So there I was, strapped down to a bed. The pale beauty straddled my waist, her midnight black hair hanging down between us like a curtain surrounding her ageless face and hungry eyes.
This part wasn’t a dream, by the way.
The deep ebony eyes of the woman who looked down on me stared into mine, drawing me in. It felt like staring into a deep well and seeing, far below, the dark water. Feeling, like you do at times, that you want to jump down. She smiled, a cute little grin that showed her elongated canines. I love a cute smile. It’s all about the corners of the lips.
Glowing red dots emerged from deep in the twin darkened wells, boring into me. “Don’t scream,” they seemed to tell me, as if I intended to, “it will all be over soon. Just not soon enough.”
The Gothic siren above me plunged her head against my bare neck, biting into…knife-proof nanofibers. Released from her spell, I suddenly realized I heard Cookie screaming down the hallway as something thudded against wood over and over again. I chuckled and dropped the hologram covering me. I told the mistress of the night, “Oh honey, you just walked into the wrong genre,” just before I snapped the leather restraints holding my hands down and grabbed her head.
The thudding stopped as a different scream penetrated through the entire house. It’s a wonder glass didn’t break. After it cut off quite abruptly, I heard murmuring through the thin walls. Then Cookie revealed she was still ok when she told the people in the hallway, “If you start running now, you might survive! No, too late.”
She’s right. I punched through the wall with my big gauntlets and pulled myself through, knocking drywall and studs loose. I stood there, grinning madly under my helmet, the decapitated head of the vampire seductress on worn on top of my helmet. I held a whip in one hand and a jagged bed post piece in the other. “Don’t panic. I have the shiniest meat bicycle!”
The two bloodsuckers stood there. One had dirty blonde hair in a fauxhawk and looked young. Even a bit of stubble still on his face, perpetually. The other looked to be in his mid to late twenties, shirtless, with curly brown locks and just a bit of six pack showing. They looked like a Twilight fan’s dream, except for the part where their wild gazes tried to penetrate my visor and they bared long fangs in the hopes of helping themselves to my jugular.
Except the sight of me wearing their companion’s head as a hat stopped their instinctive charge. The corner of the shirtless one’s mouth quivered. I left a hologram standing in my place and approached. I dropped to my knee in mid-step so I could get under him and reappeared only as my armored fist made contact with his stinkhole. He screamed like his lady friend as I rotated him sixty-three degrees and knocked blondie down with him. Then I braced him against the wall and reached further. He stopped his twitching and moaning when I yanked his heart out through his ass.
His buddy pushed himself backwards down the hall, trying to get away. I whipped him, wrapping it around his neck to keep him from escaping. I sprinted and shoved the heart right between his fangs, then dialed up the jump enhancer and kicked. The heart, his brain, and quite a bit of skull exploded out through the top of that vampire’s head.
Wolves howled off in the distance. Our constant companions, though they kept a ware distance these days. I backed up to Cookie’s door. “Thought you said this abandoned village would be safe.”
I heard scraping as she moved furniture out of the way. “I said it was safe for twelve hours. Time skipped ahead a day. Please take the head off before I can see it.”
My asshole sense tingled. She wanted me to take the head off…but what if I shoved it in the door as soon as she opened it? No, not right now. I threw the head over at the dead bodies down the hallway. “There’s more than just severed heads out here right now. Thought you’d have seen worse in your line of work.”
She opened the door for me, careful to stay too far to catch a glimpse of the other bodies through her peripheral vision. Her eyes briefly shot up to the blood left behind from my hat. “I have. It doesn’t mean I like it.” She bit at her lower lip, then punched the door. “What kind of morons fantasize about fucking human predators? You might as well write a book about some vapid girl dating a leech.”
“Now, now, this is no time for anger. That comes when you get your hands on them.” I tried to speak soothingly.
“On who?” she asked.
I shrugged. “Whoever. I’m not your mother. But if we’re both rested, maybe we should try to climb this mountain. Because it’s here. And because there are new and exciting things to kill along the way.”
Cookie pulled on her coat and pack. “You don’t have to sound quite so enthusiastic. And please wipe the blood off you. This trip is hard enough on my stomach without that. Do you want me to puke on you?”
For someone whose ability to see the future was murky and worked according to what I saw as inconsistent rules, she knew what button to push. Just for that, I almost didn’t wipe it off so she’d puke anyway. I’m a man, dammit! I’m not afraid of woman bodily fluids, no matter how icky they are. Aside from that time I accidentally walked in on a baby being born. Couldn’t get an erection for an entire week afterward.
As soon as Cookie and I stepped out of the house, a ghoul jumped on at us from the roof. I whipped it. I whipped it good. I whipped it like cream. I whipped it like it owed me money. I whipped it like an obsessive-compulsive dominatrix.
Must have been starving. These ghoul things are roughly humanoid, but the limbs are a bit too long and end in claws. Plus, they have really big mouths and eyes like black marbles. They feed on the dead if they can find enough of it. If not, they’ve been known to try and create more dead.
Then again, I suppose you could say humans feed on the dead, too. They just generally prefer fresh dead things, like vultures, instead of buried dead things.
Mindful of other approaching critters and creepy crawlers, I let Fortune Cookie take her place on the back harness. She’d grown significantly lighter over our journey as we consumed supplies. On my end of things, we’d been at this little trip for more than a week, so if I’ve missed any updates over on that side of things, that’s why.
