Really, I had nothing against Vivian. Her becoming what she was, totally my fault. The same could be said for the other girl who rode a drunk black unicorn. I think her name was Cindy or something. I’d carried Cindy’s dead body out of Hotel California and let the unicorn touch her. For these two women and so many other people, their current powers were a direct result of something I’d done.
Now you may wonder why I’m saying this now. It’s because the first words I heard upon regaining consciousness were, “This is all your fault, Adam,” by a few angry female voices at once. Then some giggling, probably head nodding, and a wall of side conversations that made no sense. One growled and a horse sniggered. I think horses snigger. Unicorns that are drunk definitely do.
“Yes,” I agreed with eyes tightly closed. If I couldn’t see them, they didn’t exist.
Pressure hit my chest. I coughed then relaxed once I recognized the touch which was somehow hesitant but firm. Alice’s fingers locked in with mine as she leaned over. “Adam? I’ve got to go away for a while. It’s… hard to keep in control right now,” she whispered. “They’ve got some news I think you’ll want to hear and I don’t want to ruin it by being me.”
I nodded. “I’ll see you later.” Really, partings were still awkward. Six months did not a Romeo make.
“I love you,” she whispered in my ear then nipped at the lobe. I smiled and reached out with my other hand to restrain her wandering hands.
In a second, the pressure vanished. It was like being in a dream and waking up with the ghost of a feeling. When she vanished like this, I often wondered if either Alice was real. Maybe their bodies were nothing more than the fantasies of a third version.
I frowned for a moment then rubbed the tingles out of my hand. There was a wetness on my ear that faded slowly. Her words lingered until I shook myself with a snort. Alice being gone would probably make whatever came next a bit less frantic. At the very least, I could talk to a female without worrying about someone beings stabbed shortly after.
“Mister Big?” a tiny voice chirped. Yes, the voice was tiny.
“Tiny Pew Pew. We meet again,” I muttered. It had to be the same one from New York and the moon. Despite the chaos of my powers, they often brought back the same people over and over. Alice, as an example, had been a very reoccurring nightmare for the longest time.
“Yes, Mister Big. Need your help.”
“We need your help,” a burly sounding woman corrected.
“We. Yes. All the wes. Much pews, pows mostly dead. Bams useless against dirt dwelling star hoarders.”
“I love mole people,” I mumbled. “And these ones fly. How cool is that?”
It wasn’t. The assortment of females broke into side conversations again and I tuned out. Listening to them speculate and share facts would only waste my sanity. What was, was. What wasn’t, wasn’t. Besides, they weren’t picking up what I was laying down. Whatever was happening next, I didn’t want to deal with it. It involved crazy people and creatures that bothered me. It would only get worst. Every year, around this time, my life took a crazy turn. I’ll explain that bit, eventually.
“Cindy,” I said.
“Yes, Aladdin?” Cindy said with a voice that sounded half a step away from coughing.
Cindy had been high as a kite when we first met back in Hotel California. The place was designed to expose people to their desires but in excess. To the point where you got so burned out that the fix you wanted stopped working. For Cindy it had been drugs, and her boyfriend overdosed. She’d died too. But she wasn’t dead. Because of a drunk unicorn I met while wandering in some back-alley version of reality. Makes sense, right?
“I’m not Aladdin. And I told you and Alexandria that I’m best left alone. I thought you learned last time,” I said. “And Earth has me labeled as a No-Go.”
“Earth laws mean little on other planets. Additionally, we require your unique gifts as an Agent of Chaos,” Lady Alexandrea stated. She sounded like a man. No joke. Not a high-pitched been kneed in the balls man, but one who swallowed vials of steroids and ground the glass between his teeth before breaking into poses.
“I’m not an Agent of Chaos. I’m an ace reporter.”
“And a teacher at our school,” Tina said. “Where he’ll hopefully help students learn to avoid rookie mistakes.”
“I’m sure I’ll be great at that,” I answered. There’d been no hiring paperwork. Wilhem “The Dick” Walker, had simply voluntold me for the position.
“I’m sure you will,” the frozen princess answered, sounding utterly serious.
I pondered for a moment and decided to keep my eyes closed. Based on the comfortable flat feeling, I was probably on a cot. Rocking slightly resulted in a squeak of metal and unsteadiness. They sounded close and opening my eyes to all the under boob encased in heroic outfits would probably summon Alice back from where ever she’d vanished to. There’d be more stabbings, threats, violence, me being torn in two as she tried to run away with her man.
