"On the good ship, lollipop..." he sang, humming the melody for a few seconds. "...Damn, forgot the words again... Are we there yet?"
Black-hat sat in the darkness of a transport van's interior, a few hired hands steering the very conspicuous vehicle through the streets of Paris.
"Almost, just hold your horses, cowboy. What do you have to do in a place like this, anyway?"
"Oh, you know, this and that. See the sights...kill the people. A little anarchy goes a long way...Oh right, I have a shopping list for that museum exhibit. Guess the ugly statue must be important to Warlock...We should pick up some kool aid while were here. I get thirsty on jobs."
The two minions looked nervously to each other as they listened to the cowboy's musings, feeling a ping of fear for their own safety...though by this point he had gone back to singing poorly.
"Somewhere, over the rainbow..."
The van pulled up in front of the museum. Even late at night, the exhibit had drawn a crowd. A historical development nobody could have expected, bridging to a new and yet undiscovered culture, and the scientific community was doing back-flips over it...
Out of the van stepped the cowboy, his boots clicking on the ground ominously as he casually walked forward, rudely pushing his way through the crowd. A security guard walked up to him, asking him to stop where he was, only to hear his rather off-tune humming, the guard was about to speak when...
His duster flew open, and with one arm, he held a big fucking gun right up to the guards face!
"Oh don’t worry boy, here's my VIP pass."
*BLAM!* The guard's headless body was tossed aside as the guests were sprayed in...ok you don’t wanna know. Almost instantly the crowd hightailed it, screaming bloody murder at the...bloody murder. The other guards immediately raised their guns at the well armed assailant.
"Well, surrounded by burly men in uniform who want to cause me a lot of pain...and they say dreams dont come true."
shaking, one security guard shouted for him to drop his weapon and the rest of the usual arrest jargon nobody actually follows.
"Well there Mr rent a cop. Looks like I aint complyin with yer little neat n tidy rule book on how this n supposeda go. What ya gona do bout it? I'm right here, go ahead pull that there trigger an give me all ya FUCKIN got!"
The guards immediately opened fire. Black Hat made absolutely no attempt to dodge or even block, opening his arms and letting the hail of gunfire shred him.
As the guards slowly lowered their firearms to look in awe, he just stood there, as if the numerous bullet wounds didn’t even effect him. Slowly, the bullets pushed their way back out of the wounds which quickly healed before the terrified guards' eyes.
"Hehahahaha." As he laughed, his teeth extended into razor sharp fangs. "Sorry boys, but I always need a drink after I eat lead..."
With inhuman speed, he nearly flew forward, and was upon them in an instant...
It was not long after, when a superhero had been called to the city's aid. Swinging down from high above, in a garish and colorful costume, the French superheroine, Jester, landed on a rooftop adjacent to the museum, seeing an intense gunfight occurring below...the cops seemed to be facing off against some sort of...zombies?
Jester landed behind police lines, standing up and raising her arms as if having just stuck a gymnastics landing. Immediately, a cop confronted her.
"Thank God you are here, it's hell on earth in there. The people he killed, they...rose again, and bullets are not putting them down!"
Jester...was barely paying attention, poking one of the incapacitated zombies with a stick "Hmm, Zes is bad. Do not worry, my friends are on the way. I will just go on ahead and capture the bad guy before they have to."
She leaped off, cartwheeling over the police barricade, and easily hopping along the zombies' heads, before smashing through an entryway window and disappearing inside.
The cop that greeted her stood dumbfounded. "Why the hell are we being rescued by a bimbo?"
Inside, Jester managed to sneak along the walls, despite her colorful outfit. All the while she was playing her own spy theme in her head. Strangely, although she barely noticed, there were very few of the zombie things, there seemed to be one positioned strategically every room as if to guard, but nowhere near a crowd level...
When she got to the main exhibit hall, she discovered why...
"I got clowns to the left of me, jokers to the right, here I am stuck in the middle with you..."
A undeathly pale man dressed as a cowboy danced around the main exhibit with a random patron, midway through...the patron's head fell off and rolled away.
"Darn, gonna need to find some fresher dance partners. Ah hell, I spent too long here anyway. Any of you plods found the statue yet?"
