Category Archives: 56. Gecko Saves The World

Save, synonyms: deliver, free, recover, salvage, defend, unshackle, emancipate, extricate, liberate, ransom. Oooh, I like that last one.

Gecko Saves The World 8

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Ok, I found the solution to the Qiang problem. That’s the kid that got dumped on me. I suspect he or she is somehow a spy for the Riccans. Maybe there’s a listening device somewhere. I’m not looking overly hard, given the nooks and crannies involved. I go checking and Chris Hanson will show up, saying “Why don’t you have a seat over there. I’m not going to arrest you, but we’ve got a lot of cops right outside the door ready to dogpile you in front of the TV cameras as soon as you try to leave.”

I’ve considered vivisecting the child. It would be less suspicious. I woke up with it clinging onto me, perhaps to help the Claw better analyze my heartbeat. Little shit started thrashing in the night and crying until I wrapped my arms around it and made nonsensical cooing noises.

Anyway, I’m going to have to abandon it. Maybe leave it with a sign, or force it on someone else. If I’m going to do what’s necessary, I can’t have this kid following me around. It just doesn’t work.

After the last incident, I made damn sure the security details didn’t leave their post. I told them I didn’t care if someone set fire to the building, they were to stay with me.

When I awoke again, it was to banging on the door, and not the good kind with someone’s legs hitched up and their back to it. Despite some people doubting that a person can sit straight up from sleep, I am indeed capable of such. I nearly launched the kid off of me in the process, as it had decided to do a full-body hug against my helmet. Yes, I’ve taken to sleeping in my armor again. Protection against bombs, chemical weapons, almost anything that can be fired by a single human, and a kid peeing the bed.

The kid jolted awake as well and hugged onto me, but I grabbed it and maneuvered it around so it didn’t obstruct the front of my vision, at least. I approached the door, checking for sight lines between windows and the doorway area. I kept my footsteps light; it IS possible in armor like mine, with training. Try that in one a bigger, more mechanical version and you might as well be tap dancing for all the good it’ll do.

A quick peep through the spyhole revealed the presence of the red-haired agent who got stuck with me, knocking away urgently. “What’s all the racket about?” I asked as I pulled the door open suddenly.

She kept her composure for that much. She’d been such a nervous thing dealing with me that it was refreshing to find something that didn’t flap her. “Someone set fire to the whole building. There are only a couple of entrances left free on the ground level. We thought you should be informed.”

“My Gecko sense is tingling,” I said. I checked for anything I might absolutely need to bring with me and reluctantly decided I shouldn’t leave the kid behind. For starters, it was already stuck on my helmet. My armor contained almost everything. While I thought ahead a little bit when I ported on over here, I didn’t put enough thought into it to bring a lot more stuff that I should have. Like that damn medical nanite thing. It was in storage, at least, so I can still get to it. It’s just in Vancouver. And if you own something but you can’t ever get to it to use it, you effectively don’t have it.

I looked at the redhead and at the rest of the team further down the hall. “Ok, let’s get going. I’ll stick with y’all and we all just go out one entrance.”

“You aren’t going to leave by rooftop or window?” she asked.

I shook my head. “People are out to get me. If this person is well-trained or knows me, they’ll expect me to go out a different entrance and leave y’all to your doom. If they don’t know what the hell they’re doing, they might still come after us, but we can handle them easily.”

I remembered my concerns about Qiang then and held up a finger to the redhead, then said extra loudly. “That’s totally why we’re going to go out there. Yes. We certainly are.”

The agent explained to me as we took the stairs that everyone else had already evacuated, including many of the people who had been following my every move. “Even the masturbation?” I asked.

“Especially the masturbation,” she said, which indicated to me that the Americans had also been spying on that.

While we made our way down, I checked for any urgent alerts concerning myself and my plans. A U.S. Aircraft destroyer went down in the Indian Ocean, and something happened in China. There are clouds and electromagnetic interference, right in the area where China, Ricca, and Russia’s forces area all situated. Shit’s gone down.

And I lost track of my little friend from the old country. I can’t keep a satellite over the guy all day and night, but I’d been keeping track of him fairly well based on their movement, which had been a straight line up to now. They’d seen where I was and made a beeline for me. Sweeping my space-high electric eye across the route they were taking, I didn’t find them along it.

What I heard out of Vancouver didn’t sound any more encouraging. Color-coded men and women in tight suits have been seen runnin around. Just a colorful outfit wouldn’t matter. Supers wear bright colors all the time, but they tend to wear more than one. There’s a whole area of fashion to take into account involving symbolism, gimmick, and complementary colors.

I didn’t get a good look at them. I only found out in the stairwell, and I didn’t have time to look them up as much as I’d liked at that moment. We made good time and finally headed out for a rear entrance. I glimpsed the fire crackling at the front of the building, but that’s all. “We have a car waiting for you,” redhead said as we exited the door.

Then a device fell from above to land just in front of me. I kicked it away ahead of me, but it only went so far before exploding. The blast knocked me back through the door and onto one of the Secret Service who’d been behind me. He softened the blow, but last view of the redhead showed her pink misting.

I stood up in spite of the pains to breathe, and not particularly looking to triage either the agent behind me or the kid who stayed behind on him. The door had swung closed again after I went back through it, but it sounded like they were having a party out there. When I pulled it open, I found a half dozen dead agents splattered or laying all over the place, with the last one falling to the ground. There was my stalker, in armor so black, it could have been a deep hole. A flick of their wrist freed blood drops from similarly dark, thin blade held in the right hand. I think it was a blade, with the blood being there. Its coloring and width made it difficult to keep track of its exact dimensions and movement as the darkened figure stood ready.

Even though their back was to me, I figured they had the same setup with 360-degree view.

“What do you want?” I asked in my native tongue, that oh so eloquent dialect. I also wanted to ask how they got so far so quickly, and why they waited until now to use that method. So many questions.

The voice from my enemy was heavily digitized for intimidation. “Justice.”

I shrugged. “Care delight to explain? Justice for the other world, justice for this world, justice for all the people inferiors you just murdered?”

“She said you were smug patronizing and insufferable.”

I didn’t even realize I was rushing them until I was almost there and flying through the air. My opponent caught me. The blade became flexible, wrapped around me, and slammed me against the ground. It slid back and became rigid again. I rolled over onto my back, and would have continued rolling to get away, except the blade straightened out and pinned me to the ground through my side and just below my ribs. The flat was parallel to my side.

I grabbed at the blade. On most swords, that’s definitely an option. The flat makes it relatively safe, though of course this works better when it’s not being swung at the time. Well, this wasn’t that kind of blade. This thing was cutting through the material of my gauntlets the more pressure I put on it, and mere fingers couldn’t outmuscle my assailant by focusing on the extremely small flat. I tried pushing it out of my side instead. Didn’t work, but not for lack of pain.

I tried to wrap up my opponent’s arms with my legs and that just got me an electric shock. And an idea. I just need a little more power. In my struggling and convulsing, I made sure to crank up the power to my gloves.

“We are going back home origin and you will be locked sequestered away forever. You will harm kill manipulate no one anymore,” my hypocritical hunter harangued. I grabbed at the blade sticking in me with my left and readied my right to punch. They noticed the glowing and sent another electrical shock down the sword that succeeded only in charging that gauntlet faster.

“I am home with family.” One energized punch through the blade broke it and allowed me a moment to spin to my knees. My enemy had stumbled briefly, caught themself, then tried for a punch. Mine caught them in the midsection and threw them back. I pulled the blade out of myself and looked at it. Nanoedge. A sword constructed at a much smaller scale out of a much more precise blade. I held it out in case this enemy closed the gap and decided to use it.

“This man is under the protection of the Empire of Ricca!” called a voice I knew from behind my attempted murderer. I leaned over to look and saw the smiling Riccan man in the custom suit, segmented glasses still on his face.

The obsidian-dark figure before me turned to the side to be able to handle either of us as we approached, though the Riccan was the one doing all the approaching. He merely put a hand up. When my bushwhacker attempted to whack him away, he brought a hand up to catch the blow and continued walking past as the assassin became translucent. Intangible, even. They swiped more times in frustration while the Riccan stopped just in front of me.

He bowed. “Pardon the interruption, but the time is close when you must make your decision. I must depart within the hour. I am afraid the Americans no longer trust my countrymen to even stand on their soil without being a danger. They have let fear get the best of them. We could, of course, provide you with the best of medical care.”

I let my guard drop enough to press a hand to the wound, though that didn’t do much for the one coming out of my back. “I would be more than happy to accompany you to your point of exit while we finalize whether or not we have a deal. What about my friend here?”

He looked back at the dark-clad person. “He will be like that for several more minutes, unless you want me to reverse the effect.”

Looking around at all the dead Secret Service agents, who no doubt wanted to get me to an area where the Americans could make their deal even sweeter in light of the expulsion of foreign belligerent diplomats, I thought of something funny. My confused foe continued to stand there as we walked past, impotent, as I informed them. “You would not care enjoy to be here still when the authority enforcers arrive.” To the negotiator, I said, “No, I imagine the Americans will want a word with the person who killed their agents and prevented them from getting me to a safer location in time. Please, let’s be off.”

We hustled out of there in an armored SUV bearing the Claw’s flag, the Riccans pulling out a tube of thick, cloudy material. Nanite jelly, they explained. A thicker way to heal that nevertheless did the job well.

Keep your friends close, and your enemies closer, it has been said. Though I also like the saying that the closer you get to being a pro, the closer you can get to the “client”. Unlike Leon the Professional, I left little Qiang behind in all the excitement. Well, that kid’s someone else’s problem now. I didn’t want to kill in front of it for what that might do to its mind. I don’t know if it even survived that explosion earlier, so maybe its mind is mush, but it didn’t need to be there for my inevitable murder spree through the Claw’s country.

“Oh, it seems your present is attached to you,” said the envoy, glancing out the tinted window. I leaned over to see what he was talking about and saw Qiang there, bloodied and holding its arm. Before I could say otherwise, the envoy opened the door, scooped it up, and sat it between us. “Let us heal you as well, child.”

Qiang immediately clung to me and didn’t let me go until it fell asleep a couple hours later, on the plane ride in the private Riccan jet. When I thought about it then and just leaving it behind, I decided not to do that either. Well, guess I’m going to mentally scar a child for life anyway.

