I went to church with my parents when I was younger. I liked getting dressed up but that was about all I liked about it. Church was boring and there never seemed to be any kids there my age no matter what age I was. Not that I could have talked to them anyway. You just had to sit there for what seemed like half a day while a guy talked about stuff that happened thousands of years ago. I’ve heard about girls fainting in church and no one knows why. I know why – they’re bored and they just want to get out of there.
I stopped going sometime around thirteen or fourteen. Like many things with my parents, we all just accepted that we were happier going our separate ways. Religion is a big deal in the US, things are more casual in the CS. I suppose because of all the different cultures mixing together there. Sometimes I tell people I’m a Buddhist but it’s just to seem cool. If we’re being honest, and I feel that we are, I have no idea what the tenants of Buddhism actually are. I should probably stop doing that. It’s disrespectful, I now realize.
I suppose I believe in God, but it’s not something I really think about. I’m sure the angry flying Aussie thinks about it a lot. And unless I miss my mark, which I rarely do, I think it’s because he’s afraid. Not of Hell or God or anything, but of himself. He’s afraid of the decisions he makes on his own so he wants someone else to tell him what to do. Not saying that this is what all religious people do, but I’m sure it’s what he’s doing. Turning frat boys into chunky mustard is a lot easier when you think that the creator of the entire universe wants you to do it.
The good news is it’s not hard to feign religion. I don’t feel great about it, but it got the Scarlet Pope off my back. We prayed together (well he was praying, thankfully he doesn’t know French) and then we were fast friends. I gave him back his robo-helmet and he told me that before some dynamic and stunningly attractive female hero took his suit offline with her mighty might, he had scanned the tunnels under the clinic. He made some comment about teaming up, but I could tell he was just being polite. I let us both off the hook and told him I felt that God had another plan for him. Having that lunatic on the team sounds like a terrible idea. I wished him good luck repairing his tool of justice. He said he didn’t need luck, but he looked a little worried when he said it.
I went back into the clinic and ripped up the walls looking for secret escape hatches to hidden tunnels, but I had no luck. I smashed a hole in the floor but that just led to the basement. I was looking around down there when I heard footsteps up above. Coming back upstairs, I saw Dr. Handsome examining the damage to his clinic in dismay. He gave me an angry look.
“What did you do to my clinic?!”
“Pretty sure it was like this when I got here.”
“Get out of here!”
“What the hell happened? I was outside for like three minutes and when I come back everyone is gone.”
He crossed his arms “You are no longer welcome here, please leave.”
“Just tell me what happened man.”
He gestured imperiously “Go.”
I picked up some fancy electronic boxy medical thing and crushed it like a crumbly muffin – slicing the shit out of my hands in the process, I need to start remembering to pull things apart instead of smashing them together.
His eyes bulged in outrage “Do you know who I work for?!”
I snorted “Let me guess, a crime boss of some kind? With a gang of ruthless thugs and some super people assassins? Once the bridge has already been burned there’s no harm in pissing on it.”
“It’s an expression.”
“Well I’ve never heard it.”
Like that was our big point of contention at the moment. After I kicked a hole in some other big beeping box medical thing on wheels, he told me that while everyone’s attention was on the flying Aussie robot out front, someone else took advantage of that distraction to finish the job. He said that Elvis was dead, the victim of some manner of fast-acting toxin. The assassin then took one of the nurses hostage and there was a slow walking standoff as Blue, Martialla, and LBK followed him out of the clinic onto the street behind the building.
“What happened then?”
He scowled, which somehow made him even more handsome “I’m certain I have no idea, I didn’t follow your degenerate friends.”
“Because you were hiding in the tunnels?”
“Tunnels? What tunnels? I was in my panic room.”
“What about the other nurses? What happened to them?”
He shrugged “I don’t know, maybe they ran off, nurses aren’t hard to replace.”
“You’re a real humanitarian aren’t you? Is there any particular reason I shouldn’t squeeze your hands until your bones come out in a white paste the consistency of fondue?”
“You’re the one who brought this trouble into my clinic and I’m guessing now will not even pay me for the time nor the damage you’ve done. You’re the one that should be punished. And I assure you, madam, that you will be soon enough.”