In which the intrepid heroes march on the United Nations. Oh, don’t get me wrong, it was meant to be a peaceful protest. Well, the optimistic version of the plan called for peaceful protest. Plan B, far more realistic as it was, involved hostility. I can’t recall if we went through the entire alphabet, but there were a few of them in which I A-Plus died, and even one where I got a cool scar on my face.
But let’s back that thang up a bit, like fine Jamaican booty. The heroes opted to handle this situation like heroes who believed, and someone actually said this, that daylight was the best disinfectant. Which is why people just hold scalpels under sunlight to sterilize them, I’m sure.
Now, they weren’t all idiots. Victor Mender’s one of their better minds, since he proposed that a bunch of villains be ready as backup in case things turned hostile. Yeah, right. “in case”. Still, I have to commend both the craftiness and audacity of him choosing to recruit the Order villains by having me advertise an epic party at the Master Academy East Campus address. They showed up for a rave, and instead got a half-built school full of heroes. I wish I could have seen their faces, but the Master Academics figured I’d be more likely to ruin the meeting.
That’s right, the horde of heroes thought I would spook the villains too much. What’s worse, I agreed and let them shut Moai and I up in my room with my armor. If I’d known they were going to do that, I’d have held off on the prefab base. The Buzzkills locked it down and stayed inside while everything happened.
There must have been so many blowjobs to make that teamup happen. So damn many. I imagine they just had one unfortunate school scapegoat. The class loser, without the power or prestige to get out of it. “Shut up, Francis! Now get down on your knees for the bad guys.” Whatever they resorted to, I sat it out with Moai and Wildflower. Found her sitting on my bed with a copy of Frankenstein. I snuggled up to her. She let me.
“Hmm.” I hmmed.
“Hmm?” she hmmed questioningly.
I set my head on her shoulder, the top of my head rubbing against the side of her neck. “Some parallels occur to me.”
“Are you going to hold what I did against me as long as the creature does?”
“Give me a reason not to.”
“You couldn’t protect me like that, and I helped you.”
“I suppose it evens out. I broke your neck and cut you open. You chloroformed me and threw me to the superpowered wolves. Aren’t we a pair?” I let the question linger in the air.
She turned and kissed the top of my head. “A pair of animals.”
But enough of that personal drama. That’s been boring me, too. This whole thing is about aliens, after all. But speaking of good segways…
“I hope they make everything Captain Lightning and I found sound good. Would hate to screw the whole thing up with presentation.” I twirled a finger through her tail, careful of the thorns.
“Mhm. That’s why Venus pulled some strings and got Man-Opener out.”
Yep. A big part of keeping me under wraps was the release of Man-Opener to talk to the other villains. It was an act of goodwill, and he went on a rampage declaring aliens were coming. It kicks two nuts with one shoe.
After a time, Wildflower set her book aside to go check on the outside world. The first time, she shook her head when she came back. “They’re still here.” The second time she poked her head in the door, she told me, “News from the outside, stranger. They’re gone. You want to watch the fireworks on TV?”
So we found ourselves in the common room. There were a couple of other adults there, teens, kids, somebody in a full-body cast. “I see we aren’t the only ones missing the party.”
“Alas not all of us are combat-ready,” said the digitized voice of Victor Mender, who rolled in to change the channel to the news.
“Aren’t you a bad guy?” asked a trio of toddlers who all looked, sounded, and dressed the exact same, except that one was a boy, one was a girl, and I couldn’t tell what the third one was. Hairless.
I shook my head. “Nuh uh. I’m a girl.”
The TV interrupted us. “Breaking news: we go live to alien free clinic where it has currently set up in the Lower East Side. A group of heroes have marched on the clinic in protest, claiming to have evidence that they are performing medical procedures that mind control the patients. These are wild accusations; I’d like to see proof of this before people risk an international incident. Strike that, an interplanetary incident.”
