Category Archives: 55. Creeper Takes Canada!

Dr. Creeper calls in his favor and Psycho Gecko assists him in the magical ice kingdom known as… Canada.

Creeper Takes Canada! 10

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On the day of reckoning, Dr. Creeper beamed like a proud parent. He couldn’t keep the smile off his face as he went over his plan of attack. “City hall, and the Bloedel Conservatory, and Science World. If I have time, BC Place and the airport.”

“…And twenty-one, doctor,” I said from my spot nearby, cleaning some tools Creeper said I could keep for my little rampage.

He looked up. “What?”

“Twenty-one times you’ve gone over the plan. I think you know what to do, and I think you’re overthinking it.”

“Overthinking it? Last time, I was foiled at the last minute. This time, I want everything to go smoothly.”

“Keep calm and think about swallowing,” I advised him while lounging on the tank chassis.

I watched as he took my advice. He grabbed for this throat, in fact. After a couple of seconds, he took a big swallow and relaxed. “Point taken,” he said. “Thank you for the reminder. This isn’t like last time. It starts as soon as I roll my machine out into the world. This is it. It’s really time.”

“You got it. But I do have one thing I think you need to go over.” I sat up. “Rouge. He’ll be coming for you, and this time I won’t be there, just like I won’t be there from now on. You got an ace in your hole?”

“I have built a smaller ray pistol, but I will rely on my giant robot for fighting him, and my ejector seat if things go poorly. It is a small flying machine that can get me to safety. This is going to be so much fun!” He pulled out a finned pistol with a really thin barrel and shot it into the air with a cackle. A glowing beam of energy shot out and carved into the roof of the barn.And caught it on fire.

We both looked up at it, then at each other. “Looks like you just shot the firing gun, doc. Good luck out there.” I held out a hand. He shook it with his own gloved hand, looking every bit the classic mad scientist.

“You too. Thank you. You have gone above and beyond. I don’t care what anyone says, you’re not a complete homicidal maniac.”

I raised a finger. “Hey now. Don’t go ruining my reputation. Besides, I needed a break. I’ve been through some shit lately. Now it’s time for both of us to go give that shit back to other people. And, more importantly, when things go wrong, that doesn’t mean you stop. Sad to say that, whether things go good or bad today, this might be the last time we see each other.”

He opened his mouth to say something, but closed it again and just nodded, then began climbing his way up the robot to the head. I backed well away, partially to avoid the flaming debris from the roof, and partially to watch the robot power up. Dr. Creeper’s voice boomed out of the external speaker below the cockpit. “The Doctor is in, Vancouver!” He cackled madly and drove the robot forward, not bothering with the door of our little barn. He took out a good hunk of the wall with it, which prompted me to exit fairly quickly afterward myself. Not before I grabbed the pliers, claw hammer, and giant airplane wrench.

After all, I didn’t have all night to sit around. Time to go fix some cops. But, for atmosphere, I listened to “Ride or Die” by TheUnder in my head. The Thunder Machine deserved it.

The news had it that the Mounties took custody of the junk in Creeper’s lab. I glossed over it before, but the news clip showed the crate on it, complete with the word “dildoes” blurred out.

I’d already taken out one, on the north side of this bay or whatever you’d call it. I could hit one almost as soon as I got into the area where Creeper would be doing his business. The others were a bit more scattered, mainly because they had one way off to the west. I guess if the damn Mounties got off their yaks and used cars, they might be able to cover more ground from a few centralized locations, but they’re just keeping with the same stupid tradition that keeps them linked to the Queen of England.

And what of my transportation, you might be pondering? Well, if you weren’t pondering it before, you’re now pondering what the people who were are pondering. Not me, however. I’d already pondered it and decided to order a pizza. I even warned them the place would be on fire to help them recognize it. I explained I had a malfunction cooking dinner.

When he showed up twenty minutes later, I left the corpse and took the cannoli with me. You know how hard it is to find a pizza place that’ll deliver cannoli? Most won’t even deliver cannolo, let alone more than one. Of course I took that with me after stealing the car away from the guy. I started in just as things started to get good in the Vancouver itself. It was a short drive away, and even though tanks can be surprisingly swift, the T-72 only goes about thirty-seven miles an hour at its fastest. That’s without a giant Nazi-designed mecha torso on top of it.

I saw the opening salvo as Creeper as a very large tracer round shot off high into the sky. I wanted it to look good, hence the tracer part. It exploded, and clouds seemingly faded in. Lightning crackled between them, and then they spread out from the point of impact as the wind started due to pressure and temperature, only to be replaced by more clouds. I’m not sure that’s how cloud formation works, exactly, but it’s what I saw, and we’re dealing with freaky stolen weather mad science from China.

It’s a shame they keep defunding science in the United States. It used to be the leader in mad science. Sure, the Nazis had their day in mad science, and then Operation Paperclip stole their mad scientists, at which point the Russians and United States competed in mad science. It’s just sad to see the United States go from world leader in mad science to needing imports from other countries just to seem crazy. Mad science from China, mad tech support from India, and even mad STDs that can’t be beaten by mere antibiotics. I don’t know where they’re imported from, because people don’t like to talk, but my first guess is Thailand.

On approach to the first RCMP station, I put on my “Destroying Vancouver” playlist. First song: Dance With The Dead’s “Screams and Whispers”. The first guy I saw coming through the door took one look at me with the pliers and hammer out and opened his mouth. My hand flashed out and stopped him. “What’s the matter? Gecko caught your tongue?”

His wide-eyed expression of fear gained an edge of confusion, and then pain when I acted out an abridged version of the Nutcracker using the hammer in my other hand. He went down with no sound but a very pained whimper. I looked up to see that, stealthy as I was, even I couldn’t stop the Mountie right ahead of me at the desk from noticing this. He grabbed for the phone, but stopped as I threw the pliers into his eye with a wet smack. “Don’t touch that dial,” I said cheerfully. Outside, the thunder rolled, perfect for when I added. “It’s time for the lightning round.”

I walked out twenty minutes later wearing a thick chinchilla coat and a gold-colored pair of those stupid shutter shades. It turns out finding my armor, unlike murdering a station full of unsuspecting Mounties, isn’t as easy as pimpin’. Then again, they locked his ass up, so maybe pimpin’s still hard. It helped handle the weather. Sleet had joined the lightning and wind. I heard explosions in the distance as well, but that probably had to do with Creeper’s contraption.

The second attempt that night and third attempt overall, I walked in with my pimp outfit and other stolen clothes on under it. I’m not sure if they use desk Sergeants up here, but the cop equivalent of a receptionist was busier than a Filipino carpenter the day before Good Friday. Hmm.. crucifixion… now there’s an idea that could use a modern-day revival.

Many of the second station were out, trying to handle the twin attacks. I didn’t see to many there. I caved in the front desk cop’s head with the heavy airplane wrench. The next one I saw hurried under the weight of a stack of folders away from me, not having noticed me step into the hallway. I jammed the giant crescent wrench into his back, pinning him to the wall. Looking around, I saw the door to the evidence room opposite him. “Ooh, good positioning.” Then I saw the keypad. “Hey, gimme a hand here.” I swung the wrench, pulling the officer to the other side.

“Ah, fuck! What do you want?” he asked, crying a little and maybe crapping his pants.

“Enter the code into the keypad and I let you go,” I said.

He quickly complied, but messed up the first go. “Shit! My hands. Let me do it again.”

“Sure. Slower this time. Not like this is a life and death situation. For me, at least.”

Second time was a charm, so I nodded and wrenched the wrench, twisting his spine. I did pull it out afterward, but he’d be crawling away from that one. Inside the door, I saw a beautiful sight before my eyes.

One crate claiming to contain Industrial Dildoes. Wild horses couldn’t fuck me away, not even with Viagra.

The station’s alarm didn’t sound until I’d finished pulling on my armor and activating it. The power supply could be better, but I knew I could manage. A quick diagnostic showed nothing seemed to be wrong. I was going to go ahead and find a power box, but then the power to the building went out. Knowing shit outside must have been getting even more real, I dialed up some energy to my gauntlets’ sheathes and knocked a hole in the wall.

I stepped through into a bathroom, where at least one person poked his head out of a stall. Safe to say I fixed his constipation issue. I don’t know that he had one, I just know he definitely didn’t have one after seeing me in my glorious armor.

Call me a sucker for a man on the can, but I let him live. I wanted to go see how Creeper was doing, so I opened the stall next to him and punched a hole in that wall.

Once outside, I jumped up to a rooftop, then aimed for a higher one, trying to get a view of any battles going on. When I finally found the Thunder Machine, it had just ground to a halt. I zoomed in to see a red-clad figure swinging up onto the robot mecha’s arm right arm. He stumbled and a glint of light flashed out to stab into the joint at the elbow. The left arm swung around and the fist opened into a gun barrel that fired. It missed, taking out part of a nearby building. Rouge had jumped onto the right shoulder, barely hanging on by stabbing his sword into the metal.

He pulled a gun and fired at the eyes on the Thunder Machine’s head. Now that’s just not nice. The head turned toward him slowly, then spouted flames. That’d be the mouth-mounted flamethrower. Not exactly where I’d put it if I sat in the head, but that’s World War II-era mecha design for you.

Rouge fell down, landing hard on the body of the T-72. Unfortunately, the Thunder Machine couldn’t turn very well to hit him. The right arm could have, possibly, but the lower portion of it didn’t move at all. The hero had all the time in the world to recover, and noticed the connections between the upper body and tank. He started hacking away at them. Good luck. As if we’d just ignore a small but vital weak point.

He didn’t underestimate us, though. I saw him reach down. Then his motorcycle sped into view. He turned and lashed his whip out around the handlebars. The motorcycle rose up in a wheelie, then jumped. Rouge ducked to the side as the motorcycle crashed into the connections, then inexplicably exploded like a Pinto-cycle. I think it had to be more than just gasoline if it allowed him to cut and pry the armor off the wires and supports.

See, it may take a hell of a lot to melt steel or cut through it, but even just heating it up diminishes its strength as the molecules speed up and begin to move apart. Steel alone could lose like ninety percent of its strength from a jet fuel fire alone without melting. I guess I need to learn more about the effect of whatever super premium gas Rouge put in his Rouge-o-cycle.

The Thunder Machine groaned and tipped. Its left arm reached out to try and stabilize it, but it lacked full use of the right arm for balance. The machine tipped and fell unceremoniously, the left arm rising to take a few last falling shots at one of the buildings in its view.

I hopped to a closer rooftop to watch as Rouge approached the head of the machine. He sheathed his sword, put away that damn whip, and redrew his revolver. He took his time to check on the cylinder, then aimed it at the head and said something. I continued coming closer and closer. Just in case.

The face of the Thunder Machine blew off, forcing Rouge back to avoid getting hit by whatever was happening. Blades unfolded and swung, picking up speed. The cockpit of the Thunder Machine pushed itself off with two spindly metal legs before the blades picked it up like a small helicopter and carried it into the air. Rouge aimed his gun at it, then reached back to pull his whip. The whip lashed out and grabbed hold of one of the legs of the cockpit. A thin piece of metal poked out of the escaping cockpit and blasted the whip, cutting through it. Nice shot.

The severing of the whip threw Rouge back. Unsteady, he aimed his revolver, but the escape pod rose higher and higher. He never fired, though. “I’ll get my chance to stop you yet, Dr. Creeper,” he said. I landed behind him just as he holstered the pistol. He swiftly turned and quickfired on me. Three bullets ricocheted off me; two in the chest, one in the head.

