Under The Radar 4



Another exciting few days, ladies and gents. Come one, come all, hear all about it. Or, as Julius Caesar once announced while high on Goldschläger, “Friends, Romans, Countrymen…lend me your rears!”

My little deception with Venus paid dividends. In case y’all didn’t realize it last time, all that focus on me allowed my minions to roam about unchecked. I totally Sun Tzu’ed her ass.

So even though I threw a tantrum, it was nothing compared to the Pink Pixie. In no time flat, videos started circulating online showing her performing some impressive brutality on ordinary criminals. The Reds, Blues, and Yurples, the established gangs of Empyral City, retaliated by blasting every other cop car that passed through their territories to smithereens using conventional firearms.

Then, as if I’d been having nightmares about false ejaculations, my dream came true. The last chronological video of Pink Pixie pummeling poor powerless perpetrators portrayed Venus popping in near the end to take Pixie aside. The younger heroine forced herself to calm down in a hurry with the veteran Venus there. Then, the pink-clad pair departed. Pah!

I was thrilled, as always. Things had gotten a little too dark while I set up the dominoes. Then again, the best part of me was switched off, to put it simplistically. Too much hearty-heart, not enough fisty-fist. Wait, I should pick a different body part. That didn’t sound right. Not enough footy-foot? Suddenly, I feel like a pediphile. Quick, better report me to the North American Men’s Boots Love Association!

There’s not really a body part associated with laughter other than the funny bone, and that’s not funny at all.

Nevertheless, my watchers took the attack personally. Funny how the only proof they needed was the word of another hero. Hero worship’s a terrible thing like that. Don’t trust something purely because someone you admire said it. The same skeptics who love to point out when some church is molesting kids will suddenly reject all their principles and arguments if it protects a hero in their own movement who gets accused by multiple people over a period of years.

The fact that what Venus told the truth when she admitted my culpability to these teen heroes didn’t change the fact that they chose to attack me without verifying I’d done it. But, hey, it gave them a chance to take out their anger for failing. They’re the ones assigned to watch me. And they did. They watched a hologram of me while I snuck out and painstakingly followed Pink Pixie around all night to find out where she lived.

So it didn’t come as that much of a surprise when they chose to retaliate.

I stepped out, seemingly out of my armor, to go grab some nachos and salsa ingredients. Don’t be ridiculous, of course I kept my armor on. No way would I let anyone see me with that bad a case of helmet hair. But I looked normal, and that’s the important thing. That’s what people care about. You could be a psycho murderer who beats people to death with molested deer asses who votes for the Green Party, but no one cares if you look normal. Oh no, get in a car crash and lose someone you love, then cry on the side of the street all bloody; it’s obviously just a cry for attention from some emo camera whore.

Everything seemed normal on my way there, but the speedster showed up on my way back. First he knocked the chips out of my hand, then the blue passed by again and flung away the veggies when I bent to pick them up. The veggies hid the street and the blur passed by again, trampling on them. Then I noticed the chips had been stepped on, too. That’s when he caught me in the side and knocked me into the wall. He didn’t do it too terribly hard, but I’d have had some broken ribs if I hadn’t worn the armor.

So that’s what I showed him. I turned invisible and projected the image I’d been using shuffling along in pain, holding his ribs with his right hand and guiding himself along the wall to his left by the other. I stood about two feet off to the side as the image stopped, bent to spit out some blood, then started dragging along the wall by his shoulder.

The speedster appeared, resplendent in amarillo and azure. The helmet hid any expression of concerned, but he leaned over to check on the fake me. The real me did three things simultaneously. I started charging the energy sheathe over my left hand, I threw a confusing hologram of multi-colored swirling, blinking lights just in front of the speedster’s eyes, and I threw a hard right at his head.

The head is a horrible place to aim, especially when the enemy wears a helmet, but the intended result occurred. Speedy Gonzales had a meeting of the minds with a brick wall. It rung his bell a little, even through the helmet and the requisite toughness needed to survive moving faster than the human eye could track. Unfortunately, I lost a couple knuckles in the endeavor. They will be missed. Please send flowers; maybe stop by the funeral parlor and talk to the hand. Feel free to bring a little finger food for the family, too. Maybe knuckle sandwiches.

If that counted as ringing a bell, the follow-up hit with the left fired off a cannon in the 1812 Overture. I’ll have some Tchaikovsky, barista! What, you’re out? Alright, just a Tchai mocha latte then. Eh, like I’d really drink that crappuccino. The speedster might have needed something to wake him up a little better, too. The second punch dented the wall and cracked his helmet. So I stunned him pretty good, but I didn’t kill him. Not yet. If I kill one of her understudies, Venus would get mad and pounce.

While it’s a lovely image, Venus pouncing, it’s not what I want to happen yet. And, because we’re talking a guy with the capability to recover pretty quickly, I couldn’t even stop long enough to introduce his colon to the grieving extended knuckle family.

