This is Gecko. I just got back from time traveling and, as a bit of revenge, the Mobian pranked Holly and I by letting us out at a Renaissance Faire. We got out of a time vessel and saw a knight charging. After we got all that settled, we found out we’d returned to Earth the same time we left, just a long way away. I got us back easily and we had an easy chunk of time on our hands. Everyone’s acting like I’m crazy for going off on an adventure, except for Holly, but that’s because they don’t know the body I built for myself when I stepped down from godhood. Maybe the doctor’s figuring some of that out, too.
Anyway, while I’m busy being a boring homebody getting taken care of by my wives and girlfriends, I figured I’d turn to Outlaw X for entertainment again. It beats thrilling y’all with the latest exploration of Dr. Jackson, OB-coochie explorer.
“Ya heard it on the X from your girl Rebel Rebel. Hey, we’ve all had a lot of alien shit on Earth lately. Some people are saying we’re going to start the Federation. I think we have a better chance of the Firefly universe, but with even more slavery and racism and all that. I’m not a fan, folks. The Browncoats are the same people who used to shoot up abortion clinics.
That probably proved my villain credentials more than completing the First Bank Marathon of Boston. For those who aren’t familiar, that’s where you rob every bank in Boston that has “First” in its name. No one calls themselves the second or third national bank. I knew a guy who called himself the 69th National Bank, but that’s because his last name was Bank and he wanted to make a sperm deposit in me. Last I heard of 69er, the only thing he was doing was time. I’m hoping the time’s not doing him right now.
Moving on from that depressing story, I have a weird one. See, we get a bunch of stories. Some are bullshit, some are full of so full of exaggerations they might as well be bullshit, and some are sick puppies. Not a lot of those last ones coming in nowadays as a matter of fact, but there’s stuff in the archive that would turn Malcolm X white. Some of it’s also so badly written or typed we can’t include it anyway. So that tells you we actually have a process. And since I’m picking the story and I want to hear about aliens, that process means we’re getting aliens. They’re boldly going where every man has gone before: Earth. And they’re here for nefarious purposes, I’m sure of it!
I love fried chicken. God, that lingering smell. You cook some up without burning anything and the house smells delicious. Even with everything tanking in my life lately, knowing my wife was making fried chicken at home was enough to energize me.
Ordinarily, I would spend Friday night pulling petty crimes or planning larger crimes. But not on fried chicken night. Missing that delicious cooking would be, well, it would be criminal.
I am Big Brain, a supervillain might of mind and able to grow twice as tall, twice as strong. I augment my slight physical advantages with the devices I build. My favorite is the lash gauntlet. It creates a prehensile rope of plasma that has a variety of uses, as long as those uses involve burning whatever it touches. I have a claw glove for more delicate jobs. It’s like the jaws of life on my hand. And both were unnecessary for fried chicken.
My family knows. My wife prefers to rob pharmacies and chemists for chemicals that help to stabilize her powers and body chemistry. She has the opposite of acid powers; she has basic powers. She can use her abilities to burn people, but what really attracted me to her was that she took the time to learn more about her powers and how to apply them. I’ve seen her burn through glass like caesium hydroxide, burn guards like potassium hydroxide or sodium hydroxide, generate water like lithium hydroxide reacting.
My favorite crime of hers was when she held a goldfish hostage. Its owner was a billionaire who used a little of his money to have a literal gold fish designed. It was a giant, living carp made of gold. My wife threatened to throw the pH off and kill the thing if he didn’t pay up half what it cost to engineer the thing. We considered asking for the full amount, but we figured he’d find it easier to grow a whole new one and let us do whatever with that one.
I love her. I love her creativity and her dreams. She dreams of holding all the Earth’s oceans hostage some day, and I want to help her achieve that dream. Her code name when in costume is Basic Bitch.
Our son is getting in on the family business, too. He’s a junior in high school. Maybe you’ve heard of him, Blockhead? He generates perfectly-smooth iron blocks that he manipulates with his mind. And then there’s his little sister, Maxine. She doesn’t have a codename yet because she’s not in on it, but we’re hoping. We’ve seen her change her face and hair color using some shapeshifting powers.
Big Brain, Basic Bitch, Blockhead, and Maxine. We’re your typical suburban supervillains, excited for a night of amazing fried chicken while everyone else was out doing what regular people do on a Friday night. Even Blockhead, who’d been moody and isolating himself like teenagers do, made it home early.
“Good day at school?” I asked.
“It’s fine,” he said. “Chicken ready yet?”
“Noooooo!” Maxine groaned.
Blockhead sighed and dropped his backpack on the floor. He dropped into one of the living room recliners. I raised an eyebrow. “Are you going to buy the next one when you break that one?”
“Yeah, I still have money from the ice cream store.” He worked one whole day at an ice cream place before they fired him for stealing ice cream. A month later, he came in with a bunch of cash, having robbed the place blind and stolen some giant tubs for us to enjoy.
“Did you see Lisa when you robbed it?” Maxine asked, saying the name sing-song.
“Shut up, you little dweeb!” Blockhead said. He created a Rubix cube-sized block in midair. Maxine snarled back, growing fangs.
“Hey, what did I tell you kids about fighting in the house?” I folded my newspaper and gave them both a stern look.
