I was not gifted with powers that would impress most people. If powers were swords, I got stuck with a stiletto. Good thing I had the legs for stilettos. In the whorehouse of the struggle between good and evil, I’ve never been a high-priced VIP escort, but I’m still known for getting down and dirty and bringing even the most stubborn to their knees. Like a badass sword-wielding prostitute who has trouble mixing metaphors, I was ready for revenge this Monday.
My first job of the night on Monday? Blow my way out of custody.
It wasn’t easy putting everything together with such limited equipment. What I call energy sheaths were a field of energy shaped around my fists and forearms by a specialized projection system inside of wiring shaped to function like barbed wire when not charged up. Barbed wire may have tamed the wild west, but it had a terrible form in regards to concentrating energy in a roughly-barrel shape and directing it outward.
The nanites helped with that. I reprogrammed them on the fly, having them form supports and other pieces to help aim and fire. The problem is, they were the reason the entire thing would only get one shot. Way back when I was first shrunk in the beginning of this big conflict with Hephaestus, I mentioned to y’all that changing size has some technical aspects to it that are dangerous. Well, one of the biggest problems for things that are small is that they are more sensitive to differences in temperature. They could put me back together, they could even have the secret program activated to form a grey goo blade, but they never could stand the heat, so I tend to keep them out of the kitchen.
This time, there was no getting them out of the kitchen. This time, escape was on the menue. Time to ladle on the pain.
I stood way on the other side of the wall I was going to shoot and began to cycle in the power to the coil I had mounted on my body. Except right where I was aiming, a man appeared.
It happened with a loud crack! Then, there stood one of those Faustus acolytes. He was wearing a loose-fitting white tunic with gold trim. Fancy schmancy, those Faustus uniforms. Gotta give them props for the tailoring. He didn’t look familiar, though because my memory showed them all in hoods. Usually people don’t look familiar to me because I don’t care, so that was thoughtful of Faustus. I wouldn’t feel guilty.
Feel free to snicker at that last sentence.
I considered blasting the hell out of that place anyway, but then I realized that a mage teleporting in could teleport me out pretty easily too, so I powered down my last-ditch weapon before any of the essential nanite parts were destroyed.
The acolyte got his bearings, then stared at me, head slowly tilting downward. Then he held his hand out, palm up. “I’m sorry, but why do you have a barbed wire dick?”
Did I forget to mention where on my armor I mounted this new weapon of mine?
“Oh this?” I leaned back, bringing my hips forward in the process. “This is just a little something I call the Obliterator. Oh, do you mean the new weapon? I have a different name for that, but I’m saving that surprise for when I finally shoot my load all over the wall there. Speaking of which, who are you and why shouldn’t I bukkake blast you too?”
“You can call me Samson. We spoke the other day.”
I shot him with finger guns. “Gotcha. Yeah, you were there for my capture too. Supposed to be enlightening me. Now, about why I shouldn’t blast you…care to enlighten me?”
He threw up his hands and all of a sudden there was a transparent yellow wall in front of him stretching the width of the room. It made it more likely my shot would kill me if I screwed up, plus it was yet another barrier out, so shooting at him was no longer a good option. I still wanted to, just to clarify. Just in case anyone had concerns.
Despite the murder cannon poised over my jibbly bits, I decided to negotiate. “Alright, you’re in here now. Can you get me out?”
Samson shook his head, face hidden within his hood despite the unforgiving light of my prison. “It’s significantly easier to get into this place than to escape, and things outside are…testy.”
I stepped forward and tested the wall of Samson’s with a few knocks. I had to turn to the side or my cock cannon would have bopped it before I could. The wall fizzled where I touched it, but otherwise seemed solid enough. As often as I piss people off, I’ve found it pays to get acquainted with some of this crap when I have the opportunity. “Testes, eh? Things went balls-up?”