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Gecko Saves The World 7

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I didn’t agree to the deal with The Claw’s people right away. They offered to turn me back, protection, money, power, women, men, children, and all that. I didn’t even ask for the sex slaves, but there’s something of a market glut after the siezure of Bangkok. The only way I considered taking them up on that offer was to then fake killing them and let them escape, but where to? It’s not like the United States is taking refugees, especially not non-Christians. It’s the best deal, mainly because of turning me back. I don’t trust them, but it’s exactly what I want. In fact, it being exactly what I want is an even better reason not to trust them.

So now I have this child slave just sitting around my apartment, taking up space. They gave it to me as a gesture of good faith. I think it’s a girl, but it’s all malnourished and dirty and the name is ambiguous to me. When it came to giving it somewhere to sleep and something to eat, I called on the Italian and Swedish ambassadors. I let the kid pig out on authentic Italian cuisine while the Swede hurried through assembling an Ikea bed for the kid. The Chinese threw in some simple pants and shirts and offered to take the kid off my hands if I didn’t want it, so they at least get me a little bit.

In all seriousness, I’m not looking to use children as sex slaves, or dump it off as a regular slave. Slavery kinda sucks as an economic model. The workers aren’t motivated, and you have to keep slaves uneducated to help keep them under your thumb, which greatly limits the kind of work they can perform. As someone who was more-or-less one myself, I would point out it breeds a tiny bit of resentment. Wage slavery works much better.

I have noted all the various offers, but I found myself much more enthralled by the activities of my shadow from the other universe. The distance between us hasn’t been so much a comfort as I expected. S/he’s gone off the grid in Vancouver and has been spotted in the Rockies of Montana, rescuing a group of young men and women who were being hunted by a group of cannibals.

I thought s/he’d move quicker, but perhaps I’d forgotten about the culture shock. Just having a translator and learning the language wasn’t enough to help me get by. I knew the language, but who to see about a change of clothes? Or a place to wash myself off? Or food? I didn’t know about what kinds of jobs would get me by or charities. Without a safety net or sufficient knowledge about the culture I’d thrown myself into, I didn’t have much choice but to turn to my impressive skills in the murder and mayhem department.

Hence the Great Food Truck Robbery.

It’s simple. I got hungry and I killed the driver and operator of a food truck. I then proceeded to serve him as a special of the day. At the end of the day, I took the truck and crashed it into a fancy restaurant. I’d learned from TV at that point that I wasn’t welcome into such a place with my shabby clothes, but I still crashed it. Literally; I used the truck. Then I stole credit cards and helped myself to the numbers, all while wearing the face of the truck’s former owner as a mask. It was fun strangling one of the waiters by his bow tie. You don’t get the same grip as with a normal tie, nor does it hang so well, but you can get some awesome leverage if it’s a good quality tie.

That’s certainly one way to break into the supervillain scene.

That gave me enough money to see to myself for the short term, until I could design a virus that locked people’s internet browsers until they paid me. Here’s a hint: the FBI doesn’t make people pay them using prepaid cards in order to get your browser unlocked. If they find out you have naughty pictures worth prosecuting, they’ll just handle things the old fashioned way.

I’m not the only one to pull such a scheme, and the latest one is actually the result of a bunch of people leaking CIA hacking methods to the wider internet in the name of accountability and transparency. My decision to not share bombmaking methods just keeps sounding better and better.

Now you know, and knowing is half the battle. Yooooo Cobra!

But enough reminiscing about the past. Part of the reason I stalled the negotiations, aside from soaking up the limelight and forced adoration of various people, was to increase tensions. I told Ricca that the Americans made a pretty compelling offer. I told the Americans the Russians were offering me a lot of nice things, including all the info they stole from the Americans. Finally, the Russians tripped over themselves to make up for their first envoy taking advantage of me while I was drunk. I assured them that they were doing a great job of that… though Ricca’s offer was looking pretty darn good.

This led the unofficial allies to all issue statements condemning each other. That doesn’t sound like much, but it involved a flurry of activity behind the scenes. Some of those border incidents in China “accidentally” spilled over.

That’s the trouble with artillery, you know? Not always the most exact method of blowing people up. There’s wind, elevation, and arcs involved. All those maths where kids think “When am I going to use this in the real world?” The answer is: to blow shit up with a cannon. Electronic tools can only do so much to help out with wild shit-blowing, and some of them are susceptible to manipulation. For example, say some handsome rogue who is trying to worsen relations between two groups who are fighting against a third group were to slightly adjust some of the targeting data. Why, who knows what might get hit?

It’s not like it was easy, but much of the world is extremely lax about protecting the digital battleground. It doesn’t hurt at all that this even includes Russia itself, which seemed to take the brunt of this latest big malware attack.

Still, I tired of taking such a passive role. I’d put a lot of work into the bomb and my studies to get this far. It seemed anticlimactic to wait around and follow my initial plan of letting them start wars with each other. So I figured I’d go steal the statue of Lincoln from the Lincoln Memorial. I made sure to leave the kid a bowl of kibble and water before I left. Got the chainsaws and everything to do it, when the hot ginger agent watching over me slowly approached. “Um, sir. There’s no need. I just heard from the President that he’ll give you the monument if you want.”

“He’ll just give it to me?” I asked to clarify. I’d taken off the casing of the chainsaw to adjust it and increase the power. When I was through with it, I could use it as a dildo to fuck a diamond. Unfortunately, I wasn’t through in time, and having my own monument given to me turned out to be much less interesting than stealing it.

Unfortunately, that would not be the end of being careful what I wish for.

I returned to the Watergate metaphorically empty-handed, in part because there’s very little of Abe that I really could have brought with me. In a more literal sense, I’d brought the kid some candy. I hear they like that. But since I wanted to make it very clear where the bounds of our relationship were, I made sure to get at least one big custom lollipop that said, “I’m just not that into you.”

Excuse me for not being able to find a single gift card, in Washington D.C. Of all places, that doesn’t tell someone they’d just like to be friends. The home away from home of possibly the most adulterous population in the United States doesn’t have that card, really? There is a market for that kind of stuff. Better yet, make it a singing nude telegram for maximum impact.

The agents tried to get my attention as I approached the Watergate. I’d stopped to look at the sullen Potomac and Teddy Roosevelt’s island, accessibly by Teddy Roosevelt Bridge. He created it when someone accused his dick of not being that big. Teddy, never one to back down from a challenge, said he’d build a bridge as long as his dick. And that’s how Theodore Roosevelt Bridge was created. Some parts of that story may have been embellished.

Anyway, I ignored the agents and hopped up onto the Watergate to find a commotion going on. A bunch of protesters had broken through and were in a brawl with security personnel from various countries. Not all the security were bothering with it, though. Brazil’s people were doing shots in the parking lot. I gotta be honest, I was really tempted by their offer to build me a giant statue in Rio. Plus, I’m really into women wearing nothing but feathers. I love the chicks.

I didn’t even have to bother with the crowds to get to my room. A guy like me can just smash his hand into the outside of the hotel and crawl down to his window, which is what I did. It’s the newest-looking piece of glass on the place. They’ve been offering me a suite, but it hasn’t been a big deal to me. The room I have is pretty nice. Soft carpeting, soft pillows, good lighting, and probably the fewest dried bodily fluids of any hotel room I’ve ever stayed in.

I slid my window open and hopped in, landing right next to my bed, where the child of unknown sex and Asian ancestry slept cuddled against the pillows I’d slept on. I stepped around the bed quietly so as not to wake it and carried the candy to the kitchen area before popping my helmet up and rooting around in the refrigerator for something to drink. I found myself a nice plastic bottle and took a sip, standing up. It as then, quick as lightning, an arm whipped out from behind me and dragged a gleaming metal blade across my throat. Red splashed the refrigerator in front of me.

I turned, knocking my helmet down over my head, and held the disemboweled container of ketchup in front of the Good Doctor. I waved it in my reformed old friend and former teammate’s face. “Why did you waste it? It was the fancy ketchup!”

The black leather-clad blur with the glowing visor struck quickly with his scalpel, attempting to undo the latches and seals that fell into place when I’d dropped my helmet back down, but a good gut punch knocked the wind out of him and sent him sprawling against the countertop. “You always focused too much on the shock and initial strike,” I said.

He had to take a moment before he could speak but always kept his scalpel ready to strike. “And you were always a smug arsemonger when you thought you were in control of the situation.” Ah, the lovely British accent. The only sexier accent is one from Australia.

“Sometimes I get the feeling you’ve become more like me since you started to go legit. You know some of those innocent folks downstairs will end up arrested or worse because of you, right?”

His voice seemingly morphed into a rougher version, a sign I remembered from the older days when he embraced his murderous persona more. “It would still save more lives if I kill you.”

“’If’ is an important word here. You won’t. We’ve done this dance before. You try to kill me, I point out how heroes don’t do that, I let you go. Only this time, I’ll also point out I that killing me means the whole planet dies.” I crossed my arms and checked my helmet’s display for other attempted assassins hiding elsewhere.

He wagged the scalpel at me with his right hand. His left went to hitch up his belt. “I don’t think you would so something so drastic as a measure to prevent your demise. Venus has hinted as much.” He cocked his head to the side. “If only she didn’t loathe your guts, you two might have made a good couple. She hates thinking of you. The best way to put her in a bad mood is to mention your name. Does she know you’re so smitten with her? I bet she’ll gag if I tell her.”

I flexed my fingers, my gaze boring in on him. Good Doctor stepped up his game. His X-ray vision is normally proficient at finding weaknesses in armor, but now he’s using headology on me. I gave my head a smack to knock my thoughts loose, then laughed. “You know, funny thing here, I’ve saved the world more times than she has, more times than you. And now I’ll save it again, no matter the cost, because I fucking like this planet. This is my home. Either show some sense or get out of my way.” I said the last part through clenched teeth, I’ll admit.

“You will not kill me. I will walk right out the door and try again another time. I will find you at your darkest hour, when none of these puppets are around who may rescue you,” Doc pointed behind me, to the door, then began walking. As he passed, I reached up and put a hand on his shoulder. He stopped.

“I’m getting tired of these weaknesses,” I said. “But you were still my friend. So this is the last mercy you get. Go back and tell the Academy I’m saving the damn world, and tell them to stay out of my way. As a friend… don’t make me kill you.”

He turned to me and lunged, bringing up his scalpel. I figured it was probably a bluff. I figured that after I grabbed his arm, broke his metacarpals, then his radius and humerus. Then I dislocated his shoulder. Holding onto his arm, I bent down and flipped him over onto the floor while grabbing the scalpel. I saw movement out of the corner of my eye and twisted to see the kid was up and watching us. I turned and jabbed the blade through the thick leather protecting Doc’s leg.