So I left him like that, but man did I ever feel right again! I was back! I was myself! I exclaimed things in short, three word sentences! I fucked up my hand, but nanites cleared that up. I even celebrated with a little “It’s Raining Men” by the Weather Girls. It’s hard to find a happier ballad than those fat women enjoying a downpour of manly bodies. After all, men falling from the sky need something to cushion their fall. Something like a large woman with a lot of love to give.

It became clear the next day that Pink Pixie didn’t have a lot of love to give to me. She hovered in Times Square in her long pink boots and gloves, black leggings and sleeves, and pink torso with the pink and black butterfly wings on the front, yelling. “I’m here! You want me? Stop being a coward. I’ll give you a fair fight, you bastard!” Even with the sight of glittery fairy wings stuck on the back of her costume, the face hidden behind a glittery pink domino mask was evident to any onlooker.

Stupid. Why should I stop being a coward? It’s kept me alive this long. And a fair fight? Yeah right. It’s easy to call for a fair fight when you’re flight-capable, superstrong, and harder to hurt than your opponent. Not so fair for the other guy, is it?

However, it seemed as good a time as any. I exploded out the door of the lair and hit the stealth. The speedster had recovered enough to quickly try and head me off, he couldn’t catch what he couldn’t see. My suit hid me, as well as the sax and another little goody strapped to my back.

A series of jumps led me close to Times Squares, where I hitched a ride. I dove through the back window of an SUV, shoved a screaming mom out the door, then gunned the engine and aimed for oncoming traffic. I needed a smaller car, and I found one. I put the pedal to the metal, the rubber to the road, and the SUV into the air as it ramped off a compact car of some sort.

While I was at it, I gave myself a false appearance to help me stay under the radar. A little costume idea I’d had a couple years back. A tight black costume with dark blue gloves and boots. On the chest and back, the blue broke in so that the black formed a shark bite-style design. A mask covered the false face I presented, leaving a wide area around each eye and the mouth, but covering everything else, including the nose. Blonde hair came down to holographic ears, but a bicorn pirate hat sat atop it, adorned with a skull and crossbones. From my back trailed a tattered half cape with a Jolly Roger of its own: a horned skeleton stabbing a heart.

Y’all already knew me for an ass clown. With my booty obsession, y’all must have realized I was also a butt pirate. Anyway, back to hurtling through the air.

I couldn’t do much about my aim in that situation, but Pixie caught the front of the SUV with both hands anyway. Unfortunately for her, I didn’t wear my seat belt. I flew the front windshield, yelling, “HELLO!” and pummelled her in her furious little face. The petite teenager let go and we tumbled. I grabbed her by the ponytail and used the leverage to try and dig into one of her eye sockets with my fingers. Sure, I lost my old prosthetic eye, but what’s to stop me from grabbing an organic replacement?

In this case, gravity. We spun through the air and crashed to the ground, her on the bottom. She rolled with it and threw me over her. She didn’t throw me far, but it gave her time to get her feet under her. I kipped up, fairly sure neither of the weapons I’d brought were damaged in that fall.

Before either of us could do shit, a firm grip settled on my shoulder and pulled me around to face Venus. I saw gritted teeth under a visor, and a fist heading for me. Yeah, someone got the jump on me. As I’ve mentioned before, the weakness of being able to see in all directions is that I still have to notice something coming from from another direction. That gets difficult when you’re facing off against a pissed-off pubescent pink princess.

The armor slowed Venus down and the adrenaline amped me up. I threw my hand up and caught her fist. That’s when we really tested our mettle. And by mettle I mean metal. And by metal, I mean power armor. I smirked under my helmet. “All that build up just to find out yours is weaker. So sad. It’s ok, not everyone’s got the same spark of genius I do.” I kept an eye on the Pixie, too. She took the time to catch her breath before walking over.

I pushed Venus’s fist toward her, then caught the other as she threw it. “When it comes to armor, baby, I got the power,” I said.

“Better make sure your circuits don’t come up a little short, Gecko,” Venus said. Then my muscles strained intensely as my skin went numb. My armor, my eye, everything electronic had crackly hiccups as some sort of electric shock shot through me. I managed to make out an arc of electricity along the knuckles of her armor. It turned out she had an ace up her sleeve the whole time.

Then she released me and let my sore, exhausted body fall. “No! We don’t do that!” she yelled at someone. My helmet display showed her grappling with Pixie now. In fact, she held onto the girl’s fists much the same way I had held hers, but Pixie was stronger. Instead, Venus slipped her grip down to the girl’s elbows, trying to hold her arms well up.

As horrible as I felt after my brief bout with electroshock therapy, I wasn’t finished. I reestablished the projection that failed when Venus gave me a taste of shock-alate. Swallowing the bitten-off tip of my tongue, I gathered my strength to go on the offensive again.

And by offensive, I mean offensive. With her arms held up in Venus’s grasp, Pixie left her chest wide open. So I headbutted her in the tit. Then I rammed my head toward the other, slamming my helmet into the tender fun bag. I bounced between the boobs, slamming into each in turn as part of a malevolent motorboating.

