Ongoing Series

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Power is in the eye of the beholder

Power is in the eye of the beholder

[WP] You are the most feared Super Villain with an utterly useless superpower.

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Where most of my kind- the Talented, the Powered- have impressive abilities that allow them flight, or super strength, mine is useless.

I can change the color of my eyes. Not to anything unusual. I can't do purple, for instance. Or inhuman green. No, I can go from human-blue to human-brown.

Slowly. With concentration.

That did not stop me.

My rage at the unfairness of the universe- to make these gods with their unstoppable power and to give me less than nothing- drove me to be their doom.

I am a Supervillain. The most feared on this earth, because, quite simply, I do not stop. I do not give up. My hatred never wavers. I will end them. Every last Hero who thinks that their powers somehow make them special, and who don't even consider that their shining example casts a great dark shadow upon the less fortunate.

The heroes, of course, consider themselves Good. A terrible mistake, because their Goodness will not allow them to kill me. They should. The ending of one life should certainly be worth the saving of dozens more. But no, if they kill me, it proves that they have sunk to my level. That they are stained.

Amusing, at least. I don't expect most of them even know I have a Power. Mine is so weak, so useless that even I sometimes forget I have one until the rage boils up again and my unceasing hunt continues.

The lesser Villains- the ones who rely on their Powers to level the Heroic playing field- walk in fear of me. They wonder at the bare human who dares to challenge Gods. They tremble when they see my trophy wall- a glory of masks and weapons claimed from my challengers.

My contemporaries do not seek to undermine me anymore. Not after the examples I made of the ones before them. Their bodies still rot on the walls of my stronghold.

These small battles can be amusing. I currently sit in a holding cell, awaiting justice. Laughable, really. The lock is a joke, and they were even so kind as to leave me the cane I walk with- a remnant from an earlier battle, when a Hero threw me through a wall.

I skinned him alive, but that did not heal the damage to my pelvis. I will always have a limp, and walking without a cane is difficult.

If I modified my cane to do all sorts of interesting things, well, did they expect any less of me? I made my fortune with clever devices to even the odds. Simply foolish.

“What now, Doctor Rimehart?”

One of the most recent Hero’s little friend's mocks me from outside the cage. He is brilliant- quite extraordinary in fact- but devoted to his Hero. I have considered how to coax him into my employ, but suspect it will take an intimate betrayal to force him to do so.

Such things take time. Certainly not my first corrupted underling. I pay them well, treat them well, and protect their families. If their children show promise, I am quite willing to finance their schooling. Many are loyal beyond death.

As it turns out, the Untalented appreciate being appreciated.

What a shock.

“I think I may escape in a moment,” I tell him, stretching lazily. I am past my prime, and a night on a cell cot is not so easily shaken off anymore, although I am courting a Powered healer into my service who may be able to reverse some of the damage. “Although you could delay me with a good cup of coffee. Understandably, I did not sleep well.”

“You can’t escape from this cell! We designed it especially for Powered prisoners!” The young man squawks. I can almost see the exclamation mark over his head. The statement is so blatantly foolish that I cannot help but sigh as I limp to the bars. Perhaps he is not worthy of my service after all.

Casually I flip my cane to rest against the lock and twist, sending a superheated rod through the protective metal plate and into the delicate electronics. The sharp scent of burning plastic fills the air and the scientist scrambles out the door, shouting for his Hero.

The door- on hinges of all things- swings open when I push on it lightly.

The Hero appears as I limp out. This one is physically enhanced as I recall. Strong and difficult to damage. He stares at me, nonplussed that I have noticed him and show no distress.

“If you are planning to attack, now is the time,” I remind him gently. This is not the brightest of my current foes, nor the one with the most of my attention. However, when opportunity knocks, it is only polite to answer.

He charges me- very fast, I admit- and raises his fist, telegraphing his intentions.

I simply step out of the way and bring my cane down on the back of his head. It is tungsten carbide and quite heavy. The blow stuns him long enough to press the butt to his head and press another hidden button.

A blade shoots out, driven by a powerful piston. I designed this for dealing with Powers like his. Even his reinforced bone poses no difficulty.

He dies silently and without pain. I have no taste for making enemies suffer unless it is to provide an example. This fool was simply careless enough to underestimate me, as so many have before him.

I tuck his mask into my pocket and take a picture of him with the small camera hidden my pen for identification later.

The door explodes in as my minions- alerted by my capture by a simple panic button on my ring- pour in. By now, they are unsurprised to find the Hero dead at my feet, and focus rather on making their reports.

“Noncombatants rounded up, Powered Heroes eliminated,” my Commander tells me, politely offering his arm to lean on. He knows that waking is sometimes difficult, but never mentions it. His daughter is in a wheelchair, paralyzed by a Hero attack that damaged her school. I appreciate the thoughtfulness, and had his home furnished with every amenity for a disabled child when I learned of her condition. “Your helicopter is outside, ready to return you to the stronghold.”

“Thank you,” I tell him sincerely. “Have the men gather up anything of interest here and copy their files before they destroy the server.”

A struggle catches my eye and I pause to see the scientist who thought to mock me earlier.

“I’ll kill you!” He screams, tears staining his cheeks. “I’ll kill you, I’ll kill you!”

I sigh, and nod to my Commander. A snap of his fingers and the scientist dies from two neat bullets to the back of the head. A shame. He really was brilliant, but that sort of rage can be problematic if left to fester.

“This way, Sir,” the Commander says kindly, guiding me through the hallways to the waiting helicopter. “We’re all ready for you. Oh, and the Missus wanted to invite you for dinner tonight. You know she worries when every you spend a night with these freaks.”

I chuckle as I climb into the helicopter and accept a headset. “Please tell her I would be delighted,” I tell him. “I believe I still have some of that lovely cabernet, if she thinks that would suit.”

My Commander only smiles as we lift off, and I allow myself a moment to feel satisfaction.

A successful day indeed.

Critter Jar

Critter Jar

Exploration does not always go so well

Exploration does not always go so well

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