Okily dokily, folks. I had Priscilla Powers, daughter of Senator Powers, both of whom exhibited an odd trait of being appropriately named for their involvement in all this. And despite kidnapping the daughter of a Senator, I didn’t even make the biggest splash in news.
Nah, that was the big battle between Terrorjaw, the human-shark of the seven seas, versus Kelly Kaiju, the growing man. The official story is that Kaiju went fishing for Terrorjaw to put an end to his evil, ship-interdicting ways. Terrorjaw’s a bit of a pirate, you see. I asked him about it once, but he said he preferred torrents to raiding boats.
The unofficial story, as spread in The Order Forums and on Outlaw X, the underworld pirate radio show, is that fans of Kaiju got together to make him a giant bologna sandwich. He dropped it in the water, tried to get it out real quick, and found Terrorjaw clamped down on the other end. As sometimes happens when someone steals a lunch, war were declared.
On the one hand, Terrorjaw was punching a little out of his weight-class, but Kaiju is a one-trick pony. Terrorjaw has one hell of a bite, but Kaiju can lay some major brute-force smackdown if he hits someone. Kaiju lost a finger or two, but ended up skipping Terrorjaw like a stone. Authorities in the UK have been put on alert.
The report of a kidnapping seemed small potatoes next to two people running into each other and randomly getting into a fight. That’s what sells newspapers, though, and it’s guaranteed that the press are going to give this matter a huge amount of attention any day now.
She is a missing white woman. I’m half surprised that twat Nancy Grace hasn’t deafened half the nation yelling at them through their TV sets to find Priscilla.
I mentioned a speech last time, and that’s because I wanted to chat with our friend Senator Powers. But first, I think I owe y’all an explanation. See, this whole superhuman registration thing, it’s just stupid. Accident of birth, or just accident around radiation, and someone now has to register with the government? At least gun owners gave others a reason to be worried, namely the desire to own a weapon.
Aside from that, it’s also just stupid as hell to trust that some government database of superheroes can remain a secret. That’s the sort of thing that separates real conspiracies, like the coup planned against Franklin Delano Roosevelt, from the fake ones, like the moon landing. The former was broken up when the business executives planning the entire thing trusted the wrong person, who turned them all over. The latter has never been proven, despite requiring the silence of hundreds of people in NASA, the rest of the executive branch, the astronomy community, the Soviet Union, independent observers, and anyone who fires a laser at the lunar laser ranging array left up there.
Two can keep a secret, so long as one of them is dead. Which means harassed or dead heroes when the list gets out, and possibly people kidnapping supers for their own diabolical purposes. I don’t want that. I want supers for MY diabolical purposes. And I don’t want some alien invasion to get a heads-up on where to find all the superhumans that could potentially oppose them.
As Abraham Lincoln once said, “If I could save the Union without freeing any slave, I would do it, and if I could save it by freeing all the slaves, I would do it, and if I could save it by smacking peanut butter on my genitals and running around backwards I would do that,” or something. Truly, he was a man after my own heart. Lincoln, gimme five!
Speaking of five dollar bills, I had to make it very clear to Senator Powers that money couldn’t buy back his daughter. Only one thing could do that: the reversal of his support for this idiotic law.
I sent Moai to drop off a tablet I gutted and modified to allow a single video call. Then I called up the Senator and ignored his questions and other attempts to draw out the conversation. I know the average time for police and the FBI to trace a phone call, but now we’re talking the full might of the Senate Subcommittee on Homeland Security and whatever else they oversee. Homeland Security and Sandwich Standards. They might have a trick or two to trace calls more quickly.
I’m sure they wanted to take their time, examine it, look for prints and all that. Funny thing about fingerprints, you can lift them off all sorts of things. Like stolen watches and phones. That’d be a dead end, but I also called five minutes after they took it from the drop site.
“Hello, hello!” I said into the camera held by Technolutionary, remotely monitoring it myself to see how he framed me. “Make sure you’re getting my bad side.”
I let them get a good look at me in my grey and orange armor. Strips of armor curved in like a V to meet a central chest and spine piece. A helmet with a visor dipped in the middle to look like it glared, with the visor continuing to a pair of horns like a jester’s cap. The third such horn stuck out from my the front, over the visor. The helmet was grey, with the throat and visor orange. The vertical plates were orange as well, going into an orange starburst around the neck. I know I still call them gloves, but my handware is more like grey with orange barbed wiring used to project the energy sheath.
