I sat in the office of Johnny Butterfly in my power armor, stirring a cup of this heathen brew they call tea up here. The warm kind that you have to put sugar into. But I was being polite, so I didn’t inform the crime boss that his tea was wrong and he should be ashamed. “The business opportunities in this city are, as I’m sure you know, contingent upon the city still being here. Considering the extensive damage to its infrastructure, that seems increasingly unlikely. Sure, Empyreal City’s had its problems, but they generally don’t happen quite so soon in succession.”
Sitting on the other side of his desk, Johnny Butterfly tried to look calm as he repeatedly pressed the panic button hidden on his desk. He didn’t go so far as to pull a weapon. I hadn’t told him who I was, but most people would be worried in his position. “If you’re trying to summon your men, I’m afraid I’ve found a high tech way to jam the signal from your little panic button there, and your men are otherwise preoccupied. It shouldn’t matter anyway, as I mean you no harm.”
Butterfly’s eyes narrowed. “What did you do to them?”
“As I said, they are otherwise detained, but unharmed.” I hired several aspiring models of either gender to stand outside in the skimpiest clothing the weather permitted giving away awesome burgers and hot dogs. I may have encouraged some of the models to do their best impression of a deep throat on the hot dogs. It didn’t take very long for the building to empty of gangsters of all sexual preferences. I mean, even the asexuals get a free burger out of the deal. That’s a tough one to resist. Taking advantage of that deal’s as American as potato pie.
I calmly stirred my tea. “As you’ve probably determined by now, I’m more than capable of dealing with you if I wanted to, but I don’t want to. I also apologize for appearing in such a threatening manner, but you wouldn’t meet with me if I gave you notice, either. I understand this is an uncomfortable position for you, and will seem even stranger.”
Johnny Butterfly took his hand off his desk and leaned back, folding his hands in front of him. “Forgive my skepticism. Most supervillains are preoccupied with other things in other cities, so this is most unusual. I certainly hope this isn’t a case of entrapment, mister…?”
“Gecko,” I said. “Psychopomp Gecko. Emperor Gecko, if you want to bring titles into this. Reports of my death have been greatly exaggerated.”
“I am not sure I believe you,” said Butterfly. His eyebrows furrowed as he looked at my armor, examining it for any resemblance to my old type. For someone in the same room as the former emperor of the world and a notorious killer of superheroes, he didn’t react too terribly. He crossed his arms, and I noticed a tiny bit of movement against his jacket as he attempted to call out.
I nodded and set my cup of tea down. “That may be, but I really don’t advise you to bring the police into this. If you think about it, I can kill you and get away well before they or the military show up. Same for any reinforcements of your gang. This is a frequent problem with me, the lack of trust. Who knew there was such a downside to trying to kill everyone all the time. I have a couple of ideas for you.”
Butterfly leaned forward and set both hands on top of his desk, “Understand that you have my attention insofar as I hear your proposal.”
I nodded. “Glad to hear the power of fear compels you. It’s quite simple really.”
My first plan was all “crime lord proposal”-worthy. Help him with money or the occasional useful crime as far as funding the city. Essentially, have Empyreal City’s mob connections prop it up and help rebuild it. Focus on the lower level stuff at first so that most of the population won’t flee in search of jobs. While that’s going on, grease plenty of union palms to make sure everything gets built as fast as they can manage.
“That is all well and good, but what about a contribution from the one percent?” he asked.
I shrugged. “I have ways of making them want to donate money.” And so many fun ways they could be. Digging up dirty laundry, planting dirty laundry, even just a threat to kill; there are a lot of ways this could go and they all sound pretty fun to me. “Leave that part up to me so you can’t be implicated. Conspiracy to extort and all that. You’re really better off not knowing too many specifics of what I’m doing, other than that I’m pretty good at breaking and entering. Doesn’t matter if it’s a vault or a person, I break and enter both.”
I leaned forward to grab the saucer of tea again and pretended to sip it through my helmet. “But first, I need to know more about your colleagues, the Ukrainians. I have a personal grudge against them, and I’m sure you could use the growing room.”
I helped myself out of the office with some key criminal information. I passed a fellow on the way who ran in and yelled out, “Hey boss, you have to come see what this girl can do with a foot long!”
