Venus keeps leaving me notes. Not even good ones, detailing her never-ending love for me and admiration for my ability to give her lady boners.
Why do I do that when it’s just you and I, dear reader?
Let’s just get into it.
I was on my throne, taking a holographic call from the Institute of Science with an update on a few projects. Dr. Creeper was excited to tell me that the Ferrari prototype flying car… was a dud. “They stuck alien anti-grav on it. There are four modules that replace the wheels. It vas a complete hack job of a graft. You can move it, slowly, but it fails if you attempt to travel too fast.”
“Interesting…” I murmured, calling up news about the theft. Ferrari had put out a press release about the theft by Riccan criminals. They assured their investors that despite the cyborg Empress of Ricca stealing their car for its advanced design, they would easily be able to recreate it the design. They even admitted they had more features to add and were happy to be able to create a version that fixed bugs present in the first one. Rather than tanking, Ferrari’s stock shot way the hell up. People took it as a good sign that someone known for futuristic dimension bombs and nanomachines felt he need to have Ferrari’s special car all to myself.
I had to laugh. Audacious bastards. No wonder it wasn’t already locked up inside Ferrari’s company fortress and no wonder an insider wanted to help us steal it. The car wouldn’t stand up to scrutiny on its own for very long. Their public demo showed it off a little, but now I’ve taken it. Even if I tell the world it was a shoddy melding of alien and human tech, a lot of the world distrusts me.
If I find out who it was behind that little closed email account, I’ll have to take them out for a drink and steal their bank account for not letting me in on it.
After reflecting on the whole plot, I asked Creeper. “Is anyone eager to look into alien anti-gravity tech? We may as well see what we can get out of it while we have it.”
Creeper nodded. “Gralz has expressed an interest in one of the modules. He believes he can make it vork properly with his designs.”
“That’s the guy working on the Arachnoid armor,” I said, channeling the world famous superhero Captain Obvious.
“Yes, Empress. It is serendipitous you mention that. He believes he can fit it in the Arachnoid armor.”
“Ooh. Kinky,” I said. I shifted around on my thrown so I was lounging with my legs on one arm and my back bent over the other. “A flying spider person.”
“Vhen I asked about his idea, he told me the device could be used to negate gravity for the armor. The Arachnoid armor could jump long distances, climb walls effortlessly, and cling upside down to ceilings.”
It sounded cool as morgue sex. Hmm. Extra limbs and the ability to leap? It’s almost like they’re trying to make a Psycho Spider instead. “Any other projects that’ll get in the way of?”
Creeper shook his head. “I see no reason the others can’t be studied separately.”
I gave him a thumbs-up. “Awesome. Make it so.”
He hung up and Medusa slinked out of the shadows. She knows how to work a short, tight, red dress. Or, more accurately, she knows I respond well to her in those dresses. Hell, she’s not immune to them either. She stepped up to me, high heels loud on the floor of the Directorate Building. “You look so imposing on your throne.”
I shrugged and slumped forward, playing with a portion of my hair sticking out from my headdress. “Hail to the Empress, baby.”
She walked up and leaned over to kiss me on my forehead. “Gecko, baby, are we getting rid of all those heroes camping out?”
I waved it off dismissively. “I have people slowly preparing the wedding festivities. When I think you’re ready, though, we’ll find some way to get to her specifically. Maybe I should invite her for a private sparring session? Could annoy her into a dinner… either way, it’ll work out. I assure you. The only thing left in question is whether you’ll be ready.” Truth is, I already had the perfect cover.
Medusa laid a finger where she kissed me, then walked her fingers down my face and neck to grab the collar of my dress and haul me up. “My dear, my fiance, my lovely bride to be… I have a favor I think you’ll love to grant.”
Pegging? “What would that be, my partner in crime?”
She moved to sit on my throne, but I shifted so that she sat on my lap instead. I wrapped my hands around her gently, the fingers of my lower arms digging into the material of her dress and her lovely abs. My upper hands ran along her neck and eased her head back. She was close in my arms, neck and belly exposed. “Mmm,” I told her. “You may sit on my lap, not on my throne.”
She… relaxed against me. I felt her body wiggle, cuddling back against me. I know I’m considered pretty much the world’s biggest psychopath. Plus, that little bit where I only broke her out of prison to kidnap her for her involuntary aid in dealing with my own nemesis by forcing her to pretend to be Venus. The sex, the flirting, the clothing… I figured she was trying to get on my good side. Use a relationship with me to her own benefit. That’s a really big part of so many relationships in the past, and I don’t just mean the ones involving sex.
Speaking of sex and Medusa, the way she acted in my arms suggested either some submissive stuff going on or- no, probably nothing legit as far as feelings. I need to cut that shit out. She’s not my dream Venus. Venus isn’t my dream Venus. There really is no scenario where Venus and I are anything more than a fantasy. Hell, that’s a big part of why I’m doing what I’m doing. If I toss her ass in another dimension’s prison, I don’t have to worry about these feelings or short-sighted obsession with her further.
