Steve Hill's NeverQuest: City of Villains

Steve Hill goes on the pull

We're living in the future. Having been emailed a virtual flyer for a virtual club, I send an Instant Message to my virtual friend (former ZONE staffer Mallo, aka the evil Fairground Worker), to see if he fancies going on the pull. A balding biker and a reject from Slipknot. What nubile young temptress could resist?

Honing in on the first woman I see - a pert hard-body with thigh-length boots and red skin - it turns out she's a hostess for the club, and while she's happy to make small talk, she won't be putting out. Meanwhile, Fairground has steamed straight onto the dance floor, where I join him and throw a few shapes. It's a decent venue with some pounding house beats, but it's nowhere near full, a mere smattering of heroes and villains occupying the vast warehouse structure. Crucially, it is, as Fairground sagely pronounces: "Light on birds."


Our dancing doesn't attract any females, but The Brutal Horn Butcher - a werewolf in ripped shorts - sidles up behind me and gives me the once-over. Slightly intimidated, I suggest: "Let's find some chicks," to Fairground, and go upstairs where DJ Zero is playing his set while levitating. You don't see Pete Tong doing that. The DJ is being watched intently by a stunning blonde called Philtrum. Arms crossed moodily, her lithe body barely concealed by sporadic lingerie, the look is topped off with what's either a Zorro mask or two very severe black eyes. An opening gambit of: "Alright love?" doesn't cut any mustard and she continues staring into middle distance.

Taking the hint, I spot the green-haired War Witch stood on a balcony and stroll over to give her some Evil Steve Hill charm. I'm about to lay on the patter when she announces apropos of nothing: "The sweet thing about alternate realities is that the dead always seem to come back to life." This puts me on the back foot somewhat, and I decide to adhere to the maxim, 'don't get involved with goths'.

Fairground, however, claims to have pulled, and that he has screenshots to prove it. Conveniently, by the time I locate him, the object of his desires has mysteriously disappeared. According to the shunned waltzer operator: "She had a dance with me, then gave me a peck on the cheek and f***ed off." A likely story...

"You do the talking - I'll follow you," suggests my pulling partner. Taking a chance on the freakishly tall Shewhack, in time-honoured fashion I enquire: "You dancing?" Taking the initiative, I perform a few star jumps, but she doesn't seem that impressed and promptly leaves the club.

"There's got to be someone up for it in here," I announce, and attempt to chat up a dancer, although my cause is somewhat hampered by her being in a cage.

Turning my attentions to The Dynamic Blaster, I'm again getting nowhere and grumpily dismiss her as a time-waster. "I'm not a time-waster," she protests. "I just like to get to know people first." Seizing on this weakness, I ask her if she fancies a dance. "Why not?" she surprisingly replies, and starts gyrating while I wave my hands in the air like I just don't care.

"You look good on the dance floor," I tell her, and weakly compliment her nice trousers. She seems to be enjoying herself, but Fairground doesn't help my cause by butting in with: "My mate fancies you. And wants to have your babies. Evil babies." "Get lost," I tell him. "I'm in here."

The damage would appear to be done though, and she stops dancing, only to announce: "1 on 1 is no fun." "What do you suggest?" I ask. "I'm very open-minded." But she's already leaving, and as she gets in the lift the last thing she hears is a bald man in yellow trousers screaming: "Don't go!"

It's a blow, but arguably not as bad as that suffered by Fairground, who was simultaneously chatting up a long-haired sort, only to discover it was a bloke. As he says: "I narrowly avoided a battering."

Unperturbed, I stroll up to a snake-charmer called Thickle and introduce myself: "Hiya love. I can read your lips in those shorts." Amazingly, she leaves. Strike three.

Reconvening to the bar, it dawns we may have misjudged the situation. A camp-looking
bloke called Chainclaw is nearby, and I ask him: "Are you gay?"

"Not as gay as a middle-aged balding man in a leather jacket smoking a cigar and talking to strangers while wearing yellow trousers," he doth protest. "It's just that we've had no luck with the birds," I hastily explain. Or as Fairground sighs: "No spitroast tonight." Just two bitter supervillains, crying into our beer.