Issue One, The Beginning Begins at the End but the End is just the Beginning!
“The city is in chaos and the question upon everyone’s mind is this, Where is The Flying Squirrel? The masked hero has been the unsung protector of Cerulean City for the past ten years. His exploits and his tireless pursuit of justice have become the stuff of legend. But now, in the city’s darkest hour, as the Klown terrorizes with his murderous spree. The Flying Squirrel has been MIA. The Mayor and Police Commissioner held a joint press conference this afternoon. A warning to our viewers, this footage is not for the faint of heart.” The overly gorgeous newswoman averts her eyes as the footage plays on the oversized screen behind her.
The camera pans across a large crowd of gatherers in front of City Hall. The large marble steps are loaded with police officers looking about nervously. A small podium at the center of the landing above the stands hold twelve or so microphones. The Mayor, an overweight middle aged man in an expensive suit and bowler hat approaches the podium. Behind him in a sweat stained button down shirt with his trademark cigar chomped between his teeth below a luxurious mustache stand the Commissioner.
The Mayor taps the microphone array and clears his throat. The crowd of reporters and protestors begin shouting as he raised his hands for silence. His deep voice rings out. “Silence! Silence! We understand your anger and fear. The Klown has done his best to sow chaos throughout our beloved town. But we are here to assure you that his reign of violence will end!”
His words do little to assuage the angry mob in front of him. The screaming grows louder, a cacophony of venom. But one question bleeds through. Where is The Flying Squirrel?
The Commissioner looks ready to bite through his cigar as he takes over the podium. “The Klown will be stopped, you have out guarantee on that. The Flying Squirrel is missing but we can only presume he is working on a plan to stop the madman as we speak…”
Gunfire erupts and the scene turns gruesome. Drones swarm from out of view and in a matter of moments the pristine marble steps are covered with bodies and blood. Screams as the crowd panics and the flying drones turn as one and begin to shoot them as well. A spray of blood erupts and the yelling goes from panicked to pained. The drones eventually stop as the camera continues filming.
The Klown comes dancing up the blood slicked stairs. His brightly colored outfit and matching duffel bag so out of place in carnage. He reaches down and grabs the Mayor’s bowler and sets it jauntily on his head. Behind the podium the camera focuses in on his white painted face with the smile painted in bright blue. “Is this thing on?” he taps the microphone in the center and let’s out an uproarious laugh. “Dear Citizens of Cerulean City. I have grave news for you this sad day.”
He reaches down into the duffel bag and holds up the cowl of The Flying Squirrel with the vigilante’s head still inside. As he begins to speak he uses his free hand to move the lips of the decapitated thing. “I am afraid the Klown has gotten ahead of me this time dear people. Now the city belongs to him!”
I reach up and shut off the television, ignoring the yells from the other people sitting at the bar. Fuck them. I cannot stand to watch another second of it. Every life lost there for no reason. Because a homicidal asshole painted like a clown wanted to prove a point. Also. Because it was all my fault.
It started two months ago.
I was driving down the highway home from work. Another long day in the factory barely making enough money to pay to live. Another shit day in the same grind as always. Cerulean City has always been a cesspool of crime. It only got worse when the masked bastards showed up. If it was rough before it became a full torn war after. One family controlled nearly eight seven percent of the wealth. The rest of us worked for that family in way or another. They got richer as we got buried farther and farther down in debt.
And here I sat. Stuck in traffic in the middle of Blaine Highway. Exhausted from another twelve hours shift of mandatory overtime at the factory. You’d think all the twelve hours shifts would make life less overbearing. Ha. You’d think. Instead the government takes a bigger slice of the money and somehow all I get is more tired. More behind the eight ball. And I’m stuck in traffic when all I want is a beer and shot of whiskey. To forget how insufferable this life is. Where we survive instead of live.
I turn on the radio. The all news station does traffic every fifteen minutes at rush hour. I am just hoping for a bright spot in this ever piling shit show. I sit back and see my reflection in the rearview mirror. Deep circles under my eyes, three days growth on my face and wrinkles that make me look ten years older than I am. My eyes were once bright green with streaks of brown. Now they were muted and muddy brown. No more sparkle to them as one day they just turned flat and lifeless. Like a lizard.
“Traffic is fully stopped on the R.A.B. Highway from downtown all the way up past city limits this evening. Our helicopters are live on the scene. Mary Jo, what are you seeing out there?”
“It is a mess put here River. An absolute mess of gridlock caused by the antics of the villain, Hilltop Mush. After a failed attempt at robbing the Cerulean City Museum of Science and Industry this afternoon, he and his gang of criminals have been in a standoff with the police in the center of the highway itself. Cars have been flipped over and the flare of gunfire fills the air. Bodies of both police officers and the Mush’s own gang litter the road. Again, they are locked in a deadly stand off that doesn’t seem to have an end.”
“That is horrific, Mary Jo. We will check back in with you in fifteen minutes. Our thoughts and prayers to those fallen officers.”
“Indeed River. Live from Cerulean City’s air, this has been Mary Jo McConnell with you traffic update.”
