On top of the low-grade civil war happening in the United States, they had to deal with a hurricane. Paradise City is on the Florida Gulf Coast. Ruled by a supervillain named Ouroboros, he has a series of weather control buoys in the ocean to protect it from hurricanes. They took a little bit of the bite out of this one, but not enough to stop it. Now a big chunk of Texas is underwater. A chunk normally home to millions of people.
It would have been a perfect time to attack the States. Civil war, natural disaster, no Psycho Gecko to deal with, and the populace rejecting the potential for nanotechnology to save lives. Tracing his path, that’s where the big guy had been headed. Then all the praying started and he turned to us. We haven’t had a cloudless day since. The island hasn’t seen the sun in days, instead being lit through an impenetrable dark haze of clouds. At least our food is already all grown indoors.
I didn’t notice it until it got within viewing distance of the island, but the waters rippled a bit in front of it. I had thrown on my armor and headed out to the beach. We’d cleared away the Deep Ones who had fled from the religious Cthulhu extremists down below, except for the ones who insisted on chanting along with Alhazred.
They didn’t even notice when I prepped the whole place. Little things, like stocking up on weapons and equipment, including the radiationthrower from the Institute of Science. I had a humongous stockpile of nanites on hand as well.
The guards were supposed to be keeping order, but many of them found guard spots that let them spy on that beach in particular as the thing approached with its forward-moving wake. I decided to taunt it further one of the best ways I know how: I stood on the beach, in full armor, with a guitar. I raised a hand to the sky as lightning crackled and thunder boomed. I brought my hand down and the speakers sitting behind me let loose a few clanging notes before all the strings broke. The neck, as well. I looked down at the broken guitar and tossed it aside. “Well, fuck.”
I cranked up the volume on my helmet and readied my phenomenal singing voice. “This is a little number I like to call ‘They’re Coming To Take Me Away, Ha Ha’.”
Just as I breathed in to release my siren song into the world, lightning seemingly split the sky right in front of me, hitting this multi-armed water thingy that inspired the works of Lovecraft and many others. The world rumbled then and the ocean flew up. Or the multi-armed, multi-winged, one-eyed tail dropped back onto the ocean and the thing’s actual body arose from the water.
“Whoa,” I said. I kinda wish I had a better idea of distances on sight alone, because this was one big biznitch. Didn’t this thing get beat by a yacht from the Twentieth century? Oh, right, it was hit in the octopus head by it, a head that seemed to be mostly tentacles except for eyes and a bulgy back section. I only saw the two eyes, but at this point I wouldn’t have been surprised to see more of those open up somewhere. What at first appeared as scales and hairs instead appeared to be move in the same manner as the tail’s appendages, though it had a conventional pair of arms and wings. It also had nards. “Octopus-man’s got nards!” I shouted, drowned out by the roar of storm and falling water.
“Excuse me, Emperor,” I heard in my ear. “This is the Intercept team, and I believe you know what I’m about to say.”
“Yes, indeedy,” I said.
“How are you going to fight that thing?” the soldier on the other end asked.
I shrugged. “Well it won’t be Queensberry Rules. I think I’ll try the Oscar Wilde Rule.”
“The what, sir?”
“Shoot on sight, Intercept.”
New thunder joined the storm as artillery shells exploded against the body of Cthulhu. “Let’s hear that famous call of Cthulhu now, fishlips!”
The entity’s high-pitched roar echoed through my brain, despite the soundproofing of my helmet. I flipped it off and responded with, “You scream like a girl! And if you’re not sure what a girl is, come over here and I’ll make you into one!”
In all likelihood, it didn’t hear me. Things were noisy. But it did stomp toward land. It needed to stop the guns and we didn’t have anything it could use as a convenient projectile.
I reached down and grabbed one of the many hoses I’d had placed to pump nanites. From the way its body was healing those shots, I would need them. I’m sorry, did I imply I’d use the nanites for healing? I ran with that hose and jumped, landing on part of its leg and getting tangled in a wet, slimy mess of small wings and appendages before I hooked the hose to one of them. Then I went back for more.
It caught on around the third one that what I was doing was more important than the artillery. That Paimon demon might have been talking out its ass when it made Cthulhu seem to know a lot more. It didn’t even know how to hit me with its long, spiney fingers. Instead, I was able to grab on to a wing on its arm and hook a hose to it.
Before long, I’d gotten almost all of them in place. It was while trying to get rid of a knot on the penultimate one that keeping my hose in line was interrupted by a tentacle wrapping around me. I readied a pimp hand, directing energy to the conduits on the gauntlet, and punched a hole through it. Then I reached in with both arms and tore it apart, dropping myself and part of the squirming appendage to the ground.
Then I won the lottery. And by that, I mean I got struck by lightning, shutting down my armor and cybernetics for a couple of seconds and hurting a lot. Well, more like everything in my body tensed up to the point where it felt like it would explode. Adrenaline could only do so much to numb the pain.
