Villains Inc. Headquarters–
The door bursts open into the kitchenette, just behind the small dining room table. CrossBones strides in, his hands covering both his ears. He’s wearing a custom-made hoodie with his skull emblem, black sweats, and flip flops. “What the hell is that?”
Catalyst, lounging in a purple Snuggie, cranes his neck over his shoulder as he reclines on the couch, his feet up on the coffee table before him. He thumbs over to a large window facing the courtyard outside. “Chrom wailing away on his axe!”
“Hasn’t he ever heard of headphones?” CrossBones says as he moves through the kitchen and to stand in front of Catalyst. “He could wake the dead.”
“He might be trying to, for all I know. His name is Chromatic Death,” Catalyst says as he returns to staring at sheets of paper in his hand. “He says headphones hurt his ears and ruin the sound.”
“HURT HIS EARS!!!” CrossBones presses his hands tighter against his head. “Why haven’t you told him to knock it off?”
Catalyst shakes his head. “Nope. Not it. If you want piece and quiet, you ask him yourself.”
“If you’re gonna be in charge of this bunch, be frickin’ in charge,” CrossBones turns to move to the window, but the cacophony suddenly stops.
CrossBones lowers his hands and sighs. “Thank god. I can take a lot, but I can only hear that riff from that song by the Rembrandts so many times a day.”
Behind the two of them, the door opens again. Martial Law walks in, dressed in some of his best clothes, His bare chest is left mostly visible beneath a long black coat and he has a semi-satisfied smile on his rugged face. He presses the door mostly closed, leaving about a half-inch gap that he peeks out through. “Guys. Get out! I need the place for an hour or so.” He peers back out through the narrow opening. “Oh, yeah. Daddy likes.”
“I just got here from the office, dude,” Catalyst says. “You wouldn’t believe what crap I have to deal with every day playing Mayor. This lowly used shoe salesman who’s always looking to get an hour of my complete attention came in whining and complaining about everything again. He wants me to hire more mall cops for security at the place he works. He says the local kids keep teasing him and putting Kick Me signs on his back.”
“What did you do?” CrossBones asked.
“Told him I’d see what I could do and thanked him for voicing his opinion,” Catalyst said. “Then, I sent the boys to burn down his store headquarters. Should shut him up for a week or two. There’s nothing like a good fire sale, right?”
“Why not just off him?”
“I’m saving that for a special occasion.” Catalyst smirks. “You know, like when I need a little pick me up after polling.”
“Less small talk, more move your asses,” Martial Law says. He opens the door up and pokes his head out into the hallway. The other two can hear his whispers into the corridor. “Hold on a bit, babe. I’m just getting us some privacy from the boys.”
CrossBones and Catalyst exchange looks as sly grins break out on both their faces. In unison, they mime hugging and kissing an imaginary partner. “Oh, baby baby, make sweet, SWEET love to me.”
Martial Law retracts his head back into the room and gently pushes the door closed. “Shut up you mother f’er’s. I got an Instagram from this hot piece online and she said if I bought her a really nice surf n’ turf dinner and dessert, she’d let me in her ‘red door’, ya’ know what I mean. Now, get the hell out of here.”
“At least she’s got a good meal out of the evening.” CrossBones smirked. “Too bad its all downhill for her from here on out. Poor girl would have been better off using Grinder.”
Leaping at CrossBones, Martial Law flies over the couch and tackles his comrade into the large coffee table in the center of the room. “I’ll show you downhill. Downhill is six-feet under for you.”
Catalyst pulls his grizzly-bear slippered feet back just in time to avoid the impact as the coffee table explodes into shards of glass and wood. He looks dejectedly at the paperwork flying in the air as the two tussle. “Those are the stats for next league war! I had my interns compiling those for the last week-and-a-half. Now I have to get them to do it all over again. Do either of you know how hard it is to get unpaid interns to do ANYTHING?”
The impromptu wrestling match continues. Duckbutter, Sarge, and Darkvenge each come out of adjoining rooms and watch their comrades roll on the ground. They each pull out their BADGE comm devices and go to the Fan-Duel app, betting on who will eventually win the fight.
