Is it still too cold where y’all are? I just ask because they caught the guy responsible over here. Percival Penguin, the Polar Perpetrator. It’s certainly better news than the prosecutions of local helicopter pilots after the Statue of Liberty shit I pulled. A few heroes brought the heat and found him out. I think Nos was one of them. There’s some people saying that Eschaton, this big name fire hero, took part in it too. Not sure about too many of the others. There’s just so many super heroes that very few get widely known by name. They have to have a national or global impact to manage that, so you have more widely-known villains than you do heroes. And it’s worse with the fire-derived powers. Fire powers, in one form or another, are maybe the second most common powers next to those involving strength and durability.
I won’t bore you with all the scientific research done about it, but they think that powers might be more widespread or have more utility than they appear, but people tend to use them in certain ways, probably instinctively, that makes the actual abilities appear limited. What, you think I couldn’t navigate a bunch of technical data? I’ve had to kidnap a scientist or two before, and they love to talk about their work. Bust them in the knee a few times and they’ll even stop getting exasperated that they have to explain it to you so many times before you get it.
It’s not that I’m dumb. I’m just not quite as scientifically literate as they are. They’re the ones who go to college for a decade or so to get there. I also have the benefit of archives from a more advanced version of Earth, so I have access to plenty more advances than they do. That helps when it comes time to weaponize an espresso maker.
Anyway, Percival Penguin’s goal, aside from killing everyone who knew that name was ridiculous, was to freeze North America to create his own freezing playground. I hear the Australians want a piece of him for this shit too. The nature of the weather, as far as equilibriums go, meant that while we were all rushing to the freezer to warm up after going outside, the Aussies had it hot enough to evaporate beer. Australians don’t like it when all their beer evaporates.
Alright, that’s enough about the news. Y’all came here not to read about Percival Penguin’s Polar Playground Persecution, but about the Great and Devious Psycho Gecko. So back to me, me, glorious me!
When most people have their identity stolen, it’s because someone got a password or a credit card and started making purchases on that person’s bill. With people’s financial status being so much more important to the world than any other aspect, this constitutes a full theft of who they are. I feel like I could toss some random line from Fight Club here.
When I do identity theft, it involves me looking like a person too. Thanks to the power of nanites and/or holographic power armor, I can be nearly undetectable. The thing about relying on the suit too heavily is the smell. I guess that’s yet another reason, besides the unpredictable homicidal tendencies, why decent company often avoids me. But, I couldn’t stand to do the nanite thing for this guy or I’d punch myself every time I looked in the mirror.
Moai and Carl wanted to punch me too. They didn’t like the whole idea. They tried to talk me out of it. They begged. They pleaded. They attempted to chain me to a refrigerator.
“Why would you ever want to pretend to be this guy?” Carl asked while munching on a spare pickle.
“Unhand me you insubordinate subordinate! Don’t make me have to mildly strain myself to get out of here! And anyway, the people who know where they think he’s hiding will be used to his idiocy and will shoo me back to such a hiding spot. Oh, and I expect that killing off a few of his pursuers will prompt him to reappear in public.” I thought the whole thing up over how the mobsters kept shooting in my general direction. They were shooting at me, even though they weren’t shooting at me.
Carl just munched on his delicious snack, then turned to walk away. “I’ll go talk it over with Moai. Maybe we’ll let you do it, boss.”
Yep. I was in quite the pickle too. I don’t know when Moai had time to make a chain out of pickles, but he’s got the skills to pay the bills, if the bills were being paid by pickle chains. I don’t know, maybe Orthodox Jews would buy them. They are Kosher, after all.
Obviously, chains of most sort aren’t going to hold me so easily when I’m in my armor, especially with it being newer, with extra awesome.
Good news is, I got away to work on my plan. Bad news is, we’re all out of pickles at the hideout.
When I walked right through the door of that rehab clinic, Black Sunshine being parked by a valet in riot gear, I was confident that no one could tell the difference. Even though, as far as anyone else could see, I was naked. Completely nude. It was a vital part of my plan.
“Another rough night?” a cheerful lady at the front desk asked me.
The right disguise can get away with a lot more, too.
I waved to her and then to the mess from the attack. Try as they might, they still had parts of it to clean up, and a pair of guys in white jumpsuits were busy doing just that. “You too, it looked like.”
She tilted her head at that, probably attempting to match up the voice. In the short term, I can survive without a good voice sample from this “target” fellow. Come to think of it, I might have to start using his name. Ugh. You know, you start giving them names like that and you start encouraging people to feed them or clothe them or give them human rights or something. I’ll do something about the voice sample at least.
