Ok, so the awesome quotient seems to have dropped off a bit since I’ve been stuck here. But that doesn’t mean it’s all been bad. Though I think my little rebellion has come to somewhat of a less satisfying ending.
I didn’t immediately run to a phone or computer, but that’s because I have to get ready. The voicebox was one part. Getting these glam covers off my fingernails was another important thing I managed. They’ve banned me from the workshop. It’s downright impossible for me to throw together something to build nanites with them keeping a close eye on me, nor do they have those tools available in that little room, since that’s set up for students.
I’m pretty sure they’ve got better facilities for that and heroic activities somewhere on campus. I know certain doors that look like they go to basements are sealed up with multiple forms of access.
So nanites are out, which complicated things. And they keep an eye on me to keep me out of there, which isn’t helped by this bell around my neck. It isn’t just about annoying me with sounds, either. Either the ears or the bell has a tracking device in it of some sort. And while I have no reason to think this outside of what I would do if I wanted to be a jerk, I suspect the tracking device is also tied to the location of the ears and/or bell so that it’d be abundantly clear if I removed it. If it were me, I’d have it send out a very loud alarm if I so much as tampered with it. I could put up with them if it was just a bell to keep track of me, or trying to humiliate me by making me wear cat ears, but I really don’t like them tracking me.
So I decided to be a male genitalia as a way of getting myself treated less like a cat. First, I followed Venus around for a whole day. It’s easy, especially in a crowd and with someone who knows how to look innocuous. A little bit of stolen makeup, some hats, doing up my hair, a few stolen outfits, and I blended right in. At least until I noticed her going in circles while talking on the phone. She made a loop in this section of hallway that went around a janitorial closet several times until stopping and turning to look right at me. “I found him, nevermind.” She walked right up, patted me between the cat ears, and said, “Want to go get lunch, kitty?”
I’m beginning to understand why felines plot against the people they live with. I’m really getting in touch with my inner cat. “Stop all the cat jokes. Fine, I could eat. And no fish or milk or fluxing Meow Mix.”
So we had lunch. Made it easier to keep track of her for a bit, though she didn’t seem to care for the silent treatment from me. Or the constant glaring. I take my villainy very seriously, and that includes the ability to eat in a menacing manner. You don’t just wave an electric knife at someone when they bring up a subject. No, there’s an art to conveying evil intentions in mundane activities. Like when Obadiah Stane in the first Iron Man movie even managed to drink like a villain.
Venus asked, “Anything you’ve been thinking of doing? You could sit in on some classes if you’re interested in anything. Drama club is rehearsing for a musical. You seem to like those.”
“What kind of musical?” I asked, slowly raising my glass to my lips.
She opened her mouth, then stopped before she could say anything.
I moved my glass just out of the way as I spoke, not yet having sipped. “Well?”
“Cats,” she said. My eyes drilled into hers like a pervert with a blowup doll as I took a shallow drink, then set the glass down. “How are you feeling, then? Any shakes? Withdrawal symptoms?”
“Still got a sore chest. Still a little under the weather. Definitely wish I could kill people, but things are somewhat better compared to being stuck in a tiny box underground. So thanks, I guess. Still wish I could get into the workshop… or anywhere better. You know, some nanites would be nice, too. Maybe get this bell off.”
She gave me the same bit about learning to trust each other while I’m in their custody. Just figured I’d give them a chance before going through with stuff.
I continued my plan later that night. Most of the school goes to sleep, but I’ve found there are a surprising number of night people. Some of them are the spandex brigade patrolling or staying ready in case something big happens. Others are students or faculty who don’t sleep well. Powers can do interesting things to brain chemistry.
Now, the main dorm building, aside from having rocks partially carved to fit as bricks while also providing a rock-climbing experience on the outer building, is one of those places where I suspect they’d keep a closer eye on me. I’m probably an extra bleep on someone’s security panel somewhere.
This evening, that beep would have led them to the adult floor, and to a nice little room occupied by a certain nemesis of mine. It took only five minutes before I heard footsteps come rushing. I left some trash out there, but nothing he’d likely slip on where it was. Just some boxers and an empty box of condoms. The footsteps stopped, and it took the person or people out there a couple seconds to knock on the door.
