It started with the "tattoos."
So. It's New Year's, just a few days after I designed Blockade Boy's new gauntlets, and then? I look at that bulky ol' suit I'd been schlepping around? And I get to thinking about how all the weather-controlling mechanisms in the lining weigh, like, a metric ton? And I decide, SCREW THAT NOISE. Because hey! They're doing wonders with miniaturized circuits these days! So why shouldn't I get in on the action?
And then I have one of my clinically-diagnosed "brainstorms".
So? I redesign all the machinery in a lightweight transdermal form that I can graft directly to my nerves. And the fierce part? Is they look like tattoos. Big, green lightning-bolt tattoos. They run from my fingernails all the way up to my shoulders! Plus? There's a way-cool lightning-bolt tattoo on my forehead!
From there? It kind of "snowballs", as they say on Tharr. I look at myself in the mirror... naked, which I haven't done in maybe five years? And I say to myself, "That's a lot of look."
So I take off my glasses.
Which? Is a big step for me, since I'd given them a totemic status in my own personal mythology. And I can see right away (if I squint) that I look way better without them. I mean, forehead tattoo? Plus glasses? Equals "trying too hard." I know, I know: unlike slathering both your arms in tattoos, heh-heh. Oh, cram it. But yes, if you must know? I go right out that very night and get my eyeballs fixed. I even have them dyed gold because why the hell not. And to those of you who are still freaking out over this news? Get over it. "Signature looks" have an expiration date, don't you know, and then? They turn you into a walking caricature of yourself. Like Charro, or Elvis, or Ghandi.
So anyway? I show up at work the next day, wearing a big hoodie with nothing underneath, and walking all slouched over, and my head all bent down, and the second I step through the door? I clear my throat, all dramatic-like? And I rear my head up proudly and I rip the hoodie off, and I say, "Behold, BITCHES!"
And then I see the only other person in the room is Blockade Boy.
(I felt so gross, you guys.)
But? I decide to "soldier on", as they say on the Khund homeworld. And with only a teensy crack in my voice, I say, "Guess what I did!"
And without missing a beat, he says, "You got your arms pickled."
And I say, "Suck one, Stanley's Monster," and then? I conjure up a dainty cloud and shoot a lightning bolt out of it, right at his big, clumsy feet! That shuts him up. But then he stalks over to me, and I can't read his expression, and he starts giving me the once-over. He even does that Vincent D'Onofrio thing, where he bends at the waist and looks at me all sideways, and I'm kind of freaking out, to be perfectly honest about it.
He straightens up and smiles at me, and with a basso profundo note of respect in his voice, he growls, "Weather-controlling tats. Nice."
And I gulp, and I smile a little, and then he puts his hands on my shoulders. And he says, "You know what you need, don't you?"
And I tell him, "Yeah, but I thought we'd both agreed it was best if we saw other people."
He punches me in the arm (which hurt like a bastard) and laughs that "deep booming laugh" that I grew tired of, like, five years ago. And he says, "Good one, pal! Naw, what you really need is a new costume! Somethin' with shorter sleeves. Show off those new tats!" And then his eyes go all crazy like they do sometimes? And his gaze goes wandering off into the stratosphere, like he's a Brobdingnagian Norville Barnes, and then he grabs me, and he shouts, "YOU HAVE TO LET ME DESIGN A NEW COSTUME FOR YOU! ALSO, YOU'LL HAVE TO SHAVE YOUR MUSTACHE AND DYE YOUR HAIR!"
I start to say, "But I don't want to shave my mustache," but he actually shakes me a little bit, and he yells, "DO IT!"
And then? He apologizes. Like he always does after one of his outbursts? But he walks me out of the office to the gourmet space-java place down the street. And we have a really nice talk where he lays out a makeover plan that he claims is guaranteed to net me some mad dingus. And you know what? I believe him!
So I dye my hair a honey-blond, to coordinate with my beautiful golden eyeballs, and also? I grow out the top and the sides a little. Finally, I adorn my glorious visage with some pointy (of course) muttonchops. And? I'll be darned if Blockade Boy's costume doesn't make me look like a whole wheel of space-cheddah. (Er, that's a good thing, by the way.)
Check me out, bitches!
As for that "blind date" Blockade Boy set me up on... er, yeah. It didn't work out exactly like I'd hoped. But more on that? Tomorrow.