Tag Archives: F-Uhaul

Nemesis 5

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After the grand electromagnet heist, things quieted down around the city. Nobody reported any sort of proof that the two were linked. As planned, college officials and police assumed Empyreal City State University pulled some sort of elaborate prank. They’ve been going over the ECSU campus with a fine-tooth comb, but they’ve also been entertaining other hypotheses.

I sent out the Rejects, Carl, and Moai to commit a few more Venus crimes, which also hid the connection. Carl had been eager to try out his newest mini-pistol. He and Ray X blasted a beauty salon apart. They got along real well too. According to Carl, Steve seems to remember being involved in some shady stuff in the past as well.

Another thing about this entire Venus mess: a lot of businesses with that as their name focused on beauty in some way. Dermatology, hair, dance. Roberta, aka Winsect, was particularly easy to manipulate into a rage over that. She did most of the work when I sent her and Moai off to take down a women’s gym.

About the only one’s who didn’t care were Tom the Rattler and Larry the Meltman. Tom never seemed to care about anything but trying to stay indoors and stay warm. Probably something to do with the giant evil millipede thingy in his head. I’ve suspected the bug’s calling the shots there. As for Larry, he enjoyed watching daytime TV and cuddling up with Spike Smooshyface. Spike didn’t mind. The pup chewed everything he could get his maw on.

At least I had F-Uhaul to help me out. They still delivered for Michelangelo, who happily provided me with what he could at a deeply-inflated black market price. I think I made him uncomfortable. Well, more uncomfortable than usual.

I felt like he knew something I didn’t. He still agreed to get me the chemicals I needed. It’s just that he seemed hesitant about everything, and now that I think about it, he acted surprised to see me.

Maybe chemicals set him on edge. Different people have different standards, but few folks, hero, civilian, or villain, would think to use mundane chemical weapons. Gimmicky chemical weapons get used all the time. Like with Mix N’Max. He’s crafted concoctions that could do just about anything. Aside from the Kingscrow drug trade, they tended to be single-use or limited run batches.

I’ve crossed a lot of lines. It wouldn’t be the first time someone wanted me for the criminal equivalent of a war crime. I’ve been accused of all sorts of things upon leaving the bathroom on burrito night.

You could add cyber stalking and invasion of privacy to my ever-growing list of charges, too. I didn’t spend this time just directing attacks by my cohort. I hunted down information on Venus.

I failed to find a way into whatever servers they had at the Master Academy. Instead, I relied on whatever dossiers, interviews, public speeches, and background checks I could pull. Anyone could have lied about the public information, but I figured on finding some kernel of truth within. The best lies are those that the person telling them believes as well. One way to further that while maintaining consistency is to grow a lie around a seed of truth.

My contact Harlon made finding this all immensely more easy. He was a fat executive for one of the major news networks. Vice president of this or president of that, I stopped keeping track. I didn’t kill him, helped him get promoted, and then saved him from a mugging once. That guy hadn’t been shown much companionship in his life to want to spend time with me. The meeting of our minds helped both of us, though. His network got some recordings and exclusives from an anonymous source in the super community. In return, they disseminated talking points that benefited my side of things. Being an agency concerned with reporting, they funneled information my way.

When Harlon’s news channel started speculating that a link existed between the electromagnet theft and the Venus attacks, they looked a little crazy to most people. Sometimes, crazy isn’t crazy. Sometimes, a crazy person just looks that way because they know a lot more about what’s going on.

In thanks for his cooperation, I sent him a fruit basket. He then called me up to tell me he didn’t appreciate a basket being delivered by a team of campy gay male strippers wearing little more than thongs and body glitter.

That Harlon, what a kidder.

There were puff pieces. You know, the sort of interviews that make a hero look good and nice for the kiddies. Interviews that sell toys. Entire transcripts about nothing but serving and protecting people. Venus mostly shied away from political talk. That didn’t mean she was shy, though. This blowhard on Harlon’s own network tried to draw her into a discussion about politics and began to use fancy insults when she refused. Words like “pinhead” and “bloviator”.

He came across more like a bully. Then, after the commercial break, his shirt and hair were a little disheveled and he behaved more politely.

There was so much to go through, I had to make use of a nifty little ability people with normal eyes don’t have. When my eyes were replaced on my world, the new pair came with many superior features, including a search ability. A secondary function of the facial recognition search was the ability to find a certain word in a document held up in front of me.

I checked transcripts for references to “past” or “history” or “family”. From there, I found an old interview from years ago. She had just taken down a troublesome villain: Matthias Darkstone, the Stellar Man. Afterwards, she sat down with investigative reporter Mei San Olivier.

When I found that, I shoved Larry out of the way and sent the digital file to the TV for viewing.

I’ll toss in some relevant pieces here.

Mei: “Were you nervous knowing you faced a man with inhuman abilities? He trapped Los Angeles under a night sky for sixteen hours, after all.”

Venus: “I’m not going to sound very heroic, but yes I was. That is, I was nervous. There is a major difference in pressure when you think about lives being at stake, but I never doubted my training. I trained along superhumans at the Master Academy. I grew up with them and I sparred with them. They don’t believe I’m not superhuman, hehe.”

She giggled then with a smile that scrunched her face up in a cute way. I realized I’d never seen her smile. Perhaps I just needed the right tools? Headgear of some sort, or some sort of chemical that freezes a face in a grin.

M: “What went through your mind when you beat the Stellar Man and had him in your custody? Did you have any hard feelings, did you feel any pity?”

