GUN DRACULA VS SKY COP, Part 6: Gun Dracula Vs Liquid Jaguar God, Part 1 — Audience
“Sir,” said a birdman, small and weak, fragile and frail, but befitted with a suit of inflatable human muscles. Sky Cop loathed weakness, hated the sight of things he deemed un-great, and while the eugenics program for the hatcheries and the genetic treatments had hit starts and stops as they worked out kinks in introducing huge, bulging, rippling human muscles to birdman physique, the undesirables had been allowed to get by so long as they wore a full-suit of cartoonishly overinflated human muscles. They also doubled as flotation devices. “He’s made it past our welcoming committee.”
Sky Cop steepled his fingers on his huge golden throne. “Which of Our lieutenants did We send? The Flesh Mountain? 4D Hologrammatic Man? The Electric Tooth?”
“N…no,” said the messenger.
“Then who? Tell me who We lost, so that We might mourn, and plan.”
“It… It was Paul, sir.”
“Paul?” said Sky Cop.
“Yes,” said the messenger. “Paul.”
Sky Cop stood, and turned, and stared out the window, at the moon, which was humongous, and purple. “Paul…” he said.
“Yes,” the messenger repeated.
Sky Cop stared in silence for some time. The messenger shifted his feet and looked away, half in fright and half in shame.
“So Paul is dead now,” Sky Cop said.
“Yes,” said the messenger.
“Killed, by that fiend… Dracula…”
“Actually, the intel officers are calling him Gun Dracula now.”
“Because he has a gun.”
“A big one. Yes.”
“The same gun with which he killed Paul…”
The messenger nodded. “Yes, Paul.”
“Tell Paul’s family… that We will have our revenge. And that their son, husband, and father did not die in vain. In a gun fight, mid-air, in a new dimension, against the fiend, no, the arch-fiend Gun Dracula.”
“Yes,” said the messenger.
There was more silence. The messenger could not tell whether Sky Cop was thinking very hard or not thinking at all.
“Sir?” he asked.
“Is it more news about Paul?” Sky Cop asked.
“No,” the messenger said. “No, he’s… he’s dead.”
“Paul…” said Sky Cop.
“No, this isn’t about Paul.”
“Who died, in service to our nation.”
“Yes, Sky Realm.”
“How can you think of anything but Paul in this time?”
“Sir, Gun Dracula is coming. I need to know whether we should scramble the army or whether I should contact a new lieutenant to engage him or — ”
Sky Cop whipped his hand toward the messenger, slapping him clean across the face. The messenger, scrawny and untrained as he was, took the full brunt of the blow in his face and was sent tumbling across the room.
“That’s what you get for disrespecting the memory of Paul,” said Sky Cop.
“But sir — ”
“I love the troops!” Sky Cop bellowed.
“I — ”
“I love them!”
“Sir — ”
The messenger trembled on the floor. “Yes, sir,” he said.
“Yes,” the messenger said. “And Paul.”
“We must react. No. We must act,” said Sky Cop. “We cannot let ourselves appear weak.”
“No,” said the messenger.
“Because we aren’t weak.”
“We’re strong,” said Sky Cop. “Very strong.”
“The best. We have the very best, and are the very best.”
“Yes,” said the messenger. “Yes.”
“You haven’t seen anybody as good as the people we’ve got. They’re the brightest, the strongest, the mightiest, the most muscled.”
“Like Paul,” the messenger ventured.
“Yes,” Sky Cop said. “Like Paul.”
He paused, beak pointed like an arrow out the window, deep in thought, maybe.
“Send Liquid Jaguar God,” Sky Cop said finally.
“But — ”
Sky Cop held out his hand. The messenger stopped.
“I know he’s wild,” Sky Cop said. “He works for us now, though.”
The messenger was silent.
“Don’t you think I know what I’m doing?”
The messenger nodded. Kept quiet.
“I know what I’m doing.”
“Yes, sir,” said the messenger.
“Who else could defeat someone like Gun Dracula?”
“I don’t know, sir.”
“Then go release Liquid Jaguar God. Prep a landing area for Gun Dracula. And make it seem attractive, safe.” He paused. “Make him think he wants to land there, like it’s his idea. And then, we hit him.” He paused, again. “Liquid Jaguar God hits him.”
“Yes, sir,” said the messenger. He began to collect himself from the floor.
“Oh, and messenger?” Sky Cop said as the messenger was leaving.
“You need to do more strength training. Your muscles look good, real good, the best, and I know the best, and we’ve got the best, the best you’ve ever seen. But you’re not as strong as you need to be. And I know strength.”
The messenger looked down at his inflatable muscle suit and wondered, briefly, whether Sky Cop was fucking with him or whether he really couldn’t tell they weren’t real muscles. He decided to believe, for his own sake, physically, politically but also in terms of sanity, that Sky Cop was fucking with him and that the joke was just very dry.
“Yes, sir,” the messenger said, and scooted out the door.
Sky Cop continued to stare up at the moon. He wondered seriously how many more lieutenants would die to Gun Dracula’s hand, whether he’d have to wield the fasces personally against him in order to stop the fiend from destroying Sky Realm entirely.
And then he began to plan out Paul’s funeral in his mind, and to prep the speech he would televise, to galvanize the birdmen of Sky Realm to attack the field Gun Dracula on sight.