The stage was set for my attack. Actually, it was all set for Honky Tonk and Gorilla Awesome to go into their rendition of “Hound Dog”. Someone actually threw their panties onstage at Honky Tonk Hero. I kept a photo of the guy pulling them off himself for future blackmail purposes.
That’s when Tupac walked out on stage. The music stopped dead, the whole crowd stopping and staring at what looked to real to be a hologram. “It’s got to be him,” said Honky Tonk, who gripped his guitar by the neck and swung the base around to point at me. Roughly 64.3921554% of the crowd pulled out guns of various shapes and sizes. Ensconced as I was in not only the Tupac hologram, but my armor, I just spread my arms and yelled out indignantly in the voice of the dead rapper, “It’s ‘cause I’m black, isn’t it!”
My armor is bulletproof, but it turns out that if enough cops fire at exactly the same time with good enough aim, the force can actually lift me off my feet and fling me back about a wookie’s length. Look, I don’t do measurements the same way other people do. You can tell me the numbers. I know the numbers mean something. And if you try really hard and give me something to compare them to, I can even get a rough enough idea of something to give you numbers back. As you may have noticed, my ability to put together weapons of mass destruction in no way relies upon imagining exactly what the length of a foot looks like without the aid of a sub sandwich.
Speaking of weapons of mass destruction, I landed on Gorilla Awesome’s drumset, the blow only slightly softened by the bag I had across my back that contained a number of objects that were not fun to land on. “And I bet there still won’t be a single damn witness,” I told him with a cough. He brought a drumstick down to smack me in the face once, but I dodged the second one, and as I rolled out of the way of a third hit, the drumstick smacked a cymbal. Rimshot! The stick snapped on my helmet as the rimshot rang out. Whatever you do out there, don’t try to get a job doing rimshots. It..it just doesn’t work out. Trust me on this. You don’t have the tongue for that kind of work.
Before Gorilla Awesome could use more sticks and stones to try and break my bones, Moai leapt to my rescue, landing directly on the ape and driving him through the stage, but rolling to safety on it without going down with him. When we both stood, it was to the bell ringing in the song “Hail Mary” with me Tupacced out and Moai wearing low-hanging jeans, the gun from the fanny pack now tucked in the waistband, and a bandana tied around its head.
“That blow was like a twelve gauge shotty, uhh.. ya feel me?” I said as I approached Honky Tonk Hero, making a big show of dancing, boxing style, and raising my fists. “I am a killer, so don’t push me. Revenge is the sweetest joy next to gettin’ pussy. And this here is my boy, Rapper Nui.” I motioned towards the Moai.
The gorilla, recovering quickly as always, climbed up onto the stage and advanced at the same time Honky Tonk did. Moai and I were backed up against each other soon enough, back to back. I called back to him, “Don’t worry. I’ll take the ugly one.” The Moai turned partly, almost as if to ask which one that was, but then I felt him whip me around. I flew through the air, my legs smacking into the side of Gorilla Awesome’s face and sending saliva flying. I landed on my own feet and grabbed Moai’s head. I went to lift him in a similar spin toward Honky Tonk, but the most I managed to do was roll his body towards the hero, who tried to jump over and got caught in the balls when Moai stood up. A growl from behind me reminded me of the giant primate ready to tear me limb from limb.
I guess Moai considered Gorilla Awesome to be the uglier one. Good time for the goodie bag, though. Just as he lunged for me, I whipped out a bedpan and brought it across his face with a loud, resonating bong! I dropped it in the swing and reached in with my other hand to pull out a different loud bong, this one with a tie dye paint job on it. He caught it, along with my hand, and squeezed. His unforgiving muscles were more dangerous than the glass, at least until swung the next random item out of the bag. It was a horsehoe. I avoided being caught by Gorilla Awesome’s other hand or either of his feet long enough for my blows to finally force the release of my hand. I dropped the horsehoe, which now resembled a metal ampersand. He settled for jumping on top of me and pinning my lower body to the ground.
Normally that’s the kind of time when you have to go coyote and chew your way out, but my hands went to the bag again. Out came an iron. Perfect! I wrapped the cord the stiff wires on one glove and charged it up. It was somewhat imperfect of a connection, but it did enough to rapidly heat the iron, which I pressed into gorilla’s chest. Smelling of burnt hair, the primate put a little distance between us.
Behind us, all this time, raged the epic battle between the Moai and the Honky Tonk Hero, out of sight to me at least until I was grabbed again and spun around, the arm holding the iron still out. I was brought around so that my outstretched arm held the iron to Honky Tonk Hero’s hair, setting it ablaze. “Will you stop fucking forgetting who the minion is here!” I called back to my ensorcelled partner in crime. He dropped me on my feet.
Honky Tonk raised his guitar for a devastating overhead blow, his hair going out as the oil was used up though it still maintained that perfect Elvis do. I remembered I had brought a shield to battle that would deflect even his super strong attacks. I retrieved it from the bag and held it in front of me to block the blow. He stopped on a dime, unable to risk harming the vintage vinyl Elvis debut album I held before me. “Mother of God,” he muttered, dropped the arm holding the guitar to his side, then called out to the police officers who had gotten the crowd out of the way and set up a perimeter on the ground during our melee, “Stand down, everyone. We can’t risk destroying it!”
