I downed my coffee as we went down to the lower levels of the building. I picked up a hot dog on my way there, how absurd, imagine your job being that of a cook for a villain organization, how do you even apply, where do you even start?
Along the way I chatted with Silver Fox, she seemed a little bit more interested in me now. I guess there was truly something to that story, but I was still leaning towards that the Big Guy was bullshiting me.
My working theory right now is that they really grew tired of my shit, and me getting caught all the time so now they were about to do some experiment on me. But what could I do other than play along? If I ran they would find in me in a matter of hours and it would probably piss them off more. I also couldn’t completely abandon the possibility that he was telling the truth. I think part of me even hoped that it was the case.
Coming down to the lower level, we took an unexpected turn towards the south of the building. I went there maybe once or twice when I was helping to carry some stuff to storage. But before we reached the storage area Silver Fox turned towards the wall and put her hand on the simple black clock that was hanging on the wall. The clock made a short sound and green light rolled around her hand, after a few seconds to the left of the clock a passage opened out of nowhere. I followed her inside and a few turns in we stumbled upon an elevator.
“Follow me in,” She said
I barely heard her with a million thoughts running thru my mind, I just nodded and stepped in. She scanned her hand once on the panel inside the elevator and we started to descend.“
Not many people know that these below-ground levels exist, and even less have been there.” She said tapping me on the shoulder. “Relax, you will be fine, nothing to worry about.”
“Easy to say, you are not in this weird position I am in right now!” I said looking at her hand and then her. Damn, she was a unique site to see, don’t know how to describe her, let’s just she was scary-beautiful for now.
The elevator came to stop and we entered one gigantic room. The ceiling was so far up as we had to have gone at least 15 stories down. To be honest, I was in awe, this was one giant hangar and all around me were prototypes of weapons, armors, vehicles, and so on. She told me not many people have been down there, but at first glance, I saw at least 30 people working or walking around. They all noticed her and were sending a barrage of hi’s and how are you doing’s.
She started walking and I followed her behind the elevator. And I was wrong this wasn’t a single room, there were smaller rooms on this side or more like the whole entire building inside this giant hangar.
We entered this building and it had a sterile, hospital-like, vibe to it, walls were white, the staff was wearing mostly white and some of them were wearing whole body suits. This whole environment was definitely feeding into my growing panic. We took a few turns and reached the door that read Dr. Thijmem. A man with a face that seemed so familiar greeted us, I could swear I saw this man dozens of times in my life, but never here at the headquarters.“
Hello Isaac, I am Dr. Thijmem, but you can call me Ben.” He said with a hint of excitement in his voice and a small but pleasant smile on his face.
I shook his hand without saying a word while still looking around, lost in my thoughts.“Hello Ben,” Silver Fox said.
“Ma’am,” He replied with a slight bow.
It was weird him calling her Ma’am as he was at least twice her age. If I gave myself the right to assume her age, I would assume she was at most in her late 20s and he seemed to be pushing 50 or more.
He had a full set of hair, no signs of balding, but the white was taking over the head, and the beard giving him this mate silver look. He wore it well but the face still showed signs of an aging man.
“Come, let’s talk in private,” He said and we both followed inside his office.
I was expecting it to look like a doctor’s office but surprisingly it looked more like a conference room. As it had no windows, being way below the ground, it had strong lighting and several screens imitating a view, now showing a mountain range and its lakes in the spring.
“He is never this shy,” Silver Fox said to Ben. “But it would seem what the Big Guy told him last night really shook him.”
“I can only imagine,” He said looking toward me. “I know everything he told you, we’ve made a deal together on how to ease you in”
I finally snapped out of it, “Can you then tell me what the fuck is this all about?” I sounded a little bit harsher than I had envisioned.“
Sure, sit down, I’ll continue where The Big Guy stopped last night.” He cleared his throat as we sat down around the table. “Everything he said last night is true.”
“Everything, my parents being some insanely powerful people and…” Before I could finish he cut me off.
“Yes, everything!” He slightly raised his voice, but quickly calmed down. “As soon as your father found out that your mother was pregnant he came to me. At that time powered people were still quite a new thing around the globe and there was constant tension between them and us regular people. Governments around the world were scared of losing power and didn’t know how to control Heroes let alone how to deal with Villains or Vigilantes on their own so they turned to science. They tried to make weapons that would disable the powers, they tried everything from serums, potions, sonic weapons, and so on. Luckily they were unsuccessful, but we did manage to steal all their work and we destroyed their labs in the process.” He said standing up and turning on of the TVs that showed an image of various weapons.
He scrolled thru several slides and continued. “I am showing you the images so you can see we are not making this thing up.”
“Well, that’s not much of a proof for now, is it?” I said with a skeptical tone to my voice.“
No, but there will be enough proof.” He said turning another slide to the picture of this very Hanger with The Big Guy and several more Villians on it with the same weapons in their hands in big smiles on their faces.
“Studying their failures I actually came to a conclusion that the powers couldn’t be stopped or disabled once they manifested but that they could maybe be stopped before they did. So that’s why your father came to me, he wanted me to perform this procedure on you while you were still a kid.
”He turned around to another slide that showed a picture of a toddler, and oh my God, it was me. I didn’t have many pictures from when I was a baby and toddler, only later on when I turned 4 and after, but the few I had were very identical to the kid in that picture.
“Wait that’s me, for real?” I said while some unfamiliar feeling mixed between excitement and fear arose in me.
“Yes,” He turned another slide, and a picture of 2 of us came up. He was way younger and his hair was black, but there was no denying it was the same face.
“Wow, so you did this to me? You are the reason my power sucks?” I asked
“Well, I was against it at the beginning, but your father and later the Big Guy who was also against it at the start but changed his mind later, persuaded me otherwise. We did the procedure 2 days after this picture was taken.”
“What have you done to me?” I asked my voice cracking.
“I can’t disclose the process, but it was an operation on your brain, completely harmless for a toddler, if it failed it wouldn’t have done anything if it worked you were supposed not to have powers. Or maybe we were wrong and it would only limit them and that’s what we want to find out today.”
“Operating on a toddler’s brain doesn’t really sound harmless to me.” Silver Fox said after keeping quiet this whole time.
“You don’t say!” I added.“
It was, trust me, you were in no real danger. Your father loved you more than anything in this world, he wouldn’t have put you thru this if he didn’t believe in me and the process and everyone involved in it.” He said.
“So what now? How do you reverse this?” She asked him before I could do the same.“
First, we need to do the scan of your head and see if the process actually happened and if it is still happening and after that, we will see.” He said standing up. “So please follow me and let’s start.”
We walked to the second floor and entered a room with various machines, I recognized a few of the instruments from the regular hospital but most of them looked way more advanced. They hooked me with various instruments and pointed me to one of the machines where I laid down. The whole process took no more than 2 minutes, and a few more took before Doc came with the few pictures in his hands.
“I have bad and good news for you…” He said with a big smile that really didn’t reassure me…