Psychonomous Gex!: The Rise of Psycho Gecko, Part 1, or “How to steal limelight from this other website that you probably shouldn’t post this on oh well hit the button”
One night, three men walk into a bar. One tall, one fat, and one about on par. They were blue collar types who had come far, and now they were in a no collar bar.
The other patrons could best be described as the type of people who wear short shorts, camo, and/or basketball jerseys to a wedding reception. Simple folk. The common clay of the earth. You know, morons.
The three take a seat at a table as far away from both the usual crowd and the foul-smelling, chunky fluid in the back corner of the bar.
“I can’t believe we’re in a dump like this,” said Frank, the most average looking of them, save for his mustache, the likes of which once caused a wild-haired scientist driving a customized, gull-wing Pinto and his passenger, a Brit with a scarf, to believe they had perfected time travel and were now in the 70s.
He hadn’t addressed either of his comrades, but they were all huddled on one side of the table with the taller man in the middle. Used to taking charge, he responds, “This is where he said for us to meet him. You’re the one that said this guy was the best with these kinds of things. How great he was with those jobs in the UK.”
“Give him a call or something, Bill. I think I heard someone call out ‘Freebird’ whatever that means.”
Bill raises an eyebrow and looks over at the rotund third wheel of the group, hoping for further input. The third man, Harlon, merely looks at the small snack menu that was already present on the table and asks a question for the ages, “Fried…pickles?”
Bill sighs and takes out his mobile. Loaded as it is with blue tooth wifi internet connection, texting keyboard, touchscreen, game apps, stylus, GPS navigator, and music player, its ability to make phonecalls is sketchy at best. Just as the P.I.’s number starts to dial, a man in a tan duster and khaki pants walks over, ringing. He sets down a bottle of vodka and three glasses. “Hey there, fellows, just who I’ve been waiting for.”
“That’s right, I’m your guy. Sorry for the surroundings, but I felt it was best if there was no way you guys’ were spied on at the places you normally drink at. You know, with all those people who know what you look like.”
Bill holds out his hand, “I’m Bill, this is Frank, and Harlon. Nice to make your acquaintance at long last. We heard great things about you. Obviously, that’s why we hired you. All the privacy, and then meeting like this, caught us quite off guard, you must understand.”
The man sits, ignoring the offered handshake. “That’s the point though. Helps me do my job better. If everyone knew who I was and what I looked like, that just defeats the purpose.”
“Quite alright, we understand, don’t we?”
Frank and Harlon nod, Harlon now contemplating the menu’s nachos and salsa.
The man pours drinks for his companions, then reaches into his coat, removing a pair of spectacles and a folder. “Go ahead, have a drink on me. I reckon you chaps will want a report now?”
Bill grins, “Yes, if you have dug up anything interesting, we could get the network to spin off a whole new series. Imagine, a show dedicated to the dirty little secrets of supervillains.”
“Why would you want this guy though? Why not get one of the world dominating types?”
Frank spoke up, “Use the A class in reality shows? That’s why Celebrity Whatever has people like James Woods, Kathy Griffin, or that midget comedian in them. And it’s safer if we change his reputation with good editing.”
“I see someone’s excited. Alright then, Psycho Gecko. Name unknown, age unknown,” he keeps talking as Frank attempts to voice his outrage, ”Place of birth is an alternate dimension. No classification of the dimension as of yet. Notable variations include a mutant species of humanity known as Homo Machina,” here Harlon snickers, ”that have the ability to physically integrate with technology. You stick your phone in one’s hand and after awhile the nerves join up with it. This makes them incredible with technology, a handy skill as that Earth’s technology level is approximately 3 generations higher than this one. Gecko is one such individual.”
Bill breaks. “Is he a lizard under his armor?” A waitress scurried by, the din hiding the unusual question from listening ears.