The pants were made of an orange nanomaterial that can’t easily be penetrated by blade or bullet, with grey armor plates, braces, and pseudomuscles held in it. Boots were orange and grey, not particularly armored except the usual stab and shot resistance. I painted eyes and teeth onto the front of them as if I had skulls up there, but they didn’t look too special from the outside.
In short, while I can look like anybody, the armor was distinctly Psycho Gecko. And then I added a wide-brimmed straw hat, a pair of swim trunks, a Hawaiian shirt, and hung a camera around my neck. I’m a tourist in this town, after all. “Good morning, TV land. This is the one, the only, the Great and Devious Psycho Gecko here to show you our dear Priscilla.” I stepped out of the way to show where Priscilla sat in a wood chair, tied down.
“You monster, if you-!” the Senator started from his end.
I waved my hand. “Mute!” The tablet on his end obeyed and he shut up. “This is merely to let you know we have your daughter. Your lovely little daughter.” I knelt beside her and ran a few fingers over her cheek. She flinched away, then turned and tried to bite my fingers. I grabbed one of the offending incisors and yanked it out, causing her to sit back and yell in pain. I walked over to the tablet and held it up so everyone could get a good look at the tooth and its root. “See that? Not easy to get the whole thing out like that. Takes a bit of practice, though she has plenty if I needed more. Truth is, it’s not like it’s important to have her in one piece.” I tilted the tablet down so it focused on her missing lower legs, then tilted it back up to me.
“Asshole! Tore out my toof!” she yelled behind me.
“The tooth hurts!” I called back to her, then added, “You want the tooth? Well you can’t handle the tooth!” And I tossed the incisor away. Stepping over to the side, I retrieved a limb I’d put together just for her. A three-clawed lower leg. “But you might be able to handle this little baby. Don’t worry, daddy dearest, she’ll get top of the line prosthetics. Superhuman, even. I’ll even throw in a little bonus, give her some extra oomph so she’s guaranteed to be on your little list. Just to keep you honest, just to make sure that you’re not advocating anything you wouldn’t do to your own daughter. Supposing she survives, that’s when you’ll get her back.”
“From my heart and from my hand, why don’t people understand my intention? Heh. This message will self destruct in ten seconds.” I cut the feed, activating the five second self destruct on the tablet I sent them. Why not lie? Besides, whoever’s holding that thing probably won’t die. They might lose their hands, but they’ve got pretty good healthcare. Probably. Eh, not my concern.
“Go fuck yourself!” Priscilla spouted at me and Technolutionary.
“Temper!” Technolutionary told her.
I grabbed the chair I stuck her in and carried it over to the table Technolutionary prepared for the procedure. I lifted her up high, then slammed her down back-first, breaking the chair and stunning her momentarily. I strapped her down and pulled the pieces out of the way.
“Everything is in readiness, Gecko, we merely await your command.” Technolutionary said, pulling over a cart with his equipment on it. The main thing seemed to be a trio of intravenous bags. They didn’t look all that remarkable. No strange colors. No glowing.
“So you’re going the chemical route?” I asked.
He nodded. “Cybernetic integration is rough on human physiology. The immune system rejects the foreign bodies and attacks them. Rather than suppress the entire immune system, I have developed a virus that suppresses it only where the implants work. I believe I found a way to utilize the virus for converting all her cells with a slight gene modification.”
“You’re going to do something to my DNA?” Priscilla asked.
I reached over and patted her on the forehead. “We’re going to make you better. Better than this, better than human.”
She shook her head. “You don’t have to do this! We have money! We’ll give you whatever you want.”
I covered her mouth with my hand. “I want silence right now. And I want you to survive this. You’re not helping either right now, and I can assure you that your cries for help mean nothing to us. Now, would you care for a ball gag?” I held up one I planned to use for muffling her slightly. Eyes wide, she shook her head. “Your loss,” I said, tossing it away. Instead, she just whimpered as Technolutionary swabbed her arm and inserted an IV line.
I had Moai bring over a TV and hang it on the wall at her feet, while I brought her a pillow. I unsealed my helmet and pulled it off so I could look her in the eyes and tell her, “It’s ok. You’re scared, but we aren’t going to kill you. Hell, a change like this, you’d have to be crazy not to be scared…which may explain something about my species. Well, your species too before long. And we won’t let you down. We’re villains, remember? We know a few tricks for staying alive when everyone wants us dead. I’m Psycho Gecko, after all. If there’s anyone who could fight off Death, it might just be me.”
So began the transformation.