The Wolf Pack (Chapter 27)

The Breakout


Duh, dada, duh, dada, duh dada dada,” I hum. I like humming. It’s keeps everything timed in motion

“Aaahh, aaaaahhhh, aahhh, gurgle cok!”

Especially when people are screaming, it’s so distracting. But humming, humming tunes everyone out. At least prisoners are polite, sitting silently against the wall, in their beds, they watch and wave after I wave to them. The guard in my hand though, he’s rude, I hold his head as I walk down the cell block, and all he does it scream. It’s not like there are bumps in the ground, he’s not banging his knees on anything, there’s no reason to yell.

I lift him up, I point my finger in his small, frail, pudgey human face, and I demand respect. “Bob, Bob!” I yell at him, but he doesn’t respond, “Is that name tag wrong? You should really just keep a spare instead of borrowing from others.” I notice that there is some smoke coming from between my fingers around his throat, I must be burning him.

I toss him aside, he just became useless.

I notice the prisoners leaving their cells behind me, I don’t understand why they waited until I passed them to leave. I opened the gates when I walked onto the cell block.

Oh, who am I kidding, I know why, pretending I don’t floats my boat off the sea’s surface.

Usually, I have Hundress do this, but that fireboy really did a number on her. He got to see her Ionium skeleton. Now I have to wait for the skin graft to be done with the repairs, though I could look at something pretty for once.

Better put the skin on, I don’t want distractions.

But the fireboy, did he not realize that someone spent a lot of time working on her? I spent a lot of time working on her, I put my fashionably named metal in her drone. People have no respect for other people’s androids. I wonder if he would have done it if he knew that he was messing with me.

Wait, no, he doesn’t know who I am. Oh well.

He will.

As I walk to the end of the cell block, I see the electric field around me, the coding and the technology that makes everything run. I don’t see as humans do, I haven’t acknowledged that. I see so much more through what they call eyes, the different waves of light, the electricity passing through the copper coils. The passage of time and the lack thereof. It can become distracting to others, but I like watching the world’s intricacies.

Standing before the door to the next section, all that’s on my mind is how troublesome these brats were in the end. It’s so taxing on my patience, I’m going to have to delay things for months, maybe years to keep S.I.L.A.S. and every other shitty government agency from keeping up.
I could ask Mercury for… no, that’s not worth the annoyance, but I could ask Mr. January…no, he gets too distracted.

Though, thinking about it, nobody was bothering me at all until the superpowered brats came along. It’s like they’re attracted to my endeavors. Why does what I need have to be so annoying?

How many centuries we’ve spent waiting for humans to finally evolve into superhumans? What did I expect? The people with the best superpowers to not use them? Sometimes it’s easy to forget the obvious things when you’re busy deconstructing the more complicated. We really shouldn’t judge each other so much by stupid mistakes.

It’s the clever mistakes, the ones that you allow to happen despite doing everything right that you need to be punished for. If you fail even after everything goes right, what good are you?

I look at the thumbprint lock, for the door of course, and press my thumb to it, most of them break or overload, but not this one. It denies me, denies Ion. Who does it think it is? It’s subpar security technology of a subpar civilization. I just smack the door down, push my way into solitary confinement or whatever it’s called.

There are three here that I want to help with making the weeknights more fun. I walk into the watcher’s room, push that door down, and walk to the controls. I can’t understand this simple technology, I understand the lever but how do I know how to release only the ones I want? The other inmates, eh, they can leave too, I guess.

I want Automata, it’d be nice to have a mortal around who’s intelligence isn’t completely subpar.
But Dr. Magician, oh he was so eccentric in his fashion and powers. Not the smartest fellow, but even those below average in the head are above average in terms of entertainment, and he was so polite. Too many criminals have a poor attitude nowadays.

Saint Lucifer, I like the name, and I’ve been watching him in prison, he’s absolutely losing it! He wants to do nothing but get revenge on the Hood for the minor brain damage he caused. I think it’s severely improved his personality, but he can do what he wants.

I want all three for later. For the most part these brats were pawns, playing into my hands, I had them heartbroken and downtrodden, and immediately they came back better than ever. I don’t remember that pocket dimension being a place with a stellar reputation for success, the Timeless Castle, the Timid Palace, Medieval Times, whatever it’s called…

So many go there, train, then go back to their timelines only to die and be forgotten. I’ve seen it so many times, but the brats got something out of it.

Who’d of thought?

That’s when they stopped being pawns and started being thorns, first with young Sanchez. I always planned to fill him up with the Stone batch of Evolugan, but then the Hood triggered it early and Espada made a show of beating him into paste.

They damaged my Hundress too, all these things I find unforgivable.

Worse, I didn’t tell Sanchez as he was selling the Evolugan, but the powers aren’t exactly random, at least not the current batch. I worked very hard on that, the old batch could only trigger random powers, but I have specifics tastes for what I need. It would have been so much easier to have triggered young Sanchez in a lab, in secret, instead of where he can receive a superpowered smackdown by a girl too big for her britches.