I was just going to walk on down the corridor and find my way around randomly, but things didn’t work out that way. Something caught around my neck and tightened. It was a line, a noose or something, coming from above. I felt an upward tug, and then some strong motherfucker lifted me off the ground. I was mostly fine, however, thanks to the armor. Whatever was around my neck couldn’t constrict enough to take me out. I found out just what it was when I came face to face with the man lifting me up, Hanged Man. He crouched on the half wall section of the lounge over where I was walking. He tried to look me in the eyes through his executioner’s hood, but I was more concerned about the clear cord now visible in his hands as it pressed into his flesh thanks to the strain of holding me in it.
Allow me to drop a note about that. The two main ways you use some sort of cord or rope to kill someone are the garrote and the hangman’s noose. The garrote, as it’s more of an assassination than an execution, is typically thinner to make this more viable. In that case, it doesn’t so much strangle as it cuts through the throat and partially into the spine. This was the sort of cord capable of garroting someone. It was being used like a hangman’s noose, though. Typically, a noose is wrapped around a person’s head and they drop with two lethal outcomes. One way it works, drop is sudden enough and their neck breaks, which is not applicable to this situation. The other way, the drop is not sudden enough and they hang there for a slow, agonizing death.
Hanged Man attempted the slow agonizing death, but with a weapon that would have also sliced my neck wide open.
“Care to hang with the Hanged Man?” he growled.
“Sorry, you’re just not ballin’ enough,” I told him, wary of the pressure making it harder to breathe and speak. I thrust my hand forward and grabbed one of Hanged Man’s hanger-ons. With a twist, I made him squeal like a piggy. With a hard pull, I made him half the man he used to be.
At that point, Hanged Man was far too busy crying and holding his remaining testicle to worry about me, so I fell back to the ground. While I was down on my knees, choking, I loosened the noose and slipped it off my neck. Two men seized my arms, though, and lifted me back to my feet in no time.
The cleaners, those were the traitorous janitorial bastards. Or should I say…racist traitorous janitorial bastards! Yes, the men who had been cleaning up debris were now wearing…hoods! Dun dun duuuuuuuun! And from behind me came Curtain Call, pulling off a mask that looked remarkably like the woman at the front desk.
“Ask for you tomorrow, and they shall find you a grave man,” said Curtain Call from behind his tight white mask. “Any last words?”
“Yeah. Break a leg,” I said, and kicked backward at his knee. Something snapped and he fell to one knee, grasping the other as he held that leg straight out. One of his Klansman escorts broke away to tend to him. The other, I twirled like a top and tossed him into the front desk. I ended the spin facing wounded Curtain Call and his loyal henchman.
“A braggart, a rogue, a villain that fights by the book of arithmetic! Why the devil came you between us?” I asked the Klansman who was tending to the other supervillain.
He gawked, I think, and I grabbed him by the leg and proceeded to spin him over head, then under myself as I jumped up, so that I could smack his body into his charge with the end result of both Curtain Call and the white supremacist cracking through a window that already had holes in it and falling out in the front garden.
The remaining KKK member, well, it was a bad day to be him. I walked over to where he struggled to his feet with the help of the front desk in front of him and kicked his legs to the side. He dropped down and bounced his chin, or what I think was his chin under that hood, off the desk.
“What are you going to do to me?” he asked, frantic.
“I’m gonna punch you in the dick,” I answered.
“B-but, you’re behind me!”
“Details, details. That just means I have to punch a little harder.” I dropped to my knees and did indeed punch him in the dick. I just had to go through the rectum first. Rectum? Darn near killed ‘em!
It was in the aftermath of that prostate pulverizing punch that I heard a muffled voice.
It came from…behind the desk! Was it A. the butler? B. Old Man McGinty? C. All in my mind? Or D. The receptionist?
To find that out, you can wait until next week’s exciting answer to this question. Or, you can say “fuck that” and keep reading this update.
It was the receptionist. Or was it?…No, it really was this time.
Curtain Call’s mask was pretty accurate. You know, if I was a strange man in a costume, she probably wouldn’t have responded so well when I untied her, took the gag out of her mouth, and said, “Hey, we need to get out of here.”
“Yes, yes! But what the hell are you doing here?” she asked, no doubt wondering about the naked bloody drunkard before her who had managed to evade or fight off the supervillains.
“I had a rough night last night.”
She slapped me. Everybody likes to slap me, for some reason. Is there just some sort of instinctive slap pheromone I put out? An aura of abuse?
“You little asshole. This is all your fault according to those weird men. You’re supposed to be in hiding.”
“Um, I forgot just where I was supposed to be hiding. Things got really out of hand last night.”
I doubt someone like her would punch someone like I was pretending to be under normal circumstances, but she was having herself a bad day. It happens. She had herself a worse one after her hand connected with my holographically-disguised helmet.
See, what a horrid ass I had feigned being. I had only been him for a few hours and already was responsible for hurting some random woman inadvertently. The other hitters don’t count as people though. Especially not the ones in the white robes.