There was no more trouble on my stopover and then second elevator ride. That changed, obviously, as I exited to Long’s office. I had to take my hands off my singed rocket package because the secretary, Mechamoto Musashi, was ready for me. No one is ready for a bushbaby to the face, as I can also attest to. The subsequent upward swinging rubber plant and pot to the balls is also difficult to brace for. He got some air on that one, so I wouldn’t be surprised if he needed to have one of them popped back out of his body.
He may be a samurai, but I am the master of the 5 Knuckle Reverberating Testes technique.
Mechamoto was barely slumped over when some sort of glowing blue net wrapped around me courtesy of Troubleshooter. I tried to tear at it, but it was draining the power from my suit. There was no risk of leaving me on empty, but it kept the muscular enhancements from working. I didn’t even have time to try my Nasty Surprise. Metal clamps wrapped around me. My arms were mashed against me, but I could maneuver them to my sides a little as the clamps loosened just slightly to better adjust their grip. Troubleshooter stood near the door to Long’s office proper. Her backpack extended a trio of thick shafts to brace against the ground and the clamp arm running from her backpack lifted me off the ground. Another arm with a circular saw extended forward.
“Stay still. I am just going to get that helmet and armor off you,” she told me. She had a smug smile on her face, like she had just caught me or some nonsense like that.
It got less smug when I got to the fireball capsules. I really don’t show those things enough love, but they’re not much my style. They just seemed like a good idea once for this guy with webbing, and I’ve taken to keeping a few on me for the odd situation when it becomes useful to have something on fire. Ok, so even though very few situations aren’t made better by things on fire, I still don’t show them enough love.
Speaking of things on fire, my suit, the net, and the clamps weren’t either. Heat can do wonderful things to wiring, though. The net failed. I tried the Nasty Surprise and wiggled it around until I found a joint opening. It was taking too long, but then any amount of time is too long with a circular saw coming at your head. A solution to this problem required me to use my head. I headbutted the circular saw. It was knocked down and back somewhat while leaving a gash in the armor of my helmet. With a sound like a sigh, the left clamp failed and dropped me to the ground. With a smug smile on my face now, I ran for her and went for a front dropkick.
I hit her, expended my forward momentum, and dropped flat on my back. Damn tripod on her backpack kept her in place, but it was so beautifully executed a dropkick that it took her breath away. Or maybe that was the actual kick connecting. Either way, she sucked at the air like a lifetime member of McDonald’s Anonymous. That had to run down the side of an erupting volcano. And also, it was cannibals being tossed from the volcano.
I pulled off a kip up for probably the 3rd time in my entire life and gave her an uppercut. Then I pulled her forward where none of the tripod legs was bracing.
Mechamoto was back on his feet, however, and his blade stopped by my shoulder’s house to say “Hi, we’re in the neighborhood now. Would you care for some cold cuts?” Stuck me right into the wall. I would have tried that badass “Pull yourself up along the blade and snarl in their face” thing, but it was in the bone and I don’t like getting spittle all over the inside of my helmet. I fell back on my old favorite, but got no reaction as I kicked him between the legs. It was worse than I’d thought. They were actually knocked inside.
Facing a man with no weak points, I realized something important for the first time. I never recovered my potato peeler from the apartment in Empyreal City. Twisting blade interrupted those thoughts.
It would take some careful footwork to put him down and-. Nevermind, Max got him with a red Swingline stapler to the back of the head. Talk about shitty samurai armor. It’s a good thing Japanese Samurai never had to face down a horde of disgruntled office workers.
I guess modern day Japan really would kick its ancestor’s asses.
“Max, sup?” I said, pulling the katana out of my arm shoulder and walking over to Troubleshooter. I stabbed it through a portion of her costume and into the floor. Then I made for the rocket case I left by the elevator.
“Not much, Gex. Just that Benny boy is getting away while Forcelight is seeing him away, and Forcelight is actually his adoptive daughter, and that means she’s Doc’s daughter.”
“Well what the hell, man, you just dump all that on me suddenly? That’s not even dramatic.”
“Hey, you could have listened to the monologue too, but you had to win and come bursting in here like a big damn hero. You should have seen it too. Lighting was perfect, he had a cigar, everything.”