Automata was next, I needed that suit for Sanchez, if she could make one for him, I can make hundreds for all the new ones after him. I needed a lower lifeform with the intelligence to use a material I can’t change myself. Having her and the technology captured, that pushed my plans back. I had to have Shadow Mask retrieve it from S.I.L.A.S. along with the ice girl and the other weapons and armor. I don’t have the schematics, I’m not psychic.

That being said, there is one bright spot that I realized, everything needs to be pushed back anyway. An army of Atlas’s and Stonemen may be feasible, but I’m ahead of schedule. I guess I just like to rush. The others have yet to hold up their ends of the plan. I was going to punish the heroes by taking away their powers and using energy, but with more time I can do it slowly.

This way I can store them like batteries, and have them completely at my will at the same time. I can make them destroy S.I.L.A.S., their families, their human friends, and then I can sacrifice them for the greater good.

I do have to be honest with myself, whenever someone tries to mind control or kill the good guys, more good guys tend to pop up. They treat the formers as martyrs or aim to be their saviors. That means it’s much easier to proceed with an alliance. The Hood will come for his friends, and how poetic it would be to have everyone he helped locked away tear him apart? Maybe his friends would be a better fit to kill him, but knowing the paranoia in that boy’s brain he probably has plans at the ready for them.

I’ll have the allies at my table to destroy the Hood and any others after him should controlling his friends not work, or in case they get freed. I’m not egotistical enough to assume that no one can break from my control.

As said, never forgive clever mistakes.

“Ah! I think this is it!” I exclaim as I find the release button. I wish Hundress were here doing this, wouldn’t waste so much of my time. Seeing things as I do make it difficult to read labels.

She says that’s just being a stupid man, but what does she know?

I flip the lever and all the cells open, but I don’t go out to greet them immediately. It’d be so much more interesting to see how they all work together.

I bet they all hesitated to leave their cells, considering it’s strange for solitary confinement to be released all at once.

The delightfully masked Dr. Magician exits first, along with other useless and nameless inmates. “Well, this is a pleasant surprise, when the judge said two decades I didn’t realize that really meant two hours,” he gloats. I must admit, while he got to still wear the mask, it doesn’t go with the orange jumpsuit.

Dr. Andrea Ray, better named Automata, walks out next, the only woman in this side of the prison. I stopped in the women’s section, their solitary confinement was full, she got thrown in here.

She looks unchanged by prison, somehow keeping her brown hair looking vibrant and well-kept. A genius in everything she’s tried her hand in, why wouldn’t her looks be one of them?

Speaking of looks, she’s looking around, but doesn’t say anything. She notices all the men who have been here a long time looking at her. A normal prisoner, probably a murderer or a rapist, approaches her with this cheerful smile on his face.

Oh my, doesn’t he brush his teeth? They’re so… crumby.

He chuckles as he goes to grab her, have his way with a woman for the first time in so long, and she has none of it. She catches his arm and twists it, bringing him in front of her to put him in an armbar into the wall. I see the Palace taught her more than how to take notes.

With a quick snap she breaks his arm over his back.

“Aaaahh hahahah!”

I find it hard to contain my giggles.

The last one is Samuel Kendrick. I’ve never met him, Hundress always dealt with him personally. She said he was a character, but her descriptions are quite lame compared to what I tend to see in person.
I can see how the Hood savaged him, left him scarred, and in need of surgery. S.I.L.A.S. left him in solitary confinement without a trial, violating his rights as an American citizen. I’m sure that’s all left him quite… different.

His head dips out of his cell, he hangs in the doorframe, holding his head like the door is going to close again and smash his face in. He waits, and when it doesn’t come he grins, and starts chuckling like a madman.

Since his blonde hair is drenched in sweat when he flips his head up so do drops of water. He has this scar going across his right cheek, crossing over to his nose. It’s impossible to miss, it looks like it could reopen at any moment, but judging from his loud laughter, I doubt it causes any pain.

Saint Lucifer reveals the rest of his face when he turns towards Dr. Magician and Automata specifically, ignoring the rest of the inmates leaving and figuring out what to do. “I see they locked all the maniacs in one place,” and he giggles as he points out, “the trouble we can get into now.” The left side of his face is truly where the Hood put most of his blunt effort.

The priest’s skull is dented in the top left corner, a portion of his hair missing, creating half of a widow’s peak. The rest is a mess of scars as painful-looking as the one on the other side. The scar lines loom around his eye, in a circle over his cheek, and spreads out to sink into every ditch and bump on his face, from behind his ear, to the crook of his nose and lips. It’s so inspiring to see that even with such a maligned face, he appears to be happier than everyone else.

Automata crosses her arms and insults Saint Lucifer, “Why would I waste my time with you?”

Maybe it’s time for me to speak to them.

Saint Lucifer doesn’t lose his smile, but his dimples twist and his eyes narrow to something much more maligned. He approaches her and reminds her, “It’s not about offering anything,” as he rests his arm on the wall and looks down at her unintimidated stature. “It’s about satisfaction, what would be-be,” there’s the brain damage, “more satisfy-i-ing than leaving this place,” and with a fist smashing into the wall, calming himself so he can speak, he finishes, “or smashing the heads of people who put us here in the first place?”

