I can’t steal all the presents meant for Christmas. But, I soon realized I could do the next best thing. I could destroy the toys.
Like the Kelly Kaiju action figure with semi trailer club, or the Little Heros brand Venus mask. It tickled me to find they even had one of me. It has arms that stick up in the air until you press a button on the back, when they swing down. It comes with a toilet, a trash can, and a WW2-looking bomb as throwable objects, but the back says you can throw all sorts of things. Neat.
I tossed that one down on the piled up toys in the aisle and finished pouring gasoline on them. I got a decent distance to avoid the smoke, which tends to screw with the minicameras necessary for my armor’s holographic functions. There, I felt the vibrations from a giant approaching and smiled to myself. I waved to Moai, signalling him to drop a flare and finish burning the toys. I had to go see if Kelly Kaiju was as great as his toy claimed.
I left him a little note at the first of these attacks. I wanted him to respond, and just him. If he met me alone, I’d stop, no matter what happened. From the rumblings outside, he finally caught up to me. I figured I’d need something beyond my hands and feet to take on the sixty-foot tall man, though. I stopped off by the sports aisle and grabbed a baseball bat before I headed out.
The giant foot of Kelly Kaiju faced me, clad in one of those shoes that has the toes. Ew. That’s not right. There are some things even I won’t do, like wear those travesties. I can’t blame him for his parents giving him a name mostly used by women these days, but I can blame him for daring to bring those things out in public.
“I’m here, Misrule. Is that all you want from me?” his voiced boomed.
Yep, I was the Lord of Misrule again, that shadowy figure overturning holiday conventions and wrecking things to everyone’s delight. “Nah, I’d like one more thing.” My armor’s pseudomuscles powered my jump so that landed on Kaiju’s shoulder. His giant hand swiped at me, but I dove against his head. He missed that time, but I doubted his next one would. Instead of a horizontal swing, he raised it up to smack me.
Funny thing about Q-tips. They’re not supposed to be used to clean out a person’s ear. It’s a matter of safety. If someone does shove a Q-tip too far into their ear, well, it goes a bit like what happened to Kaiju when I pushed the baseball bat deep into his ear canal. He yelped and brought his hand down, but I already threw myself down, still clutching the bat. As I passed between his legs, I swung for the fences.
Kaiju’s eyes crossed, and he saw stars. That part wasn’t my amazing homerun shot, but instead from the fireworks. Just because I told Kaiju to come alone doesn’t mean I ordered the minions away. Buzzkills fired off Roman candles and fireworks mortars at Kaiju’s face. While they distracted him, I found myself a car out of the parking lot and went for a little drive into the base of Kelly’s Achilles tendon. The combination of ear damage, fireworks, and getting hit by a car finally threw him off enough that he fell. He threw out his hands to catch his balance, like anyone would, except he’s a bit heavier than most people.
The hero dealt the final blow to the store, wrecking it with his falling body.
That’s one of the three amigos out of the way.
As for Thrill Seeker, he received an invitation stuck in the middle of Times Square by a sharpened boomerang. I next planned an attack on the Salvation Army, ya see. True to my word, though, I no longer hit the major store chains. See? I’m not that bad of a guy, even if I lined up a small army of Buzzkills outside, stomping their feet like orcs preparing to take Helm’s Deep as night began to fall. They dragged along a pair of catapults behind them, showing more sense than those orcs. Then we showed a little less sense by packing snow in, building dense snowballs.
Thanks to Hero Net, Thrill Seeker had plenty of people willing to keep an eye on various Salvation Army buildings. Not that they’re much to look at. This one was a hole in the wall, though the Chinese restaurant across the street helped the army’s logistics. One of Sun Tzu’s major concerns for warfare was the maintaining and feeding of armies, which is one reason why generals should avoid protracted warfare. And the Buzzkills really love sweet and sour chicken.
The other heroes stayed out of it, and I got off a couple volleys that knocked out the windows of the store and caused superficial damage to the exterior. It’d take more pounding to bust it wide open. While they worked on that, I took advantage of the sperm bank tanker and hose to spray down the nearby buildings. I had an idea. Really more of a plan.
When he showed, the Seeker himself ran along the upper sides of the buildings we faced away from. Predictable unpredictability, the obvious oxymoron. Unfortunately, catapults don’t rotate all that easily, so I took matters into my own hands and surprised him with a snowball.
The hero’s reflexes served him well and he skipped past it, throwing a pair of quad-armed boomerangs. They slammed into the ropes of one catapult, releasing it early and assaulting the thrift store with only loosely-packed snow. Another pair of boomerangs disabled the second catapult before we could move it.