“Thanks Mary Jo. Coming up, could your mail be making you sick? A shocking discovery from the Cerulean Post Office may give us the answer to that question and more. But first a message from Cavity Cola, the sponsor for this hour of news.”
I turn the radio off with a snap and the knob pops off and onto the floor board. Just fucking great. Another heist gone bad. I could be sitting here the rest of the night until this gets cleared up. I frantically reach down to find the cheap plastic piece of shit. Suddenly I feel the world shake around me. The hulu girl on my dash is swaying like crazy as I give furtive look around me. I see people in the cars around me pointing into the air and getting out of their cars. I look up but don’t see anything at all except the rapidly darkening sky.
“Why not?” I mutter to myself and hop out as well.
It doesn’t take long to see the what a the excitement is about. A red and blue streak races across the sky. The green trails of laser fire follows, always right behind it. I strained to make out what is happening. The people around me are talking and hear snatches of hushed words. I listen as I watch and figure out they are saying it’s The Captain. That’s when I realize that is exactly what I see.
The Captain is the resident hero of Megalonia, sister city to Cerulean City. If CC is the ghetto, Megalonia is the upper class district. We got stuck with The Flying Squirrel, a vigilante with gadgets. They got the blonde haired, blue eyes super being. Because of course they did. The running joke was that if The Captain had come to Cerulean City first he would have been a criminal kingpin. Instead he was the darling of the news across the country. Leader de facto of the Club, the superhero team that took it upon themselves to police the planet.
He darted through the air, strafing the ground with yellow beams that shoot out of his eyes. I stood with my mouth open, like the rest of the crowd around me, gaping at the spectacle he made. I saw a trail of smoke blossom from the ground and make it’s way towards The Captain. As he dodged it doggedly kept it’s pursuit. “That must be one of those biolocked missiles Drex Corp uses,” I said bemusedly.
It was the talk of the news the last couple weeks. Darryl Drex was one of the richest men in Megalonia. He also happened to be one of the most outspoken critics of The Captain. It had won him few friends but he was so far removed from the normal person it didn’t matter. He disliked The Captain because he was an alien and whether he chose to admit it or not, the hero of his city. He made armaments for the day he predicted when The Captain went rogue. He didn’t sell them that way but no one believed they were made for any other reason. It seemed suspicious that whenever he made a new weapon to stop The Captain, a shipment was always stolen and ended up in the hands of a super villain. The news didn’t ever seem to put two and two together but I had knack for the finer details and seeing patterns.
I watched as The Captain flew in tight patterns across the sky. He still managed to spray the ground with his yellow beams as the missile slowly gained ground on him. Later, when I saw the replay on the news at the bar I would know exactly what happened. Getting tired of dodging the missile, The Captain turned and punched the missile directly on the warhead. He hit exactly in the right spot to destroy the mechanism that made it detonate. However, he did not damage it enough to have it flame out or self destruct. As I watched he was a blur that collided with the projectile. Suddenly everyone around me was screaming. The missile was headed right for us. At that point we were not aware of what he had done to it. All we saw was a missile flying at great speed directly where we stood staring. Everyone scattered as it grew larger and larger. The thing was easily the size of a car. Onlookers threw themselves off the overpass in fear. I just stood and accepted my fate. I always figured I would go out somewhat like this.
The heat from it’s exhaust flared above us and singed the top of my Cerulean Sluggers ball cap. It hit the ground and I mouthed a prayer to whatever God happened to be listening. There was a crash and I awaited the ball of heat to envelop me. After a few minutes I turned to see smoke rising from where it had hit but that was all. Everyone that hadn’t chosen free fall death let out a cheer. A man I had never met wrapped his arms around me and we jumped for joy at our near death moment together. The midair spectacle ended soon after and The Captain flew over us, an explosion of sound as he broke the sound barrier. We cheered again and made our ways back to our cars. Most of us did. I made my way back to where the missile had landed on what used to be my car but was now a pile of scrap.
“Of course,” was all I could manage to say. I had just mailed the last payment to the bank three days prior.
“Thank God for insurance,” the man who had hugged me said as he saw me staring at my former vehicle. “Hop in, I’ll take you home so you can call a wrecker.”
This was how it began.
“Yes. I am positive it was The Captain that punched the missile that destroyed my car. No! Do not transfer me again! I just want to file the paperwork and get my check. I need to get a new car. I’m burning through my sick days stuck at home with no way to get to work,” I was to the point of screaming or crying as I listened to the agent on the phone explain I did not have the proper plan for acts of super heroism or super terrorism as needed to get a settlement. “And what exactly am I supposed to do then? Ask The Captain to pay for my vehicle? Hello? Hello?”
This was the conversation that led to me sending a letter to the office of The Captain, explaining my predicament.
