Los Angeles, Empyreal City, Mexico City, London, Berlin, Rome, Moscow, Jerusalem, Beijing, Tokyo, Sydney, Seoul, and New Delhi. Thirteen cities for the thirteen bodies of Electric Eye. I’ve been giving them some more advanced programming, all of it arising from one basic law: through action or inaction, none of the Thirteen are allowed cause any harm or restriction to me. Another one specifies that said harm or restriction includes physical, psychological, judicial, legislative, archeological, and, in case anyone decides to call down a plague or inquisition on me, theological. I don’t expect that last one to be as big a deal, though. I’m pretty sure my contact at the Vatican has nothing against me, aside from him being a presumably moral person and me being a killer.
Sniff. Doesn’t any ever think how hard it is on me to go around killing people? The mistrust, the lies, the way people scream and run away when you feel like a hug? I’m the real victim here, aside from the dead people.
I guess the therapist would have something to say about that, if my nemesis Venus hadn’t gotten a couples’ therapist and pretended she and I were a couple so I’d see somebody. She wants us doing active listening and trust building exercises. It doesn’t build a lot of trust, though, when your therapist charges you for the full hour but lets you go after 45 minutes.
The alien ambassador is still dead, too. He’s still hanging in the freezer. I double checked the other day with my own version of a Rocky montage: instead of boxing, I practiced my rapping and knife handling skills. I took a kitchen knife in there and went to town. “I’m gonna slash you, gash you, cut another hole in your ass. Spill blood on the walls and play tennis with your balls. If the phone rings, don’t answer the call. I’m gonna slit your throat, fuck you like a goat, peel your foreskin off and make a winter coat. Peace!”
Definitely not alive still, but it turns out my whittling has improved. I think I’ll try to make an ashtray out of part of him soon. I’m getting a little more time now that I’m making Electric Eye slightly more independent. They needed the autonomy to handle medical assistance. That’s important anywhere they go, though I’m modifying them to fit their specific roles in each place.
The one in Empyreal City is still a fast hot rod of its own, for instance. And the one around L.A. Suffered some damage that it repaired. I had it add even more armor, too, and hide the extra armor by wearing a leather motorcycle jacket and pants. They match the motorcycle it has taken to riding since it doesn’t have as effective transportation as the others.
Mexico City is another city with a big population. The Electric Eye there spent so much time assisting in the ER that it’s practically a surgeon itself. That’s why I modified its hands to serve as a surgical Swiss army knife. A scalpel swings out here, clamps there, a syringe popping out f this finger. Some members of a gang or cartel tried to kidnap the robot to help their boss. From what I overheard, he’d been shanked by his wife, who left him for his long lost twin brother who had hidden his identity by wrestling as a masked luchador until he gained business influence by working out a deal with the churro vendors who went on strike and almost caused Mexico to skip a year of football.
This real gung-ho hardass motherfucker led the group that brought in Electric Eye, holding a grenade right in front of the robot without the pin. He pretended to let it cook a bit before slipping the pin back in. He didn’t stay hard for long. As Electric Eye, I convinced the boss that he needed an organ transplant, with very little time left to wait. Hardass, it turned out, was a perfect match. That’s what the robot claimed, anyway. Like an awful lot of surgeons, however, the robot made the mistake of forgetting to take something back out. Sometimes surgical equipment gets forgotten, but it wasn’t anything attached to its hands. From the way the room went up after he left it, it sounded an awful lot like a grenade.
In London, they were more freaked out by the lack of ravens at the Tower of London. They fed the birds well and clipped their wings, but somehow the feathery little tricksters got away. The Electric Eye there listed that as a top priority issue of morale. Morale is important. Napoleon once said something like that a man does not get himself killed for a few pennies a day or a petty distinction; you must speak to the soul in order to motivate him. Something like that.
That Electric Eye sought out any ravens it could find, wild or not, and made a few alterations. Everyone cared about the ravens coming back; they didn’t give a crap about checking their skulls to see if anyone had inserted anything. Fun fact: unrelated to any super science, researchers had found a way to pilot bugs by sticking a microchip and battery in their heads. The new ravens at the Tower of London avoid having their wings clipped, but they aren’t going anywhere anyway.
Berlin’s troubles needed a superhuman solution. The Beast of Berlin had been fighting crime in the city for a decade from his base within the Garden of Beasts. The Garden is a park, Tiergarten, which used to be a hunting park by some ruler or something a long time ago. The BoB’s usual foes weren’t causing trouble as far as anyone knew. Berlin’s superheroics had gone quiet, up until the break-ins and murders were discovered.
The first victim was older, but built like a wall. Acting on impulse, I directed Electric Eye to look into things. It didn’t have to do much at first. The place had been torn up by walls. Yeah, that keeps coming up. It was like part of the dirt packed itself tight and rose up, breaking through floors and walls. That was a major clue, as was the costume found hidden behind one broken wall. Wallbuilder, an earth manipulator who started his career when the Berlin Wall was still up. He’d commit a crime on one side, then run to the other. Old rumors said he played each side against the other so neither one would hold him.
