Payback Day was a horrible holiday. No one got the memo. Even the people I’d been helping out refused to join in. It’s sad is what it is. Fine! I don’t need a bunch of people content to sniff boot tread for the rest of their lives. I’ll go start my own revolution! We’ll solve all disputes with pickle duels at twenty paces!
I didn’t kill all of them, before you ask. They did a lot of running and I have a mind to fight people whose travel accommodations involve the phrase “Up up and away!” Don’t assume they got off scot-free though. That is readily apparent by my choice of vehicle. I abandoned the moving truck.
Now, Moai and I are driving along in our brand spanking new Yabloo City Sheriff’s SUVs. What makes it brand spanking new instead of just new is that I grabbed the previous owners as they attempted to flee from me, bent them over my knee, and spanked them. The big babies didn’t stop crying, but my suggestion to breastfeed just made things worse. So now we have these SUV thingies. I’m sure the K9 unit won’t miss them at all, since I let their dogs go free. Took a bit of convincing to make sure the dogs knew they were free, but I wore armor.
Water under the bridge. It’s obvious that I was just spinning my wheels in that town. I should have been planning something. Also, it turns out they were mostly ok people after all. Assholes, sure, but it looks like my little rant about racism around the time I first got stuck there just seems stupid now. I killed people for other reasons than them being racist, though, so it all works out in the end. Now you know, and knowing is half the battle. Yooooo Cobra!
These heroes are going to become a problem, but before they’re a problem, they’re a challenge. They are no mere team at this point. They have the resources and expertise to do some things that change the entire situation. We’re talking teleporting space satellites and their own building with comfortable chairs. I’m not entirely sure what I’m going to do about this problem yet, but I can come up with it while I work on it.
First step, I’m going to need some money. Annoying how that happens, but it’ll be better than manhandling for cash in between my twelve step program to cure Shieldwall of its oxygen addiction. Or do people panhandle for cash? I wouldn’t be surprised if both words fit there. Either way, I’m going to need more money than all these guns, body armor, and computers can fetch.
Yes, I picked on the Yabloo City Sheriffs, but that whole situation could have been prevented if they’d just let me go on my way.
So I had to check the site, see what came in. A great many of the few jobs that come my way are people doing it on a dare to see if it’s real. Others are various law enforcement agencies attempting to either entrap me or hire me for a problem. Sometimes a natural death is super natural, and occasionally those drone strikes aren’t drone strikes.
By the way, don’t bother to go looking for the site. See, there’s these things called the Deep Web and the Dark Web. In the interest of continuing to educate my readers’ minds, I’ll tell you a little bit about how they work. Those search providers you use, like Google and, if you’re unlucky, Bing, have to actually map out the internet. They have to find and verify websites before they include them in search results. The internet is so vast, that most of the websites aren’t available that way. That would apply a level of protection to my actions enough to keep most people out. You hear about lives, deaths, stolen goods, and drugs being bought and you figure that seems odd, because anyone could just find it, right? Not so easily if it’s on the Deep Web, though not every website there is such a place. Those providers just take advantage of the massive depth of our little internet ocean.
The Dark Web, actually Dark Internet but I like to call it the Dark Web, is what you get when websites aren’t even in the Deep Web. They have measures in place to keep from being found at all through your standard internet services. They can’t show up on a search that delves into the Deep Web because they exist in a blind spot. Watch yourself on a Dark Internet. There’s a reason most people on it don’t want to be found. If you can, the better Dark Internet to get involved in is the one for the supervillains. We are generally less trigger happy with viruses.
See? Now you can say you’ve learned yet another interesting fact from Psycho Gecko today. Yes, plump up those juicy brains for the coming zombie apocalypse, my readers.
So it was that I checked to see who was making any offers. I don’t just accept all of them, you may have noticed. I’m not Santa Claus where I can fly across the world in one night, delivering fisty goodness to people on my special list. Good guy, Santa Claus. We met once. But unlike him, it has to be worth my while.
Such a job that is worth my while just came in from Paradise City, where the grass is green and the girls are pretty. No, really, it even says it on the sign when you’re driving into the place. “Paradise City, FL, Where the Grass is Green and the Girls are Pretty.” Never has a city’s decision to rename themselves after a Guns N’ Roses song turned out quite as successfully as this place.
Ah, Paradise City. I think it’s the only city in the U.S. run by a supervillain, but behind the scenes. Its economy is based on tourism, which has expanded and even been helped by the novelty of the place. Some people are attracted to all the new attractions that have been created. Water parks, small fair-like areas, new restaurants and hotels. There are limits to how tall any of them can be due to the hurricanes, but they help give the place more appeal than just the beaches and the old restaurants they had.
Usually, a place like this was wouldn’t be very appealing to many supervillains, but Ouroboros was here and stayed. He defeated all comers, took protection and drug money, and invested it into the city itself. He’s not the mayor or anything, but he’s the head of organized crime in the city, owns a large chunk of the most profitable portions of it, and has a lot of influence with people. The only thing disruptive that might cause problems to the city, then, is a hero showing up.
