Oh, my little victim, but you’ve come too late. I’m already a father.
At the moment, my favorite mode of travel is a great blue -green womb that is hurtling through the cosmos while slung like a hula hoop around your life giving Sol. Someday, I will leave this little blue ball that I’ve been catching a ride on and soar on the solar winds, hurtling through the universe on my own wings.
However, if you are talking about my life on Earth, then, like all young girls, I like to ride my Zombie Pegasus.
I should have tasted it in the blood. I should have, but I did not. I was distracted by the feel of her fluttering arms around my neck and her breath on my cheek.
Her name was Blue Jay, and she was a Superhero of the old school. At the age of forty three she had become the grand dame of heroes, the one who kept watch in the Guard Tower, the one who saw everything, who assigned missions to younger heroes, who sent help to those in need. Whenever they came for me, she never failed to send me someone interesting. I always appreciated that. Sometimes, I would even send the bodies back – that’s how much I respected her.
The last time we danced, it was because the heroes had taken something of mine. It really isn’t important what; it was just a toy they shouldn’t have touched. I went to their Tower to get it back. Blue Jay was there in her caplet and boots, standing at the entrance, telling me that I would not pass. We parried and lunged, and after our little dance I took her in my arms and tasted her, blood on my lips, her heart thrumming against my chest, her hands tight in my hair.
I was so enraptured in the moment that I didn’t taste those errant and rebellious cells multiplying in her breast. They were so near her heart, that you think I would have tasted it, that I would have known she was sick. But I missed it. I left her in the Tower, unconscious for her friends to find. I skipped away, oblivious, with my silly toy, confident we would have many adventures ahead of us.
Six months later she was dead. The sickness took her so fast, and she hid it from everyone. Even me. I thought I would have all the time to say goodbye. I thought she would die in my arms, but her body rebelled against her, and denied me.
I will release her when you properly appreciate her.
Now come and get her. Bring flowers. And a flame thrower.
Bloody Sun (Second Edition)
by Maggie Carson
Chapter Five: Kidnappings Subsection 1: Methods
There has been a lot of discussion about the many kidnappings that Dr. Mercury performs in the press, from her choice of victims to her methods. In this section, we will examine the methods and techniques that Dr. Mercury has chosen to kidnap her victims. Unfortunately, her methods cannot be fully separated from her targets, since her targets so fully influence her choice of method.
In this section, I will demonstrate how Dr. Mercury kidnaps people in the manner in which it would provide her the greatest amount of amusement. She enjoys a variety of techniques, floating her captives away on a river of lava, capture by robots, drinking contests, injections, traps, swarms of beetles, circus performers, draining them of blood and many other methods.
The true question that arises when we analyze the “how” is “who is she kidnapping?” Does the person she have her sights on have a lovely, bell-like scream? Perhaps her victim flairs their arms in a beautiful and wild way, like a dying bird? If her target is a Hero, she may want to give them the opportunity to make a defiant speech. Or perhaps her target struggles gloriously, pounding their fists uselessly against her chest as she laughs. Maybe, just maybe, they have delicious tasting blood?
All of these and more would play into how she chooses her techniques. Dr. Mercury has a taste for blood and drama, so whatever would give her the most of both would become her preferred method.
My, my, little angel-food cake, that IS a busy night.
But the answer is obvious. I would slay the friend of an enemy. I have little interest in revolution and the murder of millions, because frankly, your human politics bore me. And for downing a plane filled with relief workers, well, quite honestly, I’d rather see them get to their destination and lose their hope in humanity. I suppose those situations are nice if you are interested in quantity. But I’m not really interested in quantity. All things die if you wait long enough. No, darling, I’m here for the quality of the kill.
When I kill someone (and I don’t mean the people who wander on to my island and fall in my traps, I mean real, intentional murder) I want it to mean something. I want to remember that silver moment, to hold it fresh in my mind for as long as I can. I want it to be hard. I want it to be fun. I want it to be painful and difficult. I want it to have consequences. If I’m going to kill someone, I’d like to see their face as they die. I want to hold them and feel the death rattle in my hands.