“Vivian?” I asked.
There was a cough. It didn’t sound familiar but I couldn’t tell anymore. We’d spoken all of ten lines to each other since being separated on that spaceship years ago.
“The villain known as VVV is here and has been subdued, with her powers suppressed,” Tina answered. “Place like this, every teacher has to carry a pair of cuffs. That’s in case you need them, Mr. Millard. Pretty much every corner. Slap them on and count to ten.”
Power dampening cuffs in a school for superpowers sounded like good planning. At least, when it involved anyone else besides me. Trying to dampen my powers might trigger a war between dimensions, again.
“Fantastic. Better slap a pair on me too,” I muttered.
She laughed, a rough sound that came straight from her throat and tickled my ears. “I read the file. Putting power dampeners on you won’t help with campus security. Kind of the opposite effect.”
Things could always get worse.
“Bigs! We need all the helps. Now. We need it nows. Before the filthy star stealers find the mothership. Oh, and their dirt and oil minions. They want to take the core!”
“Again?” I asked.
Brief pause, these events follow another adventure I’ve been glossing over. I’ll try to sum up what bits made sense. First, I met the chirping little Crystalline in New York. She or he was fighting mole people. I chased them off, she went to find “Lady” Alexandrea. I finished dealing with Ted, was about to boink regular Alice with all the pent-up aggression a twenty something year old virgin could muster then Cindy broke down the wall.
That’s where my first tale ended. What I haven’t said is that we went with Cindy on a magical flight to the moon. Alice believed banging like bunnies on lunar soil would be way more romantic for a first time.
The drunk nightmare unicorn just tromped through air and space with three underfed people on its back like it was a jog to the corner market. Then Alice tried to gut Cindy because she was calling me the wrong name and a second later Alice was no longer on the flying horse. So, I was whisked away while only being partially sure Alice would survive reentering orbit. I did know that me attempting to dive to her rescue would somehow make matters word.
From there I met “Lady” Alexandrea, took a tour on the Crystalline mothership and found out that mole people were trying to steal their ship’s heart to—I don’t know—increase the gravity of earth or something. That would cause the moon to collide with our planet, destroy the surface world, add more dirt for their empires, and something-something-evil plan succeeds followed by mole people laughing in triumph.
Additionally, I think we’re almost done with all the recaps. It’s getting annoying trying to keep it all straight, but when your life is insane to begin with, keeping events straight is almost impossible. This recount is over, so back to needing my help. There’ll be one or two more later because explaining this all at once would take ages. For now, we return to little Pew Pew needing my help for reasons that were probably stupid.
“Indeed, Sir Adam. This will continue to be a momentous quest until all these foul under dwellers”—Lady Alexandra often spouted words in a way that sounded out of place—“are put to the sword.”
It sounded like the air was being crunched in her giant fingers. Probably. Maybe. I’m not sure what that actually sounds like.
“My parents didn’t sign a permission slip,” I responded.
“You’re a teacher. You can sign your own slip, and you can take a few students with you as a field exercise. If you can keep them safe…” Tina’s words trailed off.
That made me shoot up and open my eyes. I waved in panic. “I am not the person to protect them. I can’t even put on my pants without a fight starting.” The words were too awkward. “What I meant is that—” I paused then sighed. “Fuck it. There’s no point explaining.”
Then I realized we weren’t in the field anymore. We’d been relocated to some sort of room. I could still see the school in the distance through a wide bay window. Somewhere between were crashed ships that had demolished buildings and everything else. Tiny figures no bigger than ants hefted huge chunks of metal and moved them around. It looked like aftermath cleanup from the big ship and mole people vessels.
The Purple Prose was nowhere in sight. I turned to look at Vivian. Her face was a wreck. Not the teen acne that could be cleaned up on a good day kind of wreck she’d been during high school. This was the “I got punched and have a fat lip on my fat lip and two black eyes and a busted nose” sort of wreck. She was also a giantess compared to the girl I’d briefly dated. From what I could see, her ass was still a nine out of ten. I couldn’t tell if her enlarged size, which made her taller than Lady Alexandrea, was good or bad.
