"The Return of Dr. Necropolis" is one of those pieces. It started out as a vague desire to write some smut, but... well, that's not exactly where it wound up.
Take that for what it's worth.
The Return of Dr. Necropolis
Chapter 1: Remembering Jaynie
“What are we gonna do with all that money, Frank?” Jaynie asked.
“Hmmm?” In reply, he let his fingers trail down Jaynie’s arm, across her hip, and around her body, drawing her close. He nuzzled her. Kissed her neck.
“We could buy a new car, maybe a Mazzerati. Or move to Paris? Or a boat? I always wanted to own a yacht, you know?”
Frank’s kisses trailed up from Jaynie’s neck to her cheek. He kissed and then caught Jaynie’s ear in his teeth. Nibbled lightly. His hand found her breast, circled her nipple through the fabric of her nightshirt.
“Are you even listening to me, Frank?”
Their bodies folded together, Frank inhaled, smelled Jaynie’s hair, felt her body pressing against his. Felt her ass against him, imagined her face down and splayed, him taking her from behind. Heard her cries of passion in his imagination’s ears.
Frank smiled. His hand came up under Jaynie’s nightshirt, touched her nipple directly. Began circling. Pulling. Squeezing. He waited for the nipple to stiffen or for Jaynie’s back to arch. Waited for some sign that his wife was feeling it, too.
Instead Jaynie snorted. “Is that all you think about?” She turned her head and made a face. “Come on. We need to get some sleep. Draygho expects us to be ready tomorrow. And anyway, your breath smells like red onions.”
Frank sighed, let go, let the moment slip away.
Fucking Draygho. It was always fucking Draygho. The guy was an asshole. Outside, the lights of Manhattan lit the night like earthbound stars while traffic sounds drifted up from the streets below. But the traffic sounds were faint on the hotel’s sixty-fifth floor, and anyway, they were muffled by the room’s heavy window panes. Draygho, meanwhile, was right next door—right in the next room. Frank suddenly felt the bastard’s presence like a chill in the air. Draygho might as well have been in the room with them.
On the other side of the room, meanwhile, Frank’s gear—the gear that made him the infamous Dr. Necropolis—sat piled and forgotten. That gear might’ve been good against Draygho, the man, even in his guise as the dreaded Siberian Tiger. But against the idea of Draygho, against the man’s memory and emotional presence, against his own wife’s obvious respect and admiration for Draygho...? Against that, even Dr. Necropolis had no defense.
On top of all of that, somewhere down there was the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
Frank shut his eyes, rolled over, tried to clear his mind. He sighed again, tried not to think of Jaynie or Draygho or the job or any of it and instead tried to force himself to listen to his own breathing. But his pillow was flat. So he fluffed it and then shifted again, but Jaynie was still right there, and suddenly he couldn’t stop thinking about her again. The feel of her or the smell of her hair. Despite everything, he felt himself stiffen.
Frank rolled over again, tried to relax, tried to force himself to shut his eyes and—
“Dammit Frank!” Jaynie snapped, “You’re driving me crazy!”
“Sorry honey. I guess I’m just keyed up about tomorrow, and--”
Jaynie sighed. “Do I have to do anything, or can I just lie here?”
“If it’ll help you get to sleep, you can come over here, but I’m tired, and I don’t want to have to do anything. So do I have to do anything, or can you just--”
“Oh honey, I didn’t mean to guilt you into--”
“You’re not,” Jaynie replied. She sat up and pulled her nightshirt over her head in one smooth motion. She was suddenly nude, silhouetted by the moonlight and the lights of the city below, and despite everything, Frank could barely breathe. “Shit, Frank, if it’ll get you to sleep, it’s more than worth the trouble.”
Jaynie rolled onto her stomach, not looking at him but letting her ass face upwards. Even after six years together, Frank still marveled at how good she looked. Slim but soft, athletically toned but neither ripped nor muscle-bound. He stared at her, and it was like a kind of worship. He let his hands trail over her, kissed her shoulder, ran his hand down the back side of her thigh. His fingers trailed up, and he caressed, touched, explored.
