Deep below Vatican City, Psycho Gecko was hunting the Pope. Easter approached; it was rabbit season.
He was hired by a member of the Supreme Sacred Congregation of the Holy Office to track down Benedict beneath the city before his plan could be enacted.
“Oh yeah, we know he’s up to something,” said Father Randy Poffo, “But he can order us away the minute we get close. That’s why we need someone as clearly unaccountable to the Church as you are to aid us in this investigation.”
Across from him, dressed in pink leather chaps and a similarly colored cowboy hat, Psycho Gecko leaned forward to ask, “You guys got the money to afford me?”
“Brother, we got nearly a millennia of gold stored up. If we have to account for it, we’ll just say we set it down in a cellar one day and forgot where we put it,” Father Poffo said with a grin. He held out his hand. Psycho Gecko shook it.
Father Poffo stood up to leave, “Walk with me, my son.” Resentful of being called anyone’s son, Gecko stood and at least tolerated his new employer’s mannerisms. “If it comes down to it, you’ll want to be sure he’s no longer a problem. We’ve provided automatic life support functions in all of his clothing, so anything that makes it look like an accident probably won’t work…”
Under the Vatican, Psycho Gecko was surprised to find a laboratory. Sharp knives, microscopes, old computers, the room covered in dust and rat turds, bubbling green liquids eating through the tables, unidentifiable hunks of meat in jars full of formaldehyde. It was either a lab or a McDonald’s. Near him was a large cylinder, one of many in the room. He brushed away the condensation to find…a naked man.
Well, open and shut. It’s clear ole Benny was just making himself a bride. He ought to at least find the dead brain donor biker in the freezer before calling it quits, but there were no surprises left here.
Gecko turned towards the shape by the wall. Benedict. The old man was in the act of throwing a switch even as Gecko turned. He heard a whooshing behind him and turned to see the tube now empty. The other tubes were being evacuated as well. He took a step towards the old man in the gold robes, but was stopped as a pipe overhead emptied a load of fresh, wet, naked men on top of him.
“Help, it’s raining men!”
“Hallelujah!” proclaimed Benedict.
“Argh, raining too many men!” Gecko added as a few more flopped on top of him in that floppy way that naked men flop onto other men.
“Amen,” said the Pope again before shuffling off down the hall.
While digging his way out from all the bodies, Gecko noticed something. They were all alike. Each and every one was the same. Clones. And according to his facial recognition software, they all bore a striking resemblance to Emperor Palpatine, which could only mean one thing.
Pope Benedict was cloning himself and building an army.
Woohoo, he thought, I finally get an excuse to kill the Pope!
He rushed down the hall Benedict had taken. It was all dark save for a glaring white light at the end of the room. In fact, there, in the circle of light, stood the Pope. Just waiting.
Come on, how many traps could the old man possibly have that still worked down here?
Psycho Gecko regretted those words when a glass enclosure fell around him and the Pope both. Murder first, escape second, he told himself. The light was growing more intense, but his visor adjusted enough to keep his aim steady as he drew a knife and threw.
The light blinded him.
And a moment later, instinctively, he caught the knife in a wrinkled old hand. A hand coming from under a gold robe.
Holy mother of shits.
Across from him stood…Psycho Gecko. The case they were in began to slowly retract upwards as the circle of light turned to darkness.
“You papal bastard, switch us back!”
Gecko’s stolen body shook his head no and said “Die Maschine hat nicht genug Strom dafür, selbst wenn ich es wollte.” and began to simply walk away. Gecko would be damned before he let a Pope walk away in his body. Probably for killing said Pope. He hurried forward as fast as his frail old legs could take him, knife raised.
Pope Gecko then turned and simply punched him, knocking him to the floor easily where his wrinkled old head smacked the hard stone. He stood overhead, performing last rites in Latin as Gecko faded.
A computer screen in the lab flickered to life. The words “Pope Life Support Alert” flashed on it for a couple of seconds, before switching to a diagnostic view of the Pope’s robes. “Heartbeat: Nil, Pulse: Nil, Respiration: Nil” then “Level I, Administering C.P.R.”
Eyes closed beneath Gecko’s helmet as he prayed for the soul of his enemy, Benedict didn’t see the chest of the papal robes pump against the chest that used to be his.
“Level II: Administering electric Shock” A jolt shook the body.
The diagnostic view showed a needle moving towards the heart. “Level III: Administering Adrenalin.” A camera view of it showed the organ start again as accompanied by an electrocardiogram showing a heartbeat once more. “Level III: Administering Adrenalin.”
In front of Benedict, the body of the Pope stood and stretched its arms out towards the man reading the Last Rites. Benedict was shocked to see a man return from the dead, but even more shocked when the fists of his former body shot forth lightning that sent him flying against the now-lowering glass enclosure. The lights brightened briefly.
“Was war das?” He said, slow to get up after being half-fried.
“This? This is merely superconductor electromagnetism. Surely you’ve heard of it. It levitates bullet trains from Tokyo to Osaka. It levitates my favorite bar’s bucking bull, where I ride the saddle of the world, and it levitates…me!”
Gecko rose into the air as his body crackled with electricity. He drew himself back for a moment before flinging himself at the Pope in his own stolen body. Errant lightning flashed out as they collided and the chamber’s lights went bright once more.
It was half a day later when the Poffo and the Holy Office, drawn by unusual seismic activity, dug Psycho Gecko from the rubble. A Psycho Gecko in his own body, thank you very much, who handed over smelly and comatose body of the Pope.
“What happened?” asked Poffo, whose men were busy cleaning up the naked clone bodies. They were sure to find something to do with them.
“Old fuck was trying to steal my body. He was cloning himself, I think. He was going to come back, maybe be Pope again and again and again.”
“It looks like we’re going to have to put the Holy Father on a permanent bedrest then. It’s iffy, but we do have a precedent for, how do you say, ‘retirement.’”
“I don’t give a shit. My brain feels like it was violated by a creepy old man.”
“Anything I can get you for that?”
“Gold. A metric shit ton. I want so much gold, people are going to be afraid of smelting accidents near my place. Seriously, I need at least enough to fill a new Jacuzzi purchased using the rest of the gold.”
“We’ll go get you a set of the old drapes then. This way.”