The question caught Venus off guard. She sat up straighter but took a moment to mull the question over. She kept her mouth slightly open, tongue against the inside of her cheek. Then she blinked and looked back to Mei.

V: “Sorry, I’m so sorry. I wasn’t sure myself. Mostly I was glad. I don’t know if you know this, but it’s hard work fighting someone like that. I was so relieved he went down and I could cuff him. Then I worried he might escape me.”

M: “Oh no.” She said it with a laugh, leaning forward to pat Venus on the knee.

Venus laughed too. She seemed really young in the video. I called up stills of when I last encountered her and when I first encountered. She definitely aged over our run-ins. She held herself differently, too. Straighter and more stiff, even when she shouldn’t have for her fighting style.

Odd. In all our fights, I don’t remember shoving a stick up her ass.

Perhaps my newest project would dislodge it. You wouldn’t think a guy like me would want a big electromagnet. After all, they do such interesting things to computers. It would be like fighting a pyrokinetic while covered in gasoline. Or like a paraplegic taking up lap dancing.

Well, this is one lap dancer who isn’t afraid when things get hard, even if I had to bring Carl in on it to figure out how to transport the damn thing.

When we got that thing figured out, though, I think we had ourselves one heck of a menace to society.

So, tired of a day wasted on admiring Venus’s laugh and smile, I invited Larry and Spike Smooshyface along to test the thing out.

This involved a quick trip to a local piercing parlor in the van, which had been rebuilt and re-purposed. Remember how I said the Venus places tended to be linked to beauty? Venus Piercing kept that fine tradition alive. I would have given them credit for exploring less conventional ideas about beauty, but I also wanted to hurt somebody.

Larry skidded to a stop with the rear toward the outside of the stucco building, annoying everyone on the two-way street and earning us a chorus of horns. The nearest drivers stopped when the rear of the van folded away and the magnet emerged on a hydraulic arm. To protect and better direct it, I gave the magnet a casing and barrel.

Just because I stole the thing doesn’t mean I’m eager to get stuck to it.

The barrel also helped because of the enhancements I made to the design. Once again, there were benefits to having a head full of information from a more advanced planet.

I stood off to the side and activated the magnet. It drew from batteries filling the van to power itself as portions of the parlor’s building bent toward the magnet, then broke apart as various piercings flew free of whatever held them in and brought those construction nails and screws with them. I caught a glimpse of a Prince Albert covered with blood as it flew out.

That seemed painful, and I didn’t need all that sticking to my new toy, so I used the other nifty feature of it. One flip of a mental switch and the forces reversed themselves. Instead of attracting all that nice wonderful metal, those tiny bits were flung back with enough force to once again shoot through the exterior wall and speed back to where they belonged. Roughly. Very roughly. The kind of roughly that drew blood and cries of anguish.

I knew for a fact that whoever got that Prince Albert wasn’t going to let a little thing like having his piercing ripped off stop him from getting screwed.

I toyed with the place, swapping between attraction and repulsion, up until I saw the larger, five story building behind the parlor shake itself to collapsing.

Huh, you’d think a simple urban engineer would have thought to plan around magnet-wielding supervillains. This is what happens when you rely on engineers claiming it should stand up to attacks instead of testing it with real cataclysmic conditions.

Same for those piercings I yanked out and then violently returned to people. How dare that store sell defective piercings that couldn’t even stand up to some playful tugging?!

I fully intended on taking up my dissatisfaction with the management of that establishment, but then they were buried under a collapsing buildings. Ugh, some people will do anything to avoid hearing criticism.

Still, my test was a success. I had Larry crank that sucker and we sped out of there with the assistance of the repel setting and the cars behind us. Because sometimes you need to use the laws to your advantage, even if they’re a fundamental one in physics about equal and opposite reactions.

After so much time spent perfecting my magnet and reading up on Venus, I think I know what it takes to attract her to Empyreal City.

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Not The Size That Counts 3

Well, now that everyone’s got off their asses, looks like we actually got some stuff down around here.

Let’s start at the beginning. Not my preferred way, but past experience shows that it just confuses all of y’all if I talk about stuff out of order. Shit like that made me not want to be a prophet. Don’t believe me that I could have been a prophet? That just shows my natural prophecy talent. I predict that now, some of you are going to go, “Ha! I believe you are a prophet, therefore you’re not really one!”

Yeah? Well, I just made that prediction that you’d say that. Time to go pay a neurophysicist prostitute, because your minds have been blown.

But enough joking around.

So there I was dressed up in a tiny monkey costume on the sidewalk Thursday afternoon, dancing around while Leah stood behind me holding a hat out for some change. We didn’t need the money, but I just felt like dancing while we waited outside the police station for Venus to get done talking with Forcelight and Troubleshooter. Dancing seemed a good idea, mainly because Leah had this look in her eye like she wanted to cuddle the little psychotic monkey man.

I’m beginning to suspect she likes me as more than just the serial killer who took her in and trained her in the art of punching people in the right spot. Every time I thought about dissuading her of any of those sorts of feelings, it kept coming back to chasing after her with a meat cleaver, or her chasing me. I didn’t want either outcome to occur, at least not now. Maybe if I need to lose weight someday.

While I danced, I quizzed Leah on the subject of really, really, ridiculously powerful superbeings.

“Villains first. Name five of the big ones, guys nobody messes with. Individual villains, I mean.”

“The Claw, Polydeus, Spinetingler, the Oligarch, and Cercopagis Lysis. I know the Claw can change size and has super strength. Polydeus is immortal, along with unknown other powers. Spinetingler can shapeshift and knows people’s fears. Oligarch is a super genius with high tech weaponry. Cercopagis is some sort of alien conqueror who keeps threatening the planet every few years.”

