I bounded across the face of a pyramid under a green sky. Behind me, an orb the size of a beach ball approached. It was hard enough running along the smooth, angled side of the thing, though much easier than the side of a skyscraper. It’s much harder when a floating piece of glass rides your ass and tries to blast it off with a laser beam the diameter of a beach ball. I dropped and slid down the side of the pyramid to keep from being pegged by excited photons.
The beam followed, trailing molten whatever. I was invisible, but that didn’t matter to that thing. I’m guessing the natives of this world see some different stuff than most people from Earth do. I considered using my gauntlets, either to deflect the beam or to absorb part of it, then deflect it. They were built to handle Justice Ranger small arms, but it has an upper limit. I was never capable of deflecting the sorts of attacks their giant mecha could produce. I’d rather not test them against this energy weapon unless I have no other option. Still, I began to charge up my lower pair of arms and I had the projectors stop trying to render me invisible if it wasn’t going to work.
I banked on it only being able to maintain that beam for so long, then come back and smack it with my dick. Metaphorically speaking, of course. I’d blow it away with my cock, but I don’t know what my rubber chicken grenades are going to do around this place. Without roads to cross to the other side of, they might run around like chicken with their heads cut off. But dodging I can do. Some might call it “running away” but I argue that facing unknown energy beams capable of disappearing a torso is not the time to argue over valor. I really need a reliable method of defending myself from a distance. Or, as is more accurate in my life, preemptively defending myself. I have to defend myself from people’s attempts to kill me for trying to murder them.
Then again, all the eye lasers in the world are pretty useless if you can’t use them because the thing is a giant laser orb behind you that you can’t take the time to try and shoot because of the big-ass laser beam. I think it’s just really easy to complain when you’re close to involuntary ass hair removal via big-ass laser.
Having founded my guess on the idea that most weapons can’t attack continuously for very long without running into power, cooling, or ammunition problems, I was rewarded with the thing stopping. Unfortunately, the sliding thing was tougher to stop. I had to put my fist into the side of the pyramid. It didn’t go too far. Just far enough to break some fingers on my upper left hand. When you’re as punchable as myself, you get used to a lot of pain. I leveraged myself up and jumped for the orb. The first punch with my upper right knocked it back, but didn’t shatter it or anything. Then I gave it the ol’ one-two with the bottom pair and they put cracks all through the bottom. The orb dropped and began to roll down the side of the pyramid.
I’d been heading out a little further to see what I could see of this place. Wherever we’d entered this world, it didn’t seem to be the same spot they’d sent people through before. There had been no sign of the big tentacle thing that tried to get me before, and no other real defenses. Based on how there had been a drop of a few feet, I think moving the crystal on our end affected where we came out. One of the first villains through, Powder, used her super strength to put together a mound made out of what I assume are the local personal transportation. Some of the villains were swarming all over triangular things and I’m sure some of have already been tossed through whole.
“Hide your kids, hide your wife, we’re takin’ everything ’round here!” I called down to crowds of fleeing aliens. That’s what I’m going with, anyway. I know what dimensional travel is like, so I’m guessing this is mere interplanetary stuff. And not a racially homogenous one, either. I saw all sorts running around. Pale things with long, thin limbs and big heads walked around like greys in denim. No, seriously, whatever they were wearing looked a lot like denim. Denim overalls, denim jeans, denim jackets. I saw a big ape-like furry thing in a toga and sandals, so even alien fashion isn’t so horrible as to include socks with sandals. That was reassuring, actually. Some of these things were reptilian, some had green skin, some blue. They had aliens every color of the rainbow around here, fleeing as we wreaked havoc and stole whatever we could.
“I can’t be the only one noticing it’s hard to breathe here, for sure?” asked someone. I had the comms lines in my helmet turned down low so they wouldn’t interrupt anything.
“No, you’re just a fatass,” someone else responded.
“No, he’s right,” another voice jumped in. “It’s the atmosphere.”
“Anyone know how to read gibberish?” someone else broke in. “I don’t know what I’m robbing. Is this a Whole Foods or an electronic store?”
Yet another person broke in, which just goes to show why I didn’t want to pay a lot of attention to all this. “Shove it up your ass. If it doesn’t vibrate, it’s food.”
A voice with an accent I couldn’t place broke in. “That is how I know you are an American. You would fry it first.”
“Guys, not to interrupt this wonderful attempt at recreating Reddit with real noises, but I’m getting shot at over here,” someone said.
