Saturday, February 22, 2014

The Powers that Be

"I'm in," said General Electric. "Count me in."
I was stunned. He was signing on to this scheme. 
Wait a second. Of course he was. He wasn't an especially successful villain on his own. He needed Mephistopheles' money and power and intelligence to back him up, and he had lost enough fights to admit he needed help."
Osirion was next to speak. "I will join you group," he said. Everyone present spoke Russian except for Titan and Jack. "But I will not take orders from anyone."
"Of course not," Mephistopheles said. His voice was comparatively soothing, to the point where battle-hardened Navy Seals wouldn't cringe. "I don't plan to give orders. Just suggestions."
Plague opened her mouth. "I'll join under a similar condition. I'll take your advice, since you claim to be such a source of infinite wisdom. I'll take your money, since you claim to have so much of it. But I won't take your orders."
Puzzle Master was the next to have a word. "I think your conduct here has made you villainous disgraces. When Devil dearest's plans fail you'll have egg upon your faces. I simply shall not into join your dark Illuminati, and I feel your coming failure with every bone inside my body."
The rhyming maniac then ran away, and tried to swim to back to Madagascar. Nobody heard from him for several months. Despite that, I still thought Mephistopheles was the crazy one at the table. But it looked like I was in the minority.
It was Titan who spoke next. Something about being a gigantic dinosaur means that when you speak, people listen, and sure enough, Titan grabbed our attention. "Fine. Let the lunatic leave. I'm fine getting money and expertise from this newcomer, and I'm even willing to do him a favor or two if that's what it takes."
Jack joined, followed the rest of the people at the table. That left me.
I thought through the composition. Mephistopheles was in charge, but Jack would try to undermine him, and Plague or even Titan might try to do the same. If I joined, that would be an awful lot of leaders for a paltry few followers.
On the other hand, there was my scientific curiosity. How could I learn about Mephistopheles' powers without getting close to him? Similarly, I needed to learn about Jack Frost's freeze rays, and Plague's incredible biology.
I could think of two ways of doing that. The first was to join this Illuminati Occultus and play along with Mephistopheles' crazed plans until I could take control or figure out how their powers worked. This plan had a drawback: I had to join the Illuminati Occultus. Not only would I have to join the most ridiculously named syndicate in history, I would also have to undergo several risks. I would need to walk a find line between being turned on by my teammates and being foiled by the combined might of every hero on Earth.
The second option was to play it safe, stay away from dangerous people, and maybe do some charity work. Kidding! The second was to stay away from this group, and study other things, without earning the wrath of the heroes. Eventually, years, decades, or centuries from now, I would be in a position to conquer the world and subject everyone on the planet to my will, and put it's every inhabitant under my microscope.
Plan two it was...
"Sorry gentlemen, ladies, and giant talking dinosaurs, but I think I'll have to pass. I wish you the best of luck, and am eager to do business in the future, but I am not prepared to join your group."
Titan called me a half-assed weakling under his breath, but other than that, they took it very well.

I can't be everywhere at once. I'm sorry, but the only way to be omnipresent is to be a god, a hive mind, or a really zealous fourth grade teacher. I am none of those things. Consequently, there are parts of this story I was not present for. I am going to tell them anyway, using knowledge gained after the fact from a variety of sources. Deal with it.

It just so happens that at the approximate time of the Tromelin Island summit, there was another superpowered meeting going on halfway around the world, in inland Mongolia.
Vector flew in, borne aloft by telekinetic wings. The Dark Detective flew in, born aloft by an airplane.
They were in the middle of nowhere. Seriously. The spot had been selected because there was no human habitation for miles around.
"Cognis coming?" Vector asked?
The Dark Detective scowled. "He's busy. Negotiating that ceasefire in Palestine."
Vector was hovering above the ground, his blue and white costume resplendent in the midday sun.
"When did Genesis say to meet him."
"Three minutes ago," the Detective scowled.
They waited in silence. Groups which include the Dark Detective tend to be silent.
"Oh," said Vector. "I sense him. He's about a mile to the north, riding something big. He should be here shortly."
This elicited a scowl from the Dark Detective.
A minute later, Genesis arrived. He was inside what looked to be the offspring of a 747 and a Pteranodon. It opened its door/mouth and Genesis walked out. "Where is the Professor?"
Vector fielded the question: "Professor Cognis is busy at the moment." For his part, the Dark Detective continued to scowl.
"What business is he attending to that is so important?"
"World peace."
"Very well, I suppose to the likes of him such things are important."
"What did you bring us here to talk about," the Detective inquired, doing his best not to scowl.
"The Disease."
"Excuse me?"
"The Disease has returned. One person was infected, in Peru. She died before getting to the hospital. Her name was Esperanza Quaron. Be sure to tell the Professor of these facts."
"We will," Vector said.
"And just how did you find out about this budding Peruvian epidemic?"
Genesis ignored him. "I entrust this matter to your United Heroes. Although I can stem the spread of the Disease through my Garden, I cannot stop it in the outside world. Goodbye, and godspeed." With that, Genesis, the world's leading expert in a dozen scientific disciplines, last survivor of a parallel dimension, the master of a Garden of extraordinary plants and animal, left.
Vector was the first to speak. "I really hope he's wrong."
"I'm pretty sure he isn't." 

1 comment:

  1. Puzzlemaster . . . I simply will not join
    Titan called me
    One person was infected, in Peru