It was the kid that saved him. Otherwise, my first choice was the stomach and dragging it up his torso. I dumped him outside my door with his own blade stuck in him and told the panting Secret Service agents who ran up, “You guys suck at your jobs. Now get him out of here and don’t press charges. He knows what’ll happen if he tries again.”

My kid stepped out from behind me and kicked Doc in the head. I reached down and took its hand. “Now nobody bother Qiang and I for awhile. I have to teach… it… a bit more about human anatomy.” I led it back into the room. “Good kick, but I bet your foot hurts, right? Let’s learn all about the best places to kick a person, ok?”

I did take the hotel up on their offer to upgrade to a suite after all. That’ll make it a tiny bit harder for Doc to try again. It’s going to suck when he does, but I warned him. I don’t give everyone that courtesy and it’s time to stop playing around with him. It’ll break my heart to rip out his.

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Gecko Saves The World 6

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I really should be more worried about intruders from my world coming here to seek me out. It’s just so hard to care when that guy who followed me through first is busy getting whipped around Vancouver by Thang. It’s not entirely one-sided, but he’s a new guy in a new world getting whooped by new villains.

There’s Thang, the gorilla-pig thing from another world and self-styled “King of the Jungle.” There’s also this other guy in an eye helmet, EyeQ, who sometimes gets into it with my fellow Earthican when he’s not dueling with the wannabe knight, Sir Columbia. Maybe he’ll make full lord someday. Lord British Columbia. Columbia’s fighting the newbie, too. Miscommunication can occasionally work for me. Meanwhile, Catastronaut’s trying to harness the power of Vancouver’s constant storm to do something. He keeps getting foiled before he can build whatever he’s after. I think it’s because he generally starts off by announcing himself on rooftop and trying to zap things before he even lays a foundation. That’s just poor planning.

Here I was, thinking these guys were all going to cause trouble for me. They’re too busy fighting each other. This is great!

Things are finally going my way. I got a bomb. I don’t have to constantly run and jump everywhere. That one came as a pleasant surprise. Turns out, Watergate wasn’t that clever of a hiding place. It also turns out the Secret Service employs a ginger chick who I’d swear I’ve seen in porn. She woke me up knocking on the door.

I hopped out of bed and stomped over, figuring it was early enough that the hotel wouldn’t miss a dead staff member. I could always knock housekeeping out, stuff them in the tub, and bury them in ice cubes.

Instead, I opened the door to see her standing there in a black suit, white shirt, red hair, freckles, and pale blue eyes the same shade as the waters off Paradise City, Florida. The crotch of my armor suddenly became a mite too crowded. I wore it to sleep in. “Listen, I don’t know why you came,” I started, leaning against the door frame. “But I think I know why you’re about to.”

She thrust her badge into my face. Department of the Treasury, Secret Service.

“If this is about those wooden nickels, I’ll pay you ten thousand nickels to forget about it. What do you say?” I looked down at her. Huh. Pretty sure they didn’t let Secret Service agents wear shirts with so many buttons undone. Or that short a skirt. And while it’s possible for a highly-trained stripper or ho to move quickly in those heels, I have my doubts about government agents. Probably the most odd piece of attire she wore was a cable leading from her back down the hall. Once I saw it, I was able to figure out she had a harness on under her outer layer.

“Someone’s concerned about your health, pretty little fed. Why don’t we talk about why you’re here?”

She nodded, trying not to shake. It didn’t suit her. For crying out loud, you know how selective they are? Unless they just grabbed the prettiest woman in the office and sent her out to get my attention, they like veterans for this job. Which means I stood there with a hidden case of sleeping helmet hair nearly scaring the piss out of a highly-trained and experienced elite killing machine. The way my dick felt, I’d swear I needed to see a doctor about my erection.

“I’m here to offer you the services of the Secret Service. To look out for you and take you places.”

“But not prison, I presume.”

She shook her head rapidly, red hair flailing around. “The President has made it very clear that we’re to treat you like royalty.”

I pointed at her. “I see what you’re doing here. He’s going to have my tea tossed in the harbor, then rebel against me. No, wait… this guy doesn’t actually know history.”

“We’re supposed to treat you well!” she blurted out.

I nodded. “So that’s why they sent out a honeypot with a safety harness.”

“I’m still an agent,” she muttered to herself.

“At the moment, you’re a combination hooker and glorified target. But if you think you’re hard enough to hang with the Gecko, then you may come along and shove people out of my way while I walk amongst the plebes.”

If it seems odd that people I more-or-less threatened were willing to protect me, there are two things to remember. One, it’s one way to try and get on my good side while working out a deal. And two, earlier that day the President got caught passing classified information to Russia. Associating with a homicidal maniac like me might actually make him look better compared to what he looks like now. Besides, he might be able to limp on with his presidency if he works out a deal to assure U.S. Supremacy.

They were all fighting over me, even if the arguments didn’t mention me. Russia, the U.S., and Ricca might have secretly formed some sort of alliance, but I offered each one of them the ability to eliminate the other two completely. Instead of the group turning on each other eventually, I gave them the chance to betray each other immediately. I forced an escalation and, I think, the end of their agreement.

So that’s why I could visit this bakery with the redheaded stepchild of the Treasury department in tow, along with at least two dozen other agents hidden all around. I was trying various pastries and things, more to mess with these guys and force them to deal with the situation. Cheesecake, uncheesecake, donuts, donut holes, donuts without holes, chocolate-covered donuts, strawberry icing-covered donuts, chocolate-covered strawberries. I was just about to walk out of there with several boxes of sweets so I could make all the agents carry them. The shopkeeper and my new handler were whispering some sort of argument back and forth, presumably about payment, when I started to leave.

“Hey! You haven’t paid!” yelled a guy stepping out of the back. The cashier rushed over to put her hand over his mouth as I made a show of turning toward him.

I raised a finger but was cut off. “That will not be necessary. I will be more than happy to cover Mr. Gecko’s expenses.”

I turned to the side to see a man finish stepping through the glass as if it wasn’t even there. He wore a fancy light blue suit with a vague diamond pattern, and a smile. Also, a cool pair of shades with segmented blue lenses like insect eyes. Outside the window, one group of men in black suits were arguing with another group of men in black suits, some of whom were my entourage. When I checked again on the intruder, he held up a gold credit card. “The glorious Empire of Ricca would be more than happy to to see to any of your expenses while negotiations persist. It is the least we can do.”

The man kept that smile on the whole time, though he provoked one from myself when we left the store and he waved for his men to stop blocking the door. “Let the help in. They have boxes to carry.”

He didn’t even make me an offer. We just hit up a bar together, him picking up my tab the whole time. A couple bottles of vodka later, he and I stumbled out, being guided by the rest of the Riccan diplomatic envoy and the Secret Service. I remember turning to the redhead from earlier and informing her, “They’re going to need help in there. Karaoke.”

“We heard the screams,” she said. I heard sirens approaching.

My alcohol tolerance having gone to shit lately, I took a moment to remember how to walk before answering her. “I dunno why they were yelling about some yellow king. I thought that was the best song of Fancy I ever sang. I wasn’t gonna do country, but they din’t have much better. I think I spilled lemonade down the front of my pants.”

“You’re still in your armor!” she said, as if that changed anything.

They got my back to my room and dumped me off there.

I awoke the next morning nude and hungover with someone else’s hand on my crotch. Curious about the hand and any other shenanigans, I ran back my eye recordings and found I’d left my armor hanging up in the shower to drain and had stumbled into bed, where someone was waiting to wrap me in her arms and tits and show me a drunken good time.

I rolled over to find she was a dyed blonde. Now, I think most people would have criticized someone sending in a hooker with a bloody nose, bloody lip, and heavy bruising around her throat, but that turns out to have been my fault. I slid off the bed, grabbed hold of the mattress, and started shaking it up and down, hopping to add a little extra noise. “Ahhh! They launched! Nuclear war! The end is nigh! This is what we all get for not being Quakers and buying the oats!”

After some brief confusion, the nude woman fell off the bed and came up holding a very large handgun. She waved it all around, cursing in Russian, before asking me, “What’s going on?” When she saw me holding the mattress, she cursed to herself in her mother tongue.

“Say, where did you pull that thing from?” I asked. “And who are you? And what are you doing in my room? And how does your ass feel today?”

She put her hands on her hips, making sure to give me a good look at her assets. “It is fine. You are not the first or biggest. I do not do the choking often.” She cocked her head to the side to show off the bruising around her neck. She then shifted her stance, at which point a strawberry with a bite taken out of it fell to the floor between her legs. “Or the food.”

“So, I take it you’re here from the great red bear to fuck me into submission?” I crossed my arms.

She shrugged. “We can provide you with a great many things. You would live like a king in Russia, or a Pope if you like them young. Knowledge is power, and we have it. Everything the United States thinks they keep protected, we have hacked into. Do you want to know where all their black sites are? Do you want to see their latest research? Or maybe you would like to meet your favorite porn star?”

“From what site?” I asked.

She shook her head. “It doesn’t matter. We have all the porn stars.”

I put my hands behind my back and walked over to the window. Yanking the curtains open, I saw a helicopter probably a hundred feet away, staying level with the window. I gave them a little wave, then motioned for her to join me. “Come over here, whatever your name is.”

“Agnessa,” she said, stepping over. She grabbed a sheet off the bed to wrap around herself and approached. I reached back and put my arm on her ass. She didn’t seem to mind. My other hand went to her belly. I looked into her eyes and said, all sweet and softly… “Long live the king.” Then I grabbed her and tossed her through the window.

I waved at the chopper, the Russian agent screaming to her death over the sound of the helicopter.

All of a sudden the smiling Riccan guy stuck his head up from below the window. “Hi, hello! I see you’re awake. Mind if I come in?”

I shrugged and stepped back away from the bloody broken glass. The Riccan diplomat phased his way through the wall and window, then stood up and brushed his suit off. “Mind if I close the drapes?” he asked.

“Nah, go ahead. It’s a bit breezy in here, anyway.”

He pulled them closed to give us some privacy. “I’d have come through the door, but it is packed out there and I knew you would want to hear my offer. It’s the only one you need to hear. However, I do not wish to interrupt if you were in the middle of something.” He motioned toward the window.

I waved him off. “Nah. Just the Russians making their case.”

“I take it negotiations stalled?”

