Alcoholic Anthologies from the Club Invertebrate #3

Mister Matter Matters, Mister!

Imagine a tall, somewhat thin fellow wearing a tank top under his open suit jacket, along with a rather loose tie and baggy trousers. Imagine he's wearing spiffy blue-lensed sun glasses, and has both dirty blonde hair and a five o'clock shadow.

He would look like he's got all his ducks in a row, except that he's fighting off a gaggle of angry, Spandex ™ wearing thugs with both a laser pistol and what looks like some kind of exotic energy blade...

(That should do for a 'cover', shouldn't it?)

Notice: for those of you that are faint of heart, the following tale is not at all G-rated.

It may include foul language, excessive violence, sexual innuendo, and other things that would get this story burned, were it in a printed form, by the more fanatical elements of every religion on earth. In other words, if these things offend you, you may want to stop reading now.

(That should do for a 'disclaimer', shouldn't it?)

***

"Wait, so Ultra blasted you out a thirtieth floor window?"

"Seriously."

"Okay, you have to tell me about that one. I totally insist!"

Chris looked at Pincer Penny, trying to figure out what the deal was. He knew he wasn't the exciting sort, and the mutant bounty hunter had clearly led a more exciting life than his own - so why the sudden interest? She'd told him before she wasn't about to take a contract on him, but who knows. Maybe it was just the fact that the two both had it in for that mutant supremacist, Ultra, and her so-called Mutant Legion.

Maybe.

Taking a huge swig of his Long Island Iced Tea, Chris shrugged and started his tale.

***

In his guise as Mister Matter, Chris Williams made his way to Detroit, in order to meet a new potential client. Over the phone, this so-called Fascisma stated that she could use someone with his particular talents for a special enterprise of hers, but Chris wasn't sure. After all, look at her name. Fascisma? That's like asking for trouble before you even walk in the door. But this lady seemed to have more cash than even Chris could count, so he was willing to hear her out.

Parking his rather special Lamborghini ™ Diablo ™ GTR, Chris made his way up the elevator to the thirtieth floor penthouse, the apparent lair of the master of the so-called Mutant Legion. When the door opened, he was menaced by several people dressed in really horrible Spandex ™. Their leader seemed to be the lady in the purple one-piece bathing suit. She had violet hair that almost hurt to look at, as though it were giving off light he couldn't see.

Putting on his sunglasses, Chris regarded the other two Legionnaires. The first was a guy who was wearing naught but a black Speedo ™. The fellow looked at him like he was pond scum, and yet... Chris wasn't the long-haired Fabio wanna be wearing a Speedo ™, now, was he? Last but not least was the guy in stretch fabric tank top and torn-up jeans. He looked like immediate trouble, since he was juggling knives. Except that he wasn't juggling them with his hands. Or any part of his body.

"Welcome to the Mutant Legion, fellow evolutionary!" This was the lady in purple speaking. The instant he heard her voice, Chris had a bad feeling. She had that tone of voice, the one that you know is just asking for a kick to the face. That voice all hopped up on its own perceived authority, which expects you to acknowledge it. Chris looked her up and down, trying to figure out just why this haughty woman would deserve the respect she requires.

"Well, let's not get too hasty there, ma'am. I'll see what Fascisma's got to offer me before we talk about joining anything..."

This was clearly not what the young lady wanted to hear. "What do you mean, hasty? If you're of mutant stock like us, you should be in the Legion! And if you're not with us... you're clearly against us."

Raising an eyebrow, Chris lowered his hand to his holster, where he kept the laser rifle - a lovely weapon he'd received in exchange for a large quantity of an exotic compound you normally can't find on this planet. "Now now, miss. I don't want any trouble from you; I'm just here to talk to Fascisma about a business proposition. She called ME, I might add. I'm here to deal with your boss, so don't go threatening me. I -"

"TRAITOR!"

With that, the lady with the purple hair lashed out with her own mutant abilities, projecting a concussive burst of energy laced with ultraviolet light at Chris. Had he not reflexively turned the air between him and the girl into a steely shield, she just might have crisped him; however, the force of the blast was enough to knock him clean through the glass that was the only thing between him and a thirty story drop to the pavement below.

