In hindsight, once you know it isn’t the end of the world, it’s not too shabby kicking ass in an arcade game. Or now that I know I don’t have a choice. Maybe it’s even my rage breaking. But now that I’ve stopped worrying and analyzing the world I’m currently trapped in, I find my homicidal tendencies very useful in getting back to the other world I’m trapped in.
In a way, it’s quite cathartic. Outside, being a mass murderer makes you a villain. In here, the ability to kill a small army with nothing but my own hands and whatever I find makes me a hero. And I’m finding some good shit.
The first boss, for instance, was a big hulking punk who carried his own motorcycle on his back. After giving him a more civilized beatdown that utilized only my fisticuffs, he threw a hissy fit. He began pulling his motorcycle around so he could ride it and charge at me. I did a pretty good job of avoiding the chain he swung and checked around for anything I could use to wreck his shit. Trash can, manhole, a knocked over street light… the background had people watching from the windows. From the way they cheered and had hair all colors of the rainbow, I suspected they were backing up their boss. I walked over to one window, broke it with a punch, and hauled out the woman inside. When the boss charged again, I threw her in his path.
Motorcycles look cool, but anyone riding one is at a severe disadvantage in terms of protection. There’s a reason why the military nickname for motorcyclists is “Organ Donor.” It turned out this held true for the arcade; perhaps it defaulted to conventional physics when I did something it didn’t expect. Either way, the boss skidded over his minion and went over the handlebars. It did a lot of damage and got his own cycle to skid into him, but he survived. When he stood up, he started to pulse red over and over again.
I walked over and grabbed the bike, which suddenly floated up over my head. I got the feeling that was originally meant to be done by the giant boss who stood up in front of me. I brought it down on his head, knocking him down. I smacked it down again, and again, and again. Instead of bashing in brains, I ceased my esteemed opponent’s rapid color blinking. He stood up one last time, swaying, and a voice called out “Annihilate!” I shoved my hands into his giant mouth and spread them away from each other. It didn’t hurt. My muscles could strain as much as I wanted without pain. The boss’s face, on the other hand, couldn’t. I tore his head apart, reached in, whipped his spine out, and tied it around his neck.
I think I’ll name that move something special. It’s certainly no Columbian Necktie… more like a Headless Horseman’s Ascot. And that boss’s ascot kicked.
I grabbed another woman out of the window behind me, hopped on the bike, and rode off the right side of the screen while my score started adding itself up in the middle of the air.
I next ended up in the suburbs area, flipping in. Guess I wasn’t supposed to kidnap a woman or ride off on a stolen motorcycle, but that’s part of what makes me incompatible with heroism. Beating the ass of a pair of mutants is much more my style. This time, when the pair jumped out of the sewer, I caught the manhole and tried feeding it to one of them. When it didn’t go in one’s mouth no matter how hard I tried, I approached the problem of the second one from the other direction. Didn’t fit up that hole either.
Some lab coat-wearing scientist type stood in the next screen over and ran off. A couple more screens of mutants rampaging in suburbia found me at him again, civilian corpses all over the place. Text appeared on the screen. “That should be enough time. Arise, mutants, and stop him!” He ran off as the corpses stood back up, now mutants. I was now heavily outnumbered.
My favorite kind of outnumbered. Wait, that only applies if I’m heavily outnumbered by the dead bodies of my enemies. Living bodies aren’t so fun.
Let’s just say the resulting fight was would make “Leatherface goes to a rave,” look dry by comparison. Because everybody needs a bit of mindless fun, even when they’re trapped in a horrible situation. Hell, especially when they’re trapped in a horrible situation.
After that, a couple more screens found me where the scientist appeared alarmed to see me and jumped on a hovercycle, leaving behind an unopened canister of mutagen, all the while some yippy little Shih Tzu hopped up just barely above a fence, yapping at us. As he took off, I decided a chase was in order. I grabbed the canister, opened it up, and poured it over the Shih Tzu.
The dog grew giant, with a single curved horn sprouting from its nose like a rhino. It tore through the fence and started after the shiny object fleeing into the distance. I grabbed a handful of fur and held on tight. When I had properly mounted the beast (easy there, gutter-minds), I moved on up to the neck and pointed after the rapidly approaching hover cycle. “Onward, Pookims the Power Puppy! Onward, to die historic on the fury road!”
All of a sudden, a tiny VTOL airplane almost took my head off. It passed me, then accelerated back in my direction, turning and aiming a barrel at me. It fired, but projectiles work differently in this world. Instead of it breaking the sound barrier and being way too fast, it shot out where I could easily see it and allow me to duck under it. The most it did was chip a piece off the Shih Tzu’s horn.
I grabbed the drone and swung it down at the ground, where it exploded with a small, colorful mushroom cloud. The next one, I headbutted down onto the dog’s horn, where it struck and exploded, but apparently did no damage to the dog. A third one swung around, and I prepared to dodge, but then it felt like I had someone’s fingers in my guts and brain.
“Gecko, can we talk?”
Pow! I blinked as a bit of health fell off my bar. I’d done a great job of keeping it high after the initial beatdown Venus had me take. It helps when you know where all the food is hidden. I mean, sure, it’s a full turkey leg from a destroyed trash can, but they don’t have germs here. Still, that didn’t mean I could take shots all day and night like someone watching a presidential election. I jumped up and flipped over, landing on the drone with my back and crashing it to the back of the Shih Tzu. Without gravity to worry about so much, I didn’t even slide off the dog.
