Despite what I said to you and to them, Tuesday afternoon I did walk the Good Doctor into the Long Life building, looking to all the world like a man in a trench coat turning in my former leather-clad ally. You could actually see the color drain from their skin. Naturally, they had armed guards there in a second with guns trained on us both.
Their uniforms were in urban camouflage, with bulky pads on the chest, thighs, and back. Military-standard for handling superior powered beings, which meant vests under the pads as well. Probably packing armor-piercing rounds as well. A decent setup in force against any supers without adequate armor or defensive abilities.
“Your rent-a-cops here can stand down. I have the situation completely under control and I will be keeping it under control until I get paid,” I told the receptionist nearest me, projecting a wide smile that could have been disarming. Hell if I know. Like I care.
“They’re just here to make sure absolutely nothing could possibly go wrong. Think of them as insurance to make sure you get paid,” she told me, fixing a grin on her face. Now, due to events entirely outside her control that culminated in the unsettling discovery that not only could pizza pockets burn, they could become too hard to eat, I was already in a bad mood. I was tempted to grab that pen she held and jam it straight up into her palette, then move it up and down to make her talk like a puppet. Then I figured maybe I should go the old-fashioned route and shove my arm full-on up her poop-chute. Not like I’m afraid of them adding another charge of Aggravated Anal and Fisting in the 2nd Degree. Before I could complete that thought, she told me to follow the guards and motioned to the nearby elevator.
What none of them knew as I dragged Doc into the elevator with me, four armed guards settling in around us, was that I was wearing my full set of armor. One of them inserted a key into the panel on the elevator and turned it, no doubt to give us all a private and stop-free journey. “I see you stopped wearing the armor that assembles onto you,” Doc said quietly into the comms hidden in his own mask.
“It is just easier to project a hologram that I was unarmored and unarmed,” I told him, my voice completely cut off from the outside at the time except through the link in Doc’s mask. “Speaking of clothing choices, they have vests under those big pads with all the knife room between them, don’t they?”
The Good Doctor’s X-ray vision is not named literally. He can see through various layers of material, but thick enough substances can stop him. A good, thick concrete wall is best if you don’t want him to know where you forgot to armor up at today or just which bones you broke for his own exploitation. He looked them over for a couple of seconds as our elevator climbed the building. “Yes, but standard Kevlar with all its many weaknesses.”
Doc was a kind man like that. I mean, sure he thought all the rest of us were immoral scum-suckers, but it fits with the story of how he joined us at the bottom. But I call him kind because some villains would have referred to Kevlar by its nickname amongst the villain community: TP. It means either tissue paper or toilet paper depending on the whims of the speaker.
The DINGing of the elevator alerted us to a temporary stop. Our little cohort exited the elevator with an extra detail of guards waiting for us before leading us to another elevator that required a key just to call. Another short ride way above the ground later and they sent us to a meeting room along. Nice room too. Thick, red carpeting that matched the cushions of the wood chairs that sat around a mahogany tableIn total, we had eight gun-toting mercenary “peace enforcers” standing around, thinking they’re hard, complete with “I wanna shoot me supervillain” boners.
“I wish you weren’t giving them this chance, Doc. There’s nothing else for us to learn before we crush them before us and hear the lamentations of their women.”
“My daughter is one of those women, Gecko.”
“…ALWAYS the lamentation of their women. Lament, lament, lament. It gives me a headache.”
“Ah, gentlemen, nice to see you. I’m Richard Terryson, and this is Colonel Mortimer,” said some executive patsy across the table from me with glasses and hair that shouldn’t be brushed back like that. So, the big man himself didn’t come down. This meant that not only were we dealing with a double-crossing backstabbing Benedict Arnold of a traitor, but now we knew he couldn’t be trusted either. Ok, what it really meant was he was at least smart enough to not meet us in person.
“Time to cause chaos yet, Doc?”
“We might as well.”
