They got Doc and Max. Captured them. They were paying a visit to that rep. Doesn’t matter if they got to him now. Superheroes aren’t exactly spec ops. The whole mess isn’t quiet. Even if he doesn’t talk about it, the news is swarming all over the place. It was an odd choice, but I’m guessing they don’t have much choice now, what with the investigations.
Turns out Max has been messing with some drug testing results. Ridiculous stuff, of course. Horse steroids, deer hormone supplements, recombinant bovine growth hormone, and the usual pregnancy false positives. At the very least, they have to spend time looking over the guys, keeping them in doctor’s offices. The public scrutiny is great.
I wasn’t at the lab at the time this went down, either, doing the very important job of bringing back supplies from the grocery store. The usual. Snacks, drinks, cleaning stuff…tampons for the girls. Probably why I wasn’t in the building when they dragged the girls out and torched it. There would have been more casualties had it been me, but looks like Sam and Holly did ok on their own. Some of the enforcers had to be lifted out in a helicopter. From the looks of things, Sam went a little crazy with her piercing gun. The guy with the microwave connected to his tongue by a chain was easy to diagnose. I’m not sure what happened to the guy holding his crotch. Possibly an involuntary Prince Albert.
Despite the water and hitting me with various things and the jokes behind my back and the taunting, I admit I’ve grown rather fond of them. That’s why the guards with guns to their back wound up with 2 liter bottles breaking across their faces. Holly and Sam took the hint and made a run for safety. I don’t blame them one bit. I have been known to lower the life expectancy of people in my immediate surroundings. A merc in an exoskeleton turned toward them, but I blinded him with a pudding cup to the face. I tried to stop him from raising any more of an alarm by shoving a tampon in his mouth, but word got out anyway. For that, I relocated his nuts a few inches up his body.
The enforcers were forming up, weapons aimed at me, including more PKM soldiers. They were stopped as Col. Mortimer called out, “I want this one personally.” Past the soldiers, I saw bulky machinery rise up, then turn toward me. Mortimer’s face looked out from a bubble cockpit, his lower half protected by armor plating, like a medieval bevor. Fancy term for the part under the visor that protects the mouth and sometimes throat as well. Regardless of what I know about helmets, Mortimer stepped forward in this large piece of machinery and raised the sculpted fist, letting out a burst from the flamethrower on its forearm. “You’re not the only man in a power suit that can take down someone’s base.”
I threw the rest of the box of tampons at his cockpit and hit the stealth.
“You don’t want to show yourself. That’s fine. Let’s just hunt down those girls and throw them on top of the barbecue. There are no rewards for them. We can do whatever we want. Naw, that’s not going to do anything for you. We could level the whole block and it won’t move you. No girlfriend that we’ve ever turned up. No boyfriend either. We’ve already caught the closest things you have to friends. You are a man who leaves nothing but death behind you. The world will be happy when you go.”
Projections of me appeared charging him. He turned, punching, firing the flamethrowers on both arms. I even put one projection on one of his men with the misfortune of standing too close. I didn’t give him very long to play before I dropped them all and hung down where he could see me, looking at him upside down.
He couldn’t see it through my helmet, but I smiled at him as I waved the chicken heads around. I wish he could have looked between the mech’s legs to see all of them running around like explosive chickens with their heads torn off.
I laughed in his face as they went off sending us flying up with the mech’s legs traveling in different directions. At least, I laughed until the mech flipped over, falling head first, my too, too squishable flesh underneath it. I scrambled to climb up the thing and managed to get so far that my boots were under its arms when I landed. As we crashed and the cockpit bubble shattered, I was shaken off and greatly hurt my ass, to use the technical term. I jumped up quickly though and put on a show for the assembled soldiers around despite my aching tailbone.
“Oh yeeeeaaaah, brother, that’s what you call the Super Exploding Fisherman’s Burning Mech Piledriver 95. Who’s next, if you smell what I’m cookin’?”
They turned and ran.
“Hey you cowards, come back here and get your heads ripped off like real men!” I yelled after them. Then I heard a squawking from the downed mech. Sliding down beside the cracked cockpit, I could see the aptly named Mortie had a radio headset on. I slid it on out of there off his head and wiped some of the blood off before tuning in.
“Mortimer? This isn’t Mortimer. Who is this? What’s happening?”
“Mortimer is currently indisposed. He’s playing Squash.”
“Put me on with him now or you can find a new job.”
“Please tell me this is Mr. Long.”
“It is. Your ass is in a sling now.”
“Mr. Long, it’s your ass in a slingshot if you don’t give me back my friends. I’d bring up Mortie here to testify to that, but he’s a rather grave man and I think he’d like to rest in peace.”
“Who is this?”
“It’s Psycho Gecko. Your enforcers are no longer an issue in our dealings, so I guess all you’ve got left to defend yourself with are those heroes of yours. Your choice, I guess. Can guard the Good Doctor and Mix N’Max, or you can guard yourself. You don’t have the manpower for both at the same time.”
“They’ll be in my office in 30 minutes. I won’t be.”
I tossed aside the headset and went diving into the fire real quick, looking for any of my gear I could savage out of this. I did find one thing.
It was less easy making it to the zoo on time. Because I still don’t trust Bennett Long and because even if the place is empty, I want to wreck it a little bit. I had to run around pretty quick in there blowing locks off the gates. Luckily, I could ride for the next part. I hopped up on a giraffe’s back and wrapped my arms around its neck to steer. The motivation for giraffes, ostriches, and so on to run came from the lions, tigers, bears, and other predators I’d released second. A bushbaby hopped up on me, covering my face for a moment. I slid it around and it held on to my neck in much the same way I was holding the giraffe, except it got to sit to a big black case I’d strapped to me. Storks, starlings, even a kookaburra and a woodhoopoe all flew out ahead of me as I led the rush of animals down the street to the Long Life building.
If you’re worried about the slower animals, I didn’t take everything in the zoo. The penguins have to sit out until I can figure out some sort of ice gun.
As I approached, I realized it was good to have been skeptical. Paveman was waiting by the door, drawing from the asphalt and concrete to increase his bulk. He threw some chunks of it high and managed to startle the giraffe which threw me onto my shoulder, to the panic of the bushbaby riding me. Still, I knew how to deal with a man made of rock.
“Stop!” I said, pointing at him. “Hamerkop!”
Not just the Hamerkops, but a lot of birds landed on Paveman all at once, blinding him and allowing me to grab hold of an ostrich. It didn’t care for that, but it wasn’t going to sit around and argue with me with that tiger right there, so it used that bill to break the glass door and hop inside. I saw the birds scatter off the flailing Paveman as the tiger pounced him instead, probably breaking fangs in the process. Ah well, no accounting for taste.
The ostrich bucked me off when I tried to take it in the elevator, leaving me upside down propped up against the wall. Fucking ostrich. The bushbaby had crawled back on my face, protecting it but giving me an idea what ZZ Top sees when they’re upside down.
I moved it so it was behind me again as the ostrich tried to assault me. I was forced to pimp slap the bird before forcing the doors closed.
I was surprised the elevator was even moving, but I guess a trap is no good if you don’t get someone into it. My best guess is Paveman was panicked by the sight of a zoo coming down on his head. To be fair, that was kind of the point. I felt good though. Plenty of adrenaline. Even felt lighter, which I checked on and found the rocket case had broken free of my back on the elevator.
Well, there goes my big surprise to y’all about how the hell we’re getting out. That charred case is the only one I had left.