Ouroboros saw my work in Memphis against Venus and there are stories circulating about me and Holdout. Damn you, Screwhaul. I almost wish you guys were brought back to life so I could kill you again. So I’m off to meet the infinite dragon down here.
First thing’s first, I need a sandwich. Moai and I stopped off at a nice little bistro, looking place. I’m not sure what a bistro actually is, but it’s a nice name for when you have a place that serves sandwiches and other light fair while also featuring small tables outside.
Either way, Moai saved me a seat outside while I grabbed a Cuban sandwich. That is perhaps Ouroboros’s greatest accomplishment. Bringing the Cuban sandwich to northwest Florida. In this part of Florida, people who speak Spanish are more likely to be Mexican than Cuban.
People stared, of course, but I was in my civilian clothes. Even if I had the armor on for people to recognize me, cops here won’t bother showing up unless a crime is actually being committed. Until then, I was like seeing some C-list actor in Hollywood. They didn’t know who I was, but they knew I was somebody, seeing as I was busy discussing what Chihuahuas would be like in feral packs with a walking Easter Island statue.
Then a car came wildly careening around the corner. The driver recovered, but then the rear tires popped. A third went as its path took it onto the curb and then into a fire hydrant near the little eatery. It was totally distracting. I had to repeat what I told Moai about wild Chihuahuas being the only carnivore that would need to gang up to take down a cookie.
Three men got out of the car, one of them pulling down his ski mask. One of them had a backpack full of cash. They were all armed. One had a pump-action shotgun, another a handgun of some sort, and the last looked like he had a Tec-9. Shotgun ran right over and grabbed me, hauling me to my feet while yelling, “Up!”
His buddy with the handgun tried to ask “What are you doing, man?”
That’s when a young man, or probably a teen, landed on the opposite side of the street, having made the mistake of relying too much on his cape to be a parachute. He must have been new. That red, white, and silver costume looked like just a strongman’s outfit or spandex. When he saw how hard the teen hero landed, Shotty let me go, “Don’t need him after all.” I just looked at Moai and shrugged, until I noticed my poor, defenseless sandwich had been mercilessly splattered on the ground. Those animals! Whyyyyyyyyyyyyy?!
The Tec-9 glanced at me as I knelt by my fallen food, but then his head whipped around as the hero raised his open hands toward the three robbers. From each finger shot a small taser line, catching his accomplices and shocking them into submission. Tec-9 raised his gun to fire, but that’s when I took revenge for my deceased sandwich. The robber took a load of pork and pickles to the face. Sadly, it wasn’t at twenty paces.
He turned the gun on me, but I grabbed it and released the clip. “Let him go!” yelled the hero. I twisted the gun around in my hands and fired the single remaining round at him, dropping him to the ground.
“You got him!” said a very puzzled robber. He was soon a very headbutted puzzled robber, but it wasn’t my head. Thanks to Moai, he flew into the street.
I dropped the gun and stepped to the side. “Moai, you cunning wordsmith, I need you to flatter this gun.” Moai jumped up and landed on it, crushing and scattering pieces. “Hell of a way to tell it how thin it looks, my man.” I told him and raised my hand for a high five. He didn’t return it.
The robber and hero made it to their feet at the same time. One clutched his head, which was beginning to bleed a little. The other was rubbing at his chest, knocking the stopped bullet to the ground. At least the kid was smart enough to get a vest. Always bulletproof your costumes, readers. The robber was looking between Moai and myself and the hero. While he was busy trying to gauge what the hero would do, I sucker punched him, sending him stumbling against the hero who then knocked him right back at me. I let Moai handle this one, but this time the hero didn’t catch him on the return. The robber dodged under the hero’s punch and spun around, catching the teen hard in the jaw. I just shrugged when the hero stumbled my way and fed him knuckle sandwich. He went back to the robber who socked him again. I was going to let Moai handle this one, but the hero used his momentum to jump up, grab Moai, spin around him, and kick me into the street, where the robber was only too willing to hit me too.
There was a real possibility Moai would keep up this whole thing, but instead he charged into the hero and I caught my balance against him. I held out my hands as the robber, hero, and I all held our sore skulls. “Wait a minute!” I gave the timeout hand signal and approached the other two. Then I jumped, driving my shoes into their groins. When I landed, I grabbed their heads and smacked them together.
The hero whirled around and doubled over. I poked the robber in the eyes, then brought my closed hand down on the hero’s head. That’s right, I bop in combat. In response to the bop on his head, the hero spun and threw a punch, but I had already moved out to the side. He caught the robber instead. A tap on his back caused him to spin and punch again, but this time he hit Moai. He was then surprised by my fingers digging into the rear of his tights and lifting him up, causing a major costume wedgie. When I dropped him, he fell to his knees, clawing at his tights.
I gave Moai a thumbs up and bent over. Moai hopped on the hero’s back, driving him to the ground, and then leapfrogged over me and landed crossbody on the robber’s chest, finishing him as well.
See, I just couldn’t be a civilian. I make a horrible hostage.
Moai and I left to find a sandwich place not about to have a police presence, but oddly found that the crowd that had gathered was clapping for us. This town really knows how to treat a bad guy.