Dear Mr. The Captain sir,
Good day. I hope this letter finds you well. My name is Mark Minnow. Please see attached police paperwork for a full explanation of the issues I am facing. Your battle with Hilltop Mush and his gang of criminals the other day over Blaine Highway led to the accidental destruction of my only means of transportation. Again, if you refer to the attached report you will see this is not a scam or scheme, but my reaching out in hopes you can help. My insurance will not do anything to help me. I know this a stretch and perhaps a leap of faith, but I am hoping you may give some assistance to me in this time of need. I don’t believe your intention was to destroy my vehicle out of the hundreds on the highway that evening. But anything you can do to help, even if it is just getting in touch with a dealership for me and helping explain my situation would be much appreciated.
Thank you, your fan and admirer,
Three days later I received a headshot of The Captain and a form letter.
Without fans like you, The Captain would just be a regular lone survivor of a destroyed planet millions of light years from home. It is your encouragement and kind words that keeps him flying around the globe and stopping evil doers.
Your fan as well,
I read it three times in disbelief. His smug face smiling at me in black and white. As if I was a casting director and he was looking for a part in the movie about how he destroyed my car and subsequently my life. I wrote a very strongly worded letter and addressed it to the fan club and The Captain’s team of lawyers demanding recompense for my car.
I tried to take the bus to work the next day. Three exchanges into the ride and some new costumed villain named Ogre or something hijacked it. I spent the next six hours with a bomb strapped to my chest as she played a game of cat and mouse with The Flying Squirrel. It was not as exciting as it sounds. The bomb was secured with chains and Velcro that chafed my neck raw. I’m almost one hundred percent sure that they were not bombs at all, just kitchen timers attached to blocks of play doh. It ended up being me and five others with these contraptions hanging from our necks standing in by the windows of the bus as Ogre cackled maniacally and shouted into a megaphone. She clearly had no clue what she was doing and I felt bad for her. A seven foot tall, five hundred pound woman with green skin probably had it pretty hard. Potential employers would see her appearance as detrimental. I imagine she was a low level enforcer for one of the big criminals in town just trying to make a name for herself. It was tough everywhere in the city to make ends meet.
After five hours of Ogre driving slowly and screaming while the police maintained a safe a distance behind us, we were all a little sick of the whole ordeal. She made her first mistake taking us through a drive thru at a Wacky Burger. The police tried to block the parking lot as we waited for our food but she just slowly pushed the bus through the stopped cars. Then we took a scenic drive through the more run down sections of town as we ate. Turns out Ogre has low blood sugar and really needed a burger and large shake to maintain the energy to yell nonsense and drive. I just stood stoically with mustard on my cheek, watching the lights flash on the bomb as it bounced on my chest with every pothole hit.
Finally, Flying Squirrel came bursting onto the scene in his SquirrelMobile. It was a shiny black armored car with machine guns mounted to the hood. He fired some kind of bolo from the grill of his car that wrapped around the rear axle of the bus and caused it to seize up. I swear the weighted balls on the bolo looked like polished acorns. It was ridiculous but effective. Ogre threatened to blow us all up if he came any closer as she tried to finish her shake. I watched in a weird state of bored excitement as he ejected from his car into the air. Then he snapped his arms out and the flappy wing like membranes from ankle to forearm caught the breeze. He lazily circled down towards us as she screamed and then punched her straight in the mouth. We let out an anemic cheer at our rescue as he boarded the bus and disarmed the ‘bombs’. He really just unfastened the Velcro straps and cut the red wires. I kept staring at him as he did. There was something familiar about his face, or at least the part showing from under his cowl. I tried to ask him to contact The Captain for me about my car but he just gave me a glare before hopping into the SquirrelMobile and racing off.
When I got home that evening the flashing red light on my answering machine alerted me to the message that I was terminated for a no call no show at the factory. I tried calling and explaining my case to my now former boss, even had him turn on the television to see me standing on the sidewalk with a bomb blinking angrily. He didn’t care. I wasn’t the first to nearly get blown up on the way to work. But it was up to me to call and explain the situation. From the bus I suppose. My phone at home doesn’t have a cord long enough to stretch across the city and I couldn’t see Ogre letting me use a payphone. He seemed to think those were just excuses.
I didn’t know if I should scream or cry or laugh as I hung up. So I chose the safest route. I went to the local bar to get shitty drunk. Then whichever I chose would be justified and not the actions of a man gone insane. It was only a few blocks to walk. After the last couple days I couldn’t imagine things could get worse.
Unemployed, without a car, and nearly blown up twice seemed to be rock bottom. It would be. Anywhere that wasn’t Cerulean City. Thirty two years in this pit and the worse that had ever happened was getting mugged five or six times. That was below the average. Way below. I knew guys that got mugged once a month. One that was mugged during a mugging. It amazed my friends and coworkers because I was known for my big mouth. This was just a string of bad luck. It had to get better. I couldn’t imagine a way it would get worse.
I was wrong.
Coming soon, Issue Two of Super Dick! Will our hero get his insurance settlement? Will he find a job? Just how drunk will he get when he enters the bar? Can things really get worse?*
* Editor’s note (No! No! Nearly Blind! Yes! Much Worse!)
Stay tuned here, Same Bad Time, Same Bad Channel!