“Now you see, white Honky, that not you AND Gorilla Awesome AND a huge crowd of Memphis’s finest stands a chance of taking me down!”
At that, sharpshooters and SWAT teams on the roofs stood up and made their presence known, effectively doubling the police presence in the area. “Wooooooooooo! I’m going to have to kill twice as many people than I planned. You all want to form a nice, orderly line facing away from me?” I looked back to Honky Tonk then, “I normally take pride in my asskickery, but this looks like it’ll be a doozy of a rush job.” I shook the album in front of me to reiterate the fact that he didn’t want it damaged.
“Alright, I understand. Everyone, I said stand down! What are your demands? Do you want the city?” he asked, the air tense. I could almost hear the building up of what was essentially a Mexican standoff involving an Elvis album.
“I hadn’t much thought of it. I practically control everything already. I mean, if I ruled the city, what would I do, delegate the day to day responsibilities to experienced people like the mayor and city council? And if I needed money, I suppose I’d just walk into a bank and take it. And if I wanted to do something drastic, like shut down all the TVs, I’d just go ahead and do it without anyone’s input. You know, it’s almost like I’m already dominating your world. No, what I want…is…to know what the hell that noise is.” I said, looking around. What I thought was the sound of a Mexican standoff had turned out to be a real noise, approaching. Jets fly over Memphis all the time, but generally not this low over Beale Street.
The jet was all white, with neon lights running along it with sharp, precise angles. It was bulky, but moved slowly as it flew overhead and in the direction of the station I’d attacked the day before, thrusters rotating to slow it and allow it to hover. A gleaming white figure flew out of the top of it.
Ok, so Honky Tonk Hero and Gorilla Awesome and a gaggle of undercover cops and rooftop snipers and SWAT teams and the Kingscrow hero team (The Whatever-They’re-Calleds) AND Forcelight. Ok, that oughta do it.
I watched Forcelight as she flew closer, her otherwise delicate-featured face holding onto a look of determination that marred the beauty of her thick lips and eyes that drew your gaze enough to make you feel they are too wide for her pretty little face. It’s amazing how much you pay attention to someone after they’ve shown they are capable of taking your head off with a punch. She almost looked terrible and threatening to me, except she had her chance and used it to try and put me in cuffs. I dropped the record, whipped out more salmon than you could shake a bear at, and armed the stink grenades. The front row cops, Gorilla Awesome, and Honky Tonk were all engulfed in pink clouds of stinky exploded fish mist, which obscured the view of those on the roof tops. From out of the mist, I chucked one final fish right into that pretty face of Forcelight. I like to imagine it got close enough to smooch its little fishy lips against hers before it poofed into rotten fluid.
Moai and I made our escape then, with him rolling out of there. I jumped on top and ran backwards, feeling that despite all my rage I am still, in some ways, a rat in a cage.
Later on, back at my hideout, I was hosing down my suit and my Moai. Still had my helmet on, though, as I had to make a call.
“Kavorkian Pharmaceuticals, this is Elmira speaking,” said the voice on the other end.
“Hey, Holly, it’s everyone’s favorite homicidal maniac,” I said and heard a click. Yep, sounds like I called the right place. I was going to redial, but it turned out I was only transferred.
“Gecko, it’s not been long enough, how are you?” came the voice of Mix N’ Max.
“I’m doing just fine for a guy in Memphis facing down a load of heroes out of Kingscrow. Figured I’d call you up and let you know they were out of town. You know, just in case you ever went to a bar full of criminals with superhuman abilities who were looking for an excuse to run wild on the place.”
“I’ll pass along the message for you. Oh, Sam wanted me to tell you, and I quote, ‘If I ever get my hands on you, I will wring your neck until your brain pops out, then shove it up your dick.’”
“She watches Idol, doesn’t she?”
“She did until you started blowing up satellites and TVs.”
“Oooh, that reminds me,” I opened up a connection to the device I’d planted. I didn’t know where it was at, or if it had been disconnected. So I guess, to be more accurate, the connection was just to the bomb I’d planted. There, in 10 seconds that loose end will be tied up. “Alright, got that taken care of.”
So after a brief conversation in which Max teased that my next big terrifying act would be to destroy all deodorant in the country, I settled down while people lost their shit outside. TVs were being imported and bought as fast as anyone could grab them, like Black Friday horribly wrong. The police were even less effective at stopping crimes because the precincts had to either go on break while they cleaned themselves and their gear, or go out while the criminals could smell them coming a mile away. Forcelight was looking all over for me, but she didn’t know a thing about the city or its hiding spots, or about the people in this ratty old building that were more than willing to hide Tupac in their basement. All in all, not a bad round of violence. I have a bag of valuable loot from the pawn shop, a bit more publicity, and one tiny regret: I didn’t buy any stock in consumer electronics companies before I started knocking televisions out of commission. And I settled in, catching the news, entertaining myself, and doing a lot of reading on the nice, wholesome world wide web.