As if on cue, a number of undead shuffled out of the museum halls, lugging various expensive artifacts to present before the cowboy. He slowly examined them...before shouting "You braindead horse shits!" Immediately whipping out a pair of silver revolvers and blowing four heads off. Before finally turning to the fifth, looking over the statue for a moment... and showing satisfaction. "Alright, this is just what the boss ordered. Guess my little vacation is at an end. Wonder what street the van got to when they were running in terror?"
Jester watched with intrigue and terror...mostly terror, at the undead abominations before her and their demonic master. This might be why as she tried to move for a closer look, she slipped, falling onto a pile of the minions, knocking them over like bowling pins...
When she looked up, she could see Black Hat standing over her, holding the rim of his hat as he examined the newcomer. "Well now, that was quite a nasty spill, little lady. Why would someone like you come here to a party with me? Another fan girl seeking out a vampire for eternal life?"
Jester gave a big, cheerful smile "Bonjour!" Before jabbing the vampire right in the face with her Marotte, activating its feature as a stun rod and giving him a thousand volts.
Blackhat spazzed out from the huge amount of electricity hitting him and stumbled back "Ow! Okay...yep I think I'm gettin' a buzz."
Jester easily leaped from her prone position...somehow, backflipping into a back handspring and landing with some distance between her and the Vampire...distance he instantly closed, moving too fast to be seen, grabbing her by the throat and holding her above the ground with colossal strength, slowly beginning to strangle her. "That was a funny little move you pulled there. Here let me show you what I can do, Just a little extra pressure and yer eyes go pop like one a them squeaky toys."
As his fingers tightened around her throat, Jester quickly swung her marotte, casting off its head on a thin fiber wire which wrapped around one of the indoor gargoyle decorating a pillar (it is a museum of art not of good taste). She began pulling with all her might, and a considerable mechanical advantage from the marotte's internalized motor.
Finally, the stone carving came loose, plummeting down and landing right on the vampire's head, smashing him flat into the floor and freeing Jester from his deadly grasp!
Jester fell back, choking and coughing, holding her throat. "Oy, some people actually find that erotic?"
As she stood up to dust herself off, the gargoyle was launched into the air, as Blackhat stepped out of the impact it created, popping several bones back into place. "Well I certainly did. But I sure as hell ain't finished yet."
Blackhat threw open his duster, revealing a huge assortment of guns, bombs, knives, and various wildly impractical but cool looking combinations therein.
Jester looked wide eyed at the now severely pissed off monster "Uh...I need an adult."
Jester did a high-flying back-flip to avoid the hail of bullets and explosions that rocketed around her, quickly diving and tumbling fast as her body would allow, trying to find some cover, then trying again after seconds of concentrated fire shredded the cover she did find.
"now this is what i call an expressionist exhibit! and they say modern art doesn't mean anything!"
Jester returned fire every chance she got, launching stun grenades and smoke pellets from her marotte at the apex of her jumps and springs, firing shock darts as she made a roll, however all of them had negligible effect on the rampaging vampire, who continued to return fire with explosive results.
finally after a short time, the museum main room was devastated. Luckily most of the important exhibits were kept in secure storage with only impeccable replicas presented to public view (seriously in a world of super heroes and villains that is just common sense)
Jester hid behind the very last exhibit, a recreation of Venis De Milo "Ooh, i just had to choose the one without arms. I mussent give him ideas..."
"Yall fought as well as can be expected for a human, better en most. Just one problem girl, I'm a fuckmotherin vampire! You dont stand a chance. Now we get to the fun part. Come out a there nice and quiet like, and I'll be sure to keep you round as a thrall. The boss seems to like his girls under a spell anyway...or i could just shred the dam thing, if my guns can shred stone, they'll shred you along with it."
Jester quickly cycled through her marottes built in weapons, desperately trying to find one that might harm the demonic cowboy...only to realize she was out of options. Prepping her stun grenades, she prepared to make a break for it when...
*crash!* An open palm shattered the statue in one move, as Blackhat stormed through it like paper
"Too slow, bored now!"
Before she could even move out of the way, the lightning fast demon was upon her, his black duster swirling around her like a vortex. She felt a sting in her neck as a flash like the blade of a knife pierced the darkness...