“Where is Forcelight?”
“She’s with Long. Seeing him off while he escapes.”
“Where’s he go?” I asked, dragging the case along.
“Look out the windows,” I heard from Doc, who was slipping free of his bonds. Bennett Long’s helicopter was leaving again.
“Doc, it’s not important to actually see his face when he goes, is it?” I called out to the man with the leather scrubs and the exposed face.
“I think we’re all ready for you to just end this, Gecko.”
“Righto, my good chap, let me just set up us the rocket,” I said. Max grabbed the comfy-looking solid wood chair behind Long’s desk and hurled it out the window to give me an opportunity. I pulled out the glove, got the box opened, and launched it without me. It didn’t have an explosive warhead in it because I’m not stupid. Instead, I directed it right into the cockpit. The helicopter went down in a death spiral and crashed into Life portion of the Long Life logo.
There was a Ding! from behind me. “Turkey’s done,” I said and turned to find Forcelight stepping out of the elevator. Judging from the fury that came over her face, I think she put 2 and 2 together for 4. Escaping helicopter missing, explosion against the side of the building, same case left behind when we last escaped on rockets.
The light surrounding her glowed all the more brightly. I don’t know if I was just adjusting, but all the other lights seemed to dim. It seemed as though she was the sole, excruciatingly bright light in a dark area. I could barely make out Troubleshooter helping Mechamoto to the elevator beyond Forcelight. Doc moved slowly and pleaded with his daughter but she swept him aside and into the wall, cracking it and something in Doc. I grabbed Max, swung him out of the window before he knew what was happening, and threw him at the window a floor down. I knew he made it to safety from the crash. Unless the glass nicked him in the wrong place, I suppose.
Ah well, he’s probably got so much stuff in his bloodstream, bleeding out will just sober him up. Wait a second, being sober is horrible! I’m a monster!
The light flowed at me, throwing me off balance. She was trying to throw me out the window, but the desk was blocking her somewhat. I threw myself to my right and braced myself against the window and the framing, then sank to the ground. I dug my fingers into the expensive carpet, throwing them into it one hand over the other, crawling my way towards her as office furniture flew past or overhead.
It was harder and harder to move towards her and I had to wonder why she wasn’t giving it her all. She tossed Doc around like a berserk diabetic manhandling a bag of sugar. I focused on that lovely face of hers, contorted in a wrathful expression. Trust me, when I use the term contorted for a woman and I’m not being a sexist pig, you know that’s some serious wrath. Course, no sooner had I thought those thoughts than she suddenly increased the intensity and blew the inner office’s walls in on me and I was falling.
When I got a clear enough view, I could see I was nowhere near a handy landing zone, but at least the do gooder was coming to give me a hand-
-she punched me! I mean, I just woke up so I’m a little late for outrage, but she farggin’ punched me! And now I’m even higher in the air-
-ok, I’m lower now, she hit me again. Girl’s got an arm like a-
-the surgeries and superhero organs, that’s it! Somehow he got it to-
-Geck Want Smash!-
-Enough! She is, every single one of her, beneath me! I am a god, you dull creature, and I will not be bullied by-
Ok, so good news and bad news. The bad news is I lost and am suffering some slight memory loss. Also, I’ve been stripped of my armor and due to some repeated brain trauma through the air, they needed to strip me of my underwear. The smell was too much. Don’t worry, I can still take notes and get this out whenever I get within range of my car. Doc and I are locked up pretty well, and the shackles are even attached to the wall of this van. I’ve told him I have an out, but he’s not listening. He’s insisting I let him do his time. What kind of crap is that? I’m sure he could get out if he really wanted to, but he doesn’t seem like he wants to. I tried telling him how bizarre this is, but he’s saying it’s over now. No more need to wear that awesome leather outfit and slice people up so artfully.
Thinks maybe, with thyme, he can reconnect to his daughter. I told him that it wouldn’t matter if he had parsley, sage, and rosemary as well, that she’s kind of pissed off. And a hero! Can’t reason with those types.
He just looked at me and said, “I hired you and there are two things left before the deal is done. First, you are not to harm her, ever. Second, you leave Kingscrow and don’t come back.” Don’t you hate it when a deal comes back to bite someone in the ass? Happening to the hero of whatever little story about mermaid princesses or frog princes, I understand, but not to the villain of the piece.