“Pretty good, but the Claw is also immune to conventional weaponry and he he runs his own nation in the Pacific. That might as well count as a power. Oligarch seems to have some serious cash and that pretty much counts as a superpower as well. How about heroes?”

“Captain Lightning: Super strength, flying, lightning powers. He can do magic. Eschaton: flight, fire powers, energy manipulation. The Mobian: a regenerating genius with a ship that travels through other dimensions and time. Warman, the Man of War, who is a super strong soldier who can use any weapon ever created. For my last answer, I’ll go with Forcelight. Flight, light manipulation, and super strength.”

“Appropriate,” I said, finishing up doing the Worm.

“What kind of name is Forcelight anyway? Sounds like someone chose random nouns.”

It was a good question.

“Mommy, look at that fuzzy caterpillar!” said a boy in the single digits of age who walked by, pointing.

I stood up and chased after him, “No, I have now transformed from caterpillar to Killthra! Rawr!”

Leah held me back. A voice behind us said, “Easy now, you walking Napoleon complex. Go pick on something your size instead, like a rat.”

Leah and I both turned to find Forcelight holding Venus in the palm of her hand, with Troubleshooter standing behind her.

“You don’t have anything that works?” Leah asked.

Troubleshooter shook her head, her goggles drooping at an angle. One of the waldos attached to her omnipresent backpack/mobile lab reached forward and straightened it up. Then it sprayed them with some foam that was wiped off by another waldo. ”I needed to scan her for information, but I don’t have the materials here to build what I think will do the trick. If he promises to be good, I can scan Psycho Gecko.”

“Nope.”

Troubleshooter leaned forward, one waldo raising a magnifying glass so she could see me better. “More points of data would allow me to work on something with more confidence of a positive result. I could make you big again too.”

“Uh uh. Not giving y’all a look inside my chassis.”

“It would help Venus,” Forcelight spoke up. Venus glowered at that. Trouble between ex-teammates?

“I think not. Would you let me do a full body scan on you to let me uncover all your physiological secrets?”

Forcelight looked like she just ate some shit. It’s a distinctive facial expression. I’ve gotten used to seeing it. “No way in hell, but there’s a big difference between us and you. We’re the good guys.”

“Yes, yes. I distinctly remember the good guys having an argument over whether or not to kill me. Or maybe it was all a dream? I know you were there, and you were there, and you were there…” I pointed to the three heroines in turn. All three had that eat-shit expression on then. That’s how I’ve gotten used to seeing the expression.

So, after Troubleshooter and Forcelight left, it was time to get down to some serious business. But first, sleep. Zzzzzzzzz…go away…come back tomorrow…fine, ok, the next day we got down to some serious business. I had some things to take care of before said serious business could commence. Some calls to make, some people to pay off, that sort of thing. Then we made our move looking for the latest possible informants.

F-Uhaul. When Screwhaul got on my bad side and became a bunch of corpses, it was F-Uhaul who moved in to take over their business: supervillain movers. Hephaestus probably used them; if not, then F-Uhaul probably kept an eye out for where they set up out of spite and the possibility such information could make them look like a better service.

Only, when I called them up, a voice hastily answered, “Busy here. Try again later,” before hanging up on me.

I was tired of dead ends and I was running out of patience for people not giving me any damn help, so I back and made sure to trace the connection.

“We’re busy getting shot at right now. If you would like us to see to your moving needs, please call back at a better time, like when our asses aren’t on fire. Now get off the line.”

I didn’t even get a word in. I should have left them to their fate, but something needed to go my way for once in all this. If I had to drag them out of the fire just to hold them over it myself, I would do so.

The F-Uhaul workers were on the move. As soon as Leah, Venus, and I got our asses planted in the car, we were too. I uploaded our moving goal to the GPS in the car. A GPS is a perfectly legitimate tool when no one knew it was my car but that will have to change. Leah was too cautious a driver, though. “Lift me up so I can see!” I yelled, frustrated, as she stopped at a light.

I’ve been frustrated a lot lately. Everything’s been kicking my ass. If I don’t kill something soon, I might start to go nuts. Yeah. Just imagine what I would be like if I was mentally ill.

Leah picked me up…and then tied my little monkey suit’s tail to the rear view mirror to hold me up. I crossed my arms and glared at her smiling face while Venus guffawed from the passenger seat.

“Ha. Ha. Get your laughs out of the way, but there are people out there dying just because they handle deadly chemicals and torture equipment without a license or any knowledge about what they’re doing. And an America where a man can be killed for that is an America I don’t want to live in.” I flicked an imaginary tear away from my cheek.

“The light’s red and there’s a car in front of me. What do you expect me to do?”

“Ok, down below the radio is a series of buttons and toggles. I want you to push the one with some tiny writing above it that says ‘Traffic Jam’.”

“Leah, that might be a weapon,” said Venus from under the seat belt.

“Is it?” Leah looked to me as she asked the question.

“Nah. It’s not lethal at all. I promise.” I held a hand up like that “scout’s honor” salute, which is not a salute to trust from me.

Leah pushed the button. The front of the hood opened up and a nozzle with a clear hose attached to the end rose up out of the car. It gave a quick squirt of a thick purple fluid that dented the rear of the car ahead of us and sent it into traffic.

“Fuck! You said that wasn’t lethal! What was that?” Leah said with wild gesticulations of her hand.

