“Gecko, you’re upset.”
The speaker pulled a chair out and spun it around to take a seat backwards, facing Psycho Gecko and not getting his burgundy coat bundled up. “And you’re smiling. Why do you care anyway?,” asked Gecko with a slur, tossing a drink back. It splashed uselessly against his helmet and dripped down to the growing puddle of various liquors on the floor. Max did indeed wear a smile framed by black lipstick on his pale face. “You’re always smiling. Damn cheery goth. Why bother with white and black paint and all that when you could just add a red nose and make it colorful? I know why, you sample too much of your own product.”
“Actually, he hasn’t,” came a new voice. A man in a black leather surgeon’s outfit and mask took another seat stiffly, laying a worn scalpel on the table. “Unlike you, Mix N’ Max is a consummate professional.”
“Good Doctor, I don’t care what you professionals do, you don’t have to share the consummatin’ with me. No offense.” Gecko lifted a bottle of Bailey’s and toasted them.
“We know you enough to tell you mean none,” the Good Doctor said, motioning toward the rest of the bar. Empty tables ringed Psycho Gecko’s perimeter.
“The Yakuza aren’t quite as understanding. They’re the ones who let us know something was up,” Max pulled a vial from his coat and added a pinch of salt to the glowing green contents, then held it to the bottom of Gecko’s helmet to catch a few drips of the various liquors dropping off its edges.
“Bah, I paid them back for their annoyance with all my talking.”
“Cutting off a pinky doesn’t mean as much to them when they know you’ll just grow them back. And they didn’t ask for all the middle fingers either,” said Max with a snicker. He capped the vial and raised it to eye level. He shook it a few times expectantly, then sighed and slipped it back into his coat.
“It’s those children, isn’t it?” spoke Good Doctor, motioning to a wall.
Max elbowed him, “You have the x-ray vision on again.”
Psycho Gecko just sat there, watching the pair he had run into several times. They had somehow all found themselves running in the same circles from time to time. “It’s hard to call them out on all their petulant, childish behavior and point out how they let evil win in their very institutions after something like that happens. And yes, the children are a sore point for me in particular. That guy gives homicidal maniacs a bad name.”
“I’ll drink to that,” said Max as he motioned for someone to bring over glasses.
“Gentlemen, pick your poison,” Gecko responded, flicking the various bottles on the table in turn.
After a long silence, Max waved off the waitress and the Good Doctor gave a simple, “No.”
“That’s it, Gecko, you don’t get to provide drinks anymore. Just like Doctor doesn’t get to bring sandwiches.”
“And Max isn’t allowed to light any incense around us.”
Mix N’ Max and the Good Doctor nodded in unison.
“We need to get you out and killing again. You want to poison some podunk town’s water supply?”
“How about starvation?”
“Damn illegal immigration crackdown.”
The Good Doctor’s crisp voice spoke up “How about a game of brinksmanship where you threaten to blow up half the world?”
“You are truly old-fashioned, Doc, anyone ever tell you that?”
Max shook his head at the Doctor as well, then asked, “Can you think of anyone you’d like to teach a lesson to that would cheer you up? For gods’ sakes, there’s got to be something. How about finding killer religious fanatics?”
Psycho Gecko stood up suddenly, “Quickly, to the flying machine!” He rushed off, leaving Good Doctor and Max to exchange a look and hurry after.
Max called out, “I meant the dangerous ones, not just any of them!”
A couple of days later, a lonely scout in the mountains spots a goat. He hadn’t seen his wife in 3 years. It hadn’t even been 2 years that they had been married. But now he was off joined in a grand war against the great satan of the West. He glanced at the picture of his wife that he kept with him. He could tell she was smiling through the covering. He was off fighting for her. He knew she was lonely. She’d been so upset, she tried to go to school last month. Out of respect for his own holy work, the men of the town had only beaten her, not killed her.
But he had needs. And so he approached the goat. He cooed at it like he remembered and found it did not run off. It looked back at him with wide eyes as he stroked its back fur. Then he lifted his robe.
The goat’s eyes glowed as metal clamped down on flesh inside its body. The scout was trapped, his gun just out of reach. And that’s when a man in overalls wearing a large floppy hat like Elmer Fudd stepped out, a shotgun in hand. “Oooh, looks like someone’s caught like a pig. You like pig? I bet you can squeal like a pig,” the man said as he slapped the scout’s ass. “Squeal for me, come on. Eeeeeeeeee!” The scout didn’t know what to do. He tried to wrench himself away, but the pain was too great. He nearly passed out as he felt his flesh stretch. “Aww, looks like we don’t got ourselves a squealer,” the hunter called back towards a nearby outcropping. The scout could see a surgeon in leather and an overdressed pale man, or perhaps a woman, shaking their heads, palms firmly planted against their faces.
The Good Doctor called out, “God love you, Gecko. Somebody has to.” With that, Max bent over, cracking up.
“Hey, don’t look at me like that,” said Psycho Gecko as he walked over to the pair, pulling out a remote from the overalls, “No need for anybody to be offended here. You said just the dangerous, extreme fanatics, and that’s what this guy is. If I just wanted to kill any ole Muslim, I could have, but no, you wanted one of these rare, few, indecent terrorists. In retrospect, we could have just gone after an abortion clinic bomber in the States, but I thought a change of scenery might be nice. If anyone has reason to be offended, it’s the guys who share a religion with this bozo. They should be embarrassed someone like this even exists.” He pressed a button, not even turning towards the sawing, wrenching noises coming behind him accompanied by a “Shunk!” and a scream that cut off suddenly as warm blood splashed against his backside. Gecko slipped the remote into his overalls. “Existed.”