“The Raven heralded you as a worthy opponent; virtually impossible to capture,” came the voice of the Professor who stood next to him in a white 3-piece suit. His refined tone was that of a gentleman, but Sandstorm knew better. The Professor barely shifted on his black cane as he continued to speak. “Yet, here I have you, my boy.”
“I’m not your boy.”
“I expect hostility, but we may get past that soon. Your struggle is a wasted effort. Your law enforcement uses inhibitor technology to block powers of criminals, do they not? Naturally, I employ similar methods. I don’t mind saying that my technology surpasses anything your scientists could develop.”
“Just keep on talking.”
“You are an obstinate one, aren’t you? Now, I have to admit, trying my immortality formula on persons of the powered variety has had mixed results.”
“Immortality formula? Is that what you call those monstrosities you turn people into? Immortals?”
“They are programmed to obey orders and do a variety of various tasks. And yes, they are immortal. They will never die so long as people like you don’t go around removing their heads.”
“And you’re going to use your poison on me? You might find that to be a mistake.”
“We shall see. I’m going to let my automated machinery conduct some tests. I apologize as it will be quite painful.”
Without another word, Professor Zombie left the room, intent on visiting his other captives. A mechanical whirring sound caught Sandstorm’s attention as the long robot arm swung towards him. At the end of the machine appendage gleamed a long needle that aimed at his ribcage. Sandstorm grit his teeth in stubborn refusal to scream as the needle pierced his flesh and nicked a rib. Still, some sound did escape him. Professor Zombie didn’t flinch at the sound, being more than used to the anguish of others.
The heavy-set Professor lumbered down the corridor to a sliding door. He operated the security panel and the door slid open. His henchmen stood outside of several doors in that corridor. Inside the room, Anubis, in human form of Hakim, lay on an identical table, strapped down with a sheet over his waist.
“You monster!” Anubis shouted at him. “You will never get away with this!”
“If only I could recall how many times I’ve heard that, dear boy.”
“It only takes once to be the truth, you beast.”
“If only you could understand what I offer the world, Anubis. My way ends all strife as we know it.”
“By making people into being your slaves? By turning them into monsters?”
Anubis’s eyes widened as the words grated in his ears. “You would stop the world from having children? You are truly insane!”
“I’m sure you won’t think so if I can make you one of us. I’ve wanted to have servants with powers. Unfortunately, the serum seems to remove something that allows a person’s powers to exist.”
“You mean they actually have to be living people? Amazing what being alive can do for you.” Anubis sneered.
“None-the-less, I will conduct some tests. Your powers are especially of interest to me. You clearly were altered to be what you are while others were born with the genes that created their powers. Perhaps that’s the key I’ve been looking for.”
“Let me summon my lance and I’ll show you a whole new way to think of keys.”
“That would be rather foolish of me, wouldn’t it? I have to greet my other guests. One of them I’m sure you’d like me to say hello to? Nightfall is it?”
Anubis raged against his bindings to no avail. “I’ll kill you, Professor! Don’t harm her!”
“Interesting.” Professor Zombie turned and left the room.
Anubis thudded the back of his head on the metal table, engaging a strain of will power born of desperation and rage.
“Come on! Come on!” Anubis groaned. “Change, change, change.”
He tightened his fists too white knuckles and, unknown to him, his right fist started to take on a dim glow.
Out in the corridor a beeping sound drew the Professor to another door. In this room, something was wrong. He went inside to where Blacktide laid on a table the same as the others. His restraints smoldered slightly and the needle on the robot arm was gone.
“How very interesting.” The Professor went to a control panel and turned a dial to increase the power of the inhibitors. He didn’t have to go far to take it to full power. He took a syringe to Blacktide’s side.
“You won’t hold me long, old man.” Blacktide said grimly.
“I believe I’ll hold you long enough, or kill you.” The Professor put the needle against Blacktide’s skin and pressed. To his amazement, the needle burned away at skin contact rather than break through even the first layer.
“You’re power is highly resilient.”
“If you paid attention or did your homework you’d know that already. For such a freaking genius, you’ve made a fatal mistake.”
“We shall see.” Professor Zombie held up his cane and a sonic pulse sent Blacktide back into the land of unconsciousness.