I am elated our work proved satisfactory to you in spite of your attempt to renege and elminate your daughter. I don’t know what you have planned for her as an asset, but I assure you our work will easily stand up to the wear and tear of everyday life, such as walking, running, cake decorating, and feasting on the hearts of your daughter’s enemies. Preferably with a well-decorated heart cake. We still await the funds you promised us. Also, I know you have hired a few other villains like myself before, but make sure you remember to thoroughly destroy this email. Just a friendly reminder considering all the leaks and investigations that have gone on lately.
Hugs and kisses,
Ah, such a lovely way to implicate daddy dearest in everything. I figured out I could get more mileage out of this entire thing by framing him as being a party to the kidnapping, which helps to create a good narrative for why he tried to blow us up. I mean, he went on TV and assured everyone he had nothing to do with that, but we had already said our piece first. It’s hard to play catch up on TV and the internet.
The past few days haven’t been kind to the Senator, but I’d rank it as more of a shitshower than a shitstorm. For starters, Priscilla has been talking in front of the cameras. She used to be a nice little set piece, the daughter in the wheelchair thanks to a super fight. She was a supporting character in his narrative. Now, she’s got a story all her own. An exclusive story of being kidnapped, experimented on, cut apart, and put back together with parts and pieces she doesn’t yet fully understand. I noticed she didn’t mention anything about her powers, so she’s probably talked to her dad. Unfortunately, I didn’t think about the fact that she could identify me as currently being a woman. When I saw that, I doubled back to the hotel and wiped their records. I hope I got to it in time, but I’m not yet sure. For starters, I don’t even know how someone found us there at the hotel in the first place.
So let’s see where our goals stand. In order to continue pressuring the Senator and screwing up his career, I need to transfer some money out of an account connected to him so that it looks like he paid for something. A less important goal is making sure the email I sent him leaks out to the press. To help kill the Registration movement aside from the Senator’s efforts, I need to find out more about that list the Senator mentioned awhile back. The voluntary one. I have some ideas on that. And another minor goal would be to determine how someone found me at the hotel and if they’ve linked me back to my Norma Mortenson alias.
Yay, some other bunch of complications, like people finding out where I am. Is it too much to ask to mutilate someone in peace? Seriously, there’s always gotta be some secret conspiracy trying to outdo me for evil in everything nowadays.
Don’t laugh. Sometimes, a guy just feels like he isn’t stacking up in the evil department anymore. It was horrible. I had to go give a bunch of orphans food poisoning to feel better about myself. You know, if you set them to music, you could make a show of it like the Belaggio Casino in Vegas.
The account transfer went smoothly enough. The First Capital Bank here in Washington is home to at least one account from most of Congress, making the entire thing much easier than trying to get to the Cayman Islands. I snuck in with my usual pizazz: being delivered right into their clutches. Technolutionary didn’t want to do the undercover work, so I let him stay at the crack house we are borrowing from the tenants and look over the data from Priscilla. Instead, I just had a delivery service take me into the belly of the beast, where the workers took over carting me around.
That belly part is barely an exaggeration. I traveled by cake. A giant birthday cake for the manager working on the ground level. A VP would have more authority, but it’s still the little guys who move the money. And everyone loves a birthday cake. They all gathered around. I heard someone mention, “Wow, this is a big cake. You don’t think there’s a stripper in there, do you?”
When I was pretty sure everyone was around, which was right after someone yelled out, “There’s the birthday boy!” I pressed the release on the gas tanks I’d hid in the cake with me. Now, one of the tricky things about gas meant to render someone unconscious is that it’s hard to handle all the factors without risking death. There’s stuff to factor in like fat content, body size, whether someone has eaten recently, whether someone has had alcohol recently. But all of that only matters if the person with the gas cares about human life. I do not.
I waited two seconds after the gas shot out into the room, then burst out, my personal music player set to “Let The Bodies Hit The Floor.” I popped out of the top of that cake wearing a gas mask, nipples covered with a Post-it note each that read “This is a stickup!” I found myself in a break room.
It didn’t occur to me until I was climbing out of the cake that it probably would have been funnier if I was still a dude. And that Technolutionary probably would have agreed if he’d known my plans, being a dude who likes to oggle my dudettes. Ah well, more fun for me. And more cake. Er, almost. It occurred to me after I scooped up a handful that all the gas would make it dangerous to eat.
