They Fight Crime! (A Chuck Wendig Challenge)

Posted: May 19, 2016 in Fiction, Science Fiction, Surreal, Uncategorized
Tags: , , , , , ,

A simple enough challenge. Go to Use those characters in a story. My two:

  1. He’s a bisexual evil genius with a water pistol full of pee.
  2. She’s an orphaned barbarian from the wrong side of the tracks.

Ahem. Sorry for the lack of clever title this week.

“What do you want?” Alice asked, glaring out from under her tangled bangs. She’d opened the door to her place only part way, but Pollack wrinkled his nose anyway at the obvious disaster it was in.

“Didn’t your mother ever teach you any manners?” Pollack asked. He peered over her head at the wreckage inside. “Or at least to pick up after yourself?”

“Ha. Ha. You know I didn’t have parents, right?”

“Oh. Right. Raised by wolves, wasn’t?”

“Dog pack. Same difference in this neighborhood.”

“Ah, of course.” He looked passed, face screwed up in consternation. He didn’t know if he should ask to be invited in, or ask her to come with him. There was also the more than distracting fact that Alice was, well, naked. Maintaining eye contact was hard, even if it was evident she hadn’t had a bath in what must have been a few weeks now.

“What. Do. You. Want. Pollack?” Alice chewed around the words like a dog with a bone.

“Oh, right, I need your help.”

Alice blinked at him. “Huh? No. Oh no. Not after the last time. No way.”

“Don’t you at least want to hear what’s in it for you?”

Alice wrinkled her nose. The last time she helped Pollack out she ended up bloody and some of it was her blood. Still, Pollack always paid up.

“Let me put my kit on.” She slammed the door closed, leaving Pollack standing in the hallway feeling exposed. Sure, he was armed, but he had nothing more than his pistol, and well, he wasn’t sure how much of a deterrent it would be in this part of the world. He wondered if maybe he should have dressed differently. Sure, the labcoat, bright purple cargo pants and Golgol Bordello t-shirt were comfortable and practical but they did stand out a bit in a part of the city where most of the residents wore armor cobbled together from hammered sheet metal and hand stitched Kevlar.

Alice came out soon after. She’d pulled on her heavy leather jacket, cargo shorts, and shit kicking boots. A steel bat rested on her shoulder, “Clubber” spraypainted in hot pink on the barrel.

“This isn’t about what’s his name, is it? Your boyfriend?” Alice locked her door, though what she might have worth stealing Pollack couldn’t begin to imagine.

“Huh? No. We broke up last month. Something about not liking the experiments I was running in the bathtub. He got angry. We fought. I threw him out of the apartment.” Pollack waved his hand dismissively. “Err… come to think of it, he might have had a point.”

Alice blinked. “What kind of experiments are we talking about?”

“Oh, no big thing. Just trying to integrate a hyper advanced synthetic pattern recognition alghorithim with cockroaches.”


Pollack shrugged. “Seemed like a good idea at the time.”


Pollack sighed as they entered the stairwell to the street. “I might have made one teensy miscalculation.”

Alice winced. She didn’t fully understand what it was Pollack did or why he did it, but she had become accustomed to associating his “miscalculations” with widespread destruction.

“What happened this time?”

“Well, the cockroaches figured out a way to escape. Maybe the algorithm wasn’t quite right? I’m not sure. Anyway, I do accept the fact that keeping the growth stimulator I was working on right next to their cage might have been an error.”

The pair arrived at street level. Pollack’s vehicle, a sleek, chrome conveyance in dayglow orange, waited for them, the doors already swinging open of their own accord in response to their approach. Alice knew first hand there were enough deterrents attached to the vehicle that leaving it unattended was no big deal, and the resident knew not to mess with any friend of Alice’s.

Alice tried to parse everything Pollack was saying. “So… big cockroaches?”

Pollack shook his head. “No, no, no. Big, smart cockroaches. Totally different.”


They cruised through the city streets, even at the late hour crowded with degenerates, gangs, and local politicians. Once they were in the nicer part of town, the people’s clothes got nicer, their rides fancier. They still had the same dead eye shark look, grins fixed in place, sniffing for blood.

They pulled up outside Pollack’s apartment, got out.

Alice looked up. Blinked. Looked at Pollack. “That’s not good.”

