Fund My Catgirl
Mark A Davis
A display mannequin in blue coveralls screamed, "Scriptures from the future! I see the changes that are happening outside of me!" It swung at Grandpa Anarchy, who caught the punch and twisted the bot's arm out of its socket. "Other participants go on to vote for the identity of the false statement!" the thing yelled. Grandpa smashed its head repeatedly with its arm until the creature ceased to move.
"Nyaa! What's with these things?" Grandpa's sidekick Kitty Kitty Bang Bang asked. "They make no sense."
"Of course they don't," Grandpa replied. "They're spambots, minions of the Spam King. They run around shouting nonsense and destroying everything in sight. Their master is trying to sow confusion and distress in the market. I think."
Grandpa Anarchy was the world's oldest hero. He wore a wrinkled gray suit that might well have existed since the Eisenhower administration. A silver anarchy symbol was stitched over the left breast. His sidekick, meanwhile, was a bona fide catgirl, with grey and white tabby fur, cat ears, a cat tail, and a face that was also very catlike. She wore a rawhide bikini, cowboy boots and hat, and a gunbelt which held two six-shooters.
The two of them stood on a downtown street of New York City. Neon lights shone in the night, illuminating grimy streets. Cars sped past, filling the air with a steady stream of engine noise and whooshing air. No one noticed the drama playing out on the sidewalk.
Two more spambots appeared. They resembled animate crash test dummies. "Be luminous!" one screamed. "The evil will come again, backlit unseeing, a long way from home, quite glittering below the frock!" One tore up a street sign and wielded it like a weapon.
Grandpa Anarchy charged, fists swinging. Behind him he heard several shots fired. Bullets whizzed past his head.
"Hey!" he called out. "What are you trying to do, kill me?"
In front of him the spambots were struck. One head exploded, while the other's arm swung wildly as a bullet shattered the elbow. "Don't worry, nyaaa!" Kitty Kitty Bang Bang called out. "I'm bending the bullets! I'm good at this! Been doing it for years!"
The bot with the sign collapsed. The second spambot swung its good arm at Grandpa. He dodged to the left. Quick as a tiger, Kitty Kitty Bang Bang lunged forward, sinking her claws into the maniken's face. She ripped and tore, spinning the head sideways.
Grandpa came up alongside the bot. He grabbed its head and twisted harder, breaking the neck.
"We seduce invisible snares beneath the fog!" it exclaimed. "You ensnare scary tongues within the vapors, take cover! The fun is over with what memories...." The light in the eyes faded, and the bot ceased to move.
"Hate these things," Grandpa said, tossing the bot aside. "But at least they're cheaply built and easily destroyed."
Minutes later, the two heroes took a left into an alleyway. Up ahead were more spambots -- at least eight.
"This looks promising, Grandpa," said the sidekick.
"A catgirl who bends bullets, huh?" Grandpa asked. He glanced sideways at his companion. "I need to have a serious talk with Jay about who he sends to be my sidekick."
"Mew? I'm not good enough?" asked the catgirl. She sized up the approaching spambots, then drew her pistols and drilled the first two in the head simultaneously.
"You speak mournfully tombstones beside the earth!" one spambot exclaimed.
"You're too good," Grandpa said. He grabbed the next bot and swung it around in a wide arc, crashing it into another. "I'm supposed to train young heroes. You're already good enough at this to be on your own." After a moment he added, "How did you afford that transformation, anyway? I'm guessing Black Dahlia did it, but she charges an arm and a leg...."
"Nyaa! I raised the money on HeroFunder, of course!" The catgirl leaped high in the air, spraying bullets into the spambots ahead.
Grandpa's eyes narrowed. "Herofunder? That's one of them intertube crowdsurfing money things?" he asked, while trading blows with another bot.
The catgirl grinned. "It's a crowdfunding site, Grandpa!"
"Right," Grandpa said, charging into a group of three bots and scattering them. "And you raised a million dollars on the intraweb? How?"
"In a slumbering alder hemmed in by violet forests!" one of the bots exclaimed.
"By offering tiered rewards that people want," said the catgirl. "The lowest tier netted people weekly exclusive pinup photos for two years. That was only a fifty-dollar pledge. I have a friend who's a professional photographer -- they're very good, and we mail out autographed copies. One tier above that was exclusive access to my adventures on a live stream -- I'm broadcasting that right now! The top tier was a date with me for an evening. I sold six of those at $100,000 a piece!"
Spambots littered the alleyway. Grandpa and Kitty Kitty Bang Bang reached the end of the alley and turned left into a warehouse. "One hundred thousand dollars for a date...." Grandpa shook his head.
"A date with a bona fide catgirl," the sidekick added. "Never underestimate the power of furry fanboys, Grandpa! Or fangirls -- one of them was female!"
Up ahead waited the Spam King. This was a short, fat man dressed in scale armor made from hundreds of meat product tin cans. He stood on a raised dais, an elaborate weapon the size of a Gatling gun on a rotating base nearby. What it did was anyone's guess.
"Grandpa Anarchy," said the villain. "At last we meet again! I knew the destructive campaign of my spambots would draw you out of your cave!"
"Spam King! Your wicked ways are at an end!" Grandpa exclaimed.
Grandpa whispered, "The last time I fought the Spam King, he used a Subliminal Stimuli Compulsion Gun which rooted me in my tracks. It broadcasts a steady stream of gibberish directly into your ears, but the subliminal message hidden beneath and between the words compel you to remain rooted."
"Subliminal messages don't work that way," Kitty Kitty Bang Bang replied.
"Tell that to him!" Grandpa snarled. "All I know is if it weren't for my sidekick I might never have made it out of that fight alive!"
"Well, have no fear, Grandpa," said the catgirl. "His spam-based attacks are aimed at humans -- but I am more than human. As a catgirl I am more agile, with quicker reflexes. My sight, hearing and sense of smell are all enhanced. I have greater balance and am better able to land on my feet. I am stronger and more athletic -- I can jump higher, run faster, prowl more silently, and stalk through the shadows undetected. I am physically 100% superior to a normal human being, and that's not even mentioning my claws, which are a great weapon when needed."
The Spam King flipped the switch on his weapon. Spam gibberish was blasted at the two heroes: "Train cleavage, ignore from the industrial complex! Living within the bubble bound fairy from south of the crystal desert! Which is north of the shattered remains of Orr and south of Lion...."
Grandpa Anarchy froze.
"Remember my subliminal weapon, Grandpa?" the villain asked with a cackle. "Of course you do! This is the upgraded version. It prevents you from moving or making any move against me...."
Sweat beaded Grandpa's brow as he struggled to move. "Nnngg... you won't.... get away... with this... Spam King!" he said through clenched teeth.
Kitty Kitty Bang Bang strode forward, weapons drawn. "Just as I predicted," she said. "I'm impervious to such weapons...." She aimed her pistol at the villain.
The Spam King flipped a second switch. A red laser stabbed the darkness the warehouse ceiling. It began to move and dart about. The catgirl's eyes focused on the red dot as it spread across the floor. She dropped her weapons and chased after it.
"Did I mention I was a third tier supporter of Kitty Kitty Bang Bang's fundraiser?" the villain asked. "Along with a future date and access to the live stream, that tier came with an extremely detailed breakdown of all her abilities and weaknesses...."