Part nine of Allosaurus. You can refresh your memory of the previous post here, or you can start from the beginning. Yer choice, bub.

“What effect will criminal gangs of self-styled super villains like Project Killswitch have on the current vigilante epidemic? We’ll have details on that, as well as the predictions of this year’s hurricane season at eleven.”

It wasn’t the first time that Tricia Gutierrez wondered about her role in all of this. How long ago was it, she wondered, when the vigilantes were just a short little human interest story? Filler at the end of the night’s broadcast: local masked man rescues kitten from storm drain, neighborhood watch group speaks to elementary students about fire safety. Bored and /or lonely geeks who read too many comic books. Oh, sorry – Graphic Novels. Then, when people like Lady Justice and Arctica Winters started making their appearances, it was big news because now, the girls were getting involved. They were strong, they were unstoppable – Winters seemed to have some supernatural abilities, even – and they were sexy. They had sought Tricia out, had confided in her. Of course, her colleagues had pretty much let her deal with them. “We’ll handle the real news, Gutierrez,” they smirked. No one cared much that she’d bagged the first exclusive with Palmetto-Bug Man. Just one more of Gutierrez’s nut brigade. So, when the Palmetto-Bug Man made his big splash, cleaning up the North End and tracking down mob guys like Werganovicz and Bustamente, and the major networks wanted to know who had the inside track on him, on all of them, Gutierrez suddenly became a hot commodity. People started whispering things like “Woodward” and “Pulitzer” and nodding in her direction. And, she liked it. Leading slots every night, just about. Choice assignments. Maybe even a chance at the big time.

Soon, however, everybody and they momma was suiting up. They exploded into the public consciousness with their bizarre names, fashion sense, back stories, leagues. New ones were added every day, apparently. The Commando Girls, Kid Kaos, Mister Vanglorious, The Amazing Ape, The Mighty Green Aphid, Maxine Mistress – an entire menagerie of spandex and cape wearing weirdos came out of the woodwork. All but the Commando Girls bombarding her with their manifestos, their agendas, their demands for air-time. Gutierrez had become the de-facto mouthpiece for the  masqueraders, and you couldn’t see a story about them without her name being tossed around.

But, as usual in this business, the public’s attention span was shown to be only as long as the next commercial break. Enough, already – people were getting bored with the super heroes. Somebody somewhere was boning someone they weren’t supposed to, after all. This actor had started to let himself go. That politician lied about something or other. The owner of the one company called the other one a racial slur, and then of course, there were the gays. No one had seen a Commando Girl in weeks. The city’s baseball team was actually winning games now, and it wouldn’t be long before Series Fever started getting to everyone and the vigilantes would be yesterday’s news. Along with Gutierrez.

So, the unmarked betamax(!) video tape that showed up on her desk one morning could be looked at as a godsend, provided one were cynical enough.

It was gruesome. It was almost funny, in a dark way. Three dopey looking losers in white coveralls with a fourth one in a bright yellow leotard, trussed up like a Christmas ham. Some high-minded rhetoric that Gutierrez didn’t even think the speaker himself believed. Then, one of them whipped out the biggest machete she’d ever seen, and chopped Kid Kaos’ head off with one powerful stroke. It couldn’t be real. Had to be CGI or something.

When the police found the body (minus the head) dangling from a pylon at the pier downtown, the laughter stopped.


Author’s Note: The events described in this section never really set well with me, and considering the events of today (12-14-12) I have decided to delete this part of Allosaurus. I will be seriously re-thinking the direction of this story. There needs to be something done, in this society, that will work against the death worshipping cult that prevails today. “Guns don’t kill people”, they say, but it’s damn hard to kill a large number of people with a knife. Alternately, without the mindset that devalues human life, a gun is a hunk of metal. As the Onion said today, “Fuck It All.” Thanks for listening.

words  and pictures © Christopher Ward. “Arctica Winters” and “Mister Vanglorious” by permission of Darrin R. Ford. All rights reserved.

Allosaurus continues next time in The Marquess of Queensberry Does Not Approve.

  1. […] part 10. Part 9 can be found here, or perhaps you’d like to see how all this mess got started? Happy […]

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