“Traffic jam, exactly what it says it is. It’s a good, thick fluid people can use to push cars out of the way when fired at high pressure. It is nonlethal, and it’s made from one hundred percent pulped traffic, which means recycled, which means eco-friendly. If anybody was killed here, it was from the reckless driving of these other assholes. By the way, everyone’s stopped due to the accident, so do you mind going?”

Still cursing to herself, Leah drove on through the accident scene. She did her best to avoid stopping the rest of the way. Wanted to avoid more traffic jams, I guess. I could feel Venus’s glare on my ass the whole rest of the way. I gave it a little wiggle just for her. Almost made me wish I was in a baboon costume.

When we caught up to the F-Uhaul van after a tense nineteen minutes, they were being chased by an old, dusty muscle car. It had metal sawblades attached to the side, with a gnashing metal bear trap mouth in front that had a bumper stuck in one tooth. The van smoked and a softball-sized hole was blown out of the passenger door.

“Are those them?” Leah asked. One of the passengers of that muscle car pulled himself out of the window and worked his way onto the roof despite a sharp turn. He was a big man in a shredded leather jacket with a green Mohawk. His left sleeve was completely gone, and his arm on that side replaced with a rusty metal prosthetic. Once he got situated up there, he reached down by the window where one of the other passengers passed him a double barrel shotgun that had not one, but two ammo cylinders jury-rigged to feed it shells.

“Something tells me that might just be them, Leah.”

“Do you know those guys?”

“No. The minor leagues can be a real freakshow. It’s great.”

“Metal Heads,” I heard from higher up on the passenger side. I glanced underneath me and saw Venus had climbed up the seat belt so she could get a better view of things. “But what could movers have done to get on their bad side?”

“My guess, they dropped these guys’ favorite Michael Bolton album,” I suggested.

The big Mohawk guy fired at the van, knocking chunks out of it. He even attempted a shot at the back tires, but a direct hit didn’t deflate them.

Leah divided her time between the road and the panel of buttons and toggles. “Uh, what do I do? Do I ram them? What about the traffic jam?”

“You want to knock their car into the van? Not a good way to save them.”

Without asking what she should use, she tried a few switches. I swung around like the world’s worst air freshener, taking note of what she was doing. “That was the wheel spears. Looks like you tagged the minivan behind us with the license plate minigun. Poetic. Good thing you missed with the grappling hook or we’d have driven right into that playground. Don’t worry about that snap, that’s just the giant flyswatter on the roof of the car. Oh, and I just had to remote override the ejection seats, so you think you’re ready to listen to me yet?”

Leah looked like she was about ready to hyperventilate. After all she’d done, these punks that Venus called “Metal heads” had taken notice of us dogging them. The big guy had yelled something to the guys in the car. One of them, a skinnier man with screws piercing his eyebrows and shaved head, pulled out a bottle with a rag in it and light the thing. He threw it against the car. Leah jumped as it broke open and covered the windshield with flames. I compensated by switching to digital view and having the system filter out the flames.

With the road looking clear, I cleared my throat.

“Gecko, what do I push?”

“Leah…” Venus said, wanting to warn her off.

“I have to do something or they’ll kill them eventually.”

“Exactly, Leah, good choice. Now, toggle the thing that says ‘missile’.”

“Gecko, no.”

“Sometimes it’s kill or be killed.”

Leah gulped and did something very stupid under the circumstances. She closed her eyes as she pushed the toggle. A crosshair came up in the digital view that I had locked on to the muscle car.

“Leah, cancel it,” said Venus.

She reached out, but the car shuddered from missile launch before she could do so.

“Oh no, oh no, I killed someone…” Leah said, tears streaming down her face.

“You didn’t kill anything yet. Damn thing went up for some reason instead of straight forward. Oh, wait, is there a letter next to the word ‘missile’ down there?”

“Yeah,” Leah said with a nod, “There’s a ‘D’.”

“Ah, that explains it.” I folded my arms just in time to watch the missile that looked like a crash test mannequin streak out of the sky and bounce off the street and embed itself in the front windshield of the car. Reacting to its sudden stop, Leah swerved around, a hopeful smile playing at her lips.

“They didn’t blow up!”

“Yeah, turns out you fired a dummy missile. I was hoping for an incendiary one myself, but you seem happy with the result.”

Everybody went home happy that day. And alive. F-Uhaul thanked us profusely and gave us the location of a local Hephaestus office: the sort of place where they do paperwork and take calls. Venus and Leah were happy that they got to save the day without anyone dying. I was happy something finally went my way. And the Metal Heads were happy I paid them so much to flush F-Uhaul out of hiding so we’d look good in their eyes and get what we were there for.
Much like when a man gets to enjoy a donkey show in the company of a stripper and a sexy circus clown, that’s what we call a win-win-win-win-win.

 

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I Got Clubbed 2

I found out what this fucking Sexahol stuff is, man. We got a bunch of it, and that’s all I feel like saying about that. Just stockpiled it and the rest of the stuff we need for this week at the Lair. That’s what I’m naming the place. We all had a democratic vote about it. Carl wanted to call it “Club Villain” and Moai suggested “Underworld”. I thought the first was too easy to use as a taunt if a hero ever used a blunt instrument on me, and the second sounded too much like a movie series about ogling a hot British vampire in dominatrix gear. Put one of those fucking werewolves in a black latex outfit and then get back to me, you sick pervs. I don’t mind a lady with a little natural body hair.

My suggestion for the name was “The Secret Lair”.