“You’ll stop breathing before you stop him,” I said. I left a hologram in my place and rushed forward, taxing my holodiscs with my own invisibility. I uppercutted Rouge, knocking him into the air with my right fist. With my left hand, I grabbed his ankle and swung him overhead to land hard on the hard steel of the top of the T-72. Reaching for my belt, I stomped on his asshole hard enough to catch hold of it on my boot. I kicked him into the air all over again. He even did a lazy flip, crying out in pain. I pulled a chicken grenade off my belt and raised it in my fist, where it stayed until Rouge landed on both. I knelt a little, then stood back up, rotated him sixty-three along the Z axis. I let him drop, pulling back my hand and the torn-off head of the chicken grenade. The grenade struggled to walk with its neck embedded in Rouge’s lower colon. Then, the cock in Rouge’s ass exploded.

“Just the tip,” I said to myself, then howled with laughter.

Good luck, Creeper. Looks like this is where we part ways.

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Creeper Takes Canada! 9

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Ah, to be in Canada and ignoring American politics for awhile. Good stuff, good stuff. Something about the Brown Shirts attacking a college campus and the United States trying to blow up the country where my baby-momma is the puppet ruler. I wonder if the kid has my psychosis. I’m not sure how I feel about having a genetic lineage yet. Can’t worry about it now, too busy fucking around in Canada.

It didn’t take long at all for us to get the robot fixed up, and that’s because Dr. Creeper had already looked into the mobility issue before. See, it’s the big hang-up of mecha. Why bother with legs when there are more reliable ways to move over the ground? There’s all kinds of ways a thing with legs can fall down, even if they have four or six of them. More legs adds stability, but then you have to coordinate them and it creates a larger number of blindspots. All it would take to disable a mech like that is a snowspeeder with a harpoon and tow cable.

Wheels are pretty good, aside from the issue with them being deflated. The superior option is tank treads. For most purposes, those are more difficult to get ahold of. As it turns out, Creeper’s Donnermaschine was the perfect size for the torso to attach to a Russian T-72. Back during World War II, that would have been a more difficult task for the Nazis to pull off. For starters, they were developed in 1971, and nobody wants time-traveling Nazis to be a thing. Nowadays, they sell them on the civilian market. And not even for a whole lot of money.

Even with his bug-out cash, Creeper was a little short on the necessary funds for a rush delivery. And he could get it delivered.

So I moved up my timetable. I originally wanted to handle the cops while my compatriot handled the city, but things just work out so inconvenient for me. Getting license to charge out and fight my way through police is just one of those things I just had to deal with. Woe is me.

Ok, so maybe it wasn’t that hard on me. Prep work was easy enough and a lot of fun. See, I picked out this one because of where it was positioned in relation to a busy intersection. I had to get up early enough to meet the morning rush of traffic, but I figured I’d just transfer those feelings on to the people I was there to meet. I also got to play around in traffic. This time, that meant laying out some cones so a left lane would have to merge into a right one due to road work. The workers weren’t present, but that’s true most of the time with legit road work, too.

When the light for the road heading toward the Mountie police station started flashing green, traffic sped up and started to meet its stride. I stood on the same side of the road as the station and waited until I had what looked like a pretty good line coming my way. Just another guy out early with a large keg on a dolly and a hose. If anything, I probably made the people in the cars jealous, up until I cut the hose on and spewed oil all over the street. We’re talking more oil than a bodybuilding competition, and they got oil out the wazoo. Supposedly oil on the wazoo makes them look better to the judges, I dunno.

This oil wasn’t just for show, though. Cars skidded and slid. I concentrated on the left lane as much as I could, but plenty got onto the right lane. Just before the RCMP station, the left lane had to merge into the right, and that’s when the magic happened. This was the kind of event that gave callous news stations a chance to play Tchaikovsky’s 1812 Overture; cars slid, hopped the curb, and rammed into the front of station house and then into each other’s cars. It was a tremendous mess.

A good Samaritan tried to pull the hose away from me and stop the madness. Or maybe Pakistani. I’m still fairly poor at telling Middle Eastern ethnicities apart. I let him take the hose, but pulled the keg down over onto his foot. I didn’t care too much about civilian casualties at this point because I certainly wasn’t operating as Hussar. Shame. Some aliases are fun while they last, and I really liked the wings.

That also meant I didn’t have to bother so much about avoiding casualties among the Mounties, something that ought to be obvious from the detour through the station door. While they worried about that, I headed around to the rear of the place and let myself in with a spare key I made from copper oxide and aluminum. The sparkler I used as a fuse made it more festive. Like a little celebration about being myself again after being in disguise for a bit. I ran back around the corner in anticipation of the chemical reaction the thermite would have. Most people use rust instead of copper, and copper has its own unique reactions. Like the tiny explosion and spray of liquid metal. I could have avoided that part, but it seemed fun.

With the handle and lock cut through, I pulled the door open and let myself in. The fire alarm went off, but it just joined another one that blared. I figured they noticed the cars already. It’s all part of the plan. Let the Mounties worry about the car wreck on their front lawn while I follow the signs to the evidence lock-up.

It proved so good a distraction that I didn’t even get to kill anyone. Curse my overwhelming competence! And huge penis! Actually, I should ask whoever was shaping this form at Master Academy what their issues are regarding either men or kielbasa. But enough about having dicks, I penetrated this deep to leave some dicks limp. A whole bodybag of dicks, if necessary.

I found the evidence room before I found a makeshift morgue, and the cage didn’t hold up any better than the exterior door. I didn’t see my armor laying out, but I did find a bloody axe that helped me go all “Friday the 13th” on the lockers in there. In addition to the lack of bodies, I didn’t even find my damn armor. Cocaine, crystal meth, jewelry, guns, cash, TV sets, game consoles, games, shoes, a half-eaten grilled cheese sandwich, and even some Christmas presents. Looks like they caught the Grinch. I bet his bail grew three sizes that day.

I got plenty of loot from just the one place. The cash was easy to turn into some online money. I was about to settle for pawn shops on the jewelry and guns, but Creeper remembered the phone numbers of some of his former minions who were career criminals. Creeper didn’t care how much they took, so long as there was cash involved.

As for me, I decided to head on down to where I knew I could find some people willing to make a deal on drugs: the ice rink. With all the Canuck gang members in town, I figured they had to meet somewhere. I found a lot of them milling around the ice rink, trying to look tough and intimidating even as they shared beer and stories about how they got scars and black eyes. “I was like, ‘You wanna get in my face about it?’ and he was like, ‘yeah,’ so I was like ‘get this in your face,” and I punched him,” said one of them when I walked up.

I wore a Pagliacci clown mask over a purple suit. “Ha, ha, ha, ha,” I spoke in a mocking monotone. “And I thought my jokes were bad.”

“Who’s this Joker wannabe?” asked one of them.

I shrugged. “Nobody important. Just someone with some product you might like.” I held open a backpack full of cocaine. “And it’s not Joker. Come on, you see all this? I’m Dr. Rockso, the Rock N’ Roll clown, and I have cocaine to sell.”

“Some guy walks up with all that in his backpack? What are you, a cop?”

I cocked my head to the side, then pulled out a phone showing a picture of the man the Royal Mounted Police were looking for in connection to somebody wrecking their shit and robbing them. Then I pulled off the mask. “You know, it’s entirely possibly some of your buddies lost a lot of evidence against them in that little raid, but I think that should establish that I’m not wearing a wire.”

“You got some balls coming to us with that. How do you know we won’t turn you over?” one of them asked, trying to look tough.

“Because that’d be stupid,” I said, matter-of-factly. That’s the thing about acting tough; it means you aren’t. A tough person doesn’t need to advertise that fact.

This one, a tall, thin, bald guy, looked back at the others he was with, turned a smirk in my direction. “You’re right. Come with us and we’ll get it tested. Or you can just leave it with us if you’re scared.”

I put the Pagliacci mask back on. “Let’s ride.”

One drug deal later, and Creeper and I had the money. I’m sure we could have gotten a lot more, but we were in a hurry. We still got more than enough to get our very own T-72 heavy

It was a beauty. As much as I dislike Russia in a lot of ways as being one of the most human of places in their hate and corruption, they know their firepower. Killing people is the only thing they do well. Indeed, thanks to that engineered murder and corruption, I was there to see Creeper take control of the giant robot and walk itself on top of the prepared chassis and settle into its place on top. He left it holding itself upright and joined me in finishing the connections.

Finally, with one cable that nearly left me looking like the Bride of Frankenstein, Dr. Creeper stood up and held his hands up. “At last. It’s alive! My Thunder Machine will finally unleash a storm on Vancouver and prove that Dr. Creeper is no passing villain. Beware, the thunder is at hand! MwahahahahaHA!”

Hey, he’s been practicing his evil laugh, too.

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Creeper Takes Canada! 8

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Another year, another prison. Since I’d been able to disguise my eyes with their barely-used chameleon function, Dr. Creeper and I appeared to be nothing more than humans with access to training. They put both of us in a local jail, some provincial correctional centre from the look of it. If they got any of our minions, they sent them elsewhere. They probably thought of putting Creeper in a higher security section as the mastermind, but he’s just an old man who can barely get around on his own. He didn’t have ready access to money or his equipment.

I gave Dr. Creeper a day to rest after our harrowing adventure. He hurried up to me the next day. “We have to get out of here!”

“Not your first time doing time, eh?” I asked.

“There are Canucks in here!”

“It’s a Canadian jail, so I’d naturally assume most of the prisoners are Canadian,” I responded.

He shook his head. “Remember when we saw all those Moose Knuckles?” A passing prisoner gave us a look but kept on walking.

“The bikers. And those other Canucks. You worried about them?” I took a look around, checking for any other inmates with really bad hockey helmet hair. Still no telling that’d actually be a Canuck.

“They put two and two together. I’ve seen them looking at me.” He looked around, spotting a group of about six people all looking at him.

“Damn Canada and its math education. Ok, so we might not want to stand out in the open like this if they’re coming for you now,” I said, checking them over.

“Won’t they attack us if we’re in private?” he asked.

“They can attack us in public, too. Difference is, I can get sent to higher security or solitary for kicking their asses in public, and that will set back our egress and leave you vulnerable. Sure would be a good time to move to a quieter area. Where’s the library?”

We found our way over to the inmate library, the patrolling guard , which had a number of books to keep a person’s mind distracted. I smiled at seeing “The Count of Monte Cristo” sitting in the Self-Help section. Good for them. And good for the Count. Revenge is a lovely thing to live for. Nice thing to kill for, too.

I ushered Creeper down into the stacks, which didn’t give people a lot of room to gang up on us. “Ok, so I’m going to need you to stay out of the way and as far in the middle as you can. Don’t want you getting shivved through the shelves, if they even can pull that off. And do not call for the guards. They’ll only get in the way.”

It took a minute for me to find myself facing two groups of six assholes ready to absorb the latest in footwear fashion advice. “Watch out,” I said to Creeper, eyeing this one big fellow in front of me. “This one learned to fight upside down and backwards.”

He didn’t think too hard about the joke and charged. I lifted myself up with the shelves and kicked him in the face I’d implied was an ass, breaking his nose. I heard someone coming up behind me and turned. This one had a paper mache knife. I pulled a book out to catch the blow. He stabbed Atlas Shrugged, and not a single thing of value was lost that day. I dropped the book, which took the makeshift knife with it, then swiped at his throat with my fingers. The blow turned him toward the shelves, which prevented me from getting hit by the spray of blood from his torn-open throat.