“Walk it off.”
“Shoot them back!”
I broke in. “Cooperation is a part of this. Let’s get some people over there before we find out they have guns that turn people’s crotches into poisonous snakes or something.”
“Woah, I saw that on TV before. There’s this big purple snake thing in another country-”
I cut them off. “That’s nice and we can discuss the penis snake once we’re back on Earth. Look at it this way, you get to steal gear from this place’s version of cops or soldiers or whatever.”
I think that did the trick. There wasn’t a good way to get a sense of where people were outside of whatever they discussed over the comms, and I didn’t like paying attention to all that. Still, those sorts of weapons and equipment were high on the list of goods to take, just like on Earth. They’re valuable, easy to carry, and easy to sell. It wouldn’t be Earth’s first encounter with alien technology, but I’d try to make sure my country gets whatever insights they have to offer first. Until then, I had to do a little robbing of my own.
I landed on what I took to be a sidewalk, right in front of a fleeing thing. I’d say feminine in appearance, but I didn’t have a basis for comparison with this thing’s species. Thin, with blue skin that took on an iridescent glimmer at the curves, and some folds of loose skin where the hair would be. “Stand and deliver,” I said, pulling a rubber chicken out of my belt and pointing it at the alien ominously.
It babbled something in a language my translator program began to work furiously on figuring out. “Your money or your life!” I said again, poking at the alien with the rubber chicken. I looked it over for valuables and found it had a number of bracelets on. I grabbed for those and slipped them off, the alien giving little resistance.
I was admiring them when a pair of those triangular vehicles came humming up the street nearby. The bodies of the vehicles turned as whatever they had instead of wheels moved them from side to side in order to deftly dodge fleeing civilians. The alien tried to pull one of the bracelets away from me and, when I refused, began waving its arms at the vehicles. They came to a sudden stop next to us and these domes on top retracted to reveal three beings in each one.
They got out, another mixture of various aliens. At least one of them looked more like the one I’d just mugged, but red-skinned instead of blue. One of them held the palm of his glove-covered hand toward me and shot some little disk thing. I caught it out of the air and looked at it, at which point it began to shock me. If it had hit and attached, that would have sucked. Unfortunately for them, it clenched my hand and I crushed the darn thing. Still made me stumble back, but it also helped charge up the energy sheaths on my gauntlets thanks to how I’d redesigned them. Three of the others pulled out extending sticks, not narrowed like batons, while the last brought out a staff. I went ahead and tucked my stolen bracelets away.
The three with the sticks came at me all at once. The things looked like wood, but clanged off my armor. A punch each put the three down, but not dead. For most people, they’d be gooey salsa on the sidewalk after one of those. These guys were still intact and holding themselves, though only the sasquatch-looking guy seemed anywhere near close to getting up for another go. It was staff guy’s time for a go while the one who tried to tase me checked on the others. He gave my leg a half-hearted poke that I didn’t think anything of until a metal clamp extended out and wrapped around my thigh. Then a yellow light on the middle part of the staff lit up. He picked me up and smacked me into the street a few times before smacking me onto the armored battery pack I wore on my back.
I didn’t have to worry about the charge in my last hand anymore. I raised all four of my hands for a moment before I got my feet under me a little. I fired my suit’s elbow rockets at the same time I jumped, pulling the staff clear of the alien’s grip. My suit was at least a match for the clamp, able to tear it off, and the alien peace officer himself was less resilient to a flying person in power armor gut-checking him.
The last one fired off another pair of his shocking little gadgets at me as I approached. Once again, a ranged attack would be nice. A laser shot out from the side, severing the thing’s hand and ending the pain and involuntary muscle contractions. And, I might add, leaving the red-skinned alien standing in front of me while I had four charged gauntlets ready. Yeah, no need for the laser now. The others survived a punch each with no problems. Turns out, a couple such hits at the same time will salsafy these guys anyway.
I turned to the person who had helped me. Escorpio Encantador stood on the back of a gleaming gold and black scorpion that went along perfectly with his scorpion-motif armor. “I am sure you would have killed him without my assistance, Emperatriz Gecko. I merely hurried his death along so you have more time to do what you love.” He gave me a bow.
“Yeah, yeah. Now help me get these guys’ pants off!” I said, perfectly happy to have less attention on him helping me out. He politely refused to help me rob the downed cops blind, claiming he had to get over and help with the tentacle monster. I just made sure to gather up as much of the armor and equipment I could, including that taser-launching glove, a couple of sticks, and what may have been an advanced alien jockstrap. That’s a question for the scientists to answer, though.