They didn’t even cover the accusations themselves, I noticed. They just showed a few scenes, repeating, with random yelling and noise that I’m fairly certain didn’t come from the Masters. It didn’t matter what proof they presented there, the only quotes being shown were accusations. Ignoring their remotes, I flipped through the news channels, watching it all being handled similarly.
Then they had more breaking news: a second front at the Harlem free clinic, right near the Long Life one that had been healing people with nanites. The aliens were getting a lot more visitors than that company. Human technologies are suspect like that, especially to the crowd that thinks organic is a sign of quality while still flushing their crap down indoor plumbing. The aliens, though, that was a novelty. An event. You had to be there, and they were. So were some more of the Masters. And suddenly, the news wasn’t reporting on protests. They were claiming riots.
It was hard to tell what was going on for sure. There were gunshots, smoke, and someone throwing up a forcefield. “The heroes have turned violent. For anyone watching, please get the children out of the room. This is disturbing imagery they shouldn’t have to see. And now reports are coming in that a mass of villains have taken advantage of the protests to attack the First Nation’s Bank.” This newscaster held his hand up to his ear. “And they are fighting with each other in the streets. It is a melee among villains, heroes, and law enforcement. Ladies and gentlemen of Empyreal City, please stay indoors.”
“Well, this went wonderfully,” I commented. “Maybe we should blow something up to make the whole thing look even better.” I looked for Victor, but a squeal of tires marked his chair speeding out of there. A couple of the other chaperones ran after him. “Great. Let me see if I can call someone who can put a better spin on this.”
I sat down on the couch all meditation-style and pointed at my forehead. “Don’t bother me. This is the international sign for using mental problems.”
While kids start crying and rioting around me, I muted my ears and gave Harlon a call. Harlon is this news executive I met when I killed some friends of his. He helps me out sometimes, and once in a blue moon I return the favor. I think he just likes having a friend.
“Psycho Gecko, as I live and breath. God, how long has it been, buddy?”
“Too long, Harlon. How you doin’? Things still working out for you, or do you need a business rival moved out of your way? You know you always do right by me.” I may not always be charming, but at least I can turn it on for short periods of time.
“Oh, I’m fine. Just fine. I don’t need any help. The aliens are a goldmine.”
“Yeah, they are, aren’t they? Hey, I noticed that nobody’s actually putting out what the protesters were saying. How about you get some of that out there.”
“You know something I don’t?”
“I have it on very good authority that they’re right.”
“Do they have real evidence?”
I scoffed to myself in the real world. “Trust me, they have evidence. I’ve been the one putting most of it together. Hell, I have a recording of their ambassador killing the Secretary General.”
“Send it to me and I’ll see what I can do.”
“You’ll make a fortune, too. Another exclusive. Oh, and you’ll be helping to save the earth from invasion of the organ transplanters.”
I woke up and unmuted my ears to the sound of giggling and the smell of marker. A lot of the younger students were looking at me, with that one triad particularly close. I grabbed one of my eyes and pulled it out to see if they’d done something. Yep, they drew on my face. I was now a pretty kittycat.
“Gross,” said this one teen.
I shrugged. “You’ve never heard of keeping an eye out?” I popped it back in, then turned to find Wildflower, who was just coming back into the room with a bunch of sodas. “You’re just in time. I’m gonna murder some children.”
“No you’re not.” She set them down on a little table in the middle of the room, then swatted me gently on the shoulder. Just before she sat down, I noticed her shaking a little.
“Nervous? Hey, I just put in a call to someone who should be able to turn this around for us. I have a media conspiracy of my own, too.”
Harlon was prompt, that’s for sure. Fifteen minutes after I sent the video footage, the network he worked for had another piece of breaking news. “Related to the bizarre actions of the Master Academy and Empyreal City’s own superheroes, we have more breaking news. This just in: we have received an exclusive report from a trusted source that notorious killer supervillain Psycho Gecko is somehow involved with the rioting in Empyreal City, as some sort of ringleader or perhaps the fabricator of this ‘evidence’ that the heroes claim to have.”