But he’s right. He hired me, and a deal is a deal.
The van doesn’t get too far before having to stop. The rear door is being unlocked. Nothing like a dozen SWAT officers with automatic weapons staring at you in the buff with your hands fixed to the wall to make you feel like a menace to society. The driver of the truck’s busy arguing with one of the officers. The man who opened the door and another nearby man hop in the back with me and Doc. One arm at a time, they unlock me, with them making sure to hold my wrists and slip on the latest and greatest in power dampening cuffs. When they get them on me, they lock the cuffs together. All of it was done by random digit passcode on the cuffs themselves. I wish I had some boots to mock shaking in.
“What seems to be the officer, problems?” I ask pleasantly as they led me out and to a nearby SWAT van.
“Quiet you,” says the one behind me with the gun.
“But what if you want to hold something against me in a court of law?”
“Close your mouth or I will close it for you,” he says, backing it up with a gun barrel poke to my spine.
“You know, your wife said completely the opposite last night,” is what I get out before he conked me in the back with the gun.
Turns out, spare restraints are somewhat adjustable and can fit over a human head.
There is a boring drive, getting out, being led somewhere, and then being pushed into a seat. When they remove the adjusted cuff from my head, I am sitting in an office in front of a man in a nice suit who looks self-important and slightly familiar. “Do I know you?”
“Wait, I’m not the pope, am I?”
“No, you’re Psycho Gecko.”
“Oh, ok. Cool. But damn, now I can’t call down the wrath of Yahweh upon you.”
“My name is Joseph Adontes Jr.”
“Hey, I’ve met your dad!”
“I thought you said your name was Joe Adontes?”
“I want the money back.”
“I don’t really watch football.”
“The money I was supposed to inherit from dear old Dad before you paid him a visit.”
“Ah, well, that. It’s a little bit of a secret,” I look around conspiratorially. I’d never heard the doors close again. I see a couple of guards and Joe Jr., motions for them to leave. They shut the doors behind them as they exit. I leans forward and Joe Jr. does the same. “Ok, here’s how I get to the money. First, I break out and I shove your head into your own ass, then I waltz out of here.”
He leans back with an irritated scowl curling upon his face, “I’d like to see you try.”
At which point, having long since melded with the systems on the cuffs, I simply open them up.
Ok, another time skip here. I’m a day out of Kingscrow at the time I’m noting this. Fully-dressed, for all of those wondering at home. My armor is still back there, possibly. I hit the detonation signal, but I can’t be sure they didn’t separate the belt from the armor. I’ve got something in mind to deal with any of it they have left though. So, I’m making this one last note to this because it seems the title I gave this particular sequence of events has proven somewhat fortuitous. Forcelight, aka Aneta Long, is the sole heir to Long Life. The press conference she held was picked up by Outlaw X on the radio so I got to hear her announcement that she was going to continue what her father started and clean up Kingscrow. The Good Doctor is in jail, and I have no word on his outreach efforts, but Mix N’ Max and his accomplices are still loose. Good for Sam and Holly. Max might relocate again with this pressure on, so I might get a chance to see him while she’s busy cleaning up the rainiest city in the U.S.
I guess in her story, she’s the big heroine who can’t follow all the moves the villains are making and gets overwhelmed but finally gets a chance to put them down after they’ve pulled off their most heinous act, all the while her new team comes together handling the myriad of problems in the city. Probably makes for a better read from her side, or even from Doc’s side, the reformed villain who was a supposedly-good man suffering his redemption.
You’ve read my side. Only side I can present of it. I love a good revenge story. In the end, what did we really get from all this? Cash. Fear. Respect. Yet another photo of me being taken into custody nude. And yet, I somehow feel like we lost a little too.
Oh, before I forget, ahem… Next time, Forcelight. I’ll get you next time! You couldn’t see it, but I was doing some awesome fist-shaking when I said that.
I’ll be seeing y’all. I got an idea where I’ll head next, an old stomping grounds where I have a spare suit, and a nice place to visit if you’ve got the blues, so I’ll see y’all around next update.