Along the way, as I cruised over the waves, I thought about the fight I had just witnessed. An armored superhero, one of the founding members of the United Heroes, the foremost superhero in the American Southeast, had been defeated by some unknown newcomer wielding indestructible tendrils of darkness. The obvious scientific question was HOW ON EARTH DO YOU CREATE INDESTRUCTIBLE TENDRILS OF DARKNESS!?!?!?
Alright, Neurotron. Let's see what spectrographic analysis we can pull out of the video.
Why would I expect anything besides a snide remark? Well, seeing as camera's work using three different colored pixels, it's probably not going to be a host of spectrographic data.
This was the sort of thing Neurotron and I needed to work on. Teamwork. In case you hadn't noticed, there was still some room for improvement. Different cameras register slightly different colors. Also, cameras in space would see a shifted spectrum due to atmospheric interference. I tried to think of some other way to get the data. And you could just email the Titanium Warrior and put in a nice request.
As far as we could tell, the tendrils really were completely black. They moved with incredible grace, as if they were an extension of Mephistopheles' person, which made robot limbs unlikely (robots are clumsy. Sorry. It's true. Even cyborgs are known to trip when walking down the stairs.)
The tendrils could grow incredibly quickly. Also, given the fact that they could form a giant hand without Mephistopheles losing his balance, this darkness didn't weigh very much. Add the durability condition, and every technology I knew of was ruled out.
As I landed in my home in Estveria, I wondered what technologies there were that I didn't know of.
I had a landing pad on my roof. Fire-proofed, impact-resistance, the whole nine yards. I landed, and walked into my home (the doors opened and closed automatically, Star Wars style. If you become a genius supervillain, you might never need to close a door manually for the rest of your life. One of the big perks.) I didn't keep any of my really important projects in my house. Nor did I keep them in the Estverian Ministry of Technology, like so many people wrongly assume. No, I put it beneath the Hall of Justice, and relay in instructions with an encrypted fiber optic cable. "Noetron, how's the project coming along?" I had given the the mechanized mind an assignment to complete in my absence.
"Excellently, sir," he replied, sounding for all the world like Jeeves, in the next room. "I estimate that within twelve hours we will have optimized not only root beer and ice cream, but also chocolate, pizza, and potato chips."
"Junk food will never be the same again. And the secondary project."
"It has been deployed in the second Earth-Sun Lagrange point, and is self assembling as we speak."
"Excellent. Now, how's that updated robot army coming along?"
"The renovation of the Estverian military is 32.85 percent complete. I have appropriated several of the Lost Army robots-" the ones that had been tearing up the Southern Hemisphere during the One Day War- "and am storing them in a secure location. I have almost finishing reverse-engineering them, but need your guidance with certain parts of the process."
"It's good that you waited. Opening up unknown technology can be dangerous, especially given the guy who made these things." Although they had been deployed by Dr. Carnage, The Lost Army had been built a few million years ago by the time-traveling villain Dr. Demented. There are only a few people I consider intellectual peers, and Dr. Demented was never one of them. He was a million times smarter than I could ever hope to be. He'd built a time machine, for crying out loud. It had taken the combined forces of every hero and villain in this universe, and the heroes of a parallel universe to stop him and his minions. I definitely wanted to dissect his machines, but be in the same building as them... no thanks.
"The other parts of our military tune up are going as well as expected. We have acquired the parts to build more land-based combat robots, and your design for new ground-to-air missiles proved effective. I am partway through constructing the catalyzed fusion bombs you developed, but as you know, there is not safe way to test such technology. To the best of our knowledge, the United Heroes do not suspect what you are up to."
Militarily at least, Estveria would be able to hold her own. "And what of our attempts to shore up the Estverian economy?"
"Exron has opened up three new plants in three different cities." Exron was a giant international corporation that bankrolled many of the world's villains and criminals. It's CEO, Sabien Pallis, spent all his time living on his private island, being blackmailed by me. "I am almost done constructing a digital model of the economy, which Neurotron can run and optimize. We will then proceed to open up the remaining six plants."
"Great. If things keep going this well, I might even let my people hold elections." I am the nicest evil dictator ever.
Now, you may be asking just what prompted this fit of defensiveness for my homeland. The answers is: a variety of factors. I wanted to ensure our independence, and given Russia's recent aggression, and an Eastern European state can never be too careful. I was also beginning to realize that with my new biological upgrades, I could live a very long time. I wanted to make sure there was always a country for me to rule if world domination goes south, and who wants to rule over a dump. Besides Commander Trash, the not-so-dreaded landfill-themed supervillain.
Part of it was pride. I plan to rule the world some day, and that job will be easier to get if I can argue that incredible supervillains make better rulers than normal people, even when they are devoting ninety-some percent of their available time to scientific pursuits.
And of course, there was that tiny part of me that wanted to look out for the little guy. Wanted to protect my home and native land out of the goodness of the nuclear powered pneumatic and electrical pump that now constituted my heart. Wanted to be, for lack of a better term, good.
Ugh. Just a few short steps from caring about people a little bit to dressing up as a puppy and giving hugs to orphans on the street. Better watch out.