I sat there in silence, then burned through the TV with my laser eye. “That’s it, I’ll settle this the old-fashioned way.”
“What are you doing? Don’t do anything you’ll regret,” Wildflower said, jumping up to stand next to me.
I brushed her bangs out of her face. “Honey, please. When have I ever regretted killing anybody?”
She put her hands on my shoulders. “I thought you were going to work on that. If you go out there and kill someone, it will make everything worse. People will see.”
“That’s why I’m going to kill them.”
“People. ALL the people.”
“You have done quite enough Psycho Gecko,” said a computerized voice as Mender rolled back in. “For everyone’s sake you will stay on the campus.”
I shot him a look. It almost included the laser. Almost. “Like it’ll hurt anything at this point? We need something a little tougher than stupid protests. Nobody cares about protests! They’re useless even when nobody’s taken over the news. I just need to take over some airways myself and I’ll expose it all. You tried, but your stooges aren’t getting the evidence out. At least this way if we’re exposing ourselves, we’re exposing all of ourselves.” I noticed a pair of guys in the room nodding along as they looked at me. “Hell, let me spread the word online. I got video and everything I-”
I blinked, having lost my train of thought because I was suddenly back in my room. My HUD clock blinked 12:00 annoyingly until it resynced and showed that I’d lost an hour. The same room with thick enough walls to keep me from accessing anything outside it. And a big heavy door meant to be locked if someone lost control of their powers. And an angry pair of heroines, who grabbed me and pulled me out.
“Ok, ok, who’s ready for the waterboarding?!”
“Shut up, Gecko,” Venus said, then shook her head. “I’m sorry, it’s a habit, and sorry they put you in there. Victor was under pressure to manage that crisis and you make us nervous.”
“Well, I’ve lost time and woken up in the wrong place before.” Turning to Wildflower, I asked, “Remember the chloroform?”
“Sorry, but I agree in principle. You know what’s at stake.” She booped me on the nose.
Oh right. The dying. But this new insistence on keeping me safe? It’s kinda creepy.
Venus stepped in front of me and stopped. “Listen, this is a confusing time. Superheroes haven’t operated at a tactical level like this since World War II, and neither have villains. You were right about staying quiet. We were infiltrated, too. We took a lot of hits, but you are still welcome among us.” She looked me in the eyes as she said it. Holy crap, she was sincere!
“The enemy’s winning, but you’re still thinking of helping me?” She left me stupefied by that stupidity.
“Yeah. Come on. Tonight they’ve got tacos.” She turned and jogged off.
Wildflower put her arm around me as we followed. “I know. She believes in what she preaches. It’s a good community, and they’re protective of their own. Right now, that includes you.”
Which explains the twelve year old boy we saw in the courtyard who raised his hands and and brought forth a huge rock wall around the perimeter of the school grounds to block the view of, oh, only a few hundred angry anti-super protesters. And the full-body shiver at the unwelcome concept of me being a part of their community now.
One thing’s clear. I can’t let this turn into some blue-ball Cold War. Open violence is the solution. Unfortunately, Youtube keeps taking down my videos and accounts under near-instantaneous copyright notices. Geez, I guess people can just file a copyright claim and get anything taken down. Without Youtube, I might as well be selling fuzzy Bigfoot photos to the National Enquirer.
The truth is out there. On Vimeo. Where nobody’s fucking looking.
Whether my hosts like it or not, I gotta get out there in the game. Their incompetence is going to get me killed sooner than me trying to hug the entire enemy fleet to death.
You know how damn hard it is to get news on superheroes with all this political crap going on? The major news networks are shit anyway, of course. Hell, the most watched one actually decreases your knowledge of the world. So, like all people do, I tried the internet. You’d just be surprised what sorts of searches turn up when you’re looking for news involving heroines. Especially strong heroine. Boy, did I ever feel like a dope. Hash out the puns later.
I even called up Harlon. He was a little preoccupied when he picked up. “Uh, hello old friend. Pardon me, Senator, this will only be a moment.” He quieted down as he spoke next, “I hate to blow you off, but I’m discussing campaign strategy with a, um, business partner. Is this something quick?”