“Nice to meet you, Dick,” I said, where they could hear. I emphasized the Dick part. “Say Dick, I hope you don’t mind if I call you Dick, Dick, but let me ask you, Dick, is it ok, Dick, if you pay me in cash, Dick?”
“Uh, sure, if you’d just finally hand over the Doctor.”
I shoved Doc into a couple of the guards nearby and he fell awkwardly. They bent down to pick him up.
“Dick, that’s fantabulous, Dick. And Dick, by the way? This is gonna hurt.”
The Good Doctor stood up, freed, as the guards picking him up fell down, blood spurting out onto the carpeting. I grabbed a pineapple off my belt and bashed the guard on my left on the head with it hard enough that it flew out of my grip. Now, some of you may be wondering why I used a pineapple. Just go to your nearest grocery store one day and look at the pineapples for a couple of minutes. If the thought “I wonder what it’s like to bash someone over the head with that,” doesn’t cross your mind, then you’re not thinking about fruit right. Anyway, I pineappled one guard. Then I grabbed the chair in front of me and broke it over the head of the man to my right. Then I threw it at Dick, who was scrambling for the door. It hit him in the legs and he tripped. Mortimer drew a gun and fired, the bullet knocking my head to the side as I dropped the illusion that I was my civvies.
I’d have lunged over the table at him, but then the other two soldiers who I hadn’t hit and who weren’t being cut or garroted by the Doctor opened fire on me with submachine guns. I grabbed the staggered soldier nearest me on that side, his armor absorbing shots for me as I advanced. I peeked out over his right shoulder, “Yoohoo, assholes!” Then on the left side of his stomach, “You guys suck at whack-a-mole!” Finally I bent over, calling out from between his legs before I lifted the guard up and threw him over my back.
“Oh shit, you’re in trouble now, aren’t you?” I told the guard closet to me before grabbing his throat, charging up my other glove with energy, and give him a jumping uppercut to the chin. I ended the punch facing away from him, but I could tell by the whimpering of his buddy and the rain of blood and bone that I had just blown his mind. The other guard turned to run through the same door Dick had tried to get to, and the same one Mortimer had retreated through as well. I grabbed this guard by the belt and pulled him towards me.
His whimpering stopped just about the time I began the 63 on his ass. This time, I rotated along the Z axis, I think, then spun around behind me and launched him at the window. Normally, skyscraper windows are resistant to a person’s body weight. In my time, I’ve come to understand that they do not resist tanks, rockets, huge swords, chicken grenades, tank-sized superheroes covered in salsa, a casket full of bikinis, or a mercenary in full gear being thrown by a man in power armor. That last one I discovered just at that time, actually.
Doc snapped the neck of the man he had tied up with a garrote and stepped over to Dick, who had crawled back against the wall, terrified and probably dripping with the unpleasant variety of bodily fluids. The last living soldier in the room, the one I had broken a chair over, grabbed a grenade in his hand because he was a moron, so I pushed him back against the open air where the window used to be. He dropped that grenade in a hurry as he swung his arms out to try and catch his balance. I grabbed him by the collar and helped him back in by swinging him overhead and bringing him down on the center of the solid wood table.
I was hoping to put him through the table, but the cracking noise seemed to come from his neck, so that was a miserable failure.
I joined the Doc by the Dick, who had fainted. I bent down and slapped him on the face. Then I figured I’d try to wake up him. The second time, I slapped him with the hand that was used in the 63. He began to stir. “Dick! Hey, Dick. Dick, listen Dick, how many fists am I going to hit you with?” I asked as I stood up in front of him, both hands balled up in front of me. His eyes went wide. I kicked him in the side of the head, knocking him out again against the floor.
“If you said zero, Dick, then you were right…Dick.”
“Dick Dick Dick Dick Dick Dick Dick Dick Dick Dick Dick Dick Dick-!”
I was stopped by Doc bashing me on the head with the pineapple. He just looked at me, shaking his head. “Are you quite done yet?”