Now, here’s where my lack of preparation came up. I really wanted to get a recording from a porno to play when they came. Alas, it turns out that they had their actual super computer people lock them down. I tried everything. Porn sites, porn bulletin boards, even certain filesharing sites that don’t make it obvious in terms of names. Sadly, it appears someone here can match my encyclopedic knowledge of where to find naked people online. And, for some reason, they blocked any sites I reached from searching for “sexy thoroughbred horses.” As if I’d whack it to horses.
Anyway, without any big, beautiful horse rears to admire, It should be no surprise when people find some of my clothes left behind outside another person’s dorm room here. After the knocking didn’t get anything and calling out just made Venus snort and turn over in bed, they burst in. Light stabbed in and awoke the primal vampire within Venus. She hissed and threw her arms over her head. “What the Home For Infinite Losers are you doing in here?” And yes, that’s me covering for more cussing, for Puck’s sake.
“We tracked the Special Guest in here!” said a softer, lighter voice that could have been male or female.
Venus looked around, then dropped down into a crouching stance to check under her bed, which was one of the places I considered hiding. I even had this idea about my new voice box and any special toys I found down there. I call it “Star Wars: Episode Ungh!”
Mark my words, that’s coming to a dirty website near y’all soon, if it isn’t out already. I couldn’t doublecheck due to the aforementioned restrictions on my browsing habits.
Venus, along with a pair of the spandex brigade, then threw open the door to her closet, releasing a spring that launched a cream pie right into Venus’s face. There’s the money shot. It’s like comedic bukkake.
Thus humiliated, they stepped toward the middle of the room. The one who hadn’t spoken moved his hands around. My translation program recognized it as American Sign Language. “Did he sneak out?”
“Maybe,” Venus said before trying to Sign. Her lips said “Maybe,” but her hands said, “Ugh, why is there custard on my finger?” Maybe I got that mixed up with her trying to clean herself off, though.
The cat ears dropped down and landed right at Venus’s feet. Slowly, the three looked up, realizing they’d fallen into one of the classic blunders, along with going in against a Sicilian when death is on the line and starting a land war in Asia. Technically, I’ve done both, like when I set off that Mongolion invasion of Russia. I ain’t a nice drunk.
The heroes forgot to look up… and so they found me, clinging to the ceiling in a hospital gown. I “stood” up, the gown and my long black wig both fixed so they didn’t hang down according to gravity. Because why settle for thumbing my nose at only mortal law? My face and arms pale, I opened my mouth wide and let out a long, loud croak.
It freaked the freakin’ freaky out of all of them for a moment before Venus threw a glob of cream at me. “Get down here, Gecko!”
I stopped croaking to ask, “Or what, you’re going to call the physics police? You don’t have jurisdiction over gravity!”
She responded with some pie custard. Shame. It gave me something to plug my ears with when the bell sounded its loud alarm right there in the adult dorm hall in the middle of the night.
Needless to say, I got called into the Principal’s office the next morning. Well, more like dragged in at super-laser-blasting-fingerpoint. And by next morning, I meant right then, since it was technically morning. Victor Mender wasn’t in a good mood, but that happens when people interrupt your sleep. “We give you an inch and you attempt to take a mile,” his computer spoke for its disabled master, the offending cat ear headband and now-removed bell choker on desk between us. The choker didn’t have any clips or anything, just two ends that went together so smoothly, you’d think they had been cut apart.
I opened my mouth to speak, but a cannon popped out of the rear of his wheelchair and began to track me. He continued speaking, “We bent over backwards to give you the most lenient incarceration and saved your life in the process. Do you know we saved your life? Anyone else would have left you to die.” He stared at me with eyes desperately wishing they belonged to a man who could Force Choke people. “Everyone else left you to die.”
His computer screen rotated around to show me in the aftermath of the big fight against Mecha Gecko. There I was, floating in the water. Another picture, a forcefield surrounds me. Me being pulled out. A crowd aiming possibly every gun in Empyreal City at me. Not just civilians, but cops and soldiers too. And I didn’t look too good, either. Had metal sticking out of my chest and a big gash in my head. Master Academy covered me with a sheet, maybe even fought off some people trying to go all Benito Mussolini on my body.
