Yak yak yak, yak yak yak, I swear Max created a mouthwash that serves as a portal to Nepal. Nepal has yaks, doesn’t it? I’ll drop yaks on them if they don’t!
I’ll worry about that later though.
Instead, after all my work, all my planning, all the drinks I bought at the bar, Max had questions.
We had been working on some tricks to pull but apparently there was one huge, burning issue still hanging over this whole thing. “What then? You get your Moai back and then you…what? Mojitos?”
“Well, I’ll be escalating and de-escalating things in the process, feinting, counterstriking, setting up one or two future events to go my way unless something happens.”
“So you’re going to keep fighting them,” Max said while mixing honey with toothpaste and arsenic. Kids, don’t try that at home. What Max does isn’t chemistry.
Barely need to keep an eye on the guy in a lab though. Especially when you’re busy working on some micro munitions. “Yeah. Planning on screwing with their heads. Thinking I might, I don’t know, build a giant laser gun in Empyreal City and destroy New Jersey or something.”
“Destroy New Jersey. Hmm. Keep that up and people will believe you’ve gone over to the side of heroes.”
“So you’re just going to keep fighting them? Do you think you’ll win?”
“Win? Like kill them all? At this point that’ll be tough.”
“Then what is your endgame here? How long are you going to do this for?”
“I don’t know.”
“Then why do you keep doing this?”
“I told you, they stole my minion.”
“And after that, what keeps you going?”
“What started this whole grudge in the first place?”
“They keep surviving all my fights and joining together. They stole some of my stuff. They keep finding me and trying to bring me in. I kinda have to fight a crowd of stalkers like that.”
“Are you going to get back what they stole from you?”
“Yeah, that’s part of the plan. But not all of it. I have plans for some of the stuff they made.”
He didn’t even bother to asking me again. By now, the question was implied. Only Max can turn mixing carnivorous fertilizer into question.
“They keep coming after me.”
“I think by now they’ve got other threats to consider. Rumor has it they may confront Miss Communication over what she did to those Chinese factories to create her robots.”
“Then once again I don’t know. They just insist on being so good and idealistic. It’s so unrealistic. Real people shouldn’t be idealistic. They might get something done. You know, Venus was an abusive government away from ending up more like me.”
“It’s just not like you to get so hung up. You walked away from Holdout. So why care for this petty obsession?”
“You don’t normally care.”
“Your designer heart still beats with common blood.”
That particularly poetic way to put it caused me to look up and examine my ally, and perhaps what some would call a friend, “You’re high again and I shan’t pursue this line of questioning any further.”
“Awww. I won’t help you, you know.”
“Sure you won’t. How’s that coming along?”
“No, this I’ll help, but I’m not leaving the city. I just thought I’d point out that this could all end in your death.”
I wiped my hands off and stood up from the counter I was working at. “You ok to drive?”
Max looked up at me and reached for his drink. Which was smoking. Huh. It started as root beer, I know that much. With the very last of our preparations complete, it was time to go have good time.
First stop, the Kingscrow Clam Festival. I expected more lesbians, but it was a seafood event. A city that isn’t on the ocean holding a festival over seafood. You know, everybody’s in on this game in their own way. I was doing people a favor by stopping by like that.
I wouldn’t have missed the grand opening of Miss Clam 2013. Take those palms off those faces, ladies and gentlemen, or you won’t be able to read what happened next. The music played. The shell opened. A beautiful young lady stood there in a dress and a tiara, waving.
And then my voice bellowed from the speakers. “Om nom nom nom.” The mechanical clam slammed itself shut, severing her arm. After a little more smashing, the screams stopped and I could announce, “Mwahaha, I am the almighty clam! Bow before me, powerless mortals! Your day of reckoning has come and you shall pay for being so shellfish with mother earth’s gifts.”
Now, while all this is going on, some people are growing clam shells over their heads because Max had been passing by some of the food booths adding in a little bit of “You Are What You Eat”. One of these days, we’re going to find someone whose head turns into a giant pussy. I still believe in that dream, dammit!
We couldn’t stay for the party, though. By the time Shieldwall showed up, we were long gone.
Yep, a fun few days. Next stop was the stadium. It was game day, baby, woo! Go hard or go home, stick a needle in my ass, and fuck up that mascot! Except that day, it would have been a big mistake to do so. That day, the mascot was me. Of course I didn’t bother wearing the suit. I wore my own instead. It just looked like the mascot’s suit to everyone else, which caused some confusion when the real mascot came over and stood right in my way.
I went to walk by and he pushed me. Then he grabbed for my neck, no doubt to expose me as an imposter. Ha! Nobody exposes me! I expose myself! And I did, right there in the park, when dropped to my knees and shot a glowing fist into the other mascot’s crotch. The park erupted in cheers.
At first, I thought something exciting had happened on the field but, nope, they cared more about my ball handling. They quieted down somewhat when I withdrew my first and the mascot’s spine and skull.
I stood up, gave a bow to the shocked crowd, shoved the bones into the end of the mascot’s t-shirt gun, and gave one very lucky fan a once in a lifetime souvenir. Well, once in somebody’s lifetime.
At that point, I could tell security wanted to rush me. Wanted to. Thing is, people can rush awfully slow when they just witnessed you tear a man’s skull and spine out through his dick. The football players on the field wanted to come at me too, but they realized that I’m nobody to take on without extensive crotch protection.