Samson took a seat, leaning against the wall. I could see a continuous fizzle through my end where his back touched it. “I was placed in charge of quietly dusting off our contingency plans. It was difficult with all the chaos you caused. Then Pivot arrived with more manpower, wondering why you hadn’t been placed in her custody yet. Someone took a closer look, saw what I was doing. Magus Carter had to burn me to save the organization, but he gave me enough of an opening to hide. Now I’m in the egg with you.”
“Yeah, an egg.”
“A motherucking egg? You guys captured me only to shrink me down another damn time, then stuck me inside an egg?!” I took another look around. “Where the fuck do you find a rectangular egg?”
Samson chuckled. “Would it make you feel better to learn it’s not a regular egg? It looks quite elaborate from the outside, and it has been enchanted many times over in order to make it suitable as a prison. Don’t let the idea wound your pride.”
“Huh…I guess the yolk is on me. What would happen if I scramble this egg, surprisingly tough though it may be?”
Samson helped himself shakily to his own feet and pulled a canteen out from under his tunic. He waited to answer until after he had a few gulps. “If you had somehow managed to crack the shell with that ridiculous getup, you would have been freed into the room where the egg is. It will release you if the shell is broken from the exterior, a piece of knowledge I’m glad I kept from our Hephaestus brethren. They’re greedy and always in a rush. They try to direct the flow of the universe instead of swim with the current. The new president of their company is all of this personified. Don’t be offended, but I dearly hope they try to kill you sooner rather than later. It won’t help me if we’re ejected into the middle of a Hephaestus base.”
“No offense taken. To know me is to wish for my untimely demise. To love me is the exception. To err is human. What’s this about a new company president?”
“I don’t know much. We don’t involve ourselves with Hephaestus company maneuverings. They say he had his predecessor shot.” He put away his canteen and rifled through his tunic.
I watched him pull a small sphere out from a nearly invisible opening. “That’s depressingly mundane.”
“Through two skyscrapers and his armored penthouse.”
“Kinky,” I said, giving him a thumbs up while posing with my hips thrust out. He glanced up and laughed in spite of himself. He turned back toward the sphere in his hand, which opened up to reveal something liquid. “Hey, whatcha doing over there?”
“Scrying. If you know as much about this egg as I do, it’s a relatively simple process. The problem is the difficulty in having enough calm water to see anything.”
“Well, let me know if there’s anything good on. I’ve been waiting on a new episode of the Joker Blogs for months now.”
“Sacrificing me bought us some time, but sooner or later Pivot will come for us. The only thing standing in her way is Mikey.” He sighed.
Getting tired of just standing around, I took a seat. I tried to sit with legs crossed, but my schlong blaster precluded that. I wound up laying down again. “Mikey. The terrifying Lord Mage Mikey. Or is he just another Acolyte Mikey?”
“Neonate Mikey has much to learn if he survives the next few days.”
A plate of food appeared in my field of vision when I next looked up. “Neonate Mikey needs to learn how to make a fucking meatloaf or we won’t survive the next few days.” I scooted over, grabbed the plate, and held it out for him. “You want this?”
So the escape didn’t happen that day, but Samson must have been right about how bad things got, because I awoke the next day to his knocking excitedly on the wall. “What’s that?! Where’s Leah?” I sat up and looked around, briefly confused by the sudden replacement of a dream world with the real one. It was a good thing I stopped myself before I bent far enough forward to bang my head into the dick-mounted destruction device I had on top of me. “What is it?” I asked Samson with a big of grump in my voice.
“Pivot and Magus Carter are in the egg room. She’s making her move!” I could almost hear the smile. I couldn’t see it because somehow that damn hood kept shadows over his face no matter what.
I scrambled to my feet. “Does she have the egg?”
“No, she’s arguing with the Magus.”
I got so excited I started hopping up and down. “Cut that out!” Samson whispered at me.
“Can they hear us?” I asked quietly.
“No, but,” he whispered, then caught himself and spoke normally. “No, but it’s distracting.”
“Just, come on, I’m excited!”
“She’s thrown him against the wall.”
