I’ll pick back up with the Elapocalypse next week for anyone paying attention. The Super Ela storyline has been my favorite to write so far, it’s too bad she suddenly died. One of the 8-17 ideas I have for the future, assuming I don’t get bored of this blog, is doing another version of that. I had the urge to write a possible preview of what that might be.
When I got home, Mythandria was stretched out on my couch on her side idly playing some game on my tablet. Like she always is. She was wearing her magic metal monokini thing. Like she always is. As far as I know, she only ever took it off to shower and she doesn’t even do that anymore. She’s a gorgeous being, truly and indisputably she is, but I’ve come to loathe the sight of her body. You see all that skin every day, day after day, and it starts to wear on you. I wonder if the same thing happens to security guards in a museum. After you’ve looked at Michelangelo’s David hanging dong in your face for two hundred days in the row, can you still appreciate it or do you wish you had a sledgehammer? She would be a little more gorgeous if not for the trail of Flamin’ Hot Cheeto dust on her smooth hairless belly and the smear of chocolate on her cheek (or maybe BBQ sauce) but that’s par for the course these days.
Zamphour Santraginean was sitting in my chair watching my TV. Like he often is. His current appearance was that of Brad Pitt. Like it often is. I hate when he does that. You know how weird it is to come home to find Brad Pitt sitting in your crappy apartment watching the news? The worst part is his posture. I don’t know if Skrulls are natural slouchers or what his issue is, but seeing Brad Pitt slumped over like a round-shouldered loser really ruins the mystique. Same goes for a shirtless Tom Hardy struggling to open a pickle jar in a full body dry heave. When you first start living with a shape-shifting alien you think “this will be fun” but after you’ve seen Kevin James come out of the bathroom after a shower with no towel, you change your mind in a hurry.
At least Zamphour means well, he works a part time job at Sub Shack. When he remembers what day he works and what day it is. He has a real problem with earth dates. Notwithstanding telling time, he pitches in whatever money he makes. I could point out that he could make a lot more money as a celebrity impersonator or a model but I won’t, because at least he contributes. Mythandria doesn’t do jack shit but lay around in her Mithril Return of the Jedi Princess Leia outfit and play Candy Crush. She doesn’t pay rent, she doesn’t cook, she doesn’t clean, she doesn’t do anything. She might as well be a house plant. Actually no, at least a plant makes oxygen, she takes my oxygen so she’s worse than a plant. I will point out that she could make a fortune as a model or an “actress” that can’t act because she doesn’t contribute anything.
“Ghoram steel.” Mithandria’s voice is so luminous and melodic that sometimes it takes a moment to realize that it’s a person talking and not angels singing.
“What?” I said confusedly in my tiny bit-too-low voice. Sometimes on the phone people think I’m a dude.
She tapped on one of her tit-plates, which was struggling to contain her bounty in a way that looked like some kind of bondage porn you’d see online “It’s made out of Ghoram steel, not Mithril. Mithril isn’t real.”
“Stay out of my mind!”
“You were projecting, I couldn’t help it.”
“Well at least put on some fucking pants.”
She raised a naturally perfectly framed eyebrow that she never has to pluck or maintain at me “Language Ela, there’s no need for profanity.”
I snorted “How many times have you been cited for public indecency? Seventeen? Who are you to lecture me?”
“You can’t legislate the beauty of living creatures.”
“They can legislate your ass cheeks jiggling in some six-year old’s face.”
She hadn’t looked up from my tablet during this entire exchange but she gave Zamphour a look as if to say “this bitch right?” I dropped my bag and keys on the table with a sigh. What do I do? I perform standardized lab tests on colors, flavors, and fragrances used mostly in pharmaceuticals but also for food and beverage, cosmetics, home and personal care products, and specialty printing ink. For example, orange juice is stored in these giant tanks where they put so much gunk in it to keep it from going bad that it ends up having no flavor or scent. So before they sell it to you, they buy orange juice taste and smell chemicals from us and dump it in the vat so you can drink it and pretend like it’s not a glassful of organo-nitrates. It’s even more boring than it sounds. But it pays the bills. Like eighty percent of the time.
Zamphour pointed his Pitt chin at the kitchen in a very awkward ugly un-Pittlike way “There’s sausage balls on the stove.”
I walked into the kitchen “What the fuck is a sausage ball?”
“Cream cheese, ground turkey sausage, flour, shortening, shredded cheese, bake at three hundred and fifty earth degrees.”
