After a few days’ training, I figured the animals were trained up enough to serve as adequate fodder. Plus, I’d lost a lot of time already. This isn’t the movies, where a villain can spontaneously take on the military without any prep work. That’s movie stuff. Though I did enjoy the newest Avengers movie. The villain reminded me a little of myself, especially when looking at critics talking about how hard it was to take the villain seriously with how he joked.
Sometimes it sucks to not get the respect you deserve, but it feels pretty good to knock the smirk off some asshole’s face by painfully reminding them why you deserve that respect in the first place.
While I’m reviewing things, perhaps I should also say that I like Halestorm’s cover of Bad Romance but hate Brienne’s storyline in those Game of Thrones/A Song of Ice and Fire books. Also, boxers are superior to briefs. Wow, I didn’t have to steal those from people on Youtube or anything.
It wasn’t a perfect effort, I should point out. Animals can only use a limited selection of weapons. Even when we got the roos trained with missile launchers, we didn’t have enough of the weapons. I’m used to a higher quantity and quality of civilian weaponry. It’s like the NRA always says: if you outlaw guns, every single criminal will magically be able to smuggle a gun into the country in time to rob your house.
If only. At least several of the roos were trained in fencing and boxing. We just had to get them close enough. That’s where the trebuchet came in. I took one look at our troops and decided the best addition I could make was a way to throw them all on top of the enemy. Even the spiders. Especially the spiders. That was my major project outside of arming the wombats.
In spite of his passion for animals, Crushtacean could only be in one place at a time. Amateur. That’s how he missed my super ethical experiments on the wombats. Incredibly ethical. I’m writing a paper. I think I’ll call it “Health Effects on Metal-Clawed Marsupial Cyborgs on Homo Sapiens.” Spoiler alert: there’ll be a negative correlation with a margin of error of plus or minus Holy Fuck There’s A Wombat On My Head. The sample size includes any motherfucker in my way.
For his part, Huntsman trained his spiders to act as living garrotes. Or maybe they were supposed to be nunchuks. It’s hard to tell. He could have been a bit more enthusiastic about all this villainy. Seriously, folks, it takes a lot of work to pull this stuff off. Everyone thinks a villain just wakes up one day, puts on a costume, picks out a motivation, and starts spouting cliches. Let this be a lesson to you, kids. You’ll never live to regret the day you take on the Australian special forces if you don’t put a lot of thought into committing grievous bodily harm on your fellow man.
I felt we were ready on Tuesday. Crushtacean led his kangaroo conquerors in from the east. I rolled in from the north with the cyber-wombats and 101st Airborne Tazmanian Devil Division packed into a basket attached to a trebuchet. Huntsman got lost and circled around, briefly attacking a gas station before finding his way to Crushtacean. We didn’t keep the element of surprise, which is fine. As any chemist can tell you, that element is combustible and mercurial.
So there I sat, astride the back of a majestic war roo. I wore armor, of course. Crushtacean chose to save his mount, but his armor looked ready as ever. Off in the distance, I heard bagpipes. “Alright, who invited Scot to this battle?” I asked over the radio.
“Who?” asked Crusthtacean
“The bapgipes,” I clarified. “Why do I hear bagpipes? And don’t say I’m going crazy, because the auditory hallucinations are usually linked to visual hallucinations too.”
Huntsman spoke up during a pause in the music. “It’s me.”
“You?” Crushtacean and I asked at once.
“Mum thought I should learn an instrument so she could push me to join a band when I got older. I didn’t want to and picked the pipes. She still made me have recitals.”
I grinned. “That certainly explains why you’ve got a grudge against anyone the right age to have gone to school with you. Do you take requests?”
“You bet your pizza I do. Someone once paid me a twenty to do ‘Ina Gadda Da Vida’ at a Bar Mitzvah.”
“Were you any good?” Crushtacean asked.
“I got another twenty to stop.”
I figured out quickly enough what I wanted playing in the background as we appeared in sight of the military base. “You know that song from that TV show Game of Thrones? The Rains of Castamere? It’s the one the guy uses to remind people not to piss him off because it’s about these other people he killed like a badass.”
“I know the song for that show Jeopardy,” he answered. It would have to do. If the enemy recognized it, they’d soon realize they were in jeopardy.
We advanced on the base under the cover of sunlight because most of our soldiers weren’t nocturnal. So I cursed the sun, my oldest enemy. Fuck you, sun. Everyone think’s you’re so great, but really you’re nothing but a hot ball of gas.
The soldiers, not taking us all that seriously, gathered around the fence and gate to watch our approach. After a few minutes, someone decided to turn on an alarm. Then they turned it off. Then on again. Then they settled back on off and someone stepped away from the gate with a bullhorn to address us. “Hello there! Hello there!”
I slipped a pair of sound-dampening headphones over my mount’s ears and amplified the voice from my helmet. “Hellooooo!”
“Who am I addressing?” asked the spokesman.
“My name is King Arthur, and these are my knights of the round table. Whose castle is this?”
“This is the base of the SPRTF under command of General Wilson.”
“Go and tell your master that we have been charged by God with a sacred quest. If he gives us food and shelter for the knight, he can join us in our quest for the Holy Grail!”
“I do not think we can do that. We would not have the chow for you and all your animal mates.”
“Are you sure?” I asked.
“Oh yes, it’s very sparse.”
“Well can we come in and have a look?”
“Of course not! You are hostile types.”
I pointed over toward the artillery cannons trained on us. Perhaps giving them a very clear view of us approaching was a bad idea, but only for wave after wave of animals. “Well what are you, then?”
“We don’t have to answer an American supervillain with an outrageous accent, you silly king. What are you doing in Australia?”
