There is the same uncertain calm over Fable City tonight. A cold restlessness that keeps me circling in the sky. It’s only a matter of time before the sirens echo through the skyscrapers, beaconing me to save the city once again. I’ve been watching over the city for months now and there hasn’t been a shortage of crime yet. Mainly petty crime stuff, but a gig’s a gig. Few more months of busting these misdemeanors and low level criminals and some real villains are bound to show up.
I feel the gemstones surge along my spine before fortifying the armor around my body. My wings swiftly change direction and guide me towards the northeast section of the city. Sure enough, a small explosion sends a fireball into the sky, and the sirens ring out in response. Fucking finally. I don’t even care that it’s in the creepy rundown factory sector. I’m actually surprised it’s taken this long for something to happen there. Always thought it would be a great place for my future archnemesis to put down some roots.
My armor leads me to the rooftop of one of the warehouses; the side of which has clearly been blown out. Explosives. Nice touch. A bit of a step up from the regular brawls and shootouts. There seems to be only one negative energy in the warehouse that I can sense, so I’m totally going to need to look for more trouble after this is over. Plus, the police aren’t even here yet, which is fine. If I finish the fight super early, I’ll leave some of the business cards I made, so I can keep getting credit for these. Kid Cavalier: Your Fabled Forever Hero.
Okay. One last scan of the building. Still one baddie. Check. Deep breath. Check. Armor in stealth mode. Check. I dive down and swoop into the opening of the warehouse.
A foul, unidentifiable smell immediately permeates through my armor causing me to gag for fresh air. And the loud obnoxious sound of humming, better yet, cooing vibrates every mystical feather on my wings. I brighten up my armor out of stealth to see what the hell’s going on. And holy shit…there’s a crap-ton of birdseed scattered everywhere. And eating all of that birdseed is a crap-ton of pigeons. And from the plague of pigeons, a crap-ton of literal crap. Nope. This is a nope from me. Hate birds. No origin story there. Just find them creepy. And I get the irony in me having wings, but they’re mystical materializations. Birds are disgusting, nasty creatures.
Where’s the police? They should be able to handle this bird infestation. I don’t even care how they managed to blast their way into this seed factory. Maybe they got lucky from a pipe explosion. Don’t know. Don’t care. I start to fly back out when the lights suddenly switch on.
“Leaving so soon?” There’s a weird coo-laugh combination from a strange man as he cuts me off right before I’m out.
He’s being carried by more pigeons like some weird form of flying-rat-drone transportation. He’s decked out in a full tux. One of those old-fashioned ones with tails. Which I guess is fancier? It’s hard to tell, but his tux either has a baroque black and white speckled pattern, or it’s covered in bird poo. Or both. He’s also equipped with a top hat, gold monocle, and cane. All possibly speckled in shit.
“I’m sorry.” Ugh. I really need to work on always apologizing, but I find myself taken aback by whatever is happening here. I’m not even sure this dude is real. “I was actually just leaving.”
He sways back and forth with the help of his pigeons to keep the exit blocked. “I’m afraid I can’t let you do that.”
“And you are?”
“I am The Pigeon Lord! Coo Coo!” He tips his head with his white gloved hand. “The soon to be ruler of Fable City.”
“Okay. Cool” I can see now why no one comes to this side of town. “So the police are most likely on their way, and I’m sure they’d love to talk to you more about this. And will probably have some questions. I’m going to go ahead and go.”
“The police?!” He does another coo-laugh combo. “They are no match for me and my children. That is why we have chosen you, Kid Cavalier, the forever hero of Fable City.”
Maybe not in the way I wanted, but my business cards are at least getting my name out there. But I don’t need this kind of attention. “Oh. That’s okay. I’m good.”
“You’re good?!” He repeats another one of my statements as a question like a parrot and not a pigeon. He needs to work on his branding.
“I’m not really looking to partner up or join whatever this is.” I think I’m going to need to just burst through the ceiling to get away from this weirdo.