I was broken away from my robbery reverie by the increasing panic from the various voices on the comms. “Tentacles everywhere!” someone called. Another person was like, “It touched my mouth, ew, fuck it! Fuck all of it!” And that last statement was not good fuck it.
Grabbing my loot, I made for the portal. I found that the fleeing crowds in that area were supervillains who were trying to get away from a large, flesh-shaped slug covered with tentacles. If it was the same one from the other portal, it would be the remnants of one last mercenary. Yeah, they did that to a human. Giant tentacle slug.
Suddenly, a large crowd of the aliens ran for the portal as well, from the other direction. What I thought would turn into a counter attack instead became a massive surge of aliens all throwing themselves at the thing, trying to beat, claw, and bite it to death. It wasn’t until I was jumping my way closer that I saw someone moving more slowly in the midst of them without being trampled. A woman with a face I’d seen plenty of times, though she now wore a form-fitting black dress. Spinetingler’s daughter.
Spinetingler himself soon appeared, though he appeared unconcerned with the writhing, wriggling mess of tentacles. When tendrils came close to slapping him, he swiped them clear with a quartet of blades on the fingers of one glove. He approached the thing and laid a hand on it. By now, I’d landed relatively close by and nodded to the guy’s daughter. I felt her telepathic abilities claw away at my mind, protected as it was by the unique neurophysiology of homo machina. Something about the way our minds interface with computers screws up conventional psionic abilities. My understanding is that it takes a hellaciously strong psychic to break in. “Everything ok here?” I asked.
She nodded. Her voice had a deep echo to it. “My father has this handled. I think everyone should go.”
I nodded again and cut into the comms. “Okily dokily, folks. I hear we better get a move on. Spinetingler’s doing something to the squirming mass over here and I think we’d better skedaddle.”
“Roger, skedaddling commencing,” someone with a mechanical-sounding voice said.
“Keep an eye out for anyone lagging behind. Anyone get caught? Anyone injured?” I asked. I was interrupted by Dr. Creeper stomping by back to the portal in a barebones robot that was more a pair of large chicken-legs with a small tank cannon on top. From his cackling, he was having the time of his life.
Meanwhile, Spinetingler finished whatever he was doing and flew past through the portal as a bunch of bats. Short as he was a few in his belfry, if he was hightailing it, that was a sign. Kinda like when you notice the bomb disposal guy running with a line of pee trailing after. But I stuck around. I got to see as the thing that had once been a man and was now a giant flesh slug began to grow and take something like a humanoid shape. It didn’t get all the formal body parts. It stayed all lumpy and flesh-colored, but it had a pair of legs, a torso, and arms, all with little arms and legs twitching out of its skin. And whatever led it to come after us villains didn’t seem to be in control anymore. It took a swipe at a nearby obelisk, sending it crashing onto more of the extraterrestrial cops.
“Sound off if you are still past the portal!” called Ouroboros over the comms.
“Gecko here. I’m still on alien soil, watching aliens soil themselves,” I answered.
After a few more seconds of comms silence, Ouroboros replied, “We’re waiting on you.”
A bolt of red energy missed my head and zapped a piece of the mound underneath the portal. I turned to see a group of four beings in multi-colored outfits walking toward the scene with short capes on the back of their outfits. They had black and silver running throughout the costumes, but each wore a different color primarily. It was the lead one in red, way too big and wide to be a human, who was aiming a sort of cross between staff and rifle at me. I got the feeling I met his gaze, despite the helmets we both wore.
“Yeah, time to go I think,” I said to myself, as well as the rest of them all. I turned and jumped through to see everyone else milling around the military base. No one had been allowed to leave just yet, as enforced by all the guys and drones with guns around.
There was just no way to handle the raid from within the Institute of Science. Sure, it had the computers and the nuclear-powered toasters, which are always handy to have in a conflict. It was too crowded. Hard to get people in and out, or get booty out. Getting a lot of people in and handling booty is as important for a raid as it is for running a train on someone. I also hated being cut off the way the Institute does to me as a consquence of being built for information security.
It turns out the crystal can be handled and moved. I had it brought out to the military base. It had plenty of room for everyone. Plus, this time all the guns would be pointed at my enemies. That includes if any of these assholes got the idea to strand me over there. Which is why they were keeping a close eye on everyone until I gave the order. “Guns down and power off. At ease.”
