It took us several days and a significant bribe, but we finally made it to Vancouver. Yep. Quite a ways to go, even with the delay. I really hate that we had to leave the disassembled robot, too. I know the pain of losing a giant robot. It’s hard enough just to get the damn thing built. But we’re pretty sure it might get misplaced due to some paperwork so it can be picked up later. We’ll see how well the bribe worked.
Dr. Creeper spent quite a bit of the trip’s remainder working out the kinks in his back and looking things up on his phone. I finally asked him about it as we rolled into Vancouver. “We’re here! Here to bring the city to its knees with something other than your robot! Again, that does suck.” I have something of a weak spot for giant robots.
“Enough with that, young man. There will be other robots. If that is all it took to make everyone know your name, we would be drowning in robots. Now that we’re here, we split up. You need a new look. If we want people to think you are my second, you need to look different than you already are. While you do this, I will acquire a property for us to use as a base of operations. Then we can worry about money, transportation, and people to do my bidding. We want to move quickly. Pull over at a gas station and let me out to go about your business.”
Soon after we entered the gleaming, eco-friendly paradise that is Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. I know, it sounds like another case of making sure to talk about “London, England,” and “Paris, France,” but that’s actually a valid thing to take into account around the United States. For starters, there’s London, Ontario. Or Miami in Florida, Ohio, and Manitoba. And a Wales in Wisconsin, Utah, North Dakota, New York, Massachusetts, Maine, Michigan, and Alaska.
But enough about confusing geographical name theft. I had to make a whole new me. That’s right. It’s clothing montage time!
Eh, not really. I didn’t know where to find the local super costume maker or designer or any black marketeers. That left me with a costume shop.
Now, I know I’m not his underling, or mere second-in-command, but part of this fun diversion is that I don’t appear to be me to most people. As his second, I have to complement him. He’s in charge for a reason, but I have to be the guy who wrecks the good guys and makes him look even more badass because he’s my boss. Most people take the easy way out and grab someone big, strong, and dumb for that kind of job. Except the way I’ve been left, I’m not particularly big nor do I qualify as the strong guy in a community car-lifting isn’t an uncommon lesson. So I’m not going to be the big guy.
I also need to work with Creeper’s retro theme. I started throwing together a Musketeer thing, but that’s a bit too retro. I even found a breastplate that fit me. But even if I did favor guns, the ones that fit that sort are wheel lock pistols. They can be pretty cool-looking if done right, but still fairly primitive pistol technology. There’s a reason why Samuel Colt is given so much credit in this universe. They had a few other pieces of old armor, too.
Gecko the Barbarian? Also way too retro, and double-headed battle axes are a bit unwieldy. Plus, once again, it’s too much of the dumb, strong, and big guy thing. Plus, it’s Canada. Sure, it’s also spring, but there’s a very limited window for loincloths this far north. It’s like the old Union strike song goes, “What do we want? Loincloths! When do we want them? Summer, preferably!”
Gecko the Greaser? I’d eyed a leather jacket here, remembering the Behemoth one I left behind when I fled the Master Academy. With a good pair of jeans, some boots, and a nice switchblade, I could go around teaching the popular kids a thing or two. My hair would be a fire hazard with all that grease or oil in it. That one made the final cut, since it worked pretty well. It just seemed a little underwhelming for a second. Maybe a notable minion, but not the guy who is number two to a scientist.
Another one that made it to further consideration was Gecko the Steam Punk. It involved a mohawk, a brown leather vest, some goggles, and a big metal cog collar. Figured I could come up with some sort of steam-powered weaponry. Like something that shoots big railroad spikes. I could do it if I had a pressure cooker. It’d be fun.
Gecko the Hood? Not a very inventive adjective there, I’m afraid. Wear a black or brown hood that maybe shows one eye. It’s the rest of the outfit I have to work on. Overalls is straight out, because that’s a very rural theme that doesn’t fit that kind of person. Plus, scarecrows have been done before. It’s sad, too, because I’d make a hell of a scarecrow. I’d be dancing around with a chainsaw or a scythe. Or a chainscythe. But a black hood with some sort of close-fitting leather costume… sure, it’s a bit fetish-y, but most super costumes are.
Oh, you think it’s a joke, until you find out Wonder Woman and her magic lasso was invented by a guy who was into bondage. Just for fun, take a guess what Iron Fist’s creator was in to.
Still, I kept it in mind. I might be able to use pieces of it. Or pieces of other stuff, except for the loincloth. Might keep that one around for the next time I see Venus, though.
But that thing about keeping the pieces gave me an idea. I began to mix and match.
The first attempt didn’t go well. I stood in the mirror in the loincloth, wearing a hat with a giant feather sticking out of it, a shirt with puffy sleeves, a brown leather vest, and tight leather pants.
“Oh, are you shopping for the pride parade?” asked the cashier as he passed by.
“I decided to let my subconscious dress me. I get the feeling it wants to tell me something sometimes,” I replied back. Joke’s on him, though. I know I enjoy the occasional good hot dicking with men sometimes.
But my next attempt, that went a lot better. Oh yes.
I grabbed the parts and pieces I needed for inspiration before asking around if they knew anyone who had some legitimate armor and blades. It’s not that unusual of a thing in a community that uses those sorts of costumes. Before long, I had the requisite pieces I needed, none of them particularly custom made. Mostly. For weapons, it was a choice of either a spear or thin swords of the type associated with rapiers and fencing.