The main looks at him, eyebrow rising. “No. That’s stupid. Do you have a duck bill on your face?” The man waves off the idea and continues. “As a child, he was put into a government project. Homo Machina were feared by the government and distrusted by the populace, so they and other undesirables were considered the perfect fodder for the Psychopomp program. Psychopomp, as we all know, refers to a type of mythological being that ushers the souls of the dead to the afterlife in some manner,” Bill and Frank nod along as if they know this. Harlon, meanwhile, is busy examining a hunk of wax from his ear, ”In this instance, it was an attempt by his one government to continue warfare in a changing world. A cold war like your own: warfare too dangerous to engage in openly. Undeclared war amongst the shadows because of the threat of complete annihilation.”
The man pauses for a sip directly from the bottle. Frank takes a moment to chime in, “There’s an idea. Juicy details about other United States’ politics and scandals!”
Bill taps Frank on the wrist with a knuckle to get his attention. “A way to support friends of the network, too.” He grins with pearly whites that make his wife and his mistress and his other mistress and his mistress’s teenage daughter swoon into bed.
“Yeah, yeah, sure. Anyway, they subjected these kids to a lot. Gave them pets, made them kill them. Gave them a petting zoo, had them kill them. Dogs, pigs, cats. Comfort animals. That was just to start before they dropped them into mazes with hungry attack dogs or acclimating them to human suffering in Torture 101. Then there was the rape. It made the KGB look like a Boy Scout Bake Sale.”
Harlon raises his hand. “Don’t you mean Cub Scouts?”
The man shakes his head, “Hell no. Don’t get between those girls and their ladyfingers, or they’ll separate you from your manfinger. And don’t even ask about how they got kids to rape.”
“How did-” Harlon starts.
Their private eye slams his fist on the table, making the trio jump and cutting off the question. “I said not to ask!” The man looks between him and smiles to show no hard feelings. He adjusts his jacket, then continues.
“They didn’t care about long term assets. They wanted to create a sociopath who accepted their orders without question. Government-trained, batshit-crazy serial killers. But let’s be honest, they were probably a little sadistic and got bored of making naked human pyramids. Point is, no matter what happens, someone dies that they don’t like. That’s where the name comes from. To dehumanize these kids, they didn’t give them real names. Just referred to them as different animals.”
“The two to make it to the end were designated Gecko and Lamb. Lamb was an especially empathetic boy, and you can’t spell empathetic without pathetic. Crying all the time, reluctant to kill, but very good at knowing just where to hurt someone. Gecko, on the other hand, was a stone-cold sadistic murderer. He enjoyed it. Surprised them all when Lamb finally snapped at their graduation and killed him.”
Bill begins to cough in mid-sip. Harlon gives him a lazy pat on the back as the story continues, seemingly ignoring the twist that caused his partners’ eyes to widen.
“Lamb changed after that. Became just as sadistic as Gecko when he did that. The official file reads that he felt like such a coward for doing horrible things to protect his own life that he gave up and killed someone he thought deserved it for once, and in the process became too much like that person for his psyche to handle. Your usual psych eval BS, but he insisted on taking the name Gecko, so he was redesignated as Psychopomp Gecko. It was such a proud graduation day for the program. ”
The man stands up, shaking his head at the sight of two men with their heads on the table and the third having fallen out of his seat. “See, you guys have to lay off the booze and get out more. So nervous you drank too fast and didn’t get to hear the whole story. That private eye was so much calmer compared to you three.”
Psychopomp Gecko shakes his head as he raises the bottle and drains what is left. “Since I’m talking, might as well share with you that the secret was the thin coating of powder on the interior of the glasses. Mix this stuff with it, take a drink, and in moderate amounts it merely paralyzes. In too large a dose…”
Gecko leans down, checking their vitals. “Yep, got you two little ones…the big one over here…you’re still alive.” He reaches down and raises Harlon’s arm so that he could lift the fat executive up, looking for all the world as if he’s carrying his drunk acquaintance out of the bar. “Let’s go see that boss of yours, the one who set y’all on this project. Maybe he’d like to hear a story.”
As the bar door closes behind them, Gecko can be heard saying something innocent enough. ”You remind me of a pet I used to have. Now, was it one of the dogs, a pig, or that darn cat…”