Friday, 29 May 2020

The Icecream Man

“GET DOWN!” Roared a voice.
Three soldiers dove into cover as the wall above the heads exploded with a spray of gunfire. The trio were showered with shards of stone and plaster as they pulled themselves out of the line of fire.
“Everyone ok?” The young Lieutenant Matthews asked.
“All good!” Barked Sergeant Thompson, a gruff older man.
“Y-yes sir!” Private Abrams, a young, slender woman, squeaked. “Do- Do you hear music…?”
“Alright, sit tight then. Thompson, get ready to call in air support.” The Lieutenant ordered as he peaked out through a gap in their cover.
They were cut off from the rest of the squad, but if he could pinpoint the buggers who had them pinned they could call in an air strike. He scanned the surrounding streets glancing past the broken pavements and burnt out cars and into the buildings opposite. The tip of a gun caught his eye, revealing a large caliber machine gun pointed at where they’d been. There were two men manning the gun, and several others were lined up around them..
“Got them,” Matthews said with a grin. Turning back to his squad he stopped as he caught movement out of the corner of his eye. A child’s face disappeared into a room below the gunners. “Wait, shit call off that strike! There’s civilians still in the building!”
“Ah fuck! What do we do?” Asked Thompson, “We won’t last till reinforcements arrive!”
“I swear I can hear music, it’s kind of nostalgic…” Abrams muttered.
“Focus Private! We need to come up with a plan, do we have any-” Matthews stopped mid sentence as an obnoxiously cheerful tune became too loud to ignore. Cautiously he peeked his head back over cover. “Ho-ly shit….”
Coming towards them was a small truck, it’s bright blue paint mostly covered in thick sheets of armour. A heavily plated hatch dominated one side of the vehicle, spray painted onto which were the words ‘Flakes cost 20p more!’ Mounted on its front was a spiked metal ram, allowing it to plow through the wreckages of other cars. On the top of the vehicle a giant, plastic ice cream cone was slowly rotating. As it span light would shine through the multiple bullet holes that had been punched into the cone.
“Shit, fuck, FUCK! It’s the fucking Icecream Man!” Said Matthews, desperately trying to maintain his cool. “What do we do?”
“I- er I like strawberry-” Abrams started to say.
“Let’s keep down sir, that monster might just pass us by.” Thompson replied, cutting past Abrams.
The group hunkered down as the repetitive tinny jingle approached. The street before them was still as both sides waited for the storm to pass. Unfortunately the icecream truck pulled to a stop right in front of them.
For a while there was no noise at all, bar the same few bars of music. Then the hatch slammed open. A hulking brute of a man was revealed, a patchy beard covering his face and multiple stains dotting his shirt. He began to shout.
“ICECREAM, GET YOUR ICECREAM! We got chocolate, vanilla, mint and strawberry!” A fact that elicited a joyful squeal from Abrams. “We got flakes, but they cost more dammit!”
Both sides of the street remained still for a few moments, then Abrams rose out of cover.
“Get down you idiot!” Matthews yelled, managing to catch a glimpse of the enemies drawing a bead on them as he pulled her back.
“We got lots of lovely goodies for good kids! Sprinkles and sauces, even waffle cones!” Shouted the Icecream Man, drawing back everyone's attention. “So all good kids come and get some icecream!”
Perhaps it was a mistake, but someone started firing at the van. Soon the entire enemy squad started opening up on the icecream van. Bullets pelted down against the open windows as the man ducked into cover. He quickly reappeared holding something on his shoulder.
“But bad kids get lead!” He roared.
“Is that a fucking rpg?” Matthews asked. He was answered by a massive, fiery explosion from where the enemy squad had been.
Once again the street was dominated by the cheerful jingle, now horribly distorted by a stray bullet lodged into a speaker. Flaming debris fell from the crumbling room above.
“Alrighty, come get your icecream kids!” The Icecream Man yelled. Slowly young children began to emerge from the war torn buildings, holding fistfulls of coins that had long been rendered useless by the war and inflation. The Icecream Man cheerfully accepted whatever was offered, doling out various flavours with an assortment of surprisingly well preserved cones and condiments.
Matthews had long given up when Abrams excitedly rose to join the children.
“Wait!” Shouted Thompson, stopping her, “Get me chocolate.”

Friday, 12 October 2018

Villain's plan

Breathe in.