“Isn’t that a bit obvious, boss?” Carl asked. Moai nodded in agreement. As is common in a democracy, I pulled out a bomb and declared that if I didn’t get my way, I was going to destroy the whole place. Simple politics. Useful bomb, too. It’s like a smaller version of the F-bomb, but it’s a purely high-pitched noise that’s even worse for stuff around. I’m thinking of putting it on a rocket designed to penetrate heavy armor and calling it the Fili-Buster. Or maybe I can use it somewhere in Philadelphia first, and call it the Philly Buster. I could see if it’s useful for taming young horses and then name it the Filly Buster. Actually, that one sounds like a porn name. Hello ladies, I’m Filly Buster. Now, which one of you wants to get broken in?

Anyway, I named my club. I even have F-Uhaul putting the sign up. I got them helping me out with all this too. They don’t like me too much, but they like my money, and so do their friends in the construction business. I don’t care if they keep it a secret, either. What, someone’s going to think I’m doing something silly and stupid again or even going legit? Ha!

If I was really concerned about what someone thought, I’d probably go pick their brain myself. That’s not a euphemism. Just crack open the skull, give the ole gray matter a poke or slice, and then call it lunch. Or call it a damn beehive for all I care, not like its original owner’s going to be complaining at that point.

I’ve been using the past few days to get the construction stuff done. The walls are up to reinforce some side rooms I wasn’t doing anything with, or to build a few booths. Most of the infrastructure was already in place as far as tables and a bar. My throne is up there too, but we had to go for something besides hanging it up there. Instead, it looks like a giant man in a cape, hood, and tights being pulled open by heavy chains that stretch out taut to the walls. The opening in his body is where I sit. I chose to have the sculptor take artistic liberties with some of the anatomy so I didn’t have any weird organs poking me in the ass.

Good fellow, that sculptor. Needed a guy who works with metal and I happened to find him. He needed me too, I think. Fellow had been in a relationship that wasn’t necessarily serious, but he cheated. She left to parts unknown, which I hear is a very cold and snowy place that produces a lot of mysterious pro wrestlers. That shit happens, as much as people don’t like to hear it. Not like it was the end of the world. For one thing, I wasn’t involved in it. Just being honest. I expect I will be mixed up with the destruction of Earth somehow or another, and I doubt that’s much of a stretch for y’all.

It wasn’t the end of the world, but this guy had a friend who was really religious and a bit controlling in a creepy way. Like, went out of his way to adopt a lot of kids kind of controlling. Not anything where he’s touching them, he didn’t think, but for some reason this guy liked to adopt and lord over kids as a father figure. If I had to guess, he probably had a thing for Dominance and submission stuff but didn’t know it because of how he’d been taught to repress his sexuality. The sculptor was religious too, after all, but there’s a point where it becomes an important character trait and you can count on verses being quoted in casual conversation.

So this guy was getting shamed by his friend. Pretty much every female that walked into the neighborhood they lived in would get warned off from dating the sculptor because he just wanted sex and would sleep around and was a cheater and all that mess, according to the friend. Makes it hard to go on a first date, you know?

Anyway, I put together a couple lasers for the sculptor to use to work on this big ass throne for me, then I let him have them as payment. Not sure what he’s going to do with them, but it oughta be fun. I gave the guy some advice, though. I said “Well, you could pray for something to happen, but I hear that sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.” Then I handed over the power cells so he could use those lasers on his own. He left with a gleam in his eye. It was either sweet, sweet revenge, or perhaps a future kid of his.

That’s how I got the giant metal superhero sculpture as my throne. I might change it later with a proper application of C4. Also, when we get the basement level cleared, I might put the main opening there at the base of the big throne. Until I get the basement, the catwalk has to serve as the lair. We got a lot of the gadgets and tools up here while I work on figuring out how to blow open a huge chunk of whatever’s under this place without also destroying the building it is under. That second part, not blowing up a building in the process, is what makes it more difficult. Under most circumstances, I would consider it a stupid idea to avoid blowing up some place.

I was considering some acid from Max, actually. Never got around to it, though, thanks to an incident that I don’t feel like discussing here.

So, after a day wasted snarking on SuperBowl car commercials that implied STDs, I was finally able to get back to work. Work, in this instance, refers to taking some of the liquor on a test drive while Carl was busy interviewing candidates to handle the regular DJing, bartending, and managing aspects. Just because I want the place to run on its own doesn’t mean I can handle all the boring stuff, but I was able to lend Carl a hand.

He had a line of a few people wanting to handle the DJ stuff and sent Moai to fetch me. I’d have had Moai doing interviews, but my pet rock has remained rather mute.

So, yep, not a lot going on this time. Nope. Not much at all. I mean, I think there’s been stuff in the news. Some survivalist pro-theocracy militia killed some cops, bombed a funeral, and tried to get into a militia war, but was easily thwarted by some APCs and choppers backed up by drone surveillance. A wizard tried to zap Congress with a lightning bolt from atop the Washington Memorial, but was stopped by Captain Thunder. Actually, poll numbers show that a majority of Americans wish the wizard was successful. I hear that guy is already being picked as a potential Presidential candidate for whenever he gets out of the hospital and prison. Oh, and a man in a panda outfit robbed Busch Gardens down in Florida. Reports say he showed up, ate a little, shot up the place, and left.

Makes sense. After all, a panda does eat, shoots, and leaves.

Nope, nothing all that out of the ordinary around here, no matter how much certain minions watching over my shoulder might imply otherwise. You read that, Moai?

