Nicholas Dreyfus, better known to the world as Motael, set up his lab in preparation for the approaching soldiers. The famed supervillain had discovered that a small army of American soldiers were coming to apprehend him after his most recent escapade. His monitors showed three bodies coming down the corridor that led to his lab at this very moment.
Nick considered his strategy carefully. There was no way he could escape, not now. He had been found far too early – his teleporter wasn’t finished yet. He couldn’t flee in the plane which had brought him here – he was a good pilot, but not good enough to break through the blockade of jets circling the island even now. And trying to escape to the boat he occasionally sailed on was even more pointless – the scanner informed him that a squad of men were searching it already, even if he could have reached it. So he would have resist arrest, or else set up the arrest to help him in his trial…
The island which housed his lab was theoretically in international waters, but was on the very edge of U.S. territory. They could make a case for it being part of the States, so would likely be following procedure for an actual arrest, despite being military rather than police. That meant that they wouldn’t fire unless he fired first, officially resisting arrest. But if Nick could trick he soldiers into firing first, then he would be defending himself, which would be a great help in trial.
Of course, that meant he’d have to either dodge the bullets or somehow block them.
Fortunately, he knew just how to do it. In the few minutes remaining to him before the soldiers would round the corner, he set up his experimental force field and activated it. It was invisible except from very sharp angles, when the light-bending effects of the spacial warp would become noticeable. The drawback, of course, was the enormous power drain it caused. By shutting down the mechanics from most of the island and connecting the field to the main power grid, it should be able to run for a little under two minutes before the entire system was overloaded.
And just in time, too. Nick grabbed an assault rifle he had modified and stepped behind the field mere seconds before a trio of soldiers came through the door.
“Freeze, Motael!” shouted one of them, raising an assault rifle of some sort. “Drop the weapon!”
Nick ignored his prattle in favor of appraising the soldiers. One, with an assault rifle, was a captain, young and not very well trained judging by the weak, unsteady grip he held the rifle with. He had his finger on the trigger, and was tense enough to shoot at any moment. The captain was close enough that he’d likely hit, but only by luck.
The second soldier was an older corporal holding a shotgun, currently pointed at the floor at Nick’s feet. His finger was loosely pressed against the trigger guard, ready to fire at a moment’s notice. If startled, he’d probably turn to face whatever had surprised him, raising the shotgun and firing at the same time. Clever. It wouldn’t work with a pistol, or even a semi-automatic weapon, but a shotgun would splay its rounds in an arc across the enemy. Not very accurate, of course, but fast and effective.
The third wasn’t a soldier, it was a hero. Mad Cap Jack, to be exact. He was mostly human: his only powers were his supernatural reflexes as well as his surprising speed and strength, plus the vaguely defined ‘super-vision’: apparently the ability to see in all directions without turning his head. Mad Cap was mainly a tech hero, though: along with the gadgets and not-quite-cybernetic enhancements he favored, he was an expert in the field of alien technological analysis. Essentially, he was very good at understanding strange technologies. Did the government think that Nick was an alien?
“Drop the weapon!” the young captain shouted again, voice unsteady. “Drop it or I’ll blow your brains out, I swear I will!”
“Captain Maran, stand down!” Mad Cap snapped. “We’re still in the U.S, and he hasn’t fired on us.”
Shit, Nick thought as Maran began to lower his rifle. The field would collapse in moments. He had to get one of the two soldiers to fire before his protection collapsed. “Knew he was chicken,” he muttered, just loud enough for Maran to hear.
“Bastard!” Maran said, raising the rifle again and firing as Mad Cap gritted his teeth in anger. The bullets ricocheted harmlessly off the force field, but the noise startled the corporal, who fired, just as Nick had suspected.
“Damn it,” Mad Cap whispered as the soldiers calmed and stopped firing. He did a double-take when he saw that Nick was unhurt, the bullets hovering in midair where the field had frozen space, but recovered quickly enough – after all, the superhero had surely seen stranger things in his time. He stepped forward, raising his open palms in a gesture of peace. “Listen, we don’t have to fight, Motael. Just come with us quietly, and –”
“It’s too late, Jack,” Nick interrupted. “You’ve fired on a civilian who offered you no violence. What I’m about to do is just self-defense.” It was timed perfectly: as he raised his modified assault rifle, the field overloaded the generator, and the lights cut out. He fired a quick burst of three shots at where the captain’s head had been moments before, then threw himself aside as the corporal’s shotgun roared.
A moment later, there was a chemical-sounding hiss and a flash of blue light that illuminated the area, casting reddish shadows around the platform Nick had taken cover behind. “Nicholas Dreyfus!” Mad Cap called. “You’ve just murdered an innocent man!”
“He shot at me first,” Nick whispered into the microphone in the bone-white skull mask he wore, allowing his voice to be relayed through the speakers that were already beginning to come back online. His voice would seem to come from everywhere, leaving his actual position a mystery. “That’s not murder, Jack, that’s self-defense. The way I see it, there’s no one innocent here.” He kept an eye on the side of the platform. The corporal would probably be stepping around it soon. Assuming that they split up and searched the half of the lab they were closer to, Mad Cap would be among the fuel canisters around now, while the corporal…
“You were already a murderer, Motael!” the corporal said from the other side of the platform. “I just didn’t think I’d see you do it-” he was cut off by a trio of bullets passing through his skull as he rounded the corner. But while Nick’s rounds, subsonic and not propelled by gunpowder after his modifications to the gun, were silent and wouldn’t give away his position, the corporal’s were another story. The shotgun, fortunately pointed away from Nick, roared as the dying man jerked in death.