The Cold War must have been a pretty interesting time to be in the game, but nothing stopped Wallbuilder from strangulation and a broken neck. Not even, presumably, his own attempts to fight back.
Berlin’s police found a teenage girl dead next. Electric Eye got a look at the scene and uncovered the equipment hidden in her attic. You’d think by now the German authorities would have learned to check up there. The girl turned out to be Miss Disorder. It didn’t sound so cute in German. She was a young punk, more of a prankster who liked to annoy people by disrupting their orderly lives with size-changing gadgets. Unlike me, she avoided hurting people. That didn’t stop someone from cracking her skull. Electric Eye quietly confiscated some of the props before turning the rest over to the police. Just in case.
The third, badly beaten body turned out to be a villain in his forties whose death almost started a celebration. Red Eagle, the Commu-Fascist. He showed up in the nineties pretty much just to hurt people without a lot of thought put into it, as exemplified by his use of both fascist and communist imagery and gimmicks. For those who aren’t aware, those two ideologies are not at all friends. One is heavily nationalistic with a partnership between the government and corporations; the other is about workers controlling the means of production and doing away with national boundaries.
That’s a bit general for both, since there were different nuances between German and Italian fascism, and that’s not even counting all the different communist ideologies: Utopian, Marxism, Leninism, Stalinism, Maoism. Actually, I think that last one’s a religion based on traditional Chinese ancestor worship and probably something about a divine emperor. You listen to anyone’s imperial propaganda and they’re all either related to a god or chosen by a god. In China’s case, they had this “Mandate of Heaven” BS that said that the guy who had enough military power had the gods’ approval to take over the place from the person who didn’t, who did something to lose the favor of the gods.
Translation: it’s easier to conquer than to rule. You have to lay a lot more groundwork to rule. Unless you are, wait for it, the Mongols.
But enough about my research on ruling which I did for my Masters in Ruling from U Rule. People actually liked Red Eagle’s murder. They’re very sensitive about Nazism there. With three bodies, we had a serial killer on our hands and hopefully enough evidence to try and narrow down what had happened.
While the police turned to forensics, Electric Eye did a little shopping. It wasn’t easy to get one an imitation Nazi officer’s uniform in Germany, by the way. The skull mask, sure. Dime a dozen. From there, Electric Eye had to pull a bit of an inception deception, in that I was pretending to be a robot pretending to be a Nazi-themed villain that then ran around trying to give away food and candy to people. It didn’t matter that the made-up villain did good deeds, all that mattered was being seen. I think the uniform itself was illegal there.
Sure enough, the hotel room rented by Hauptmann Deathshead received a visitor in the form of a big, burly, wild-haired creature. It had a thicker body like a bear, but with a snout and legs that more closely resembled a canine. A line of fur rose along its back like a mohawk. What this beast didn’t know is that Electric Eye rented the room in disguise, switched back to normal, and offered the room to a displaced GSG9 officer. GSG9 is like a federal German SWAT team created to combat terrorists. That’s not hyperbole; the regular German police didn’t have the resources and training when some Palestinians kidnapped some Israeli’s in Germany for the Olympic Games, and Germany has laws against the use of the military within their own country. I hear they can snipe the asshole off a housefly, if the housefly had been surgically embedded in a terrorist’s head. In which case, I’m not sure if I meant the literal or metaphorical asshole that would be on fly in that situation.
As much as I’ve encouraged a certain hero to put me out of her misery, vigilante murders have their own flaws, usually involving evidence. That’s kind of important when it comes to people wearing masks who can do shit that’d turn Einstein white. They found DNA from three different heads of state in Miss Disorder’s room, for instance. European prime ministers are one thing, but nobody has a clue where she got the Saudi prince.
The Beast of Berlin pounced…and hit a mirror. Shaking his head, he turned to find what it reflected and ran for that. Again he hit a mirror. He didn’t get a chance at a third time, since the first mirror fell away to reveal Electric Eye with a monocle, bow tie, and cane. The Beast didn’t hesitate, but neither did I. One tug on the bow tie fired a net that grew larger, but still not large enough to do more than distract the Beast. It threw the net off and lunged. For its trouble, Electric Eye raised the cane and shot a few octopi worth of ink into its face. The robot then grabbed its monocle. It squeezed, cracking it, and dropped it to the floor. A thick cloud of smoke rose up, obscuring the Beast’s view. It charged in, only to roar in pain when its paw caught in a glass bear trap.
By the time it freed itself, neither Electric Eye nor the GSG9 officer remained in the room. The next day, GSG9 raided The Garden of the Beast and brought him in for murder and attempted murder. I decided to keep the distinguished look for that Electric Eye, though.