I hate it here. I miss my lair.
Every day it’s the same bloody thing. Communal meals of banal food. Endless group therapy sessions where I am forced to listen to men and women (and a few other things) whimper about their terrible childhoods in order to please our fatuous caretakers. Individual therapy, where I am expected to bare all to some low achiever versed in psychiatric quackery. And hours of forced fun where they lock us out of our rooms and into the recreation area to “socialize”.
Supervillains socialize about as well as sharks do, and for much the same reason. Megalomania does not spring from an active social life. We keep to ourselves.
At least I’m a “UP”, or Unpowered. All my villainous superpowers disappeared when those wretched little monkeys pried me from my power armor like they were stripping a harlot. They were so eager to examine all my advanced technologies (as if they could possibly comprehend them) that they ignored my vehement warnings and a few of them perished from either clumsy handling of powerful technology or the booby traps I had installed in my power armor long, long ago.
And I regret that. I did all that I could to prevent it, but I still feel bad about these young people dying from systems I put in place so long ago that I barely remember half of them. They died at my hand, in a way, and that burdens me heavily.
Would a “raving monster” feel that way? The media calls me a sociopath, but that has never been true. I simply lack altruism. There is a world of difference between being morally inert and simply having no desire to go out of my way to help my fellow upright primates. I wish people understood that.
I understand that the theatrical nature of my chosen profession fooled millions of people into thinking I was truly a black-hearted villain of monstrous dimension.
But the truth is, I never wanted to hurt anybody. I would never have actually activated any of my doomsday devices. To be honest, most of them wouldn’t have done the job even if I had. Why build an actual doomsday device when a convincing fake does the job just as well?
It amuses me to imagine the look on Captain Trueheart’s face if he knew that the Ticktock Device he fought so hard to “disarm” was about as dangerous as a broken alarm clock.
To be honest, I miss him. Of all the superheroes I ever fought, he was the one who came closest to matching me mentally, and I respect him for that. If he was on the case, I knew I would have to work especially hard. He hides it under his “hero pure and strong” persona, but he has as twisted and devious a mind as any of my fellow inmates.
I would love to sit down with him for a chat or maybe a game of chess now that the medications have made me less…. volatile. I am still the same man who terrorized the world, but the medications do a wonderful job of restraining my overweaning egomania enough that I can retain control of myself.
Therapy may be a farce, but there is no denying the efficacy of chemistry.
If I seem especially cranky and bitter today, it’s probably because I just lost a friend. They finally figured out that my roommate “Toby” (no more his name than I am “Anthony”) really is a green-skinned frog-person from another dimension sent here to destroy us all, and not the mild-mannered insurance broker with a costume fetish he’d conned them into thinking he was.
Once they twigged to that, they realized that they only believed his absurd cover story because of his mind powers, and that meant he had to be transferred to the “Powered” ward.
And as banal and insipid as this ward might be, I wouldn’t wish the Powered ward on anyone, let alone someone I have come to view as a friend. The residents of the Powered ward are kept drugged up to the gills (in his case, literally) to the point that they are almost catatonic. The drugs leave them in a state of placid imbecility, and the thought of my friend “Toby” being reduced to such a state effects me deeply.
His final words to me were “Farewell, pink flesh-bag. May you be the last to die. ”
Coming from him, that meant a lot to me.
At least my new roommate “Mark” seems promising. I am not allowed to reveal his true persona, but let’s just say he used to work in pyrotechnics. Rather impressive ones. He and I seem to be cut from approximately the same kind of cloth, as he too was a self-made villain and owed his powers not to fate but to the power of his mind. His approach was a tad less refined than mind, but I always admired his work. His theatricality exceeded even my own. His hostage videos always had me spellbound.
I don’t know what he thinks of me. Perhaps he has yet to deduce my true identity. It usually doesn’t take long. Our caretakers seem to think that if we never speak of our previous lives, we can all pretend to be “normal”, but we figure out who’s who pretty quickly despite all that.
Once he figures it out, I expect I will have to endure the usual period of reverence and adulation. I am somewhat of a big name in our select little social circle, and have through seniority become mentor to many a rising hopeful, and so the young villains all clamor for my imprimatur.
Then comes the disappointment as they realize that the person they think I am no longer exists. I am now as I was before I took the path of villainy : a soft-spoken scholar who fades into the woodwork by choice.
Not very exciting, given my previous high profile, but I am content.
I have now “journaled” the requisite number of words, and thus, I conclude.