“Corporal!” Nick heard Mad Cap call from the other side of the room. “What happened?”
“Oh, don’t worry about the corporal,” Nick said into the mic, his voice still booming forth from the speakers. “He’s certainly not worried about anything. Not anymore, that is.”
“Damn it, Motael!” Mad Cap shouted. “Just come quietly!”
“I thought you liked a fight?” Nick asked as he bent down to take a fragmentation grenade from the corporal’s body, ignoring the splatters of blood. “Isn’t that why they call you Mad?”
“Don’t believe everything you read,” Mad Cap said, almost too softly for Nick to hear.
Nick considered this for a moment, then shrugged. He punched the triggering button and lobbed it in Mad Cap’s direction, stepping around the platform a moment later with his rifle ready.
The was a muffled explosion from what looked to be an upside-down metal bowl, presumably one of Mad Cap’s gadgets. The hero himself had clearly just tossed it, his hand still stretched towards the bowl. Mad Cap grabbed a metal disk from his belt and threw it towards Nick before he could aim and fire. Damn that enhanced speed!
Nick only barely managed to dodge aside. The disk began expanding into something as it fly past him, but Nick didn’t stop to see what it was. Instead, he brought the scope to his eye and aimed. Just before he fired, though, Mad Cap flipped his hands outwards and there was a bright flash of blue chemical light, blinding him. He pulled the trigger anyway, but when he lowered his gun and blinked away the spots, the hero was gone.
Nick began turning quickly, scanning for Mad Cap’s distinctive red suit with his rifle ready to fire. He spotted a flash of red and pulled the trigger, but it was just a hologram, produced by another one of those damn metal disks. A moment later, Mad Cap slammed into him, tearing his gun away and slamming a disk into it – the rifle was ripped into two pieces as the disk spun like a buzzsaw.
Mad Cap tossed the two halves of the rifle aside with a growl. “Now surrender, Motael,” he ordered.
Mad Cap tossed another metal disk at Nick, but this time, rather than sidestepping, he stepped forward, catching it as it began to expand and throwing it back at the hero. It finished expanding and several long metallic ropes exploded outwards from it, clearing trying to wrap around Mad Cap, who fell backwards and rolled back to his feet.
Nick snatched a power drill from a nearby shelf and threw an empty flask from another shelf at Mad Cap, who blocked it with a large round shield that had just expanded outwards from yet another disk. The hero charged, trying to shield-slam him, but the supervillain stepped to the side and pulled the shield forward, trying to drill into Mad Cap’s side with his other hand. Mad Cap twisted, releasing the shield for a moment and rolling around Nick’s arm, then grabbed the shield on the other side and used it to twist Nick’s arm, forcing him to release it.
Nick stepped back, observing the angry hero with disdain, then slipped a customized laser pointer into his hand from where it had sat, working but not yet placed within its casing, for nearly a month. He brought the setting up to the maximum, which could cause mild burns, as his other hand more obviously groped around the shelf behind him. When he threw a rack of test tubes at Mad Cap, it came as no surprise to the superhero, but his charge forward a moment later did.
Even with his incredible reflexes, Mad Cap was too startled by Nick’s unexpected attack to do anything but try and hold him off with his shield. Nick’s hand slipped around the shield’s edge and stuck the laser pointed in his face. Click.
Mad Cap screamed in pain and thrust the shield forward, forcing Nick back, and clutched at his face with his other hand. Nick smirked. He had gotten the laser right into his enemy’s eye, half-blinding him.
The hero didn’t stop fighting, though, rushing forward and flailing with the arm that held the shield, his other still pressed over his burnt eye. Nick just chuckled, easily sidestepping the charge, and knocked Mad Cap to the ground with a brutal kick to the ribs.
“You’re not going to win this, you know,” Nick said, crouching over the whimpering Mad Cap. “Not with only one eye. And definitely not,” the supervillain grabbed Mad Cap’s shield, tearing it from his grasp and throwing it aside, then bent the arm backwards until he heard a crack as it popped loose from Mad Cap’s shoulder. “with only one arm,” Nick finished as Mad Cap screamed in pain. “Are you done yet?”
The hero cried beneath his crimson mask, his face glistening, but still tried to kick toward Nick. He sighed. Oh well. “If you won’t surrender, I suppose there’s only one thing left to do.” He reached down to take a disc from Mad Cap’s belt, but then paused. “Is that what I think it is?” The supervillain took a small globe from where it hung off of Mad Cap Jack’s Belt, and laughed. It wasn’t a chilling, hollow laugh, or even an insane, maniacal laugh. It was the pleased laugh of someone who was genuinely enjoying themselves.
“The one I built – that is, the one I was building, but didn’t finished because I was rudely interrupted – was much larger than this,” Nick said to Mad Cap conversationally. Mad Cap whimpered in response, and the super villain continued as though he hadn’t noticed. “This is quite amazing. Did you build it yourself?” Another whimper. “Let them know I’d simply love to meet the designer.” Nick held up the metal globe to his skull mask, pushed in a button, and said “New York. Override Gamma-C, Styx Terminal. That code signals a bot I put in the public network to drop me off in one of my own bases,” he explained to the hero where he lay.
Bluish light began to gather around Nick’s body as he waved cheerily to Mad Cap’s prone form. “This was fun, Jack. I’d say ‘let’s do it again sometime,’ but, well, teleportation. You know how it is. That costume of yours won’t stand up to the -” At that point, he vanished, and there was a large explosion, filling the entire room and engulfing the superhero. When the shockwave passed, there was nothing left but some reddish smoke.