"Cleopatra couldn't keep hold a 4 girls. I think I'll just manage with the one."
Jester couldn't move, a venom on the vampires fangs paralyzing her like a vicious snakes bite. Her eyes wide and dilated as she was forced to watch. Blackhats evil grin before her.
"Now now darlin, Corse I aint much into women, but we'll find you a nice demon boy. I'm of the highest Codex among my kind, I treat my thralls right, even if yall are just a human. Now with my venom corsin through your veins I know yall cant relax, so piercin through all that tense muscle wont be fun, just try an think bout how these will be yer last few moments of ever havin free will...maybe that'll help."
From the vampires grizzled face, a long, pointed tongue extended, placing a sharp, knife like tip right at the edge of Jesters throat. Despite it looking like flesh, she felt the sting of a knifes edge very slowly digging into her throat, a tiny pin prick of blood emerging. It was clear the demon intended to slowly bore his bladed tongue right through her neck. The venom was making her head spin, his grips on her arms drawing blood as she could feel a trio of claws on each hand even through his gloves. Fear was overwhelming her...
there was no sound leading up to it, not tell of what was to come, just a sudden blast of roaring noise as a cybernetic fist smashed into Blackhats face, so fast even he couldn't see it coming. Releasing Jester from sheer shock, the cowboy flew back, crashing through 2 decorative pillars on the other side of the room and into a wall.
there between him and Jester stood a well bodied cyborg girl, her feet floating off the ground, supported by a point of energy (frankly think Lambda 11). Blades adorned her elbow armor, blade like claws for fingers, and between both hands, a pair of tire looking razor disks.
as he snapped his jaw and neck back into place, Blackhat instantly recognized France most famous cybernetic speedster and member of the Circus of Justice.
"Grands Prix. Well hows about that. Mind runnin the tour de fuck off for a bit? I'm in the middle a something."
the holographic display on the cyborgs helmet narrowed, simulating narrowing eyes. Without a word she struck a running crouch and shoot at the Vampire, despite his superhuman speed, he blocked a second too late, getting her razor disk caught in his forearm, right through the bone.
"Ahh! Hell those can not be regulation tires!"
a second one lopped his other arm clean off before he could even reach for one of his guns
"Aw shit! Good thing I'm ambidextrous."
using the blade dug into his arm, she chucked him into the air before loosing both disks, which cris crossed in mid air several times in a helix pattern, before guillotining the vampires head clean off! Before it could hit the ground, Grands Prix dashed to it lightning fast and hit it with a flip kick, sending it flying through the skylight!
"I'll be back in 2 seasons with time powers!" as he sailed through the air, finally landing with an explosive splash in a nearby river...Luckily he was in France and not Italy or an inner city river would not be a happy landing.
with the vampire removed from the area, the corpses he had raised rapidly withered to dust and ash.
with the immediate threat dealt with, Grands Prix rushed over to Jester, who was just now barely starting to recover from the venom.
Jester looked up, embarrassed at her crushing defeat, seeing Grands Prix eyes narrow with disapproval.
"That was so foolish of you, Sherry, rushing in with no plan, no backup, and against a super powered threat. You dont have to constantly prove yourself just because you lack powers."
Jester looked down, nearly tearing up from the trauma she had just experienced, as Grands Prix hugged her close.
"You know your sisters would never forgive me if anything happened to you."
Jester, regaining the full motion of her arms, just hugged her friend and ally back, the tiny wounds on her neck having already closed, as if by magic. It had been a terrifying and traumatic night for everyone involved, even as the police began cleaning up the carnage...
nobody noticed that the statue was not recovered, and Blackhats body was missing...
miles away from the closest city, as the river let out in a more rural setting, even as the sun rose, a black glove clad fist burst from the water. Climbing out as the sun rays melted his exposed flesh like a raging fire, Black Hat clutched the statue in his sharp toothed jaws. With a growl of anger, he crushed it to pieces with a single bite, revealing the true prize within...a golden artifact, near identical to the one Solaris had been questing for.
prize in hand, he trudged, drenched to the bone, from the water, even as flames began to engulf his body from the suns rays, and began the long walk back to his employer.
"Two down...three to go."
to be continued!