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 biker gang?”
“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 member.”
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! Clint agreed.
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 she’s fire-proof?”
“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.”