Echoes Long Forgotten, Conclusion: A Threat Of Things To Come

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(October 20th)


“Amazing work, Dragonfly. I must admit, you’ve impressed me. I gave you only a 41% chance of reaching this level of success.” Clockwork smiled broadly, leaned back in his chair. “It is nice to be proven wrong.”

“Wasn’t so hard. Especially since you didn't want me to kill her.” Don shrugged easily. "Truth be told, that might have been harder." His helmet had been removed, and was sitting in the chair next to him, and he was casually combing his hair as he glanced around the briefing room. “Now her suit’s dead, what’s the next plan?”

“For now? Simply train. We have to prepare the next stage of the operation.” Standing briskly, Clockwork gestured for Dragonfly to leave. “And welcome to the Oligarchs. You’ve earned your place.”

“Nice.” Dragonfly grinned and stood, bowing to Clockwork. The latter waved it off.

“No more of that. You’re one of us, now, not a mere disposable minion.” Clockwork smiled broadly. “Warzone and I just tend to brainstorm alone.” He paused thoughtfully. “Actually, if you don’t mind high-level planning…”

“Ehn, that’s okay. I need to see the Doc about checking a couple of these systems, anyway. That Tony gave me a bit of a beating.” Tossing a wave, Dragonfly grabbed his helmet and strolled out. Clockwork kept his smile fixed a moment longer, until it was clear the door would not hiss open again, and then his face collapsed into rolled eyes and a grimace as he turned to his friend.

“My god, he’s predictable. No supervillain should be that easy to play.” Shaking his head, he walked over to the whiteboard. “A scrap of affection and he’s yours forever.”

“He has spirit, though.” Warzone shrugged thoughtfully. “And I admire his drive.”

“I admire his manipulability.” Clockwork waved a hand before the next question could be asked. “No, I wasn’t lying about him joining the team. You’re right, he has spirit, and he really did exceed my expectations significantly. That doesn’t happen often.” He sighed heavily, tossing his dry-erase marker from one hand to the other. “He’ll do for the position, and we need to bolster our numbers. I just wish we had better material to work with.”

Warzone just looked at his companion. After a moment, he spoke thoughtfully. “You’re more worried about the Witch Doctor than Dragonfly, aren’t you?”

“No.” Clockwork hesitated. “Maybe. He’s going to need keeping an eye on – I hate to say it about a fellow supergenius, but I don’t trust him not to screw things up.” He sat back down, tossing the marker to one side. “I miss the old days. Six of us against the world.”

“I didn’t think you were the sentimental type.” Warzone paused, then chuckled low. “Besides, when there were six of us against the world, you complained about Bad Penny and Laughingstock.”

“Don’t speak ill of the dead, Zone. Penny was okay. I just had a crush on her.” Clockwork smiled ruefully, thinking back across the years. “Laughingstock… okay, yeah, he was an albatross around our necks. But I kind of miss him now that he’s gone.” He frowned a moment, then grinned suddenly. “We do have a necromancer…”

“No.”

“I know, I know.” Clockwork laughed. “It was just a thought. Besides, we have our other operation to deal with, and it is going to be a killer. Any ideas for how we’re going to manage?”

“Of course. I am, after all, a tactical genius.” Warzone gave an unpleasant laugh. “It will be complex, however. I imagine getting the needed pieces together will take a few months.” He stood, arms crossed dramatically. “But afterwards – afterwards, we will control the Handyman’s home. One by one, the Champions will fall.”


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