Ah, Thanksgiving. Carl had it with his own family, I heard. Thanks to the bank job, he actually got to have one this year. A Thanksgiving dinner, I mean, not a family. I hear there are hookers you can pay for that sort of thing, though. Can you believe that guy had to make due with a ham sandwich a couple years back? Something about having his kids for the meal on a year when he didn’t have money for a big dinner. The kids got taken to dinner. Carl got a ham sandwich back at his apartment.
It’s a good thing crime pays. Compared to the regular economy, there’s a greater chance to climb the financial ladder and move into a new class.
So, yeah, he was off taking that break so soon after he decided he was working for me. I don’t mind, though. I like to keep things casual. The only thing more surprising about the attack on my prior base was that they didn’t catch me wearing nothing but boxer shorts.
Oh, while we’re on the subject of some recent history, I’ve got a few updates to make on people’s conditions. It’s been hard to get good information, especially with Shieldwall turtling after the attacks on Black Raptor and Miss Tycism. There’s been no sign of Venus, Raptor, Bright Star, or Miss Tycism. Even with the others coming out in groups and watching their hidey holes better than ever, those are out of the spotlight completely. I certainly hope I don’t see Miss Tycism floating around again after killing her.
I was sure they’d turtled when I tried going after the Honky Tonk Hero on Wednesday, but he had already high-tailed it to safer grounds. They’d been alerted by that time. I knew it was a possibility, but I was hesitant to go out immediately after that mindfuckeroonie by the late Miss Tycism. I was real close to calling up by buddy Max on the big video screen and asking him to prescribe me something to put me in my proper state of mind, like some LSD.
I didn’t do it. I decided the best way to confront a hero’s attempted disruption of my neurological makeup, or whatever she did, was to jump back on the horse before it was finished throwing me off. Like, maybe I grabbed the saddle, slid under its belly, hooked the stirrup, and then jumped up onto the saddle using impressive kung fu movie wire work. It’d have to be a horse not capable of having an erection, though.
So that is why I ran off to try and hunt down the singing superman, Honky Tonk Hero to my eventual disappointment. I considered blowing up the rooms he rented above a bar with a country music karaoke night, but instead I settled for ruining karaoke night. It was horrible. There was wailing and gnashing of teeth. And that was just my attempt to sing “Friends in Low Places”. You should have heard what the poor bar patrons sounded like. The whole place got shut down after there was enough puke for authorities to claim the food was tainted. Perhaps I’ll go there again when they reopen it. Do a nice soliloquy. I hear that you can’t truly enjoy Hamlet until you’ve heard it in the original Klingon.
I took the day off from going out and blowing shit up and focused on the important things in life. Like the rocket-powered heat ray.
I had a dinner as well. Before the day itself I’d had Carl order, pick up, and refrigerate a turkey and ham from some place that prepares them for people. Reheating it all to eat was as easy as a low-power test of the Heatflasher. I had my share of it, then wheeled it on a cart with some whiskey to a group of homeless guys hanging around these barrel fires nearby.
Oh, and to those who think this story you’re reading is one of redemption just because I’m a bad guy who helps a few people, not only are you wrong, but you’re deliberately missing the point.
A good example of this would have to be the assault on the Shieldwall workshop on Black Friday. Black, for the color of mourning. Or the color of businesses turning a major profit instead of a loss.
In a manner quite unlike how I normally start such an attack, I brought nature’s fury to bear against this big zoo right there by the big park in the middle of Empyreal City. It all started innocently enough, with me using helpful brochure provided by the zoo to help me in my nefarious plan. Originally it was just a plan to attack the primate enclosure. The nefariousness of it came from the C4 being used to fire trees at the building and fences from outside the zoo. More nefariousness came from my use of the brochure’s map to aim.
Plus, you know, the kilt. I was in the kilt with the beret. I’d gotten golf shoes for the occasion. Moai held the golf bag full of C4 while Carl sat bundled up behind the wheel of the cart.
It wasn’t all fun and games.
I remember watching as the tree I’d just blown into the sky flew at a bad angle.
“Come on, turn, turn, turn…I think the wind got that one, boys,” I said and grabbed a hefty branch left behind near the crater. I tried to snap it over my knee, but all I managed was an intense ache in my leg. Instead, I had to settle for throwing my club.
Then I whipped out the brochure map and perused it to figure out where it might have gone. The camel pen. I turned toward my caddy and driver and informed them of the bad news, “It’s in the sand trap. I’m going to have to go for a mulligan.”
