44

The reaction of the room was less dramatic than she hoped it would be. Thread and Needle didn’t react, Hercules looked mildly annoyed. Ares reacted, also mildly annoyed.

“I’m not faking my daughter’s death; I’m ok with killing Prysim.”

“No can do Dad, Alecia has to be dead by the time the aliens arrive, or it will get awkward, and the aliens will hunt Prysim until death.”

“There are other options.”

“Not really, I kind of burned my identity. Badly. Really badly. Besides I have a way of coming back in a few years if I feel like it. Also, I don’t need your help with killing myself. Moving on, I need you two to get the hell out of dodge.” She pointed at Thread and Needle, who immediately started objecting, but she overrode them.

“There are going to be a lot of questions, and I don’t want anyone around to answer them. You two are going to Europe for that sports thing you got; I’m going to need you two gone and inactive for at least a year. Hercules, I’m going to need to clone you.”

“What?” he sat up looking surprised.

“While killing myself I figure we might as well as kill you at the same time, and then you can head off to your island.”

“You have an island?” Ares asked Hercules.

“Yeah, just finished construction, if you need a vacation I’ve got a great guest house. Perfect for you and the wife.” Hercules offered.

“Why do supervillains get the nice lairs?”

“Your daughter paid for it.”

“Damn it,” Ares growled.

“I can get you an island too,” Alecia offered.

“I’m not taking an island bought with stolen money.”

“It’s not stolen.”

“Gun money.”

“Not from guns.”

“Drug money?”

“Don’t sell drugs.”

“How would you pay for it?” Ares asked

“My salary from the bank,” Alecia replied grinning.

“Which bank?” He asked. Alecia handed him a card. “Damn it, that’s my bank.”

“As much as I hate to interrupt, there is something that has been bugging me.” Thread said. “What are these aliens called? Just calling them aliens is getting annoying.”

The four men looked at Alecia to fidgeted a little. “I may have forgotten.” Their looks turned to glares, “In my defense their name is only half spoken, the other half is a psychic wave.”

“GOD DAMNIT PRYSIM.” The four shouted in unison.

Ares buried his face in his hands. “Is this what my career is reduced to? Not being able to catch a person incapable of remembering basic facts.”

“Hey, I know the melting point crystallized psychic energy.”

“Doesn’t it explode at anything above freezing?”

“Not under seventeen atmospheres of pressure.”

“Forget it, let us just talk details,” Ares growled face still buried in his hands.


“How many clones are you making?” Hercules asked.

The hall was filled with growth tubes similar to the one Alecia had used to modify herself. The one she had used was at one end of the hall and empty, while the others had things growing in them.

“These aren’t clones; they’re monstrosities, or they would be if they ever came to life. I just want something really creepy really.” Prysim responded.

“How does any of this help? Can’t we just have you get hit with a missile on tv or something.” Hercules asked.

“Hell-to-the-fuck-no, no one kills me but me, I’m going down as undefeated.”

“Pride cometh before the fall.”

“Pride cometh before my body double is reduced to carbon, don’t worry yours will have enough left for a DNA test.”

“Oh, joy.”

“Are you getting cold feet, Hercules, we don’t have to kill you.”

“Honestly I’ve kind of enjoyed working for you; it’s been the most fun I’ve had in years.”

“You do realize I’m not planning on coming back from the dead in a couple of years right? Alecia and Prysim are going to stay dead.”

“I got that impression, why didn’t you tell the others?”

“My dad would object loudly, and the boys would try and follow me. Come on, help me wrangle the monster.” Alecia put down the tablet she had been playing with and started walking to one of the back rooms.

Following her Hercules was subjected to a sight that disturbed him, despite his years as a villain. “Heavens help us all, the fuck is that thing.”

“If I’m going to die, I’m going out with style. Besides we can’t do this without some drama.”

“Forget the drama, If that thing is half as well made as I know you’re capable of, I couldn’t kill it.”

It filled up most of the room and was contained behind what appeared to be a glass wall. Hercules sincerely hoped it wasn’t glass. It looked something like black ooze with structure if a shifting one. However, it was filled with faces, those closer to the glass had more definition, those farther more tortured. He recognized most of them, faces of old adversaries, of dead allies, twisted in rage and pain.

“Let’s hope I can. Are the faces a good touch?”

“What are they?”

“I incorporated the shapeshifting of the aliens with their telepathic abilities; it shifts into the fear and pain of those closest.”

“Except you apparently. Is that because of your enchantments, or because you don’t feel fear.”

“I feel fear, Hercules everyone does there is no escaping it.” She walked forward and put her hand on the transparent wall. “See.”

The thing stopped its writhing and twisting, freezing like prey being watched by a predator. Then it shifted inward, solidifying gaining color, becoming smaller. It became Prysim, down to every last detail.

Completely nude, of course, Hercules was wishing he didn’t have quite so many opportunities to see his employer naked. “See Hercules, I have a thing I fear,” Alecia said. With that, the creature let out a scream and began pounding on the glass, losing its shape returning to its chaotic ooze.

“You really think you can kill that thing? I know you didn’t build any fail safes into it, that would be too logical for you.”

“Yeah, that would have been a smart idea. I should probably make some weapons to kill this thing with.”

“God damn it, Alecia.”

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