Moai might have a point. Ok. So, that Sexahol stuff I’ve mentioned before, that’s supposed to be the next big thing around here. Some sort of microbrewed liquor of questionable legal status. When we went on a big run to buy up proper supply for the bar, we grabbed a whole bunch of that stuff too. I gave Carl a break from hitting the bottle and insisted I try it instead. For all Mix N’Max’s insistence on not trying a lot of things on me, I think they mostly work the same way. He was probably just worried about delicate compositions and so on.

So I tried the Sexahol to see how excellent or bogus it would be. From the very first sip of that amber liquid, I loved the stuff. You could taste the alcohol, too, but not in that usual obnoxious way, and it warmed me like brandy as it flowed through my mouth and down my throat. Maybe it had a strawberry or cherry taste to it. Seemed to change.

It was great, though, and I kept on downing it. I gulped that shit down on an empty stomach. What followed was what I’ve been able to remember and piece together from various security cameras and dash cams.

I got goofy on this stuff. Fuzzy brain, overanalyzing each step, all of that. Like I was manually managing hydraulics to keep walking correctly. “Oh no, we slid it down the left pantleg today and didn’t compensate correctly! Seal that bladder now, boys, because we’re going doooooown!”

I didn’t fall, though, due to my inherent superior balance and because Carl was walking by at the time and I grabbed onto him. Turns out he needed my help discouraging a few people. “They think it’s a joke. Maybe you can scare off the ones who aren’t serious? Maybe you can put the armor on and show them you mean business?”

“I’d love to,” I told him with a smile on my face. Big smile. Lots of teeth. I ran over to the line of people who were there for various jobs. I opened my arms wide, huge grin on my face. “How are you fantastic people doing today? Oh, how nice to have so many people show up. I’m glad y’all are all here.” I walked right up to the guy at the head of the line who wore a giant floppy green hat and a domino mask.

“You there, floppy flop person, with the floppiness. You want to work at the Secret Lair?”

He scoffed and toyed with his nose with one hand, “Yeah man. That’s right. I’m totally a bad dude.”

I gave him a biiiiiig hug. “Me, too, man. Me too. I feel you, dude. Totally.” I even wrapped my legs around his hips and hugged him that way. He started to say something, but I didn’t want him to ruin the moment, so I headbutted him in the throat. He couldn’t really talk after that. He just kinda struggled to breathe and fell over while I hugged onto him.

The moment was ruined by the next person in line, a woman in a fuzzy purple and black pimp jacket and a football helmet. She wouldn’t stop screaming. I tried to shut her up nicely by putting my hand over her mouth, but she bit me. I wasn’t angry. I remember being very happy just to be around her. As she turned to run, I hugged onto her and tried to haul her back. I wanted to show her I wasn’t all that bad, but she was fighting me. So rolled backward, launching her into what you’d call a German suplex. There was a bit of a snap when her head and neck hit the ground, but I rolled with it until I was sitting down with her in my lap, snuggling her. She didn’t fight me then. She was my own snuggly person doll.

“I’m a Barbie girl, in a Barbie world. Wrapped in plastic. It’s fantastic!” I was singing to myself.

Carl came running up and was all like “Hey, Boss, that was a bit much. Maybe you should go outside for awhile? Get out of here. Stop scaring off people, or even scare them back in. You can take, uh, your new friend there with you, if you want.”

I laughed and let him push me out the door. “You’re a great guy, Carl. Very dependable in the short time I’ve known you. You want to come party with me?”

“No sir, boss. Not at all.”

Then, out there on the street, I saw this sexy car. Whoever was driving had good taste, because that thing had some awesome curves. That’s what I assume I was thinking based on the fact that a stoplight camera shows me getting thrown off the roof car further away from the bar, and then security camera footage shows me attempting to fuck it in the grill. In my defense, though, I should note that it was a Cadillac and those are notably snobby cars who don’t like such public displays of affection.

As it burned rubber out of there, I walked after it, singing my heart out. “IIIIIIIIIIIII, will always looooooove, youuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuu!” I can’t tell if I hit the right high note or if it was just the normal response to my singing that prompted the vomiting, but I did attempt to chase and hug the old guy who lost his lunch. He didn’t want the apology, no matter how many times I raised him on my shoulders and spun him around and around. I lowered him and grabbed onto his ankles like it was one of those disco things, but I lost my grasp on him and some of my balance. He went flying into a post box with a loud ding and an end to all his old, crotchety movements.

It was sad to see him go, I remember that much. At least he’s in a better place now. Hawaii, if I figured the postage right. “Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor one or two, but definitely no more than four, dead bodies stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds. Don’t ask us about huge green things with teeth or cake.”

Before you go thinking I massacred a lot of people, you should know there was this cop who tried to stop me. I just massacred him. It’s ok. If cops weren’t put here for us to kill, why would their shields be comically undersized?

I let him get a cuff on me so I could slip the other on him and keep him close. It’s unclear if I was attempting to get frisky with said officer, mostly because that’s the level of skepticism I use to interpret the footage of me shoving my tongue in his ear, but things got a little more violent when I tore his belt off and started spanking him with it.

He managed to crawl back to the car with me doing this to him, at which point I sat in the driver’s seat, pushed my pants down, and wiggled my bare ass in the seat cushion. The officer didn’t survive when I decided to see how good it felt with the car going. That really was my reasoning, turns out, because you can clearly hear me on the tape going, “Oh yeah, my balls want to kiss your vibrations. Let’s crank this bitch up and get some speed on!”

