Rockefeller Center is nice this time of year, provided you wear warm clothing. This is in contrast to a place like Paradise City, which has had weather in the mid-seventies Fahrenheit. That could be the naturally temperate climate in Northwest Florida, or it could be residual interference from the weather-altering buoys that the Hephaestus Organization deployed in the Gulf of Mexico.
But that’s a problem for Florida. Here in Empyreal City, still cold enough to emasculate people. Speaking of emasculating people, Rockefeller Center. I spent awhile staring up at it in Lord of Misrule form. “Nice lights, don’t you think?” I asked my crew. The Buzzkills formed a crowd of their own behind me, dressed in green Santa elf costumes. I didn’t make them wear red and white stockings like I first planned, but the hats were non-negotiable. Moai, showing his usual skill in disguise, had a puffy white costume on. I couldn’t figure out if he was supposed to be a snowman or a yeti.
My 360 view showed me that most of the team agreed. And that we had gathered a group of onlookers ourselves. Some of the rearmost Buzzkills even played around with the kiddos. Time to put an end to that. I clapped my hands and whirled around to address my minions and the onlookers.
“Gentlemen! Ladies! Everyone with both and those in between. We are here to enjoy an icon related to the winter holiday season, with all its pretty lights and shiny ornaments.” I glanced back at the tree, then back to the people I addressed. “Be a real dick move if something happened to it, right?”
I know I abuse holographic technology to ridiculous degrees. Anyone would if they wanted to enjoy the look on people’s faces when they see a grenade launcher appear in your hands.
Yep, from advanced holographic technology to a simple grenade launcher with programmable grenades. If it sounds like a let down, just remember that most weapons used on the battlefield are nothing but advanced application of the early technologies: rocks and fire.
I rocked the party by firing a grenade that exploded at the base of the tree. Don’t fret about the plant. It was doomed from the moment they decided to use it to symbolize eternal life. Ironic, that.
In the end, I used all these advances in technology from two dimensions to do the job of an axe and fell the giant tree with much snapping, crackling, and popping. By now, y’all can guess the general reaction: terror, screaming, people fleeing. You’d think they never saw someone lumberjacking in public.
The Buzzkills chased after them, trying to get some purses, wallets, and maybe a few numbers for me. Or at least the phones those numbers belong to. They’re easy enough to make a little money on, and it’s handy to keep spares around in general. Moai began pelting people with snowballs to knock them over and make the robbing go easier. Some of the civilians tossed snowballs back and distracted the Buzzkills, who responded by throwing their own.
A snowball fight broke out in the middle of my crime. So disrespectful. Charles Manson never had to put up with this shit. Someone even hit me in the helmet with one. I wiped the snow away and pointed at the kid who popped me in the head. “You think it’s a game? You think it’s a fucking game?!”
I started to play some battle-worthy rap before remembering to live in the season. So when music started to play, it sounded like Black Sabbath’s “Iron Man” up until a voice declared. “I am Santa Claus. Ho ho ho ho ho ho hoo!”
“Flying through the snow, can you hear him ho ho ho?” I dropped the launcher to the side and scooped up a wad of snow. Balling it up, catching the little asshole in his mouth hole. You know, some of these phrases don’t sound the same when applied to kids. The child screamed, but in happiness instead of fear. Come to think of it, the fear from earlier had abated as almost everyone around joined in this wimpy conflict. With so much snow flying around, I half expected Powder to show up and shove her nose in my business.
We had a nice enough time until the boomerangs spun out, ricocheting between Buzzkills. It stopped at Moai . I didn’t think boomerangs ricocheted, but heroes often use unconventional ammunition and weapons. Like how that previous statement would be thrown around by Captain Obvious. If punching glove arrows exist, then Thrill Seeker can toss around ricochet boomerangs.
Despite the bulk of the bad guys going down, I noticed some of the crowd starting to scream or go “Aww”. I didn’t see Thrill Seeker, though. I hadn’t caught where the boomerang originated at. I checked the buildings nearby in case he was up there, but no such luck.
As a word of advice, never forget that space exists in at least three dimensions. Four if you count the one I come from. I’d include yours, but whoever’s reading this might be a bunch of flat squiggles somewhere, which ironically means an awful lot of the story would be going over y’all’s heads. Like that expression, for instance.
I didn’t see Thrill Seeker above, and the ground seemed solid enough, so the dastardly bastard clearly hid on the same plane as us. Tricky! Indeed, I saw him step forward out of the crowd, pointing one end of a chakram at me. Makes as much sense as an American hero exclusively using Australian aboriginal weapons for most of a century. He called out, “Playtime is over! Time to put you on ice!”