I take a quick look around, dozens of people in colourful costumes stand around in groups. Some of them are staring straight at me, perhaps feeling a sense of familiarity with the few of my features not usually covered by a mask.

Breathe out.

I stride past them all through a bright room with a huge vaulted ceiling. Decorated banners hang down the many pillars, each embroidered with the icons of legendary Heroes. At the end of the room, in the direction I was heading, a long desk stretched from wall to wall with dozens of clerks seated or hurrying through the documents behind. I smile wryly at the spectacle of it all, built solely to awe and impress upon the populace the might of the organisation behind it. An organisation I nominally stood against.

There were three rules to the Villain Society; never work with the Heroes, never steal credit from other Villain’s plans and never target the family of other villains. Working against each other and betrayal were all a-okay apparently, just so long as you followed those rules. And over the course of the week I have been breaking every single one.

“Welcome to the Hero Association, how might I help you today?” Asked the receptionist, wearing her friendliest smile.

“Yes hello, might I be able to speak to management here a bit?” I asked, a slight grin now adorning my lips, “I have some information about a major Villain operation in less than a days time.”

The receptionist’s smile strained slightly at my words. “Sir, any information you have you can report to me. Might I take your name?”

I can feel my mouth stretch into a wide smile, I can’t help it knowing what’s about to happen. The receptionist grimaces at the sight of it. Rude. Though I suppose I have been told I have quite the sinister smile. Some of my peers even seem to think I’ve been practising it.

“Sorry, sorry, how rude of me. I’m the Villain, Legion.”

The receptionist’s face freezes, I see her eyes glaze as she desperately tries to process what I’ve said. The surrounding conversations all stop and I feel several gazes snap in my direction. Then, as suddenly as the silence had descended, the room exploded into chaos.


“Legion,” Said a gruff voice, belonging to a large man in an ill fitting suit. Massive muscles bulged against his shirt and trousers, threatening to burst free at any moment. He was reading off a clipboard in his hands. “Responsible for 12 major heists, 5 cases of substantial property damage, countless petty crime and prime suspect in last weeks Dorseyside incident. A handful of deaths but no Heroes. Has the power to create and remotely control clones of himself. Rated a C level threat, pending a decision on upgrade to B level.”

The man turned to the table I’m sat at, the only furniture in this small windowless room, and slams the clipboard down in front of me. Scary scary. This isn’t going to be a case of police brutality is it? I don’t want anything to happen to my winning smile.

Well, not that this man is police. The hulking brute in front of me is Gloryday, the fourth ranked Hero of the Association. I’m flattered that they think that much of me but it’s not great for my heart, there’s now a chunk of the table missing where the clipboard struck it. Interestingly the board itself seems fine-

“What are you after?!” Gloryday roared at me. It seems he’d noticed I’d gotten distracted and was none too pleased.

“I told that kind receptionist you know?” I said. Oh dear, I’m still smiling from that. It was like I’d kicked an ant-hive back there, super-powered drones positively leapt out of the woodwork. I should definitely do that again sometime.

Whoops, he’s starting to look pissed again. I quickly open my mouth again. “I’ve come to share information that I think you’ll have an interest in.”

The veteran Hero glanced back at the only other person in the room, a lanky woman lent in the corner behind him, before turning back to me after she nodded.

“We’ll hear you out.”

I feel my smile growing wider again, but I quickly restrain it. “It’s a simple story. Long ago, in  a time where The City’s underworld was in free for all, a society appeared with a simple set of rules that-”

“The rules you’re about to break?” Gloryday growled. Not one for dramatic build up I guess. Best just get on with it.

“Yes yes, the very same. Well someone’s broken the rules, and they’ve holed up their private bunker. The Society’s top brass have clubbed together and they’re planning to make an example of the poor chap. I can tell you exactly when and where they’re going to strike. These are some of the biggest Villains plaguing The City. I’m sure you people have something to gain from this.”

The table creaked as Gloryday leant his weight on it to stare me in the eyes. “And what do you get out of this?”

“My poor, dear Gloryday. It’s elementary is it no-” I stop at the sound of his cracking knuckles. Dude needs to learn to chill. “You go to catch the biggest baddies, and I suddenly have a lot of room to grow. Well a pardon for some of my other crimes would be nice on top of that. Just a few? Take some heat off my back?”

