--- Nico Grey ---
He clipped his earrings to the top ridge of his ears, before rolling his shoulders and popping his neck.
Several minions stopped to salute him as he walked past them, his boots clacking on the metal floor beneath him.
From a nearby doorway a dark dark-skinned woman cut through and began walking next to him. He idly noted the fact she was wearing black duster with a suit dress, and red tie underneath, a fashion sense he fully approved of given the situation.
“Princess Maybell, is currently holding her peace conference addressing the rising crime rates throughout the seven kingdoms.” his right-hand woman replied stoically, a series of images appearing on any screen they passed as she shifted through several files on her tablet. “As planned the gathering of international royals and nobility from across the kingdoms has led to a reduced security, as a show of peace and harmony.”
Images of the kingdom’s various advanced armaments flashed across the screens, each powered down and leaving the crown as well as their guests defenseless.
“Good.” The idea of the royals’ concept of ‘peace and harmony’ made him chuckle, especially with what he was going to do to it. “And the guards?”
“The appropriate bribes, have been made to all agents in the fold.”
A number of payments receipts flew across a nearby screen, along with photos of the various agents and the information necessary to either burn them or prove their ‘innocence’.
He nodded, as they stepped onto an elevator, before waiting until the platform was moving and they were alone to ask her, “Does anything require my immediate attention?”
After all it wouldn’t do to let the minions think anything might be wrong before such a large operation. Blake on the other hand, was his oldest and truest confidant in this world of crime and villainy.
“All activity of the set-up phase has been completed to specifications.” Blake assured him, while sending several images of their own assets onto all of the elevator’s screens. “Everyone is merely waiting for your signal to enact the rest of the plan.”
“Good, we can’t afford anything to go wrong with this, Blake.” He clinched his fist before tossing it aside with proper dramatic flare. “One miss-step and our entire enterprise will come crumbling down in destruction.”
“All things have been accounted for.” She assured him once more.
“Even the… ‘hero’?” He couldn’t help but spit out the word with disdain. “You know such a large operation will draw his attention, and I can only keep the target on my back for so long before having to break away.”
“The emergency evacuation strategy is fully functional; simply give the word and we’ll withdraw from the engagement.” To prove her point she readied the device with several taps of her tablet, causing his insignia to switch from its violent violet visage to a ghastly green glow.
“Good,” he couldn’t help but grin as the glow faded back to a vicious violet, “then we’re ready to begin.”
“On your word sir.” Blake nodded, as the platform came to a stop.
In front of them, a set of elevator doors opened giving them access to the deck of their airship and sight of the mid-afternoon sky above them, and various skyscrapers drifting past them on their sides.
“How long until the princess’s speech?” he asked, as he caught sight of a large screen in front of them and a large crowd gathered beneath it.
“It should be beginning any moment now.” Blake confirmed flipping a watch out of her pocket before returning to her work on the tablet.
As right as always, Blake’s prediction proved correct as a young woman in a pink dress began to cross the stage, surrounded by several bodyguards in white suits. As the young woman, (Princess Maybell) stepped in front of the podium, a large holographic screen flashed on behind her. With the screen they got a much better view of the princess’s slightly chubby face, short light brown hair, and sparkling gold tiara.
Blake idly glanced up from her tablet, “Her wardrobe department needs to be fired.”
Unaware of their critique, Princess Maybell began, what he knew would be (a mind numbingly long) speech. “Royals, I thank you for gathering here today. As you all are aware, for the past decade our world has seen a rise in crime across all seven kingdoms. A part of this is due to the immigration of travelers through the ‘rifts,’ be it from the travelers themselves or those who are discontent with these newcomers. Another is with the recent flood of the formally labeled, ‘Deviants’ causing changes in the socio-political structure. But a consistent factor found both before these phenomena and now, if not merely exasperated by the phenomenon themselves, is the lack of social welfare found for those lacking of more noble birth. This lack of support forcing the common masses to take drastic measures as they are forced into a state of destitution by…”
He droned out the rest of the princess’s speech, the flowery language of politics boring him, (especially since you can solve most political problems with a good death ray.) With that thought he couldn’t help but give a smile of fangs and pointed teeth to the helpless masses down below.