That turned out to be plenty of time for Dr. Creeper to acquire himself some out-of-work lab space. Budget cuts, he said. “Hey, that’s good. If you get some names, we might already have out minions.”
He said he’d give it a thought, then asked me to meet him at a particular street corner in costume in thirty minutes.
He didn’t give me a lot of time, true, but I had most of the functional stuff ready. Still, I was running about five minutes late and actually saw him from the next light over. I was still in the semi. He was on foot, wearing some long coat, pushing a walker, and holding up traffic. An armored car, to be exact. Or armored truck. Same difference. The big armored thingy that transports cash from one place to another. Kudos to him for finding out one’s route.
I don’t think he saw the police car behind that, and I say that because he suddenly threw off the coat to reveal himself in his mad scientist garb. He pointed his ray gun right at the driver and pulled out some small metal orb that gleamed like it had been polished. Before the driver could gun the vehicle, he threw the orb at the hood. I was excited to see that, because I have an expectation about shiny metal orbs. Instead of drilling through the windshield and into the driver’s skull to unleash a fountain of blood, it stuck to the hood and flashed. I’m tired of flashes, but it might have done something to disable the engine.
It caused enough of a disturbance that the Vancouver Police, who stepped out in uniforms of either black or very dark blue. I couldn’t see too well at that distance, so I decided to get a closer look. I gunned the engine and headed right for them. Once I made it safely through my intersection and had enough speed to make it no matter what, I kicked the door open and climbed on top of the cab. The cops turned when they heard the roar and the whistling noise. The one on my side barely dodged the semi crashing through their cruiser and knocking it against some parked cars on another street. Which is just what they get for following so close as to get caught in an intersection.
And the winged Hussar arrived. Tight black leather, steel-toed boots, gleaming steel gauntlets and breastplate bright enough to reflect the sunlight in an enemy’s eyes. Coming from underneath the rear of the breastplate were a pair of wooden frames with black feathers attached. Small wings, but they were responsible for the whistling noise that had drawn some of the cops’ attention. On my head, I wore the black hood with a single hole open to allow what looked like some sort of laser eye to barely poke out. I kept it small because it was for show, and it attached to a small interior covering I hope to turn into some interior armor and padding. The hood met the breastplate with a cog collar to tie together the whole thing.
The cop gaped at me but raised his handgun at the same time. Herr Glock met herr Hussar, only to be disarmed by a sweep of my spear and a follow-up smack across the face. His partner crawled out from behind the wreckage of the cruiser, bleeding, with a shotgun in hand. I pulled the disarmed cop toward me to use as a shield, then threw my spear. It wasn’t balanced the best for throwing, but it was hard to miss at that range. I caught him in the side of his gut, probably knicking all kinds of fun things in the process.
The cop I had struggled. He tried an elbow to the belly, but that got him some hot breastplate-on-elbow action. That funny bone’s not so funny now, is it? I pulled out his baton and lightly beat him ’round the head with it. “Go on. Shoo! Get out of here.”
He reached for his taser. I kicked him in the balls with steel-toed boots. He decided that gravity should have the deciding vote in our argument and acquiesced to its desire to bring him closer to the ground while clutching his poor, manhandles testes. I ignored him to go see what my spear was up to. About the halfway point inside the other officer, it turned out. The guy was laying on his other side, screaming, so I took the time to disarm the officer closest to me. Then I walked over, kicked his shotgun away, pulled my spear out, and tased the other. Took his gun and taser away for good measure, too.
When I turned, I found Dr. Creeper admiring my handiwork. “You are late, but still when I needed you.” He leaned forward. “What do I call you?”
“Hussar,” I answered. “Now what handy tools do you have to crack open this treasure chest?”
“Show me the tip of your spear,” he ordered. My innuendo sense was tingling, but I held it up close. He stuck some cube to it with some sort of putty, then waved a hand at the rear door of the armored car. “If you would please use that key on the lock, but stand back from the explosion.”
I nodded and took a few steps back along with him, then threw the spear into the door. The cube on the end had been a shaped charge, expending most of its energy against the door. The door slowly creaked open to reveal its lovely interior.
“How do we get out of here?” I asked.
“I have a man. Grab the money, please. Thank you,” he motioned for me to do the heavy lifting of coinage and cash, which only lasted until a black car pulled up.
“Holy shit,” the driver yelled, “You attacked a cop?!”
“Cops,” I said.
“Grab the money and let’s go,” said Dr. Creeper. He looked at a watch on his wrist. At the thirty second mark, he told us, “Time is up. We’re leaving.”
The driver got us out of there and pulled over in a parking garage give minutes later to slip on a plate and some magnetic bumper stickers.
“Nifty,” I said. “Hey Doc, where’d you find this guy?”
He smiled and held up his phone while the driver ran around, “I found an app for supervillains who need a lift. The bad guys created the service first this time. It’s called ‘Super’.” Upon the driver reentering and sitting back down, he commanded, “Onward to the lair. As your slogan says, ‘Get away with it, with Super.’”
And get away with it we did. But while we relied on Super this time, I’m already working on my own mobility. I’m thinking… rocket boots? Rocket boots.