Pixie cried out, and Venus turned her attention to me. She wrapped me in a headlock, leaving me exposed for Pixie’s retaliation. At least she didn’t seem to be able to hit me with another electrical charge in that hold.

When Pixie’s fist crashed into my helmet, I met interesting new colors. They tasted like the smell of pain. When I remembered where I was, I realized I had a several broken parts in my helmet and face. Pixies faced me, ready for more. Venus stood to the side, turned to get at either one of us if something happened. That’s when I whipped out the sax and hoped like hell it hadn’t suffered the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune quite as badly as the rest of me. My helmet’s audio protection canceled out the sound, something else I should have worried about before blasting my enemies with the tone.

They didn’t have as much luck. The FBI designed that sound to bore into the ear, causing nausea and loss of balance. Pixie went down as quickly as anyone else, though Venus must have had some sound dampening in her armor. She stayed on her feet and took a step toward me. That proved to be her undoing. The next step, she lost her balance and fell.

I slung the sax on my back, and took off the other goody I’d brought along. The portion I held resembled a box with a pipe sticking out the front end. The other end of the pipe held a smooth-edged cylinder a little larger than a football. I could have fit my arm through it comfortable if the ends were removed. I’d cooked up the contents of the cylinder just for the Pixie. Consider the recipe a secret, but if someone suggested I included trinitrotoluene as an ingredient, I wouldn’t argue with them.

I pushed the ignition, and nothing happened.

Fuck. I hit up the sax for another blast, then quickly reached in and jury-rigged a bypass. When I tried it a second time, the machine came to life. The pipe drew back into the body and the cylinder on the end rotated. The Explosive 63 lived at last!

“Now then,” I said to the downed heroines, sounding a little funny with part of my tongue gone. “We’ve had ourselves an opening act and a brief musical interlude. Time for the main act.” With that, I approached the prone Pink Pixie and turned her over.

63ing Your Ass is an ancient martial arts technique passed down through the ages. I learned it on Uranus. The attack involves shoving a hand inside an opponent’s rectum, taking a firm hold, and rotating the opponent 63 degrees upon a random axis. Just however you want to rotate them. Go wild. Just don’t do it while shitfaced. That would carry gross connotations.

Unfortunately, Pink Pixie’s strength proved problematic. One of the things people don’t realize about superstrength is that it tends to affect all muscles. I’d hoped Pixie wasn’t quite strong enough to stop me, or that maybe she’d loosened herself up a bit down there, but nope. The sphincter is a muscle too, and the power of the Pink Pixie’s superstrength sphincter held the thrusting pipe at bay.

So I backed up and tried a running start instead. She let out an “Oof!” but I got nowhere fast. Except for falling back on my own ass. So I stood up and charged up the jump enhancers, pseudomuscles in the legs of my armor designed to help me jump much higher and further. I pressed the Explosive 63er against the Pixie’s sphincter and jumped toward it…bending the pipe and crushing the ending portion a little bit. With a grinding, scraping sound, it stopped rotating.

At that point, I noticed Venus on her feet again behind me. She took a swing at the back of my head. I ducked it and turned, chop blocking her right shin out from under her and sending her sprawling. Standing again, I dusted my off my gloves. “It takes a bigger ass than you to donkey punch me, Venus.”

At that point, however, my carefully laid plan had fallen apart. My contraption to blow Pink Pixie apart from the inside out now laid in a broken heap at the feet of the two heroine, who had picked themselves up. I held my hand up to my head with thumb to my ear and pinkie closer to my mouth in the “Call me” symbol. I didn’t aim for either specific heroine with that, letting them both stew on it as I turned away from them and slipped into invisibility.

There’s been no retaliation so far, but she stopped by with a few of her friends to set up more sensors. Looks like she’s got stuff to sense magnetic disturbances and heat signatures up there all pointed at the exits. I’ve noticed the occasional civilian-style drone flying overhead as well. I didn’t see Pink Pixie camped outside my door, so Venus must have refused to let her know where I was for fear of the fight continuing and one of us killing the other.

Not that any of these preparations bothered me any. I had preparations of my own to make. It’s good to have some preparation, especially when you’re working on a hole like I was. Yep, I toiled away in the bathroom with a pickaxe, shovel, and sledgehammer, digging downward. I intended to find the sewer and use it to slip out, like some sort of underground railroad to allow a sociopath to slip away to freedom.

I even sang myself a good, old-fashioned railway worker song: “I get no kick from champagne. Mere alcohol doesn’t thrill me at all, so tell me why should it be true that I get a belt out of you. Some get a kick from cocaaaaaaiiii-” and that’s when it hit me. A train. Running a train on Pink Pixie. Not that kind of train. A real train, with an engine and tracks and the Explosive 63 attached to the front. Brilliant!

I guess you could say that giving a guy like me insane intent could only lead to a loco-motive.




2 thoughts on “Under The Radar 4

  1. Pingback: Under The Radar 3 | World Domination in Retrospect

  2. Pingback: Under The Radar 5 | World Domination in Retrospect

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