Jaynie still didn’t look at him, but she spread her legs. “Just try to be quick, okay?”
Frank smiled, shifted towards her, thought about his fantasy. “Don’t worry, baby. You’ll barely even know I’m there.”
A moment later, he was up, and then she shifted, and then he was inside her. He moaned, momentarily caught up in the sensation, but she never looked back, and after a few strokes, he had trouble concentrating. In his mind, it hadn’t been this way, but Jaynie seemed literally like she was trying to sleep through it, and that threw Frank badly. He tried to touch her, tried to kiss her, tried to draw her in.
“Just go, Frank. It’s okay.”
Thankfully, the mechanics were straightforward, and soon enough, Frank felt his relief begin to build. He pushed it faster and then let it go, and Jaynie laughed.
“Yeah, baby. That’s it.”
“Good. Now go to sleep.”
He rolled over, grabbed a box of tissues, and tried not to feel worse than he’d felt before. Jaynie was asleep before Frank even finished with the tissues. He was spent, but even so, he knew it’d be a long time before he slept.
“Hey Convict! D’j’you see your buddy made the papers? ‘Siberian Tiger Strikes Again!’ Made the front page and everything. Big as life and in full color. What you think of that, Doc?”
Frank sat up and ran his fingers over his scalp. Tried to banish the bittersweet sting of memory. He’d had hair once, but it had started receding back when he was still in graduate school. A life of crime had done more damage, but five years, four months, ten days, and—he checked his watch—eight hours, twenty-seven minutes in prison had seen the rest of his hair gone. The stress of life inside maybe hadn’t broken him, but it had certainly left him bald and careworn.
Still, Frank refused to be baited by idiot prison guards. “What the fuck do you want, Scott? Or did you just come by to fuck up my day?”
“Oh, it’s ‘Scott’ now, is it? Huh Francis?” Scott said. He was six-foot-three and big, but he was also lazy, and most of that big-bodied frame had long since turned to fat. He leaned into Frank’s cell with one hand on his nightstick. “Don’t make me come in there and thump you, Francis. You wouldn’t like that very much, I don’t expect.”
Well. Truth was the part of Frank that was still Dr. Necropolis would’ve liked it fine, but unfortunately, Sing Sing was a long way from the good Doctor’s old secret lab. Even with something as rudimentary as his Electric Knuckles, Necropolis could’ve folded that fat fuck in half and then—literally—torn him a new asshole. And with any of his other gear…
But Dr. Necropolis was five years dead. And yeah, maybe he—plain old Frank McGuiness—could still take Scott one-on-one, even with the nightstick, but what was the point? Frank could see Scott’s partner, Keith Little, standing right there behind him, and there were plenty more guards where Little came from. Maybe the old Dr. Necropolis, back in his heyday, could teach all these fuckers a lesson and live to tell the tale, but plain old Frank McGuiness was liable just to get his head bashed in.
Nothing good could come of that. Like it or not, Frank could see that he had to swallow his pride.
“I’m sorry, Officer Grossman; I meant no disrespect. Can I see the paper, please?”
The fat bastard smiled and handed it through the bars of Frank’s cell. As the paper unfolded, Scott pointed to the front page. “Ain’t that your girl, Doc? Hoo-boy! She and the ol’ Siberian Tiger look awful close.” Scott shook his head, mocking and sarcastic. “You reckon he’s been tappin’ that ass the whole time you been in here? Ouch! Man, that’s gotta sting. You’d’a thought they’d at least try’n’ spring your skinny ass on account of the way you went down for them, but--” Scott shrugged, “—I guess now we know why they ain’t bothered. Don’t need no third wheel gettin’ in the way of that!”
Despite himself, Frank snatched the paper out of Scott’s hands, and there it was. Acid in a wound he’d thought was long scabbed over.