The door Martial Law entered through opens and an extremely lovely woman walks in. Long red hair, flawless skin, and the statuesque poise of a Greek statue wrapped in the seductive leather a black dominatrix-style catsuit. All eyes in the room are drawn to her. Even CrossBones and Martial Law cease their fight.
“Hey, babe, I got a bit sidetracked.” Martial Law gives CrossBones a shove, knocking him from his chest to the floor. “Just a minute and I’ll be ready.”
She shrugs and walks over to the kitchen refrigerator. She opens the door, pulls out a bottle of beer and begins to chug it. Her body shifts and melds into the familiar red demon-winged form of their friend Nemesis. He drains the bottle and lets out a long breath. “Damn restaurant he took me to had shit for beer.”
“What the F@#%, Fumo!” Martial Law rises from the floor, crunching broken glass under the soles of his boots. “You were her that entire time?! What’d you do that for?”
“My fridge was empty.” Nemesis says as he turns and heads out the door into the room across the hallway.
Everyone in the room except for Martial Law work to hold back the looks of pure amusement on their faces. Darkvenge and Duckbutter try covering their mouths to contain their laughter, while Catalyst, Crossbones, and Sargent D turn their heads just enough not to be staring at Martial Law any longer.
Martial Law stands silently for a moment, a stunned look on his face. Then he charges after Nemesis. “Change back! At least finish what you started.”
He slams the door closed behind him as he exits the kitchen.
Silence fills the room for a few moments until Darkvenge shrugs and glances at the others. “If the fridge is empty, who feels like going to get some shawarma?”
“I’m done with shawarma. It was good once, but I’m over it,” Duckbutter says, his blue and black striped tie dangling between his dancing pecs. “Let’s go for some TACOS!”
His torso covered in tattoos, Sargent D nods in agreement as he polishes one of the three League War Championship belts he is wearing.
“What about you two?” Darkvenge asks.
“I’m gonna hang out here—” CrossBones is cut off by a long-drawn-out power chord echoes out from the courtyard as Chrom begins to play again. He storms over toward the window. “Aw, hell no. I’m not putting up with this all day.”
Catalyst stands up and nods to Darkvenge, replying in a quiet voice while chuckling. “Yeah, I’ll go. I think I have some comp Bux at a good taco truck from last election cycle. Give me a sec to go to my quarters and change first, though. Can’t let my constituents see me like this-,” he tugs at his super soft Snuggie, “-The paparazzi would have a field day.” They all head to the door as CrossBones reaches the window and beats on the glass.
“Knock it off down there, Chrom.” CrossBones face turns sour as he realizes why Catalyst avoided talking to their league-mate. “And damn it, put some clothes on! Nobody wants to see you playing guitar naked out there!”
Later that evening, the whole league sits on ragged couches kept on the roof of their base as the members look out over the city while eating tacos.
“Changing into an actual red door doesn’t count, Nemesis,” Martial Law says. “You’re paying me back for dinner.”
Nemesis shrugs and takes a swig of his beer. “We’ll see.”
In the distance, a bright fire burns out throughout the city. Hundreds of capes fly about shooting energy beams, lightning bolts, and other attacks at whatever enlarged foe they face. Detonations can be heard in the distance, as well as police sirens. Harlequin Rogue stands and walks over to the building’s edge and looks down.
“Why are those cops going in the opposite direction of the fight?” She asks.
Catalyst empties a can of beer and crushes the can on his forehead. “That’ll be the 5th Precinct. I blame poor leadership.”
“Shouldn’t we be heading over there to help?” Darkvenge asks. “Nova put out the global alert a few hours ago.”
“Nahhhh,” Catalyst opens a new can. “We’re on vacation until we get to summon the foes WE want to fight. I’m not playing the Director’s game anymore. I made campaign promises, and damn it, I’m going to see they keep them even if it kills them.”
Catalyst holds his can out to the group in a toast. “Here’s to Villains Inc. Hail Hydra!!”
“Hail Hydra!!” They all respond in unison as they clink bottles and cans together.
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