Started out as a pretty easy going day. Woke up without any pants on. Had a strange dream too.
I fought a dragon with a plunger. What the dragon was doing with the plunger, I don’t know. Maybe I had crawled up its toilet bowl before it sat down on the porcelain throne and issued any “decrees”. I assume I crawled up it before it did so because I’d prefer not to think that I crawled up during or after and it’s my story. So I hopped on a robot shark with eight legs and was fighting it in deadly hand to hand combat with golden kitchen sink, glad all the while that the cliché wasn’t to hit someone with a shower. But enough about the daydream I snapped out of in the middle of some family’s house while wearing nothing but my trenchcoat and a pair of black boxers with yellow smiley faces all over them.
Maybe I should talk about my actual dream. It went like…something about judging people by the content of their character, not the color of their…hair? Actually, nevermind, I forgot most of it.
After ruining the most important meal of the day for the Johnson family, I took a shower, which got really awkward when the Johnsons insisted I leave or they’ll call the cops. I don’t I care all that much about the cops since Gorilla Awesome and Honky Tonk Hero left for Kingscrow to repay Forcelight’s team by helping with the hell that broke loose there. Still, it was hard to manhandle my right hand man with the wife screaming at me and banging on the door. Finally I grabbed a towel, dried off, and let her out of the bathroom. Naked and dripping, I passed by the husband and gave him a friendly slap on the cheek while saying, “She’s got a hell of a mouth on her, doesn’t she?”
From there I made my way back to the hideout, where I had left Moai as a guard, got dressed, and headed out for lunch. Why did I go alone? Because Moais don’t need food and booze, silly. I made my way to Dino’s. Best fucking cheesesticks I ever tasted. Combine them with their alfredo and I would kill for them. I swear. I would grab your mom, whoever is reading this, and punch her right there between the lips. Then I’d turn her rightside up and work on her face. I would wrap a chain around a dildo that I then shoved a hammer head onto the end of and beat her senseless with it, then drown her in a bowl of that alfredo right there, yes I would. Then I’d dip my cheesesticks in it for good measure and let out a barbaric yawp. Preferably while wearing a tuxedo and singing it like an opera note.
But enough about your mom, who is so fat that when she went to Sea World, Shamu fell in love with her.
I was quite full when I entered the Back Alley Voodoo Bar, though it was a necessity. I need to eat a lot to make up for the rapid healing and tiring shenanigans. I was surprised, though, when the bartender, still in a girly guise, announced “Psycho Gecko’s here!” and was followed by a chorus of greetings from people who actually wanted to see me for once.
At first, I didn’t understand why they were actually glad to see me, or why they hoisted me up on their shoulders, or why they were saying things about their hero and kicking “her” ass whoever’s ass that is on whichever feminine pronounced-person they were talking about. They sat me down at the bar and a pirate with a flaming beard gave me his bottle of rum to drink.
I know what you’re thinking. A gay pirate with a flamboyant girlfriend was trying to get me drunk and flirt with me. But that’s not what happened. It was a pirate with long facial hair that appeared to be on fire. I’m right there with you, I expected the gay pirate with a girlfriend too.
“So, you think you’re up to the task, matey?” asked Captain Flamebeard. That’s actually his name, too. I was running facial recognition as best I could in the magic-laden atmosphere of the Voodoo Bar, but a simple search for “beard on fire” turned up some information on him, and it caught me up on the arson/murder mystery of the Congressional representative from Minnesota.
“What task is that?” I asked, taking a swig of the rum.
“Don’t you watch the news? Oh, that’s right,” he said with a jocular smile, getting a chuckle out of the rest of the crowd. I got this sudden urge to grab him, rip his beard off, and make him eat it while singing “America the Beautiful”. I held it in check though.
“Well?” is all I said to reiterate my question.
“You’re the one we’ve all chosen to take down that cocky bitch that’s coming to town!” he finally answered.
“Cocky bitch? Do you mean Chicken Girl or Madam Hyena?” I asked, still unclear. Remember, communication is important in any relationship. Whether you’re a guild playing together in an MMO, a couple trying to make things work in this crazy world, or a villain who has been nominated to fight someone by other villains, it’s always best to make sure there is clear communication about the situation.
“No, no, no, we mean you’re the one taking on Venus.”