If there is an actual Captain Obvious, I expect his secret identity is being Thrill Seeker’s personal dialogue coach. Somebody needs to teach this idiot the power of lame puns and cliches.
I knew just the idiot to educate this idiot. And that idiot is me. The first idiot, that is, not the second idiot. “This is snow time for puns, so you can just go to hail, if you catch my drift,” I said, pointing at him. The statement was met by groans of disapproval from the crowd. Meanwhile, I looked around for my grenade launcher to show Thrill Seeker what a more advanced weapon looked like. About the time I found it, that chakram whizzed through the air and embedded itself in the barrel.
Well, perhaps the other weapon had its strong points.
I turned back to him. “That blows. I may well explode with wrath for what you’ve now done, you piece of crap-nel.”
More groans. Yes, yes. Feed me with your torment, innocent bystanders. Especially that little bitch who kept aiming for my crotch with the snowballs. Balls have no place between my legs.
“Oh yeah?” Thrill Seeker pointed his finger at me, leaning forward. “Oh yeah? Fuck! You!”
“Language!” I yelled at him. By then, our exchange gave the Buzzkills time to recover and spread out. Moai had approached the distracted hero as well. “There are kids here. Do you want those sniveling little assholes to hear you talk like that?” I swept my hand over the onlookers, then spun down and grabbed the grenade launcher. When I spun back toward Thrill Seeker, I threw a whirling launcher at him. “Get him!”
And I stood back and let the Buzzkills and Moai fight the hero, sadly contemplating how little I now resembled myself. Then I felt large footsteps shake the ground and figured I could be myself another day. I turned and left, fading to invisibility within a few steps. I radioed back to Moai that he better get out of there with the Buzzkills as soon as possible.
The next day, Crash rushed into my office. She looked wide-eyed out past me. “Ma’am, are you alright?”
I looked up, one eyebrow raised. “Why wouldn’t I be?”
She pointed behind me. I looked back over my shoulder where a sixty-foot tall man stomped through the city in black, white, and red tights that’d be generic if not for being worn on a sixty-foot man. I turned back to her. “You see him too, huh?”
“I can feel him,” she said. I suddenly remembered what I heard about women playing around on dryers.
“I thought I might have been dreaming him. I’ve heard some people fantasize about that sort of thing.” I turned back to the paperwork, mentally screaming at all the things I still needed to rubber stamp. It’s not that paperwork is difficult. It’s annoying.
“Geez, I’ve never seen anyone that big before,” Crash said. No, seriously, that’s what she said. “That’s gotta be Kelly Kaiju.”
She was right. The Order’s forum said he showed up last night to stop a jewel shop heist. It was pure coincidence that he did so close to wear I tried to create havoc and misery in Rockefeller Center. Kelly Kaiju’s the kind of guy who prevents crime just walking around, though a smart opponent could take him without too much trouble. Maybe I’ll get that shot.
I bailed out on Thrill Seeker because I figured The Saurus was almost on my ass. The snowball fight made people take the entire thing a lot less seriously, and the buzzkills got their asses whipped.
“I thought that was a feminine name,” I asked Crash.
“It used to be a guy’s name.”
“Must be his real one. Why else would he keep using it as a hero?” I stopped to think back, then opened my mouth and screamed.
When I finished, Crash uncovered her ears and asked, “What the hell was that for?”
“I hate paperwork. Was thinking about screaming earlier. Didn’t. Figured I’d finally get around to it. Can’t put things off for too long, Crash. Sometimes you really have to act on your impulses. That’s what made the successful man I am today.” I paused for a moment at my slip of the tongue, then continued on. “That’s why I’m going to go get a head start on the latest request sent to me. The fact that it’s Neo-Nazi villains posting it on the villain forums turned me off a bit, but it’d only be fair to include all religions in my holiday shenanigans. To leave the Jews out of this would be discrimination in favor of a Menorah-ty.”
“Jesus, you’re going to do something related to Hanukkah?” Crash asked.
I shrugged. “Turns out there’s a giant menorah that gets lit in the city. If you can find me something to do for other religions, I’ll hit them too. In the meantime,” I reached under my desk and pulled out a dead pig. “I have a barbecue to attend. You’re welcome to attend, but it’ll probably be a sausage fest.”
The necessities of my plan have forced me to abandon my name, subvert my desires, and save people’s lives. These aliens may take may take my life, they may take my very identity, but they’ll never take my puns.