I got better. A couple tries later, I got a birdie! Probably a lot of birdies, actually, seeing as the tree was reported by the news as plowing into the penguin exhibit. It looked like some of the birds were going to make a break for it, but in the end they all got cold feet.
From there, the three of us made our way to the nearest Best Buy. We had abandoned the golf cart for Carl’s crappy car. Mine was still impounded as the police who still weren’t sure it was mine. Looking back, I guess I could have driven it out remotely, but that’s easier said than done when you’re being pursued.
Once there around back by a side entrance directly to the Geek Squad work area in the back of the store, I got out and popped the trunk. I tossed the clothes to Carl and Moai. Carl held up the shirt. “Boss, do I need to wear this?”
“Of course. It’s a disguise. They may think you’re some sort of thug if you just walk in there dressed as you are. This will confuse them. They would never expect an attack by these people. They’re normally such a gentle folk.”
So we were all suited up. Carl, who was about 6 foot and a thick combination of fat and muscle, was wearing a shirt with some My Little Pony on it. A purple one with a horn and streaks in her hair. He had a beard strapped to his neck as well.
Moai wore a white button-down shirt with a pocket protector, and an oversize pair of thick glasses.
I sported an orange shirt with the symbol of the Orange Lantern Corps. emphasized in the middle of a lineup of the various Lantern Corps. symbols. I also wore a fedora.
I rushed in with a sledgehammer and threw it into a monitor on the floor near a work table. Carl ran in behind me and knelt down by the door, wielding a supersoaker. He aimed at some towers lined up on shelves. Moai jumped burst in through the wall and tackled the work table.
After the high-pitched screaming was finished, the Nerd Squad techs we gathered up cowered before us as was only right and proper to ones dressed such as us. “What do you want?” asked one of them. I didn’t bother to remember which one. The one who looked like a Mormon.
“You have wiped and reset our systems instead of fixing the viruses for the last time, you code-crapping keyboard honkies!”
“Please, show mercy!”
At their pleading, I nodded to Carl. He fired the squirt gun at the towers, drenching them in Mountain Dew Code Red. The drink of Type 2 Diabetic champions. “Y’all look backed up around here. Can’t run a regular virus scan and then give up fast enough, eh?” I walked over to the monitor I’d destroyed earlier. It had skidded some when Moai crashed the place. I picked it up and faced the prisoners. “You know what’s good for helping you when you’re too backed up?” Carl began to laugh as I rubbed the head of the hammer on my shirt, shining it up. “An enema,” I told them with a wicked grin.
As I said before, those were clues. Clues about who I wanted to hit and clues to give me an idea where they were. To my surprise, the two I’d wanted were holed up together in their own little workshop.
Monkeywrench Mechanics. Nice touch for the building that Troubleshooter and Gorilla Awesome were working out of. I drove up on my pink scooter, the Minstrel, and scouted it out. Motion sensors, laser sensors, tripwires, pressure plates, and banana peels. Actually, the peels might have been because Gorilla Awesome was hungry.
I considered a plan of attack, then called Carl. “Yo, Carl.”
“Can you fly a helicopter?”
“Well then, this is about to get interesting.”
I had no idea what countermeasures those fiendishly clever hero minds were coming up with down there, but I knew one way to foil them. It involved Moai driving a truck full of marshmallows while Carl enjoyed a scenic tour of the city that passed right overhead. The pilot was paid not to ask why someone wanted an aerial tour in such a big chopper with so many marshmallows crammed in. From how Carl put it, even if you added a horse in there, it wasn’t the strangest request he’d ever gotten.
As for me, I got back to Monkeywrench Mechanics just after them. I had to get back to the base and grab the Heatflasher. Let’s get field testin’.
Moai’s presence drew Gorilla Awesome out to investigate, but a quick blast of invisible heat scoured him of fur and left him scrambling to get inside. Moai hopped out of the cab of the truck and around to the back and began to toss marshmallows to the roof of the building. I focused on opening a hole in the roof with the heat ray. The roof exploded outward and downward in flaming chunks as I overheated it to dangerous levels. Flaming, melted marshmallow goop from the few Moai had tossed up there fell in as well. I called Carl for the signal.
He dumped all the marshmallows over the building. I reduced the power to the Heatflasher so the test itself wouldn’t wreck it and fired away, liquefying and lighting aflame the falling gooey goodness.
Gorilla Awesome roared in pain as my hot white goo clung to him and burned him. Troubleshooter tried to light into the air, but something clogged in her backpack and she tumbled down into the building.
With my weapon working again and so many of the heroes off their game, it’s time to move into the endgame.
Next time, this city and Shieldwall all burn. Season’s greetings, motherfuckers.