Maybe winter can wait a bit. Just until I get a little less round and full. The heroes, those insidious people, have found a new way to torture me. It hurts. I can attest to how difficult it is for a person to commit evil in the wake of a massive Thanksgiving dinner. If people had been stuffing food into my face this much, I’d have a much lower body count. The most effective hero in the world would be The Itis.
I’d been holed up in the library, working on my new armor. I realized I needed to scale down the machine I was building a bit. It’s big enough to hold the entire armor, but it really only builds one section of the kinetic plating at a time, and it takes longer. I dislike having to assemble it this way. So slow. At least I gave the entire stand scan capability. It analyzed my current physical form, adjusted itself, and got to work.
The fabric portion almost seems like it’s being printed. It takes awhile, but it’s not too bad. The problem is the kinetic plating. It goes a step beyond ballistic plating, that’s for sure. My nuts will be protected in exciting new ways. Unfortunately, it takes more time. A lot more time. Seeing as I can’t make the undersuit out of my preferred nanofibers, that portion of the suit is actually going to be a little less resilient.
It wouldn’t do to be fighting and some guy cuts through the fabric holding the armor plates to the rest of it. Most people who wear bulletproof vests don’t have to deal with that. The average soldier doesn’t face too many people with katanas and the ability to throw fireballs. RPGs, maybe, but the last thing they need to worry about is their armor staying in one piece in that case.
In summation: I might have a little more than a sleeve done in a week. We’ll see how it goes. I might be able to tweak things.
I’ll just wait until I can move properly first. It was insidious. They lured me in with the smell, you see. Thanksgiving day, the smell of frying turkeys inundated the campus. I didn’t know they could do that. Looking outside, I’m not sure it was just for my benefit. They’ve got protesters, you see, and a great way to deal with protesters is smell. Civil rights marchers got the dogs, the national guard shot hippies, cops regularly hit college coeds with pepper spray, and the armed revolt at the Bundy Ranch got an angry look from authorities, but no one’s done much in the way of smells. Take a bunch of people standing outside all day, making them smell a big dinner, and just watch their resolve buckle.
I should know. It brought me to the food halls. That’s more than those guys got, with their “End Human Repression” and “Not In My Friendly Neighborhood!” signs. And I’ve actually killed some of their allies.
They responded with luxurious gluttony. Afterward, I made it as far as one of the tables before having to rest and try to let things digest. And plan.
I’ve also been hunting down psychics to try and see if any are telepaths capable of releasing me from my bondage. I have the numbers of several pieces of excrement in human form who do nothing but lie to people for money, and a couple of professional dominatrix services. But I’m not personally a fan of being walked on by someone in high heels unless I get to snap her neck afterward. Some people like pain. I like murder. And since I’m not a necrophiliac, it makes the sex really awkward.
Geez, I reference necrophilia a lot. I’m starting to feel like one of those preachers who goes around talking bad about gay people and claiming all we need is more family values, only to get caught snorting a line of coke off the thighs of a hairless young Latino named Jesus. Can’t say I’m into Latino men, though. Maybe it’s racist, but after sex with them, I tend to end up with diarrhea.
So now that we’ve established several things about my bodily functions, and the progress of my armor, what did I actually do?
Kept plotting my re-armament, of course. Especially because I’m not allowed to actually escape or try to get others to help me escape. Nope. But I am trying to build up resources for criminal activities to aid my goals and possibly help me help the Master Academy people. It’s complicated, and it means I’m not doing a thing about protesters and attacking militias and so on. Leave that to the Academics. They’re heroes. They took on the duty of looking out for the world. I ain’t king of the world anymore. I’m looking out for me, and thus these attacks only matter to me as far as that goes. That meant more talks with Michelangelo’s people. Odd that I can’t get ahold of him. They haven’t outright said he’s taking a vacation of indeterminate length, but I suspect it.
What makes it worse is my own lack of funds. A few years of constant warfare against the forces of good has put a severe dent in my coffers while almost completely stopping me from pursuing my particular way of making an honest buck. Unfortunately, I can’t do much about that either in this state.
With no way to earn a legitimate living through violence, I had no choice but to turn to crime. Sad, but true. Michelangelo’s people had the hook-up. In exchange for a cut, they put me in contact with some people who claimed to be able to use someone with discreet skills of property removal who also didn’t want any blood on their hands. A shame about the physical violence thing, though. The woman over the phone started to describe one job where some government contractors were moving and storing all sorts of juicy things in the city while it’s still in clean-up mode.
Instead, I claimed to be able to pull off a lovely little heist involving a necklace absolutely loaded down with diamonds. A well-connected fellow had intended to give his wife a beautiful diamond necklace on their anniversary, only for a Johnny-Come-Lately with a lot of Wall Street money to threaten the jeweler with getting his business shut down if he couldn’t have such a gift for the lady digging on his gold. Or so the very fine, perhaps even very good, fellow described the situation to me.