“Let the game truly begin…”
His right-hand woman nodded before tapping several buttons on her tablet.
A moment later every screen in the stadium flashed off, cutting the princess’s speech short, as murmurs of confusion began to drift through the crowd.
“I’m sorry, it seems we’re having some technical difficulties…” the princess apologized, trying to cover for their little act of sabotage.
That little fact brought a grin to his face, before he cast his hand forward. “Release the day-killer drones.”
From the sides of their ship dozens of flying drones launched out, trails of black smoke pouring out of them as they circled around the bow of the ship, their wisps darkening the entire sky and filling those below with anxiety.
Blake made several adjustments to the deck lights and slowly lowered their ships cloaking, the combinations of which made it seem as if the ship was sailing through a portal of darkness and adding a nice supernatural flair to their entrance.
Across every dead screen an image of a feral and fully fanged smile flashed to life beneath a top hat, as they hacked their way onto every screen, and casting a sinister glow across the crowd, further raising tension in the crowd below, especially for those who knew the insignia well.
“Calling card set, and entrance announced, ready when you are sir.”
(Blake really is good at her job.)
He nodded to Blake as he stepped off the platform and into the shadows.
(I should give her a raise after this… or ignore this month’s embezzling at least.)
He gave his signature cackle, the laughter echoing throughout the conference’s own speakers, and he couldn’t help but grin as he remembered a piece of advice his mentor once gave him, advice he felt differentiated the common criminal and the vile villain from the sublime super.
(“The mark of a true supervillain is… style.”)
As he stepped out of the shadows, deck lights flashed on all around him, projecting his villainous visage on the hijacked screens and to the gasping crowd below. Drinking in their attention he methodically crossed the ship deck, a off-key swagger to his step.
“Hello, Mechanique city…” he drawled playfully, “It has been far, far too long…” (since my last crime) “heh-heh-heh-ha!”
He could just feel the anxiety below ratchet up a notch, as every member of every royal guard in the seven kingdoms prepared for his attack, while remaining as enraptured with his performance as everyone else. After all that was his schtick, he was a performer, whether his role be the unnerving, the suave, or the playful, he’d flit between whatever role put on the best show at that moment. And right now, well… he had an introduction to make.
“Now then, I’m sure some of you are wondering what I’m doing here, and I have no issue with informing you.” His heterochromic eyes drifted across the crowd below, “But with that said, I’m fully aware we have a crowd of newcomers to our fine city.” He hopped onto the rail, balancing precariously from a fall on his deck, to a fall to his death.
“It is to these newcomers, I ask that you please allow me to introduce myself, for you see I’m known by many names…” he gave the crowd a off kilter bow, as if half drunk, “from the clown of calamity…” He did a daring single-footed spin on the guard rail; an act no sane man would mimic. “to the mad man of Mechanique…” He ran his hands through his hair and across his face, letting loose a little giggle just to emphasis said madness.
“But you…” he looked across the crowd once more with a ferociously fanged smile, “You can call me the Mad Jester!”
With his introduction nearly finished, the first act of tonight's performance could truly began.
Fireworks shot out of the sides of his ship, covering up the launch of over a dozen orbs being fired into the crowd below. Though it did little to cover the rocket fired from beneath his feet, launching him into the air as he rode it over the crowd below him.
As each crashed into the ground, cratering the concrete around it, they began to unravel into various shapes and forms of his long-limbed mechanical minions, eliciting cries of horror from those around them, and cries of laughter from himself.
Halfway to his destination he leapt off the missile, leaving it free to crash into a nearby building and burn it to the ground, as he landed on the stage right in front of the princess.
With fire reigning down around them, he gave the princess a smile full of fangs. And staring down into her glaring eyes, he said, “And I’m here to steal the show, princess.”