Mike was high as a kite that had binged PCP. He always seemed to do his best work when he was stoned, though his many former employers disagreed.
Between volleys of bullets, he stumbled and wobbled his way through enemy fire, clicking his fingers. The multiverse was a continuous carousel of universes. Clicking on one hand took him one way, clicking the other hand took him back.
Putting in the work to master things wasn’t Mike’s style. He was the master of winging it. Clicking his way through an erratic tune, probably from the soundtrack of one of his DVDs, he moseyed through the battlefield.
Bullets passed through the space where he had been. He continued in other universes, popping back with the luck of the devil when the threat had passed.
“Hey buddy.” He held the shoulder of one of the cloned simians that was trying to conquer the world. “Let me show you something.” Clicking his other hand, he jumped to another universe. He’d taken the simian’s shoulder and half of the soldier’s head with him. Anything in rough proximity to Mike was transported when he hopped universes. It was the only reason he didn’t end up naked every time he used his god given powers.
“Oh. Crap. Sorry man.” He sighed, looking at the remains on the ground of a beautiful field of tulips. “I’ll show one of your buddies.”
Entirely unaware that he’d ended one of the many threats to the human race, he returned to the battlefield to find another new friend.
Things he was too high to comprehend whistled past his ear. The rattle of gunfire echoed in his spaced-out skull. The smell of blood reminded him of bacon. Mike salivated at the thought of a fry up.
“Hey bro,” he tapped another clone of Simian Conqueror on the shoulder. The creature tried to hit Mike with the butt of its gun. The stoner hugged his adversary and transported him to another version of their world. “Look at this place. How can you hate when there’s all this beauty?” The tie dye sleeves of his hoodie spread wide, wafting the smell of his un-showered body odour at the ape. “Oof. Damn I’m ripe. Anyway. Enjoy.”
He left the soldier in a world where blocks of every colour of tulip stretched to the horizon in every direction.
Little by little, many of the clones found their way to that world. Not all of them went there in one piece. Controlling the radius of his power was something Mike would need to concentrate on, which would probably never happen.
“Raindrops are falling on my head,” he sang the words to B. J. Thomas’ most famous song. “Something, something, something, something, for his bed. I don’t know the words.” He hummed the tune, wishing the words would come to him but they never did. The song became Toss a Coin to Your Witcher because he’d been binging the series on Netflix. Whenever he finished season one, he’d forget things and go back to the beginning.
“When a humble bard-”
Realising that the apes really didn’t like him, Mike decided that it would serve them right if they met the alligator that always seemed to be two clicks on his right hand away.
“Say hello to my little frenemy.” He sent three quarters of a soldier into the alligator’s jaws and returned to the car park where the fight had drawn in more of the enemy.
Darkness that had no cause nor reason to be there hung over a patch of car park behind him. Flashes emerged from that malevolent shadow, causing the invaders to explode, one after the other. It reminded Mike of the film Scanners, one of his favourites to watch after a few blunts.
Yawning, he lay down behind a Honda Civic. He’d been up watching The Witcher and SpongeBob SquarePants when most people would have slept. The bullet casing strewn tarmac in the car’s shadow seemed as good a place as any for a nap. He lay back, pulled the drawstrings of his hoodie, and counted electronic sheep.
“No one can see us, can they?” Rayelle asked as her boyfriend slobbered lovingly over her neck.
“No. We see out. No one sees in.” He had one hand on her back and the other on her backside as he leaned between her open legs.
Rayelle took aim with her laser gun and fired. Another simian exploded. For a moment she closed her eyes. Overcome with the lust of things Shawn was doing and the excitement murder always gave her, she thought she might pass out. Then she saw another head break cover and run forwards.
“Bang,” she whispered. The gun was silent, but the explosion of the superheated soldier wasn’t. The screams of the companion burnt by the remains of its comrade echoed her own. Obviously, they were screaming for very different reasons.
She bit one of her pink tipped ponytails to stop the noise from giving her position away. Shawn held her tight to stop her position falling away. He forgave the bitemarks she’d left in his neck. He’d never had sex in a carpark during a firefight on his bucket list. He could cross it off anyway.
