Now, when taking vengeance on a teenage girl, one of the most important things to remember is…ah, hell, why bother with that shit? She’s an excuse to get out and murder someone. She doesn’t matter. Venus matters somewhat. Her patrols take her or someone associated with her by a lot more.
She’s gotten something of a team together. I haven’t seen the dinosaurs since that one day, so I suspect they’re back to doing whatever it is they do. You’d think I’d have a better idea about the life of talking dinosaurs in modern times, but I have no clue where a talking speedster raptor goes in his spare time. Though, if I was a talking speedster raptor, I suspect I’d go wherever I wanted. The Saurus went back to his book tour. Didn’t even miss his appearance on Oprah dealing with me.
I can’t hate the guy. He’s one classy son of a bitchasaurus.
To make up for it, the rotation contains at least one other speedster, in a blue and yellow outfit with a visored helmet. He stopped by once and tried to leave a flaming brown bag in front of my door. I grabbed it, tossed it into the air, and shot it out of the sky with my double-barrel bazooka. They all tried little pranks like that of their own until I did that. Blame Ball Boy. He started by leaving a sign in front of my lair that said, “Warning: Convicted Sex Offender Within.”
I bet he got chewed out when I grabbed it, brought it in, and then it wound up in front of EC University’s Fraternity Row without me ever leaving.
Luckily, most of the things I’m sending my two minions on are mostly legal. Matty doesn’t count, because he’s a bystander who refuses to use all that juicy knowledge to help me out.
“I love you, but that’s hardly fair to the rest of the world,” he told me when I asked.
“Fair? So many people say that; I’m curious what their basis for comparison is,” I said, appearing as David Bowie for that response.
“You’re alive, out of prison, and Venus doesn’t want to send you back there. Don’t press your luck, young man.” He lowered his head as he looked at me and tapped his cane lightly against my chest.
“You call it luck, I call it a tendency to put people in horrible situations and give them an out they have to take, then turning on them anyway. Potato, potahto, tomato, tomahto, ascending, asscending. And seeing as I changed your diapers as a baby, you don’t get to ‘young man’ me. If you’re not going to help me, what are you going to do?” I asked.
He stared off into the distance for awhile. “I might take a stroll through the park or go see what’s playing on Broadway. I wish they still had Cats.”
“I wish I had Mungojerrie and Rumpleteazer, the notorious catburglar cats, in my bed, but we all have to live with disappointment. That reminds me, I should check up on Dame. Unlike the others, she’s a real catburgler and she has that nasty tendency to find me. Should I bother to ask, or should I shake a Magic 8 Ball?” I whipped out a police baton and cleaned off the blood and fecal matter I got on it while “purchasing” it.
“That should be obvious. Dame always finds you, but Venus already knows where you are. She doesn’t need her.”
He had a point.
That’s when Carl came in from out back. “Hey boss, I got that gas you wanted.” He held up a small two gallon container to prove it.
“Good, good. Set it wherever. Now, I have something very important for you to do.” I stopped when I caught sight of Moai coming in, too. I waved him over. “You too. I got jobs for y’all. First thing’s first: Carl, I want you looking at that ambulance I got from the auction. I’ve had it sitting back there with the cannon on it. Disconnect the cannon if it won’t injure you to do so, then get that thing in fighting shape. We need another war wagon. I’m thinking this one will be more of a Whambulance.” He nodded.
Next, I turned to Moai, “Alright, Moai, my man, you’re stone cold anyway and you don’t have any balls to freeze off, so I need you to stop by junk yards and get me a few items. These items. It’s a mix of various stuff. Appliances, car parts, industrial scrap. Do as best as you can. And if Carl needs anything for the Whambulance, you might go out again and pick that stuff up for him. Or he can go. However it gets done, that’s how we get it done. I don’t care how many grannies get mugged, how many babies you have to kidnap, and how many burly men Carl has to pleasure with his mouth hole.” I pointed at Carl.
“None!” He looked shocked, so I clapped him on the shoulder all friendly-like.
“Carl, you make a persuasive argument. Try to keep the illegal stuff to a minimum. That goes double for you and whoring your tongue out to random men, Carl. Y’all will likely be in the eye of these heroes. I wouldn’t be surprised at this point if y’all spot Pink Pixie dropping by to watch y’all. Whatever. Y’all do this today. I have to go visit someone to shove things in his body. Team Gecko on three, ready?” I put my hand in to sound off. Perhaps focusing on the line about shoving things into a body, nobody put their hands in. “Y’all know I wash occasionally, right?” I asked after a few awkward seconds.
“It’s not your hands that need washing at this point,” answered Matatoa. “It’s their minds after what you said you did with your hands.”