Standing in the way of the door to their freedom, I clap my hands, drawing their attention, shocking them, and… why is Dr. Magician shaking?

I tell Saint Lucifer, “I couldn’t agree more, Father,” and I bring my hands behind my back. “What else could we want than to strike,” where I make a fist, “straight for the hearts of the bastards and brats who have ailed us all for so very long.

Automata and Saint Lucifer freeze in place, their eyes shocked to see me. I’ve learned not to take it personally, not many have ever seen a being such as me before, especially not one so impeccably dressed. Automata is no slouch. She notices straight away that Dr. Magician recognizes me.
Dr. Magician is cowering for some odd reason, he holds his shaking hands before him and asks, “Ion, wha-what are you doing here?”

To get you of course, silly.

“Me?” I can’t tell if he sounds like a child being accused of a crime he didn’t commit or one he thought he covered up so well.

All three of you, actually,” I inform with a raising of my hands. The other prisoners have all cowered towards the back, only the three I want to stay in place. The characteristics that hold them in place are the exact reasons I want them.

Automata steps away from Saint Lucifer, not intimidated by me, but that’s not what I ever wanted. She turns her head to Dr. Magician, glaring at him, judging him for what must look like cowardice to her. “Stop shaking, Settleborn, and tell us who he is,” she orders him, thinking to add, “and what he is.”

“My old employer,” he answers.

“Old employer?” Automata repeats.

I do raise my finger to make two corrections, stating, “I am not old, you are just young,” and I raise a second finger to point, “and I would still like to be your employer.

Saint Lucifer leans his head into the back of his hand to laugh, and with a sideways glance, remarks that, “Listen, you clean up real nice, but how exactly could you make it worth our while?”

Hon,” I say, letting him know he asked a silly question, “one does not lead the Savaage and be broke.

Something clicks in their heads now. Automata reckons that, “So you’re the one who tells that android with a name what to do.” Ah, she proves herself capable of deduction by figuring that out.

Saint Lucifer asks, “You mean Hundress? Christ, I thought she was in charge.”

She’s number two,” I tell him, then point my finger to my chest, “to me.

Dr. Magician raises his hand to scratch behind his head. For some reason he thought, “So you’re not here to kill me?”

I tilt my head, why would he think such a thing. “No, of course not, how could I kill someone with such a sense of fashion and quality referrals?

“Oh,” Dr. Magician responds, surprised by the compliment, “when you put it that way, you don’t need to sell me on anything, help me get the Worldbender and you got yourself an employee.”

Already done,” I inform him, and I’m rewarded with an impressed nod of the head.

“Hmph,” Automata mutters before she points out, “I don’t see what’s in it for me, our old deal is already completed. I finished my suit and the one you needed, so I think I have better things to do than fight teenagers.”

I see that revenge isn’t high on her list, she’s saner than Saint Lucifer, but more ambitious than Dr. Magician.

Andrea, Andrea, Andrea,” I go on, approaching her with a wave of my hand, “you have it all wrong, if all I wanted was revenge,” I say and pause in front of her brave face, “I wouldn’t need you.

She’s taken aback by that, surprised that I had the audacity to not place her on a pedestal.

I turn my back to her as I clasp my hands behind my back. “It’s science where we may shine,” I tell her, and with a rising fist I add, “you and I.

Automata tilts her head, her eyes focusing on me, watching me, deconstructing me. “What do you know about science, aren’t you supposed to be the boss?”

It’s hard not to laugh, I have to remind her and them, “The Savaage may… contract out some things, but we are not in the business on relying on others. The chemicals that gave the Stoneman his powers in the first place was made by me, a formula I call Evolugan.

That rocks Automata’s perception of me, prompting her to look at me with surprise instead of disdain, and she’s realizing that she wants to work with me as her arms drop from her chest.

I turn back to her to offer, “Now, are you sure you wouldn’t like to come work with the Savaage, violence is a likely path, with superpowered teenages no less, but that’s the life of the criminal today.

“What about my Automata suit?” she asks.

Along with the Worldbender and blasters, I have your suit, waiting and ready for you.” That was music to her ears, drawing a smile to her face.

“Well… then, I’m sure I can make room for such a partnership.”


That all said, there’s still Saint Lucifer, who I expected to be the first volunteer. A minute ago, he wanted nothing but payback against the brats who attacked him, but now he broods silently against the wall.
I offer my hand out to him, and wonder about him, “Father, you would have been the first I expected to jump on this opportunity.

The Saint tilts his head after I speak to him, he uncrosses his arms, he grows very serious and makes a point to walk towards me. He walks right up to me. Ugh, more humans pretending to be equals when they make demands. What does he want?

“When the Hood comes, I want, huh I want, huh” and he has to breath, let the anger inside settle, “I want to pay him back, I want beat and burn him until his brain stutters, as, as, as mine!” He has to stop to clutch his head. He tears his hands away as his eyes have grown blood red. “I want to hurt him so he’s like me, I want him to suffer and know why no man should touch me as he has, harmed me. I want you to tell me that the Hood is mine.”

“Oh, ho ho, we’re going to make each other very happy.”

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