I took off, loping on all fours to give Cookie a chance to settle her stomach. Plus, it kept me out of spiderwebs. Giant spiders all over this forest. It’s always spiders for some reason. At least the wolves haven’t tried us again. Maybe they even appreciated the snack left at that seemingly-abandoned village.
I ran long, the suit assisting my movements so I didn’t get completely winded running four-legged. I just wished the tower moved closer. It loomed above us. For the longest time, I’d taken it to be a the mountain until the day I ran into the spiders and took us above the tree level for awhile. Cookie had to clean her harness and the back of my armor after landing, but the sunlight glimmered off the face of the clock and showed us we were closer than we thought.
I hadn’t been that relieved to find something since that time Mix N’Max had me hunt down an actual wild goose. He’d injected it with a then-new drug that got rid of people’s inhibitions completely. In the end, he decided not to use it after the entire alcohol industry banded together to threaten him with a lawsuit.
In vino veritas, as they say. In wine, truth. Deep down, some people hate everyone. Others, like, really love you man. Not in a gay way, but they really, really love you. And it turns out that, deep down, some people are homeless.
Days and nights passed as we watched the tower grow larger and taller in our view. Then a funny thing happened. We heard explosions. Distant explosions, with gunfire accompaniment. Risking the wrath of the giant spiders, we went topside to see if any hostile armies were wandering around.
And I was all like “Oh look. The Soviets are here.”
They were Soviets, too. They had the old uniforms and equipment from World War II. I couldn’t pull up if the guys they fought were Romanian or Nazi soldiers, unfortunately. No internet connection.
“We better leave. These timeshifts aren’t all forward,” Fortune Cookie commented.
I nodded and dropped to the snowy ground below, bitchslapping a spider that wandered too close to ambush us. “Yeah. I don’t want to get trapped in yet another backward world.”
“Oh, I’m sorry, I didn’t know your time was so advanced. Still using paper to wipe your ass?”
Say what you will about Demolition Man’s vision of the future, at least they dared to dream of advanced butt-wiping techniques like the three seashells.
We hurried on from that, passing through other eras where we couldn’t necessarily tell we’d changed times. The Soviets were gone, but several of the stops didn’t have internet access, so we only had to worry about most of history.
This turned out to be an oddly prescient way to phrase things, as we passed into one in particular that hurt like a bitch. It was just fucking loud. Like a roaring from above that bored into every technological part of my body, like a male porn star overdosing on Viagra.
I actually collapsed under the pain. Normally those parts don’t feel pain.
“What’s wrong? Why are you screaming?!” yelled Cookie against the side of my helmet.
I didn’t even know I was screaming, but now that she pointed it out, I figured I should stop that. It left me gasping instead. “Fuuuck. Something’s wrong. Very wrong.”
I found the signal all over the place. Internet, radio, microwaves. Beamed down from satellites. I traced it back to…a fucking spaceship. A giant fucking spaceship. And it’s the future.
Before I could look into that, Cookie pushed on my shoulder. She’d gotten off my back at some point. “We need to go. I don’t see or hear any wolves or spiders, but we need to get moving.”
I tried cutting off my own internet, radio, and phone access. It actually helped, though I felt like I’d had my dick ripped off all over my body.
A spaceship and some sort of cybernetic pain signal. Wonderful. At least Cookie seemed understanding as we moved a bit slower this time, but I had to stop just before we came to another time curtain. I had to hold up there. “Ok, get off. There’s something I need to see.”
“About what?” she asked as she slipped off my back again.
“The signal that pimpslapped me is traveling through the internet, originating in an alien spaceship around Earth, and we’re in the future. I know you’re worried about time stopping, but I think I want to see how this goes.”
Cookie opened her mouth to object, then stopped. What was she going to say, that someone shouldn’t know the future? Instead, all she said was, “Stand near the curtain so I can push you to safety.”
“Good idea,” I agreed and stood at the edge of this time shifty place, then opened up to the internet again.
Let’s see…blah blah blah, crazy Republican runs for President, another huge Bitcoin scam, and some guy went on a mass shooting spree that killed a bunch of people. Damn. Nothing surprising, but nothing useful to me. You’d think it’d be easier to find information on an alien invasion, but apparently aliens are on a lot of people’s minds.
Ah, there we go. Alien invasion fended off in Empyreal City. Well that’s dumb. What kind of invasion only targets one city? Combined force of heroes, villains, and Russian Federal Space Agency heading into space to chase off the mothership. Sorry NASA. Should have had a spaceship. It’s been confirmed that the invasion leader attempted to blow up the entire city after losing the ground battle until he was killed in suicide attack by…
Well that’s not right. Yeah, figured it was a good time to get the fuck out of there. I dropped into the next time period, which cut off access to the information and the signal.
Cookie rushed up to me. “Are you alright?”
I gave her a thumbs-up and sat up. “Yeah. Good news is, I’m pretty sure we beat this whole tower thing. I’ve just got a few things to deal with in the future.”
Fortune Cookie nodded.
Just great. For some reason, I get it into my head to help stop an alien invasion, or die trying.
Yeah, this shit ain’t happening. I’m NOT dying in a suicide attack against an alien trying to destroy the planet. Not over my dead body, at least.
In the meantime, I really need a break. It feels like somebody sandpapered my brain with dicks after that second encounter with the alien cyber assault.