I stepped back to see the two guys behind him turn and run and to try and keep Creeper out of danger. I got myself grabbed by the big man with the broken nose from behind. Or I assume it was broken. I doublechecked and popped him in the nose with my head, so I got a little bit of blood on me. He tried to put my eye out and got his thumb burned off by a laser. He stumbled back toward his other Canucks, holding his hand. “Well? Don’t just stand there looking stupid, grasping your hand in pain. How about some applause for me?”

He yelled. I threw a paperback in his face and gave his belly a disemboweling swipe. “Must be a snitch, ’cause it looks likes someone’s spilling his guts.”

I grabbed a puking Dr. Creeper and led him out. The other two remaining Canucks didn’t try to follow. I led Creeper to the bathroom to let him shake it off, even as guards outside began to rush toward the library. I had a couple of seconds to wash blood off myself before the alarms sounded.

After everyone was rounded up and accounted for, they had a hell of a time trying to figure things out. They had an improvised knife and two dead bodies, so it ultimately was thought to be some sort of killing gone bad. Or at least that’s what they wrote it off as. Any knowledge of the gang dynamics or motivations would turn it up as a lie, but the Canucks could only talk so much, too. That’s just one of those things. Snitches get stitches. I’d have told in a heartbeat, though. I don’t mind when people do my work for me, especially if it’s something I could pull off on my own, like them taking me down. There comes a time when honor is inconvenient. If Master Academy comes after me, there’s only so much restraint I’ll show.

Escape wasn’t all that harrowing of an experience either. In exchange for a future sexual favor from Creeper, I negotiated a few minutes with someone’s cell phone. Didn’t even have to keep it. I was helping Creeper outside to the exercise yard for a walk toward a far fence well away from most of the sight lines. Good old chain link. I just burned right on through it. The Super getaway driver I’d contacted on my phone showed up right on time to pick us up. We were out in less time than it would take to reach the second chorus of the song “You’ve Got Time.”

“I pictured that taking longer in my head,” said Dr. Creeper from laying down in the backseat.

“So what do we do next, now that this plot didn’t quite work out?” I asked from the front.

The driver spoke up, “People, please! I won’t want to be that much of an accomplice.”

Creeper ignored him. “You don’t have to do anything. You have upheld your end of the favor and then some. There’s no need for you to keep helping me out.”

“I dunno. You needed quite a bit of help. If not for me, you’d be a one-shot. A villain of the week. Sadly, that’s at least a little bit my fault. Or a lot my fault. Rouge got my sword… somehow. I haven’t quite puzzled out which body part he used to grab it, but I’m beginning to wonder if he’s Centauri. You wouldn’t get that joke. Then he used my motorcycle. And that’s all after I messed up your original plan with the giant robot incident. Ya know, maybe you would do better without me.”

“I don’t blame you for any of it. It made a great story, but I am not going to be one-time villain. And it’s handy you bring up the robot.”

We were dropped off back at the lab, which had been looted quite a bit. Between fleeing minions, Rouge, and the police, very little had been left untouched. I helped the Doc. “They’ll check here now that you’re out. We need to grab and go. No place for repairs.”

“No, no, you’re right. Help me find the replacement brace and my emergency stash. Shouldn’t you grab your armor?”

Dr. Creeper kept an old, rusty toolbox with a false bottom for hiding cash in. He’d stuffed it full following the bank job and hid it next to a closet with more of his braces. The braces had mostly been looted, but he found one he said he could get functional with limited tweaks. He also had me carry out a smaller canister like the ones he kept the mixed gasses in for his little weather plot. Maybe he hoped to salvage that much for future use.

As for me, I found the crate with my armor in it busted open. Dammit. I didn’t think anyone would just wreck it like that. The crate had “Dildoes, Industrial Strength,” on the side, and I doubted even the cops would seize it. I thought wrong, apparently. Damn you, stencils, you failed me again! Indeed, I wouldn’t find out until the Super service dropped us off at the barn outside of Vancouver that it actually had been the police to grab it. Vancouver’s finest had dumped it in an evidence lock-up somewhere, sources reported online.

As far as the barn goes, it was nothing to write to another dimension about except for the giant robot inside. Even partially assembled, it still cut an impressive figure. “The authorities who recovered it on the highway misplaced it but found themselves with an impressive pension,” Creeper explained.

“Money and parts. Mostly money for parts. Wish we had some autoworkers. Better yet, auto-working robots.”

“I have an idea to expedite matters. I can get this up and working again in no time now I’ve put one together from scratch.” He smacked one fist into the palm of the other hand.

“Good,” I said. “While you’re doing that, I think I’ll just have to waltz through the city and tear apart police stations until I get my latest armor back.”

“Good. That is very fitting. This is no time for grand schemes, I think. Just enough destruction to let them know that I am mad scientist to be taken seriously!” He walked over to the robot and climbed slowly up to the chest so he could access the head. A lever popped it open, and he reached inside to pull something else. He had to hold on as the robot shifted. Its right shoulder opened and a metal tube lifted out on a base. The tube extended into a smaller one, then another, until it had formed a cannon. He looked down at me. “You brought the mixture, yeah?”

When I nodded, he added. “Good. Let’s get ready to take a parting shot at this city.”

So, on the same day we broke out of jail, Creeper set to work rebuilding his brace and robot, and I made him an artillery shell full of ice and thunder to rain down over the city.

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Creeper Takes Canada! 7

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“Not even the tip?” I asked.

Rouge rapidly shook his head from his position handcuffed to the bed of his cell. “I was just playing with you. I’m not into guys.”

“Not even when you could fake some Stockholm Syndrome to try and get free?” I asked. I pretended to drop the keys between his legs. “Whoops. I seem to have dropped the keys to those cuffs. I think they fell in your asshole. I better try to fish them out.”

“No, no, no, no, no, no!” he said. “I can feel them against my balls. You don’t have to touch anything to get them back. Or even leave, I don’t care. But I don’t like this kind of thing.”

I rolled my eyes. “Tease. Next time, don’t start flirting in the middle of a fight unless you want to go down when you go down.” I grabbed my keys back and left the room. There goes getting laid on this trip. He might realize I left him handcuffed in there before long. I might have some of the minion team let him loose later.

From there, I went to find Creeper. He’d been overseeing the loading of the weather formula containers into the airship when I ducked out to try and convince Rouge to join me for a little friendly swordplay. Imagine my surprise when I found him almost taking off without me. I had to run to make it aboard along with the last of the mad lab assistants.

“All aboard who’s coming aboard!” yelled one of them, who wore a pirate hat and a lab coat with a skull and crossbones on the back.

“And just who might you be?” I asked as we pulled up the ladders and ropes to begin our ascent.

I gave me a mock salute. “I’m the first mate, on account of my experience on my dad’s boat and my research into aeronautics. I used to work at the lab.”

“Well then, matey, make sure your poopdeck’s prepared for some action. I have trouble believing there’s only one superhero in such a large city, and I somehow doubt this is going to go smoothly. Things never go smoothly. People don’t like being frozen for some reason. I blame Florida’s immigration campaign. ‘Florida… because you’re so old, you only want to pay for air conditioning.’”

“…Right, sir, or whatever I call you,” he responded.

“I’m the Hussar, so that’s what you call me. You know, that, or, uh, His Hussarness, or uh, or El Hussarino if you’re not into the whole brevity thing. Either way, I’m the man with the sword.”

“Sure. Fine. I just wouldn’t go back for it if I were you. We’re a bit high up.”

I looked down to where I should have had my jian sword hanging at my hip and found nothing. That’s not good. And he was right. Most people think of airships as being fairly slow, but we’d gotten high enough off the ground that my survival would be painful and involve rehab.

I tried to think where I left it. I had it at lunch, I remember, because I stabbed it into the sliced chicken sandwich to call “dibs” on it before someone else could grab it. And then I used it to help spread some of that Japanese mayonnaise on the sandwich. Oh, and to pick some chicken out of my teeth after that. Then there was trying to get this one really annoying clinger out of my nose while sitting on the toilet, followed by washing it off in the sink and waiting under the damn hand dryer way too long. I even had it when I went in to try and seduce our prisoner with handcuffs and coercion. Ya know, if I had just slipped him a roofie, that would have worked out. Can’t say ‘no’ if you’re too incapacitated by drugs to say anything at all. Can’t say ‘yes,’ either, but that’s just how intoxication goes.

And after trying to make some hot gay rice pudding with that cocktease, I came straight here. Straight here. No stops. No bumping into pickpockets.

Well, crap. He must have footsied it right out of its sheath while he was giving me those pouty “don’t rape me,” puppydog eyes. I hate when people’s pets look at me like they don’t want me stuffing and mounting them. And I’m no taxidermist.

So that’s a hero back in our base with access to a sword. I’m sure it’ll be fine. Yeah, right. “Hey, first mate person!” I called out. He’d been walking away during all my pondering.

“Yeah?”

“Where’s the radio on this thing? I need to call back down to base.”

“We piled it all into the bridge.”

I burst into the bridge. “Number 1, report!”

From back behind me down the deck, he said, “You ran to the door of the bridge! Should be a radio in there!”

“Right. Hey everyone. Hey Doc. There’s a radio in here, right?” I asked, looking around at the people all standing up at tables and shelves with equipment set up.

Creeper pointed back down the airship. “Oh, there you are, Hussar. The radio was making too much noise and taking up too much space, so we moved it to the maintenance closet.”

“Right, thanks. By the way, you didn’t leave anything that could fly back at the lab, did you?”

Dr. Creeper shook his head.

I ran back, almost bowling over the first mate trying to find the maintenance room. They cleverly hid it in the room marked “Broom Closet”. I threw open the door and found myself inundated with smoke and noise. The radio operator had techno music blasting while he smoked a cigarillo.

“Turn down the music ya friggin’ bass head! It sounds like a strip club in here.” I yelled. The operator scrambled to turn the music off. “Just get some dancing girls in cages, why don’t you?”

“Sorry, my man. What do you need?”

“Whenever you get done practicing for your DJ gig, I need to call down to the base and tell them that our prisoner is armed and presumed escaping.”

“Got it.” He turned and fiddled around with the dials, then pulled up a microphone. “This is Creeper One to Ground Control. Someone pick up.”

There was a sound like a bunch of scrabbling, a thud, and a screaming.

I leaned down over the mic. “What’s going on down there? Come in!”

“Uh, everything is under control. Situation normal,” the base responded.

“What happened?” I asked.

“Uh, had a slight weapon malfunction, but, uh, everything’s perfectly alright now. We’re fine. We’re all fine here, now, thank you. How are you?”

That didn’t sound suspicious at all. “I’m doing good. A bit tired. That Rouge really took it out of me. And I mean that sentence in all kinds of ways. He took it like a champ. I was definitely not his first. And the mouth on him, geez. The guy could suck a golf ball through a garden hose, and swallow cold molasses. Feel free to stop by his cell, unless you’re a woman. He is strictly dickly.”

“Like hell!” the radio person on the other side yelled. “Um, I mean…”

I waited a second for a continuation of that sentence before I asked, “Rouge?”

“No.”

“Don’t lie now.”

“…Yes.”

