"Phoenix, I am extremely busy at the moment."
"Yeah, yeah. Leader of the free world."
"That's the President of the United States."
"I'm sure that's what you tell him, Cognis. Well, as your luck would have it, I solved your problem. I can destroy every being in the Zoo for you."
"How? If you penetrate the walls, the biotoxins embedded in the support beams could kill thousands."
I rolled my eyes. Because killing a few thousand people was such a terrible option when the lives of millions were on the line. "Well, since I'm the greatest genius on planet Earth..." I waited for Cognis to argue. He didn't. He must really have been busy. "I have a solution to your problem. Genesis whipped up a virus that could kill anything in there. I came up with a delivery mechanism."
"What sort of delivery mechanism can get into the Zoo without triggering any alarms?"
Flashpoint was brought to the conflict zone in a masterfully concealed submarine vessel. Vector, with his ever-diminishing strength, distracted Mephistopheles enough for it to reach the Zoo.
Flashpoint was clad in specially-modified armor. "So you want me to teleport into a heavily secured facility and go around poisoning giant monsters?"
Noetron responded. "It is not a poison. It is a virus, both air- and waterborne. It will be released from small nodules on the exterior of the armor. You will be completely safe both from the virus and the 'giant monsters.' Are you satisfied."
"No. But I don't think I have much of a choice."
"That is correct. If you do not complete the task withing an hour, I will blow up this armor, with you in it." I've always wanted to blow up an armor with someone in it, but I've never gotten the opportunity. If this went south, at least I'd have that as a consolation prize.
The submarine docked against the edge of the Zoo. Reluctantly, Flashpoint teleported in.
The first thing he saw was a triceratops. He remembered that Carnage had been a fan of dinosaurs. "Is that thing going to eat me," he asked.
"No, for several reasons. For instance, you are a teleporter in an Ultrasteel suit, and that is a herbivore."
The dinosaur stood there passively, barely even noticing the intruder. Flashpoint heard a soft pop as the virus was released into the air. "Should we be leaving now?"
"Not yet. We should observe the effects of the virus, in order to ensure it's efficacy."
"I understood like half the words in that sentence."
"We should make sure the virus works."
It did. In less than a minute, the prehistoric beast was lying, dead on the ground, bleeding from a dozen orifices. "It is possible that you are the first human in history ever to kill a triceratops." Flashpoint didn't really care.
He teleported into the next room. It seemed to be filled with plants. One of the plants moved at him with incredible speed. He teleported away. "Interesting," Noetron said. "I wonder what sort of cellular structure permits such rapid movement."
"Yeah, yeah. Can we just hurry out of here."
"Phoenix would want a sample."
"Well, he wouldn't want me killed."
"The odds of this creature damaging you are minute. We will take the sample."
Have you even been in powered armor and found it moving in a way you don't want it to? I have. It's not a fun experience.No matter how much you strain your muscles, you find your joints going the other way. It's like losing a dozen arm-wrestling matches at once. For Flashpoint, it must have been even worse. He couldn't teleport out of the armor because parts of it penetrated into his skin, and his teleportational energy would take the armor with him. So he found himself cutting off a small part of the plant with a laser, and placing it in an Ultrasteel test tube. Finally, Noetron released the virus. "We can leave now."
"Thank god." They teleported into the next room. They encountered dinosaurs, sentient rabbits, building sized sea creatures covered in claws, and deadly bacteria.
There were some regions that Flashpoint couldn't reach by teleportation. Fortunately, Noetron had tools to tunnel through solid rock or sheet metal. Eventually, they were done.
Noetron ran some scans to confirm that every living thing had been infected by Genesis' virus. As far as he could determine, there was nothing left to do. "It is time to exit the building."
"What if I don't want to leave?"
"If you refuse to leave, I will blow up this armor, and send the footage to Phoenix."
"So I'll die. Big deal. Not like life is worth living in Phoenix's cage."
"Are you trying to negotiate? Very well. I can see to it your television privileges are doubled."
Flashpoint hadn't been negotiating. He had been seriously contemplating suicide. But the prospect of additional TV time renewed his will to live. He teleported into the submarine.
Mephistopheles was almost done with Vector. The hero was weakening, he could barely stay in the air. He could sense motion, but that didn't help him dodge Mephistopheles' blows. With a final thrust, Mephistopheles slammed Vector into the stratosphere. He watched as the hero disappeared over the horizon. Should he go and confirm that Vector was dead. Heroes had a nasty habit of surviving things like that. But the soon-to-be conqueror had more important things to deal with. As the last villain standing, it was up to him to secure the Zoo, and plunder it's secrets.
As he descended into the deep, he saw Cognis' submarine. With little effort, he ruptured the hull. He saw Cognis, bent over a computer monitor. "Hello, Professor. Almost done opening the doors for me."
"As a matter of fact, yes. This way you can break in without unleashing the toxins embedded in the walls."
"How thoughtful of you."
"Of course, you won't find what you want in there. I saw to that."
Mephistopheles' blackness began to coat the Professor. "It's that last thing you'll ever see to."