“And so I think this week’s task we’ll have the perfect opportunity to—” Professor Xavier paused. “Jon, are you listening?”
“Sorry, dude,” I replied. “Every time I hit F5 on my Wristcomm, it plays that Money song.”
Professor Xavier and Nepharia looked at each other. “Have you been drinking again?” she asked.
“Jus’ a little,” I pinched my fingers together and squinted. “I’m a’ight… really. You smell nice. Brrrrrrup.”
“You know Jon,” the Professor stated. “As a former private in the US Army and a presidential candidate, I would think you have the leadership skills necessary to get us the win. I was about to suggest that you would be the ideal El Jefe this week, but it doesn’t appear that you are up to the task. ”
“I don’t think he’s got it,” Nepharia smirked. “Look at him. He was missing from the first week’s task for some alleged mission to save the multiverse and he came back smelling like booze. What kind of a mission to save the multiverse comes with booze?”
“Hey, I’ll be the Jefe,” I slurred. “I’ll be the Jefe.”
“Managing a Sith and Earth’s greatest telepath?” Nepharia snorted. “Not in your condition.”
“You clearly seem rather tipsy, as the kids say,” Xavier concurred.
“This is the worst intervention ever!” I indignantly blurted back at them. “Look at you, Charlie. You’re sitting there and drinking a cognac.”
“This isn’t an intervention, this is a team meeting,” Xavier answered with a hint of frustration.
“It is?” Huh. They might be right, maybe this is getting a little out of hand. I have only one choice and so I opened the hidden compartment on my Wirstcomm and pulled out the lone pill contained within. I popped the Bacchusian Anti Intoxicant into my mouth and swallowed it whole. Immediately, I felt the effects like my body swelled up and quickly returned to normal starting from my head and traveling all the way to my toes, then straight back up again. My head immediately cleared up, the lethargic, fatigued feeling was chased away, and my muscles felt tighter. I curled my arm to show my bicep and the image of an M1A2 Abrams tank firing its 120 mm smoothebore gun briefly appeared on it.
I think I even heard nautical music.
“OK, I’m your man,” I said. I picked up a yardstick and slapped the image of the man on the wall with it. “This will be a real easy snatch and grab. Nepharia, you use the technologies and Sith abilities at your disposal to teleport our objective to here.”
I smacked the map on the wall next to the picture of our victim with my makeshift pointer.
“Professor,” I continued. “With your abilities, we’ll easily negotiate an exchange with our objective for the ransom. This will be a cakewalk, no fuss, no muss, in and out, easy stuff. I’ll leave you two to your portions of the task and meet our friend when he arrives at the hideout.”
Later, I was alone in the abandoned warehouse. Odd shadows chased each other throughout the open space where I stood.
“Hey, what the?” a surprised voice cried out behind me.
I turned around and saw my victim had appeared sitting in a wooden chair.
“You’ll have to excuse the accommodations,” I said coldly as I pulled a length of duct tape from its roll. “I’ll make you as comfortable as possible but I’m going to have to keep you secure for the duration.”
“You kidnapped me? That’s cold.” Mr. Bennet exhaled. “I like it.”
“Yeah, you should have seen the look on the Haitian’s face,” I smirked. “He was speechless.”
“That’s his character!” Bennet growled. “Anyway, who do you think is going to pay to get me back, huh?”
“We have several options on that,” I grinned. “Maybe the producers of this show will want you back, maybe Primatech won’t want any dirty little secrets to come spilling out of your head, or maybe your family will cough up the dough. Hey, maybe we’ll get lucky and get all three, huh?”
“My family would never betray me!” the man with the glasses shouted angrily.
“I think your kid would,” I answered.
“No,” I shook my head and pulled my jacket off to get a little more comfortable. “Lyle.”
“Ooh,” he sucked in his breath. “Yeah, him. Well, my family doesn’t have that kind of cash lying around, you’ll never get any from him even if he agrees to the make the exchange.”
“Come on, Noah, you’ve been doing this sneaky black ops stuff for years. You must have a little cash squirreled away under your mattress or buried in your basement. I know your type. And as for your son, you know the one who plays second fiddle to your adopted daughter at every turn? The one who you just kicked out of the competition? I’m sure he’ll play ball if it comes to that.”
“Yeah well…” Bennet’s bluster hissed out of him like the air out of a balloon. “Fine. So what will we do until then?”
“I Guess that I’m just stuck in the middle with you,” I smiled menacingly as I reached into my pocket.
“Wait… What?” he gasped. “You’re not going to cut my ear off are you?”
“Naw, just make you a little prettier.”