“Are you mocking us?” He must have seen me look up, cause a small group of pigeons fly angrily to the beams overhead. “We’re not asking you to join us. We are here to rid the city of their precious hero.”
I’m flattered. But I’m still fairly new to the game, and he’s some sort of bird trainer. “No thank you.”
“No thank you?” His voice almost cracks with irritation, as he does that parrot thing again. He raises his cane and points it at me. “I don’t think you understand the severity of your situation, Kid.”
With a sudden flutter of birdseed, a swarm of pigeons fly up and start circling me. I choke back a couple gags as bird poop periodically drops my armor. The layers of my armor tense and thicken. Which doesn’t help because throwing up when fully armed is the worse, and I really don’t want it to happen again.
“You are about to die by the hands of the next great member of the Army of Agony,” The Pigeon Lord continues, “We just have to get through you.”
This is not my night. Nor is it his. The poor idiot doesn’t realize how hard it would be to actually “get through me.” My black jasper makes me fairly impenetrable, and the forever descriptor on my card is because I’m basically immortal. So good luck, pigeon bitch.
“Hey man.” I swat away the pigeons from my face, so I don’t have to shout. “I’m sorry, but I don’t think this is going to work out. I’m not really feeling it. I kind of have a thing with birds. And honestly, I was hoping for, and no disrespect, a more distinguished villain. Best of luck with the army and whatnot.”
A pigeon lands on my helmet as I start to say more, and I swallow down and almost vomit. That’s it. I’m out. My wings enlarge and beat away the pigeons around me. I’ll clean off the bird poop later. I make a dash for one of the small skylights above. Right before I make it to the glass panes, a wall of pigeons cuts me off, and I crash into them. Blood, guts, beaks, feathers, and I dunno what else are in birds, but it all goes everywhere as I fall back to ground.
Pigeon Lord wails in distress. “My babies! What have you done?!”
Ack. I pick myself up off of the ground. There’s injured pigeons everywhere around me flopping about like fish, and I…ack. Ack. I stay hunched over for a bit as I feel the dry heaves getting stronger. This is the nastiest run-in I’ve had since that one bank robber pissed himself when I caught him and his gang. I slip a little as I push up to stand, and…gack. The last one almost made its way out but luckily stayed a wet burp.
“Um.” I don’t know how I’m going to clean this all off. I’m going to have to go for a dive in some water or something. Or just let it continue to slowly drip off. So fucking gross. “That was clearly your fault.”
“How dare you. Now you’re really going to pay.” Pigeon Lord jumps down from his pigeons and bangs his cane against the floor. “Avenge your brothers and sisters, my children!”
To add to my gross nightmare, an even larger flock of pigeons comes flying into the warehouse. They immediately start attacking me, scratching and trying to peck away my armor. Even though it provides protection, I’m mystically connected to the armor which means I can feel all of the pesky pecking. The gemstones sense my anxiety and hesitation. My armor jumps into overdrive and sharpens out all of its edges to points. With a strong certainty, my wings snap out and twirl me into a spin. It starts off slow and steady, but quickly picks up speed.
I close my eyes as I rip through the birds like a blender. It always comforts me when I picture being back in Puerto Rico. I’m not thinking of the seemingly never-ending onslaught of suicidal birds. Nope. I focus on Abuela’s coconut pudding. The smell of Abuelo’s cigars. Running through the streets and stirring up trouble with my sister. I smile at stirring. Ugh. What is wrong with me that I smile at my own gruesome play on words. I risk it, open my eyes, and peek at the carnage.
My timing is unfortunately perfect. I’m just in time to see Pigeon Lord running at me with his cane held high. He’s covered in a thick layer of blood and feathers, but I can see his manic, uncontrollable rage. I try to stop myself. To yell at him to stop. To get anything to stop. But its too late; my armor is still in threat mode. Within seconds, Pigeon Lord meets the same fate as his beloved pigeons. I can’t stop the spinning. I hear the faint sirens of police cars. But I can’t stop spinning. And everything goes black.