The reaper watched the mindless violence from the broken windows a MacDonald’s. His friend, Arnold, wanted to know if death would object to Arnold joining the fray.
Death waved the living suit of armour away as it began raiding the trashed restaurant for a cup. Victorious, the ambassador of the last goodbye filled its cup with cola and began gorging itself.
Arnold clanked through the ruins of a shopping mall, down to the car park. Black nothingness occupied a vast swathe of the field of tar and concrete. He wanted nothing to do with that or the beams of vicious light that leapt from it.
Bullets clattered off the ground by Arnold, the Armour of Armour’s feet. Brave as he was enchanted to be, he clanged on towards the enemy.
Using only conventional weaponry, the simians were caught off guard by the oddities of magical warfare. Arnold didn’t have a gun, but he was bullet proof. He didn’t have a sword either, sadly. He did have a flashlight for his nights at the Museum of Magical Items. He was a tour guide because it gave him something to do and because the owners were cheap.
His steel fist contacted the jaw of a gunner as he leapt over a faded blue Fiat Panda. The punched antagonist fell with the grace of a sack of dead fish. Not stopping, Arnold ran on, seeing a boy no older than thirty in a hideous hoodie and jeans lying dead behind a Honda. Though the child had no visible wounds it was clear from the hideous glugging sounds that Mike was making that he had died. Nothing living could sound like a dozen frogs drowning in a cement mixer.
Bullets sprayed the hoodie with broken glass. Arnold picked up the rifle of the unconscious soldier behind him. Being from the age of swords and sorcery, he wasn’t up on the use of anything more advanced than a matchlock. He aimed the gun at the enemy and tried the trigger.
Bullets crossed paths mid-air. His bullets hit the enemy. The simian’s bullets hit him. The simian fell. The armour remained. He wasn’t called the Armour of Armour for nothing. He’d always thought it was a stupid name though.
He fired again, astounded that he didn’t need to reload. Soldiers in this day and age had no idea how easy they had it. Their guns fired more than one shot before needing to be reloaded and they could always practice at laser tag or paintball.
“Hey,” a thing that was half armour like himself, and part naked man from the chest up, smiled. “Thanks. We needed the help. I’m Simon.”
Rounds rattled with the rhythm of rain on a hot tin roof. Arnold was pushed back every time, just a little. He met the assault with his own volley. Then the gun ran out. He threw it.
“Nice to meet you, Simon. Why are you half naked?”
“It’s how I was made. They kept the stuff that couldn’t be replaced with cybernetics.” The half metal man snapped his head around and took two shots. One enemy fell. One exploded. Simon looked back into the black shadow which was screaming.
“What evil magic is that?” Arnold asked.
“Love. A young couple making the beast with two backs,” said the cyborg. At first it had used a Californian accent but had switched to London cockney.
The last invader fell. Simon sighed with relief. The enchanted armour jumped up onto a Lamborghini and used it as a step onto a Hummer. From atop the vehicular mountain of insecurity it saw that there were no more parking spaces to conquer.
“We’ve won the battle, but the war has just-”
“Shut up, Simon.” A young woman with her buttons done up incorrectly emerged from the shadow. A young man behind her emerged, sweaty. His fly was down. “I want to drink. We should raid MacDonald’s who’s with me?”
Shawn raised his hand halfway and let it fall, drained but happy. Clearing his dry throat, the sorcerer followed her.
“Did someone say drink?” A zombie with its hoodie pulled tight over its face pulled up using the remains of a car. Clawing at the drawstrings, a face emerged. The eyes were still elsewhere as Arnold looked at them. He’d never seen anyone who looked so happy and vacant at the same time. “What happened here?” Asked the bearded child, who then burped.
“Shut up, Mike. Come on.”
The stoner shrugged. He followed the couple who walked hand in hand. Simon scanned the perimeter and walked towards the ruins of the mall. Arnold wondered what they would think when they met death. He’d find out soon enough.