A blow sent me rolling along the wet sand of the beach. I recovered my sight in time to see myself hit the edge of the pavement and tip into the air, where my progress was stopped shortly after breaking through its second-story window. I guess it’s about time to remember that I’m fighting a giant monster, after all. A version of that though ran through my head. At the moment, the thing doing most of the running was my secret stockpile of delicious lemonade in my lower armor.
Once I picked myself up and dusted off my brain, I also popped a special opening in my crotch to try and drain out. I added that feature just for this fight, along with a similar one in the rear. While I did that, I heard Intercept telling me they were having to divert fire to stop incoming boats and chunks of pier. “Understood, Intercept. You’ve done your job. I’ll take it from here.”
“Emperor, are you sure?”
“Don’t worry about me. Worry about yourself, and Cthulhu,” I closed my crotch hole and grabbed a nearby surfboard, suddenly wishing I had some silver spray paint. When I looked out, I saw the big critter had torn off all the hoses on him, which really sucked. They looked like they’d been cut through, at least the closest. It’s generally not a good idea to take inventory only when you’ve got Revenge of the Calamari stomping around. I hopped out and positioned the surfboard below me. The landing was a bit of a jolt, but the board slid along the pavement and sand until I jumped off and ran for the remaining loose hose end.
“These are desperate times, Mrs. Lovett,” I said to myself, “And desperate measures are called for.” I opened the rear and forward hatches. It took a bit of reaching around in there until I could set the hose in there where it would hold steady. I got it just in time, too, as the biggun almost dropped part of a restaurant on me. Good to see the giant horror from beyond time didn’t forget about me. Nice to know I made an impression. If only I made friends so easily?
I had dodged and powered up the legs of the exoskeleton under my armor. I called back up the Buzzkills who had hidden nearby, hoping they hadn’t decided to abandon their post. “Pump team, report!”
“We are in readiness, master. We merely await your command.”
“Things are going to get rocky here, so no Bullwinkle. I need all of it sent through hose number nine, starting on my signal. Just make sure it can draw from the other tanks, got it?”
“Aye, aye, sir! Ready when you are.”
I jumped into the air and onto the thing, climbing up its body. Something this big wasn’t going to be defeated by just one guy, a sword, and a weakspot. Nah, my plan here involved a death by a thousand cuts. No, a death by a billion cuts. But don’t worry. They’re just tiny ones.
I climbed up onto its shoulder and ran up onto its face, where tentacles bent over backward to slam into me or grab me. “I’m ready for it to come!” I yelled into comms. “Fire now!”
I stopped right in front of one of its eyes and turned toward it, flashing it briefly before unleashing a warm spurt of nanite-infused gel into its eyes. The fluid began breaking it down on contact, working on something similar to my emergency Grey Goo protocol. A tentacle actually grabbed me around the waist, but I angled my hips up and got some of it landing on me. Those on me ignored my flesh and metal to hunt down this bizarre being that had taken hold of me, and together they ate through the tentacle and dropped me back down, where I continued to shoot my load into Cthulhu’s face.
“Take it all, big boy!” I yelled, laughing because it’s important to have some fun. I actually had to run back the way I came so nothing would get tangled up, but I hopped back down to make sure I got plenty on the monster’s chest. It was soon too busy clawing at where the nanites ate into it that it either couldn’t find me or couldn’t be bothered to. Its regeneration didn’t help either, as the nanites were buildng replicas out of any usable material on him, and I had enough of my own for eight more hoses.
I didn’t let up even when it collapsed and tried to crawl back into the ocean, its body diminishing atom by atom, bit by bit. I finally stopped when I saw it covered entirely in nanites, only possible because they had been at work on so much of it. I took a moment to pull out the hose and close up my hatches before skipping over to it and wiping it away.
Cthulhu was now no longer a giant winged octopus monster. Now, it was a pale, nude redhead. And me there, positioned behind her. “Told you I’d make you into a girl,” I told her. She looked up at me and screamed. I jumped back to give myself room for a running kick right between Cthulhu’s shapely new asscheeks. She flew off back into that ocean with the loud crack of breaking bone. And I don’t just mean a little ways into the water. I broke my own foot with that kick, so I sat down to watch her fly off into the distance. She skipped before she sank into the waves.
I pulled my boot off with a pained grunt and stuck my foot in a puddle of the nanite gel, still wincing. I saw Alhazred approach well in advance. He stepped over to look into the distance at where I’d kicked his literally emasculated god so hard she almost bounced over the horizon and, for all the flat earthers know, over the edge of the Earth.
He seemed like a man in a daze, and when he spoke, I wasn’t entirely sure it was directed at me. “That is not dead which can eternal lie, and with strange aeons even death may die.”
“That is not dead can still get a boot in its ass, and death begs to differ,” I responded.