“Crap. Expletive meaning only, Rouge. I know you can’t. You’re pretty well backed up now, I’m sure, after the ramming up in there. Ya know, from the sex.”

“We didn’t have sex!”

“Lovemaking then, whatever. Listen, you need to go back to your cell and think about what you’ve done. And whatever you do, do not, I repeat, do not try to stop this evil scheme.”

“Uh, negative.” Then there was a loud sound and the operator started wiggling some knobs.

“I think he hung up on us,” I said.

“At least there’s nothing down there he can fly up here, right?” asked the radio operator.

I shrugged. “We didn’t buy a spare airship. Bank vaults aren’t just packed full of cash. So it’s just some cars, some vans. A few extra parachutes, but those aren’t so good at getting up here. Oh, and my motorcycle with the rockets.” I paused a second. “Do we have any anti-air weapons on this boat?”

He frowned. “The doctor said they were saw blade harpoons, whatever that means.”

“Get ’em ready and pointed down,” I said.

I headed outside to find the bridge again. Just before I opened the door, someone called out, “Holy crap!” I checked over the side of the airship.

Rouge, asshole, flew through the air, holding tight to my motorcycle as the rocket engines shot him toward us at a sharp angle. It was awesome, but that was the kind of awesome thing I should have been doing, not him. Not only is he a cockblocker, but he’s a crotch rocket cuckold. On the plus side, there wasn’t a whole lot he could do to take down the airship with a sword, or even his pistol.

He didn’t do either of those. Instead, he sat up and let go of the handlebars. He let go with is legs, too, pulling a back flip as the motorcycle flew out from under him and revealing a pack on his back. As he straightened up and began to fall, fabric opened up and spread out, revealing the purpose of the pack on his back.

And the motorcycle just kept coming. I mean, damn. Did he jam the handlebars or something? There’s wind up here, but it flew right at the balloon.

“Quick!” I yelled out impotently, “Pull a sharp right!”

The motorcycle crashed into the balloon and rammed right through, which is survivable. Even at our height, balloons don’t have very fast crashes. Then the cycle hit an internal support and exploded. Most cars don’t explode when they crash, but most cars aren’t loaded with rocket fuel.

A groaning preceded a loud snap. The airship tilted over sharply, throwing me against the side of the bridge. I laid there for a few seconds to get my bearings and figure out if we were going to roll even more. From the open door of the radio room further toward the rear, I heard the radio blasting “Nearer, My God, to Thee”. It contrasted nicely with the screams from falling henchmen, who would hopefully remember their parachutes. I mean, if they’d only gotten on at the last minute like me, maybe they wouldn’t.

But now wasn’t the time to lament lost chutes. I had a doctor to save. Dammit, readers, I’m a villain, not an emergency worker!

I crawled over to the door of the bridge and looked in. I saw Dr. Creeper holding on to the door on the opposite side, Vancouver far below. I could see the fear in his goggles as he looked up at me. His gloves slipped and he fell prey to gravity’s mentally-disabled kid squeezy hug of affection.

I pulled myself over into the door way and dove for the other, following after him. He had spread his body out to try and slow down. Good for him, because I didn’t have to rely on mere physics to catch up. I clicked my heels together and felt rocket science add to the power of gravity.

I kicked them off briefly as I tackled Creeper. “You ok?” he asked.

The way he clutched at his chest, I thought he might be having a heart attack. After a moment, he spoke up, “You knocked the air out of me!”

“There are worse fluids to lose,” I said. “Now hold on. It’s time to give gravity the finger.”

I swung my legs down underneath me and clicked my heels together. “There’s no place like ground, there’s no place like ground, there’s no place like ground,” I said as the rockets kicked on and fought against gravity. I didn’t add any kind of power dial, and fuel was limited, so I made my careful descent by turning them off, then slowing my fall with the rockets. When we landed, I fell down with Dr. Creeper over me in the middle of a street. Some people noticed us, but most were busy gawking at the airship crashing at a glacial pace.

“Thank you for flying Air Jordan, we’re now landing in Vancouver, the local time is 2:34 PM, and the weather is clear.” One of our henchmen came screaming out of the sky to splat nearby. “Correction, it’s raining men.”

“Holy shit!” said Creeper as he stood up, still gasping for breath as he looked at the ship, then felt all over himself as if to make sure he was really there.

I shrugged. “Any crash you walk away from, right Doc?”

“Yes, I suppose. That was certainly grand, I suppose.”

That’s when the cavalry arrived for the other side. Dozens of men on horses flooded the street, all of them armed with SMGs pointed right at myself and Dr. Creeper. “Royal Canadian Mounted Police!” one of them yelled.

Dr. Creeper raised his hands to the sky. When he saw me reaching for the butterfly sword hidden on my back, he tugged at my hand. “Discretion and valor, Hussar. We can’t break out of a morgue.”

I hesitated, then raised my hands as well. If it had just been me, I suppose I’d have tried fighting my way through the Canadian kilted yaksmen. “Fine, doc. But you’re wrong. There are ways to get those little doors open.”

“Let’s not find out, alright?” asked Creeper just before the Mounties dogpiled us.

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Creeper Takes Canada! 6

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Now, we couldn’t just unleash our blimp on the world and expect people to think straight in the panic. I mean, I could. Creeper didn’t want to. But it gave me time to work out a few last minute kinks and see what I could do to catch Rouge before he interferes further with our plans. So Creeper started planning a bit of advertising while I practiced with my swords, finished my boots, and began tinkering with my new motorcycle.

“What are you doing there?” Creeper stopped by to ask. He mostly kept his attention on his tablet, pushing buttons on it.

“Well, since I got the boots fixed, they gave me an idea for this thing. Hopefully it’ll be ready by the time things go into the air. What about you? I thought you had some gasses to mix,” I looked up from wrenching away at my bike with a crescent.

He looked around for a chair and plopped into the nearby recliner I’d set up before holding up the tablet. “I can monitor that here. I love these new computers. My daugher showed me how to use them.”

“Yeah, you said she was going by the traditional name. How’s she doing? Have I had run-ins with her?”

He went back to examining his tablet, putting a finger to something and dragging it elsewhere. “She saw you in a bar once but she didn’t think you noticed her.”

“Huh,” I suppose there are plenty of people like that. “Well, at least things didn’t turn violent.”

“She said the bouncer didn’t recognize you, so you forced him to grab your balls, then cut his hand off. That was the first time she ever saw the rocket launchers come out there. You worried everyone.”

Huh. I mean, I don’t remember the specific incident. It just doesn’t stand out that much, though it has been awhile. “Sounds like something I’d do.”

“You worry a lot of people. She said half the villains are worried you will turn on them. I understand it more after our encounter with the Canucks and Moose Knuckles. It seems like the supervillains fight each other a lot.” He leaned over his tablet even more, watching something closely.

“True,” I grabbed a screwdriver and tried attaching a little something near the muffler. “Oligarch had his plan, and I stopped that. The Fluidic aliens had their plan, but I stopped that. I took over, and Cercopagis Lysis tried to take me out. Then the heroes unleashed a copy of me to fight me. If they hadn’t done that, I bet the Claw had a plan to betray me. And now I might be the one to stop Claw. Probably will, all things considered.”

“Why can’t the heroes do it?” he asked, looking up.

I shrugged. “Dunno. Technically, he’s the legitimate ruler of his country. If, by legitimate, you mean he killed the previous dictator, rules with an unquestioned iron fist, sends tutors to third world countries to teach torture techniques, and has been legally recognized by every country in the United Nations. To be fair, the United States does that torture tutor thing, too.”

“Why does that stop the heroes?” Creeper asked.

I scratched my head with the screwdriver, then grabbed a socket wrench. “Superheroes keep the peace and uphold law and order. In his kind of country, they uphold his kind of law and order. It gets extremely iffy if our superheroes go around toppling other countries. Other countries might reasonably ask why it is that a citizen of another country is allowed to impose foreign values on a place they probably don’t even speak the language of. That, and there’s all kinds of legal grey areas there that heroes don’t like to get tangled up in. So heroes aren’t good for the really important things like that. Except maybe Titan.”

Creeper looked up. “I thought of joining him. Maybe after this is over, I’ll help him with weather and robotic farming in another country. Think about it, towering Nazi-designed robots marching through the verdant fields of sub-Saharan Africa.”

“As fun as towering, Nazi-designed robots make anything, agriculture’s using drones now. But we’ll blow that bridge up when we get to it. For now, we have a ransom to make.”

We decided to raid this legislative session of the city council. On a good day, they might have a single bored reporter there, or a couple of high ones. Creeper got on the phone and spread some rumors about a scandal coming out. That might even double the journalistic turnout. I went behind his back and sent in a rumor that a supervillain would attack the session. If it bleeds, it leads.

I brought along the Hussar Cycle and lagged behind the others quite a bit, since I wasn’t really disguised. We had earpieces on this job, so I could stay in contact while the others went on ahead in the cars.

The plan involved them busting into the session, with Creeper’s ray gun waving around. If the cops were stupid, they might get laser beamed. If not, no casualties. They’re really nice about it all. Creeper would take the stage, or whatever they have in the city council, and make his big announcement.

“Citizens of Vancouver, you are now on the verge of an ice age! I am here to wreak havoc on your environmentalist efforts, unless you pay me one billion dollars!”

There was much gasping. Then, “Um, how?”

“Cash. Or gold! I will take bearer bonds, even.”

“Like, right now? Nobody has that kind of money on them.”

“We will set up a dead drop!”

I knew we forgot something. I reached over and grabbed the cell phone from some woman walking by next to me. “Hey-!” she started to say, until she suddenly fell asleep after taking a fist-sized sleeping pill.

I gave my phone a call from the new one, then told Creeper the phone number. “If they call that number, we’ll give them the location of the dead drop.”

“And here is the number to call once you have the money. Tie up the line if you wish. It is your loss.”

“Who are you, mysterious and menacing stranger?” Geez, is someone feeding these reporters lines? I wonder if that’s the kind of stupid phrasing they come up with when they know this sort of thing is coming.

“I am Dr. Creeper! Mwahahahaha!”

Ouch. He needed more work on the laugh.

I heard the sound of doors bursting open as someone fell to the ground. Then a smack, a thud, and someone moaning in pain. “It will certainly be a cold day in hell before I let you turn my city into a block of ice. Allow me to express my pointed discontent with your plan,” said a voice it took me a moment to place.

Luckily, I had some help from one of the reporters, “Rouge!”

I took off, heading for the council building. As the assistant to the bad guy, I get to make my own separate cool entrance, and this was the time for it.

I passed by Rouge’s cycle by the sidewalk, along with some limping henchmen who cheered upon seeing me. I circled around until I found a reinforced van sitting a few feet back from a hole in the wall. I zipped right through, clipping a retreating minion as I did so. I found Rouge there, running on a fucking wall to dodge ray blasts from Dr. Creeper with a sword in his hand. I headed for them. Rouge landed right in front of Creeper and brought his sword down to knock the raygun from the Doctor’s hands. My sword blocked it.

“Hussar, deal with this man,” said Dr. Creeper.

“You won’t stop me unless you step up your game,” said Rouge.

I swung my blade at Rouge’s head, causing him to back off. He tried to get around me toward the old man as the other villain gathered up his henchmen to go. I drove a tight circle around to get back in front of him and block his path. I then began to circle him as tightly as I could, stabbing. Rouge put his skill to use blocking and deflecting my stabs. I kept him off balance enough to prevent him from stopping Creeper’s retreat. And even from attacking me. Then he deflected a strike too little and I gave him a small cut on the arm. Despite that, a smile grew on his face. I almost felt it coming when he changed that and whipped his sword around to give me a small slice on the shoulder. Then he vaulted over the back of my bike.