“Geez, didn’t mean to catch you in the middle of blowing one of the candidates you’re going to try and get elected. Or getting blown by. I haven’t quite worked that relationship out.”
“Nobody’s blowing anybody! Shit.”
“Nice upscale restaurant you’re in?”
“Like they’d kick you and a Senator out just for talking about fellatio. Well, maybe don’t mention fellatio to the Congressman. They’ll think it’s an Italian dish or a Shakespeare character or something.”
“What did you actually call for?”
“I wanted to know about Long Life and how the board and top guys were handling Forcelight. Aneta Long, that is.”
“The only thing the network cares about right now is putting a positive spin on this shutdown. I can pull some strings when we get back, but you of all people should know we don’t actually deal with news.”
“Do what you can, Harlon. Now, you’d better get back to jacking off the politicians.”
“I’m not jacking anyone o-!”
I hung up on him there. He gets loud when he’s embarrassed like that. I should make it up to him. Send him a big kielbasa later, that sort of thing. Yeah, kielbasa and meatballs. Some good food so he can enjoy letting the taste explode in his mouth.
I found it the news I was looking for on the corporate business reports and sites related to stock trading. That explains how the super boards didn’t have it. Boom, there in the pixels all over: Shieldwall and Long Life split.
Funding, slashed. Sounds like a little thing, but there’s the flyers, crew, support staff for maintenance of the machines and the people. Special shampoo for Gorilla Awesome. A thousand different ways that heroes become capable of fighting people like me for a day job. Otherwise, you need a double life.
I’ve spent a lot of this time having to be ready to run. I lost hideouts and equipment. People that should be dead are conspicuously alive. That hurts a man’s reputation when he prides himself on being able to eviscerate victims with a can opener.
This was always, in part, a matter of attrition, though the occasional grand gestures worked pretty well too. You want to know why it wasn’t the army, the national guard, the CIA, FBI, NSA, SWAT, or even the Long Life Peace Officers who had their chance? Those regular people may be perfectly fit for the day to day normal world, but I’m an exceptional circumstance. To beat me, you have to be superhuman or the last of your kind. A martial arts master. An unstoppable force of nature. A super soldier. A god.
Yes, a little bit of gloating megalomania. I think I’m entitled to it, though that could be the megalomania again. Good thing I can keep myself sorted out in spite of that. It’s because I’m so awesome, you know.
You know, Shieldwall may yet attempt to stand against me, but they’ll have to do better than they have been. They’ll just have to ride the bus to pursue me.
Which reminds me, got my car in. Very important. When the driver pulled up in the parking lot behind Shithole Apartments, as I call them at least, I hauled him out the open window and had Moai hold him against a wall while I inspected my Black Sunshine. Everything was in order. Nothing fiddled with, though that reminded me to check the radio. “A pop station, eh? It’s your lucky day, you know,” I said as I turned to the terrified young man who had the misfortune of doing a good job for me. I walked over to a collection of objects I’d brought out for this: a heavy stone, a carving knife, a cooler, a jar of white fluid, a belt, and a sandwich grill.
I opened the cooler, grabbed a bottle of Pepsi, and held it out for the man. He looked at me, his look of confusion compounded by his inability to completely breathe in. I patted Moai on the shoulder. “Ease up and let the man enjoy his survival.”
Moai let the driver go. I shoved the soft drink into his hand. “Like I said, good choice. One of these was yours based on what station you left it on. In this case, you have pop!”
“Do I want to know what the others represent?”
“Well, Rock was pretty easy, though Jazz,” I held up the jar of white fluid, “would have gotten…messy. If you had the blues, then you’d have been blue,” I cracked the belt at him. “While Rap would have been a more pressing matter,” I told him as I picked some crumbs out of the sandwich maker.”
“What about the knife?”
Like cats are the only curious ones.
“That was for Country stations.”
“How is a knife the same as giving me Country?”