The cop was still handcuffed to me, though, but he was outside the car when I took off in it and did my best to hit ninety miles an hour. Instead I hit a yogurt store and got busy with the yogurt machine. By the time Moai tracked me down and carried me back, I had declared myself the “Yo-player”.

I don’t know how Moai managed it, but somehow my minion got me with a nanite syringe and then sat on me while I rode out the rest of the fuzzy brainness. The next day, he even helped me around, like my own personal crutch. Except in the bathroom, of course, where my pee was apparently a translucent black color.

Not that that’s all that important. I’m sure you would all rather have heard about Panda-Man’s raid on the beer company’s amusement park.

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Get Wrecked 2

Not an action-packed few days, but that sort of thing happens.

I had to place an order for my car. I believe I left it in Memphis. I could have driven it remotely, but, let’s be clear, that shit’s tough to do. Did I mention that? Very distracting, and not in the fun way, like a midget dressed as a monster bug wrestling a Spanish-speaking ice cream clown. It was a good match too, more for its humor and entertainment value than the wrestling itself.

I’ll know if that driver does anything to my car. I already put him on notice. Called him up via the car and told him that as a professional killer of man and amateur proctologist, hey may want to consider not fucking up the car. “Or it’s your ass!” I told him. And I mean it too.

Scared out of his mind. I did let him know there was a method in the car to allow him to use the restroom while driving. I remotely popped open the glass recycling bin to reveal various bottles. Sometimes you want to make that driving song “99 Bottles of Beer” interactive, you see.

I should have my car up here in a few days as a result and he’ll get a big tip.

In the meantime, Moai and I are getting settled in around here. We’re in a part of the city that’s a little worse for wear, but that suits me just fine. I already didn’t want the cops coming around. This part of the city, they don’t show even if you call them.

The new hideout…is a shithole. The good news is, I’m one Growth Ray away from having an army of killer cockroaches.

There were no Growth Rays at Michelangelo’s House of Negotiable Goods, though. Shame. I used to do a lot of work with giant monsters back in my home universe. Damn Phenomenal Fighting Justice Rangers! I’ll get you next time!

Like hell I will. I bet somebody’s working on something to cross dimensions, but it’s not me. That place brought out the worst in me.

Allow that to sink in. Not that I get worse anymore. Nope. Absolutely never. Under complete control at all times.

And now back to the House of Negotiable Goods.

Michelangelo was still alive and in business, and he still remembered me. He trotted out all sorts of equipment, talking about a so-called “Golden Touch” of mine.

I grabbed what appeared to be a baseball bat with two circular saws attached to opposet sides of the hitty end. Whatever the formal name is. I raised it up over my head to hit him with if he didn’t back off. “Listen, dude, I don’t want to spend all day touching your junk. I just came by to grab a few things. Parts, pieces, stuff I can put together. Maybe a few weapons.”

He obliged then. I noticed a pull string on the bottom of the baseball bat too. Curious, I held the wooden instrument of national pastime and broken kneecaps in front of me and tugged on it. Some sort of motor started up and the blades began spinning. “Oooh, this is nice.”

“Yeah, some folks around here have been going a little overboard with the blades after that space marine mess early on in the year. That’s one of the better weapons in that style. You interested?”

“Maybe. Tell me, does it work well with that air cannon over there?” I pointed toward white, beefy shotgun-like device with a barrel that curved outward.

I went through picking out a few things. Odds and ends I can think of a use for, as well as parts for the big gun. I just have this desire to mount a big gun on a skyscraper and go to town on the ants down below. I think it had something to do with a dream last night.

I was standing at a window for some reason. It was off in the countryside and somebody needed me to help them with some task. There was a bright light outside the window. Suddenly, I was in Tokyo fighting a giant can of Campbell’s soup with heavy metal music playing. It gets blurry after that, but I think I went for the flying elbow drop off Mt. Fuji. Then after that, there was something about being in a church where the pews were all filled with ice cream.

Some might say that’s the price of eating a chocolate chip cookie pizza with ranch dressing before bed. I pay it gladly.

I got so much, they needed to deploy a truck. There were new movers around Empyreal City. That’s good. Those guys are useful. Shame what the last guys brought down on themselves.

They’re not Screwhaul though. Nope. They were clear on that much. “We’re not Screwhaul. Those assholes got lippy and died when some super crazy got a hold of them. We’ve learned you don’t mouth off about the ones whacko enough to kill people with regularity. No, we call ourselves F-Uhaul.”

Nice people, at least until I noticed one of them spitting chewing tobacco into a cup. I grabbed him by the ear and tore it off. The guy in charge of the moving showed up with Michelangelo right behind him. I don’t know how he got it all on in time, but the fence and black marketeer was now clad in combat armor and wielding a gun in each hand and more strapped to his thighs. Big guns too. There was an average of 3.25 barrels per gun going on here. He calmed down when he saw the shrieking was me-related. I think the supervisor was going to complain, but he put two and two together when he saw me chewing on the guy’s ear. Maybe that should be “put two and one” together in light of someone missing one of a pair of things. Or he just didn’t feel like complaining and really ought to keep his employees in line with their filthy habits. What’s next, a moving company that engages in cannibalism?

Michelangelo ushered me inside to wait while they went back to work, minus the guy with the missing ear heading to the hospital. Like all good chewing gum, the ear lost its flavor after a few minutes and wound up stuck to the bottom of my shoe. Meanwhile, the mobster and I discussed the new aesthetic in weaponry. “They’re making a lot of these saw things?”

“Yeah. Ship crashed and there were some survivors, as well as a shitload of leftover gear. Government got most of it out, but they couldn’t get all, not by a long shot. They’re going to have a field day with this government shutdown, too.”

