Now that Martialla’s dumb niece has been rescued, it’s on to the next order of business – winning the Madripoor annual super being super fight to the super death for charity. As I’m sure you remember, the deal with the Shadow Lords is that we win the tournament and they give us Maggie. I know the Wildman is in the thing. Mr. X of course. The Challenger probably would have been a contender if I hadn’t shattered his shinbones like walnut shells. I’m pretty sure there is a guy called the Contender that’s here for it. I should probably find out who all is in this thing.
If we’re being honest, and I feel that we are, I wasn’t thinking about it much because I was expecting that Blue would do it. Unfortunately he said that he can’t win the thing. He said that he could probably survive a match but he didn’t think he could win. In particular, he said that he would never be able to defeat Mr. X, who’s always in the finals since the whole thing is just kind of his private vanity project. Blue didn’t think he could even make it out of the first round.
Martialla agreed with him. As they tell it, his gimmick is that he reads your mind while you fight so he knows what you’re going to do and can avoid or block all your attacks. I guess that’s why I was able to catch him with his pants down, so to speak, because of my brain thing.
Speaking of pants being down, since Blue was out of the running I decided that it was time to pay a visit to the Star-Spangled Man with the Can (of beer). He’s a super soldier (of sorts) and I think he has the same thing like me where he’s in constant pain from headaches so maybe that means he’s immune to mind stuff too. If he’s still pissed about me sticking him with the bill at that restaurant, I’ll just sleep with him again and smooth that all over. I’m wearing deodorant now so if he thought I was something before? Wee-ow! Buckle up buddy!
Regardless, I’m sure he’ll be super pumped to get into a deathmatch tournament for me.
The door to Frank’s (or was it Fred? Philip?) small mental hospital-esque apartment was ajar, so I walked in. When I saw him spread eagle fully nude on his bed my first thought was “how did he know I was coming?” When I saw that there was a second pair of legs underneath his, my next thought was “Whoa, what kind of sex position is that? Seems very awkward.” When I noticed that there was an arm around his throat and his face was a deep scary purple, I still wasn’t entirely convinced that it wasn’t a sex thing until a woman’s face popped out from behind his head and locked eyes with me.
Her voice was that of a waitress who’s got a few too many people seated in her area, mildly harried but dealing with it “I’ll be with you in a minute honey.”
It was at that point that I realized I had walked in not on some gross rough-type sex but rather a murder attempt. I jumped on the pile (not like that) and grabbed her arm. I was able to pull it off him, but it wasn’t easy. It was like getting a rusty well pump going out on the farm. She was strong. Not as strong as me, but stronger than any normal person should be. Strong enough that she was able to break my grasp and slither out from under Felix (Steve? Eddy?) without too much trouble. I scrambled off the bed and got some distance myself.
She was a strawberry blonde and she was barely over five feet tall, which was exacerbated by the kind of fighting crouch she was in – I felt like I was towering over her. I see boxers doing that sometimes too. Why is getting low like that a good idea? Don’t you want the high ground? Squatting down like that seems like a good way to get blasted in the face. Maybe it’s harder to get knocked over that way? She was dressed like a real square. She looked like she should have been working in accounts payable at the phone company rather than attempted murdering a former super-soldier. I suppose that’s smart. If you’re going to be an assassin, it probably makes a lot more sense to be inconspicuous than to wear a black leather suit with a target icon on the forehead.
She straightened up when she saw that I wasn’t mirroring her with a fighting stance “That’s a hell of a grip you have there, you must be Ela. What a happy coincidence, I was going to come find you next.”
I raised an eyebrow “And you are?”
She grinned “I’m the new model” she pointed at Flynn’s (Greg? Michael?) unconscious form laying limply on the bed “That’s your model T over there, I don’t know what the hell you are, some concept car that never made it to the production line because of massive design flaws” She ran her hands over her own body like a loon “And then there’s me, the brand-new top of the line fully loaded Cadillac Fleetwood Brougham.”
“Give me a second, I’m sure I can come up with some witty response about loads or you being full of something.”
She laughed “Oh I like you, we could have had some fun back home, I bet. Head out for a few drinks, drive the guys crazy, have a good old time – I’ll try not to mess up your face, not that it will matter for long anyway.”
Fred-Frank’s apartment was bare, very Spartan, but there was some kind of stupid martial arts weapon on the wall – it was like a spear but there were a bunch of other stupid blades and little cords on it and shit. I hurled that at Shorty, she ducked, but that was just a distraction anyway. While she was going low under the spear-thing I kicked a footlocker at her that smacked her across the shins. She didn’t fall but she stumbled enough that I got a hold of her and hurled her face-first into the sink, which shattered like it had been hit with a wrecking ball. She pushed herself off the wall and back to her feet calmly – she wasn’t even cut from all the broken porcelain, my attack looked to be about as effective as a soap opera slap.
She started kind of bounce-dancing on the balls of her feet “Oh yeah, I like you, I like you a lot.”
A wise man – well no, not a wise man just a man – said once “If you haven’t been close to supermen, you don’t understand what it’s like to fight them. Even when you’ve got powers yourself, the predominant feeling is shock. The forces are out of human scale, and your nervous system doesn’t know how to deal with it. It’s like being in a car accident, over and over again.” He said something like that anyway. Aside from being sexist, superPEOPLE thank you, it’s completely accurate.
I really need to learn how to fight. I feel like they covered this in Superman once. He’s just a dumb dirty farmboy from Kansas, he actually doesn’t know anything about fisticuffs. He’s just so strong that normally it doesn’t matter. I feel like he ran into someone as strong as him and got beat down and Wonder Woman had to save his butt because she’s actually a trained warrior. I wonder who beat up Superman. Probably Anti-Superman or a Super-Ape or something stupid like that. Comic book writers are morons.