The soldiers relaxed. Even the surface-to-air launcher wound down and pointed its payload at the sky instead.
“Trust issues, Gecko?” asked Ouroboros, twirling his knives around.
“What? Me? Naw… just didn’t want anyone leaving before we got ourselves a group photo,” I said, pointing over to the nearby bleachers where a pair of photographers were all set up. “Come on, let’s finish comemmorating the new world order. Say ‘stolen cheese’!”
New Direction 6
You know, I love train heists. So exciting. Too bad Florida doesn’t have passenger train lines headed toward Central and South Florida. You’d think making it easier for more people to get to the major tourist destinations would be an easy win, but you’d be wrong. Oh so wrong.
It’s the fruit lobby that put an end to that. The orange growers have that racket going on, see. They need people stopping by at the rest stops to try pure orange juice, eat candy made from oranges, buy preserves, and head out with a bag of Florida oranges.The orange racket will do whatever they can to keep the citrus flowing. They’ve given more than their fair share of bodies a pair of alligator-skin shoes. And by that, I mean they let a pair of gators chomp onto them, then toss them in the water. Those aren’t just regular navel oranges, dear readers. Those are blood oranges.
But enough about the Vitamin C pushers. That’s all mere background fluff to attacking a prison transport convoy headed down south from Paradise City. For the sake of at least pretending to cover my tracks, I let it get some distance away from Paradise City. I actually aimed to go after it somewhere in the Big Bend. That’s what they call that corner with the peninsula.
Florida is fairly flat country. Not particularly hilly, and most of the buildings are extremely limited in height due to the hurricanes. There’s still a lot of woodland. The convoy was headed down the highway with trees all over the place. One prisoner transport, two SWAT vans. The one in rear had a machine gun mounted up top, but I wasn’t too interested in learning absolutely everything about it. I didn’t intend for it to be an issue.
But I was in the mood for an old-fashioned train heist, and old fashioned heistery I was going to have!
I jumped the guard rail from the woods on a steel horse. A robotic horse. Not that hard to throw together back in Ricca and launch on a missile over here. Horses are already fairly fast creatures before you start making improvements on evolution’s design, but most horses would not want to hold a Dudebot. It’s not some silly thing like detecting evil or hating robots. Horses are living creatures that don’t necessarily like heavy shit sitting on their back. Sparks flew every time its metal hooves pounded the highway.
I came up on the SWAT van with the roof turret first. The person on it finished calling down to everyone and turned it to aim at me. I pulled out a cable and lasso with one hand. With the other, I unslung a jar of moonshine. I lassoed the gun and stood up as I approached, moving my grip up on the rope. I swung off, pulling the turret around as I landed on the front left side of the van. The gunner pulled his sidearm, but I threw the moonshine jar onto his head. He fell as it shattered, the liquor causing a hell of a thump. Then I pulled a cigar, lit it, and tossed it in. A blue flame accompanied screams of those inside. One machine gun, but only a single shot taken. A flaming shot.
The van stopped suddenly, sending the Dudebot flying forward to land on the ass of the robo-horse that gleamed in the sunshine. Ah, but doing things Western style means the occasional use of dynamite, like what I had in my saddle bag. I tossed it behind as a present for the SWAT van driver. I’m sure he thought it was nice and safe, me apparently forgetting to light it. You know, up until the fuse suddenly lit itself.
By now, the two other vehicles were trying to contact their superiors and inform them of the unconventional attack. Sure would be a shame if someone jammed it. Meanwhile, the GPS map devices in their cabs rerouted them. “In 1,000 feet,” said a helpful electronic voice, “go fuck yourselves.”
I like to think that even if I wasn’t there in person, I was there in spirit. In fact, further up the road, a line of rubber chickens were marching along to get to the other side. The prisoner transport skidded to a stop. The front SWAT van didn’t, and ended up the size of chicken nuggets. I hopped down off my horse and pulled the door off the front of the transport. The driver held his hands up. “Please don’t kill me!”
I pulled him out. “Give me the keys and I’ll think about it.” He reached down and handed me the keys to the truck. I grabbed the keys in one hand and his hair in the other, then snapped his neck straight back at a good 100 degree angle. “I thought about it.”