“It’s like waking up on Christmas morning with a dead hooker in your bed!” I readied my secret weapon.
“She grabbed the egg!” I fed power to it quickly, as quickly as I needed to.
“And soon I’ll get to show everyone-“ Inside the barbed wire “barrel,” it began to glow brilliant orange, at first looking like a fog.
I popped into existence in a room, the power concentrating between my legs. There were secure cases holding artifacts all around, but most importantly was the woman in front of me. She wore a business suit and a domino mask, with her blonde hair up in a bun. Her eyes went wide at the sight of me, and I noticed as well that Samson had also appeared in the room nearby.
“This! Is! My! BoomDick!” I held out my hands, them pulled them back even as I threw my hips forward, the energy forced to the fore of the entire sheath setup and accelerated in a glowing ball of plasma even as it accelerated me in the opposite direction. The sheathing and projection scaffold was ripped off me and stayed where it was, save for it falling to the ground.
Pivot saw it coming and ducked far faster than I thought possible. I saw it pass overhead, singing her bun away, and continue on into the iron maiden with the robotic face that hovered against the far wall. The force melted and cracked the armor and he let out a distorted wail. Then I was clear out of the room, having cracked through the door and flown halfway down a corridor. Alarms sounded.
Back behind me, I could see flames and smoke along the opposite wall. I didn’t care to zoom in a lot; my priority was escape. A blast door began to lower to cut off travel to that room. I took a moment, now that I was free, to reach out to the systems surrounding me. Faustus was full of magic men, but that didn’t mean they eschewed all technology. There were plenty of computers, and even a mundane camera system that must have worked alongside a magical one.
Standing around was a no-no, though. It was better to figure out an escape route on the move. I allocated some power to my legs’ muscle enhancers and took long, bounding steps toward the end of the corridor up until a step somehow sent me sideways into the wall with some force. I looked back to see the business-suited woman standing there on my side of the blast door, arm outstretched, hand open, palm pointed in my direction. Some gravity power, maybe?
I slid to the ground, powered up the muscle enhancers even more, and went for a jump meant to power me through the door at the other end of this corridor. Instead, she altered my velocity and sent me into a thick steel ceiling occupying space only big enough for one of us. It having seniority, I wound up bouncing off lightly. Except instead of bouncing to the ground, I bounced back to the ceiling. The effects of gravity were altered on me, but it was normal gravity holding me to the ceiling instead of the ground. Below me, I noticed a couple of my knives had bounced loose and fallen to the ground instead of up against me.
That made me think of using exploding knives, chicken grenades, all that, but those were all weapons she would probably be able to redirect like she did to me. The fallen knives gave me an idea though. I stood up, hands up.
“Pivot, I presume?” I called out to her and bowed. I used the bow to reach for my potato peeler, though a hologram made it appear my hand stayed where it was. If she was capable of redirecting all of these photons, I’d be impressed. I activated it and went to take her head off. She threw me against the ground quickly as she used her power to throw herself hard against the wall, then slid up to the ceiling to avoid the beam that was cutting wildly.
She changed my velocity and the velocity of objects attached to me. Hell of a lot of photons to redirect in a laser. I swept after her and got bounced around the walls like the ball in a pinball machine as she made a complete circuit around the ceiling and wall to the floor again. She finally put a hand back and the blast door came up suddenly. It was yanked back down as she threw herself under it.
She must have figured that facing Samson was a better option. Maybe he’d get lucky and have a plan. My plan was to hit stealth mode and escape in the chaos of whatever was going on. I worked my way through the complex, using the cameras to find an elevator. The door opened and offloaded a squad of Faustus acolytes in combat gear. I slipped in behind them and hit the button for the first floor. I wasn’t lucky enough it would be the house, probably, but even the floor where I got captured was an improvement.
Gorilla Badass swung in from the ceiling before the door could close. He went to push the same button I had and stopped when he saw it lit up. He glanced around and up at the ceiling. Voices outside drew his attention and he peeked out while holding down the Door Close button. He relaxed once the elevator slid shut. Then the announcement was made.