“Mind your own business!” I snapped back.
“If you do not disperse, we will disperse you by force,” commanded soldier.
“You don’t frighten us, Australian pig-dogs. Go and slapfight a wallaby, you descendent of a shower room orgy! I wipe my ass at your so-called General Wilson, you and all your silly Australian sodderers.” I then blew a raspberry at him through the helmet.
“Now look here, strange person-” the spokesman started up.
“I don’t want to talk to you anymore! Go away or I will call you names!” I yelled at him.
“This is your last chance, mate!” the man spoke up again. “I’ve been more than reasonable. If you do not agree to leave, then we will-”
I finished his sentence for him. “Settle this in single combat!”
“What?” he asked.
“You send out your best man, we’ll send out our best man. If you win, we leave.” I proposed to him. I patted my roo on the neck. It was getting antsy out there. I don’t blame it. Stand still too long in the wilder parts of Australia and you can wind up eaten or drunk.
“What do you get if you win?” called the man.
“My pick of between one and four prisoners to accompany me, no problem.” They knew I was an American villain, so that narrowed it down a lot, but my armor had changed a little bit, so they may not have realized I was me.
The man put down the bullhorn and spoke into a radio. In the base, something kicked up dust. A man in power armor appeared flipping over the rolls of barbed wire topping the base’s electrical fence. He was in some customized, body-clinging piece of shit with all these extraneous pieces. There was some sort of dark under layer, then bright white armor that covered only part of the chest and had all these grooves that would catch weapons in combat and help them slide into vulnerable spots. I even saw tiny pieces of plating in a pattern of six-pack abs.
The coverage on that thing was abominable. That didn’t appear to be its primary function, though. Instead, it used tiny jets located in the thighs and overly-large shoulder pads to maneuver around. It was fast, but it had its limits. Anything that propels people toward high speed has a hard limit based on the human body’s ability to tolerate the stresses. Pilots have their limits and they’re in cockpits designed to handle it. A guy in a suit without extra neck support? He surprised me by not dying on the way out.
What surprised him was the sudden whoosh as a Stinger missile passed through a holographic barrier that prevented anyone in the base from seeing the war kangaroo lock onto the man. The Australian champion tried to run, activating the jets, but the Stinger was designed to be fired at fast-moving targets. I would have preferred something a little better, like the Starstreak missile launchers, but you take what you can get in the short term.
The man didn’t get too far when the Stinger caught up to him and detonated, splattering him and his armor. Maybe if it had been a little less full of holes, it might have been able to handle the explosion and overpressure. Or maybe if the designer had remembered that it’s called power armor, not power dodger.
After the awkward silence of summarily executing their chosen champion, I called out, “Whoops! A bit trigger happy of an animal here. Didn’t mean to do that. Premature detonation. How about this: send out your second strongest fighter and we’ll try a one-on-one fight that way? Whaddya say?”
Rather than fall for my plan to kill them all one by one in successive duels to the death, the men started to get to cover. They were a little late, unfortunately. I’d extended the holographic screen a bit, so we had a bit of a head start as far as launching more missiles. I turned and signaled for the trebuchet to fire as well, launching murderous marsupials into the air and letting them rain over the special forces soldiers.
I didn’t charge. I dismounted and grabbed a spider with one glove while picking up the kangaroo with the other. Kangaroos aren’t bad jumpers, but I got us into the base in two leaps. Landing in the midst of them, I changed my grip so that I had the kangaroo by the tail and whipped it around to clear myself some space. Then I let it go so it could pull out a colichemarde sword. That’s a type of fencing sword, for those who don’t know already.
The soldiers were panicked by the attack of the killer flying devils and damned wombats, so only one near me attempted to engage me in hand to hand combat. The knife bounced off harmlessly while I shoved a huntsman spider into the collar of his shirt. He didn’t stay to finish our fight.
The bases static cannons got off a couple shots before exploding about the time I landed. They weren’t the only ones who had time to line up targets before the conflict. Mounted guns and mobile artillery wouldn’t make it much longer, either. They were going down quick, like a 100 lb. accountant sharing a prison cell with math-hating ax murderer. In this case, I helped play the role of the ax murderer.
The soldiers began regrouping inside the base to save themselves from the animals swarming everywhere. I followed one of them into an important-looking building before they were able to seal the doors. It was bullhorn guy. “Get in here, Smith!” squawked his radio. After the litany of animal noises, it made some of the others around flinch.
Bullhorn man copied and sprinted as best he could without knocking everyone over. When he got into command and control, a balding man with sideburns glared at him. “That bad, sir?” asked bullhorn.
“Helos will be on site in five because you baldered instead of arcing-up.”
Now they’re just fucking with me. I’m not even getting pizza out of these.
General Wilson continued, “Make sure everyone stays inside while they brass up everything outside and you may get off blow flow duty this year.” Then he paused, looking down. “Did you see if they had any invisible spiders with them?”
Bullhorn shook his head.
A higher pitched voice added to the conversation, “You know, why don’t we call off the helos and just let the guy’s friends go, huh? I bet that solution will make a lot more people happy, huh?”
I reappeared with my arms around the General’s belly, hugging him from behind. Bullhorn took one look at me. “Pizza.”
In the end, my new friends decided that it was nicer and healthier to call off the air support and escort Moai, Carl, and I out of the base. In fact, they liked hanging out with me. They enjoyed it so much, they were found wandering naked around the outskirts of a town the next day with no memory of how they my name tattooed on their butt cheeks. Oddly enough, Wilson already had another name there that said “Johnny”. I’m assuming I’d know how much that means if I’d gone through what they’d been through.
But that’s what they get for fucking with a trio of animal-named villains. Seriously, that bestiality’s wrong, yo.