“A little busy here, Venus. Shih Tzu just got real,” I said. I grabbed more fur to steady myself as I stood up. A drone tried ramming me again, but I threw a bunch of fur up in the air in front of me and dodged it. It went right through, still accelerating, but something got caught in the fur. “Someone’s a bit hungover,” I said, watching it spin around and around with one propeller tangled in hair. “Hair of the dog?” I jumped up and hit it with an axe handle smash, blowing it up. It didn’t even singe the dog’s fur.
“I know, but I wanted to check and see how things were with you. We’ve been watching and thinking, and it seems really fucked up for you to be trapped in that world like that.”
I ran to the front of the pooch and perched on the head. “Not the first time I’ve been stuck in a horrible world against my will, dearheart.” We rapidly approached now, the professer a mere dozen feet ahead of us and losing ground. He braked suddenly and jumped off the cycle. The dog scooped up the machine in its mouth and kept running, so I jumped off and rolled, landing right near the guy.
“Impossible!” he screamed. Behind me, the hovercycle and the dog both went up in a much bigger explosion.
I brushed myself off. “I have learned never to discount the impossible, especially among those who just want to watch the world burn.”
Venus threw her two cents in. “You’re very cynical, you know that. It’s not a bad world. People just make mistakes sometimes.”
I scoffed. “Mistakes might be acceptable, even for those who are supposed to be competent, if they at least learned from them and didn’t make them again. Give me a few years and I could be elected president of the world. It would be no less of a mistake.”
“…and that is why you will never defeat Annihilation Corporation!” the mad scientist finished his monologue.
“Sorry, you mind repeating that? Missed the whole thing,” I said. He pulled out one last vial of green liquid and swallowed it. “So that’s a ‘no’ I guess,” I said, watching him grow bigger. Meaty tentacles spurted out of his palms even as his arms grew thicker than some trees. Great. The game’s stereotypical, too. It gave the nerdy character tentacles.
He swung one at me, but I sidestepped it to my left, moving up the screen. “Hentai!” I called at him.
Even though I clearly had better things to do, that didn’t stop Venus. “You don’t give up on people just because they make mistakes. That’s why I never give up on you. You still have to help people.”
“No you don’t!” I said. I ripped a post of pixelated white picket fence out of the background and swung it to meet an approaching tentacle. Turns out, two dongs make a right. It stabbed into the meet of his tentacle and counted as a hit against this health. “And Venus, there comes a time when people deserve to have to deal with the mess they make. That’s the point of getting something wrong. You face the consequences. Bad things happen to me all time. You think I don’t deserve them? When I’m a lying, cheating, scamming son of a bitch who runs around molesting people, I deserve it when people hate me and refuse to trust me! I nut up and work through it! Just like this. I’m fine. I’m FINE!”
I got hit by a tentacle. Ok, so not fine. But fine enough. I went flying back and picked myself up. I’d gotten worked up now. Distracted. And I was having none of it. Because, dammit, I was in a bad situation. I deserved to be a lot more angry. I jumped on the giant tentacle mutant. Landed right on his shoulders and kept poking him in his eyes, through his broken glasses. It was a lot less brutal than it sounds with the way the game worked. I doubt we were exactly E for Everyone. If only I had an insane vampire in a schoolgirl outfit and a really hot voice around, maybe I could manage M for Mature.
Sadly, I couldn’t use the raging boner elicited by thinking of that particular daughter of Malkav to hurt the raging Mutant. He tossed me off before I could choke him to death with it. At least he didn’t throw me face down. Not sure if I’d have broken something or bounced like a pogo stick, but it would have been unpleasant either way. Instead, I landed way too close to the pointy fence post. I grabbed it and it and charged. Defying the game’s rules, I ducked under a swinging tentacle and just shoved that post into his chest, again and again.
I’m fine. I’m fine. I’m fine. “I’m not going crazy in here! You’re the one who is crazy. All of you are!” And then the laughter started. Ever tried to stab a mutant with a fence post while laughing mad? I wouldn’t recommend it. Physical exertion isn’t good when you’re using up that much oxygen on something else.
My frenzy overwhelmed his damage counter and kept him too off balance to retaliate. It all happened so fast, I barely registered it when I heard a voice call out, “Annihilate!” and realized the boss was now standing there, swaying. I jumped over him and landed behind.
I gave him an uppercut to the ass! And another! He fell over onto his knees. I grabbed his tentacles, pushed him over, and held onto the lengthy appendages while forcing my boot into his ass. I wasn’t being particularly careful about only getting in the whole for a reason. When my food finally shot in, his head shot off, still attached to the spine. I stomped over his back, grabbed the skull, lifted it up, and smashed through it with my erection.
I just stood there afterward, panting and looking down at him, having run out of laughs. Venus had gone so quiet, I thought perhaps she had left. She brushed aside that assumption when she spoke up, “I still have hope for you and for others. The world deserves saving.”
I spat on the corpse and stomped off the edge of the screen. “It was better in here before you intruded into my little world. Stay the fuck away and leave me to my work. And the world deserves exactly what it asks for, no more and no less.”
On the plus side, I got an extra life. I like to imagine it was the boner that did it. You know, like how other video game characters get a small mushroom or a smaller copy of themselves? I got those, sorta. Little Gecko the Fun Mushroom, in my case.
And it’s safe to say that after that little intrusion into my night, I really, really, really needed to kill something. If only I had some sort of alternate world to frolic in and take care of such desires. And who knows? Maybe my special brand of violence can make y’all feel just a little bit better about any suck-tastic world y’all are stuck in.
What is the internet for, if not for enjoying the world being taken over by a sociopath who wrecks the economy, plays chicken with the moon, and who will save the planet from alien invaders even if he has to slaughter billions of people to do it?