When I opened the door, I found that some of the six prisoners within were working on their chains. “Howdy, everyone. Someone call for the cavalry?” I looked around and spotted the face matching the picture Aurelio Cuerno gave me. “Hey you, one moment. I got something for you.” I grabbed something off the horse and came back, then slid him the cake box.
“What is this?” asked the well-muscled latino.
“Just a cake. Surely there’s nothing hidden inside to help you get out of jail.”
He started digging through it as I hopped up and began unlocking everyone’s cuffs. Escorpio Encantador found the bag hidden within the cake in no time, and pulled from it a scorpion medallion. He slipped it over his head and then snapped the chains holding him. Ensconced by a golden glow, the other prisoners all ran out.
I hopped out too. “Before y’all all go anywhere, I merely ask for a moment or two of y’all’s time.”
“Screw that,” said one pointed teeth tattooed coming from his eyes. “We need to run, now.”
“I can get you out of here quite quickly,” I said. “And even out of the country, to a nice place that doesn’t extradite.”
“Who are you supposed to be?” asked one of them with smooth metallic eyes.
“He is Psycho Gecko, Emperor of Ricca,” said Escorpio. He stepped out of the back of the van, throwing his shredded prisoner jumpsuit to the side. He now wore gleaming armor, obsidian black and gold. It was segmented along his chest, thighs, and upper arms, but showed a lot of skin almost everywhere else. He had a loincloth just to make sure the dangly bits weren’t exposed, and part of the armor tapered off into a curling scorpion’s tail on his upper chest. His face looked out from what seemed to be an obsidian scorpion’s mouth, the ruby eyes of the scorpion set above his own. “And I am interested in his offer.”
“I have recently reached out to many other villains. I am having a meeting with as many of our powered criminal brethren as I can gather. Try to get a bit of solidarity going on. Work together a bit, or at least not working against each other. Plus, easy to find extra firepower next time a hero comes knocking and wants to put you in these lovely getups.” I motioned to the jumpsuits all but Escorpio wore.
Escorpio nodded. “I will hear you out.” Between the two of us and the lack of other options, the other five agreed. Not really big names, but quantity has a quality all its own. Truth is, I’m beginning to think I should have gone about this country by country. The States would be a poor choice for that one to start with, though. Big place.
The Dudebot nodded and headed to the horse to retrieve a bunch of augmented reality glasses. I started handing them out. “Here, put these on and just follow the yellow brick road to freedom. I have a pilot who will take care of you. Already paid off. See y’all on Ricca.”
With them out of the way, I headed back to the prisoner transport, closed it up, and hopped into the driver’s seat. The distortion to the map device stopped, showing me just where to drive to the place where they were hiding prisoners. I also called in news of an assault, even explosions.
It didn’t take long to reach Grove Penitentiary. For having such an old-fashioned name, they were clearly working off a more modern prison design. Electric fences with barbed wire ringed the place.
I stopped at the gate and handed over the deceased driver’s identification. The guard looked at the transport. “Where’s your escort?”
I shook my head. “No clue. This guy showed up on a robot horse and blew one of them up. I got the hell out of there. The front escort stopped to deal with him and I haven’t heard anything since. Didn’t you hear?”
He nodded. “Yeah. Sounds crazy. No one blames you for not stopping. Now come on through, get them to the helipad.”
Open space for a headcount? Well, I knew I’d have to make things loud again sometime. I guided the transport over to a flat space of tarmac meant for helicopter landings. Might be a good spot to have a pilot come in after I bust the door down and dig up wherever they hide the supers. I’m figuring underground, as usual. From the old files I still have archived on Grove from my brief reign as world emperor, this place isn’t set up to hold supervillains anyway. Must have been some fast digging.
I soon found out it had nothing to do with putting villains six feet under. A chunky flying block with a pair of rotors on top descended out of nowhere, landing on the helipad in front of me. The doors to it opened wide enough to admit the whole damn transport along two pair of rails like you’d see at a car wash. Once I drove in, the rails locked the wheels into position and the doors closed. Then we took off.
The ascent took several minutes like that. It gave me enough time to zoom out on satellite view and figure out what’s going on.
The answer was a giant airship. That’s where this little retrieval can was headed. Forget giant helicopter aircraft carriers or huge planes meant to stay in the air for hours at a time. This thing had a balloon to keep it up. Not a bad idea. Generally speaking, airships can stay up for a long time on minimal fuel. Crashing can still be a problem, but I suspect that’s part of the appeal. If anyone does too good a job breaking out or breaking in, they might wreck the whole thing. The guards might even have a way to scuttle it.
