. This was definitely the Gifted One they were looking for.
He grabbed a pack of matches bearing the club’s name from the bar and lit his cigarette. He enjoyed the performance while waiting for his partner until he spotted trouble in his peripheral vision. “Huh?” His eyes widened in alarm as three suspicious looking figures were coming his way. It was two broad shouldered men flanked by a six foot tall Amazon. They had walked in and scanned the club looking for someone, which usually meant him. He swore under his breath. “Those assholes probably followed me here.” The Coda and the Cabal had quite the bounty on his head as well as his partner’s. Judging by the statuesque woman’s demeanor there was no way she was here for amateur night. She was a Coda for sure. They never missed an opportunity to try to take him out. Many had tried and so far all had failed yet with the added prestige following every woman’s defeat the cunning warriors became more confrontational. Each wanted the glory of taking his bloody head to the steps of Themiscraya.
When they made a beeline for the stage he realized someone must have tipped them off about Voodoo. Grifter didn’t care if he was outgunned, as that was the normal order of things. He sprang into action leaving his beer behind and rushing towards the stage in a desperate effort to intercept them. The sea of people kept getting in his way as he pushed his way through. With lightning reflexes he drew his guns ready to take a shot. One of the men reached the stage and was grabbing for the young woman. Though trained on how to handle this situation the girl called Voodoo was frozen in terror. She let out a piercing scream as he groped for her. The whole world seemed to stand still for a second. Grifter cursed aloud this time. Then all Hell broke loose. Her eyes were wide and staring as she attempted to recoil from the attempts by the agent to pull her down from the stage. She seemed paralyzed by an irrational fear. Grifter’s jaw tightened as the man successfully dragged her from the stage by one stiletto boot. People started running towards the doors as he forged on towards the stage. A bouncer, more overweight than muscular, ran towards them, but the Coda slit his throat with one swipe of her clef blade. Blood flooded out of the wound in a spray as the man dropped to the floor with a sickening thud. She turned to Grifter, staring him down with cold eyes. It was an invitation to a death duel, a sacred rite of the Coda. It was an acknowledgment of their shared training and a condemnation of his as a perversion against their ideals. Many a Coda had squared off against him in the identical manner as this woman. He didn’t have time for it today though.
At this point the Cabal agents saw him. With a frenzy of yelling they activated flash suits, upping their firepower significantly. They threw the girl aside to attack him. She shrieked as she hit the floor. It was a bad move on the agents’ part. With the girl out of the way he unloaded his weapons at the two men. In such close range a head shot to each was easy, not that it was hard for him. He had earned the nickname “Deadeye”. The men slumped to the ground after a brief volley of gunfire. The remaining bar patrons scattered in a frenzied attempt to get away from the fight. The Coda was eager to take him out but still had the prime objective in mind. As he made his move towards the girl the Coda attacked him full force.
“You are slightly more skilled than I originally gave you credit for, Grifter. However it is of no consequence. You will perish by my blade.”
“You Coda always think you have it in the bag, but I keep on surviving.” This Coda was overconfident, an annoying trait the Coda all seemed to possess. Grifter dodged her blows easily, anticipating every move.
“Stand and fight! You are nothing without your guns.”
“Don’t think so, sweetheart. They seem to be working for me in this fight,” he said. “But not as well for you I’m afraid.” He emptied his gun into the stomach of the Coda. Her body shuddered with the impact of three rounds in rapid succession. He heard the metallic clang of her Clef blade, the sacred weapon of the sisterhood, hitting the floor mere inches from his head. He turned to the frightened young woman on the floor, the entire reason behind this misadventure, “Voodoo, if you want to live come with me.” She surveyed him, a rough and tumble gunslinger with blonde hair, a day’s growth of stubble and willingness to pull the trigger without hesitation that he had just demonstrated.
“What the Hell is going on?”
“Geezus, I save your life and you want explanations? Just shut up and I’ll explain later.” Common sense told her to run as far as her boots would take her away from this man and this situation. However, something held her back. This man knew something about what was going on. She knew nothing. She was in way over her head and had no idea how she had gotten there. With a split second decision she took his hand. He dragged her out towards the back door. She tried to keep up with him and stay inside her dress but his strides were longer and her boots were making it hard to run. As they ran out the doors of the club they heard a series of explosions. “SHIT! Hit the deck!” Grifter pushed the girl in front of him and threw himself on the ground over her to shield her from flying debris. She closed her eyes tightly in terror bracing for the impact of bricks and concrete that never came. Destruction was all around them but they had been spared the worst of it. Grifter got back up and running through a thick cloud of dust once the explosions subsided. Voodoo tried to look back. Dark smoke rose from the ruins.
“Why did they do this?” Tears began to form in her eyes.
“You can’t do anything for them. We gotta go.” When they got to the bike he threw her a helmet. She looked at it for a moment incredulously. “Come on!” She pushed it down over her head and climbed on to the bike behind him. She had barely grabbed onto him when he took off at a speed she could only call reckless. As they disappeared into the night a pink glowing light began to appear from right beside where the Hot Spot had once stood. It flared in intensity as if the sky itself was ripping open but by that time they were gone.