After that, I was off to the hospital. Moai and Carl left to pick up what they needed, which let me slip out, too. To hide my footprints in the snow, I rode piggyback on Moai until I got to a good spot to ditch him and run along the salted roads.
The same armor that kept me sweaty and stinky during most fights also helped to keep me warm until I reached Our Lady of Perpetual Infection. Obviously, that’s not the real name. But seriously, folks, wash your hands. That goes double for doctors. There are enough people like me out there, y’all don’t need to let some infectious diseases take work from me.
I have to protect my phoney-baloney job here, gentlemen! Harumph!
I went from invisible to looking like a policeman as I turned the corner and headed for the entrance. Once inside, I checked with the duty nurse. “I’m looking for that villain what’s in here, Urban Croc.”
“Your superior should have told you where you were going before he sent you in here,” she snapped at me. The rather large black nurse didn’t even look up at me.
“They did. They didn’t want me to get sidetracked by the siren working the desk, but then I walked in here, saw you, and forgot both the room number and my pants size. I’ll have to pay if these things rip, so maybe you can give me the number now. Maybe later I can meet up with you again when I don’t have to worry about pants.” I winked at her as she stopped and glanced up. I saw a smile tug at her lips.
She gave me the room number and her phone number.
As for the officer already at the door, I handled him delicately, in a way that would be more difficult to link back to me. I beat him upside his head with the baton, dragged him into the room across the hall, and choked him out with the baton until he passed out. Then I stuck a patient gown on him, plopped him on an empty bed, and covered him up. He tried to get back up after a second, so I hit him with the bed pan. From the splashing noises that accompanied his lack of consciousness, he’d have been better off staying down the first time.
A little less death than I prefer, but otherwise a job well done. I gave the baton a congratulatory whirl as I headed across the hall to the room I wanted. Urban Croc, a college student with the ability to turn into an anthropomorphic reptile creature. Increased strength and durability. Scales tougher to get through than skin. Fangs.
All those powers only mattered when he was shifted into that form. That ability to shapeshift gave him a chance at a good life, too. Not everyone with powers can hide what they are. If you aspired to being a politician or a doctor or whatever, you better hope you don’t get glowing eyes and a tail. Supers like that don’t have much choice but to fight each other.
That’s why this guy did his best to avoid it. Jewelry heists and electronics thefts. Low risk, relatively high payout. Does this guy want to be responsible for the death of a superhero? I don’t know.
I unhooked a two gallon container of gas from the back of my belt and unsealed the cap. It’s not about revenge or justice. I didn’t flinch when I splashed the gasoline over the sleeping man on the bed, or when I pulled out a match and tossed it on him. It’s about sending a message.
I smiled to myself beneath armor cloaked now in the appearance of a doctor in scrubs instead of a cop. The message, ladies and gentlemen, is “Everybody burns.”
Of course, looking like a doctor in a hospital has its downsides. The fire alarms went off, the elevator stopped at the maternity ward, and I had to head out past a small crowd of visitors who fled there for safety during a fire emergency. A nurse came up and grabbed hold of my arm with an emergency of her own. “Everyone else is busy, now we’ve got a fire, you’ll be fine!”
Then she shoved me into a room with a screaming woman whose legs were spread wide in stirrups. Another nurse looked at me. The screaming woman looked at me. If the woman’s legs hadn’t been in the way, I bet the kid would have been looking at me. A nurse slipped gloves onto my hands, which she didn’t realize were a lot more taut over my own gloves, armor, and the sheathe barbed wiring.
Seeing all the blood, crap, and extended lady parts made me realize I wouldn’t be having a hard-on for a few months. “It’s real easy, doctor,” whispered one nurse in what she thought was my ear. “Just catch.”
Well, the baby blew that plan. He peeked out, took one look at me, and went right back in.
“Oh, no you didn’t, you little bastard,” I said. I jumped up on the bed and called on my extensive experience shoving my hand into orifices. I reached in after the little asshole. “You think you’re not ready for life? Get in line! No one’s ready. But you’re here now, and you’ve got a front row seat on the crazy express. Get out here! You’re going to be born even if you die trying, you son of a bitch. No offense, ma’am.”
The mother didn’t seem to take offense. “Just get it out of me, motherfucker!”
Screaming, I stood over and pulled. Screaming, the mother pushed. Screaming, that baby was yanked out of its mother and held into the air. Covered with womanly goo, it cried as I held it up. A nurse helpfully handed over some scissors for me to cut the cord. Then I tossed the baby to a nurse, who caught the little asshole. “It’s a boy!” she told the mother, adopting a much happier demeanor than I think she anyone else in the room had.
One knockout, one kill, one birth. Not much more I can say about that night. I was on fire.