I have been one sick puppy, readers, but I’m sure y’all realized that by now. This time, I mean illness. It’s been pretty bad. Migraines, vomiting, even a bit of diarrhea. Anything that ends with –rhea is trouble, actually. I’d been getting worse gradually as I spent time locked up, but the overseers of the Cube hadn’t bothered to do much about it. Nobody much gave a damn until that one agent stopped by again.
“Hello again, Psycho Gecko. I hear you’ve decided to play ball. I’m very excited about this thing you’re building. An endless source of energy. That’s mighty white of you.”
I was too busy rocking back and forth, trying to get my head to cooperate. It felt like a hot balloon full of pain. It was actually so bad that I got a little bit of a sore throat solely in the areas where the pressure in my head reached down to my throat.
After not responding to him, the agent knocked on whatever wall separated us. “You don’t look like you’re doing well. I’ll have a word with them about what they’re doping you with. On second thought, I’d put my money on you not getting something you were taking before. You keep giving us the goods and we’ll keep you medicated, huh?”
I squeezed my eyes shut and gave him the finger, as if either one of those actions meant anything. Then I tried to stand up, but then my stomach decided to join a circus as an acrobat. It was too good to stay there with the rest of my body. Oh no, my stomach rebelled like teen. It let me know that those weird chunks of food I’d been shoving down my throat hole were unwelcome down there and it tossed them right out. I’d eaten just before the little visit from the agent, so I got to experience the odd feeling of the water still being cold when it exited.
After I finished my one-man version of The Exorcist, I dropped to all fours in the hopes of steadying myself. It didn’t help, but all that puking settling my stomach down. My visitor started calling out for some help.
Surprisngly, they didn’t bother to paralyze me. I didn’t make them regret that decision, not this time. I was fucked up and I really didn’t want to die. Ok, so I do, but I really don’t. Listen, the sooner y’all stop thinking about complicated notions of fear and obedience, the sooner y’all can get back to enjoying the story of me being wheeled into some sort of medical room to be examined.
I let them poke me and prod me, though I did ask the woman with the needle to at least buy me dinner first. She didn’t see the humor when it took her a few tries to stick it in the right place. “Please,” I tried to stop her, “I’m not comfortable with veinal.”
Then another member of the team snapped a rubber glove into place on his hand.
“Seriously, what’s that going to tell you? The way I’ve been leaking down there, you’d be better off calling in a plumber than a doctor.” They then kindly helped me onto my stomach for a brief rectal exam. I never did get a good explanation why they needed to shove a hand inside me, but I did try to tell him that there were easier ways to check if I still had tonsils.
I must have convinced them, because they soon flipped me over and stuck a tongue depressor in my mouth. “Uhh, exthue ee, ut are you the one who juth checked my aths? Di you wa your hand?” Well, I think we can all agree that decision worked against me.
After that, they plopped a lead vest on me and took an X-Ray. They wanted an MRI, but I waved them off that one. “I got some metal in me. Other prosthetics. And I might throw up again in a minute.” When I told them that, they plopped me in a seat and ran something else over me. It felt like my teeth were vibrating. When it was all said and done, they had some very large people drag me back to my cell. Once again, I could have thrown some elbows and gotten loose…but I really didn’t feel like it. I wanted to wait and see what they had to say.
Could be they had something loose in this prison of theirs. Maybe I consistently missed some drug that interacted poorly with me. It even occurred to me that their paralysis germs mutated. You don’t just unleash microorganisms on an imprisoned population with varying levels of human physiology and expect them not to mutate.
Thus began the career of the heroic Super Germ! It got its power after infecting a radioactive superhuman. It’s only a matter of time, mark my words. You laugh now, but just wait until Master Mosquito starts buzzing around like its cousins in the London Underground.
On the plus side, a superpowered mosquito can only be a supervillain. What else do you call a giant, blood-sucking, inhuman monster that cares only about feeding on innocents? Aside from “Senator,” that is. It’s the age of democracy; Dracula’s not going to stay a count forever. Unless there’s a revolution, that is. Then he might demand a reCount.
Anyway, they stuck me back in my cell after they finished probing me. Normally I’d have disliked that, but this time I just wanted to feel better.
Those events didn’t exactly accomplish that, especially not immediately. At the time, laying weak and sick on the floor of my cell, my thoughts drifted to…lucha libre, for some reason. Mexican wrestling. I don’t know why, but I spent the next four hours or so rolling around in a fever dream as “El Gato de la Noche”, the Cat of the Night. I don’t know why.
Sadly, I failed to win the championship, but it still beat that time I dreamed I worked the counter of a gas station. At least I won the hair vs. mask match.