“It went downhill fast. But what can I do for you?” I looked around and opened one of my purchases from the day before. Cake makes an excellent breakfast food. Milk and eggs, bitch.

“In light of your rejection of the Russian Federation and the incident with the American President giving information about Israeli informants to foreign governments, there are few entities with as much power and wealth as us who stand to make you a credible offer. Indeed, I think we are the only one who truly knows what you want.”

I raised an eyebrow, but kept on munching on my cake.

The Riccan diplomat reached into his jacket and pulled out a thin sheet of material that appeared to be nothing more than a color photo. It showed a laboratory. Then he swiped his finger along it and it scrolled over to show a person laying on a table, attended to by Technolutionary.

Technolutionary had been a villainous stalker of mine. He specializes in the melding of robotics and biological form, usually by sticking computers in people’s bodies so they serve him as a sort of bio-robot. The guy felt that, as a superior being, he should try to make more beings like me. I didn’t like him, and out first encounter was violent, but then I worked with him to fight off an alien invasion last year. He turned on me to support them at one point. After I almost died fighting a copy of myself, Master Academy had him use the process on me, but the other way around. I know he made me human, and he’s also the best chance at turning me into the correct species again.

Before we could go any further, I heard a knock on the door. I held up a finger, figuring this would give me a moment to think, and went to answer it. Outside, I saw an older man with a head of shock white hair holding German chocolate cake. “Guttentag!” he said.

I flipped the cake into his face and yelled, “Nein!” Closing it again, I turned my attention back to the man working for The Claw, the guy I was actually supposed to be foiling. “At first you had my curiosity. Now you have my attention. Let’s talk.”

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Gecko Saves The World 5

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In spite of the universe seemingly going out of its way to tell me this is all a bad idea, I have persisted in my goal, and this time I think I have discovered the secret to things coming back where I want them to. It’s crazy stuff, involving the same principles behind the device I use to transmit all this to a place people can read it and not stop me.

I figured out some nifty tricks while working with the device I have that sends information. Information is a tricky and confusing notion, at least for me. I’m not a physicist, I just play with bombs that could destroy reality. But I know a few things. Like, there’s this huge debate over whether or not information can exit a black hole. After all, not even light can escape it.

I’m not so sure that’s true, but for different reasons, involving this technology. Nothing really stays in the divide between universes, which I think is closer to being a barrier. The same properties of the multiverse that render this barrier strong enough to keep things are the ones that also make sure something doesn’t stay between them. I’m not teaching material, but it’s like how certain barriers work in biology and other things. For instance, you’ve got a hydrophobic barrier that repels water, like the phospholipid barrier of a cell wall. Water needs to get across somehow. Most commonly, that involves special fixed channels.

In this case, it’s more like a temporary channel created with energy tuned toward a very specific effect. It doesn’t have to be enough energy to blow up a planet, it just has to be enough to penetrate the barrier in one specific place. It’s the effect of that on spacetime that destroys the planet. With this breach, things like myself or Mr. Fuzzles are expelled into the barrier. I think that either the measures it takes to close the gap or the energy that propels something into the dimensional barrier, where it is immediately, or almost immediately, shunted into another universe. I say almost immediately because I obviously perceived things going through the barrier, but spacetime as we know it doesn’t exist there.

I think there’s a certain equilibrium involved. I don’t think it’s coincidence that somehow I wound up in my old home universe, and yet the other subjects of my experiments don’t appear to have done the same, nor did the people who got caught in the return bombs. Enough matter in me still from that universe that it was the easiest place to dump me, and enough matter from this universe that it sent me right back here when I left.

Electrical signals that carry information can travel similarly, but the effects are much less catastrophic, I think. I think size is everything when it comes to electrical signals of the sort that cause an effect on the magnets in a computer. And just as there can be a temporary link in the internet between two universes, I believed I could create a device that performs the same link that would draw a physical object back, but through the barrier at a different location.

Ugh, I feel like I just gave birth to Stephen Hawking, then lost another dance-off to him. I went between working all this out both theoretically and practically, and sticking me head in some snow outside. Yeah, it’s still going, and still screwing up the weather elsewhere. It might let up soon, since Dr. Creeper’s been spotted terrorizing Toronto. Solve a storm by creating a new storm, I say. That and “A grenade a day keeps the enemy at bay.”

Elsewhere in the world, things continue to be fucked up. The border clashes in Mongolia and China involving Riccan and Russian soldiers seem to inevitably involve China being backed off from investigating by armed groups and refusing to fire on them lest it create a full-blown war. Wouldn’t want to start a land war in Asia, would we?

I just might. The gyroscope is tipping and tipping, but it hasn’t lost full control yet. And rather than let it tip over and protect my own damn self, I’m running around trying to tip it just hard enough in the right direction that it regains equilibrium. I might actually be crazy. Why the fuck am I trying to help anybody on this world? This is why I should have killed Moai and Carl and Venus and Leah and everyone else I have any inkling of non-homicidal feelings for.

Whatever happened to the innocent, carefree days when I ran around, frolicking and showing people their own splanchnic ganglia?

So after either unlocking the secrets of inter-universe travel or being completely wrong, I finally put the topper on this little Christmas tree of crap. I set us up the bomb.

I’ve had some supply problems, but I was able to jury-rig a weaker replacement core for the big bomb. It might warp a few less miles than the standard type, but I think it’ll perform just fine. What made it even cooler was utilizing all the lightning with the help of some rods and capacitors. I don’t normally have the option to play in lightning so much.

It gave me an idea I wanted to test out as well, but the creation of both a full-sized, fully-capable D-bomb and a pair of smaller ones that, together, I call a D-hopper.

And I tested another few devices. Just enough to make sure.

The first time was nothing but a load of crap. I sent directed it to the coordinates of the Oval Office. Apparently I interrupted some meeting between the president and the foreign minister of the Russian Federation. The literal shitstorm was covered by Russia’s news, who were actually allowed in. American press was barred, so it missed out on all the brown money shot. I’d call that one a success regardless.

The second time involved a nice, innocent gift. Master Academy has a nice new lawn ornament featuring a snowman’s head on a pike. I doublechecked it on cameras. It made it through nice and clear.

So it is time.

After that mess, throwing together a signal intercepter on the fly was a cakewalk. One quick trip to a local Walmart got me the parts I needed and a cake. I needed a cake. I need all the cakes. I’m tired of thinking straight. I’m tired of helping people. But why am I only telling that to y’all when I could be telling the world? That’s the question that drove me to interrupt CSPAN in the middle of coverage about the recently-passed healthcare bill. I think it’s called the American You’re-Fucked-If-You’re-Raped Act. Does it actually matter? It’s time to paint over some shades of black.

“Is this thing on?” I began my interruption of the regularly-scheduled broadcast with the traditional opening and the camera pointed at my crotch. “Easy there, big fellow. Let’s not hog the spotlight.”

I lifted it up to show off my lovely helmet with its three “eyes” arranged in an upside down triangle above a set of grinning fangs, the helmet behind it spreading out like a samurai’s with jagged, fan-like sections zigging and zagging around the back. I held the camera out enough to catch me waving at it. “Hello there, boys and girls. You might wondering ‘Who is this incredibly handsome and well-endowed man on my TV screen,’ and ‘How do I know about those two qualities if he’s wearing armor?’ First, I’d like to begin by informing all of you, every single one, that it’s because I plowed your mother.”

With speeches, you sometimes break the ice with a joke. With evil monologues, it’s better to go for a nice insult. It also gave me time to make sure I was playing in a lot of important places. I’d stolen the show from Congress, but even they got to watch.

“I am the one and only, the great and devious, the savior of humanity and the devil on its shoulder… I am Psychopomp Gecko. You might think I returned from the grave, but the truth is I never left it. I’ve just been digging it deeper and deeper to hold the rest of humanity. But then I got to thinking. Got to just chill for a bit without people coming after me. See, I’m tired. Over and over again, I do this world a service. When I do petty crimes, I’m awesomely entertaining. Does anyone laugh? When I point out the flaws of the world, does anyone accept the criticism? When I save the world, does anyone thank me?”

I shook my head, then adjusted the camera to get a good look at the D-bomb. “This is another weapon of the same type I used to defeat the aliens. This one, interestingly enough, has the power to take out an entire country and leave the rest of the planet more-or-less intact. Aim it a little lower and Earth loses a continent. I have rigged this thing to be able to teleport anywhere in the world my heart desires. As a demonstration…” I raised a smaller bomb, a D-hopper couple. One press of the button and I’m giving the finger to a crowd of power armor soldiers in my memorial. Another press and I’m standing on the floor of the House of Representatives.

I may have decided to break my own rule about not trying to use my home universe for teleporting this once.

I panned the camera around so everyone can see. “So it’s a bomb that can go anywhere, that I can access from anywhere, and, before anyone decided to get clever, that includes the planet’s core if something were to happen to me. I’ve created my fair share of dead men, so I know a thing or two about their switches. My heart stops, we all go boom. The bomb is tampered with, we all go boom. My brain waves get too inactive, boom again. Radiation poisoning, liver failure, chlamydia, a damn rag full of chloroform on my face and it’ll be Vengaboys time all over again! Boom, boom, boom, boom.”

I spun around, my arms wide, soaking in the hammy glory. Oh yeah, I haven’t gotten to do this in too long. As an added bonus, I could practically hear the groaning in Empyreal City. Some years back, I made that song play all over the place. I was drowning them in an earworm. Some people got PTSD from this pop shit.

“What do you want?” cried out someone.

That elicited a chuckle from me. “Good question. Nobody asks that with any sincerity. Hasn’t anyone considered that I want a little bit of safety and security myself? Maybe a world that isn’t diving headfirst into world war?”

“World war? There’s no damn world wars here. This is the problem today, people exaggerate and blow things out of proportion!” An older man stood up nearby. Balding, with grey hair. Probably fucks a staffer and gets away with it because he’s been serving since before the polio vaccine. Opening his mouth like that did nothing for his chins.

I turned my head toward him slowly. “Really? You’re pulling that shit. Maybe you oughta legalize some weed to take care of that glaucoma. Or better yet, shut up before I really blow things out of proportion and drop a legislative bombshell on the floor.” He shut his mouth, saving me from looking at quite so many folds on his face. “Good, because what I came to talk to y’all about today is what everyone else wants. Because Russia wants something. And China. And Ricca. And the U.S. Of A. You want what is in my head, even if you don’t know it yet. Because I can leap tall galaxies in a single bound. I can scorch entire planets with a wave of my hand.”

