Monday, April 7, 2014

An Elegant Villain, for a More Civilized Age

Language, graphic violence, moderate chance of bewbies. And prejudice.

Ara: We need to talk –
No we don’t; pipe the fuck down.
Shemo: It’s about time –
Don’t wanna hear it, have some pipe the fuck down.
Donut: Yeah, pt…
You, too, down the fuck you must pipe.
Sal: Bullocks to that –
Shut it or your bullocks will be piped the fuck down.
Aethon: You mad bro? Something you –
Come at my pipe the fuck down bro. Do you even pipe the fuck down? I bet you used to pipe the fuck down, but then you took an arrow to the knee.

. . .

Much better. You are all caricatures of personas based on or created by my friends, but I’m the writer here and I run the show. You’re my characters, even if some of you are borrowed, and you will cooperate. Green? Super green. Rough draft is rough, but you’ll live.


            “Let’s see, there are only two rooms on the store map that I have not been inside.” Working for the conglomerate devourer of souls had its perks, it turned out for young Rani. Having spent most of the last year performing menial tasks as his alter ego allowed him nearly unrestricted access to the building. Of the two options, the cash office and the gun room, it seemed pretty obvious to him which would make the more likely spot to hide a secret clone production facility.

It was a simple matter for Rani to slip into the backroom through the emergency exit while his allies wrecked havoc on the store’s defenses. The fact that there was so much resistance both concerned him and validated his suspicions. The store had no official security position, and there was nowhere enough members of asset protection to put up the fight GingerCorp was presenting. He didn’t need to witness the freaky glowing eyes of those who lost their souls to the corporate titan to know something nefarious was going on. He couldn’t let such dark tidings distract him, however, he had work to do.

            Rani was tempted, with a flush of guilty pleasure, to pick the lock barring him entry to the gun room. It had been well over a year since he last had cause to roll some tumblers, but the rogue wanderer within him still yearned for unadulterated freedom. It would be wasting time, however, when simply applying his weight to the handle was enough to break the lock. The gingers didn’t rise to riches by buying quality, after all. Besides, why would the ranga race do anything as logical as providing effective locks to prevent access to their weaponry and hidden cloning facilities? Corporations were known to sacrifice common sense for the sake of profits, and the soulless were no exception. It was a moot temptation, however, as the perpetually shut door was unlocked for the first time in Rani’s time serving the Ginger corporation. That did not bode well.

            The mob of panicked security enforces taking refuge in the ammo closet boded worse.

            “Assalopes,” Rani cursed darkly, annoyance weighing his words. “Only five of you? You’re going to need a bigger boat.”  The anti-hero punctuated his taunt by closing his eyes and bringing his focus inward to unleash the fury of his super-powered might upon the soullessly employed even as they scrambled for the weaponry surrounding them.

            “Shit.” His self-assurance faltered when nothing happened, and every millisecond of their mad rush brought them closer to assembling and loading the armaments. Rani may have been notorious for his characteristic confidence, but the prospect of taking on five armed foes without supernatural assistance warranted an anxious spike in his pulse. The short soul shook off the silent whispers of doubt echoing in his skull and braced himself for what was to come. “Honey badger doesn’t care.”

            Street combat is like riding a bike. After the first few awkward motions, you find your balance and it all feels natural. You never really forget how to survive. Rani took a clumsy step to the nearest target, an overweight man with pale skin and light hair. The foe had his back to Rani as tubby clawed at a box of ammunition to liberate its contents. Rani adjusted the graceless motion, shifting to slam a shoulder into the man’s exposed back. The momentum sent the struck thrall slamming head first into the steel shelving and crashing to the concrete floor.
            The first victim was out of mind the instant he fell out of sight, and Rani closed the distance to the next opponent in two smooth steps. Entranced by survival mode, the warrior carried the momentum of his approach to continue smoothly into a swift punch to the throat of the next target even as the enemy struggled to back away and raise a rifle to his shoulder in the same uncoordinated movement. With a guttural rasping and fruitless clawing at his throat to allow breath without agony, five had been reduced to three.

            “Shit.” Rani repeated, realizing belatedly that the next foe to dismiss, a small man with long hair, was actually a woman. He grit in his teeth in resolution and sidestepped her attempt to club him with the stock of a rifle. She lashed out with a fast kick, too fast for Rani to dodge in such a confined space. He felt the familiar burning agony of a rib injury as she connected; a particularly painful location for one who has had cracked or bruised ribs in the past. Such injuries always lead to a higher chance of subsequent injury due to the difficulty of the affected area being able to heal completely.  The sharp pain in his side with each breath hinted at another such injury.

            “Sorry.” Whispered Rani, seizing her foot by reflex and yanking her to him. He spun her around to put her between him and the other two thralls before they could get any ideas. Securing her in a headlock to prevent escape, Rani knew he was losing control of the situation. You never truly forgot street combat, but lack of practice could be just as damning when fighting for your life.

            “Don’t make me hit a woman; I’m still not thrilled I had to resort to violence against women in the last saga.” Though, to be fair to Rani, killing the cast of the Hunger Games and Twilight really had been a mercy to them considering the pathetic worlds they occupied. “Just get out of here. GingerCorp doesn’t pay enough to risk your lives.”