I winced. She glared. Her arms were bound and the armor suit I’d seen her in last time had completely vanished. My money was on Lady Alexandrea prying her out of it. The size thing didn’t make sense though. When I’d last run into Vivian Valentine Vance, which her powered codename VVV derived from, she’d been normal-sized but in a mech suit. So, being a small giant was new.
“No hard feelings over trying to melt my face last time, right?” I said. “You know, with the not laughing gas? You did try to kill me and I think that’s a rude way to break up.” My eyes drifted upward in thought. Had we ever officially broken up? Alice would go mad.
“And the whole working for crazy Lord Purple. I’m cool with that if you’ll look past the alien abduction thing,” I offered.
Her eyes rolled and head shook.
“Your friend here is a pirate,” Tina said. “A well-known one. Her and Lord Purple raid anything that moves, ocean, space, other planets. She steals tech, pawns it off to villains, or uses it on that army of explosive clones. The Union’s been after her for years.”
“You got abducted and became a pirate. How cool is that?”
Vivian’s dead eyed glare disagreed with me.
I distinctly heard someone behind me whisper, “Are all his girlfriend’s insane with powers?”
My head bobbed in a knowing nod. “She had a rough childhood,” I answered. “Daddy issues. Likes her hair being pulled.”
Vivian dove, flopped on the ground then kicked. The cuffs around her forearms and legs refused to let go. Lady Alexandra stooped over, picked up the larger woman like she weighed nothing at all, and set her back onto a comfortable looking chair. The ease Lady Alexandrea showed confused me but I quickly shoved any attempts at understanding out of my head.
“I might be lying. I’ve been on…” My fingers came up to count. “Fifteen different planets since then? Dozens of other stupid pocket realties. Wonderland, like, a million times. Whatever happened to you, Vivian, I’m sorry, but you’re alive still and got off easy. I bet your parents would welcome you with arms open wide.”
Normally I wouldn’t say all that kind of stuff, but Vivian was a leftover from my life before getting powers. She’s the only one I’d seen in ages. My parents were gone. My sister was in a wheelchair last I’d heard, with little chance of getting back up. The small bank account that Jade diverted funds to still hadn’t been touched.
I had pity for anyone caught in events they didn’t ask for, contrariwise it was hard to feel sorry for her because her one time problem was my life every day. Stranger still, I couldn’t summon the will to toss sarcasm in her direction. She should have been happy somewhere with a twit who I’d never like in suburbia while plotting out a nursery.
Okay, enough dwelling on the past screw ups with Vivian. It was what it was and no amount of hand wringing would change it. I mean, I’ll probably talk about it again because this shit bothers me. That’s the problem with life altering mistakes. You dwell on them at three in the morning and go in circles until exhaustion wins or you give up and brew coffee.
“God, I could use coffee,” I said.
At this point, I’d like to mention some of my students were in the room yakking away and providing insightful comments like.
“Coffee? He’s asking for coffee?”
“A giant ship just crashed. He’s surrounded by a wall of women, and he wants coffee.”
And that’s about as useful as they got. White, her knight, and other Night might have been useful. The smirking chins would have been more amusing. Instead I was fairly sure those future presidents were behind me talking about my antics like it was an interesting cloud in the sky. So, I ignored them, as should you.
“Mister Big! What’s coffee?” The Crystalline’s voice hit an octave too high and I shuddered. It, he or she, continued, “Lady Big Big! What’s coffee?”
The little creature only had the vague shape of a man with darker spots where eyes and a mouth would be. Their race was disconcerting to watch but mostly harmless. Someone had put an oversized t-shirt on it. I still didn’t know if this one had a name or was just “nameless peon number 7.”
“It gives me superpowers,” I told the androgynous walking jewel. “Like vodka and cannabis.”
“What’s cannabis?” Tiny Pew Pew asked.
Abruptly I halted. Tina and Lady Alexandrea glared at me. I glanced left then right, and decided to ask, “How old are you?”
“Six! I’m six of the ones. By Earth’s rotational based calendar.” A six-year-old soldier in an interracial war should be old enough to learn about drinking and drugs, right? It’s not fair to sign someone up to risk his life in battle without also giving them a way to drown out the memories, even if it is mole people.
I took the easy way out. “Maybe your parents can explain it.”
“Going to ask the creator crystal!” And with that vague explanation the small creature ran off.