I swept my hand around the room, causing several people to flinch. Then I pointed to various suited white guys around me. I must have landed in the Republican seats. “And you, and you, and you… can’t do jack. While I hold the knowledge to destroy a star. So why am I here?”

I looked around, giving the question a moment to soak even as I jumped up on a desk nearby, kicking over papers and folders full of women. “I want the American Dream. I want to sell out and settle down! Strap a sword and pistol by your side, Froggie, because it’s time to go a-courtin’. I’m giving one lucky country the chance to buy me out. You get the bomb, you get my knowledge of trans-universe travel, hell, you even get two Slap-chops for the price of one for all the tea in China or anything else you can imagine to pay me.”

“Pay?” asked another a generic white guy in a suit that won his high school’s award for least distinguishable even when he’s alone.

“Yes, pay!” I turned and pointed at him, stomping on a phone and making the jowlsy Congressman nearby wince.

“You’re a madman!” said a representative from the great state of liver failure if the spots are any indication.

I hopped off and sauntered on over. I pulled him close and caressed his bald head. “See Spot. See Spot drink. Spot gets too many damn bottles of scotch as birthday presents.” I laughed and pushed him away gently before reciting a different sort of literature. I really am a fan of this world. “’But I don’t want to go among mad people,’ Alice remarked. ‘Oh, you can’t help that,’ said the cat, ‘we’re all mad here. I’m mad, you’re mad.’ ‘How do you know I’m mad?’ said Alice. ‘You must be,’ said the cat, ‘or you wouldn’t have come here.’”

I spread my arms, making sure the camera could still get me in at least a little of the shot. “Welcome to MY cold war.” I sighed and hopped up to sit on Al Coholic’s desk. “Now, what am I offered for all the powers of the multiverse?”

Damn, it feels good to be a gangster.

Meanwhile, back at the lair, my sensors reported a disturbance in the universal barrier. I had a bad feeling about that. I patched myself into the optics of the drone I brought back, which had only been partially reassembled and left in a pile in the corner with scraps.

The figure that walked around the lair wore close-fitting armor painted so black it looked like a walking hole. I couldn’t make out any more details about it than that. It absorbed the light so thoroughly, I couldn’t make out any lines. It stepped over to the dimensional bomb and knelt, examining it. Reaching out to touch it, the person’s hand went right through it. They swept their hand back and forth, then up and down until they picked up the holodisc and shut it off.

There’s a bomb, but I didn’t want to just leave it where anyone could get to it. It’s a bomb. It’s dangerous. Someone could get hurt. No, I left it in storage. As far as anyone else knows, it’s a crate of porn-strength bed springs.

The person in the stealth armor stood up and suddenly seemed to grow. The slim suit transformed, this time into thick and bulky armor. They walked and moved as gracefully as if nude, though. The armor was round, like a large armadillo doing the ballet. He or she or they or it pulled out a disk that glowed in a circuit once before turning their head toward the drone. There was no seeing past the visor, which looked almost as deep and dark as the other armor. That dude pressed it back against the chest armor where it meshed so perfectly as to be indistinguishable, then whipped out a sword from its right hand. Something glowed on the end and shot at the drone, the image disappearing.

It reminds me of a pairing sometimes used by the special forces of the country that used me back on my old world. Over here, they have a spotter and a sniper. Over there, it’s a hunter and a killer.

This is going to be a problem, depending on how quickly they acclimate and how many they bring over altogether. That person doesn’t look like those cursed rangers, and they’re all the way over in Vancouver. Good thing I’m camped out in the refurbished Watergate hotel under an alias now, keeping an eye on my dark web site as offers pour in. Wow, China actually offered all the tea. The British are going to be so miffed.

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Gecko Saves The World 4

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Ok, I may have gone a bit D-bomb crazy. Things are odd around here in Vancouver now, and I don’t just mean the actions of a few displaced villains. It’s not entirely my fault. The place has been in a constant state of snowstorm since Dr. Creeper unleashed his formula on the sky overhead. That, in turn, is doing causing some fucked-up weather patterns that has gone from affecting North America to messing with the rest of the world. Naturally, some jackasses have decided that this means global climate change isn’t occurring.

The weather is causing some unusual fauna to migrate to the region, as well. That, or my bombs. You’d think I would know for certain, but that’s kind of a complicated issue. I think my extensive localized testing was a little too extensive and localized. I already knew about a couple of weak spots around Earth due to my arrival and then that quaint piece of genocide I pulled last year, but those were one-time rips involving bombs of much greater magnitude.

It’s not that I kept doing it over and over again right at my lair. Considering I’d brought over three angry people who could blow up my stuff, I moved the sensors and sling to another location. That brought over some more oddities. Maybe a weird animal here. A mobile mushroom there. In one case, I got this drop bear that died pretty quickly after arriving.

But I didn’t bring in the abominable snowman. And there are heroes showing up in all this mess. Some lady I didn’t recognize was spotted hoping around with glowing eyes and fibrous wings. A walking corpse of a man stopped bank robbers and didn’t chow down on any brains in the process. Once again, not someone I or anyone else recognized. There are rumors of large, talking roaches, so either one of these dimensions is a world where Rastafarianism is the predominant religious sect, or I found a nuclear war world. Still, I’ve begun to suspect that people and things from other worlds might be breaking through to this one now either due to my actions weakening the barrier between, or by trying to follow the phenomena I’ve caused.

Then there’s the knight. I know this one’s from here. He’s running around in some sort of wannabe-fantasy armor with a Gothic barbute helmet featuring wings where the ears would be. He’s that student I stole the 3D armor printer from, and it looks like he built a duplicate and a sword. He’s also got to work on his combat training, because he’s also getting his ass kicked when he’s not getting too winded chasing after a purse snatcher.

Canadian purse snatchers. I think it’s the weather. It’s got people acting all crazy. No sense at all to them. Meanwhile, I think I’ve got these bombs nailed down. They are safe for travel by both humanoids and technology, so I should be able to get around. The difficulty is in figuring out how to appear in different places on this Earth.

I broke down the sensors into convenient backpack form and strapped a pair of bombs to my ass. One for each cheek.

The trip was much like I remembered it. A multitude of universes, all touching one they spawned from, stretching into forever. Universes filled with flawed people. Wait, nah, gotta watch the idea I might be doing this for some sort of greater philosophical good. Bad things happen like that. I’m doing this because I can write off taking out The Claw’s world domination scheme as accounting for my debt to Master Academy, and because some stupid fuck’s going to destroy a perfectly nice world if I don’t handle things in a more controlled manner.

The multiverse wasn’t something below me, though. It was around me. That’s how I blooped on into another one while still trying to pick out the one I’d ejected myself from. It wasn’t until I was about to hit it that I realized this may not be the smartest idea.

In a small destructive radius, I found myself in an Earth both alien and familiar to me, just like the last one. My eyes connected instantly to the local information network and began to pull up all kinds of hits.

I was home. The other home. The world where I came from. The one with the Justice Ranger petaQs and a failed rebellion from myself. It took me a minute of parsing the data and running through the cuss words in my vocabulary before I looked up to see exactly where I was. Looked a lot like a monument, though the info-net’s GPS revealed I actually stood in the same spot where my original failed attempt at destroying the world took place.

It was a small building, with round with a trio of doors arranged in an equilateral triangle. The walls had a bunch of people’s names. The middle had a bust of my old armor. At first, I didn’t understand why they were so interested in my manly bust. Turns out, they decided to put up a memorial to what I’d done. Something tells me it isn’t a popular local makeout spot.

I moved to examine the plaque under my bust when an alarm klaxon rang out from above. From the top of this little building came a robotic drone, some little hovering thing round thing.

It lowered itself down, then unfolded a metal body underneath it in the humanoid form. It stood unarmored, with a body of cables and wires. “You are trespassing. You appear to be armed. You are in possession of restricted technology. Contacting the local office of the peace. Stand down and identify.” It raised its hands, revealing little plates on the palms reminiscent of directed energy weapons.

And yes, all this is translated to English for easier understanding.

I cocked my head to the side. “Interesting. I’m not familiar with what restricted technology I’m carrying.”

“You possess restricted power sources. You possess a restricted energy weapon. You possess a restricted power suit. What is your identification?”

“My name is Rodney. Rodney Dangerzone.” I played a clip of the relevant song. “I’m also curious why someone would erect a monument here. One moment.”

Using my eyes, I delved into the local security network. It actually had an outside connection, one that had already blown up and sent out a response. Actually, from a digital point of view, the area was in red alert. The systems involved in those alerts were of much sterner stuff, something like military and intelligence. If I had a lot of time and a bit more familiarity with them, maybe I could break in and cancel the whole mess.

The one centered on this improbable place I’d landed looked to be a civilian model, though one more advanced than what I used to see. I was breaking in when the robot decided to open fire on me. I raised my own palms, the suit absorbing energy from the blasts to fill its batteries and directing the remainder to be held in an energy sheath surrounding the gauntlet as if I’d powered them up. My follow-up punch burst through the head of the robot and crumpled its body to the ground. Then I had all the time I needed to finish infiltrating the building’s security and cancel it. As if that even mattered at that point.

Knowing my time was limited anyway, I threw the place’s meaning in the fuck-it bucket and began looking for emergency medical supplies. There’s a huge difference in first aid kits on this Earth. Indeed, I found an Emergency Nanite Dispenser just outside the building, which gave me a look at the rebuilt city around it. Or at least the incoming VTOL’s that hurried the fuck up to get there in response to whatever red alert I set off.

I thought I had time to delicately remove the thing, at least until some diamond-shaped pod crashed into the a nearby air purifier. One second, there’s a display of holographic trees. The next, big metal thing sticking in the wreckage.

I tore the dispenser out of the wall and marched my ass back inside. I had a feeling I wasn’t going to enjoy being out there too much longer. The doors locked back behind me as I put the system in “closed” mode again.

“Time to go, deadbot 5000,” I said to the disabled robot. I set the dispenser on it, then looked around for anything else I might need before leaving. I looked up at the bust of myself and cranked up the energy sheath again. One punch dented the metal resembling my old helmet and sent it flying into a wall, cracking the marble.

That wasted all the time I had left. The door exploded inward. I hopped over the prone body of the robot as figures in sleek power armor of their own entered. Something even hacked in and cut off my eyesight, forcing me to reach for the still-functional D-bomb blind. Luckily, I didn’t put a bunch of fancy dials or anything on it. Just one crank later and everything went all LSD trip again. Oddly enough, I could see the whole multiverse again, despire my eyes not working.