The Wall Street fellow broken up with the woman he gave the necklace to, but actually took back the necklace. It had been left in his townhouse. He himself was no longer around in the city, having fled as soon as possible way back when Mecha Gecko, the copy of my entire personality and knowledge in a computer installed in a giant robot, started running amuck in the city as part of the plan to draw me out and kill me. Which reminds me, I need to figure out just which members of Master Academy were part of that plot so I know who to exempt from helping. You don’t get points for saving my life if it’s your fault I almost died.
So I had my job. Break into the man’s lovely home, past all the guards he’s paying to stay in the city and look over the place, and steal the necklace. The guards are to be left alone, as are the staff. The fellow who put out for the job wants to make it clear he actually cares about the little man, as the job is at leart partially about the threats to the jeweler’s livelihood. To quote my contact at Michelangelo’s “The client believes that a disagreement between gentlemen should stay between gentlemen, and not target those on the periphery.”
She scoffed at that. I can see why. I enjoy a bit of viciousness. Sadly, that was completely uncalled for the whole thing went smoothly and easily. Insanely so. I found. The six-story townhouse had been built more than 100 years ago, but the guy went and remodeled the fuck out of the interior, including adding sprinkler systems around. I picked that up from a bit of reconnaissance that didn’t even involve entering it. From there, it was just a matter of slipping the right chemicals into the house.
There’s always a way in. In this case, a simple package containing a simple firebomb. I dropped it off while dressed as a delivery man and waited until they got it well into the house. With the help of a cameras hidden on four sides that gave me a view on my phone, I got a brief look at the interior of the house before the maid set the package on the counter in a sitting area. When she left the area and I determined no one else was around, I hit the button and sent it up in flames.
The sprinklers and smoke detectors did their job, and soon the house staff and security were out in the streets. It took longer for security, who had presumably done a last-minute sweep while also getting on the horn to make sure firefighters and police showed up to handle this mess as quickly as possible. Oh, something I didn’t mention about this townhouse; the buildings next to it are taller. I used them to jump to the roof, since they weren’t suicidally taller, then rappelled on down into the top floor.
By the time I actually located the necklace, the firefighters had already shown up and were looking the first floor sitting room over. They’d likely discuss the clear arson with police, but they otherwise had no reason to come up to the third floor, as I was on at the time, and discuss exactly why I was lifting out a bunch of diamonds pretending to be held together by gold. If diamonds are a girls best friend, this necklace is the guy who treats them to an amazing dinner, screws them until they pass out from pleasure, then wakes them up in the morning with breakfast in bed and a single perfect rose.
And the security on it was a laughable case with pressure sensors and lasers. To be fair, I couldn’t normally make use of the trick I pulled. I’ve only recently been able to tolerate an electromagnetic pulse. In the past, ECM made me sick and weak while also disabling my cybernetic parts. They restart after the danger is passed. Those parts, my eyes included, acted the same way as the ECM went off, but I felt little different. Blind, sure, but I had kept close enough to the case and went to work. Quick and easy, I had the necklace and this fellow had fewer functioning electronics in his house. Icing on the cake.
One undetected escape later and I had proven my worth to Michelangelo’s new people. Good thing. It felt like I still had turkey in me from days before. The secretary I met appeared particularly fascinated by the necklace when I showed it off, too. I undid the clasp and gave it to her by putting it around her neck. “There ya go. Looks good on you.”
She blushed and reached up as if to take it off. “Very good. Payment will be forthcoming within two days. Will you be looking for more work, or do you plan to have some down time?”
Considering the pay, I’d need more work. “I could stand to dabble in well-paying theft where no one gets hurt,” I told her with a shrug.
“I have a job you may take part in, if you can work well with others and do not mind being involved with the superhumans.”
That got a raised eyebrow from me. “Go on…”
“I can not. I can put you in contact with the man who can. This is a big job, so no one wants to risk rumors and warnings,” she said, finally taking the necklace off. Yeah, I noticed she left it on a little. That’s why I put it there in the first place.
“Can you tell me anything about why it might be worth it to me? What priceless thing could it possibly be to warrant so much secrecy while the person putting it together has to recruit through such channels?” I asked.
“You must see him about it,” she said, holding up a slip of paper with a name on it. Johnny Butterfly, the long-time rival to the crime family that had backed up Michelangelo. Well don’t that just beat all. Underneath it was the sentence: “Choice of six-figure payment or access to medical nanotech.”
Looks like I’m going to steal something for Johnny Butterfly. That would do wonders for helping me with my human condition.