Colony Vs. The Tax Evaders for Freedom and Justice
This fills the tentacle square on my bingo card. Challenger @rose-on-the-mountain, who is also responsible for the Tax Evaders.
I’m not sure if this will actually fit into the Happy Lights ‘verse, or if it’s just a fun sort of what-if scenario, but I hope you enjoy it!
“They call themselves The Tax Evaders for Freedom and
Justice,” Steve explained. He rubbed at the center of his forehead. “They’re
registered as a church.”
“That is a joke,” Tony insisted. “There’s no way that is
actually not a joke.”
Steve shrugged helplessly. “That’s what the file says. They’ve
recruited some B-list villains including… The Kangaroo, Asbestos Lady, and…
Flag Smasher?” He was miserable just reading the names and pushed his tablet
away so he could put his face in his palm.
“Wow,” Clint said, “You are a massive troll, Cap, but I don’t
think even you could troll this hard.
Why are we getting called for this
one? Isn’t this something that the cops can handle? Or, you know… the local
“We don’t really have anything better to do at the moment,”
Steve pointed out, “And it would be a good training exercise for our newest
The colony didn’t quite understand the point of chairs, but
it was trying to imitate its human colony members. Several of the larger
tentacles were coiled around the empty chair at the briefing table, and the
rest were spread out over and around the table to keep limbs wrapped around
their humans. It was a small subcolony of only forty-seven members who had come
back with ‘Steve Colony’ after their last trip to the colony homeworld, and
looked intent on setting up a permanent colony presence.
“Can’t we just sic the IRS on them? I mean…The Church of the
Tax Evaders for Freedom and Justice. Really,” Clint persisted.
Think of it like a
team building exercise, Tony suggested, and the colony lit up gold at his
mental voice. I have new arrows for you
to try out.
Sold! the colony repeated,
flickering through a quick rainbow of colors, and then asked, Sold?
The colony did not understand currency, and the last time
Tony had tried to explain the concepts of buying and selling, they’d ended up
in a circular loop of Why? for most
of the night. About the only thing the colony had been attracted to during the
conversation was Tony unleashing financial ‘logic’ into the colony mindspace. It
was a good thing they weren’t interested in using the colony’s understanding of
math to their own benefit, because they could just about take over the world
with only minimal effort and the colony’s help.
Let’s not start that
conversation again, Bruce pleaded. “Asbestos Lady?”
Steve checked the notes. He grimaced, but offered, “Apparently
“And dying of asbestos poisoning?” Sam guessed. His chair
was conspicuously tentacle-free, but he had his head propped up on one fist and
was casually petting the magenta tentacle that had wrapped around his water
glass, the end periscoped up to eye level and nuzzling against his fingers. It flickered
gold and the colony was suffused with a definite sense of smugness at the
attention. “Has the colony been cleared to leave the tower?”
“Technically or theoretically?” Tony asked innocently. He
was completely bound to his chair by a dozen thick loops and being towed around
the table at the colony’s leisure.
Sam hastily held up a hand. “I don’t even want to know.
Plausible deniability is a thing.”
Steve's puppy is in love with his shield. She insists on sleeping in it, eating out of it, and is not impressed when Steve tries to swap in a replica to fool her.
Tabitha was tiny and black
and white with a little black spot around one eye and Sam took one look at her
and joked that she had the same worried crease between her eyes that Steve did.
He’d adopted her from down
South, a pit mix of some kind that was attentive and sweet. And curious.
Snuffling around his gear and when she tipped his shield over on
accident she went scurrying away, only to creep back when it didn’t chase her
and nose at it until she realized it was perfect for a rocking-bed.
Steve took approximately
300 pictures and decided there was no harm in letting her doze in his shield
while he set up her bed and bowls and toys and made sure he’d puppy-proofed
Only that wasn’t the end
of it. A week later, and she was still
nudging it with her nose until it tipped over and snuggled in for the night
every night. He’d given her a meat bone
earlier in the day and she’d trotted off with it, tail high, to curl up in his
shield and chew on it.
It was on his next mission
he decided things had to change. The fur
could be easily brushed away and the bone bits washed off, but the leather
straps had little teeth marks in them that would soon be big teeth marks and Steve realized he might have encouraged a bad
habit without meaning to because it happened to be cute.
So he bought her one of
the plastic replicas he found on Amazon and set it on the floor for her. She was interested at first but had barely
gotten a paw in it before she pulled back and left it for his actual
shield. He put treats in it and tried redirection
and she kept stubbornly (like you,
Sam smirked as he filmed some of Steve’s unsuccessful retraining) refusing to
use the plastic shield.
He went on Etsy and bought
a cosplay replica that was an impressive facsimile. So good, Tabitha laid down in it.
For five minutes.
It was Clint who finally
fixed everything, sending T’Challa a series of photos and a note that simply
read “a little help?”.
A week after that, a
package arrived from Wakanda. Inside, a
perfect replica of Steve’s shield in pink, white, and blue with “Tabitha America” painted on it
and half-dozen leather straps for her to chew.
HUFFLEPUFF: “That’s because it’s “faith” in humanity! Faith is immovable. The belief in the good of the people. No matter what! Faith won’t hinder nor bend. If you’ve lost your faith in humanity, you never had it to begin with.” –Kris Wilson (Cyanide and Happiness #4460)
Last week we released sheet music and lyrics to a “Starver’s Carol” and loved the covers people started recording! We decided to have some fun with it and do our own recording! Here’s the “Starver’s Carol” animated, and sung by developers and team at Klei Entertainment. Happy Holidays from everyone at Klei!