I was in that gap when I felt myself pulled toward one cluster in particular. It’s not like I had a clear view of everything. I was in the middle of it, and distance didn’t seem to work as a concept in anything too close to me. I mean, I could see entire universes, and was close to them, yet they were both small enough for me to view groups of them and big enough for me to fail to see all of them.

If only I’d hit that Rastafarian Earth instead, I could explain a lot of this away as a batch laced with something. Even stranger, it felt like some of the universes were rushing toward me. I mean, I always knew the world revolved around me, but I don’t know just how flattered I should feel that multiple universes do too. That, or the level of heat I just brought down on myself jumped up considerably from “an entire world,” to “there are Cthulhus with higher approval ratings than you.”

When I hit my Earth, the one I like being on, I decided teleportation was out. I suspect that I went there because it’s the world I’m from and the barrier was weaker from when I left. I’m not eager to confirm that. Even going back and scavenging more data and supplies may be more problematic than I can handle now. I have shit I need to get done, and being trapped over there isn’t doing it. On the plus side, I think I can reverse-engineer this dronebot for upgrades. The medical nanite dispenser is more important. It holds very little and can’t produce them as quickly as my old one did, but I can make it work. I have regenerative nanotech again, possibly much more superior to the old versions.

And a plaque. I didn’t think about it being close enough to get sucked up with me. I lost my eyesight again when I hit this Earth and had to clean up the offending virus. I didn’t realize until then that I brought the pedestal my bust had been on with me, as well as a plaque about the purpose of the whole place.

“On this spot, the murderous Psycho Gecko attempted to destroy the Earth. The bravery of his own people, the homo machina he gathered in rebellion, saved man and machina. The walls are etched with the names of his victims and those who died to stop him. May this place remind the world of the cost of bigotry and how close it came to annihilation. May a glimpse into the darkness of man bring peace. May the world be ready should there ever be another like him.”

Man, this D-bomb was a real d-bag this time. I asked it to teleport me to another world and instead it tried to send me on a guilt trip. Little did it know, this time I’m the slightly more preferable guy to the alternative. This time, the big bomb’s going to be a lifesaver. For realsies.

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Gecko Saves The World 3

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Oh, the joys of unethical experimentation. I built a bunch of smaller-scale bomb pairs designed to displace a lot less of the area directly around it. I know, it seems a it odd to classify them as bombs at this point, but that’s still what they are. An EMP bomb doesn’t become less of one just because it doesn’t go kablooey. In this case, there’s pretty much no way to cause the distortion to spacetime without also causing the destruction of the device that does so. At least it seems to be ok toward unrelated electronics and physiologies.

The first major round of testing was confirming the radius of the effects. That is where the cat-apult came in, named in honor of its first test subject. See, I found this cat. He was a runaway. I know that, because I broke the home window, grabbed him, and ran away with him. His name was Mr. Fuzzles, and I strapped a bomb to him in the name of science. The feisty little bastard soon learned that it takes more pussy than he had to get past my armor to my squishy, human inner core.

As for the cat-apult, it’s more like a giant rubber band sling on the roof of the office building. Sure, it gets a bit cold and electrified on rooftops these days, but that’s a risk Mr. Fuzzles would just have to take. I had to keep him shackled and chained to a gooseneck vent while I set up my monitoring equipment. I found a paper and schematics for creating a device to precisely monitor the damage done the universe when device goes off. It was really surprising, especially because I’d changed audio narrators at that point. After a brief foray into the action-packed world of Jason Statham’s accent caused me to mistake a bibliography for an entirely different paper, I settled for Vin Diesel, the Barry White of action movies. It doesn’t matter if you’re packin’ an inch or a mile, the man knows how to sweet talk a woman to the finish line.

I got this sweet new monitor and scanner all set up, then grabbed Mr. Fuzzles. “Now, you may be wondering if this is going to be dangerous. I’d like to assure you that there’s no need to speculate… this WILL be dangerous. It might turn you inside out. It might make only part of you disappear. It may even kill you. That’s just a risk I’m willing to take. Any questions before we begin?”

A hiss doesn’t qualify as a question, so I strapped him to the bombs, set him in the sling, and started pulling it back. I didn’t want to pull it too taut, otherwise it’d snap and leave me holding an armed and dangerous feline in my face, ready to explode. Once I got a reasonable amount of pull, I held onto the band with one hand and activated the bombs’ timers. One of them had double the time as the other, for the return trip. Timers in my HUD started up, synchronized. Then, I let Mr. Fuzzles go, to boldly explore new worlds as my own personal cat-astronaut.

Hmm. I paused to make a note of that one. Catastronaut. It has a nice ring to it. I might use it for an alias at some point.

I didn’t think about playing the Star Trek theme until I saw the cat glow and reality kinda glitched out. Like the air rippled and the cat smooshed into a single point with one last, faint “Mrow!”

I waited. And waited. Finally, it was time for Mr. Fuzzles’s triumphant return from whatever other world he’d visited as a brave feline explorer. I looked down where he disappeared, wondering when he’d fall out of the sky. It’s ok, he’s a cat. He’ll land on his paws.

At first, I suspected a failure. The being that extended out of a point of rippling spacetime was not a standard cat. It was bright orange like some are, but Mr. Fuzzles had been white and brown, and no cat has naturally occurring bright purple at the end of its limbs. The thing may have had claws there, but I didn’t get a good look. They were more like a gorilla’s hands and feet. When I looked at its face, however, I realized it bore quite a resemblance to a boar. It had the long snout, a pair of tusks, and a mohawk-like mane that stretched down its back, as orange as the rest of its fur.

The thing appeared with a bunch of dirt and plants around it, but it all dropped immediately, hence the lack of a clear look in that instant. I moved to get a better look as I watched it fall. It reached out for buildings, tearing bricks off in its attempt to grab hold of something. That slowed it down enough, as it landed in a heap on someone’s full recycling can. When a man poked his head out the window and asked, “What the hell was that?” the resulting roar convinced him to go back inside.

Then this giant boar-thing began to hack and cough, before spitting up several chunks of metal. Zooming in, I saw pieces of my bomb, and the remnants of Mr. Fuzzles collar.

Success! Sure, Mr. Fuzzles got eaten, but the principle is sound! In fact, those could have been made even smaller, if the readings are true. That particular one could have taken a couple people of pretty much any size. I’m talking at least one Andre the Giant, AND Hulk Hogan if they’d been in mid-bodyslam. Not that anyone needs another Hulk Hogan over here. The first one hogs enough spotlight as-is, in between sex tapes with one of his best friends.

The sensor’s adjustments were excellent, though I didn’t have any data on if Mr. Fuzzles survived the trip to another dimension. Aside from what it does to remove large chunks of things, the D-bomb’s effects on spacetime aren’t always that fun for anything immediately around them that aren’t pulled through. I’m just not sure if there’s any sort of radius inside the blast that is negatively affected as well. The bomb that I traveled with was meant to destroy a planet; one person wasn’t a big deal. For all I know, Mr. Fuzzles couldn’t escape from the pig-gorilla because its head and its ass swapped places or something. If I’m going to use these to get anywhere I want in the world, that’s something of a concern.

Still, I had a few others to I’d put together, and figured I should test them for the sake of consistency. I needed more small animals. I raided the neighborhood. From one apartment, I got someone’s pet dog. Tossed him out, and didn’t get anything. Nothing but a dud. When that bomb came back with nothing, I figured I better send more cameras along. I repurposed a holodisc to function as a recorder of everything around and strapped it on the next of the test bombs.

I broke into someone else’s place and stole their pet python. No pet is as huggable as a python. Darn thing almost caused some problems for me, too. It hugged the sling while the bombs were armed, so I had to take the thing and toss it over the side by hand.

When the return one came back, I found myself watching a small vehicle fall out of the sky instead. Like a teacup or saucer with wheels on the bottom. It had something on the front part of that, but I couldn’t see that from my position. I did see a run-over snake get knocked away from it as it fell, though. That explains that one. Before it hit the ground, a man shot away from it into the air, then glided down to safety with a parachute. I say a man, but I couldn’t gauge it very well. They wore a white coat, but the most prominent feature was that their head appeared to be a giant eyeball sitting on top of their neck. The person looked all around, then scampered off into the night.

I’ll have to keep my eye out for that one.

I did stop to gather up the remains of the snake so I could get the holodisc footage. I took it indoors to activate it and let it paint me a picture of the surroundings. It showed a city at night, nothing particularly wrong with it. Then sirens started and that vehicle from outside came barreling down the road with red and blue lights in pursuit. The front portion turned out to be a windshield that looked like an eye. The lower half had writing bearing the name “EyePod”. I wonder if that was the car’s name, or the criminal’s.

Then came the search for more test subjects for a last round of testing. Luckily, I found someone’s pet chimp wandering around, calling out if anyone saw his puppy dog. A hairless chimp with bright white skin and blonde hair. But I’m pretty sure he was someone’s pet because of the harness and leash he wore. He may have been a primate of the homo sapiens family, I suppose. Hey, humans shot chimps into space before they went up to study the effects on lesser life forms. I shot a human into another dimension for another reason.

When he came back, he didn’t actually fall. Instead, he came back being held by a person in a space suit. He hovered in midair on a jetpack, holding a really big diamond in one hand, and my test chimp in the other. The test chimp even found that dog I’d shot through earlier.

“What did you do?” bellowed the space man. “One minute, I am robbing the city of the Grand Diamond. The next, some brat teleports me, the mighty Catastronaut, to some hellhole in the middle of a blizzard? What’s going on?”

For fuck’s sake, I can’t keep any good ideas for myself, can I? This guy went ahead and stole that name as soon as he showed up in this world. Seeing something that interested him, he floated down and set the kid down on the street. The kid ran off, crying and peeing himself, which is all the more uncomfortable in the middle of a snowstorm.

“You did this, didn’t you!” accused Catastronaut, pointing at the eye guy.

“I don’t know what you’re talking about! I just appeared here! Maybe it was that thing!” The eyeball guy pointed over to where the orange and purple gorilla-pig was sat in a plastic trash can.

The pig thing pushed holes in the can to fit its arms and legs through, then stood up and beat its chest. “I am Thang, and I know not where I have been transported to. If it is a fight you want, you’ll find out why I am the true king of the jungle!”

