Originally posted to /r/WritingPrompts.
Prompt by /u/BronzeHeart92:
Your roommate is a supervillain with the ambitions to take over the city. Nothing out of ordinary, right? Thankfully, he prefers to spend the time watching b-movies and munching on popcorn.
“So, Mike, what’s on for tonight?”
Hearing my name caught my attention just enough for me to realize I had heard my name. I was sitting on the couch, and the sound came from behind me. “Did you say something?”, I asked, craning my head around.
Alex hauled his old laptop out of its case. The thing weighed like ten pounds without any cables or peripherals—I knew from past experience, from that time I had to lug it through the airport. The laptop clunked as he set it down on the fake wood surface of the kitchen table.
“Yeah”, Alex said. “I said, ‘what’s on for tonight?’.” He repeated the words slowly, enunciating each sound like he was talking over a bad phone connection. I hated when people did that. I wasn’t listening the first time; I was listening now. He didn’t have to act like he was talking to a toddler with a learning disability. Condescending.
I decided to answer the question anyway. “Maniac Cop 2 is on, that’s what. In”—I checked the clock—”twelve minutes. I’m flipping channels until then.”
“I didn’t know there was a Maniac Cop 1“, Alex said.
“I didn’t either”, I replied, turning back to the screen, “but somehow I doubt continuity is of paramount importance in this series.”
Alex smirked. “Well, it’s not like it matters anyway. You won’t be able to see what’s going on on that shitpile of a TV.”
I frowned. “Really, again? Knock it off already with the TV. It works fine, it’s been working fine.”
“They haven’t even made new CRTs for like a decade. They’ve got, like, organic plasma now or some shit.”
“You got some serious pot-kettle problems going on there”, I said, tapping the channel button on the remote idly. “When are you going to break down and just buy a Chromebook so that you can use your gym membership instead of getting all your exercise lifting your computer?”
“I’ll tell you when”, Alex said, deadly serious. “When every single Newgrounds game has been ported to work without Flash, that’s the day I’ll consider it.”
And he said I was living in the past.
I resumed “watching” the images flicker across the phosphorescent screen. The set was big and boxy, almost as deep as it was wide, with a huge bezel around the edges. It really was a lousy picture, too.
Of course, I would never give up the old TV. I would terminate Alex sooner, if necessary, although I hoped it wouldn’t come to that—cleaning up a body is an awful inconvenience.
Two more years, I reminded myself. Two more years of absorbing energy through my eyes from the electron gun. Two more years until my power was fully charged, and my plan could finally come to fruition.
Two more years.