Posted: Sep 23, 2019, 2:28am
It was a quiet night in Silopolis. GreatMan sat on his favorite perch, a modestly sized gargoyle effigy jutting from the side of a luxury block of apartments, gazing down at the city. Every now and then, he would perk up, only to slump back down when the shade passing through a streetlight below turned out to be nothing more than a man walking his dog. He rubbed at his eyes and was just considering calling it a night, when he heard the breaking of glass a few blocks away. He jumped to his feet.
“GoodBoy, look alive,” he said. “Evil is afoot.”
GoodBoy looked up from his phone with a mixture of anticipation and annoyance. It would be great to at least catch something tonight, but he’d been very close to his high score. “What do you reckon, GreatMan?” he asked, tucking his phone away and getting to his feet.
“Burglary, most likely,” GreatMan admitted with some hesitation, and GoodBoy groaned. “Come come now, GoodBoy! All crime is evil, we stop all evil, we stop all crime, yes?”
GoodBoy sighed. “Yeah, you’re right,” he said. “Take the lead, I’ll be right behind.”
GreatMan nodded, leapt off the gargoyle and used his grappler to swing smoothly down to street level. He stopped to listen, his large ears sensitive to the sound of evildoing. Yes, people were walking on glass somewhere up ahead. He glanced behind and saw GoodBoy putting his phone away and begin hopping down from ledge to ledge. He sighed. Would that boy ever leave that thing at home when they were patrolling?
He turned and ran down the street. There! Three men wearing black balaclavas were loading electronics into a van through the main window, which had been shattered. A routine crime to smother in the crib, but such was duty. Except… Did all electronic stores glow purple at night?
“Halt, evildoers!” GreatMan bellowed. “Cease what you are doing and you may go to jail without a concussion!”
Two of the men dropped the TV they were carrying. The third stood in the open hatch of the van, dumbstruck. From inside came a loud groan.
“GreatMan? Seriously? I’m not even killing anyone! I just want to outfit my lair a little!”
“That voice! Is that…” GoodBoy said, catching up from behind.
A tall, pale man with glowing purple markings across his broad bare chest stepped out of the store. GreatMan’s face contorted with anger. “BadGuy!”
“Yes, yes, give it a rest, Man,” BadGuy said. He seemed awfully aloof. “Look, you know me. This barely registers as crime compared to my usual schemes. Can’t you just let this one go?”
“You know I can’t, BadGuy!” GreatMan exclaimed. “You are doing crime, and crime is evil, and I stop evil!”
“I know your damn slogan, you hooligan,” BadGuy said disdainfully. “But hey, if you’re not gonna let this go… Guess I’ll let you go instead!” With an uncanny swiftness, he pulled out a concealed blaster and began firing. Streaks of purple light streaked by GreatMan’s ear as he dove for cover, while henchmen scattered in all directions and took off.
“GoodBoy! I need…” GreatMan began, but he broke off when he saw the teenager crouched behind a car with his phone in hand. “IS THIS REALLY THE TIME?!”
“You’ll see!” GoodBoy said simply and smirked as he put the device away again. “Just hang tight! Count to 5 and attack!”
GreatMan rolled his eyes, but he trusted GoodBoy’s instincts. The top of the bill post exploded as he counted, hot shards raining down around him. “...5!” He twisted around, leapt, rolled, and fired a golden blast from his palm. BadGuy was taking cover inside the store and pulled back as the blast careened past him and blew up a TV inside.
“ACK!” The strangled cry made GreatMan pause. He hadn’t actually hit BadGuy, what had happened in there? He sprinted out toward the blown window and cautiously looked inside. Two teenagers in shabby black costumes with sleeping masks they’d cut the holes from were standing over BadGuy’s unconscious body. You could always tell when BadGuy was unconscious; his tattoos would stop glowing.
“W… what…” GreatMan stammered. GoodBoy ran over, laughing. “Hey, nice work Wu! You too, Jake! Which of you got him?”
“Jake tackle him, I beat his head,” one kid said in a heavy Asian accent. “Pay now?”
GoodBoy pulled out two crumpled notes and handed them to each of the kids. “Send you a text for the next one. Quick response guys, real good!”
“WHAT IS GOING ON HERE?!” GreatMan bellowed.
GoodBoy turned to him. “Look Man, we spend a lot of time fighting all these bad guys ourselves. I figured, why not see if we can get a few helping hands? So I went online a couple days ago and I found these guys on Fiverr…”
“...so I figured, hey, 5 bucks a pop each to make the city safer is a steal, right? So I contacted them and said hey guys, we got this thing where…”
“You have OUTSOURCED being a SIDEKICK?!” GreatMan had gone very red in the face. A vein pulsed dangerously in his forehead. “But we are PARTNERS! You and me against crime! Isn’t that how it’s supposed to be?!”
GoodBoy just shrugged. “I always told you, get with the times, man. Everyone is outsourcing, why shouldn’t we?”
The kid in black who sounded Asian tapped GoodBoy on the shoulder. “We go now,” he said. “Text when next job, yeah?”
GoodBoy flashed him a thumbs up. “You got it! We’ll take this guy from here.” BadGuy groaned and stirred. GoodBoy gave him another kick to the head and the villain went limp once more. “See? We can make it so much easier on ourselves. Hey, if we can get funding, I bet we can put a whole crew together to help patrol the streets and grab bad guys before we ever even get there!”
“That’s called the police,” GreatMan sighed in exasperation.
GoodBoy shrugged again and began cuffing BadGuy. “Well, it’s just an idea. Wanna go deliver this guy to the station or are you going to mope all night?”
GreatMan sneered: “Why don’t you just get an Uber to drop him off, if you’re outsourcing everything anyway?”
GoodBoy’s face lit up. “Hey, now you’re getting it!” He whipped out his phone again and opened an app. “See, now we don’t have to haul this idiot for twelve blocks! That was a great idea!”
“THAT WAS SARCASM!”