“It would have involved getting rid of your Penisry. There’s your damn drink, here’s your damn money, and I suggest getting out of town in a hurry,” I told him as I handed him money. I then began pushing him toward the street.
He was surprised at the real tip I’d given him. “Hey, this is a lot. You sure you didn’t count this wrong?” I didn’t get to answer before this asshole driver honked at us as he sped into parking lot with barely an attempt to brake. I threw my car’s delivery boy against the wall of the building and threw myself against him as well. We did not wind up city roadkill.
I handled it very calmly for a guy in life-or-death on a regular basis. I cussed out the driver. “You fucking fuckhead! Fucking watch where you’re fucking driving you fucker! Fuck you!” I pulled up the delivery guy. “You want to add anything to it? Could stand some variety.”
“No thanks. I’m lucky enough as is. You didn’t kill me for arriving, you didn’t kill me with rock or give me a…country. You tipped me good. Now this guy missed me. I’m going to quit while I’m ahead and get the hell out of here. I met you five minutes ago and nearly died three times already. I’m gone.”
And with that, he turned to leave.
“So, think you can just walk away from me, do you?” I said softly to myself. “Moai!” I called out, “fetch me my…implements.” I then whipped the air cannon out of my coat.
Moai pushed over the various items all set on the cooler. “You know, some smooth Jazz is normally good for defusing hostile situations,” I told my minion. Then I called out to the delivery guy before he got too far away, “You might want to look at me while I do this!”
He stopped and turned. I then took aim with the cannon at the car that nearly hit us and its driver who was finishing a joint before stepping out of the car. I called to Moai, “Pull!”
In the end, that just made the guy speed some more, but this time to a car wash.
But that was all the other day. Today, I attempted to take advantage of the crash with a raid on the Guggenheim. Some of you may see the problem there. Yes, the Guggenheim is not actually a Federal museum, but my only options for those were some Native American museum and a museum about aesthetics and design. What the fuck am I possibly going to do with President Lincoln’s reupholstered desk chair, huh? You tell me how menacing that is?! “Gentlemen of the UN. I have here Abraham Lincoln’s famous ass cushion. Give me $100 million by midnight, or the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum will have to re-ass-ess their exhibits.
Just great. Washington D.C. gets institutes to air and space, American history, natural history, portraits, and even a zoo for fucking animals. That’s fucking as an adjective, not a verb, though you never know. Apparently there are some people in Washington who find bestiality to be comparable to gay sex. With how natural and widespread homosexuality seems to be, that comparison leaves me wondering if some of those guys are trying a little too hard to help the pandas reproduce.
But yeah, D.C. gets a museum to everything and what does Empyreal City get? A museum to interior design! It’s the only museum where visitors pay to leave.
So I hit the Guggenheim instead because the name is funny. There was a lot of artsy shit. I guess that’s to be expected in an art museum. I’m not an art thief, though, but I doubt anyone could do jack shit with something like “Impenetrable” which is made up of fishing wire and some steel rods.
I tested it, too. Let me tell you, those rods aren’t impenetrable at all. You throw a guy hard enough and he will get through. Great exhibit for weight loss, though.
I admit, I felt some kinship with this one Russian guy, though. He drew the same way I grab weapons: whatever the hell he felt like, it was in. I saw one looked like a cross between a bacteria and a grade school project. Sadly, it wasn’t one of those works of art with a hidden inner meaning like “I’ve secretly hidden a deadly pathogen on the backside of the canvas.”
I grabbed a souvenir, though. Before you ask, no, it wasn’t the naked bronze woman. Nice full-figured woman, more realistic on the boobal region, but I was disappointed that the curves kept some things out of sight. I tried and I tried but I just couldn’t break one of her legs off to get a better view, no matter how many times I hit her with the museum director. He was happy to volunteer rather than finish that call to the cops. Those guys have more important problems to deal with. Don’t you know there are murderers running around out there?