Ignoring my puppy dog eyes, Gloryday rubbed his jaw and looked back at the woman behind him. As she nodded again he turned back to me.

“I assume it would be pointless to try and hold you after we’re done? This is a clone right?”

“Gloryday, buddy, pal. Do you really think I would walk directly into the belly of the beast? The den of all, well most, of those who’d seek my downfall, without some kind of out?” I ask with a laugh.

“Alright. Give us the information and we’ll consider acting on it.” He said, glowering at me. “As for the pardons, well we’ll see after we’ve finished.”

After a few minutes of me exposing all of the villains plans for the night Gloryday stood up and headed to the door, with the woman in tow. I’m so damn glad that the info that the Association had someone who’s power could distinguish truth and lies was real, it would have been a massive pain to prove to them I wasn’t feeding them bull. Though it was just as well they didn’t ask me about the Dorseyside incident. If I hadn’t stolen credit for that they wouldn’t have taken me seriously enough for this all to work.


My abilities allowed me to create countless copies of myself, however I could only control a handful with any degree of finesse. More copies than that would be very limited in what they could do so currently there were only four of me running around. One sat in the Hero Association, one sat securely in my secret base, one out getting some errands done and the last one was currently babysitting.

Of course my true body was in the safest of those places but currently I was looking out through the eyes of the me watching over a kid. His mum was there too but she was sat in the corner being lazy so I was doing all the work.

“No, this piece goes there.” Said the child, a blue eyed boy about 8 or 9. He was carefully following the instructions of his lego set whilst getting me to put it together for him. We were sat in a fairly large room with a table in between us almost covered in toys and models. There were a few windows along one wall looking out into a city street several floors below. The sole exit to the room sat behind me.

“But won’t it be cooler if we put these pieces here and here? It’ll be like it’s got wings!” I tell him. He’s been really cutting into my creative freedom for hours now.

The boy folds his arms seriously and stares at me. “We gotta build it up by the instructions first, then you can play with it.”

“My poor boy!” I cry, placing my hands upon his shoulders. “The damn institutionalists have already gotten to you!”


The boy jumps at the scream from the corner of the room and turns to his mother.

“M-mommy? What’s wrong?” He asks whilst cautiously approaching her.

But the woman ignores him, rising to her feet and glaring murderously at me. Damn that’s actually pretty scary, I know she’s not armed but I’m positively shaking here.

“How long?” She says, trying to peer directly into my eyes, “How much longer are you going to keep us trapped up in here?!”

I sigh and place the lego model on the table. “It won’t be long now, things are coming together quite nicely. Hell, it shouldn’t even be another 30 minutes.”

Maintaining eye contact for a good dozen seconds more, the woman eventually begins to deflate. She collapses back into her chair in the corner and pulls her son into her arms. The poor kid’s mouth hangs open in bewilderment as she murmurs to me in a barely noticeable voice; “Why us?”

I smile back at her. “You know exactly what business your husbands into. Hell you’ve even called him Blacklist several times while making your rather impolite threats. I just needed a convenient mole.”

“But why,” She asks listlessly, “why are you doing this?”

I laugh to myself. She doesn’t care, she’s probably just trying to make sense of it all. Of when I turned up yesterday at her house, gun in hand, to take her and her son on a little trip out. The poor woman doesn’t actually care about why I’m doing this. But let’s tell her, I have a bit of time to kill.

“It all started… When I was born.”

The way she blanched at that made the false start totally worth it. Though I could have done without the immediate switch back to morose hatred when I burst into laughter at her.

When I was done laughing, I began. “No, sorry, it started long before that. It started when those with powers first started appearing in the City, and then immediately took over. They strutted around like peacocks until the next batch of even stronger freaks showed up. The cycle continued on and on as the circus in charge split into two factions, the Heroes and the villains and started battling in the streets. And yet what was the difference? The Heroes didn’t care diddly squat for your average joe in the street, they became a class of their own removed from the common man! And the Villains, they didn’t even pretend to hide their arrogance behind pretty words! Their fights escalated, dragging more and more common folk into their petty squabbles. Yet despite these deaths the masses adored them, children idolizing Heroes and everyone desperately scrambling to reach those heights. Those who didn’t have a chance, who had weak powers, were ridiculed and persecuted. Tales of tragedy all too common. A father who was caught in the middle of a super-powered slap fight. A widowed mother who was forced out onto the streets because she lacked power!”