            In Rani’s case, GingerCorp didn’t pay enough to risk a toe nail, but he sincerely hoped for their sakes that these minions received a higher wage than he.

            “The severance package here is execution.” The captive woman answered tersely.

            “Only if we lose.”

            “You will.” The new voice came from behind Rani, making his blood boil in as he froze in terror. He knew that voice. That was the voice of the man who killed him.

Friday, January 3, 2014

The Storm

The Ladies and Sabine

“. . .And Donut has arrived, fashionably late as usual.”

“It’s not pink; it’s light-ish red.”

“Oh, how no one except for us misses those jokes.”

“Or gets those jokes.” Shemo added, interrupting what she suspected was going to spawn into a long tangent of banter that moved the storyline nowhere. “Can I kill something now, please?”

“Alright kids, it’s time for the action sequence that climaxes into a cliffhanger.” Rani agreed, gesturing to the trio of truck trailers parked against the building.

“I’ll climax in her cliff. . .” Donut trailed off and hurried after the others, deciding the punch line was a moot point without an audience. Plus he didn’t want to be the sexy weirdo in the pink suit with a sword strapped across his back standing around the loading area of Ginger Corp’s biggest store. Well, not on a week day anyway. He usually saved that for the late Saturday nights that promised a hung-over Sunday.

“Sky, release the beast.” Rani ordered briskly with a quick nod to the angry heavens. “ Donut, give the middle truck the can-opener treatment and take Sabine with you to toss the backroom a little bit. Sky will drop some lightning love on the roof from out here, shorting out the electrical systems and killing the alarm. When the power is gone, Shemo will drop through the roof hatch death from above style and make anything red in the head dead. If reinforcements arrive before we bail, they’ll have to deal with hurricane Sky standing guard right here. While you guys are having your fun I’ll be using the chaos and confusion to search for any evidence of soulless reproduction. Any questions?”

“Is soulless reproduction anything like gentle time?”

“I need more alcohol to bother acknowledging that reference that only Donut and I get. Any decent questions?”

“You mean the storm is my doing? How do I do it?” Sky asked, chewing an anxious fingernail as she watched the wrathful clouds lurk threateningly.

“Just stop holding back and let it happen. You don’t have to wait anymore.”

“Waiting for the storm, I get it. Okay; let’s do this.”

The clap that escaped the heavens in response was comparable only to electric Chlamydia and the silence that followed rivaled only by the awkward tension of the recently executed completely tasteless joke. And then, as they say, all hell broke loose.

The thin steel of the trailer wall offered as little resistance as a cheerleader on prom night, sliding apart for the demonic blade as if the sword had plied it with alcohol and insincere compliments. If Donut didn’t know any better, he would have thought the blue sheen of the edge was Rohypnol residue. Actually, come to think of it, he didn’t know any better. And was it natural behavior of metal to curl in on itself and vanish without a trace after being cut? He was no metal smith, but vanity incarnate was fairly sure that metal didn’t do that. Outside of a bizarre fantasy realm created in the mind of his friend where they were all super-heroes, gingers had the intelligence to be a real threat and his friend got laid. He could buy the super-heroes part, but the rest had to be roofies. Maybe that was why Rani had been getting more action then him lately. . .

“Down!” Donut acted on instinctive obedience, having been too absorbed in trying to hijack the story with his mental musing to notice the guard raise train a pistol on him in response to his sudden entrance. The crimson bolt missed only due to his sudden evasion, and Donut made a silent promise to keep his eye on the prize. He was, after all, too damn pretty to die.

“Hit them hard and fast, we have radio silence from the scouts.” Sabine heard the order, but saw no evidence of their reckless leader in the madness going on around them. She watched in fascination as Donut impaled a rampaging ranga, one that had been shooting some freaky laser, and the offending security officer vanished into a cloud of blue and red mist. Whatever Rani was on when he thought up this shit, it definitely wasn’t street legal.

“Now would be a good time for my powers to work!” Sabine screamed in frustration at no one in particular, unleashing her anger on the nearest employee with the added force of a broom handle she wielded as an improvised weapon. The wooden handle snapped easily under the stress of the attack and her opponent staggered. In a complete overkill of the use of the color red, the dark-skinned worker’s eyes began to glow a feral red and Sabine knew she was in trouble if her mojo didn’t kick in soon. To hell with waiting for a man to come to her rescue, Sabine desperately resorted to most brutal action a woman can inflict upon a man short of dragging him for shopping or cutting him off from sex. She introduced the steel toe of her boot to his most private of areas with the hostility and frustration she felt toward the entire damn gender. Needless to say, the unfortunate Wally World employee did not rise again.

Shemo was having the time of her life in the break room. There was something sadistically satisfying about ripping members of the security force to bloody bits with only her claws. Her powers had come naturally to her so far, it was as easily as letting her feral impulse loose upon anything that moved. It was a bloody mess, and she loved every second of it as evil flesh parted and her mystical talons sank deep into soulless meat. It was morbid, it was graphic, it was without mercy or compassion; it was everything she wanted out of a character.  It was so much bloodthirsty fun that she lost herself in the carnage and forgot that she was supposed to be luring the enemy to her as a distraction and not driving them away from her in terror. Had she been less of an awesome bloody fucking warhawk, Rani might not have found himself surrounded by a mob of ginger thralls that wanted to be anywhere other than the site of the massacre in the break room.