You know, I like to think that the fire I set was itself a form of art. After all, it showed people the beauty of something they otherwise would have overlooked. A bunch of boring paintings and shit, kept in rooms to be admired by people who don’t engage with the art on anything but an intellectual level. They sure as hell engaged emotionally when they had to avoid getting smacked in the head with a still-life or rescue some burning Picassos.
It was embracing the frailty of those works, the idea that they are truly transient, that showed the beauty of them. I think. Certainly not why I started the fire. I was just playing with a lighter when I saw this awesome picture of a blue lobster scaring the crap out of a fish.
I kept that one as a souvenir. Not the only one either. There was this one of a bird on a tree as seen if the person viewing it was Cthulhu or if the bird was some sort of Old One or something. Don’t they have monsters named after weird shapes in that whole mythology? Either way, the bird looked like a striped starfish and made a fine addition to the wall over my toilet.
Besides the souvenirs, the other good thing about the trip was that it inspired me to another grandiose action. A celebration of my imminent defeat of Shieldwall, in fact.
Oh Lady Liberty, you symbol of America. As soon as I round up a bunch of people to help me out, you’re in for an update. Some things to really make you a symbol of this country.
Folks, my next scheme is as simple as it is ingenious: we give the Statue of Liberty a boob job.
Yak yak yak, yak yak yak, I swear Max created a mouthwash that serves as a portal to Nepal. Nepal has yaks, doesn’t it? I’ll drop yaks on them if they don’t!
I’ll worry about that later though.
Instead, after all my work, all my planning, all the drinks I bought at the bar, Max had questions.
We had been working on some tricks to pull but apparently there was one huge, burning issue still hanging over this whole thing. “What then? You get your Moai back and then you…what? Mojitos?”
“Well, I’ll be escalating and de-escalating things in the process, feinting, counterstriking, setting up one or two future events to go my way unless something happens.”
“So you’re going to keep fighting them,” Max said while mixing honey with toothpaste and arsenic. Kids, don’t try that at home. What Max does isn’t chemistry.
Barely need to keep an eye on the guy in a lab though. Especially when you’re busy working on some micro munitions. “Yeah. Planning on screwing with their heads. Thinking I might, I don’t know, build a giant laser gun in Empyreal City and destroy New Jersey or something.”
“Destroy New Jersey. Hmm. Keep that up and people will believe you’ve gone over to the side of heroes.”
“So you’re just going to keep fighting them? Do you think you’ll win?”
“Win? Like kill them all? At this point that’ll be tough.”
“Then what is your endgame here? How long are you going to do this for?”
“I don’t know.”
“Then why do you keep doing this?”
“I told you, they stole my minion.”
“And after that, what keeps you going?”
“What started this whole grudge in the first place?”
“They keep surviving all my fights and joining together. They stole some of my stuff. They keep finding me and trying to bring me in. I kinda have to fight a crowd of stalkers like that.”
“Are you going to get back what they stole from you?”
“Yeah, that’s part of the plan. But not all of it. I have plans for some of the stuff they made.”
He didn’t even bother to asking me again. By now, the question was implied. Only Max can turn mixing carnivorous fertilizer into question.
“They keep coming after me.”
“I think by now they’ve got other threats to consider. Rumor has it they may confront Miss Communication over what she did to those Chinese factories to create her robots.”
“Then once again I don’t know. They just insist on being so good and idealistic. It’s so unrealistic. Real people shouldn’t be idealistic. They might get something done. You know, Venus was an abusive government away from ending up more like me.”
“It’s just not like you to get so hung up. You walked away from Holdout. So why care for this petty obsession?”
“You don’t normally care.”
“Your designer heart still beats with common blood.”
That particularly poetic way to put it caused me to look up and examine my ally, and perhaps what some would call a friend, “You’re high again and I shan’t pursue this line of questioning any further.”
“Awww. I won’t help you, you know.”
“Sure you won’t. How’s that coming along?”
“No, this I’ll help, but I’m not leaving the city. I just thought I’d point out that this could all end in your death.”
I wiped my hands off and stood up from the counter I was working at. “You ok to drive?”
