Mark Metcalf stood on his parents Crescent City front porch for three hours, planted his feet and answered every single question that came at him. The constant sound of phones clicking and flashes going off was dazzling and neverending.
“No, I’m not gay! Jesus, I played a gay in a movie!”
“No, I’m not a god.”
“Yes, I’ll appear on his show, he just has to ask Gupta.”
“I am really sorry about the other people killed in the explosion. I’ve got my agent working on a charity fund for the relatives.”
“Yes, I’m still an actor!”
“No, my parents are not aliens, lizard people, gods or cyborgs.”
“No, I’m not related to Impossible Man…wasn’t he an internet hoax? I mean I watched them on YouTube but real?”’
“Yes, I think it’s weird there was a localised meteor storm, but I know as much as you do.”
“No, I don’t know if I’m in trouble with the police. They’re still in the house, so maybe.”
“Haven’t tried. When would I have gotten time to walk on water?”
“She said that? I could call her and check your source, but I think you’re fishing buddy!”
“I’M NOT GAY!”
“A god would have more patience than I do for your stupid questions.”
“Why should I apologise? The explosion blew my clothes off.”
“Yes, I would be interested but I haven’t seen a script.”
“The earth is round, everyone knows that…you mean you think it’s…oh I’m not talking to you again.”
“No, I don’t know if I could survive a nuclear bomb to the face, could you?”
“Can’t stand them!”
“No, I can’t heal the sick, I already said I’m not god.”
“I already answered that.”
“No, I voted for the other guy.”
“I answered that one.”
“Didn’t you hear me just tell that guy over there?”
“No comment, mainly as you didn’t listen to when I said I’d answered that question!”
“I’M NOT GAY, YOU’RE GAY FOR ASKING!”
“No, I don’t think he’s dead but I’m not a detective, am I?”
“As far as I know I’m quite strong.”
“Thank you, thank you very much!” Mark’s agent Gupta Zardari tapped him on the arm and led him inside. “He’s been very good. Follow him on Twitter. Thank you.”
The sea of journalists surged but were held back by the police. Mark entered his parents house to see Agent Cooper and the SWAT team waiting for him.
“You’re under arrest Mark,” Cooper said.
“When you tried it last time I threw you into the garage and your buddy through the window,” Mark replied. “I’m not, I’m not going to be, and if you keep trying I might just see how strong I am and throw you into space.”
Cooper touched his earpiece and listened. “Mark, my superiors would like to meet you.”
“Are they going to arrest me?”
Cooper shrugged. “Look, I’m just doing my job okay. You can either come with us or reinforcements will arrive. And these will be military guys because that’s the next level of threat you’ll become. So please, come with me so I can get you and your family away from all these nutjobs and somewhere safe.”
“You guys okay with this?” Mark turned to his family.
“I just want these people off my lawn,” Mrs Metcalf said. “I’ll be sending you a bill.”
“It will also include the damage to the window and garage,” Gupta added as he snapped shots on his phone. “Mark, I have calls from Larry King, Becky Anderson at CNN,Howard Stern, and from someone called Helen Degenerate.”
“You mean talk show Ellen? Ellen DeGeneres.”
Gupta slapped his head in remembrance. “That is why she sounded familiar! They all want you, today, on shows to talk about you and what is going on. Like now!”
“Mark…” Agent Cooper grumbled at the actor.
“Can I have a moment?” Mark snapped and looked out the broken window at the crowd of people snapping pictures, yelling and waving at him. “Okay, but I’m not going to Area 51 or Guantanamo Bay or anywhere like that okay? And I swear if you hurt my family…”
“’You’ll kill me,” Agent Cooper interrupted. “Got it.”
Mark grabbed Copper by the collar, ripped the glasses off his face, his earpiece out and thrust him above his head like he was made of foam. “No, you don’t got it!”
“Mark…” his father cautioned.
“You hurt my family and I’ll crush you. I’ll make you WISH I’d killed you, you understand?”
“C-crystal!” Cooper stammered. Slowly Mark put him down, adjusted the agent’s suit and patted him on the shoulder.
“Ellen tapes in Burbank, Larry King is at Ora TV in California, Stern is Chicago. CNN wants to go international,” Gupta said as he flipped through his iPad.
“Okay Agent Cooper, we’ll go with, but we’ve got a few stops along the way,”” Mark smiled.