Heroes pretend to get mad when you set off a bomb, sure, but it’s really only self-righteousness. They’ll go after a villain that’s downed a plane of relief workers, but only to bring that villain back to the authorities, “for justice”.
It’s only when you murder their brother in cold blood that they really come for you, squeezing their hands into fists, thinking about crushing your ribs, thinking of murder. It’s only when you poison their boyfriend that they forget about the justice and the petty laws they wrap themselves in. I want my Heroes to feel, to know pain like they know their own breath. I need to see them, naked and raw and undeniably real. I need to know who they are, who they really are, beyond the platitudes.
I don’t need giant explosions or bloody revolutions. I want to make things personal.
According to this infernal book, I’m a sucker for Hot Magma:
Bloody Sun, Chapter Three: Deathtraps, Subsection 2: Volcanic Traps:
Dr. Mercury makes great use of natural surroundings in the implementation of her death traps. 63% of deaths on the island are thought to have taken place in the lava pits, Mercury-made or naturally formed. This number is difficult to verify as Dr. Mercury is known to dispose of the mortal remains of her victims (see “Lasers”, subsection 5.1) in the lava pits, as a sort of natural recycling service.
Visitors to her island have reported many traps that make use of the active volcano that broils under her island paradise. These traps are usually triggered by pressure sensors that detect the presence of a victim and trigger a trap door that dumps the poor unfortunate into a natural lava stream. Traps that are located deeper in her fortress actually re-direct natural lava flow towards her victims. These secondary traps are thought to be implemented when the victim is near Dr. Mercury’s inner sanctum, and, if survived, can be seen as a sign that the victim is getting close to the very center of Dr. Mercury’s private world.
Dr. Mercury frequently uses ecological methods to clean up the corpses on her island, using the dead as food for the giant animals on her island, composing remains as fertilizer, or simply adding the dead to the lava flow. This fact makes the number of deaths that take place on her island extremely difficult to track. It is for this reason that Heroes who seek to bring Dr. Mercury to the authorities are encouraged to tell their next of kin, sidekick or super-teammates about their adventure so that these statistics can be more accurately tracked.
Now, what was that you said about laying your life in my hands? That sounds delicious. Tell me more about that.
There are nights, standing at the peak of the mountain on my volcanic island, looking at the stars, that I think about the old days. The first man to recognize me as a villain was Captain Strong – not the Captain of today, but his father, Captain Strong Senior.
When I met him, he was working in a sideshow as a young strong-man, pulling along cars with his teeth and breaking animal bones between his muscular thighs. He got into the hero business when he saw me rob a Jewelry Showcase. I wasn’t very subtle about it, back then I loved the flash and the bang – I was all chemical fireworks, knockout gas and alarm bells. I was robbing the showcase for the Emerald of Iris, which I was going to use to focus the power on my tissue enhancement machine. The idea was to create a machine that would allow living things to regenerate tissue. I liked to call it a controlled cancer, which was not a term that took off. It was an early prototype that sometimes would cause cells to develop out of control and kill a person. Science is a learning process. Everyone knows that.
We were both so young. That first time, he ran from his gym to the showcase, still wearing his leather weight-belt, the sweat of running in that summer day on his brow with barely enough breath from the run to tell me “Stop, Fiend!”
It was his first foray into the hero-business and I will never forget how his sweat gleamed on his sun-kissed skin, or how square his jaw was, or how broad his shoulders. Later he would don a short cape, get a color scheme of yellows and reds and wear a mask. But in that moment, it was just us sparring, a young bodybuilder and a new villain, dancing our first dance.
I shot him full of knockout juice and left him to die in a chemical fire. But I won’t say that I’m not glad he survived.
I built him the most elaborate death-traps, because though I knew he was strong, it’s his brain I always wanted to test, to understand, and he never disappointed me. It was like watching a mouse solve a puzzle – I could see how to get out, and watching his little mind figure out what lever to press to make the spinning blades of doom stop was always entertaining. Sharks, alligators, giant bear traps, rotating blades on a conveyor belt – oh the fun we had.
