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.