“Oh, that’s right. I wonder how long the government’s own guys are going to sit on that equipment when they’re not being paid and can’t be sure they can even take a new job.”

“I meant that you won’t see too many federally-funded heroes keep their funding right now. Hell, they can’t even afford to send the National Guard after you again. They’ve got other concerns when it comes to paying the military.”

“Yes, concerns concerning other countries.” It made me wonder how Shieldwall was doing. I hadn’t kept up with the news on them. My guess is they’re still around. I was hoping the corporate troubles would mess with them coming after me. I also may have slightly influenced that with where the F-bomb was actually dropped. Right smack dab on the Long Life tower. You think they got that message?

“This shutdown is almost perfect for you villains,” said Michelangelo.

“Yes, yes…Shieldwall can’t very well seek Federal funding now,” I said, holding my hands in front of my and crossing my fingers. It’s like…instinct. I don’t know. That’s just what you do when you plot.

“You thinking of hitting a bank or something?”

“Not necessarily. At least, not like how I normally do it. Everyone will go after those types. Then there are complications when people figure out the FDIC doesn’t have their back right now. Next thing you know, you’ll see bank jobs turn into bloodbaths. Then maybe I’ll hit them.”

“Are you going to do anything in the meantime?”

“I was thinking of burning down a national park. Lightbulb! Can you get me enough cement to fill in the Grand Canyon?”

“I’m afraid that’s a no.”

“Yeah, you would be afraid of that, you lily-livered, yellow-bellied son of a sour-“

“Yo, we’re all done here if you want to go already,” said the supervisor for F-Uhaul who poked his head in.

“Oh, thanks. Gotta go Michelle,” I said and waved goodbye to Michelangelo.

Yep, got the whole mess back to the shithole I’m hiding in. It sure was hard work watching those guys do all the hard work. Whew. What, a guy can’t sit on his ass just for once?

When they were all done, the supervisor came up to me. I noticed the other guys were all hiding in the truck. The guy in the driver’s seat looked especially on edge. When the supervisor approached, he held his hand up, “Hey, yo, I know you haven’t worked with us before, but it’s customary to, uh, tip.”

“Stay away from New Jersey,” I said and slapped a little something down on his hand. He looked down at it like someone had put a chewed up human ear in his hand, so I sweetened the pot by laying down a couple thousand on top of it.

Now, I’d built up an appetite by that time, as watching sweaty men often leaves me inexplicably drained, so I told Moai I was going out again. I think Moai feels bad about the shithole. At least shitholes on higher floors are more defensible, but shithole-quality construction has a longstanding feud with gravity that it frequently loses.

And then, boys and girls, that’s when I went grocery shopping! Mwahahahaha! Just imagine some lightning and thunder and flashing lights.

No, not an evil grocery store or a black market grocery store. Just a regular one. An evil one wouldn’t have had so many long lines. Dealing with supervillains has all sorts of risks to it, as F-Uhaul knows, but we are great people if you like prompt service. This express lane line with seven people in it taking forever? Uh uh. Doesn’t happen when you know that every second longer you take increases the chances of somebody zapping you with a freeze ray.

What got on my last nerve was the woman in front of me. She had twelve items. Twelve. The sign says ten fucking items! She wasn’t even some old person who maybe had a little trouble with their numbers at that age. No, she had some sort of sweater, and Capri pants, and a necklace, and a cutesy haircut and a baby in the cart. Now see, this is the real lesson I was trying to impart so long ago when I had a minor loss of cognitive control and brought up a fucking fiction story about people swapping bodies. The moral of the lesson shouldn’t be “Cope with what life throws at you,” people! Make life your bitch! Do not let the supposed good of society keep you from the real good!

Luckily I had the air cannon hidden in my coat and it doesn’t have a negative reaction to thoughts involving exclamation points. I whipped that sucker out and FWOOM! She splatted against the front window of the story, sticking to it a bit. Didn’t seem to do lethal damage to her, though. I grabbed her cart and pushed it toward her as well, amused clapping toddler and all. I also kicked her shoes out of the way where they still laid in front of me in line. People screamed, of course, but they do that all the time.

The cashier held his hands up. “Listen man, you can have the till, just don’t hurt me!”

I held the cannon to his face and yelled at him, “I don’t want the money! Just ring up my fucking food! You got that!”

His eyes widened in surprise and he hesitated. I turned the gun’s barrel to the side and blew the store manager off his feet as he stepped out of his office. “Did I stutter, motherfucker?!”

“No sir!” he croaked out and went to scan all my stuff. There was a quart of ice cream that refused to scan. He tried it once, twice, three times. “Oh god, don’t hurt me!” he whined. Fourth time was a charm. I tossed him some cash. “You want to p-pay?”

“Shut up and take my money, shithead, or I’ll fill you full of nitrogen, oxygen, argon, carbon dioxide, water vapor, and trace gasses!”

He rang it up and gave me my change. “D-do you want you receipt, sir?”

“This ain’t no damn Question and Answer session, what the hell’s wrong with you! You can trash that shit! Wait. No, nevermind, throw it away. Thought I might need it for tax purposes, but then I realized I was a guy holding a cannon!”

Nice place, you know. I might go back there for more shopping. I’ve been leery of yogurt since that guy was caught adding his own personal special ingredient to the creamy mix, but they do have the kind of pork chops and teriyaki marinade I like to use.

See y’all next time, readers. Same Gecko time. Same Gecko channel.

 

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