Proper Villains


by Chance Durant



My eyes wandered up to the clock. Fifteen minutes before the bank closed and six more people in line in front of me. With a sigh, I reached and grabbed a deposit slip and glanced at the poster on the wall. “Support Your Local Heroes,” popped out from the top in bright blue letters, with a bloke in blue trakkies and a mask holding a moronic thumbs-up smiling out at the audience in general. I rubbed my eyes and thought to myself, Daniel. It’s hard to be a proper villain.

Sure, you look at the blue trackie in the poster, and of course we should support him right? It’s not like he’s wearing a mask because if you knew that the guy had actual problems and issues, you might not offer over 2% of your paycheck for the Hero Retirement Fund? Did you ever wonder what makes a guy take up a trakkie and throw himself in danger’s way? I guarantee it isn’t a full ride scholarship or a trust fund.

These guys get pensions and a carte blanche to put the boots to anyone that’s not a square peg. Does that sound like a group of stable individuals? And when they need help what happens? Some billionaire somewhere decides it’s “Adopt a Trakkie” week and decides they need a suit of flying armor complete with rockets and machine guns.

No matter what’s going on, the Face always gets cast as the underdog. Take a look at that Spider Bloke. Everywhere he goes, everyone fawns over how he’s the resident David in a world of Goliaths. The spunk can benchpress a dumptruck for fun and fights guys less stable than Japanese power plants who usually have reasonable gripes against the government. Then, because they had to do something desperate, they end up with some sort of power that can be switched off like a light if you have unpainted aluminum or some other ridiculous nonsense. Two of his toughest enemies are walking meatsacks for goo aliens and how can you take them out? Fire and loud noises. You don’t have to fight them, you just have to wait for the bloody Fourth of July and bring a mop.

And yet, every time he shows up, he’s booked as the Heroic Arachnid throwing down with the big unstoppable monster. Why is that? Because the guy he’s fighting has three brain cells to rub together and won’t drop his gun when the trakkie flexes his pecks? Believe me, I’ve known my share of hooligans and more than not they got their reasons for what they do.

Take myself for example. I came from a good family. Arms dealers, and not your Lord of War types. We designed weapons, top-shelf only.  I never bothered with the University. I learned engineering in the lab working on protonic lasers and multi-kilometer rifles.

Turns out my mum’s little boy is a bit of Mutie and I can see kinetic energy waves.  The family business was going great, and when movement is visual, it makes shooting a gun easier than throwing back a longneck. So what does a good Sandgroper do? He signs up for Nasho, and ends up in the TAG fighting terrorists O.S. They gave me the codename Crackshot. Anyone, anywhere, anytime for Old Oz.

And what did this patriot get for my trouble? I end up seeing my family’s tech on the News mounted on robotic private standover man for some yank inventor. Turns out the United Nations didn’t care for our prices, and took our designs through imminent domain and then flicked it on to their mates. Our business goes bankrupt and Bob’s your uncle. It didn’t exactly inspire patriotism, so I chucked a yewy and went solo.

Now I’m stuck here in line as a lady on the wrong side of three hundred pounds asks for a third time if that was the highest rate she could get on a CD and when she didn’t hear an answer she cared for, wonders aloud if the manager would feel different. Tell me that wouldn’t make you want to step outside of the system?

Face it, the trakkies got a sweet gig, and that just makes it tough on us who are out there honestly trying to make a dishonest living. Just because some people in the world  don’t feel like being walked over, we fall under the Heel role. And don’t give me the world domination bit. I’ve wondered more than once if it could actually get much worse if a few of the battlers that gave it a shot actually ended up running the planet instead of the bludgers we have now.

And if you get out of line what do you have to deal with? If you get around the coppers, and the local trakkies, they call in the big guns. All of a sudden the Justice Squad shows up on your front door because when you’re a group of inhuman demigods what else are you going to do with your free time than put the boots to the battlers? And Heaven forbid the one of the other clubs get wind of you. More often than not, they’ll just put you in a hole.

And who do we get to work with? Do we get a super team to call up for help when  life gets too hard? Not unless you want to volunteer for the flunkie position with a six month life expectancy, or you’re a fan of minion yellow and genetic experimentation. And most of the time you find a decent group of blokes to work with, they end up at each others throats. The best we can do is try to find a group of proper villains to work with, which is bloody difficult. Do you know who I have to work with? They aren’t exactly the axis of evil.

We’ll start with Dr. Dirt. Bloke opened up working on solving world hunger. A real monster right? He was working on a super soil where people could grow enough food to feed their entire family tree with a garden that could fit in their back porch. Things were going fine until McDonald’s caught wind of it.