I paused, though not because I thought she might answer. She was now completely cowed into a corner, holding her son so tightly I was actually worried he might get hurt. I was just surprised. There was no longer any humour in my voice.

I took a deep breath and put the familiar mocking, sinister grin back on my face. “This city worships those with power, be they a Hero or a Villain. But tonight-”

I stopped as I focused more attention to another body. Then I turned back to the shivering woman and her utterly shell shocked son.

“Well it’s been fun, but your husband really was right with his info. I gotta go, shit to do!” With that my connection to the room cut off, and my body probably disappeared or melted or something. I’ve never really bothered finding out what happens to my disconnected clones.


Back in my super secret hideout I was finally joined by the guest I’d been waiting for all night. In a dingy gray room somewhere underground a shadowy figure stole through the lone entryway that I’d been sat in front of all day.

“Good evening Nighteye, I suspected you’d get here first.” I said with a smile, which the intruder had to turn away from as the shadows dissolved around them. Now that’s really rude, she’s a villain too! She should be dying to get a smile like mine.

The unnatural darkness had finally dissipated enough to reveal the slender figure dressed, perhaps a little predictably, in black trousers and a black jacket. The leather mask covering the top half of her face matched in colour. It’s an improvement on the bright, gaudy get up of the Heroes but I’d really appreciate some innovation from my peers.

“Legion.” The woman shortly responds. “I didn’t expect to find you so calm.”

She inspects the empty room as I recline back in my chair. Damn I wish I had a drink in hand to look real dapper.

“Where’s the rest of the guys?” I ask, “I expected at least Demon Fingers to be here by now…”

Nighteye finally turned to face me, looking triumphant. Well I assume it was triumph, it’s so hard to tell with all the masks all the time.

“They’re all upstairs with your new friends. But don’t worry, they won’t take long.” She laughed. “Did you really think we wouldn’t notice you waltz right up to the Hero Alliance’s front desk? We all knew you were kinda nuts but this is ridiculous.”

She started to circle the room all the while mocking me as I sat there, drinkless. “When we heard about your little visit we knew exactly what you were planning. We beefed up our attack force, you’re saviours aren’t coming.” She eventually finished gloating and rounded back to staring down at me.

“Any last words?”

Ah man. I can’t hold it in. I began to laugh. It started with a little giggle that looked like it really pissed off Nighteye, which triggered me into a burst of raucous laughter. Under her withering gaze I eventually sputtered out into sporadic cackling.

“Are you done?” She asked, forming a spear out of the surrounding shadows.

“You lot a so fucking arrogant.” I tell her. And while she pauses in mild surprise I continue. “Villains, Heroes, you are all so god damn full of yourselves. It’s all about who’s got the biggest fireball chucking, head exploding dick! You wouldn’t even deign to think that the crazy clone guy is pulling all your strings. And you don’t even pay attention to anyone who has an ability that can’t be used in one of your super-powered slap fights.”

“Alright you crazy bastard, time to die.” Nighteye says, lining up her shadow spear.

“Like poor old Greg. He can make explosives, but has no way to arm them or set them off without blowing himself to kingdom come. Useless in combat, but imagine the amount of firepower you can set up with about 3 years of having him work non-stop in your secret lair as you pack the walls, ceilings and floors with the stuff?”

For the first time since we started to chat, Nighteye looked something other than angry or condescending. I took a silent second to bask in her fear before everything went all explodey.


The last of my clones had donned a crappy disguise and been gathering as many citizens as I could possibly find and gather them as close as might be safe from my hideout-cum-deathtrap. It was a delightful get together as we watched a frantic melee between most of the most powerful Heroes and Villains in The City be engulfed by an enormous fireball beyond anything they’d ever seen.

So enraptured by the flames were the crowd that no one even noticed me disappearing as I confirmed the Hero response teams scrambling to try and control the situation.


My real body was in the safest place in The City, the stronghold of its so called protectors. I opened my eyes back in the cells of the Hero Association. Now that almost everyone available had been scrambled to deal with the situation outside, it was about time to make my exit.

I created 20 clones of myself who, while I could not control directly, would be able to follow simple commands to help my escape. After we got out they’d all split up and I should be able to make a clean getaway.

All in all I rated today as a success, and made sure to smile at everyone as I left.