Cyber Joke 13: Tank by adorety ()
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Victor Stone was a big kid and spent the earliest days of his childhood in the slums of Detroit. He went to school, but you had to be tough to survive and if you weren't the bully, you got bullied. Eventually his parents moved to Gotham to try to improve their lives when his father got a good job at the Gotham Seaport. Things improved for a while, but because of an accident, his father became injured and went on permanent disability. He endured a spinal injury when some cargo struck him that had not been tied down properly.
After a long legal fight, they were awarded some money, but not much. He would continue to get social security and disability pay, but it wasn't as much as it should have been. Rumor spoke that their onw attorney was bought off. His mom worked at a school that was near the Parkside area of Gotham, where “Crime Alley” was and in a tragic outcome was shot when two rival gangs had a face off near the school yard. She died instantly.
Vic, nicknamed Tank from his size, ended up being the proverbial punching bag of his now depressed and angry father. Despite the spinal injury the big man was still strong and could walk for a short time. Eventually he had to use a walker and wheelchair. But in the beginning the man wasn't afraid of smacking his son around and berating him as a loser. This was especially hard on Vic, because his father used to be the opposite. He used to encourage the boy and tell him to stand up for himself. He even taught him some boxing moves and a few dirty ones to keep the bigger kids away. At least until Vic became one of those bigger kids.
Victor was hurt, but knew his father was angry, depressed and frustrated. Eventually the man became a drunk and Vic needed to find a way to bring more money in. By sixteen he dropped out of school and found himself working for petty crime bosses in Parkside until eventually, as he got older and bigger, he found himself in the employ of none other than the Joker himself.
This turned out to be very profitable. During those profitable years, Vic's home life improved and his father even came out of his depression. About three years after Vic, or Tank, had started with the Joker, the father found out the son worked for one of the craziest and most notorious of criminals. That sent the old man over the edge. He would no longer speak to his son or accept money from him. Vic wanted to visit and explain himself, but he could never get out of site of the Joker or his right hand Bruno long enough to do so. The old man fell into a depression he would not escape from. He confined himself to his wheelchair and his apartment. Eventually a neighbor found him dead one day. He'd been dead for perhaps two or three days. Causes were cited as a likely accidental overdose of painkillers and excessive alcohol. When Vic learned this, he went AWOL from the gang for a week. Some guys covered for him and he was still low in the pecking order, so Joker didn't take too much notice of him. But there was a job to be done at the time and this time the Joker was caught by the Batman, of course. Lucky, or maybe unlucky, Vic was not among the group who got rounded up.
He went into hiding for several month and sure enough the Joker was let out from jail. Some appeal and missing evidence or something. The Joker always seemed to find a way. Vic went to the Joker and re-enlisted with the crazy clown as Tank. Joker welcomed him back and things were moving forward again. But Tank saw a distinct change in the Joker. He had always been crazy, but, now he was even more ready to kill and fly into a rage than he ever had before.
Tank had no problem with the crimes, but he didn't like killing just for the fun of it. He deemed it necessary for some of the work they did, but he never reveled in it. Apparently the Joker noticed this and did not appreciate the young man's attitude.
Image Comments (16)
adorety () 11:14PM | Tue, 12 November 2013
One night on a job as they were escaping, the Joker and Tank were together with Tank providing cover fire. They were in a warehouse and were stealing a shipment of rare and precious metals shipped from China that were used in consumer electronic devices. Joker asked him why he wasn't killing the guards, after all, they were trying to kill them. Tank simply replied, “We don't need to, we're about to get away and they wont catch us.” The Joker's face soured and he simply replied, “Oh....you have become rather disappointing my boy. I think it's time to terminate your contract.” Before Tank could even react, the Joker shot him in the chest and Tank fell back on the walk that was thirty feet above the floor. He loomed over him and said, “And by the way,,,no one goes AWOL, even to bury a dead loved one, without coming to me. You see my boy,” his smile got inconceivably bigger, “if you had been doing your job, perhaps I wouldn't have wasted those three years.” And the Joker finished by kicking him off the catwalk they had been running across. Tank landed on his back while clutching his chest. Some cardboard boxes helped break the fall, but not enough to keep his spine from being broken in his lower back. As he laid there dying he couldn't help imagining the irony that he could not move or feel his legs as he felt the warm blood ooze through his fingers. He soon blacked out. He awoke several days later in a secure wing of Gotham Hospital. He was under guard, but he wasn't going anywhere. The doctors informed him he would never walk again, but that he was lucky the bullet had missed his heart and lungs. A rib had partially deflected the it. “Lucky?” he thought. He'd wished the bullet had taken him. For about a year he lived in a secure hospice, but it was clear he was not going back to a life of crime, and anything to lessen the financial burden of the city would be seen as a positive solution. So he was released on his own. Bound to a wheelchair he soon found himself at a halfway house of sorts, but for him he was imagining it might become a permanent home. That is until a Dr. Lavinia Bryce showed up and offered him an alternative. All this time he was depressed and harbored an intense rage at the Joker. But he was extremely depressed that he'd never be able to exact any kind of revenge against him. When he heard that Joker had been caught again and this time sent to Arkham Asylum, it made him even more angry. He imagined the Joker living it up in a mental hospital, not really realizing what it was really like in Arkham Asylum. The ever clever Dr. Cyber soon revealed who and what she was after stirring up old feelings of hate in Tank and she soon convinced him to be her own “Tank”. She would give him legs and a purpose again. When all was done, Tank was not sure what he'd agreed to, but quickly adapted and soon enjoyed his new form. His legs were gone and replaced with four mechanized ones that responded to his brain like normal legs would. It took a short while to adapt to four legs, but with cybernetic enhancements to his body and brain, it didn't take too long. He was fitted with a protective suit for his upper torso and armor was fashioned too. He usually wore a helmet that could “plug” directly to his brain via a port in his neck. This protected his head as well as increasing his senses and adding ones he never had before, like infrared, X-Ray and UV vision. He was the prototype of what was to come in Angel, Ripper and Reaper and eventually Stealth. Unlike the others, he still had an upper body, his head and original brain. Everything was enhanced and strengthened with cybernetic implants, including his lungs and heart. The doctor told him his natural glands would keep him human and allow him his true emotions and help better integrate the cybernetics with the organic flesh. She provided some chemical enhancements herself to better facilitate the process of integration, but it also made him dependent on her for these drugs. If he went too long with out them his body might reject all the added parts. And at this moment he used all of his enhancements to their extremes and was cursing that the newest rounds of updates had not happened yet. He was on the grounds of Wayne Enterprises Technology Industrial Park fighting Wayne's security along side his mechanized comrades and losing. Over the open comm he heard an exchange between Arc Angel and Stealth and soon had the orders to retreat. He bounded off to the secret place in Arkham Woods and thought about how the Joker was out, once again, and how he was going to kill him. Quick or slow. Probably slow. His only obstacle was the Doctor and her need for the Joker, but she did promise Tank that when she no longer needed him, he was all his to do with what he liked. Thanks for stopping by. More in another day or so.
barryjeffer () 11:32PM | Tue, 12 November 2013
super inking.. Superb comic book style. Excellent writing, awesome.
Cyve () 4:33AM | Wed, 13 November 2013
Fantastic work and very great image... Fantastically well done !
BellaDark () 12:34PM | Wed, 13 November 2013
GREAT narrative, Art, and this render is perfect in its use of bold and brilliant colours. Awesome work!! :)
RodS () Online Now! 7:01PM | Wed, 13 November 2013
Another great chapter, Art! You have a real gift for writing as well as excellent artwork. This is great! Can't wait for the next chapter!