And then someone shot him. Right in the chest, breaking his breastbone and shooting through the muscle of his heart. He had been on patrol in his home city, and there was a break in at an electronics store. He rushed in, as always, half cocked, not wearing any armor –impeded his movements, he used to say – and was shot in the chest, twice. Bang Bang.
The police never found his killer. Oh, they traced the bullet that killed him down to a gun that was stolen and sold and resold, right to a small time crook, but by that time, the papers said that crook had skipped town. Changed his name and his hair and grew a beard. Ran like the devil was on his heels. Ran like a man who wasn’t afraid of prison, but of hell, of a creature who had loved someone very much, a person who was the only thing keeping that creature from becoming something more terrible, more evil than the world was ready for. A creature who had one man who was keeping her robbing banks rather than murdering entire towns for the pleasure of it. A creature who now could only be sated by the tears of pain from the man who killed the person she loved.
Like I said, the police never found him.
The old days are gone, and there is something more sharp and vicious about today. Change is inevitable, and the world spins beneath us regardless of gunshot wounds and death traps. In the face of all that, I like to keep my sense of fun. Even in tragedy, we can smile when we hear the screaming from the lava pit, knowing that even though the vocal chords of our enemies can be torn to shreds in their own pain, they can always be re-grown.
Like the arms of my mother, massive, ancient, gentle and concealing incredible violence. Like home. Like a womb.
Once loved? Oh, cherub, if you want to destroy her with the intensity of a thousand supernovas your love is hardly in the past-tense. It’s only through love that we desire revenge, only in passion that we want the source of our devotion to feel pain.
If you truly want revenge, then you will pick up the broken pieces of your shattered heart and you will weld them with molten iron. You will pack that organ with coal, coat it in ice and carve a place for it back in your wretched body. And if after that it still beats, let it pump ice-water through your veins, let it freeze you till you feel no more.
Because if you pursue vengeance, you are just carrying back your shattered heart to her on paper, asking her to light it on fire.
Hey! J.R. here. Dr. Mercury asked me to answer this question because she didn’t know who The Doctor from Gallifrey was. She is totally out of touch with Pop-culture. She spends all of her free time with Chemicals or star-bathing or kidnapping. She once had a TV, but she filled it with fish. I have no idea what that was about - some kind of art instillation? Her feelings on television in the modern era? Just needed a place for the fish? Alas. Who am I to judge?
Anyway, since I AM familiar with Dr. Who and Dr. Mercury, I can answer this question. Dr. Who might battle Dr. Mercury, but since he isn’t a very, well, fight to the death type, and is more of a “run!” type, the way he would battle her would be to try to convince her to become good.
Because Dr. Mercury is a Starchild, an infant among Star-children, growing to her full Starchild potential within the safe womb of Earth. (Because, for a creature that is destined to become a massive energy-creature that feeds on the light of Stars, Earth really is a womb.)
Starchildren can become benevolent forces for good in the universe - or they can become supercharged forces of evil. I think that Dr. Who would do his best to make Doctor Mercury evolve into a force for good, into a creature of compassion, to evolve out of her natal stage on Earth to be a creature whose force of love passes all human understanding.
I like to think that the Doctor from Gallifrey would succeed in this, that because of his experience and his own sense of compassion, he would be able to convince her that creation is better than destruction, that peace and enlightenment have more to gift than all other pursuits.
Of course, as she reads this over my shoulder, she is cackling maniacally, so I could be wrong.
What I see is a history of what I was and a terrible, beautiful future. Years ago, I injected myself with boiling rot, bone and stardust, a plastics cocktail, laced with amphetamines to help the whole thing go down smooth. And oh, oh, I have never come back down, from that gorgeous high, that terrifying ride though my own organs, electrical impulses going haywire, blood on fire, brain mad, spine broken and skin sheered from my baby body, recovering corpse, new child.
I have been sailing since that summer day, and now it’s all salt and copper and sunlight and I’m flying on this death rot, this blood, and I live for the refracted moonlight and I die for the pain in your eyes and I’m boiling inside, and I want to break you, to take you. I’m full of desire, full of caffeine and lust and joy and luxury goods and volcanic sand.