I had to spin the bike around, leaving skid marks on the floor, but Rouge’s focus was entirely on me. He had that darn smile on his face still. He raised his sword in a salute. “I needed that scratch to awaken me.”

“Are you having fun yet?” I asked.

“It is rare for common criminals to give me a challenge,” he responded.

“I’m far from a common criminal, myself and my friends. Careful, if you focus on me, you’ll never catch him.”

His smile twitched. “You’re right. I should focus on the others. What reason do I have to pursue you instead?”

I reached over and grabbed the first person I could get my hands on and pulled him across my boke. A blond young man, a bit of a looker. I left my hand on his ass, purely to steady him on the bike. “Can’t let an innocent hostage get hurt, can you?” I gunned the bike and headed out for the gap in the wall. The rest of the team had taken off in the cars. I took a little longer to navigate the wreckage. Rouge took the time to run outside to his bike. Since I’d deliberately taken so long, I only had a few seconds of head-start. I wasn’t going my fastest, either. Extra weight of a hostage in an awkward position.

I soon saw Rouge approach in my rear view. A gunshot took off the rearview on my side. I turned and raised a blade, catching his as a weak swipe came my way. I slowed down to move alongside him. I sat up then to give myself better range of movement. Cocky bastard decided to outdo me by jumping up to his feet. I pressed down on the hostage slung over in front of me and got to my feet.

Rouge and I exchanged thrusts and swings like that. When a car threatened to come between us the first time, he kicked his handlebars to steer around it. We met again in front, sparks flying off our blades as I leveraged our words up in between us. We both stood there, looking into each other’s eyes with blades between us and either grins or gritted teeth.

A bus was coming up, and I adjusted my footing to plant a foot on the handlebars. I swerved around it and took a breath that I soon cut short as a swipe from atop the bus almost knocked my sword free. Rouge ran atop it, but dodging was as easy as ducking now that I knew he was there. At the front, he lept down onto his bike.

When I brought us together, we caught blades again. This time, I whipped out my butterfly sword from behind my back. Rouge hopped onto the front of my bike then, with the hostage between us. I backed off to avoid a stabbin’, at which point Rouge reached down and grabbed the back of the hostage’s belt to help him across to his own bike. “Let’s keep this between the two of us, shall we?” He winked at me.

I nodded. “Fine. I like it… intimate.”

“Perhaps once I have you in handcuffs,” he said, “we shall have time to get to know each other better. It is a shame to lose someone so exciting and refreshing.”

Ok, so he’s into me. Somehow. Must be because he doesn’t know me. Or he’s trying to get to me. Little does he know, when I play gay chicken, I play gay chicken all the way.

“I hope you feel the same when you’re in cuffs.” I kicked at a newly-installed button between Rouge’s legs. The rocket engines attached to the bike kicked in. I grabbed my spear in its holster to hold on. Rouge flew back toward me and almost went off the end of the bike, losing his sword. I grabbed hold of his rear collar and held onto him, then threw him onto the hood of a car we passed. Then I dropped down to kill the rockets and circle back around to grab him.

I found him conked unconscious with a crack in the windshield of an extremely distraught driver who wasn’t in the mood to argue once I pulled Rouge’s gun and held it on him.

As for Rouge, he awoke to find himself handcuffed in a little cell in the lab, watched by camera. He should really get a brain scan, but we had to settle for giving him a couple aspirin next to a plate of food and some water.

“Now, Doctor,” I said, looking at the monitor’s screen at him as Creeper observed the trapped hero. “I believe your plan can now proceed with no obstructions at all.”

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Creeper Takes Canada! 5

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“Next time,” didn’t work out quite as well as we hoped.

With a bit of cash under our belts, Creeper decided to assemble a large balloon. Hydrogen. Could be a balloon, could be a dirigible. Might even be a zeppelin. Hold on one second. Correction, it’s a rigid airship. He bought the thing from Goodyear and had it brought here for us to repaint and reassemble. And by us, I mean the minions. I had to help them, but not with that.

Both to help gas up the airship and for his current, non-robotic nefarious scheme, Dr. Creeper brought on more henchpeople and had them start robbing some places. Laboratory supplies and so forth. It’s done much better now, too. He bought them goggles and shirts with his own name on them. Creeper confessed to me that he thought about dressing them all up as mad lab assistants, but that would just mean lab coats. Maybe black ones to denote the evil. And having that many other people running around in lab coats would kind of throw off the significance of him being the big guy in charge. I suggested scrubs to him, but he pointed out that’s more of a medical thing and he’s not that sort of doctor.

Which reminds me, I need to find the time to look up if there’s ever been a mad proctologist. If not, I plan to find a regular proctologist and drive him to insanity. I can almost envision it. A government official drives home, only for a flying saucer to appear and abduct him in a forcefield. It’s not an alien! No, he’s getting probed by… The Mad Proctologist! And, through the power of the probe-u-lator, a brief sixteen hour anal exam forces him to give up governent secrets. It’s brilliant, brilliant I say!

On the plus side of the costume situation, Dr. Creeper arranged for the first batch of minions to have their new outfits custom-tailored, and he plans to do the same for this second group, too.

They weren’t necessarily supposed to be quiet about everything as a way to breed name recognition. It didn’t surprise me that in my guise as Dr. Creeper’s second-in-command, I was called upon to save them. I was hanging out in the Executive Break Room, which is basically just a small room where Creeper and I can talk without being so careful about my identity. I was hanging out and having a cappucino. He was laying down without his back brace on.

“You ok over there?” I asked. He was making noises people usually only make when they’re getting tortured or having sex. There’s a lot of similarity there. Certain groans and moans, along with some cries to deities and references to genitals. Like “Oh god, my balls feel like..” He wasn’t referencing his balls, which is good for me. There are some things I don’t need the skinny on. One of those things, a pair of those things I assume, is/are Creeper’s balls.

“Ungh. Oooh. Oh yeah, that’s just what I needed. I see why it is so fun. The work gives me energy, but it takes a toll whenever I stop to rest.” He looked up and smiled at me. “I feel like a kid again. Thank you for all your help.”

I gave him a thumbs-up. “Sure thing. Glad you’re having fun. I mean, it’d suck to do all this and not even have any fun doing it. I’ve had trouble with that, too.”

The intercom crackled to life. “Hello, Dr. Creeper, sir? Team 11 is calling from Axis Chemicals. They say they lost contact with some of the team and think a superhero is on the scene.”

“There is no rest for the wicked,” Creeper said, then started to sit up.

I held up a hand to stop him. “I got this. Tell Team 11 the cavalry’s on the way.” See, it’s funny, because hussars were cavalry.

I headed out on the new Hussar Cycle. It’s just a black rice rocket with a holster for a pair of lances. Nothing all that special. The assistant back at the lab sent me the address I needed to get to and I made my way there. As usual, I ignored most traffic laws, and occasionally the law of gravity. And the law of gravity’s a real asshole. Trust me, that one loves to use lethal force.

I got there in time to find the police present at Axis, which was actually Axis Mundi Chemicals. They had one of the big wagons there they were loading a whole bunch of beaten-up Creeper gang members into. Completely unacceptable, I’d say. Good thing they had me to act as their lawyer. I saw the closest cops turn to address my pointed legal argument, which involved me holding a lance while braking and doing a front wheelie. He needed that like he needed a hole in the chest, but he got it anyway.

I let the lance and the cycle drop so I could get off and whip out my sword. The nearest one to pull some gun-shaped object lost his hands at the wrist. The one after that fell to the ground with a broken collarbone and a bit of bleeding.

That left me with another half dozen officers around me. “I’m only going to give you this chance once because someone has decided to play nice. Tend to your friends. They can be saved, and this guy’s,” I nodded toward Handless Joe Jackson, “hands can be successfully reattached if you get him and them to a hospital now. All you have to do is leave me with them.” I raised my sword to point to the minions.

The cops lowered their guns and moved to grab their buddies, as well as the one’s hands. “Make sure you don’t mix them up,” I added before stepping over to the minions.

“Jesus!” said one of them.

“Hussar, actually. Stand up, get on out of here, and turn around so I can see your hands,” I said, waving them onward with my sword.

“He’s gonna cut off our hands for failing him!” said one of them in the back.

“Tempting, but that is a decision for the doctor. Want to know just how sharp my sword is, though? Sharp enough to cut you loose from handcuffs. Want proof?” With the choice between freedom and incarceration in the air, the henchmen didn’t sit around on their hands waiting for the cuffs to rust off and we actually got ourselves a couple of new cars courtesy of the police. They even had the substances the minions had been after bagged up for us already. As they scrambled to get it all loaded, I grabbed the nearest one and asked, “How did y’all get caught, anyway?”

“Uhhh, you know that fruity hero with the red outfit who jumped around all the time? Rouge?”

I nodded. “So he showed up again. Probably a coincidence, this time.” I let him go while I disabled the GPS trackers in the vehicles we were taking.

Back at the lab, Creeper was elated at the recovery of the items and the minions. He even told that group to take the rest of the night off and come back the next day. Then he pulled me aside to walk me over to where another pair of teams were assembling the airship. “Did you kill anyone?” he asked.

I shrugged. “Maybe. I don’t think so. I badly wounded two of the cops and gave the rest a choice of saving their lives or turning it into a fight. Canadian healthcare won out. It was Rouge again.”

“Could he have tracked them somehow? No, that would be improbable. We would know. They would be here, now. I would spend all night cleaning the buzzsaw traps. Hey, I have people to do that for me now! Oh, but I wouldn’t want someone to have an accident and lose a finger.” He folded his fingers together thinking that through. “Perhaps I need to hold a seminar or write a manual on proper maintenance of the traps.”

“You have a lot of other stuff on your plate right now besides traps, ya know. Like our insidious method of tire advertisement that your minions scramble to assemble even now. Soon the world shall tremble at our high quality rubber!” I said it with a lot of sarcasm so he’d know it was in jest. “But I am really curious now what we’re going to use this thing for. It’s a bit of a floating target, and there aren’t too many plots you can use one for.”

“You are correct. I thought hard about what to do that fits a man of my skills and gimmick. I decided we’re going to mess with the weather.”

My mind immediately went to the entire crew of henchmen performing a choreographed musical number around me while I attempt a rain dance. The blimp stands a better chance. Rigid airship, I mean. It’s hard, and ribbed for our pleasure.

“I am not a lifelong scientist, but I know of a chemical mixture that can be seeded into the atmosphere to induce storms and worse. The Chinese have been working on it for years with limited success. I worked in a climate lab once and there was limited collaboration. Soon, with the help of the men and women working under me, I will unleash the storm of a century on Vancouver. Ice will rain down and lightning will shake the city to its very foundation!” By now, his voice had picked up in volume and his hands were now claws grabbing hold of the air.

“I haven’t even gotten to the ransom!” he said, turning to look at me.

I pretended to be writing on a notepad. “Please, doctor, tell me about the ransom.”

“If Canada does not pay me fifty billion dollars, I will cover half of the country with ice!” he yelled, then tried out a laugh. It wasn’t his best work. A lot of villains have to hire a vocal coach for that sort of thing.

“Doc, I’m pretty sure at least half of Canada is already covered in ice. Like, permanently.”