I started my one man anti-crime spree later that night. I knocked on a specific door down a specific alley in a specific way. A slot in the top part opened to reveal the eyes of the lookout, who took a cold cup of tea, two cubes of sugar, no milk. “Ah, wait, it’s not hot,” he yelled.
I kicked the door in, knocking him on his ass. I stepped in with my armor, a fedora on my head and an umbrella in my hand. “I’m singing in the rain! Just singing in the rain!” I kicked the man in the face, leaving him sprawled chest down on the floor. I lined up a nice thrust with my umbrella and got brown hole in one. “What a glorious feelin, I’m happy again.” One press of the release and a little help from my power armor and the umbrella expanded inside him. It didn’t look fun for him. Was great for me.
I sung and danced my way down a short, dirty hallway where the din of a crowd grew in volume and intensity. They had music playing over it all, but I couldn’t catch much of it over the cheering crowd. There was a big room with people crowded all around a cage holding two barely-clothed men with their guards up, dancing around each other.
As soon as I exited the door, a large man stepped out from my right with a pistol in hand. I grabbed his hand and easily overpowered him, giving him a better target. “You’ve got balls,” I said to him. I squeezes his hand. The gunshot didn’t panic anyone due to the noise of the crowd and music. “Ball,” I said.
I gave it another squeeze. “Dick.” Another squeeze. “Asshole.” He fell to his knees, squeaking in high-pitched pain. I ejected the magazine and round in the chamber, then tossed the gun off to the side.
“Coming through!” I yelled, kicking people out of my way. I cleared a short opening that left me facing a young waitress with dark hair and two blonde braids on either side of her face. She looked at me, eyes wide, then smacked her tit. A small holdout pistol popped out into the air, like on a spring, and she caught it out of the air. Before she could take aim, I grabbed her wrist with one hand, her waist in the other, and spun. The gun went flying, hitting some guy standing up in the corner with askew glasses and an empty pistol in his hand. He went down. I dipped the waitress and pulled my helmet up to steal a kiss. “Je t’aime ma puce,” I told her. It’s more romantic in French.
“I’m not into men,” she whispered back.
She broke my heart, so I broke her arm, picked her up over my shoulder, and began spinning her around like my own personal nunchaku. I knocked the shit out of other people, clearing even more room. With a mighty heave, I threw my flooze-chaku and cleared the way to the cage. She bounced off it with a shrill cry. Surprised the hell out of me. I thought I killed her by then, or at least knocked her out. It would have been a bad time to be conscious. The fighters in the cage had by now stopped their petty squabble to look at me.
“You call that a fight? This is a fight!” I jumped on the side of the cage with no small amount of force or weight. The side came down and landed on both of them, squashing both of them underneath the chain links. Not, sadly, with enough force to cause them to spurt through the empty spaces as blood and flesh. I had to resort to stomping my way through them both, screwing the betting pool way the fuck up. Did they bet on who would lose, or who would win?
By then, people were naturally ready to run, except for security. They were also ready to run, but they were headed for an office with a window that looked out over the whole place. Someone sat there, one of the Ukrainian higher ups with a closely-shaved head and a soul patch.
I freed myself from the cage and ran right for it. A fat, bald security guy tried to stop me. I grabbed him by the throat and didn’t stop. He went right through the glass in one heave. One of the other guards opened the door to rush to their aid and splattered all over the place from a massive burst of shotgun pellets. I jumped through the window instead, catching a quad-barreled shotgun before the boss of the fight club could swing it around toward me.
“Don’t do it, you crazy bastard! You have so much to live for!” I yelled. Instead of even questioning the statements, he just screamed. I pulled the shotgun free of his hands and stuck it up against his throat. I joined in on the screaming.
Boom. Poor bastard committed suicide by being in my way. I looked up to find a couple more disposable mooks standing at the door, and one smart one running his ass toward the door. He knocked over some guy standing up with a pair of guns in his hand, but abandoned him to his colleagues’ fate.
Walking out of there later with my new quad-barrel as a souvenir, I spoke to myself. “I thought being that depressed was for Russians only. Poor suicidal bastards.”