This thing looked to be roughly the size of the Hindenberg, which said good things to me about its possible load of prisoners.
When the big chopper block carrying me docked, the rear opened. That’s when I noticed the doors didn’t open enough for the drive or any passenger to get out.
“Stay in the vehicle while we see to the prisoners!” a voice boomed. A glance in the mirror showed people dressed in bulky gear, maybe even some exoskeletons.
I didn’t like this, so I used the eye lasers on the Dudebot to carve out a hole in the windshield as quietly as I could. See, all through my life I’ve had this strange, unaccountable feeling that something was going on in the world, something big, even sinister. Of course, that’s just perfectly normal paranoia. Everyone in the universe has that. I just listen to mine more. Good thing I did. When those guys threw the doors open, I heard one of them say, “There’s nobody in here.”
I was pulling my surrogate body through the hole when the other one ordered. “Something’s wrong. Drop it.” I felt everything give way in that distinctive feeling you get when all support fails and you’re subject to the whims of gravity. Luckily, the Dudebot could also charge up its gauntlets with energy. It burst out the top of the plummeting box, getting a little nicked by a rotor on its way up, and accelerated back up to the prison with the help of the arm rockets. They wouldn’t last long, so I shot up into the same loading bay that had dropped me before and was still in the process of closing. I still had the lasso with me from my earlier old-fashioned romp on the highway and roped a fixture on the wall to pull myself away from the doors and toward the two unfortunate guards who had dumped me like a crazy ex.
I landed right next to one and grabbed him by his thigh. I turned him upside down and drove him down onto his head. The other raised his rifle and fired at me. The shots bounced off as I stepped closer, grabbed it from him, and flipped it around while ducking. I brought the smoking muzzle up between his legs, tearing through clothing and sphincter alike. He screamed, so I brought my fist overhead and shut him up while pushing him even further along the barrel. Then I picked him up, aimed at nothing in particular, and took a shot. That silenced him, and the shot as well. Not many people realize the human body makes an excellent suppressor. Now you know, and knowing is half the battle. Yo COBRA!
“What’s happening?” Came a voice from an intercom off to the side. It was near a desktop computer hardwired into the ship itself. I couldn’t find anything going to or from the ship, so it must be operating entirely on an internal, wired network. I pushed the intercom to answer while I fiddled around some with the Dudebot, tearing into one of the more easily accessed redundant wireless interfaces.
“Uh, everything’s under control. Situation normal.”
The voice on the other side didn’t let it go. “What happened?”
“We had a slight weapons malfunction, but everything’s perfectly alright now. We’re fine. We’re all fine here now, thank you.” I popped open the case of the computer until I could find just what I needed and started splicing the wires together. “How are you?”
He didn’t reply, but I figured he was alerting the authorities. And, a moment later, I saw just that happen as the systems of the ship began to register on my consciousness. I actually sat back and let the Dudebot idle as I worked my way in. Digital stuff is always so much quicker than working in meatspace. I had plenty of time to snuff out the emergency alert and change the access codes. From there, it was just a matter of locking down the guards’ barracks, the guards’ break room, the guards’ kitchen, the armory, and the cockpit. That left a few of them roaming through the halls, but they were easy enough to deal with. I mean, the windows on the thing could only be so thick.
When the cockpit cabin door opened for the Dudebot, the crew up front were still desperately trying to retake control or get a call out to the outside world. “This is your new captain speaking,” the Dudebot relayed to them at the same time as the the intercom system announces it to every cell. “We are now flying the smooth skies of Gecko Air. Now, who wants to get off this ship alive?”
Between what gravity would do to them and threats of letting the prisoners loose on them, the crew decided to sit quiet and let me do what I liked. In the end, I got a cool 68 of 71 prisoners who agreed to come with me. I figured getting an actual helicopter or plane up there would be an issue, so I fell back on something I’d always intended to be used more by villains. I fired off a missile from Ricca and guided in drones loaded with crates of rideable rockets. Just strap on and let Wernher von Braun do the rest.
Once I’d gotten off all those friendly people who decided to attend my little conference after everything I did for them, I initiated an order to leak helium and had the Dudebot disconnect me from the airship. The crew and remaining villains would probably be ok, unfortunately. It was a slow enough leak to drop the thing without so much of the fun crashing involved in it, but it’ll put the damn blimp out of commission for a little bit.
And so my new team’s rockets blasted off again.