“Like oh my god I met Ellen! She’s so nice!” Amber said as she showed off her new shirt to her now near million followers on Twitter because of her brother. “We danced, it was so cool. Then we met this old guy at a desk. Now we’re on a plane to Chicago, and not a regular plane, one of those se…”
“Hey! NO FILMING!” yelled Agent Cooper as he confiscated the phone of Amber Metcalf. “Which one of you Keystone clowns forgot to check the girl for electronic devices? Seriously, how the hell are we supposed to do things secretly and quietly if you let her broadcast from the plane!”
Amber stuck her tongue out and her finger up at the annoyed Agent. Mark’s parents sat quietly, wrapped in each other’s arms for comfort as Gupta paced about Mark like a junkie needing a hit as all his devices and contacts to the digital word had been taken off him.
“This zero communication is no good!” Gupta stated. “Ellen was good, that will play well with the soccer mom community. Larry King, you could’ve done better Mark.”
“He asked such boring hypothetical questions,” Mark said. “Could I stop ISIS, maybe. What’s my thoughts on the situation in Kashmir? I always thought it was a type of wool, not a place!”
“Dumbass!” Amber joked.
“We will do Howard Stern in Chicago, then you will speak to CNN International for the six o’clock broadcast which will give you SO much exposure! But I can’t check anything!”
“...sident is a Lizard Person!” The audience cheered as Erwin H Robert whipped them into a frenzy. “Just look at him! Beady little eyes! And that’s the bottom line!”
He tossed the microphone down in dramatic fashion, his trademark exiting manoeuvre as he hurried off stage. His head of security, Tara Tu, ushered him into the centre of a quartet of burly Islander bodyguards. “Godzilla is ready for Tokyo,” she stated into her radio.
“Tokyo is ready.”
“Let’s move!” She ordered, and the group moved as one to fire exit and into the waiting green van. Mr Robert got in as security shielded him. Tara scanned the area and got in. “Meet us in Nagasaki.”
The van sped off and the guards quickly scrambled onto awaiting motorcycles. Tara tapped a device in the centre of the car, blue lights lit up the interior accompanied by a gentle electronic buzz. Erwin scratched his neck. “Well?”
“Just a few more seconds sir,” Tara replied. “Better a few more moments of discomfort than...”
“I know, I know,” he huffed. “Just so damn uncomfortable after being under all those lights with all those sweaty apes.”
Tara checked the device. “Electronic jamming and scrambling in place. Windows locked and blocked. You are free to change sir.”
“Thank you, Tara,” Erwin loosened his tie as exhaled. Then his neck shuddered as he slowly morphed into a lizard man. He unfurled his long slender fingers and clicked his reptilian jaw around, moving it into place. “That is better.”
Tara herself morphed into a lizard person, opened a compartment in the car and produced a cage of Labrador puppies. Erwin’s eyes lit up and he clapped his hands together greedily. “They look so fresh!”
“Three weeks old sir, just how you like them,” Tara passed the cage over and Erwin H Robert devoured the squealing critters.
“That’s good puppy!” He decreed wiping dog blood off his lips and chin; Tara handing him a towel.
“Sir, I must ask, why do you always refer to the President as one of us?”
“Pure and utter distraction,” Erwin burped. “We feed the Lizard People story, give it credence, occasionally allow a photo to drop via the National Enquirer and let the stupid mammals run off with their imaginations! We tell a lie about the truth, watch them dance and jump at shadows. They need this excitement in their humdrum lives. We have ordinary rational people who believe that there are shape-shifting Lizard People who are taking over the world from within the governments of the world.”
“But we are?”
“True,” Erwin used his prehensile tongue to thoroughly clean his fingers. “But to the wider world, we are just a meme, an urban legend, a bit Kimmel does on his show when he’s not crying about gun control.”
“Very good sir,” Tara opened a red file and took out a photo. “Have you seen this?”
“That’s Mark Metcalf’s p@<€^r!” Erwin exclaimed. “Everyone in the world by now has seen it.”
“Seems he’s gotten powers, like that Leach boy a few years ago.”
“Didn’t we call in some favours and have Leach dealt with.”
“We did sir, which is why I’m bringing it up. At first there was one, this Mr Impossible. Then the strange woman with the heat vision to deal with him. Now Mark Metcalf. How many more powered monkeys are going to appear? What if one of them join the “crazy” people and start believing in us, investigating and digging around where they shouldn’t.”
“That is something I shall bring up at the next meeting at the Terrarium,” Erwin rubbed his snout. “One super powered primate is one thing, but if more pop up it could spoil all our plans for the takeover of this planet.”
Continued in Issue #2 click here