His face screwed up like he smelled a fart. I really felt like having egg sandwiches for dinner. This time when he spoke, he was quieter about it. “I mean the other half. The parts that aren’t so cold. It is going to be summer soon. Do you think I’m asking for too much money?”

I pulled out my phone to check.

“I’ll look up the GDP of the place and get back to you on that, but offhand I’d say… probably? I don’t know if you can get that much, especially with just one airship. I know a billion doesn’t stretch as far as it used to, but maybe we should start there and work our way up? Oh, yeah, they definitely have fifty billion to toss around, I see here. But I don’t think you have much grounds to go for it. It’s kinda easy to take down a blimp.”

He rubbed his hands together. “That is the beauty of the formula… I am using a chemical composition with a density that will keep it high enough in the troposphere to continue weather patterns until the correct counter reagent is introduced. Even if they shoot us down, the storms carry on. What do you think?”

I gave him a golf clap. “It’s genius, it’s nefarious, it’s fabulous; I like it. If you can get that over more of Canada, we got a fifty billion dollar idea on our hands. Try it out on Vancouver for a billion. If they pay pronto, we’ll move on Toronto.”

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Creeper Takes Canada! 4

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In spite of how much more fun this nonsensical little side job is, my thoughts keep returning to the situation with The Claw and Master Academy. It’d be easier to take seriously if his ally in the United States wasn’t a nincompoop in addition to being a fascist puppet of a foreign power. To be fair, that’s not mutually exclusive in any sense. Lenin was a puppet of a foreign power. Mussolini was a fascist moron. Contrary to popular perception, dictators in general, and fascists in particular, are terribly inefficient at getting anything done.

That’s holding stuff up in the United States, since now he can’t get pretty much anything pushed through in terms of legislation, and his own party just spent eight straight years arguing that executive orders aren’t legitimate. And while he’s running around like that, the only thing he’s not doing is projecting power overseas to halt any advances by hostile countries, like the Russians, North Koreans, and the Claw.

Technically, we’re a bit closer now that we’re now close to the Pacific, but the Claw’s been going for smaller targets than Canada. I’m fairly certain the U.S. military won’t sit around on their hands if anyone goes after their closest northern neighbor. I’m not worried about him coming after me. The guy probably doesn’t even know I’m alive, though I still have at least one loose end to chase down at some point when I get back to interrogating Master Academy. So I don’t know why I felt like checking in on everything.

There’s not a whole lot going on. The Claw’s been pretty good at preventing information from leaking out from within his regime, and North Korea doesn’t have a free press.

But there’s still stuff to note. Captain Lightning hasn’t been seen in weeks. People don’t know if it’s due to retirement or something a bit more sinister, because there’s been nothing released about him. I know the guy was old, but the timing is suspicious.In light of that, I checked on some more of the big names.

War Man had been meant to ship out to Germany. And that’s the last they have about him. And here I am without an easy way to access Department of Defense records to see what he’s doing over there. Something about mole men almost collapsing Germany into a giant sinkhole. They were a Soviet-era super soldier project that got shut down, put into cold storage, and lost in the shuffle, allegedly. That’s the Russians’ story and they’re sticking to it. Frozen Russian mole man-pops. Knowing the Russians, they’d be polonium-flavored.

Eschaton, that fantastic flaming man, saved the Philippines from being swallowed by the sea due to some aquatic villain called Silver Shark. From the picture, it looks like a human cyborg with shark pieces. I hope he survived, because that sounds awesome. That’s the last the news has on Eschaton, but that was just a couple weeks back.

I know I’m not the type to fanboy over superheroes. I’m probably the last person to hope they’re doing well. I just feel better knowing they’re around to deal with The Claw. But if The Claw’s targeting Master Academy, I still feel a nagging urge to do something about that for the way they took me in. I’d rather the heroes do the good deed so I can avoid it. And I don’t trust The Claw. He’s slippery, wily. He’s got a brain on him, and surrounds himself with a shroud of mystery.

The Claw lives in a palace. No, he stays in a bunker. He tours his nation every day dressed as a normal person. He rules from a tower that allows him to see over the whole of his country. Who knows what the truth is? For all I know, he’s fighting on the front lines and killing anyone who sees him.

He has long, sharp claws. He has laser claws. He can grow giant. He’s super-intelligent. He’s actually an alien, or a fae, or some mutated human. I know that at least two of those are true. I’ve seen the documents and photos about him growing to 100 feet tall and throwing a train at someone. He’s yellow, with large eyes, a mouth full of fangs, pointy ears, and claws. I wonder what color he bleeds?

I had too much time for such speculation while building my rocket boots, which I still haven’t finished. In addition to being totally cool, they will give me much greater mobility. A villain on the go needs to be able to move quickly, and vertical movement is always a plus in an urban environment. Or against an enemy who can’t fly. Just watch for thrown rocks, unless the opponent is Gorilla Awesome. Stuff still gets thrown… just not rocks. Not really, but he would hate that joke.

Between cyber stalking superheroes and strapping explosives to my feet, I also took the time to figure out what I’d do for weapons. I felt I needed at least one as Hussar, and I’m not much of a spear guy. I’ll keep one in reserve, but I need a new one of those, too. Lucky me, the same people I got my armor pieces and hussar wings from had some legitimate weapons and knew where to find any others I might want to try out.

I brought along some of the new gang to help with that. Creeper’s hold-up of the armored transport wasn’t just about warming up; he’s been using the cash for cars, hired help, and whatever equipment he can get to arm his new minions. After the run-in with the gangs and police, I think it’s safe to say he doesn’t mind some lethal ordinance. He’s not giving them anything too powerful, though. He settled on rifles that look like long, smooth canisters except for a barrel with a fin sticking up. They fire lasers of adjustable strength. The lowest range will heat someone up and leave them with light burns. The highest puts a hole in people. They’ll need them. They sure as shit aren’t swordsmen.

I settled on a thin Jian sword, a type of Chinese sword that doesn’t look particularly out of place. I like how it moves, and I don’t need anything too fancy. I tossed in another couple blades, too. Like a shorter sword, a butterfly sword, in a sheath under the hussar wings. And a trench knife in a boot sheath. Knives are fun. But apparently not fun enough for people to hang out and be my stabbin’ dummies.

Before I could head to the nearest grocery store meat department to test my new blades out on the pork, I received a call from Dr. Creeper. “I need to plan my debut at the bank. It would be a shame not to utilize your experience. Are you available to meet me back at the lab?”

“Sure, I’ll come down to the lab and see what’s on the slab,” I said. At least with a bank job, I stand a good chance of being able to test these out on a different sort of pig.

Dr. Creeper had a detailed map of the interior courtesy. “I must credit you with that. Your zeppelin drone gave me many ideas. I thought, ‘Why not use a normal balloon like someone delivers to a loved one for their birthday or anniversary?’ and that is how I we have these pictures.”

“Good thinking. The tellers will have a bunch of cash, but nothing groundbreaking. Most of a bank’s money is electronic. There’s also whatever the vault’s packing, but you have to prevent anyone from closing it.”

He smiled behind a pair of thick lab goggles. “I have just the thing!”

We showed up bright and early to make our withdrawal. Eight AM, a time when no reasonable human being should be awake. Lucky for me, bank’s aren’t human. They’re not even mammals. A single red balloon wafted into the bank ahead of us with the word “It” in white lettering on the side so as to convince people it is some sort of marketing ploy related to that movie.

There are trailers for it online. A clown in a sewer, a bunch of kids; it must be some sort of comedy or drama about a punch of children finding and befriending a clown. Clowns are nice. I don’t understand why some people get creeped out by them. I’ve even fucked a woman in clown makeup. Y’all might be wondering, based on the ambiguity of that sentence, who was wearing the makeup? The answer is: yes.

But enough about my sex life. It was time to penetrate this bank vault and pop its Gecko-robbing cherry.

Dr. Creeper maneuver the balloon into place from the back of a van, landing it against the inside crack of the open vault door. He had a way to use it to jam open the vault if need be. At that, he tapped a microphone sticking out of the console he worked at. “Listen to me, listen. It is time to act. This is a stick-up.”

As the minions exited the cars with us, he turned to me, rubbing his hands. “That is fun. I want to say it inside, like in the movies.”

“By all means,” I said. “You better enjoy yourself. I mean, we got costumes and ray guns and swords. There’s no reason for people in spandex to take themselves too seriously.”

“I prefer pants. They hide the braces better. Now, you should make your entrance. Good luck, Gecko!” He gave me an enthusiastic thumbs-up, grinning like a jackass. It was infections, and I smiled as I pulled my hood on, adjusted the eyeholes, and clamped the collar on around my neck.

As I stepped through the door of the bank, I drew my sword and took in the situation. The henchmen and -women had the tellers and manager down on the carpet. There were a couple of oldtimers on the ground, but they didn’t appear to be roughed up or in the midst of heart attacks.

“Any problems?” I asked, going for a gruff tone. Not “Batman,” gruff, where it sounds like someone’s jacking off in front of their neighbor’s sprinkler at 3:32 AM every third Tuesday of the month. Just gruff. Gruff enough to kick a troll’s ass off a bridge. Ugh. Seems I’m overindulging a bit on this trip. I’ve become drunk on bad similes and metaphors.

One of the men shook his head. I nodded to him. “You and…” I picked one of our henchwomen. “You. See to the drawers.”

I walked over to a little counter with brochures and hopped up on it. I looked to the tellers. “Unless you’re enamored with dying, I suggest you all use inside voices and stay calm. It would be impolite to ask your coworkers to clean up any messes you leave behind.” I swung my sword and threw it down into the wood between my feet. A few of the tellers jumped where they lay as it hit the wood. I hopped down, letting my gauntleted hand slide down the blade. It seemed to stick enough, so I left it there and walked back to the door to open it for Dr. Creeper.

He rushed in, a wide smile across his face. His black pants and large white lab coat hid the leg and back braces well. “I am Dr. Creeper, and this is a stick-up! We will be taking all the money in your vault now.”

The men cheered at his enthusiasm, and the remaining bunch who weren’t busy emptying cash drawers ran to the back.

“We will have a meeting about that later,” Dr. Creeper whispered to me.

It went pretty smoothly from there on out. A man in a mask is just as good as an “Out to lunch,” for convincing most people to stay away. So is a gaggle of masked goons carrying bags of money out to a bunch of cars.

It went well until one of them ran back in without his laser rifle. “Doctor, sir! There’s a hero!”

“Funny,” I said. “I didn’t hear self-righteous posturing and inflating ego…”

“Deal with it, Hussar,” ordered Creeper. Yay, fun.

I turned, grabbed my sword, and walked over to the door. When I stepped outside, I saw a man in black. Dark red pants, red long-sleeve shirt, black boots, and a red cloth strip with eye slits tied across his eyes and upper head. He wore a black cowboy hat atop his head. A pair of henchmen were trying to take him on hand-to-hand and failing badly. He was jumping all over the cars and van, easily keeping his distance, and slowly undressing them with careful swipes of his rapier. He held a gleaming silver revolver in his left hand, which probably belonged in the holster on his right hip with a red rose icon on it.

“I see your boss has come to check on your progress. Don’t worry, there is always another job out there somewhere,” he said it with a cynical lack of enthusiasm as he eyed me.

One of the minions turned around and got a swipe across his butt that sent him running toward me. “Get out of here!” the red fellow yelled at his backside.