“Oh. Poop.”

Enormous cockroaches swarmed over the building, out of windows, skittering out into the street. They avoided the brighter lights, except where twenty or more would push out into the street. The police had already cordoned off an area around the building, but from all appearances they were having difficulty containing the outbreak.

“That’s a lot more cockroaches then I thought there were,” Pollack said.

“How smart did you say they were?”

A sudden last of flame erupted from the door, incinerating four police officers, cooking them in their assault gear. When the flames died out, they could see three cockroaches standing by the door, one of them with a flamethrower strapped to their back.

“Okay, unless they stole that from one of the neighbors, they’re building weapons now.”

“So that’s not your flamethrower?”

“Nuh-uh.” Pollack pulled a plastic looking pistol from under his labcoat. Alice raised an eyebrow.

“A water pistol?” she asked.

“With special ammunition.” Pollack grinned. Alice knew that grin. It was the kind of grin she got when she was about to break something.

“Okay, so what’s the plan?”

“There’s a compound inside that should shrink the buggies down to a manageable size.”



“There.” Alice pointed at the building.

“Well… yes.”

“Where the giant cockroaches have flamethrowers and who knows what else.”

“I admit, it’s not one of my better plans.”

“Tell me you have something in that pistol that will get us through this.”

“I do!”

“What is it?”


“That’s it, I’m going home.”

“No, wait,” Pollack said, grabbing for her arm, then deciding against it when she snarled at him. “It’s weaponized pee.”

“What does that even mean?”

“It’s the only thing I could grab. It’ll totally hurt the cockroaches. Just be sure not to get any on you.”

“Do I want to know?”

“I highly doubt it.”

“Okay, so, I go in first and you’ll follow me?”

“That’s why I came to you,” Pollack said with a grin.

Alice nodded. She looked back at the apartment building and narrowed her eyes. Her entire body began to shake and her eyes rolled in her head. Pollack heard a deep growl emanae from deep within her body, then she gone like a bullet from a gun. She sprinted past the stunned police, still trying to recover their recently cooked comrades, straight at the cockroaches. Pollack followed close behind her, figuring he was safer in her wake than not. It was impossible to tell what the arthropods might be thinking, and even harder after Alice collided with them, bat spinning through the air, cracking exoskeletons and smearing bright green goo everywhere.

Pollack kept after her, watching Alice’s back as she hit the hallway like a buzzsaw, ducking, weaving and slipping as she attacked the bugs. One got behind her, pointed a stubby machinegun at her back. Pollack pulled the trigger on his pistol, dousing the bug with pee. It looked down, confused, then made a hideous chittering sound as the caustic liquid struck the creature, eating through its carapace and killing it.

“Ha!” Pollack pumped his fist in excitement, then hurried after Alice.

She had stopped outside his door, breathing heavily.Green goo covered her from head to toe and she was breathing heavily. “We’re stuck.” She pointed at the door, now covered in some hardy orgnic susbstance.

“Hardly,” Pollack scoffed, pointing his pistol at the door. Pulling the trigger, the caustic pee soon ate through the organic compound.


The apartment was covered with more of the sticky compound, but the pee made quick work of it. Pollack gained the bathroom, smiled when he pulled out a small cylinder.

“Is that it?”

“Uh-huh. This should neutralize the compound.”

“Well, go ahead then.”

“Right.” Pollack pressed two buttons simultaneously on the canister. A hissing noise came from the canister, and the room smelled with the scent of lavender. The rest of the sticky, organic substance began to dissolve.

“So. Payment?”

“Ahh, right.” Pollack left the room, came back with a steel case. He opened it up, pulled out two cartons of snake cakes. “That about right?”

“Better make it three,” Alice said, gesturing at her goo covered body.

“Yeah, I suppose you’re right. Need a lift back home?”

“Nah, there’s a new bar a couple of blocks away I want to try. Give me a call if you need any more help?”

Pollack smiled. “You know I will.”

  1. I’m very impressed that you made this work. Also, I was very good and set my beverage down before reading this or I would have snorted tea. Sometimes, I learn things!

  2. Ha! Love it! Cockroaches and pee. Go figure. I’m with Elizabeth. If I’d been drinking something, it would’ve come through my nose.

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