It was Samson’s voice. “Attention all Faustus personnel. Pivot, the commander of the Hephaestus Task Force, has murdered the Magus and released Psycho Gecko. Defend yourselves! Protect the artifacts! Expel the intruders! If possible give Psycho Gecko a clear path to the outside so Hephaestus will follow!”
That was nice of Samson. Gorilla Badass didn’t think so. He stiffened as he heard the announcement. I thought I saw one of his eyes twitch back toward the rear of the elevator car where I stood, invisible.
“I’m afraid you have me at a disadvantage,” he said. “And you have explosives, am I correct?”
“Oh, so the moment you face near-certain death, that’s when you want to talk?” I asked, arms folded in front of me. I took a step to the side just in case he decided to whirl around and throw a fist.
Hearing my presence confirmed, he actually relaxed a little more. “I’m here to beat you, but that doesn’t mean I have to fight you every single time we meet. You’re not worth the price of my life.”
“Yeah, yeah, I’m only the price of my death instead.”
Badass reached to his right and felt along the wall, then leaned his back against it. “It’s not about the money with you.”
“Really, now? What’d I do to piss you off, then. Was it beating up Gorilla Awesome? He’s family, right?”
He crossed his, uh, hands? Paws, maybe? What do you call them on a gorilla? I looked it up real quick while he spoke. “A cousin I don’t care for. My brother and I both don’t like him, but I thought if I beat you when he couldn’t, it’d humiliate that know-it-all. Hephaestus liked the idea too. Pivot said that she was told to consider recruiting me or my brother Imperious. I can see why Awesome had such a hard time with you. You’re like the rain. It doesn’t matter how many raindrops you punch, because that’s not how you stop a storm.” His hands, as I found out they were called, tugged at the base of his leather vest.
“That’s almost poetic. Can I get that as a blurb somewhere? Like a wiki entry? Do I have a wiki entry somewhere? I thought so, but I’ve been doing hard time lately. Egg prison changes a man. I had to make some tough decisions to survive in there. They say your first day in, you have to either punch the biggest guy in the yard, or become someone’s bitch. Damn my anus is sore.”
“You were in there alone.” I saw a grin start to form on Badass’s face.
“Yeah, that’s why my dick is sore too. Maybe if I put some ice on it, I’ll get it back to the right length. Can a dick get stretch marks? Am I going to need lotion for this?”
The elevator stopped at my floor, which was when the grinning gorilla made his move. He had been tugging at his vest with his hands, it seemed, but now he whipped out at the interior of the elevator with the chain he wore as a belt. I went to block with my forearm out of instinct and it wrapped around my arm.
I’m sure he was confident he had me. I was confident that a knee with some extra power behind it would knock his balls up near his tonsils, if gorillas have tonsils. Just checked, and gorillas have tonsils. I didn’t have time to check on the location of Badass’s balls after I drove my knee into them. Right about then, the doors opened to reveal a squad of Faustus security, who aimed at Badass and at whatever invisible thing had a chain around it.
I projected my helmet at the appropriate height of to the side a bit, in case anyone got any ideas. “It’s me, that’s him. You only want one of us, if I heard right.”
The leader of the squad nodded and they let me pass into the same floor I had wrecked the first time around. I could tell because the holes weren’t all fixed. Before I left Badass to whatever fate they meted out, I patted him down for a communications device and took that with me. Aside from a firefight that broke out between a Hephaestus soldier with a flamethrower and a Faustus mage with fireballs, the rest of my escape went smoothly.
I had to deactivate the device to keep it from being tracked, so it didn’t give me any clue as to the ultimate fate of Pivot’s force in the base, but that’s not why I stole it. I stole it because it lets me tap into their communications network. I stole it because Badass didn’t need to call in any reinforcements and help them out if they’re merely captured. Most of all, I stole it because it will lead me to the real heart and soul of Hephaestus.
But first, I’m going to need my car and pet rock back from Mix N’Max.