Max looked up at me and reached for his drink. Which was smoking. Huh. It started as root beer, I know that much. With the very last of our preparations complete, it was time to go have good time.
First stop, the Kingscrow Clam Festival. I expected more lesbians, but it was a seafood event. A city that isn’t on the ocean holding a festival over seafood. You know, everybody’s in on this game in their own way. I was doing people a favor by stopping by like that.
I wouldn’t have missed the grand opening of Miss Clam 2013. Take those palms off those faces, ladies and gentlemen, or you won’t be able to read what happened next. The music played. The shell opened. A beautiful young lady stood there in a dress and a tiara, waving.
And then my voice bellowed from the speakers. “Om nom nom nom.” The mechanical clam slammed itself shut, severing her arm. After a little more smashing, the screams stopped and I could announce, “Mwahaha, I am the almighty clam! Bow before me, powerless mortals! Your day of reckoning has come and you shall pay for being so shellfish with mother earth’s gifts.”
Now, while all this is going on, some people are growing clam shells over their heads because Max had been passing by some of the food booths adding in a little bit of “You Are What You Eat”. One of these days, we’re going to find someone whose head turns into a giant pussy. I still believe in that dream, dammit!
We couldn’t stay for the party, though. By the time Shieldwall showed up, we were long gone.
Yep, a fun few days. Next stop was the stadium. It was game day, baby, woo! Go hard or go home, stick a needle in my ass, and fuck up that mascot! Except that day, it would have been a big mistake to do so. That day, the mascot was me. Of course I didn’t bother wearing the suit. I wore my own instead. It just looked like the mascot’s suit to everyone else, which caused some confusion when the real mascot came over and stood right in my way.
I went to walk by and he pushed me. Then he grabbed for my neck, no doubt to expose me as an imposter. Ha! Nobody exposes me! I expose myself! And I did, right there in the park, when dropped to my knees and shot a glowing fist into the other mascot’s crotch. The park erupted in cheers.
At first, I thought something exciting had happened on the field but, nope, they cared more about my ball handling. They quieted down somewhat when I withdrew my first and the mascot’s spine and skull.
I stood up, gave a bow to the shocked crowd, shoved the bones into the end of the mascot’s t-shirt gun, and gave one very lucky fan a once in a lifetime souvenir. Well, once in somebody’s lifetime.
At that point, I could tell security wanted to rush me. Wanted to. Thing is, people can rush awfully slow when they just witnessed you tear a man’s skull and spine out through his dick. The football players on the field wanted to come at me too, but they realized that I’m nobody to take on without extensive crotch protection.
They didn’t even care about why the sprinklers on the field had turned on. They began to care right about the time the grass had reached their knees. They began to get out of the way, but it took grass leaves hardening and slicing off a few legs before they rushed. Isn’t that always the case?
Why do you people do that, by the way? You can’t get most people to move their asses except for a selfish reason. They’re slow to do very basic things, like driving or running, or handing over their cash and jewelry. You have to bring their interests into the situation, I’ve found. Like ramming the car, like chasing them on a tiger, even like smacking around the person a little bit until they drop the money and keep referring to you nostalgically as “Daddy”. Doesn’t explain why the last example was rubbing his cheek along my shirt and kept insisting he was hungry.
The grass generally got about thigh high, except for a few hard green shafts that stretched into the sky like the Hulk on Viagra. They even formed hard green spheres on the end, except the contents that spread out from these shafts were less radioactive. For more on how the Incredible Hulk invented fetus cancer, you’ll have to look elsewhere, like Stan Lee’s nightmares. His juicy, tender nightmares.
Instead, some of these spheres, these pods if you pardon the whale speak, opened to reveal various monstrous adaptations. There were flowers with mouths in the middle that bent and chomped a referee in half. I finally got that joke about what’s white and black and red all over. A bloodstained legless referee torso! It was so obvious, too, I should have got it a long time ago.