Besides, with hindsight on my side, Medusa was just cynically using me by the way she flattered me and pressed against me. She finally spoke, “You have strong arms. It’s because you’ve had them enhanced.”
“Mhm,” I said. I even like the way she smells. Some kind of perfume I can’t describe because I lack the vocabulary to express myself with regard to smells. Ugh, there’s a bad sign: talking about how a crush smells. That’s not as bad as using discarded skin flakes to form an alter, but I won’t pretend it isn’t a step on that path.
Having lived in the United States so long, I am aware we’re approaching Valentine’s Day. The fact that I’m spending the lead-up to it pining over a woman who hates me irks me. Irks, I say!
I didn’t have time at that point to think about the woman I have varied and strange feelings for. I was too busy nuzzling and caressing someone who looks exactly like her, who proceeded to ask, “Do you think I could be given more strength as well? Is there a secret to it?”
“No,” I whispered in her ear. “It’s all a matter of the right increases to the makeup of your muscles, bones, and ligaments.”
“What about bulletproof skin?” she asked. Fuck, I’m romantically lonely. I know I have friends and all, and a wife, but there’s a difference between all of them and this kind of passion and intimacy. To feel wanted in this way. That’s why it’s important for me to remember that she’s a villain, and she’s just using me. Fantasies can be so very wonderful indeed, but not if you believe in them
I sighed and leaned back, settling my arms on my belly while she turned to look at me. “Sure. I’ll send an order to the Institute. You can head on over and they’ll get you whipped into shape.” And I did send the message over, along with an additional bit of code to absolutely be given to the nanomachines used for the surgery.
Having gotten what she wanted, she left. I should have had a cold shower or my hot wife. Instead, I headed to a club.
It was dark. The bar area was dimly lit by yellow light, but the dance floor was in more of an indigo that avoided being blue enough for embarrassment. There were glow rods, and multicolored lights shone down on occasion. Shadowed booths held tables where the only light seen came from the ends of cigarettes or from beneath heavy lampshades that gave off dark red or green.
I took control of the place as I walked in, a gold-colored mask over my face and my lower arms hidden in adaptive camo gloves that mimicked the invisibility of my armor. The music had a sort of Asian-goth vibe to it, but when that song ended, one of my choosing came on. I danced slowly by myself on the floor, eyes closed, with the voice of Nostalghia and the notes of her song “Coronation” taking up the full attention of my ears.
It wasn’t a long song, but I realized I had other senses butting in. Like feeling my nanomachines. I set up a machine at the water treatment plant to distribute nanites into the water for everyone’s health. Ricca’s one of the few places you can replace a lost limb with a dip in a swimming pool. With the exception of the disease the entire Earth has that enables special collars to neutralize superpowers, we have one of the lowest rates of disease on the planet. And I could feel those little machines still in so many people. I think I even subconsciously moved many of them away from me. It left a little opening that someone stepped into.
I opened my eyes and stopped dancing, looking at a teen in front of me whose face didn’t seem familiar. My HUD matched him to the gold-skinned hero I’d fought at Master Academy when breaking out Medusa. Just a costume, it seems.
“I know it’s you,” he said.
I held out my hand. “Care to dance?”
“No,” he said. With a flash of light that almost killed the club’s mood, his civilian clothes and normal skin were replaced with his costume that covered his skin in that gold I remembered. Frustratingly, the dark light didn’t show too well how the eyes worked, turning red like that. “What the hell?” he asked suddenly as he reached out and took my hand.
The song ended and I threw on another one as the nanites inside the hero gave me a dance partner over his objections. As someone who has been known to kill people over not being paid according to my agreement, I disliked the singer, but I had to admit “I just wanna be, wanna bewitch you in the moonlight,” to my captive partner.
“What are you doing? Stop this!” he pleaded.
I rolled my eyes. “You’re straining my hospitality. Don’t fight it. Just dance.”
He had enough control still to turn his head and look to someone. I spun us around to get a look. The guy in a Hawaiian shirt with card queens, kings, and jacks all over it looked at me, twirling a card between his fingers. Beside him stood… ha! Ball Boy. That’s right, he came along on this adventure too.
I smiled at them as everyone on the dance floor began to move around myself and the teen I had commandeered. I can be a little bit of a showoff at times. It’s not like the heroes could hurt me. Ball Boy and the other one were just as infested as this fellow, who I let run back to them when the song ended. I left control over the music to the DJ and helped myself to an upstairs VIP balcony table, musing on whether or not to have more fun with the ensorceled heroes. My mind wandered once again to Venus, though. As it did so, I reached out.
If only it was so easy to just plumb their brains with the little machines. They weren’t all back at the villas, and the nanites could only do so much to identify anyone. But they’d have to come back to rest at some point. In the end, I don’t even need an excuse to get her away from her friends. I just never bothered telling Medusa about the full capabilities of the nanites. All I really need is to find Venus and walk her right up to me for replacement.
I have already won.