The White Lady, and a Retired Samurai.
The White Lady knocked at the door of my mother’s house, with her Carnival of Sin in tow. Smiling, I invited her in. We had a nice dinner, prepared by clones of some of the world’s finest chefs and served by my robot butlers. Then we went dancing, using my holo-chamber to insert ourselves in a rotating selection of nightclubs across the world that serve as fronts for my outposts, caches, and monitoring stations. Then we took my private subway to the waterfront, where we chatted under the stars about ourselves and the many tribulations of supervillainy. Experiments gone out of control, hapless minions, pesky would-be heroes, and don’t even get me started on trying to get good health insurance. After a while the conversation died down and we were just enjoying the fresh air. She leaned in for a kiss. Then I tumbled, limp, off of the bench, eyes rolling back in my head.
“Shit!” she exclaims. “I forgot about my knockout lipstick!” She whistles and several of her clown minions appear, freakish grins greasepainted across their idiot faces. She has them carry me back to the subway car, and peruses the destination settings on the control panel. “Ooh, Main Lair Control Room, that sounds deeeelightful.” she smiles, hitting the button. Of course it ignores her at first, but then she fishes the keycard out of my pocket, and off we go.
In the control room of my lair, she has her minions prop me up on the “throne” at the center of the observation dome, and secure me with ropes made from silk handkerchiefs tied end to end, which they pull out of their mouths. I’m beginning to stir, and she doesn’t want to be interrupted as she surveys the very heart of my criminal enterprise, hers for the claiming. She puts in a call on the satphone, and Killomancer appears on the main screen, twice as big as life and at least sixteen times as ugly.
“Hey, Killy, you’ll never guess where I’m calling from. The dope fell for it hook, line, and sinker!” she cackles. “I’m sending you the coordinates now, but this place is huge and we still have to clear out all the robots, so bring your whole crew, and we’ll start divvying things up, ok? Seeeeeyaaaaa.” she singsongs, waggling her fingers goodbye, and signs off. I’m almost fully conscious, now, but I pretend to still be out of it when she turns back to me and spins my chair around with a “Wheeeeee!” of pure malevolent joy.
Two minutes later, the screen shows one of Killomancer’s mystic portals opening up right outside Gate B and innumerable cultists and demons and mercenaries armed to the teeth begin shuffling through. Shelly (that’s her real name, or at least the one she told me to call her) flips the switch to let them in, the huge aperture irising open to admit the invaders onto a massive elevator platform that sinks directly into the hangar bay. Over the loudspeaker she calls “Make it snappy, Killy, these robots are givin’ us hell in here!” which is confusing, since not a single one of my robots has lifted a metal finger, or even noticed our presence. Her two clown minions are capering stupidly in the corner of my vision as I watch her lean over the control panel, her charming leotard-clad backside waggling as she flips this switch and that. I can’t quite see what she’s doing, but then the screen makes it clear- the elevator platform is halfway down when she hits the emergency stop, and deliberately trips all the countermeasures one by one, singing to herself as she goes. “Force-field, nerve-gas, laser-beams, Yay! Flame-jets, poison-spikes, razor-blades, Whee!” This time when she whirls around, grin wide on her adorable, alabaster doll-face, I’m grinning back. “Hi, honey!” she chirps. “I got you a preeeeeseeeeeent!” she does the Vanna White gesture at the main screen, where the screams and wails of a few hundred men and monsters crescendo as each trap adds to the carnage. I slip out of the handkerchief ropes with an old stage magician’s trick I learned from Mystificus when we were college roommates, and put my arm around her waist to watch the show. It’s beautiful.
I am an elderly modern day samurai, a former secret agent. My partner falls under some form of mind control at the family holiday gathering and attacks everyone, forcing me to kill him in defense of them. My family is irate and blames me, they’ve never been supportive of my “lifestyle”, ever since I took up with a man after my wife passed on. Distraught, I ring up my old bosses to call in a favor, but they can’t help me- we weren’t married, after all, he wasn’t even listed on my personnel file as a significant other. It would have been an embarrassment, they tell me. Maybe this is for the best. My sons, both successful lawyers, whom I never asked to lobby against their beliefs, are belligerent. This is all my fault. But my son-in-law seems sympathetic, even angry on my behalf. He encourages me to take matters into my own hands. I am, after all, a retired killer, with nothing but time and money on my hands. “Go all A-Team, man… or, well, A-You, anyway. What have you got to lose?” He’s right. I leave my family squabbling and go upstairs to pack some things. I still have a few favors to call in from less discriminating sources. And someone’s going to pay.