Unfortunately for Seeker, he hadn’t accounted for the slick, cold building faces. Sure, he could walk on other building faces, but I figured he still needed his footing to defy gravity. Just because something defies physics doesn’t mean it can’t defy physics consistently. Seeker went for a tumble, and that did involve falling prey to gravity’s swift embrace. Some of the more enthusiastic Buzzkills got a few snowballs off at him. He landed hard in a snowbank on the sidewalk. The man with the power to walk on walls undone by a little water and gravity.
Undone, but not killed. I took a step toward the downed hero, but then the wind kicked up and carried so much snow into the air that I lost site of him. Oddly enough, it carried with it the sound of ringing bells. When it passed, I couldn’t find hide nor hair of Thrill Seeker. I put my hands on my hips and looked over to a little Santa decoration hanging in the window of a barbershop nearby. “Deus ex machina, much?” I asked it. It just grinned back at me with its bright cheeks and nose so red and merry.
At least Santa’s staying out of most of the scheme. It could have been a lot worse. The guy I fought the last time I saw him hasn’t been seen since, and that thing was some sort of humanoid abomination with a face full of mouths. I doubt he put Thrill Seeker on the Naughty List, so it’s probably good I’m only seeing that from the big red guy.
Still, I ain’t arguing with him. From what I know of holiday-based entities, he’s only going to get stronger as Christmas approaches. Plus, there’s the Christmas truce. I didn’t have much time to finish wrecking things. But the first two parts were done for, and the heroes were playing by the rules.
But I didn’t have much more to do anyway. Just handle a bit of a logistics problem. Not for me. Just for the toys that were coming in by cargo ship. A bit of background showed the shipping company is a subsidiary of a corporation that works on electrical systems for the United States Military. Not only making and installing parts, but maintenance on ships and bases. Believe it or not, some systems used by the military are so complicated that the military hires civilian contractors to operate them.
The real icing on the cake is that said corporation’s majority stockholder attended a showing of The Nutcracker recently. He paid for a couple of seats using his personal credit card. During the ballet, the Lord of Misrule showed up and Ionman stood up from his seat. I know that because I saw the seat Ionman was at with my own eyes. And they wouldn’t lie to me, for I am their creator. I am an angry creator, and would smite them like they’ve never been smited before.
The only problem for me was my lack of a boat. Last time I had to do something like this, I just created my own iceberg. I wanted a different way out there, until I talked to Carl about helicopters. It’s been awhile since I mentioned him, so I’ll remind everyone that he’s a henchman I picked up and worked with for a long time. I “fired” him so he’d be less likely to get hurt, but then I arranged to have him be the Vice President of my corporation. It kept the money coming in for him, and I trust him not to betray me. And he asked the imminently reasonable question: “Why don’t you wait until it’s docking?”
We did one better. I cobbled together some mines and set out to booby trap the docks. It helped that we used fake breasts to house some of the explosives. Hell, people once housed mines in wooden barrels. These did well enough to down a couple of the ships that came in thirty minutes apart. It was the third on, an hour later, when a hero intervened. The Idiotic Ionman swooped in to scout the crowd on in the docks, carried on his small jetpacks. Well, rocket packs. There is a difference between jets and rockets, after all.
So he flew in, took one look at me… and bailed. That turned out to be somewhat less satisfying a confrontation than I intended. Still, I got footage of him turning to flee and letting a cargo ship hit mines. I even added music to the package and uploaded it to Youtube for everyone to see. So everyone gets to see a nice replay of the video while “If It Has To Be Christmas” plays. Good song for the holiday season.
I originally intended to go ahead and knock Giuseppe out, but the incident with Thrill Seeker made me back off. He’s probably on the Naughty List anyway, but I don’t think Père Noël would let me get away with it anyway. So that’s one in the loss column.
On the plus side, I’ve been invited to two major parties. Both Hero Net and The Order have featured an effort by the heroes and villains to consolidate their minor parties into a couple of big ones, partially out of fear of attack.
Plus, with so many toys being destroyed, the Salvation Army took the initiative and organized some sort of Play-A-Thon at Rockefeller Center, where the giant tree used to be. They began by holding hands in a big circle around the improvised playground and began to sing the song from How The Grinch Stole Christmas. The one at the end, that makes the Grinch’s heart grow two sizes that day, thus leading to his eventual death from cardiomegaly. “Welcome Christmas,” I believe it’s called.
Don’t get any ideas. My heart didn’t grow. But maybe it was nice to see that I did succeed in bringing people together for the holidays after all.
Now, I hope everyone who celebrates it enjoys the evening and day when a costumed being with superhuman abilities and themed minions breaks into your dwelling late at night, leaves clues, and then vows to return.
And to all a good night!