I poked at the saucepan on the stove with a wooden spoon “You don’t have to say earth degrees, I know we’re on earth. How old was that cream cheese?”
He looked up, which is not a real gesture he does when thinking but something he does to try and mimic what humans look like when they think “Uh . . . three years.”
“A year is how long it takes the planet to make a full orbit around the sun, try again.”
He frowned in concentration, another affectation – Skrulls mostly emote with their ears I’ve come to know “Three minutes?”
I shook my head “Jesus dude, learn time.”
The sausage balls didn’t smell too bad so I dumped some in a bowl and put them in the microwave. While I was waiting, I leaned on the doorjamb and saw what Zamphour was so engrossed by on the TV. There was a big commotion downtown with tons of cop cars and reporters and choppers and barricades and the usual rigmarole.
“What’s going on?”
“Duke Eaglevane took the city council hostage. He’s got them wired up with bombs.”
I halfway laughed “The city council? Why would he take them hostage? Most people don’t even know who’s on the city council. He should have strapped a bomb to Kylie Jenner if he wanted people to pay him any attention.”
Mythandria piped in helpfully “Kylie Jenner is in Curacao, I saw it on Instagram.”
“Metroman hasn’t showed up yet?”
Zamphour shook Brad Pitt’s head, which is a real thing he does, that seems to be a universal gesture even with aliens, human-like aliens anyway “No, Galactic Contest of Champions.”
I thought about it for a moment “Oh shit, you’re right, I totally forgot that was coming up. Have they given any updates on the Five?”
“They’re across town helping the police deal with the Scorpion, bank robbery.”
I shook my head “Fucking Duke does that every time, get some chump to rob a bank across town as a distraction, he needs some new material.”
Mythandria chimed in again “Why would he change his tactics when it always works?”
“Shut up Mythandria. Have they said anything about his demands?”
Zamphour clenched his hands together nervously as he does when I bicker with Mythandria “A thousand bitcoin.”
“How much is that in actual money?”
He pointed “They have a counter in the corner, it keeps going up. The price of bitcoin has more than doubled since they started reporting on the hostage situation.”
I shook my head again “Fucking savages. Those people driving up the price are the real villains. Have they said if anyone is on the way? I feel like the Shadow Vigilantes would be next on the depth chart.”
Mythandria finally looked away from her stupid tablet game “They’re out of town.”
“How do you know that?”
“Instagram.” She held up a picture of Dr. Midnight on a beach somewhere. I don’t know who started the trend of superhero bikini pics with your mask on but I hate it, it creeps me out.
“What about Amazonia and Shan-Ra?”
Zamphour did a pretty poor job of making his Pitt-face imitate human bewilderment “Shan-ra? She’s dead.”
The microwave dinged just them “What?! Shan-ra the She-Devil is dead?! When did that happen?”
Mythandria went back to her game “Week before last. Talisman sawed her head off and left it on the steps of city hall.”
I gawked at the callousness she was displaying “You remember how good and nice and kind you were when we first met? What happened to you?”
“Earth” she said sourly. I can’t really disagree with her there.
I grabbed the bowl of now way too hot sausage balls out of the microwave and came back into the living room “Jesus Christ, that crazy bastard finally did it huh? He killed her. What about Amazonia, where’s she?”
Zamphour dipped his head with the proper respect “No one has seen her since the murder. Probably she went back to her secret island in the Amazon to mourn.”
I poked at the sausage balls with a fork, starving but not wanting to annihilate my mouth with hot meat (phrasing) “I’m surprised she didn’t tear Talisman limb from limb before she went. Shit, it’s probably up to us then huh? Maybe we should get geared up.”
Mythandria settled deeper into the couch “You’re the only one who needs gear.”
Before I could tell her to shut up, Zamphour stepped between us with an enthusiastic grin that did not fit Brad Pitt’s face at all “I’ll check the bus schedule.”
Mythandria sighed theatrically “We wouldn’t have to take the bus to fight crime if someone could fly.”
Before I could unleash a blistering retort, Zamphour jumped in again desperately “You go get ready Ela, I’ll call and see if anyone else can join us. Cosmic Girl, Star Slayer, maybe that guy with the big axe, I forget his name but I have his number in your phone.”
I went into the bedroom and started shrugging on my armor vest “Don’t call Star Slayer, that idiot almost blew my head off with his damn laser rifle last time we teamed up.”