The muscle-bound woman watched the smaller creature go. Her hand twitched. “Vodka is fantastic,” Lady Alexandrea said in a subdued voice.
“Mmmmhm,” I muttered.
“But don’t tell kids that. Even alien ones. The legal paperwork is a nightmare. We’ve got some legal hurdles to deal with and according to your file you haven’t had full FEP training, which we’ll try to solve once and for all.” Tina shook her head. “Just don’t tell anything resembling a child about drugs or liquor back in the real world. They’ll sue the school.”
“Jade would eat them alive,” I said and happily smiled. Jade lived to battle stupid people in court, then imagine them naked and tied up on a sawhorse. From there it only got worse for the idiots who dared go against her.
Anyway, our small group had dwindled to Tina, Vivian, Lady Alexandrea, and whatever students behind me I’d taken to ignoring. Those nameless masses might have been wearing red shirts for all the importance they had.
Oh, another useful fact. If you are ever kidnapped by aliens, and are wearing red, take it off immediately. Hair doesn’t count, sunburns don’t count, but fabric for some reason causes them to off you first. I think it’s a joke left over from some alternate dimension.
“So.” I sighed and moved my neck slowly to work out a kink from laying too long. “Did Walker give you a guide on what happens next?” I asked Tina.
“No. We have an agreement, he doesn’t give me those, and I don’t shove ice up his derriere.”
“Hah!” Lady Alexandrea didn’t keep laughing. Just one loud shout of amusement.
“Okay. How did you manage to tie up Vivian? She has melty gas. Somewhere.”
“Pretty easy once we boxed her in,” Tina offered. “The other girl, Alice, she was harder to talk down. I had to swear on a stack of Bibles that I would never show any interest in you ever. And that we’d never, and these were her words, make out behind the bleachers during fifth period.”
I glanced around. That sounded like something Alice might say. But it could have also been something she imagined or some traumatic leftover from high school. Alice, and The Alice, didn’t connect on all levels. What could I do about that? Nothing. I hadn’t found a magic “shove two people into one body” amulet. Yet.
“Okay. What exactly do you expect me to do, Lady”—I had to pause and focus on not rolling my eyes— “Alexandrea?”
“Go with us on our journey,” she responded.
Us probably included Cindy.
“Are teachers allowed to take vacations without students?” I asked Tina.
She shrugged. “Walker told us all last week you’d be coming and that we should let you teach however you want.”
“That doesn’t sound right.”
Tina smiled briefly and formed a toothpick with her magic, as well as a chair to sit down in. She worked on her nails and ignored me for a moment. I looked at my own nails, which were an utter mess. Though all of me was a mess given I’d had a bucket shower then tackled the earth.
There were lots of ways out of this, including trying to slash my own wrists to trigger a secondary level disaster, but that wouldn’t really keep them away forever. Plus, back in Hotel California, I’d made a pact with myself to try and stand up more.
“All right, I’ll help. What next?”
That’s when Lady Alexandrea dropped the bomb on me. “Excellent, we must venture to the moon base. There your family awaits us.”
No one else batted an eye but my world had been rocked. My chest felt cold and I balled my hands into fists. I blinked a few times. Then some more. And finally, I pimp slapped myself, with a fist, to ensure this hadn’t all been a weird ass dream.
Turns out I was awake. Alice had really recognized she was out of control and chose to remove herself. Tina had said I was a “good person” and that wasn’t even the weirdest statement. My parents were on the moon. Not Burbank Rhode Island, or where ever, living the dream of having only birthed one child. No, they were on the moon.
I fought back the budding emotions and managed to not cry. Of course that’s a lie but don’t tell anyone. My image as a stoic warrior of justice couldn’t be shattered by a single weak sounding sentence. It wasn’t like I’d been dwelling on past traumas for years and had an open wound when it came to my estranged family. Or how my presence had summoned a disaster that robbed my sister of her legs. Right? None of those problems from the past could possible haunt me to this day. Nope.
“I’m sure they’re waiting anxiously.” I managed to keep a dry tone after a manly hiccup.
“Indeed, they await. We’ve wrongs to right and chaos to set to order.”
“No,” I said with all the firmness a man without power gauntlets of smiting could muster.
“We must venture,” Lady Alexandrea spouted her nonsensical call to arms.
“No. No. Nooooo,” I repeated and plugged my ears. “It’s a lie.”
