Tales of Heroics and Villainry, Volume 8

January 9, 2008

Professor Fate looked at the countdown timer on her screen, and scowled. Detonation in under a minute, and another viewscreen showed that her adversary was still battling his way through her Omega Drones outside the base.

He was, as always, a disappointment.

With a sigh, she ran a hand above the keyboard and performed several of the complicated hand gestures she used to enter commands into the system. The timer slowed to a fraction of its previous speed – the Capital would be flooded with a mutagenic toxin in twenty-six minutes, rather than seconds.

The Sensational Man had gotten through the drones and was now configuring a means of unlocking the telemetric gate that sealed her stronghold off from teleportation pathways – once it was down, his teammates could hop right into the base and begin disabling the toxin missiles. Assuming he realized the gate was programmed to reconfigure itself whenever anyone attempted to unlock it, which his continued efforts indicated was a thought which was unlikely to occur to him any time soon.

Perhaps she should simply give up the game. For years they had been rivals… or more precisely, she had needed a challenge, and he – the supposed “Most Intelligent Man Alive” – had been the only one capable of offering her any sport.

But only if she offered a handicap, it seemed. Her plans were foiled, certainly, time and time again – but only because she allowed it to be so. If she stopped holding back, if she let events take their proper course… game over. Whatever she wished to accomplish, done.

A world for her to rule, revenge upon the unworthy…

…but it would all be so boring. This constant challenge was the only excitement she had found, and even as disappointing as it inevitably was, it was preferable to the alternative triumph. So even though it was tempting to confront The Sensational Man and reveal exactly how he so regularly failed on every level, she would not do so.


A sudden series of alarms roused her from her musings. It looks like the goo hero had managed to figure out how to open the gate after all – and the missiles were being dismantled with ten minutes to go.

She chuckled at that. No, no speeches or revelations today. She’d give him one more chance to prove himself her equal, or perhaps two.

Shaking her head, she triggered the sequence that would transport her to another, much more secure stronghold, along with her most valuable machinery.

She already had another plot in mind, after all…

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