Previous Entry. A continuation of the story started in Kconk Kconk. Enjoy…
The Cassini Club had next to no patrons in it and one of them had just exploded into a cloud of black smoke. Evan hoped it would be the only bad thing that happened tonight, but he knew in his gut that it wasn’t. Mr. Smoke quickly engulfed the stage and the tables near it. One unlucky patron didn’t see his death come, too focused on the drink in his hand. Evan, James and Mallory ran to the other side of the bar where the emergency exit was located. James grabbed a bottle of vodka.
“Now’s not the time!” Evan yelled.
“A, you’re wrong and B, shut up,” James yelled back. He ripped the top of it off, stuffed a bunch of napkins in it and reached in his suit for his stun gun.
A tendril of darkness slithered around the bar and spread over James. Evan threw his Air Dagger, the power of the elemental trapped within dispersing the smoke for a brief moment. James nodded a thank you and threw the improvised molotov. He aimed and shot his stun gun. The bottle hit the floor and rolled in a confused circular manner.
“Nice shot,” said Mallory slipping on her domino mask, shifting into her marble form and kicking the exit door down.
“It’s on the wrong setting! Dammit!” James yelled. The smoke reformed and continued to spread, taking another drunk patron with it. Evan summoned the Air Dagger to him and followed James and Mallory through the exit.
In the alley behind the Cassini Club, Evan and James found the duffel bag they’d stashed next to a dumpster and changed into their alternate personas while Mallory kept watch.
“Okay, of all the things I was expecting, that was not one of them,” said Evan.
“Who was that guy? I’ve never seen him before in my life let alone fought him,” said James.
“Maybe he invited the wrong Thunder Wasp,” said Evan.
“Guys, less talking, more changing,” said Mallory.
“I’m ready,” James said, clicking his super helmet shut.
“Hold on, these shoes are tied really tight,” said Evan.
“Thunder Wasp!” a voice called.
“Uh, he’s not in right now,” said James.
A cloud of darkness exploded into the alley. A booming voice thundering from within it.
“This is it. Your final act will be my finest hour!” Mr. Smoke said.
“Daylight savings was a month ago so your finest hour already passed!” James shouted, firing his gun. The energy bursts perforated the cloud to little effect.
“It’s not working,” Mallory said worriedly.
“All who stand for good fear my name! I am Mr. Smo-”
The cloud was cut in two. Then four. Then into hundreds of tiny pieces. Evan appeared behind the cloud, slowly sheathing his sword.
“Tonight’s forecast, partly cloudy with a chance of justice,” said Evan. His sword pommel clicked against the sheath. The cloud reformed into flesh, only scattered all over the alley.
“Oh I’m gonna hurl,” said James.
“Me too. That line was terrible,” said Mallory.
“I thought it was cool,” said Evan glumly.
“Hey, he’s still alive,” said Mallory.
“Of course he is. I didn’t kill him, I just severed the energy of change that was binding his mind to the cloud he turned into. He’s basically stuck back together one piece. More or less,” said Evan.
James went to Mr. Smoke and picked him up by the collar.
“Why did you do this? Actually back up. Who are you?” James asked.
“You don’t remember me. Of course you don’t. You damn Millennials don’t pay attention to anything anymore, always on your damn cell phones walking around like you own the place,” Mr. Smoke said.
“Yeah, great, but seriously who are you?” James asked.
“I am Mr. Smoke! The tobacco industry’s dirtiest little secret! My plan to take revenge on all the people who supported their efforts to create me was foiled thanks to you, Thunder Wasp.”
“I go by Mantis Edge now,” said James.
“Do I look like I give a crap? You stopped me from destroying the wretched smokers whose filthy habit gave the tobacco companies the resources to create me. I had a life before all this. Now I’m a freak with no way back to normalcy. But you… you stood in the way of my revenge. I could have righted the wrongs done to me but just as my plan went into effect, you appeared and defeated me with your damned high tech gadgets,” Mr. Smoke said.
“Wait, is he talking about Smokefest?” Evan asked.
“Oh yeah I was there,” said James.
“You don’t remember?” Evan asked.
“Well, I was a little high at the time,” said James, sheepishly.
“How are you still alive?” Mallory asked.
“This was to be my final act. I was going to retire to Florida after this. When I learned about the bounty on your heads I jumped at the chance. I guess that’s just the bitter comedy that is my life,” said Mr. Smoke.
“Listen, dude, if you want revenge then get people to quit. Do a couple PSAs or something. You’ll save lives and get back at Big Tobacco. This revenge plot was never going to work,” said Evan.
“Wait, what was that about a bounty? On all our heads?” Mallory asked.
“Oh yeah, it totaled to almost a million dollars for the three of you. It was a sweet deal. I bet there’s a ton more folks on their way to get you right now,” said Mr. Smoke. Evan knocked him out cold.
“Damn it! What do we do?” asked James.
“Figure out who put a bounty on our heads, obvs,” said Mallory.
“Oh, right. Working on it now,” said James. His helmet buzzed and then clicked. “Tracked it down. The bounty originated on a dark net site and was disseminated through various channels until it reached a bunch of merc and hit men forums. Hey, I’m worth less than you two. What the hell?”
“How’d Mr. Cigarette here figure out who you were?” asked Evan.
“One of the sites is like an assassin version of Reddit. There’s a thread dedicated to figuring out our identities,” said James.
“Good Lord,” said Mallory, rubbing her forehead, which in her marble form made a grinding sound.
“What do we do? This is way bigger than anything I’ve ever dealt with,” said James.
“I have an idea,” said Evan.
“Is it go back to my apartment and chill out eating Cheetos and watching Netflix until another one shows up?” asked James.
“That’s plan B,” said Evan.
“Shoot,” said James.
“How do these guys get their money when the job’s done?” asked Evan.
“I don’t know. Let’s ask that guy,” said James as a figure leaped from the roof and landed in front of them.
“Hallo mein friends,” said the man, who was tall and wiry and wearing a gas mask. “I am Mass Mask and I am here to collect your heads.”
“Sorry, no sprechen ze douche,” said James.
“Damn, I almost had that one!” said Evan.
“Enough! Submit to me,” said Mass Mask.
“Eat me,” said James. He fired his stun gun. Except it didn’t shoot. “Out of juice? Ffffffff…”
“Move!” Evan yelled as he threw a massive needle. It bounced off of Mass Mask’s chest.
“Nein nein nein, little one,” he said, wagging his finger.
Evan sighed. It was official. This night was just the worst.