Screaming as he fell (because really, who wouldn't?), Chris tried to pull a rabbit out of his proverbial hat. He was trying to make something like a slide of sorts to direct him in a more horizontal direction, but he was just moving too fast. Cursing quite loudly, he instead transformed as much air around his body as possible into foam, drawing in more thanks to the resulting vacuum action and adding that to his protective shell, just in time for him to hit the ground.

His massive hunk of foam 'armor' shattered on impact, but it deadened the force of his fall enough to keep him alive. Reaching up towards the penthouse, thirty stories above, Chris flipped the occupants off and ran to his car. Little did Chris know that Fascisma ran into the foyer upon hearing his explosive exit. "Ultra - what the Hell is going on here? Where is Mister Matter... oh no. Tell me you did NOT just knock him out the window? I needed him for -"

Angry that she was being questioned at all, the apparent Ultra interrupted her boss furiously. "But he betrayed us! He said he wasn't about to join the Legion, Fascisma. He -"

It was Ultra's turn to be interrupted. "You sad, short-sighted little fool. You need to stop killing every mutant that doesn't want to join up with us - they don't need to rise to the top of the world with us WHEN we take over, moron. Some people are born to rule and some... simply aren't. Mister Matter there is not the ruling sort - he's simply a useful tool. Or... was. Now our plan is going to take a whole lot longer to get moving. Thanks."

Irrational with rage, Ultra felt her power flare up, and the room was filled with the ultraviolet light she generates. The red-headed Fascisma waved her finger at Ultra, however. "Don't try it, little girl. Do not force me to put you in your place... again. I -"

And once again, it was Fascisma's turn to be interrupted.

"Ahem." Before the fight broke out, the two angry mutants turned to their mutual interrupter. They saw it was the man with the knives, who was looking down at the parking lot in front of the building. "I do hate to stop you ladies from throwing down, really I do. But it looks like our friend isn't dead." Walking in tandem to the broken window, Ultra and Fascisma saw Chris driving away - and fast.

Glaring at Ultra, Fascisma pulled her close - so close that Ultra couldn't help but mash against her boss' shiny crimson latex and leather costume.

"Now, Ultra. I want you to listen to me very, very carefully. You are going to go catch up with Mister Matter for me. You are going to apologize for blowing him the Hell out of my headquarters, and you are going to bring him back. If you don't, I'm going to do terrible, terrible things to you. Do you understand?"

Flaring up again, Ultra nodded.

Fascisma grinned at this, a cheerful grin belying her fury. "Good, have fun!"

***

Floating down to the ground, Ultra landed in a pile of broken glass and rapidly evaporating foam blocks. Sneering, Ultra waited for her two compatriots to join her there. Within seconds, her twin brother had made it, only to hop up and down annoyingly as he stepped on the glass. The boy was fast, that's for sure, but sadly he moved too quickly for modern shoes to keep up with him. OR clothes. Just making the fibers for his high friction-resistant Speedo took Fascisma a week.

Suddenly, a light bulb went off in Ultra's head. She looked at the Speedo, then the foam, then the Speedo again. "Ohh."

Her brother, watching her head moving back and forth, gave Ultra a weird look. "Hey Sis... you okay there?"

Shaking her head, Ultra shrugged. "Yeah, Mister Cheetah. Run after that clown, see if you can talk him into stopping. If not... stop his car for me, would you?"

Hating it when she calls him by his silly 'code name' - which she thought up for him - Mister Cheetah nodded. "Sure thing, ULTRA." He then zipped off after Chris, while Ultra's other friend made it down to the ground. Ultra watched him steady himself; she liked Stabbity Stuart's telekinetic skill, but didn't like the man so much; he seemed somewhat reluctant to use most of his tricks - such as his ability to levitate. He'd be able to fly if only he'd get over his fear of heights.

"Stabbity, I want you to follow me and Mister Cheetah, and do something terrible to this clown if he manages to take the two of us out. I don't care what Fascisma says, I figure if he works us over, he's definitely no friend of the Legion. Got it?"