The three stood off for awhile until the cops showed up, which was oddly good timing on their part. The cops took one look at them and bagged their car up. Thang, Catastronaut, and the guy with the eye all chased after. Thang roared, Catastronaut fired an arc of electricity, and the eye guy fired a purple laser from his head’s pupil as they ran off in pursuit.

So, overall, I’m calling this one a success! I’m now one step closer to possibly destroying the Earth. And, if push comes to shove, I’ve got a pretty good track record here of pulling in beings from other Earths to serve as useful distractions.

Soon, I’ll be able to teleport, bring in an army of villains, slice, dice, and even fry the perfect hot dog every time with a minimum of cleanup.

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Gecko Saves The World 2

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Eye, eye, eye, eye, eye. Eye carumba. Other eye puns. I’m feeling a lot better now that I can browse the world’s information networks at my leisure. I spent a couple of hours upgrading my eyes. Their ability to wirelessly network with my brain was incredibly useful for looking into rooms without going in myself. Just pop an eye out and roll it in somewhere. I had to make a few physical adjustments to the eyes themselves, then mess around with some drivers and other software updates.

It all sounds pleasant enough, until you remember I was holding thin, long pliers and a soldering iron in my eye. And then into my other eye. It’s really hard to find enough tape to hold my eyelids back, even using duct tape. It’d be easier if I still had my natural-born abilities. I’d normally take the eye out for this kind of thing. With me having been turned into a human by those damn, dirty apes at Master Academy, I doubt I could reconnect the eyes. There’s not a lot of crossover between eye surgery and wiring. I’ve already observed my own inability to connect to electronic devices as I used to, so I’m not going to bet on it being different this one time with my eyes.

Once again, my brain is on the internet. I’ve seen things, dear readers, that you people wouldn’t believe. Attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion. I watched C-beams glitter in the dark near the Tannhauser Gate. I saw a porn parody of Blade Runner. All those moments will be lost in time, like tears in rain. Time to wank.

The universe… it’s full of porn.

With that issue taken care of, it was time to work on dimensional teleportation. I already know I can teleport to another dimension using the power of a full bomb. That’s a bit wasteful. I don’t want to strap two more entire bombs to the main bomb. So I’ve decided to look into that transdimensional blogging device that’s a part of me. In the past, I’ve used it to triangulate my position and even send messages back through it with a little help from the other side.

So I set about building, coding, and modeling. Had to grab a computer for that part, but I’m just about ready to send in my thong shots to Vanity Fair. Oh, also modeling how the code will work. If I can send and receive ones and zeroes through compatible internets, I don’t see any reason I can’t program something to interpret some sort of cross-dimensional longitude and latitude stuff so that a warps it through the divide into a different area, probably with the aid of the transmitter I installed in myself. And because I don’t see any reason to, I’m probably doing a much better job at it than if I new the multitude of ways in which this was impossible.

It doesn’t hurt that I’m the authority on transdimensional travel on this planet. Not sure if my lack of knowing what I’m doing makes that more or less scary to people. Probably depends on if those people face accidental erasure from my experiments. Oh well.

So in addition to working on my eye, I’ve been recalling and absolutely inhaling every ounce of knowledge about the D-bomb and the theory behind it. There’s a lot of data locked away in this skull of mine, but that doesn’t mean I’ve looked at it all. Even a quick skim wouldn’t mean I understand all of it. I feel like I got skullfucked by Feynman. Horny old bastard would probably have done it, too.

I didn’t let a lack of theory hold me back. After a night of mind-numbing study, I decided to handle this a different way. With state-of-the-art identity theft technology, I analyzed celebrity voices and used them to narrate the audio version of all these notes and papers I had concerning dimensional technology. First up, James Earl Jones. It’s like inviting Darth Vader over to tutor me on building a Death Star while I built a miniature working model.

Oh, yeah, that’s why I went with the audio version. I built bomb casings of various sizes to be assembled. Unfortunately, this printer isn’t some magic automatic bomb builder. Still saved me a lot of time, but it’s still up to me to get the core right and wire everything up in such a way that it doesn’t go off whenever random jackasses answer phones around me.

The soothing tones of James Earl Jones accompanied me as I headed out into the world, scouting the materials I need. I could tell y’all all about them, but then y’all would blow up your own world with dimensional bombs. Who would lavish me with praise then? More realistically, who would feign mild interest in my general direction?

Trust me to know what to do to put this bomb together. I’m theoretically a physicist. In fact, let’s just use euphemisms. So I’d already assembled the waffle cone, but I needed to fill it with the good stuff. And I ain’t talkin’ delicious chocolate pudding here, folks. Ice cream. Chocolate would do, or strawberry. I’m fond of banana. Unfortunately, Vancouver is a really green city. It’s easy to find ice cream in most major port cities in the United States, but Canada’s a whole different animal. It’s a yak that reeks of trees.

So I went ice cream hunting. I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice cream. I got funny looks as I walked around in my armor, but what were they going to do about it? Call Rouge? He’s on a farm upstate. Despite my initial assumption otherwise, I haven’t seen any other heroes around this city. I don’t know if they’re that busy with crime, or if they just don’t have that many heroes up here.

I know I don’t have as comprehensive of knowledge about foreign supers as I do American ones, but I always assumed that was due to the bias of being in the States, watching things on American TV, reading American news, and browsing on America’s internet. Same reason I couldn’t find much information on why Canada changed its milk-import policies until it became big news to the U.S. Milk goes great with ice cream, but they charge a bit more up here. Something about quotas that don’t incentivize a huge glut while lacking subsidies that minimize losses to larger refining companies. That’s important knowledge to have if I ever want to hold the country’s dairy supply hostage or make a bunch of fast money with cow-seeking deathbots and unscrupulous market speculation.

Perhaps there’s something to the United States’s unique lack of basic health and safety regulations, relative high technology, pollution, and scientific exploration. Maybe it’s something in the milk.

I think I got mixed up there. Hold up. Reset. I was busy using my armor and regained wireless capability to rob myself some ice cream-onium. It’s not completely necessary, but it works really well for these purposes.

I took a chance and looked up the nearest Radio Shack, in case the same mercenaries hiding crap in the United States kept things in the frozen white north. It’d be a good plan.

I found The Source. It sounds dramatic, but it’s just Canada’s version of the same crappy store. I ran into the store, still in my armor, but with a balaclava pulled over my helmet and carrying a branch off a tree that had been knocked over outside. “Nobody move, this is a stick!”

There were three people working, two men and one woman. When one guy reached down and seemed to press something under the counter, I jumped over it, threw him onto the counter, and turned it into a stick up his ass. At that point, I saw one dude had already run out the door, while the dudette was in the process of exiting. She stepped outside the store, only to be pulled back inside by her hair. “Shave and a haircut, you bitch,” I joked as I dragged her back, not stopping when she fell to the floor behind me.

“Listen here and listen good if you want to survive,” I said. I wondered if I was going to let her survive. I’d flip a coin, but that’s more of a Batman villain thing. Stupid Two-Face, stealing all the best ways to decide if people die. “You got a bathroom here that’s out of order all the time?”

She nodded and pointed to a door off to the side. I checked to make sure no one would bother us. Yep, the store’s name was still displayed. I carried her over my shoulder and kicked the door down. She’s all whining and crying about “Please don’t hurt me,” while I’m trying to be impressive. Figures.

I tossed her back over my shoulder, focusing more on charging my gauntlets than however she landed. It took a lot of pounding before I found a hatch underneath where the toilet would be. They probably had an easy way to access it, but oh well. The hatch took some tugging as well, but I was able to go all “Friday the 13th” on it with my gloves and broke through like a badass who can’t use doorknobs. Or hatch knobs. Fuck it, man, I’ll tear anybody’s knob off who wants a piece!

So I tore my way through the hatch and found myself taking some stairs down to the what better be a well-stocked repository, lest whoever I find gets a fisty suppository. What I found was a long, narrow corridor with siding doors on either side. A door down the way slid open and a guy poked his head out. “I don’t know what you’re here for, but you’re not going to get it. Um, that’s not bravado. We don’t have much here at all.”

“Dude, seriously?” I asked.

“I’m one guy and I watch a bunch of cameras. You think they’d leave me all alone here if we had anything worth guarding?”

“Tell you what, let’s go over the inventory,” I said.

“Are you going to kill me no matter what I do?”

“If you help me find what I need, I’ll just rough you up a bit.”

So, with the help of my newfound, camo-clad friend, we perused the inventory for a few special items. I didn’t find my ideal flavor of ice cream, but I found a stockpile of workable material. For being so reasonable, I also told the lone guard to go ahead and pick out something nice for me to have stolen. Evidently, the private military company that ran the storage depot had gotten hold of some platinum coins somewhere that the guard figured he could sell. When it was all said and done, we both had a laugh and I broke both of his legs. Lifted him up by the thighs and tried to see if I could fold his legs to his armpits. He’ll live.

He probably would have objected to that if I’d told him about it ahead of time, but he’ll probably thank me when his superiors start wondering if he really tried to put up a fight.

So ended my brain’s break from the mind-number monotony of listening to James Earl Jones talk about the energy ratios needed to move different amounts of mass through the barrier of reality and into another dimension. That is where the damage comes from, essentially. You don’t have to move an entire planet to another dimension. Just half. Hell, a quarter would do a fantastic job of getting rid of all the pesky life on it.

And it occurred to me that if I can figure out how to move something only the size of a bomb, I can figure out how to move something the size of myself consistently. Then I’ll finally have an ability I’ve wanted for so long: the ability to automatically put my boot up any ass I want.

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Gecko Saves The World 1

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You know, I needed that time away from all my problems. Really helped me think about what I want.

Sure, the world’s going to shit. The United States deported some supers. Nationalists in France attacked a superhero who had a Mid-Eastern tan. Some retired super in Canada was gunned down by a Canadian white supremacist. Even the British are expelling superheroes from other parts of Europe, essentially allowing criminals to escape by crossing national borders. And in Europe, you can reach a new country just by going down the block.

But that’s not all. Just today, the Ricca Imperium, aka Claw’s nation, had itself a big ceremony today, all nice and televised. They were showing off what they claimed were assassins. I didn’t recognize everyone in that little assembly offhand, but I saved the names my HUD pulled up for future reference. There were supers from a number of interested countries kneeling on that stage, looking at the camera with hands bound behind their backs. France, China, Russia, South Korea, Japan, the United Kingdom, Germany, India, and Australia were all represented by at least one. One of them, I even pulled up as wearing the costume of some old North Korean legacy superhero, which hinted at holdout loyalist elements in that country. They even had some villains in there.