They didn’t even care about why the sprinklers on the field had turned on. They began to care right about the time the grass had reached their knees. They began to get out of the way, but it took grass leaves hardening and slicing off a few legs before they rushed. Isn’t that always the case?
Why do you people do that, by the way? You can’t get most people to move their asses except for a selfish reason. They’re slow to do very basic things, like driving or running, or handing over their cash and jewelry. You have to bring their interests into the situation, I’ve found. Like ramming the car, like chasing them on a tiger, even like smacking around the person a little bit until they drop the money and keep referring to you nostalgically as “Daddy”. Doesn’t explain why the last example was rubbing his cheek along my shirt and kept insisting he was hungry.
The grass generally got about thigh high, except for a few hard green shafts that stretched into the sky like the Hulk on Viagra. They even formed hard green spheres on the end, except the contents that spread out from these shafts were less radioactive. For more on how the Incredible Hulk invented fetus cancer, you’ll have to look elsewhere, like Stan Lee’s nightmares. His juicy, tender nightmares.
Instead, some of these spheres, these pods if you pardon the whale speak, opened to reveal various monstrous adaptations. There were flowers with mouths in the middle that bent and chomped a referee in half. I finally got that joke about what’s white and black and red all over. A bloodstained legless referee torso! It was so obvious, too, I should have got it a long time ago.
Other plants did other things. One flower with a mere two petals wielded them like a crazed cokehead hibachi chef, slicing through the visiting coach. A quarterback who had stood on the field all this time pulled out a handgun from his tights and fired at a nearby pod that opened to reveal a rose. Thorns grew rapidly across its stem, heedless of the bullets hitting the giant flower. The rose bent to face the quarterback. Whatever the face was like, the thorns around toward the trapped player and skewered his body in multiple places.
I motioned for a sack on the play.
While I admire the QB’s commitment to cheating by bringing a weapon onto the field, I would have called a penalty on that play anyway. He was supposed to be in shotgun formation instead.
“Was the mascot necessary?” came Max’s voice over the radio and into my helmet.
“Absolutely. That’ll teach a crow to show some spine around me. Nice pets by the way, they worked out perfect.”
“Thanks, I made them on a whim. The zombie-eating brains weren’t working out and I was trying to think of something to defend against a zombie apocalypse.”
“You went with plants?”
“Nope. Too hostile to the living.”
“Good job anyway. Now, lets-“
“Don’t you say it, Gecko. I know the words you’re about to speak and you should know better!”
“I don’t remember long enough to know better. Now-“
“No, no, no! A pun is a pun, but that is a pun too far.”
“I didn’t say it, did I?”
After a moment of silence, I dropped it.
“Son of a-!”
I muted him so I didn’t have to hear the rest. So you see, I didn’t originally intend on blowing up that maintenance room, but it just sorta happened.
After that, we merely sat in the park feeding the birds. That’s all. That’s it. I swear there were no weird tracers in them to throw people off my trail. Just Max and I feeding the pigeons.
I did make one teeny tiny call while I was there. “Harlon! How’s the lying on TV business going?”
“It just goes, Gecko.”
“How about Operation Dayglow Faygo?”
“I told you that was supposed to be the codename for the slander campaign against Forcelight.”
“Shhh! Don’t you know the NSA is listening?”
“Ferrous Ulysses Charlie Kite Omega Foo Foo. There, dealt with.”
“What was that?”
“It was a secret code that tells any NSA members listening to fuck off.”
“Right,” There was a pause, “Well, Forcelight and all of Shieldwall got a big PR boost from fighting the robot incursion into the U.S. Your tips about Bennett Long and his secret operations has paid off so far, but the boys by the desks think it needs more context.”
“I got your context right here!”
“Are you making a crude gesture right now?”
“Yes, but I’m really about to have your context right here. We’ve been working on a video that should help.”
“Please, for the love of God, you do not know the meaning of the phrase ‘tasteful nudity’.”
“Come off it already, you had people edit that down for public consumption.”
“The editor hung himself!”
“Huh. Jealousy is a dirty little monster, isn’t it? Anyway, we’ll have something sent to you soon, just got to finish laying the groundwork. Catch ya later, Harlon, bye!”
So it was back to sitting in the park, feeding the pigeons. And walking around the park feeding the pigeons. Nothing at all villainous about that.
At least until the pigeons began randomly exploding. I was going to put them on a trigger originally, but a random timer is so much better. And the best part are the fireworks that accompany the explosions.
It wound up being a wonderful commercial, by the way.
It had a nice voiceover, “This woman claims she’s a hero who wants to save the world.” Boom, picture of Forcelight all up in your face. “But does she really look like someone trying to protect the world?” And there she is, in all her glory. Punching a giant claim while clam people run around, waving their arms panicked. “Why does she hate the creatures of the sea?” Then we cut to her using her powers to blast and burn plants. “And why does she hate plants so much?” And when did she learn how to burn things with her powers, that’s an important question on my end. Final cut, Forcelight trying to round up pigeons that are desperately trying to escape. “If she loves the world so much, why does she hate all the pretty birdies? There are too many questions about Forcelight and her nature-hating ways. Why, Forcelight? Why do you want to destroy Mother Nature?” And the whole thing ends on a picture of Bambi from the Disney movie looking scared.
Oh snap, Forcelight, you just got P’ed in the R.