Vivian snorted and rocked in her chair. The bindings around her legs and feet clanked together. “Your parents are on the moon, Adam. Isn’t that great? I bet they’ll welcome you with arms wide open,” she volunteered.
“Nope. You’re a space pirate. And my parents totally want me back because I’m an awesome son. Flux, play some happy reunion music!”
Flux played something sounding like a funeral dirge. It fit.
“You don’t know anything do you?” Vivian asked. I stared at her stupid bruised face and fatter fat lip. Despite that her eyes practically shone through a layer of liquid that had formed while she laughed.
My stomach sank. Her words were the bad kind of words spies utter before revealing some secret plot. Never the less, I pretended Vivian didn’t have any plans and said, “I have an approximate knowledge of many things.”
Mole people. Pending merger between the moon and Earth. Blah blah kingdom expansion. See? Approximate knowledge.
“You don’t know where your parents have been, do you? You’re completely clueless about the darkness wars.” Vivian started laughing. It went from mirthful to sharp choppy noises that were full on psychotic. Tears dripped from her eyes. “This whole time we worried you might be on their side! The Fiasco, Adam Millard, god you’re even stupider than you were in high school.”
“No, I’m totally much older and wiser,” I said. “A font of expertise. Didn’t you hear? They made me a teacher.”
She snorted and chuckled some more. “Moron. Oh this has be a waste of my fucking time. You don’t know anything. That ship’s grounded. You can’t even get back in time! We’ll kill them before you even get close. And since I can’t get revenge on you, because you’re immortal, this’ll be the next best thing.” Her voice increased in feverish pitch as each point came out.
See? Stomach dropping declaration. No interplanetary pirate should dare utter such words without some way to back it up. I pointed at her and shouted, “Okay class, when villains monolog you punch them before they escape.”
That was my next official lesson as a Defense against Stupidity teacher. If villains act like they’ve gained the upper hand then stop them before they finish being amused. Nothing, and I mean nothing, puts a full halt on a diabolical plan quite like being unconscious.
No one punched her fast enough. Vivian’s mouth opened and thick green gas billowed forth. It came from her eyes, hands, and feet.
“Oh shit,” I said.
The cloud moved quickly and filled the room. The green hit my eyes and water dripped. I could hear others coughing. Tina put up an ice barrier that wasn’t fast enough. Visibility dimmed as the gas thickened. I sniffed and felt something like pepper mixed with heroin hit my senses and the world went “beeeooowwww” and distorted.
A loud, overwhelmingly wet fart issued from where Vivian had been sitting.
My first reaction? To declare, “Not it!”
Two words were all I could manage before my body doubled over from coughing. The room spun and went every color in the book all at once. Lady Alexandrea shouted something in anger, but it didn’t make sense.
Then all I could think were happy thoughts while coughing my brains out and worrying about a family I hadn’t seen in almost five years. Maybe it was for the best that a jaded personality coupled with Vivian’s ass gas blast, made it impossible to panic.
Of course, just between us, that's a lie.
Name: Lady Alexandria
Age: 38 Earth Standard Years
Generalized Ratings as Follows
Strength: 9 (Brutal)
Intelligence: 4 (10 when applied to face punching skills)
Agility: 4 (Above average)
Luck: 3 (Indifferent)
Attitude: Focused, Proud, Short Tempered
Items of Note
Earned the title Lady. Princess. Absolutely brutal in combat or tests of strength. Gives zero shits about gender. Loves ice cream. Has murdered for it. Twice. Married. Very annoyed at people in her way. Hates shopping. Hates pink. Hates purple. Hates red. Loves red. Understands this is contradictory.
Lady Alexandria’s powers are almost purely physical in nature. She’s a wall of muscle built on top of a wall of muscle couple with a wall of muscle. She’s celebrated as Mister Universe despite the gender confusion. No one argues with her.
There’s no other powers of note beyond being nearly indestructible and strong.
Strangely enough Lady Alexandria is married to an earth man. His only power is a penis of steel, which has proven to be valuable beyond compare. Actual details will be omitted, but it’s rumored that his ability to withstand “Death by Snu Snu” is beyond compare. Such that Lady Alexandria has fought for the Earth on any and every battle front.
It’s also rumored that she’s absolutely irate with anything that takes away from her time with her husband. To the point of trying to punch people into paste, which she’s done. Twice. Literal paste.