The United States was hardly left out, too, and that’s where things got wild. I recognized Dame there, kneeling next to all the others in her skintight black outfit and glittery mirrored mask. She wasn’t the crazy part, but she’s important for context. Because I know she works with American heroes from time to time, and it’s unlikely she was an assassin. A thief, unquestionably. Great at finding people, too. But not an assassin.

So how does this get so interesting to me? Well, a gleaming cyber-lizard of a man walked up and down the long row of kneeling supers in front of a line of Riccan footsoldiers holding shiny, aerodynamic-looking guns. He’s the one that announces how the glorious Ricca Imperium had collected all the infiltrating assassins sent by other nations and brought them out to show that violation of their sovereign will is impossible. Once he got to he middle, he gestured with his right claw for someone else to step out. Out from his left stepped Eschaton, beautiful flames crackling upward. From the lizard-man’s right came Warman in full military costumed regalia with what looked like a .50 caliber submachine gun in hand. The things people can use when they have super strength.

“These superior men represent the ally of the Imperium, the United States of America. To our duty.” On that cue, his metal tail rose up, revealing a drill on the end. It hovered over the head of a super in front of him, a Japanese… cyborg of indeterminate gender. My HUD showed a name, The Style, and that he was a super related to the Japanese visual kei movement, hence the ambiguity. Some of those Japanese men make sexy women. The Style didn’t look so pretty with his makeup running, though. Warman put his gun to the back of a French super’s head, while Eschaton raised his hand behind the head of a Chinese captive. They all struck in unison, at which point everybody who showed the video censored it. No uncensored versions available anywhere, but enough was shown of lizard guy’s tail drilling into Style’s head that, well, it’s pretty obvious they sent the ol’ boy to a nice farm upstate to play with Rouge, Lone Gunman, and the Pink Pixie. He’ll be happier there. The fresh air will do that hole in his skull some good.

When the video resumed, it had a closeup of lizard dude’s face with some droplets of blood on his gilded extended jaw. A long tongue reached out and licked the droplets off before he said, “This is a warning. Oppose us at your own risk.”

The United States denied any cooperation with the Claw’s forces, and handed out printed maps showing the latest numbers of all the votes he received and states he won. It had nothing to do with the discussion and didn’t instill any confidence in his assurances about not being allied with the dictator. Or his intelligence. There’s a lot of concern about his intelligence nowadays. Like, a lot of concern. A lot of concern. A lot.

That said, it’s probably best he’s not getting too involved in things. With the recent pogroms against colleges going on, his take on it would probably be to tear gas another college or send in the national guard to shoot more unarmed protesters. It’s open season on liberal protesters again, apparently because a college was attacked by some liberal radicals. Then, to protest the existence of the group that attacked the college, as well as to protest the protesting of the liberal speaker before the attack, a bunch of people showed up armed to hold their own rally and got into a fight with the people who protested them. So now that they’ve shown they want to attack unarmed protesters, they’ve made other protesters more accepting of having the violent radical ones around to protect them from the violent ones who are going around attacking unarmed protesters.

Times like these make me really glad I’m insane, because then I don’t have to expect it to make sense. I just have to be willing to murder anyone. And everyone.

Meanwhile, the United States is pissing off Canada now. How much of a dick do you have to be to piss off Canada? It’s gotten so bad, some voters responded that they’d vote for me if the election was held today and I was alive.

So in the middle of this clusterfuck of a world, what’s a guy to do? Well, I still think I kinda owe it to Master Academy. I can’t exactly keep them safe forever, and it’d hurt them. The guy in charge doesn’t seem to care for The Claw, so perhaps I can settle that mess and call it square. But that’s not what I want.

I want my body back. I want to not be human and share a damn species with so many idiots. I want my powers back. I want to know why I have holes in my thinking. Holes like all the implications behind Technoloutionary, the only other person who knows how to transform someone to and from my species, having worked with Master Academy and where he might be now. Holes like realizing that even though my brain can’t form wireless connections, I built that into my eyes and THEY can be modified for that kind of connectivity. I’d like very much to know if someone made me a bit slower mentally, and I’d love to be nigh-impossible to manipulate that way again.

I want to set the world ablaze. That was the mission of the OSS back during World War II. “Set Europe ablaze.” Sabotage and misdirection to aid a war effort. Except I don’t have a dog in what’s gearing up to be World War III. And there are so many people who want it to happen. Empire builders, religious fanatics, nincompoops, fascists, warhawks. Lots of people want to bring everything to the brink of war because they think they can control the situation. Just like how high tensions got way back in the early 1900s with everyone perhaps not caring since they had their own system of alliances making sure they would come out ahead. All it took was one extremist in the wrong place to light a small fire that grew out of control.

Ambitious, I know. And it’s not like I really need a reason to light that fire.

I think I know just how to do it, too.

Lucky for me, Vancouver is having a bit of a problem with chaos. It has been continually storming ever since Dr. Creeper’s attack. If it isn’t snowing, it’s sleeting, and it’s almost always thundering, whether lightning is trying to kiss the ground or not. Everyone’s more upset about that than they are wondering about a mysterious stranger buying space in an office building. The night of Dr. Creeper’s assault, a bank had gotten all shot up by one of the Thunder Machine’s guns and money ended up missing.

It’s easier than trying to get money transferred from so-and-so hidden bank account in the States, and I don’t have to hold people hostage for something like office space. It’s a cheap floor, with cheap carpet and a few lingering cubicles the last tenants didn’t bother to take with them. Way too many fluorescent lights.

The perfect place to build a bomb or two. Or three. That’s right, Psycho Gecko’s getting reestablished, and I like this place for it. I have some cash. I have a destabilized city. I got my armor. But enough about talk.

I took my armor out for a spin toward a tech university in the area, Kwantlen Polytechnic. I don’t know what the purpose of an awning with a giant hole in it is, but they had one right there next to a building that was pretty much wall-to-wall windows. This place didn’t need to be teaching anyone how to build a catapult.

It’s a bit boring to hear about me raiding a center for higher learning, but it’s easier than long periods of waiting while stuff ships in. The equipment and tools at this place will expedite my rebuilding. So I broke in, busting my way in through the roof. I tried to slide in through an air vent, but I got clogged up in it. When I dropped down, the inside vent broke under me and dumped me in an upstairs hall.

Like I was never even here.

I stood up and brushed myself off, then traipsed my merry self on through the campus. It wasn’t long before I encountered a guard in a crisp white shirt and red tie. He took one look at a skipping man in power armor illuminated by the lightning and froze.

“Frank, is something there? You stopped talking, buddy,” his radio said.

Eyes wide, he pressed the transmit button on the mouthpiece attached to his collar. “Everything’s fine. Nothing wrong here. Just thought I saw something, but I didn’t.” He put his hands up and backed around the corner. After he got out of my sight, I heard him run.

This must be a really good college. Even their security guards are smart.

They weren’t the only ones wandering around. I found a wing with the lights on and somebody home. I peeked around the corner to find a group of three people all surrounding a large 3D printer, like a door frame on a snake terrarium. Interesting design to it. There were parts and wires scattered all over the place. One of them held up a pale yellow helmet. “The last piece of the armor.”

“You still need a battery to make it work,” said a girl standing with her back to me.

“It’s cool though,” said another with his back to the door. Ugh, a flat top? I know college is a time for experimentation, but some things go too far. What’s next, rat tails?

I stepped out. “Neat. Armor printer. Trying to make some power armor there?”

They all jumped, the one dropping his helmet. “Who are you?” The other two whirled around.

“Are you some superhero?” asked flat top.

“I don’t think so. He’s here after dark,” said the girl.

Flat top rolled his eyes and lightly smacked her arm. “We’re here after dark and my man here’s not a bad guy.”

“Guys, shut up,” said the one who previously held the helmet before repeating his prior question. “Who are you?”

“I’m impressed unless that’s just the printing plastic,” I stepped forward to take a closer look at what he held in his hand.

“It’s proof of concept. I designed this printer to use steel or even titanium. It can handle all the little details and joints, but that’s harder to see from just this helmet.” He held it out for me to examine. I’d say it looked like a Gothic barbute, a metal helmet that expands a little at the top, with the holes for eyes and breathing all connected. Despite the name, the helmet doesn’t come with black makeup. About where the ears would be, it had these ear thingies, like small fans that swept back. It was very medieval fantasy-ish. Dungeons and 3D printed dragons.

“Huh. Well, I’ll have to see about that. Yoink!” I pushed that guy out of the way and began unplugging the printer itself.

“Hey, man, you can’t do that!” Flat top threw himself at me and tried to punch me in the head. He stepped back holding his hand and some knuckles that couldn’t have felt good. The girl of the group wound up and gave me the hit with a chair that reverberated in her hands. I turned and grabbed the top with both hands. I pulled the topmost bar apart. She decided to back off.

“I think he’s a bad guy,” she said.

“You can’t take that! That’s my grade, man,” said the guy I’d tossed away.

I waved him off. “There are things more important than grades. Besides, this isn’t the hill you want to die on. Is there an access door? And if not, which way is the outside?” I looked around and found a window with lightning flashing across the sky. “Nevermind. I got this. Now watch closely, children.” I walked over and cranked up my energy gauntlets. A couple of punches opened up a hole wide enough. I turned to look at the group. They all huddled in one corner of the room, well away from any more chairs or anything.

That’s the good thing about having super strong armor, being able to carry useful stuff all over the place. It did get old, but it paid off. Now I have myself a 3D printer that can handle a number of complex builds, including armor if I need a spare set. Or even to repair my current armor. And who says it has to be all about armor?

I’m going to build myself another Dimension Bomb, after all. One with the capability to travel into another dimension and then back into this one to hit anywhere in the universe.

And, believe it or not, it will save the world from destruction.

What’s the worst that could happen with a planet-destroying bomb in the hands of homicidal madman? Ok, so last time it went badly, but that’s because I had a nasty bit of altruism. This time, forget that. It’s spite and selfishness and a desire to make everyone see the folly of their ways. I’m going to save the world in the way only a villain can. I hold no illusions that this will end all war from here on out like Dr. Gatling.

After all, I actually would push the big red button to end the world. Because I liked this place for a long time, but I’m not so sure I like it anymore after the way it has treated me. And there are many other Earths in the multiverse. So let’s see how many angels can dance on the blade of a razor before it slices.

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