In a way, it’s a good thing there was so much time between the events I’m about to recount and now. My typing has been a bit slower, along with anything else I do that requires both hands. How am I feeling? I’m feeling just peachy keen and why don’t you eat a snowcone off my ass?
I was back at the bar again, suit on, awaiting word of Venus’s arrival. I wasn’t bringing Moai with me this time, because he’s guarding the hideout. I don’t want another situation where I would come back from a fight to find someone waiting to shoot me or have 1,000 of his closest uniformed friends do that job for him. And I worked hard to get that equipment back that I use.
The TVs were on, but supposedly there was a runner who would tell us when they were all set up. After all, the big announcement was going down almost right outside, but she wasn’t going to just hang around out there all day. She always made a damn announcement like that. If I showed early, who knew what amazing things might have transpired? Someone gets lucky, someone recognizes me, whatever, and Venus knows exactly who she’s dealing with and this turns into a boring game of cat and mouse.
I know, cat and mouse is supposed to be exciting, but it’s a giant cat playing with a mouse. Of course you know who is going to win, just as soon as the cat gets bored. You want some real fun, you give the mice guns and send them after each other. The deadliest prey. At least until the cat learns kung fu and goes in after them.
So I waited there until word came that she was actually present. The guys doing the scouting were probably too busy shaking in their tights over her. Not like my job here is a big deal. Walk up behind her, snap her neck, bada bing bada boom. I know, not very impressive next to ramming a fist sheathed in energy up her ass, but it would send a message all its own: No matter how trained and skilled, she was still only human. You know, get some condescension in there, probably lace it with a little misogyny.
I’m down with the womenfolk, but murdering a hero isn’t about being down with the womenfolk. It’s about a demoralizing final victory over a heroine who has made it a point to go around and hand indecent members of society demoralizing losses. It’s all about throwing enough crap that it sticks and draws some heat. Makes me look better, makes her look worse, makes people feel bad. It’s possible superhumans have their own smart marks here, now that I think over the implications of that line of thinking in a world with the internet.
Two supervillains walk into a bar. Don’t stop me even if you’ve heard this one. They walk over, one in a costume with flames on and his buddy in a costume with snowflakes. “She’s here,” the fire-based villain said, and poked me in the chest with one finger. “Don’t screw this up. You just get out there and lose and get her out of town or I’ll have to come out there and fix you myself.”
“You don’t really understand why they picked me, do you?” I asked, looking over at the barkeep. She suddenly had to go refill her stock out of the back. I love it when that kind of convenient timing happens, though it’s not like her presence would stop me.
“You’re a sacrificial lamb who runs around blowing up TVs and acting like some idiot’s version of a crazy guy. You go out there and you lose to her and she leaves. Done and done.” He punctuated the last three words with a poke at my chest. Now obviously I didn’t feel it. I’ve taken a lot of shots to this armor before. Chances are this guy’s finger isn’t going to make my chest feel sore when I lay down in a few hours. And it isn’t like I cultivate a lot of respect for me. After all, if they respect me then they may learn to estimate me correctly.
As someone who is underestimated and who didn’t like this guy poking me in the chest with his finger, I felt it was only right to make him look like a total moron. I grabbed his finger and twisted it sharply to one side. Snap! Then I took his hand with my other hand and twisted it sharply in the other direction. Snap! His hand burst into flame then, but I left all my fucks at the hideout and so had none to give. So I twisted his forearm in the same direction as the finger. Snap! Then I grabbed his upper arm and launched myself out of my seat, kicking the chair back in the process. I didn’t let him go even after that snap. Instead, as his buddy tried to get around him, fog drifting from his hands, I grabbed the fire guy’s wrist and slapped ice guy across the face with it. I swapped fire guy’s fist into my other hand and punched ice guy with my knuckle just above the eye, drawing blood that began to obscure his vision but mostly just making it harder for him to keep his eye open, then I took his hand and commenced to knocking each of them in the face with the other’s hand while saying, “Why you hitting yourselves? Why you hitting yourselves? Why you hitting yourselves? Why you hitting yourselves?”
Yeah I beat their asses and I’m happy I did it. I’d do it again for a dollar!
A poofing noise and a smokey hand laid on my shoulder broke up the party. “Don’t bother with them. You have someone more high profile to play with, don’t you?” said the bartender, a gentle reminder. She, or it, is pretty good about violence in the bar so long as it is self-inflicted due to stupidity. That, or maybe she likes my particular brand of violence. Still, I found myself facing out from the door behind the Voodoo store with traces of smoke lingering in the air.
