Monday, April 28, 2014

Epic Battles

Sure, I only actually rule a small country on the edge of Europe. But I like to think that the entire continent is really my domain. I might not be making decisions about Britain's foreign policy or commanding the Italian army, but people should at least consult me before, say, inviting Acme to tour a Scottish Castle.
Apparently, the managers of MgGuff Manor don't agree with me on that point. 
I decided to drop in and pay a little visit to our strange visitor.

"Hey, asshole!"
The Android turned around. "I don't have time for you right now."
"Yeah. I assume you also didn't have time to tell me that the New Archivist was leaving Earth."
"I don't need to consult you about these things, and you seem perfectly capable of deducing them for yourself."
"My problem wasn't with the fact that I don't know. Her lack of appearances this last week make it fairly obvious that she is either experiencing medical difficulties or visiting the Fortarians. My problem is the fact that I wasn't part of the decision-making process, and I have a feeling that Lucy wasn't either."
"Well, asshole, I don't think this is any of your business."
"I know you don't think it's any of my business. I'm here to tell me that it is my business. Furthermore, and this should be obvious, it's Lucy's business."
We had reached the point in our conversation where passersby decided to start running from the notorious supervillain and his alien enemy. Good move.
"Back off. Lucy left you behind when she agreed to replace Rava-Iss." Acme pushed me away.
"Oh," I said. "It's a shoving match you want." I pushed him away. "Enjoy," I said, slamming him fifteen meters into the ground.
"Idiot," the android spat. "This is so like you humans. You turn everything into displays of physical violence. If you think I'll respond in kind, you are sorely mistaken." He created a set of rockets and flew out of his crater.
"Sure. You know you'd lose a fight, so you're trying to avoid it. Smart. Does this mean we're going to talk about when you return Lucy to Earth."
"Never. Discussion over."
"No." I punched the machine into the air. "This discussion isn't over." Punched back into the ground.
"That's it," the machine said, arising from the dirt. "This ends now." So much for him being beyond the need for violence.
Acme synthesized a mortar out of the dirt, and opened fire on me. As if artillery would have any effect.
I lunged for him, and tore the mortar apart, only to realize that Acme was in the air. What I had taken to be a stabilizing system was actually a set of wings.
I lit up my own wings and flew after him.
"I have all the strategic knowledge in the galaxy, and can create anything conceivable. How do you hope to beat me," he taunted, as we flew over a lake.
"Because nothing you can create can harm me and the people who came up with your strategic knowledge were idiots."
Case in point, he crashed into a hill.
I came in, and managed to rip off his legs before he forced me into retreat with what seemed to be an incredibly powerful laser gun.  
"Oh my, you ripped off my legs. Whatever shall I do?" He walked out of his crater on what looked to be a newly made tank.
Instead of answering, I let loose a deluge of plasma from my flaming wings.
"Didn't think I'd make myself fireproof," he taunted.
I ran up to him and punched him, again and again and again, forcing him back almost into that lake.
"You know, there are materials that are both tough and fireproof."
I blasted him with flame again, until he was hotter than the surface of the sun-
"Are you even listening-"
And pushed him into the lake. His body cooled more than five thousand degrees in less than a second. Cracks formed on his chassis. Without giving him time to react, I ran at him and smashed him. This time, I reduced the overconfident machine to woodchips.
Most of him, anyway.
"Very impressive. I didn't see that coming. But I did have the foresight to throw together a squadron of robots to hold you off as I reassemble myself."
Before I could smash his skull, a dozen mechanized monkeys assaulted me. I kid you not. Mechanized monkeys.
They were surprisingly well-built. Very durable. I recognized some Ultrasteel components in them. They were armed with lasers and seemed impossible to hold on to. All told, they took less than a minute to destroy.
In that minute, Acme forged himself into what seemed to be a living weapon. A dozen lasers lit me up. Rockets crashed into me, burning my skin. Ampules of corrosive chemicals. High-speed bullets. Plasmas. Self replicating nanomachines. I withstood it all.
"Are we done here," I said.
"It seems neither of us can hurt the other. Good bye, and good riddance."
He flew off, to his little fortress in outer space.

I flew back to Estveria on a damaged wing, still steaming from the heat of repeated laser blasts. Only when I was safe in my lab did I allow myself to laugh.
Everything had gone exactly according to plan. Acme had fought me, and neither of us had been able to hurt the other. I had picked up his discarded body parts, and Noetron was analyzing them for booby traps. Once it was confirmed that Acme wasn't nearly clever enough to have any, I would begin the process of reverse engineering my winnings.
I saw Noetron's project report in my brain. Seventy percent complete and no sign of danger. Based on preliminary studies, Acme did not appear to be made out of any known alloy. No surprises there.
Most likely, the technology would be beyond me, and I would only be able to learn a small amount. On the other hand, there was the chance that Acme had just given me the science to take over the cosmos. If I could figure out how he assembled structures so quickly, for instance, or how his software worked, or even what alloys he made himself out of, I could be in a very good position when Dr. Demented showed up.
Best of all, Acme hadn't seemed to notice me attaching a very small and durable biomachine to his skin. That biomachine would begin a process that could bring Lucy back in just a few months.
Assuming everything went according to plan.
Which pretty much never happens when the plan has more than three steps and there are aliens involved.

1 comment:

  1. second block - change medial to medical
    second block - change "a flew" to "and flew"
    second block - change "burning me skin" to "burning my skin"