“Should I use the Psionic Gauntlet? The Shudderer?”
No, thought Johnny, the Shudderer was probably a bad idea. There’s a reason only one exists: it scans your brainwaves to recreate the sound of your parents having sex. It’s a bit too cruel for this kind of fight. He wanted something a bit more clever, hard to use.
He was overwhelmed with choices. Not only did Johnny know more about generating illusions than most, he was an avid collector of what he called “weird shit”. Rare scientific oddities, devices that shouldn’t exist, that sort of thing. Johnny had too many jumbling around in his head – he was simply too excited!
On the other side of the bank, Johnny wasn’t doing as good.
As her hand went through Total Boss’ head, she felt bad. It’s not polite to lie.
“I was afraid this wouldn’t be fair fight. “
“I’m glad there’s more of you.”
When the smoke cleared a whole crowd of cyborgs was standing there. Drill heads, people with spider feet, there was even a cybergrandma. Chunky Ben, despite being a huge asshole, was very popular on social media and maintained a high traffic community of cyborgs and rogue military robots. This made Attie very relieved.
When Total Boss punched itself in the face a twinge of sympathy came over the battle robot. Is this what getting punched felt like? Total Boss pictured all of the poor androids, fightbots, and mechanical dogs it spent entire Sunday afternoons beating to scrap with its massive fists. This wouldn’t do. Sympathy cards had to be sent out. After crushing these two humans to death, that is.
“Didn’t even wait for me to get up? How rude.”
This was gonna be great.
“I took your advice and called in all my friends. Have fun being dead, fuckchumps.”
Chunky Ben had to hack into a quipnet in order to come up with something this witty. The drain on his system caused his mechanical eye to start swiveling. It was worth it, shouted his fans. Ben was truly grateful to be a part of such a giving community.
“Good news! I’m not bored now.”
“I MAKE PLAYLIST FROM SOUND OF YOUR BREAKING BONES.”
TOTAL BOSS HATE SMALL, thought Total Boss. HATE SMALL SO BIG. TOTAL BOSS VERY BIG. TOO BIG FOR SMALL. TOO BIG TO THINK IN LOWER CASE.
Through the smoke, Johnny and Attie heard a rumbling. It was like the sound of thunder, but how an ant might hear it. How a puddle might feel dubstep.
“I know. But-“
And then the wall behind them exploded.
“That’s it – you’re bored? We’re stopping a bank robbery! This is an adventure!”
It was hard for Attie to relate, since foiling bank robberies was one of her favorite activities. Last time she hit a guy so hard it shattered every window in the building. She made it her ringtone.
“I’m not being mind controlled. Or poisoned. Wait – is boredom a poison?”
At least Johnny thought it was. Worse than getting set on fire, he could say that for sure. But not worse than smelling like the inside of a cyborg’s ribcage. At least this one didn’t have any organs, he was thankful for that.
“Fight it, Johnny! Remember who you are! I’ll find the antidote for this mind control poison, but you need to hold on! “
Attie was perplexed. There was no visible headgear or spirals about, so it didn’t look like he was being hypnotized at all. Of course – this was obviously the work of some kind of super villain! Or maybe it was some sort of brain eating crab, she wondered. Those exist, right?
“Um, hey Attie. How you doing?”
Johnny wanted to say a lot of other things, but you never sass someone after they’ve pulled you through a man’s chest. The bank’s storage room smelt awful, filled with micro-dust and dead nanites floating through the air.
As Attie’s hand clutched around Johnny’s collar he realized today was probably not going to be much fun.
“How about you-aw, come on Attie.”
“Listen, no one likes being ordered around, but can you try a little harder? Don’t you have a gang? Can we get them in here?”
Ben was so furious he couldn’t speak. This isn’t how today is supposed to go. His Wittybantr generator was being outwitted, his Punchatronic Aligner was swinging wildly. The voices in his head were thirsty for blood, for their favorite cool dude to kick the shit out of this assfuckdickcrap. Back against the wall, Ben charged up his power move: a punch to the face.
Inside, Johnny danced around Chunky Ben’s punches using tricks and technology, but internally he was starting to get frustrated. The description said this would be “pretty hard” for his Problemsolver rank, but it felt like all the others he’d seen. Maybe, thought Johnny, this guy was holding back for some reason?
“Alright, move along, there’s nothing to see here unless you’re a premium subscriber.”
“What’s taking so long?”
Mind control. Attie felt it in her triceps. This was not a normal routine for them. If this was normal, Johnny would have signaled her five minutes ago. At this second she’d be roughing everyone up a bit. Five minutes would pass and she’d hit someone with a safe. No, this was definitely not normal, and the answer had to be mind control. She was certain. Maybe someone’s got a mindgun in there, she thought. Time to investigate.