A security camera had caught them on their way out of a heist. Draygho was standing in the foreground, claws out, hulking and bigger than life, long hair flowing behind him like some kind of wild mane. He was wearing a new uniform—black velvet with white tiger stripes, naturally, because Draygho was still nothing more than a gigantic white-trash Russian goombah—along with some kind of headband that looked vaguely familiar. And then there was Jaynie, right behind him. She was wearing sunglasses, and she’d dyed her hair peroxide blonde and gotten a boob-job, but it was still unmistakably her. Frank would’ve known her anywhere, but even without his having been married to her, the electroplated Colt .45’s she carried gave her away. The girl knew her guns, and those gold-plated Colts were the trademark of her alter-ego, Gun-Girl Gracie Gibson.
Frank stared at the picture for a full minute, and it felt like something inside of himself cracked open and started bleeding. But then he remembered that Grossman and his lackey were standing there watching him, and it was just too much.
Scott turned to his partner. “Would you look at that, Keith? I think old Doc Necropolis is about to cry. Shit, I ought’a take a picture of this. Where’d I put my phone?”
“Here, I got one,” Keith replied.
Frank got the paper up just in time to avoid more humiliation.
“Aw, what’d you go and do that for, Doc?” Keith said. “I could’a sold that shot to the paparazzi!”
“Fuck you, Little!” Frank snarled. “And you, too, Grossman. If you two don’t get the Hell out of my space in the next five seconds—“
“You’ll what?” Grossman asked. “Doc, you been in here five years, and in all that time, you ain’t done shit. Now shut your fucking hole before I come in there and bust you one, and I’ll let you keep that paper. Otherwise Keith and I’ll both come in there, and then you’re leavin’ on a stretcher. You get me, convict?”
A moment passed in which Frank didn’t trust himself to speak.
“That’s what I thought,” Grossman said.
Thankfully, he was gone a moment later.
Frank blew out a breath he hadn’t realized he was holding. He was shaking, and that made him even madder, but there was nothing he could do about it. His cell was ten feet by five, and like it or not, he wasn’t going anywhere. This was prison life, and he was stuck with it.
Eventually, he cracked the paper and started reading.
SIBERIAN TIGER ON THE RAMPAGE!
Mad Russian and Gun-Girl Jasmina Extend Their Reign of Terror
The Russian madman known only as the Siberian Tiger attacked the Diamond Exchange in Midtown Manhattan yesterday, making off with over $6 million in gold and uncut diamonds and leaving a trail of bloody bodies in his wake. Accompanied by his long-time accomplice, the mysterious Gun-Girl Jasmina, the Tiger struck at five minutes to midnight, ripping one guard to shreds with his infamous “man-ripper” claws while dropping two more with some kind of strange mental projection device.
Asked for comment, Police Inspector Gary Prudhomme offered the following:
“We don’t know where he got that device, but we certainly don’t think he made it himself. Still, we don’t have any reason to believe that the Tiger and Jasmina have had any outside help. The investigation remains open, but for now, it appears that these two are working alone.”
Prudhomme was referring, of course, to the Siberian Tiger’s long-time partner-in-crime, Dr. Francis “Necropolis” McGuiness, now serving a life sentence in Sing Sing Correctional Facility in Upstate New York in connection with a murderous raid on the Reserve Bank of New York some six years ago. Indeed, though McGuiness remains behind bars, this latest crime wave has many of the hallmarks of that early partnership, from the smoke bombs and gas grenades that the Tiger and Jasmina used in their latest attack, to the bleeding-eared victims who appeared after the fact to have been the victims of mind-control.
Wait, Frank thought. Bleed-eared victims? And that headband!
That bastard is using the Neural Disrupter!
The thought went through Frank like a shockwave. It was worse than thinking of Jaynie with that asshole, Draygho. Worse than taking crap from asshole prison guards or even spending the last five years in a cell. The Neural Disrupter was Frank’s masterpiece. It was, in a very real sense, the thing that made him Dr. Necropolis. Frank had hidden it before he’d gone to prison, and he’d disabled the device to boot, but he supposed, all of that hadn’t been enough.
And then, suddenly, Frank knew then what he had to do.
He had to escape. Had to set things right.
From the ashes, Dr. Necropolis must rise again.