Once that odd episode finished, I found the overseers were calling me. “Wake up, Gecko!” Slagathor verbally prodded me.
“No soy Gecko! Soy El Gato de la Noche, campeón de los rudos! Quickly, mi amigos, to the Gato Wagon.” That’s when I ran into the side of the cube and knocked some sense back into myself.
Slagathor sighed. “Whatever that was about, stop. Your visitor wants to deliver the news himself. Lucky. Sit in the chair.”
With that, a chair rose from the floor. The back of it came up right between my nuts. Funny folks, those overseers.
After I sat on the chair and let my head rest on the chair, I heard the voice of that agent again. “Well, well. You were on something. You’re in withdrawal, and it’s not a good look for you. Strange thing is, they tell me it’s psychological. I knew smoking cigarettes or crack had a psychological element to it, but they informed me that you can become dependent on other things than drugs.”
I chuckled to myself. “I got an idea what it is I need, but you’re probably not going to want to supply me,” I told him.
“You’re right, we don’t want to supply you. It turns out, you’ve been holding out on us. They scanned your body very thoroughly. I saw the scans myself. You’ve got parts along your spine and in your throat. You’ve even got an advanced memory drive in your noggin. Were you ever going to mention that?”
I snorted. “What are you getting at here?” I didn’t like his interest in the prosthetic portion of my brain.
“I came here originally to work out a deal. You would have an easier sentence and we get access to that amazing knowledge of yours. Then I found out I could get access to it just by pulling that drive out of your brain. As an added bonus, we don’t even need to complete that power source because you’ve got a working model embedded in your body. I don’t need you alive at all.”
I jumped up and tried my hand at breaking through whatever wall kept us apart. It proved futile, in the end. I wasn’t going anywhere. Except down. When I tried to bite and headbutt my way through, a familiar tingling and numbness spread throughout my body. I slid to the ground on my face, limp. All the while, the asshole I’d been talking to yucked it up.
“Don’t you go hurting that precious brain of yours. I’m going to need it, as soon as I get all these other agencies off my back. Everyone wants a piece of you. ATF, NSA, DEA, even some people in Fish & Wildlife paid me a visit claiming they needed access to you. On top of that, some slimy reporter’s found a source in here. You’re still big news, and everyone knows the conditions you’re kept in now. That hero friend of yours, Venus, she’s probably the one talking to them. She’s a righteous bitch. I’ll handle all of them, then I’ll be back with a surgical team. I’ll make it nice and legal. I’ll make sure your wife signs off on it. Heh heh heh.”
I did not much care for this situation, but there was little I could do laying there paralyzed. Little to do but plan, not that any of my various plans were anywhere near getting me out before my date with their barber. A little off the top, eh? Lobotomy? Loboto-you, bub!
I even had a preemptive flash of my life passing before my eyes. Actually, I desperately sought out anything I had that could help me. Anything at all. Some secret password or signal, even a way to cause the transdimensional blogging tech to drag me with it.
That’s when I hit on it. Something I had missed. Something a little older. Something that asshole over there mentioned to me. I’m not a genius and I can’t just pull a win out of my ass when I’m holding no good cards. But I can remember when I’ve got an ace up my sleeve that I forgot all about. Like when I fought Shieldwall and I tried to give myself an edge. An edge I tried to use against Miss Tycism when she used a spell to simulate what I expected death to be like.
I couldn’t get a signal out of my cell, but I could get one to elsewhere in my own body. Like to a series of receivers I’d set up along my spine, once upon a time. Receivers I’d meant to be used to circumvent a broken neck or back. Receivers that allowed me to leave my hand formed into a middle finger. A subtle test, but one that the overseers didn’t pick up on.
After that, I must say, I suddenly became quite eager for that agent to get things ready. I mean, it’d be nice if word spread that I’d talk and Hephaestus wanted to bust me out to save their asses. It’s also be cool of Venus to help me out. Harlon’s little ploy is even helping him, but it’s moving awful slow to get me out. But all of that means relying on them. That means hoping that a little bit of decency will win out.
Let’s be honest here, folks, if decency won out, I’d have been flat broke a long, long time ago. I mean, sure, it’d be a better world without me in it, but that doesn’t mean I’m eager to have my brains scooped out and rifled through for dangerous knowledge. Nah, fuck that. They might be able to help me. I actually have a way to help myself.
Dr. Gecko is officially prepped for surgery. Better get some transfusions ready, because I think this one’s going to get bloody. And while I’m at it, I think I figured out a way to mess with that tune they play to mess with me. You know, I might just be a genius after all.