“Who are you supposed to be?” I asked, readying my blade for a fight.

The man stepped down off the hood of a car. After a moment, he slid his revolver back into its holster and brought his own sword up to tap against the edge of mine. “I am Rouge. When someone has a problem around this city, I fix it. Your friends were barely worth my time. For your sake, you had better be more substantial.”

I pulled the butt-swiped minion back behind me and caught the other one’s eye who stood behind Rouge. I nodded off to the side. He got the idea and got out of the way of any brewing fight between myself and this swashbuckler.

I’m not what anyone would call an expert. I’ve been trained, but I’ve spent more time practicing how to fight with potted plants than I have with a sword lately. So when he feinted the first time, I took the bait just a little. The second time, not so much. When he tried a third time, to play around with me, I didn’t react at all, even as he took an extra step to avoid a counter attack. People like to think in threes, myself included. It was while he moved that I thrust with my sword toward where his left leg would have to end up to maintain good balance.

He pulled off some tango spin and came around to sweep my sword to the side. And so we went for a tense minute. He would try to play with me and show off his obvious skill, forcing me rush to ward off series of lighting-quick slices that he didn’t mean to land. If he wanted my sword out of my hands, he could have done it and killed me. I hated the restriction and hoped I could lure him in close enough to pull out the butterfly sword real quick and open his throat, but he did and excellent job keeping his distance. It worked pretty well for him until I circled around to a trash can by the road. I turned away for a moment to throw it at him. He had to move back to avoid it, and then further still to dodge my thrown sword. I’m not one for jumping kicks, but his sword didn’t deflect steel toes so well and I knocked him back with a dropkick.

“You are holding back on me!” he said as he recovered too quickly for my taste. At least he let me get back to my feet. He even let me retrieve my sword from were it lay. “Are you afraid for my feelings? Rest assured, I think I can take it.”

“This is a distraction!” called Dr. Creeper from the doorway. He raised his raygun and fired at Rouge. The masked man rolled to the side, then again to avoid my swing. When he stood, it was with his back to a wall making up the front exterior of the bank. He pulled a bullwhip out from behind his back. It swung out and lashed around a streetlight. He ran up the wall and away from where my sword could cut his whip, allowing him to swing free to land on a black motorcycle. It roared to life, raising him up on its rear tire. I think I saw him salute me with his sword. A blast from Dr. Creeper’s ray gun missed, striking where the front of Rouge’s motorcycle should have been. Instead, the vigilante sped off doing a wheelie.

I looked to the cars to see if we could pursue or even if the money was loaded up and noticed what Creeper meant. The tires on the vehicles the minions had been moving money to had been slashed.

“Quickly, get everyone out. Load what we can fit. There is more room in the van,” ordered Creeper. He stepped walked over to check on me. “How are you?”

“I’m not slashed or anything. He’s called Rouge, and he’s going to be trouble if we run into him again. He’s much better than I am with a sword, I know that much; just playing with me. He won’t be so much trouble if I can handle him more permanently,” I said, trying to hint that it’d be easier to just kill a guy like that rather than fight him.

Creeper clapped me on the shoulder. “I refuse your offer as frustrating as he will be. I want my own hero, Hussar. Now, we must be going. It is a shame we have to leave some of the money, but we have far to go and a lot of people to crowd in with.”

I raised my sword in the air. “I call shotgun!”

Creeper raised his gun. “And next time, Rouge will not stop us. You hear that, Rouge?” He made a show of looking around. “Next time!”

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Creeper Takes Canada! 3

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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.

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Creeper Takes Canada! 2

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Ah, to be riding across the crisp Canadian wilderness in a semi-truck. Eh, it’s ok. I just haven’t been on too many road trips with another person lately. And it’s fun to get away from all the drama and Master Academy heroes.

It wasn’t tough to get across the border either. We headed through the ol’ checkpoint only to be stopped by a man in a uniform wondering what we were aboot to get up to. I let Creeper handle this one, because my automatic response to authority involves teaching them the difference between choking and strangulation. Plus, he was the one in charge of this whole operation.

“We’re bringing my daughter’s stuff to her. She married herself a nice Canadian boy. So polite. All this is too big to fly.” He nodded toward the semi trailer behind us.

“Maybe we should take a look at it, eh?” inquired the Canadian guy. He took a couple steps over toward the

“You can, but could we do it in private?” Creeper asked. “They like to do what she said is called ‘Pony play,’ and my new son-in-law would be embarrassed if everyone saw his horse tail.”

“Is that a type of whip?” asked the officer.

I broke in here. “I believe it’s a bit more literal of a tail. Like, one that you stick inside of a person around the tail area.”

The Canadian stopped and peered in at us, then looked along the trailer. “On the other hand, you two have honest faces. Go on through.”

I shot him one of those stupid two-finger salutes that involved the pointer and middle finger at the same time. “Thank you, sir. Don’t worry. We don’t intend to cause any trouble. We’re not criminals. Just wholesome Caucasians from America. The real one, that is.”

He narrowed his eyes at me before he waved me on. I thought I did a pretty good job of of pretending to be a regular person, all things considered. That border’s a bit of a joke. I mean, they do an awesome job catching 18 year-old beer smugglers. Most of the times. Well, some of the time. Look, they’re working on it, dammit!

Creeper’s not too comfortable with driving, old man that he is, so I handled a lot of that, staying entertained by listening to music and podcasts. Back on the first day, I had to take a break from a lovely little sci fi story to address him staring at me. “You seem to be fascinated by my head. What’s up? Some phrenological musings?”

He set down the novel he’d been reading in between peering over it at my head. “I happened to notice something odd about your features. You have a number of scars on your head. Are they from your fight with the giant robot that everyone thinks killed you?”

“Yeah, they would be. My nanites didn’t leave scars unless I told them to. I should have been making some of them, too. Time intensive without the equipment, and I feel like I’ve been rushing from crisis to crisis lately. It’s a bad way to go. Let the heroes do that. But that’s beside the point. I was in pretty bad shape. Some of those same heroes thought they might better keep me around. Thought they could use me in the event another big-name villain capitalizes on the chaos I left behind. And I kinda suspect one of them felt guilty, but that might be asking too much.”

“You don’t think very much of them. I’m sure many of them are good people trying to do good things. Haven’t you ever felt the need to help the helpless?”

I rolled my eyes. “That’s what I was doing when I took over the world. They’re not helping the helpless. They’re helping people who won’t help themselves or can’t because of other people. And people don’t know what kind of help they need anyway. I forgot that, too. It’s a lesson I very much learned when I first became aware I was a villain.”

“Please, on this adventure, I hope you do not seriously hurt anyone. Consider that a favor for me?”

I wanted to give him a funny look, but I didn’t want this series to end with me turning my head back around to look in the whites of another semi driver’s eyes coming from the other direction. I settled for a derisive snort. “I’m not promising anything if it comes down to self defense, but I’ll try not to go out of my way.”

That matter settled, I decided to chase away my thoughts with the continuation of the sci fi story about a small crew in a space station around the star Wolf 359. I thought it was a Star Trek thing at first, but no.

That occupied the more think-heavy portion of my brain until Creeper tugged on my sleeve. “I need to use the restroom,” he said once I’d popped out an earphone.

So we took a brief break to top off the gas tank and empty out the bladders at this little stop. It didn’t look to be in the best of shape, though it must have been near some small town or something. But we got a look at some sort of confrontation. There was a man in a hat and a leather vest. The hat stood out because it had moose antlers on it. Like big, actual moose antlers. Maybe they were. But it was just one of him and three of these other people who all wore jerseys and hockey helmets. He was having some sort of argument with one of them while the other two just glowered nearby.

I turned to the cashier. “Some sorta sports thing?”

I turned as one of the hockey people pulled the moose guy’s vest, tugging it up until it caught on his hat’s horns and hung over his face. Then the trio really laid into him. And while he may or may not have known how many of them it would have taken to whoop his ass, they certainly used enough. They left him a sobbing, pants-pissing wreck in the parking lot. He didn’t put up too good of a fight. Just before they left, the one he’d been arguing with bent down and searched through the guy’s pockets until he found whatever he expected and left.

The cashier whispered to me, “You want to stay out of that, don’t you know. Them there’s the Canucks.”

I frowned. “I thought you were all Canucks up here in Canuckistan.”

He shook his head. “They’re a gang. They dress up and some of ’em have powers. That’s how they fend off the superheroes. Don’t know what they’re doin’ ’round these parts.

“Moose guy a gangmember too, or just really horny?” I asked.

“He’s part of a biker gang. Those Canucks will get out of here before his buddies show. Knuckles never travel alone.”

“Knuckles?”

“They’re called the Moose Knuckles. That one got beat, but you don’t want to face a whole bunch of Moose Knuckles at once.” He shook his head, his face a portrait of somber warning.

I restrained a snicker. “Yeah, sure. I gotcha. I know I certainly wouldn’t like to find myself face to face with that many Moose Knuckles.”

“That your truck?” he asked, pointing to the rented semi. I nodded. He went on to say, “You want to be careful with that. They sometimes hit truckers.”

“I’ll keep that in mind. Ah, there you are!” Dr. Creeper had finally found his way out of the bathroom. I filled him in on the beating and local gang situation while we shopped for snacks, subtly picking up what I thought I’d need to prepare in case those Moose Knuckles snuck up on us. Orange juice, a couple of energy drinks, a jar of ketchup, a jar of hot sauce, a pack of coffee, and a two liter of diet Dr. Pepper; they’d be in for quite a treat if they thought us easy pickings.

Well, we got on the road again and soon after my fears turned out to be justified. A dozen Moose Knuckles roared up behind us on motorcycles. They made identification all the easier by not wearing helmets but all sporting moose antlers somehow or another. Hats, bandanas, all of that, and all of which stayed on very well considering they were on motorcycles. The lead one had a pair of chrome horns on the front of his bike. I got a good look at it as he pulled up and aimed a double barrel in my face. “Pull over!” he yelled.

I cupped my hand to my ear. “Huh?”

He angled closer to yell it again. Before he could, I pushed the door open and knocked his arm. He wobbled, but didn’t go down until I grabbed a bottle of what started as orange juice, shook it up, popped off the cap, and flung it in his face. I know, I know. It’s expected that I made some kind of inexplicable bomb or acid. Maybe you thought flames would spew out like a makeshift flamethrower. But have you ever had orange juice and hot sauce thrown into your face? Sure, he had goggles on for his eyes, but he still had to breathe.

So down he went, probably wishing he had that helmet. There goes another organ donor. I didn’t bother to close the door the way they were taking shots at me.

“What’s going on out there?!” asked Dr. Creeper. I turned to see him curled up in the floor of the cab.

“Moose Knuckles. They’re all over us. You think you can take the wheel while I try to fend them off?”

He pulled out his ray gun. “You keep us on the road. I’ll handle these cads!”

He scrambled over and pushed me back against the seat. He poked his head and arm out, firing the ray gun with a zapping sound. I caught a glimpse of a motorcycle becoming a fireball.

“Throw the two liter!” I yelled at him. He ducked pulled back in, staring at me right in the face, before realizing he blocked my view. Good thing, too. A bullet went through the windshield behind where his head had been. He turned to look at it, his face going pale.

He gritted his teeth and grabbed the bottle of what used to be diet Dr. Pepper. It swirled with colors that weren’t normal, even for soft drinks. “What does it do?” he asked.