Stabbity Stuart looked Ultra up and down, and sneered. "As long as you take the blame, sweet cheeks, I'm down."

Floating into the air as her power flared up, Ultra winked at the blade-wielding mutant. "You got it, Stabbity!" Flying off, Ultra shuddered, not liking the man or his creepy come-ons at all. She was happy to take advantage of his incessant filth since it usually let her manipulate the clown pretty easy... but it still made her feel a bit scummy inside. She'd get over it, though. Oh yes, she was about to replace that feeling with satisfaction. To Hell with Fascisma.

She was going to take Mister Matter out. Especially before he could use his material powers to bolster her own, clearly weaker abilities.

***

Chris tore down the Interstate at approximately 120 miles per hour, weaving through traffic as best he could but occasionally swiping another vehicle. Not that it mattered, the way he'd souped up the car - it didn't have a single scratch on it. And it shouldn't, really, for Chris had treated the thing with his powers, transforming the relatively fragile body with his powers until it was nigh-unbreakable. He liked unbreakable. It let him hit things with impunity.

Like the guy running next to his car in a Speedo ™.

Or, let him try at any rate. Chris swerved at him several times but the jerky mutant activist easily avoided his car. Winding down his window, Chris screamed at the almost naked runner. "WHAT?!"

Mister Cheetah then reached into Chris' car and grabbed the wheel, causing the Lamborghini to swerve into the shoulder. "Pull over!"

Chris wasn't having any of this though, and broke out his laser gun whilst Mister Cheetah had his hands full trying to stop his flight. The gun went BIZAP as its beam crisped the atoms in the air between Chris and the rather close Mister Cheetah, and then sizzled a lot when the speedster's arm caught on fire from the blast. Screaming as he let go, Chris then floored the car, weaving back out of the shoulder while using his own powers to generate an oil slick behind the car.

Still flailing from his burnt arm, Mister Cheetah went into a tumble almost immediately upon hitting the slick, possibly breaking a bunch of bones in the process. Smirking, Chris wound his window back up and turned his attention to the road. Feeling his eyes start to ache, Chris realized that he must be under assault from Ultra. Sure, he'd made his windows out of a diamond composite, but the truth was that they still allowed normal light through.

Even ultra-violet light like hers.

Slamming on the brakes and turning the wheel hard, Chris attempted a 180 degree turn on the interstate, which brought him to a screeching halt. He then hopped out of the car and, upon spying Ultra flying at him fast, opened up with his laser pistol. It took him five shots, but at last one of them hit the angry mutant energy caster, the pain knocking her to the ground - not far from where her twin brother crashed and burned, in fact.

Walking towards her, Chris pointed the gun at the woman's head. "I didn't want a fight with you, woman - I came here for business... with your boss, I might add. You can tell her to shove her deal, by the way. I don't care how much money she's got, I don't need to put up with this Mickey Mouse ™ crap. You come near me again, and I'll -"

Naturally, Stabbity Stuart chose the perfect moment to strike, telekinetically throwing his daggers at Chris, both of which struck him in his gun arm. "Arghghgh!"

Chris stepped back as he saw Stabbity Stuart approaching atop a commercial bus, and picked up the gun he'd dropped out of his now-useless gun arm and, instead of taking a shot at the jerk with his off hand, he simply ran back to his car. He didn't care how many knives this goon had, his car would easily be able to deflect them. Hopping in as Stabbity Stuart checked on his teammates, Chris prepared to leave... only to find that his wheels were spinning impotently.

Looking out his window, Chris noted that his car was hovering about a foot over the ground, and that he wasn't going anywhere. He considered reaching out with his power, and doing something terrible to the man, but Stabbity Stuart got the drop on him by flinging his car up into the air - about twenty feet! Chris braced himself as his ride bounced into the ground, glad he'd put his seat belt on. He was glad because Stabbity Stuart wasn't nearly done with him.