Darn. I smeared it all over the wall as I skipped along, looking for the manager’s office. Cheap drywall down here. A bank like this, you’d think they’d spend more money on walls. Maybe they only cared about the external ones. A woman rounded the corner and stopped abruptly, still holding a bunch of files out in front of her. “Hey sugar,” I told her. I grabbed the files with one hand and grabbed her hand with my other, getting icing all in it. Then I slammed her head into the wall. Imagine my surprise when it only dented it the first time around. A little better drywall than I thought. “Huh. Stud, maybe?” While she tried to scream, I rammed her head against the opposite wall, which didn’t dent so much and sounded a bit different. It also shut her up. “No, THAT was a stud.” I sent her into the first wall again, embedding her face this time. I heard her slump down to the floor after I passed.
Unfortunately, I didn’t run into anyone else on my way to the office, no matter how long I took. No, please, if everyone wants to poke their heads into my business, poke away. I like a little extra head. Except I found the computer without incident. The manager was still logged in and everything. I’d say it was insultingly easy, but that probably would have led to me discovering a bomb stuck under my chair or mysteriously shoved up my ass.
Now there’d be a twist ending. A bunch of FBI agents trapped in a building looking for activity from a terrorist or something are given a clue that one of their own is involved in the plot. It soon turns into a psychological thriller when they all suspect each other. The numbers dwindle as paranoia takes hold, only for the final survivor to realize at the last minute that he has a Trojan Ass. Dun dun duuuun! Then the title comes up: One Nation Under Ass-ault.
Now we just need to convince Danny Trejo he’s perfect as the lead.
At that point, escape was as easy as I looked. I just walked out and caught a cab. Hell, when I called out for one, I had two cabs, a limo, a bike courier, and a bus all stop for me. Pretending to fan myself in my gas mask, I said, “Wow, anyone care to give a lady a ride?”
Must have been the legs. I made them long this time.
After that, I figured I’d work on the mystery of this voluntary superhero list. I figured it probably wasn’t in government hands for a few reasons. One, there’s never been one to public knowledge, and recent Congresses have been so screwed up that they couldn’t pass a bong. Two, any really secret list would defeat the purpose of letting people voluntarily sign up for it, but it also would have leaked by now. Three, this guy’s major contributors are private security firms specializing in everything from investigations and forensics to small-scale military operations.
That just goes back to one of those basic lessons about the power of money. One of the few people to have a political say in the world’s most powerful nation, and all it takes to make him drop to his knees and whore out that purty little mouth is waving money around. Making money to finance reelection to stay in office to make money to finance reelection…
Which actually presented me with a way to get information from the Senator that I didn’t figure out at first. One little spoofed phone call later and… “Hello, this is Norma Mortenson of Double Cross Incorporated, calling for Senator Powers. I have a proposition for him.”
“Uh huh. Are you a contributor, ma’am?”
“I’ll go you one better. I’ll pay you personally a thousand dollars to put me through to him, but the offer’s only food until the count of five. One…two…three-”
The phone clicked and started ringing again as the aide on the other end transferred me, apparently without realizing I didn’t know who they were. And I’d have paid, too.
“Hello, this is Robert Powers. Who is speaking?” He’s probably going to kill that aide now. Maybe I can contribute the thousand towards the coffin fund, or maybe booze for the wake.
“My name is Norma Mortenson, owner of Double Cross Incorporated out of Empyreal City.”
“Yes, Mrs. Mortenson.”
“Miss Mortenson, what can I do for you this day?”
“I caught your interview the other day, the one about a voluntary list of superhumans, and it interested me a great deal. There’s money in that sort of business.”
“I suppose it can be, Miss Mortenson, but I only care for helping my constituency, who are tired of living in fear from the superhuman menace.”
“I understand. I too am devoted to making the world a better place.” A less populated place. “And I believe we can help each other. I have many contacts with the Empyreal City superhero community that I believe would be willing to hear you out if I asked them to. Oh, and perhaps your daughter would be interested in some of our premium custom limbs. She’s become something of a celebrity as of late, and Double Cross has been looking for famous endorsements. Strangely, current sports stars aren’t accommodating.”
“Miss Mortenson, I’ve been hearing tall tales from everyone about the superheroes they know. This is the first we’ve talked, and I don’t know you from Adam or Eve. Why should I believe you?”
“Because I can get you into the actual secret network for Empyreal City’s heroes. Namedrop Hero.Net to one of them and see if that makes a dent.”
He must have already heard of something to that effect, because he turned right around and said, “Miss Mortenson, I’d like to meet you. I am in D.C. for the week. I think we should meet and have lunch. I would be very interested to hear what someone in your position thinks of my bill. Do you mind if I transfer you back to my aide to get everything scheduled?”
“Not at all, Senator.”
So there. I feel like I have all the subtlety of James Bond during the last thirty minutes of a movie, but it works. I suppose I could just kill him, but that’d be that whole “martyr” thing. Perhaps instead I can drive him to suicide. Hmm. I think I have an idea on that, but I’m going to keep that under wraps until I can make it happen.