They sent in a few of their own heavies in and sabotaged his experiment, turning him into a walking pile of dirt. Imagine what that would do to your day? To make matters worse, no university would even look at his work after that. His research was gone, and it’s not like the guy could get a job at the mall.

He says he’s working on his research, but honestly I think the guy’s lost a few too many screws. We do our jobs, get some money, and the rest of the time he hides out in a cave watching reruns of Miercat Manor on the tele, and flinging mud at the screen whenever a hamburger commercial comes on. Personally, I like their fries, but to each their own.

Then you have Robert William Cranston a fellow mutie, but of the psychic persuasion. He demands that everyone calls him Master, but we just call him Bob. Not long ago, he was the type of bloke that you just stayed away from. With a thought, he could twist an army around his pinkie. He was on track to start a mutant rebellion, but while getting funds he ran into some bald parapalegic who apparently gave him the mental thrashing and locked up all of his psychic chops, and handed him over to the authorities.

Now he sits back, plotting his world domination, taking whatever work he can get, and working on breaking all the locks inside his own noggin. From what I gather, he wasn’t all that stable to begin with, but I doubt having your brain thrown in lockdown did much to help. Personally I think he could use a shrink, but what are you going to do? It’s not like he can get insurance.

Then you have Mags. Apparently his name is Magsolulegxintizaghiqivsz, or at least that’s the closest you can pronounce it with a human tongue. The guy is a seven-foot, four hundred pound lizard-man, no tail of course, that apparently dates back to prehistory times.

According to our resident ninja turtle, before he went to sleep, dragons were running things. All of us “primates” were slaves serving the dragons, a reptilian monarchy so to speak. One century, his boss decided to take a walkabout and leave him in charge. He sat pretty with a whip, telling all of us what for, and keeping track of his dragon’s horde. After a few decades on the throne, he went into hibernation.

When he woke up, the dragon was gone, his horde was stolen, and all the monkeys were in charge. Talk about a bad morning. Muties have a rough time fitting in to our society, which doesn’t give much hope for a half-dragon with a bloody superiority complex. Not to mention when his boss gets back from his walkabout and finds his stash gone, he’s going to be held responsible. For a dragon’s butler, I’m pretty sure that means he’s on the wrong end of a barbie. Now he’s got nothing but a scaly hide, sorcery, and a bad attitude.

And then there’s Amythest. As it turns out, Navajo Shaman’s power gets spread out through a bloodline. When you got a couple hundred witch doctors, they can do some interesting stuff, but let me tell you a joke. “Three Cherokee walked into a bar…” that’s the joke. Honestly, when did you ever see three Indians together anywhere off a rezzie? And the first ones handed the small pox blankets were the medicine men. You know how many shamans still live in Amysthest’s bloodline?

You guessed it. One. A single, solitary Indian princess, completely berko, channeling the energy of every ropeable ancestor she has. What really makes her relos mad as a cut snake is that our Amy doesn’t seem to care all that much about taking out the Yanks. She’s not exactly a freedom fighter: more of a self-serving mercenary, but it’s not like her ancestors are spoiled for choice. She’s the only game in town, so they are stuck with her.

So that’s it. One disenchanted mud monster, an unstable glory-days seeking mind-reader, A reptilian aristocrat who I am fairly certain is planning on having me for a meal in a few weeks, and a pissed off Pocahontas with a few hundred nagging rellies, and yours truly. A bunch of no-hopers, not one a full quid anymore. The sad part: this is the best crew I’ve ever worked with. 

Finally I reached the front of the line. A petite brunette asked, “Hello sir. May I help you.”

I smiled, and screamed, “OPEN THE VAULT!!!!” and promptly pulled too pistols. Before her eyes managed to do more than go wide, I placed two bullets in her chest and turned turned to the next teller.

“Too long Sheila! You, open the vault!” and I hopped the counter. She hesitated, bad move. Two more shots in the chest. A bright young bloke in a spiffy blue jacket turned to bolt for the door. I never even looked away from the third teller as I shot the guy through the head.

“Last chance. Vault now!” The teller turned with a purpose and started punching in keys. With a click the vault opened. “Much abliged,” I said, and dropped two more shots into the last teller’s chest, and I glanced at my watch. “7 seconds. Nice.”

Outside in a large white van, an oversized Doctor Dirt muttered, “Did that psychopath just shoot the teller? I thought you talked to him, Bob.”

“I did. He told me not to ‘chuck a wobbly’ and that he wouldn’t do this again.”

“Stupid primates,” grumbled Mags as he threw the van door open.

Amythest let out a sigh as she threw up an illusion, making the bank look empty. “Here we go again.”