Smashing him to and fro with his mind, Chris was rattled and jostled as his indestructible car was bounced off every other vehicle on the road, which naturally caused an even larger mess of things than his brawl with the other two mutants. Dizzy and whiplashed when the assault finally stopped, Chris watched helplessly as Stabbity Stuart approached, even more helplessly as the man opened the car door with his mind.

"Nice car, chief. I think I'll take it."

Flung onto the ground by Stabbity Stuart's mind, Chris reached into his pocket for his other weapon.

"Ooh, a flash light? That's a good one. Take your best shot, buddy. I want you to at least give it the ol' college try before I pulp your brain there."

Well, the guy DID ask for it, so Chris flipped on the device. It wasn't a flash light though, oh no. It was his laser sword, gained through a deal with some criminal way back in exchange for a ton of iridium. Before Stabbity Stuart could react to this, Chris hacked the man's legs out from under him. Knowing that his mind was the man's most dangerous weapon, Chris prepared to chop his head off as well, but was stopped by a female voice - one he'd heard on the phone before.

"Wait."

Cringing beneath him and quickly going into shock, Stabbity Stuart looked up to see Fascisma floating over him. She'd apparently picked up some kind of high tech hovering platform from somewhere, and had used it to follow along. He was really hoping that Fascisma could stop Chris there, 'cause he couldn't seem to focus his mind enough to do the jerk in. The unrelenting, burning pain from the stumps that were his legs were preventing that, oddly.

"Why should I? I came here in good faith and your goons try to kill me. Twice! Why shouldn't I hack these bozos up and be done with them? And you?" Glowering at the villainess, Chris waited for her to make an offensive move, but was pleasantly surprised when she didn't; he'd really had enough for one day, you know, and the last thing he wanted to do was have to take down a fourth mutant. Much less, well, deal with them permanently.

"Because I'm here to apologize for them? These guys mean well, they really do, but they're blinded by the whole 'mutant pride above all else' thing. I'll call them off and keep them off of your back if you don't kill them outright. As much as they cause me grief, I need every mutant I can get my hands on. I imagine it's safe to assume you won't join us of course, but I'd hate to have to replace all three of them. What do you say?"

Chris looked at the woman, and had a hard time resisting the rather sincere sounding villainess - even if she was a villainess. "Well..."

Before he could react, Fascisma planted a big kiss on Chris, as well as a rather soft, squishy hug. This sort of derailed his violent state of mind, just enough for Fascisma to sneak a grin in at him. "Thank you! That really, really means a lot to me, Mister Matter." Chris couldn't help but notice how sweetly she said his name. "Now... would it still be possible to conduct our original business together? Clearly this lot won't be an impediment to that any longer..."

***

"So, did you?"

Chris raised an eyebrow. "Did I what?"

"Did you 'do business' with Fascisma?"

Chris scowled at Penny, raising a second eyebrow for good measure. "In a professional manner, yes. Not in the way you describe, that's for sure. She's married!"

"To a whack job robot super-genius."

"Well, that's kind of a good reason NOT to get wet and sticky with someone, now, isn't it? In case their HUSBAND sics an army of ROBOTS on you?"

"I suppose... but you know, that's the kind of guy that tends to not pay too much attention to the wifey. Nudge nudge."

Chris just sighed at this, and chugged the rest of his Tea. He wasn't sure why he was a magnet for red-headed trouble-makers. Or maybe it was the other way around? "You are incorrigible, Pincer Penny!"

Grinning widely, Penny nodded and winked at Chris. "Yep!"

***

Join us next month or so when we meet Lisa Polanski, a local (oddly) who's set up her mercenary shop here in town. Though she used to be normal, she was built into a cyborg body against her will by the jerks at the Pastordyne Corporation, and she's doing her best to get even with them. But she'll be chilling in the Club Invertebrate, and likely more than happy to ramble and fume her tale of woe and rage at you. Drop in to check it out!

(That should do for a 'preview', shouldn't it?)

***

Alcoholic Anthologies from the Club Invertebrate #3: Mister Matter Matters, Mister!
© 2009. 2012 Denny Hill 2, All rights reserved and so forth.

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