Other plants did other things. One flower with a mere two petals wielded them like a crazed cokehead hibachi chef, slicing through the visiting coach. A quarterback who had stood on the field all this time pulled out a handgun from his tights and fired at a nearby pod that opened to reveal a rose. Thorns grew rapidly across its stem, heedless of the bullets hitting the giant flower. The rose bent to face the quarterback. Whatever the face was like, the thorns around toward the trapped player and skewered his body in multiple places.
I motioned for a sack on the play.
While I admire the QB’s commitment to cheating by bringing a weapon onto the field, I would have called a penalty on that play anyway. He was supposed to be in shotgun formation instead.
“Was the mascot necessary?” came Max’s voice over the radio and into my helmet.
“Absolutely. That’ll teach a crow to show some spine around me. Nice pets by the way, they worked out perfect.”
“Thanks, I made them on a whim. The zombie-eating brains weren’t working out and I was trying to think of something to defend against a zombie apocalypse.”
“You went with plants?”
“Nope. Too hostile to the living.”
“Good job anyway. Now, lets-“
“Don’t you say it, Gecko. I know the words you’re about to speak and you should know better!”
“I don’t remember long enough to know better. Now-“
“No, no, no! A pun is a pun, but that is a pun too far.”
“I didn’t say it, did I?”
After a moment of silence, I dropped it.
“Son of a-!”
I muted him so I didn’t have to hear the rest. So you see, I didn’t originally intend on blowing up that maintenance room, but it just sorta happened.
After that, we merely sat in the park feeding the birds. That’s all. That’s it. I swear there were no weird tracers in them to throw people off my trail. Just Max and I feeding the pigeons.
I did make one teeny tiny call while I was there. “Harlon! How’s the lying on TV business going?”
“It just goes, Gecko.”
“How about Operation Dayglow Faygo?”
“I told you that was supposed to be the codename for the slander campaign against Forcelight.”
“Shhh! Don’t you know the NSA is listening?”
“Ferrous Ulysses Charlie Kite Omega Foo Foo. There, dealt with.”
“What was that?”
“It was a secret code that tells any NSA members listening to fuck off.”
“Right,” There was a pause, “Well, Forcelight and all of Shieldwall got a big PR boost from fighting the robot incursion into the U.S. Your tips about Bennett Long and his secret operations has paid off so far, but the boys by the desks think it needs more context.”
“I got your context right here!”
“Are you making a crude gesture right now?”
“Yes, but I’m really about to have your context right here. We’ve been working on a video that should help.”
“Please, for the love of God, you do not know the meaning of the phrase ‘tasteful nudity’.”
“Come off it already, you had people edit that down for public consumption.”
“The editor hung himself!”
“Huh. Jealousy is a dirty little monster, isn’t it? Anyway, we’ll have something sent to you soon, just got to finish laying the groundwork. Catch ya later, Harlon, bye!”
So it was back to sitting in the park, feeding the pigeons. And walking around the park feeding the pigeons. Nothing at all villainous about that.
At least until the pigeons began randomly exploding. I was going to put them on a trigger originally, but a random timer is so much better. And the best part are the fireworks that accompany the explosions.
It wound up being a wonderful commercial, by the way.
It had a nice voiceover, “This woman claims she’s a hero who wants to save the world.” Boom, picture of Forcelight all up in your face. “But does she really look like someone trying to protect the world?” And there she is, in all her glory. Punching a giant claim while clam people run around, waving their arms panicked. “Why does she hate the creatures of the sea?” Then we cut to her using her powers to blast and burn plants. “And why does she hate plants so much?” And when did she learn how to burn things with her powers, that’s an important question on my end. Final cut, Forcelight trying to round up pigeons that are desperately trying to escape. “If she loves the world so much, why does she hate all the pretty birdies? There are too many questions about Forcelight and her nature-hating ways. Why, Forcelight? Why do you want to destroy Mother Nature?” And the whole thing ends on a picture of Bambi from the Disney movie looking scared.
Oh snap, Forcelight, you just got P’ed in the R.