Last week: Warmonger and Jaguar broke into Bea’s Jewelers, grabbing raw gold and loose stones. But as they slipped outside, they were accosted! Who’s behind that alluring voice? …
Warmonger, who prided himself on self-control, snapped his head to a halt halfway around. Not the worst-case, he thought, but close enough. Only the Masked Warriors, the coolest customers of all, would be worse than Miss Siles. Warmonger was a meticulous planner (DeVine just called him “anal”), and he had contingencies for all the known quantities. He hoped Jaguar had followed orders, which for this case were run like hell. But that voice… that was something HNN didn’t mention. His lizard brain screamed Look! It was taking all his concentration and self-discipline to not just turn around and stare. If he couldn’t run, Jag was toast.
“Cute, babe,” he said, pulling the balaclava over his eyes to obscure his vision further. “Now make me a sandwich.”
He felt only a twinge of anger, not enough to use. That line always worked on Ultra Woman; but she was in Hollywood, filming a documentary. Warmonger thought quickly, and realized that this was likely Miss Siles’s first encounter with a supervillain. The only intel on her was what they’d shown on HNN, and he didn’t like being the one to acquire more. She’s a rookie, he thought, I can’t go down to a rookie. He thought quickly, doing his best to ignore the lizard brain. The slap rounds in his .45 were meant to take out any alarm sirens without making a lot of noise themselves. They wouldn’t kill, even if the target had no body armor, but they could bruise…
He gave in to the lizard brain, and turned to face Miss Siles, but drew his weapon. All he could focus on was that gigantic chest, but that was his target anyway, and he squeezed off three shots.
He had just enough time to think Damn, she’s fast. Miss Siles twisted, not enough to dodge the slap rounds, but enough to deflect them, then those huge knockers came around and slammed him across the side of the head. Taking that blow used up all his remaining energy, and he staggered backwards. His gun had gone flying, but there was nothing to do about that.
His vision was blurry, but he could see how Miss Siles stood gaping. He grinned. “That’s all you got?” he taunted. “You thought you could take the Warmonger out with one shot? Kid, you’re up way past your bedtime. You’re good, but this is the big leagues.”
This shot went home; he felt that surge of red anger. Ahhhh. It wasn’t enough to fill the tank, but it was enough. He averted his eyes just as his vision cleared.
“I’ll make you a sandwich!” she growled, and charged in.
Warmonger shouted down the lizard brain again, forced himself to move, and used his augmented strength to leap straight up, a good fifteen feet, to the roof of Bea’s Jewelers. He landed within reach of Jaguar, whose eyes were locked on Miss Siles. His hands strangled a piece of conduit. He looked toward Miss Siles, who glared up at them. “Catch ya in the funnies, kid!” he said, tasting another generous draught of anger, and dragged Jaguar out of sight.
It took a little shaking and a few ungentle slaps to snap Jag out of it, but he finally held up a hand. “I’m… I’m all right,” he said. “How did you stay… jeez.”
“I’m the Warmonger. I ain’t gonna let some artillery take me down. C’mon.” They leaped from building to building, Jaguar’s favorite way to cover ground, until Warmonger’s energy ran low. Having lost Miss Siles at last, they climbed down and went their ways.
“Jeez, boss!” Nick gasped, looking at the bruise covering half of Ward’s face. “You okay?”
“Nothing I couldn’t handle.” Or would like to handle, his lizard brain chittered. “Where’s the Jack?”
Nick slid him a glass and a bottle, and Ward poured a generous helping of whisky. That was too close, he thought. A rookie, and she almost took me out. We’re gonna be hurtin’ in a year, if we can’t come up with a counter. He tried to think, but the damned lizard brain kept going on about those… humongous…
“Hey boss,” Nick sipped at a mug of beer he’d poured for himself. Employees got free beer, off the clock. It kept them loyal. “You up to hear a pitch?”
Ward downed his glass, and poured another. “Fire away.”
“I was thinkin’. Maybe once a month, maybe the Saturday before a full moon, we could have a Ladies Fight Night. Get the baddest babes in town goin’ at it. I think it would pack the place.”
“Hmmm.” Ward usually dismissed suggestions right away, then came up with a justification, but this one… ah. “We could try it, maybe next month. Give us a little time to, you know, put the word out.” He discussed details with his employee with half his brain. The other half thought, and maybe I can recruit some of the winners. I bet Miss Siles don’t have that effect on other women. Meanwhile, the lizard brain kept up the running commentary. It would take a long time to shut it up, nearly as long as it took for the bruise to fade.
If you liked this story, there’s more of the Skyscraper City universe, including the supervillain Pulse and the arrival of Miss Siles on the scene. Or if you like superhero stories, but aren’t thrilled with mine, you can always give Tony Noland’s novel Verbosity’s Vengeance a shot!