“Well, some people are probably going to die. That’s a bomb, so hopefully it won’t be us.”

Then we heard the yelling. He turned to look out the passenger window while I checked the driver’s side to figure out what was going on. Behind us, our attackers had been set upon by a group of men dressed as hockey players with sticks who raced along the road on rocket skates.

“We just got caught between a gang war here. It’s the Canucks. Quick, I think we better use the Pepper bomb before they get to fighting on us as well as over us. You better buckle up.” I grabbed the Pepper bomb from him as he strapped in.

There came a thunk from the side of the truck. I turned to see a Canuck had checked a Moose Knuckle into the side of it and sent him skidding along. Another Knuckle drove faster to try and pin the Canuck against the truck, pulling out a chain and whipping the guy. The Canuck caught it with his stick and the two glared at each other.

Into the middle of this mix, I dropped the Pepper bomb. Unfortunately, the Canuck got his hockey stick free of the chain by swinging it low and knocking the bomb toward us and under the truck. I decided to go limp.

The bomb must have gone under the wheels and cracked open, letting in enough oxygen for it to detonate. The explosion blew the trailer into the air, and even angled the front cab a little for half a second.

Once the noise and heat died down, I pulled us off to the side of the road and got out to take a look. On the plus side, we lost our pursuers from both gangs. They made quite a lovely splotch on the road in the middle of a patch of flaming wreckage.

Dr. Creeper stepped around the front of the truck and walked up to stand beside me.

I started to apologize, but something in the wreckage moved. One of the Canucks stood up, seemingly unscathed by the explosion. His jersey hung off him in burnt shreds and his helmet was cracked. A blue, arcing bolt struck him with a zap. He fell back into the pile back there.

“Well… any crash we can walk away from is a good one, yeah?” asked Dr. Creeper as he slipped his raygun back into his belt.

“Yeah, but your robot’s a bit wrecked, and I don’t think we can haul the rest like this.”

He looked at the trailer for several seconds, then sighed. “Yes, you’re right. That is most unfortunate. Can you disconnect the trailer?”

“Yup. Question is, do you want me to?”

“I don’t want you to, but I need you to. Please do so. I refuse to allow my first major crime spree as a supervillain be derailed by not having a giant robot. We might even find something to use against these Canucks and Moose Knuckles for doing this. We’ll show them, just you wait and see. Ungh, and please hurry with the truck. I’m going to need some Bengay and ibuprofen.”

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Creeper Takes Canada! 1

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Ok, so let’s recap where we stand here. Because the present is the product of a chain of causality, and that shit gets confusing.

After taking over the world, and being declared Supreme Leader of North Korea, I had the support of a few people, major supervillain The Claw included. Didn’t really talk much to the guy, but he knows a thing or two about administration, since he runs his own country over in the Pacific. After punching myself so hard I exploded, The Master Academy teamed up with The Technolutionary, a former stalker of mine with an affinity for technology and biology who likes spreading part of my genes around to other people. They turned me into human, even as a giant half-bee henchwoman of mine turned out to be pregnant. The Claw propped up my insect baby momma in North Korea to serve as an ally.

And he needs those allies, because he’s going around taking over less prominent countries in Asia. Now, as near as I can tell, he’s also got something going with Russia, and that let him extort help from the Ukrainian mafiya, and somehow he has pull with the new President of the United States. And they all helped bomb an American city while attempting to force superheroes to register and take a loyalty oath with the American government.

I’ll be honest, I don’t know what endgame the guy’s going for unless it’s the stock “world domination,” but he must have laid a hell of a lot of groundwork. I’m serious about that. I had the world held hostage with nanomachines that would turn everyone’s loved ones into goo if people rebelled against me, and I still got beat. This guy decided afterward to go ahead and be like, “Yeah, I can top that.”

Maybe that’s it. Maybe it’s a dick-measuring thing. Or he’s just offended that I managed to take over the world for awhile. Like the same indignation I had over this new POTUS who somehow managed to get the United States without putting in any of the work. Regardless, it puts me in a position of trying to figure out if I really care enough to head over there and get involved. I don’t think there’s much more I can do here other than assassinate the President. Which, at this point, would probably be a mercy. Turns out he was the weak link. Not the mafiya, not the Russians, not the militia, but the President of the United States.

So I could have done that. But first, I got a call from Dr. Creeper on my super secret hotline: free for the first five minutes, $9.99 a minute after that. “Hello Mr. Psycho Gecko. How are you?”

“Eh, mas o menos, Doc. Got what I was looking for in the end, just pondering where to go from now. On the one hand, I could assassinate a world leader. On the other hand, I could start a ground war in Asia. It’s a little up in the air at the moment. How about you?” Now, in most places I would have gotten a few looks. When you’re at a table in a nice restaurant that thinks they specialize in authentic fried chicken, it clears out a lot of space around you. If they knew what real fried chicken tasted like, they’d have run much faster. Empyreal City is good for many things. That isn’t one of them. They call that breading? Grind up some Saltines, bitches! If you’re going to be both a fancy restaurant and one known for fried chicken, you gotta bring your A-game.

“I am doing well. My daughter told me she made a nemesis. I told her it’s only a matter of time until she hears the pitter-patter of child sidekick feet running around her lair.”

“Cool. I hope it works out with her and her nemesis. It’s hard to keep a nemesis these days. There’s just so many people who want to explore their options. I mean, I have a nemesis, but she’s been too busy for me lately ever since I got hurt. I think she’s fighting other villains.”

“I’m sorry to hear that. Perhaps you should monologue to her more? Communication is important.”

“It’s tough. She’s always hanging around with her teammates, and they hate me. Except for one or two who I think tried to fight me behind her back. Sometimes I feel like I’m the only one putting any work into the relationship.”

“I don’t want to insert myself somewhere inappropriate, but…” he started.

I tossed my plate of half-eaten chicken at the wall to indicate I was done in a safe and friendly manner. “No, no, go on. I’m open to advice.”

“What you do to get her attention, is it all about you, or is it about her?”

Huh. Good question.

He went on. “Maybe if you do something that is truly about her, it will help remind her why she has devoted herself to stopping you. If you are the focus, anyone could fight you. She doesn’t need to be there.”

The waiter that passed by plastered on a smile that I made real as I dropped a $100 tip onto the table. It’s not like the waiter cooked it. She was just passing by, though, and didn’t stop to clear anything away on either the table or the floor. “It’s possible I’ve gotten a bit too caught up in my own thing lately. I have been mopey, and this other thing I’ve been pursuing has been keeping me from something I really wanted to do to her ever since she had me fixed up.”

I’m referring, of course, to my intention to nail down for sure who kept the copy of me around in the Master Academy’s supercomputer and then decided to help it build a giant robot to go out and kill me. I’m pretty sure it’s Venus, but her boss keeps covering for her. Once I know for sure, then it’s time to kill her. And I mean it this time. I know, it’s been something I’ve been wanting to get back to for years now. I get distracted and just don’t find the time. But the Creeper’s right, and I need to finally do it.

“I hope I have not overstepped my bounds. I merely called about that favor you said you owed me.”

Fine, I’ll do it later.

“Yeah? Got something in mind? What are we after? Diamonds? Bonds? Bodysnatching a dead saint, maybe?”

“Good lord, none of those. I will keep the saint proposal in mind. I was going to travel to Vancouver and try something there. This city is too militarized. I think Canada is a good place to make a mark.”

I mean, that depended. I probably have more run-ins with Canadian special forces than most villains do with my homicidal tendencies. It might work out pretty well for him. “Well, if you finished your robot, I imagine you’ll make quite a few. So what’s my end of this?”

“I hoped you might help protect me as the muscle for my scheme. I am not a young man. I can’t fight or run and I am a newcomer to this life. It doesn’t exceed the, uh, amount of the favor, does it?”

“You caught me at a time when I was figuring out what to do and why to do it… so this is a pretty nice distraction. Sure, I’ll help out. You just better not mind if I take on a disguise or two in all this. My reputation could bring down a lot more heat than you’re ready for.” I heard a bit of a ruckus near the door and looked up to see an old friend in a black leather costume standing there, the visor all lit up. “Hey, listen, I’m going to have to call you back. We can settle more of the specifics in a little bit. I look forward to road-trippin’ with you.”

I ended the call pretty quickly because the Good Doctor was headed my way with his little black leather mask/hat thing and a good grip on his scalpel. I believe I had him perturbed. “You didn’t slip a tracker into my food, did you?”

He threw a scalpel at my chest. I ducked to the side as it thunked into the back of the chair. I reached a hand up to grab something to use as a weapon and briefly considered hiding under the table and tablecloth. The thought only lasted a moment before I rejected it because of Doc’s power to see through most things of relatively thin thickness. I crawled to the other side of the chair before standing and raising the first thing to come to my hand.

He’d seen me coming and almost rewarded me with a scalpel in my throat. I instinctively raised my own weapon to intercept. My fork caught the blade in its tines and deflected the deadly blade to the side. He punched me in the gut and reached down to slide another scalpel out of his belt. I grabbed his wrist, twisted, and yanked. That scalpel went flying into a nearby wall over my plate of chicken.

I backhanded Doc across the face, then grabbed his helmet and twisted it so he couldn’t see. Which actually didn’t do anything because that’s his power. I spun around, twisting free of his other scalpel to snatch up a left-hand weapon off the table. I came up with a spoon.

Doc stood off from me a few feet and fixed his helmet, then pulled out a fan-shaped bonesaw for his offhand. It looked a lot better in a fight than my spoon. Don’t get me wrong, it’s handy for cutting a person’s heart out because it hurts more than a knife. But it really distracted me from the conflict. I mean, this place served fried chicken. Why the fuck is there a spoon in this restaurant?!

“Is this because I didn’t oblige you by getting captured by the other heroes during our handling of Aurum? Because the heroes’ tendency toward betrayal is starting to get a wee bit predictable.” I twirled the fork and spoon around in my hands. There isn’t even soup on the menu. Nobody does fried chicken au jus. Why is it here? Why does a fried chicken spoon exist?

He swiped at me with his scalpel a few times, then tried a diagonal downward slice with he bonesaw. I avoided it, then kicked at his arm on the downward arc in the hopes of throwing him off his balance. I got a scalpel to my calf instead, so I got that going for me. I jammed my inexplicable spoon through his visor and into what seemed to be some flesh with some give. He yelled and backed off to grab at his helmet and the spoon.

He sure did struggle with it a bit. I mean, you have to sort out order there, because you can jam things into really bad places and make the damage worse if you pull off the helmet. But that’s also the first instinct.

I got cyborg eyes. Been there, done that.

“Listen, buddy, don’t forget to put pressure on the wound,” I told him, a little less-than-helpfully. I may not want to kill my old friend, but I still enjoy laughing at the expense of someone who tried to kill me.

With Doc incapacitated and myself not quite ready to create my own personal version of Old Yeller, I saw to my leg. A strip off the tablecloth made an ok tourniquet for the short term. Had to glue and stitch myself shut while Funsize yelled that I should warn her next time I’m on my period.

But it’s all cool, because I’m heading to a place where there’s plenty of healthcare to go around. A place where the beer is stronger, so the women are prettier. Land of golden opportunity, until you get so old they send you off an ice flow.

I got back up with Dr. Creeper and we made arrangements to head to a magical frozen ice kingdom with a partially-disassembled giant Nazi robot in tow. And I love that sentence. Psycho Gecko and Dr. Creeper are going to Canada!

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