“Well, Baron,” I told the chalk drawing of a man in a tophat that controlled the entrance to the bar, “wish me dark magical forces beyond the reckoning of mortal man, and luck.”
Which reminds me, next time I’m only bringing him something crappy. Something so nasty to drink that it is an insult to the concept of alcohol. Bud Light maybe.
I disguised myself as some small random crowd of people. If anyone was a huge fan of store catalogs, they may have been able to pick me out, but since those people are so boringly normal in appearance, I blended in better than if I went with a big tattooed guy with a purple Mohawk. I approached the amphitheater where everyone was getting set up and could see Venus on stage in her white, gold, and pink tights.
You know, most people see the tights and they think it’s kind of weird. I mean, where else do you see such tight clothing? Gymnasts, wrestlers, acrobats, people who need to run fast. It’s either that or skimpier clothing. Short shorts with tiny or no shirts. Like what you see on boxers, wrestlers, bicyclers, and people who need to run fast. Notice a pattern? People will make fun of superhumans all day long for wearing clothing that is pretty good for the actions they undertake.
That said, some of the designs are the dumbest things you’ll ever see at face value. If you’re in the know, however, it was actually pretty smart.
Venus’s could have been better, but a big part of her thing was flash. Not like that. Underlying pink spandex that covered her body up to her neck. There was flexible padding hidden in the white and gold designs along her pants and in the tube-top looking part around the boobal region. You know, if the body was a river, it would have been located somewhere around the breastuary, though in her case the geographical formations weren’t big enough to drastically change the flow. Nothing wrong with that at all.
The mask over her face was an interesting one. Her light brown hair was loose over the top of it and it showed a small patch of skin around each eye and enough skin around the mouth to let her smile shine out. Still, it wrapped around the rest of her head, hid her nose, and rose up above her face in a kind of pink and white crown motif. It sounds like a poor way to hide your face, but it drew enough away from the face and stood out in enough places that it was much more effective than the tighter ones.
She was just starting a very energetic speech. Basic info about who she was, who she represented, and that she was here to make sure the people of Memphis knew they didn’t have to fear anyone. Sing along with me here folks. Seasons don’t fear the reaper. Nor do the sun and the wind and the rain. We can be like they are. Come on baby. Don’t fear the reaper. Baby I’m your maaaaaaaan.
Best to get that out of my system now, because I didn’t then. Instead I worked my way through the crowd, slipping into new illusionary disguises as I went. I could have been invisible, but in a crowd of people, the invisible man is far more noticeable. I think that’s part of the reason this one invisible super is dead. Can’t remember if he was hero or villain, I just remember he died in a freak nude woman stampede. That makes him a hero to me. I gave him a 21 shot salute too. Vodka, naturally, since it’s see-through.
She was remarkably cheery, the smug motherfucker, but a lot of what she said was pretty much canned and then unsealed at every stop with a few new toppings added to it. I made my way to the back of the stage. There was police presence there, but I slipped out of a disguise and into invisibility before slipping between them. I charged my gloves as I stepped onstage while she was still at the podium, but this guy in a suit got in my way. Mayor’s aid or something. Must not have been a very good aid because all he did was get in my way as he stood behind Venus while she introduced him. Then they got into some patter, ha ha, yak it up, and I got impatient. The glow from the energy sheaths has been known to escape the illusion in some of my suits of armor.
So finally I got so fed up, I slammed my right fist into the side of his head, the energy unleashed with the kinetic energy of the blow to reduce his head into a mess of blood, globs of fatty brain, and chunks of bone that sprayed over some very formal looking people of a council or committee or organized crowd of people with blood and brain on them.
“Salsa, stage right!” I exclaimed, as the exclamation point would indicate loudly and exclamatorily.
In no time flat, Venus had the podium up and spun around. The side that hit me shattered as it did so, but I stumbled back. I was off balance and before I could react, she followed it up with a jumping spinning kick that, on playback, I have to admit is real fucking impressive. I fell on my ass far to the side on the stage.
“Exit, stage left!” she answered my previous statement. Then she pulled out this rod that had been hanging on the back of her belt and pushed a button. With a uncomfortable crackle, my armor went dead.
This fight will be continued next update after a few words from out sponsors: the ass-sucking son of a motherfucker called the Multiverse Divide.