I drew a blank. It looked a lot like the next sentence.
That’s what it looked like.
“Who?” I asked, once again. I don’t like asking a lot of questions like that. I had the eyes run a search for the name related to the word “superpowers”, but before I got an answer from the internet or crowd, Flamebeard clapped me on the shoulder and made a very loud proclamation.
“The fool’s gonna-, I mean, the man’s gonna do it!”
This brought on a loud cheer as they all went back to their seats.
That’s when I got the info I needed. Turns out, surprisingly, I should have been paying attention to more reality shows.
“You know they’re setting you up,” said the bartender as she leaned in. Despite her head coming so much closer to my own, I still couldn’t see her eyes. There’s no way the dark blue lighting is the cause of that.
“I don’t entirely get why they’re so frightened of an unpowered woman who wears that much pink,” I said as I perused the images overlaying my field of vision.
“Says the man whose only power is to touch machines,” was the bartender’s answer.
“Hey now, it’s good touch and not a one of them have ever gone to the cops about it. So why would I be fighting her, anyway? She’s an LA cape,” and what a notorious bunch they are. Every region has to have their particular flavor, though. You want the bright shiny defenders of freedom, you go for Empyreal City. Kingscrow has the dark brooding vigilantes, or it did before this team got put together. Then again, they’re pretty dark and brooding now after what I did to them. D.C. is full of either cynics, idealists, or assholes only in it to make themselves look better. Oh, and their heroes share those traits too. I’m not entirely sure what flavor you’d say Memphis has, though it attracts magical supers much the way New Orleans does, but with certain urban aspects more similar to Kingscrow or the poorer side of Empyreal City. And it attracts me from time to time. Hey, it got its reputation for murder somehow. Not sure where the pirate fits in with all that though.
“They want their parties and attention. She’s like you in that respect. The bright figurehead of the Master Academy,” the bartender said. Ah, something I knew more about already. Master Academy is like this private school for these younger heroes. It covers high school and college courses. Keeps a lid on identities because they work with a normal private school over there and have managed to keep it a secret which school that is. Not like it’s just one obvious school where you can sit outside and match up the faces to the masks you saw.
Venus is one of the big names coming from the school and according to the press, she’s making a tour to challenge the villains of various cities, all in the name of publicity. I guess that’s one way to convince teenage superheroes to work in an organization. Plus, Memphis could use a superhero right now.
“You know, seems there’s an awful lot of heroes from around the country working together lately,” I mused.
The barkeep poured me a fresh drink, despite me having made little headway against the rum. “Here.”
“What’s this for?”
She indicated Flamebeard where he sat with other former members of my celebratory crowd, “They only chose you to fight Venus for them because of what you did here. They probably all spit in that bottle.”
I closed one eye and looked down the opening and neck of the bottle, “They watch a lot of TV, eh?”
“They gather here to watch American Idol,” she told me with a grin. Her teeth were too white.
“I thought this enchanted grotto would have a better means of getting a signal than cable. Well, I presume you warned them,” I said, and gulped down one last swallow of the rum. I stood up, walked over to where Flamebeard sat, laughing with his friends, and smashed the bottle against his chin and his beard. He fell over backward in his chair, the alcohol and saliva mixture catching fire on his beard and spreading over his clothes. A member of his crew with a red glowing tattoo on his face stood and swung at me with a hook hand. I yanked the napkin holder off the table and caught the hook in it, then threw it away to the side, leaving the man wide open for me to punch him in the ear. He stumbled back, holding his ear and mewling far more pitifully than a pirate ought to.
The bartender appeared out of a cloud of smoke standing on the table between us and looked down at me with a raised eyebrow. I didn’t need to answer though. Flamebeard and his guys disappeared with her in another burst of smoke.
I settled in at a booth in the rear and ordered another rum while I sorted through information, trying to get a better sense of who this person was. I had a couple of days before she would be in Memphis and I got the feeling the criminal element would be surprisingly forthcoming about my whereabouts while she was around and challenging people to show just how strong Master Academy can make you.
After I beat her ass, maybe I can stick that bumper sticker on her. You know the one. “My juvenile delinquent is fucking your honor student.” Wait a second…nevermind, she’s college-aged, so we’re not looking at another situation like with Holdout. Her ass isn’t as hot as his anyway.