Love & Plunder – 5

You know what I’ve noticed?  So called (if they can so be called) criminal masterminds are far too eager to sacrifice their minions to no good advantage.  They get so enamored with the fact that they have pawns to throw away they can’t resist throwing them away.  Disposable assets are still assets guys, there’s no reason to waste them.  If you’re going to send someone to their death it should be for a reason. 

The first step in the helicarrier heist was to gear up my bought and paid for Barrel Brigade minions.   Crossfire had turned me on to this guy named Cal who, like 50% of the tech themed villains out there, used to work for Stark Industries.  Cal, like all these Stark Techies had the same story.  He invented some kind of carbon robo-muscle fiber that Stark used in all his suits, felt like he didn’t get enough credit for it, so he went rogue and started trying to rip off Stark Industries facilities across the land in his own scratch built non-Iron Man super-suit. 

And like everyone who trod that path before him he got his ass stomped by Iron Man.  Here’s the thing nerd guys that keep doing this dance with Stark.  You invented one piece of tech that Stark used, and you’re just one guy working out of your garage.  How are you going to take down Iron Man?  He’s the wealthiest man alive and he’s got a thousand other dudes just like you inventing shit for him.  What you’re doing is like buying a nice pair of basketball shorts and thinking you can play in the NBA.  There’s a lot more to it.   

And check this out folks, even if somehow you beat Iron Man with your homemade scratch-built dragonfly suit then you have to deal with the Avengers.  You can’t win.  Even if by some miracle you get over on Stark, then Vision is going to come melt your ass.  Or Thor is going to blow up your shit.  Dude is an actual god.  What is your sonic doom rifle going to do about a literal god coming to kick your ass?  To say nothing of the Hulk.   

Anyway, Cal, who does villain stuff under the name Mechani-Cal because he’s very good at protecting his secret identity, turned me on to a not very secret depot where the feds store some of the “low-level” tech crap they pick up from these Tony Stark jabronis like Armor Geddon and Red Eye.  When Cal first told me about this I was appalled, why isn’t the government reverse engineering this tech and using it?  What are my tax dollars paying for anyway? 

Cal explained that they are, but it takes so long and there’s so much of this seized tech-junk that there are warehouses of this crap sitting around that they just haven’t gotten to yet.  It takes them years to figure out how anti-grav disks or gas guns or whatever these lunatics invent work and then years more to operationalize them into a thing that people someone might actually use in the field.  The crazies out there are building this stuff faster than the techies in the government can take it apart and study it. 

And here’s the punchline, after all that effort it’s usually it’s not worth it to do anything with that supervillain tech knowledge.  The Mad Bomber What Bombs At Midnight might be willing to spend years of his life and millions of dollars’ worth of stolen manganese building a super-suit that he uses to steal his high school crush’s panties but on a mass scale it’s cheaper and more effective to recruit a thousand dudes from Mississippi into the army and train them as riflemen.  The cost of building one super-suit and training a pilot to fly it just doesn’t give you enough bang for your military buck. 

Cal and I had intended to hitting this depot together but since he was in prison on account of Tony Stark beat his ass, I figured he wouldn’t mind if I helped myself.  J/K I know he’ll lose this mind if he ever finds out about it.  Grab a couple suits for my Barrel Brigade guys and this helicarrier becomes a much better target.   

I know what you’re thinking “Aren’t you being a hypocrite?  Couldn’t you just sell the suits after you steal them?  Why go after the helicarrier?” 

Because I want a helicarrier, that’s why. 


I must watch too many movies.  I thought once we were in the same room Helen would recognize me, perhaps she would even be the one to the make the first move.  Come over, say hello, maybe her hand touches my hand lightly as she smiles.  It’s stupid I know, but I thought maybe, just maybe, she had been looking for me too.  Love at first sight.   

It was strange to see her in street clothes for the first time.  She looked amazing, don’t get me wrong about that, it’s just when you’ve only ever seen the love of your life in shiny catsuits and titanium plated bikinis it’s jarring when you walk in and see her in lady slacks and a casual top.  It’s like when you’re a kid and you see your neighborhood mailman at the grocery store.  It’s just wrong. 

The samurai guy had brought in 8 of us for her to interview for the job she was planning but she dismissed 4 of them right away without even talking to them. They were a little group in their own right, bikers or at least with a biker aesthetic, with names like Roadkill and Pigface and Scrapiron.  They were all low-level tough guys/muscle but something about them must have rubbed Helen the wrong way because she told them to hit the bricks immediately. 

Besides myself 3 others made the cut for Helen’s crew.  It Girl was part of the wave of social media villains that sprouted up like mushrooms after the rain in the wake of that Screwball character coming out as the first to livestream their super-crimes.   It Girl was a thing for a while but she ended up losing all her followers.  I don’t remember exactly what happened but she accidentally killed a kid during one of her streams.  Whatever happened she’s trying to make the transition from social media stuff to serious villainy and nobody else would give her a shot. 

Mean Machine is a battlesuit guy who’s been around the block a few times but he was on the outs with the villain community because he had had lost his suit.  What good is a battlesuit guy with no suit?  I think a new guy called Rhino, not THE Rhino a new hero with the same name, smashed it.  He seemed useless without a suit to me but Helen asked him a lot of questions.  I was jealous at the time because I thought she was into him, but once she said that the first part of the plan was to steal some suits I figured out she was just being practical.   

The third guy was Magnum Master.  He’s just a guy with guns but I guess if you shoot people good enough you become a supervillain instead of just a murderer.  Not sure how these titles are handed out.  She gave him a lot of attention too.  It Girl and I seemed to be relegated to the dumb muscle category.  Which is more or less correct ibn my case but she didn’t have to be so obvious about it.  I have feelings. 

I couldn’t think of a good way to approach Helen, “You don’t know me but I think I might be in love with you, I’ve been stalking you for months” did not sound like a good opening line.  My plan was to listen carefully to everything she said, be the best dumb muscle I could be, and do everything in my power to make sure her plan worked.   

This ended up being surprisingly effective.  Maybe they need to make some new movies where the romantic guy just keeps his mouth shut and impresses the girl by doing this job.  I guess that wouldn’t be a very interesting movie.  But if you added in superpowers?   


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