“Use the basement so we don’t get blood on the furniture,” both of my kids responded at the same time.
“That’s right,” I nodded. If they kids want to let out some aggression on each other without going too far, that’s fine. It’ll help train them in their powers and give them experience fighting other superhumans, but I don’t want the living room looking like OJ Simpson lives here. We already have hardwood floors, no matter how much I hate them, because of how hard it is to get blood out of carpet. Instead, we have to sweep constantly because everything shows on a hardwood floor.
“I don’t want to fight anyway,” Blockhead said. “Still weirded out from school today.”
“Oh yeah?” I asked. “Anything you want to run by me?”
“Someone vandalized the school with green slime and then some people acted weird today. I kept making jokes about mind control,” my son said.
“That is interesting,” I emphasized the “is”. “On my way to work this morning, I passed a coffee shop that had been slimed. I thought it was a promotion.”
“Why would they slime themselves?” Blockhead asked.
“Back in the 90s, slime was everywhere,” I told him.
The doorbell rang. “Now who is that?” I asked. I got up myself to check on it. I tried the peephole, which connected to a security camera and radar system that showed a lot of people standing around out front, swaying and drooling green goo.
“Who is it, dear?” Basic Bitch asked, stopping by after leaving the kitchen.
“Do we know anyone who mind controls people with slime?” I asked.
Maxine called from the other room. “This one’s got a hammer!” Glass broke in the room, with Maxine screaming. Basic Bitch and I looked at each other, then she took off for the living room. I tugged on a broken-looking part of the coat rack and pulled it downward. The ceiling opened up and mechanical arms strapped my lash gauntlet and claw glove to me, then presented my costume. I grew large to fit into the special armored lab coat.
Meanwhile, the slime zombies pounded on the door. I meant to check on the kids, but the door burst in and a barista collapsed to the floor. Behind her, a construction worker drooling green goo advanced, reaching for me with slimy hands. I grabbed him in the claw and threw him at the next person in line, an old woman. I turned toward the living room.
My wife had melted a couple of people. My son had conjured a group of four blocks and was moving them to keep out the wave of slime zombies crawling in through the big window.
“To the basement!” I declared. I lashed someone coming at us from the front entryway and held him sideways to block the open doorway to the living room.
“We can take ’em!” Blockhead said.
“Blood on the carpet!” I called out.
“We can’t leave the fried chicken!” Maxine screamed. She had grown her fingers into claws and was slashing at the slime zombies between her and the kitchen. I heard a crack above use and raised the claw. The roof gave way from the weight of more slime zombies. It took all I had to keep my wife and son from being buried under rubble.
Suddenly, a bright light lit everything up. “Greetings, people of Earth. Rinvok the Cleanser has arrived!”
“Great, an alien invasion on top of this!” I yelled.
“Or this is the invasion!” my wife said, grabbing a slime zombie and melting his face off. It absolutely ruined the recliner.
The weight shifted, eased up a little. “Anyone alive in there?” the booming from before asked.
“No, now go away!” Blockhead yelled.
“Afraid I can’t do that, folks.” I felt support beams pulled up and then torn off. A thick purple alien in a blue jumpsuit landed next to me, the living room now open to the night sky. “Hi, I’m Rinvok. I have a work order here to clean up a biohazard that landed in your town. The space robots put the word out and the Consortium hired me to come do the remediation.” He pulled out a spray bottle and sprayed down the nearest slime zombies. They began to shake and fall down. Rinvok sprayed indiscriminately.
Blockhead, Basic Bitch, and I shared a look. I ran for the wall and tore it open. In the hallway, we found Maxine struggling in the arms of a slime zombie and pulled her free. Blockhead knocked him into the living room with a block as the rest of us headed to the kitchen.
“Thank Satan we made it,” Basic Bitch said as we all spread out to devour the chicken before the alien janitor’s cleaning chemicals altered it.
Dinner was saved, but at what cost? My recliner, for starters. I approached the alien janitor afterward, full of fried chicken and carrying the recliner in my claw glove. “Hey, since you’re here, how good are you at getting blood out of fabric?”
“Tsk, tsk,” the alien said with a shake of his head. “Blood? Blood’s hard to get out. Plus, I’m union and there are channels to go through.” He turned and raised a vacuum cleaner, shoving it into the oozing mouth of another zombie. The zombie’s eyes rolled upwards as the vacuum sucked up green slime through a clear tube into a container on Rinvok”s back. “Maybe for the right price…”
Any proper villain would recognize a shakedown attempt. I leaned in close and slipped him a chicken leg. “There’s more where that came from if you do your job.”
Rinvok the cleanser unzipped his jumpsuit and slipped the leg into an inner pocket. He nodded toward the recliner. “Is that it? You got a deal.”
It was easily done. In all the chaos, nobody minded the grocery store’s poultry section being robbed. Just another odd thing blamed on the invasion of the body slimers and the “Great Cleansing” that Earth got billed for.
“Rebel Rebel back. See? I mean, it wasn’t that kind of cleansing, but maybe that’s just what they want us to think? For all we know, they put the slime on Earth in the first place. I need pictures of this Rinvok. He’s a menace, I tell ya!”
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