He showed me photos and videos, even a news broadcast of a very hasty burial done form me. A fake burial, I shouldn’t have to point out. They didn’t bring helicopters and a platoon along for a twenty-one gun salute, I figured that much. Or if they did, they meant to wait until I showed myself to be alive before they commemorated and proved my death. The concrete poured on top of my body was a nice touch. The newscaster even stopped to point out that the restored United States Government refused to squirrel away my body for autopsy, burial at sea, or cremation because all three would lead to further rumors I had survived somehow, “like Tupac.”
I pointed at the screen for that point and looked around at the others in the room with me, “You know, some of those sightings were me. There was awhile where I was listening to his stuff a lot. Nobody rats on Tupac to the POPO.”
In all my thinking of escape, I’d glossed all over the part where being caught in an explosion would have left me on death’s door surrounded by people willing to kick me over the threshold. I crossed my arms in front of me, which got me a few more glowing heroic body parts waved at me. “That’s not necessarily something I thought about, except for the easy hard time. I got a bit caught up with someone trying to dress me up as a cat boy. But, as dishonorable and disreputable as I am, I owe you and yours my life. Blech, the words taste bad to say, but they’re true nonetheless. If you want me back in that cell, I’ll go, though I will try to find a way to get out. If you want me to behave, I will, but I’ll still want freedom. It’s just part of who I am. No genie wants to be stuck in a bottle.”
But I still reached out, reluctantly grabbed the bell collar, and put it on my own neck this time. The ends fitted together and the whole thing tightened up to hold the bell against my throat and prevent someone from slipping it off me. The ears went next, a little more quickly because the alarm really is that annoying.
Y’all think I liked that? No. But the Evil Overlord List has it right on this point: when someone saves your life, you should make it worth their while. A Lannister always pays his debts, and so on. Which is probably why Cersei and Jaime Lannister should have learned not to screw around with the other as kids.
The monitor swiveled back around. “I may have some wishes for you, genie. The Claw is on the move and Spinetingler may soon reach out. The world is primed for chaos.”
He must have stopped when he saw me smiling. I liked the bit about chaos, but I had to fight it back down as I considered the implications of what he said. “If you’re meaning to turn me into another member of the spandex brigade here, that is going to end poorly. Square peg in an ash hole. Hydroelectric dam I wish I could cuss right now.”
I tried to ignore the brightening of the glowing body parts to keep watching Mender as he spoke. “I am glad to inspire a generation of idealists. Sometimes we bow to pragmatism and opportunism. Everyone else, leave.”
“Sir!” several people said.
“This is not a request,” Mender said. The lighting in the office soon became much more palatable as it emptied out considerably. Only when we were absolutely alone, which involved a barrel popping out to shoot an invisible person with a paintball to get them to leave, did Mender continue, “I do not know where Spinetingler is, but consider consider the Academy your home until he is no longer a threat.”
“That’s a bit much…”
“I know where to find Technolutionary. I have friends who put him in North Korea, working with The Claw forces and your captive bee friend. They say he has taken an interest in your alleged heir.”
I nodded, “Sounds like fun… for a hitman, not a hero. Fixing things there is going to require handling a few supers with a permanent solution. But obviously I’m just assuming more than I should about the permanent thing. After all, you’re a hero. You’d never want even a rogue element like myself to make that judgment call in the field.”
See? This is why it’s not good to have friends. Then, even when you already owe someone your life, they can hold those friends over you as a bargaining chip.
I couldn’t let Mender have the last word though. I may owe him, but there’s always a potential dealbreaker: “I’ll help you, but if I find out Boobzilla messed with my head tonight to influence my thought process, everybody here dies. I’ll seriously tip you over in a bathtub somewhere, let you drown in a puddle of crotch wash.”
So I guess that makes me Psychpomp Gecko, Great and Devious assassin in temporary service to Master Academy, with a bell on. Which probably doesn’t mean much to them. They might not believe me. Y’all might not believe me. But a little thing like saving my life matters, and so does me deciding I’m going to try and not put up a fuss with my captors.
Besides, the sooner Mender ships me off to far-away North Korea, the better. Then my escape plans wouldn’t involve violating whatever piece of shriveled honor still remains in me like a senior citizen donkey show. Now there’s an idea for when I get my hands on Technolutionary… donkey sodomy! Just like the old commercials used to advertise. “Good ol’ fashioned donkey sodomy, just like Granny used to make.”