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Helaron 2 Helaron's Saga 2: Mistrust
"People have gone missing. We all know this. And we'd all like to find them, but we've been working at cross-purposes. Trails are growing colder and we're running out of leads while we scuffle among ourselves."
"Excuse me," I spoke up, "but who are you? I've never heard of you. Whose side are you on?"
He blinked at me like I was stupid. "Yours, I hope."
"Really? Are you new to the game? How many villains have you thwarted?"
He blinked again, slowly. "I'm sorry, I misunderstood the question. I mean that we're on the same side right now. Under normal circumstances I'm not a vigilante like you, but I don't think that's relevant to the situation."
"It's relevant if we can't trust you."
"You're sitting across the table from known supervillains and you're worried about me?"
The Host spoke up. "She's right. We don't know you or what you're capable of. How do we know you're not the abductor leading us into a trap?"
"Because that would be stupid," Midnight sa
Helaron 1 Helaron's Saga 1: The Meeting
We were fighting when the message came.
We'd been fighting a lot lately. Mostly Mirror and I, to tell you the truth. It wasn't that the boys weren't interested, it was just that Longtooth tended to get bored with lengthy debates and either run off on his own or wait for everyone else to decide what to do, and Seer was too tired to be enthusiastic about anything. I was sort of surprised that he'd held up that long.
Mirror wanted to find and question some of the Captain's enemies for possible information. I reasoned that the situation had moved beyond the Captain and that we'd be better off continuing the search by trying to track down the location of disappearances and look for a pattern. She reasoned that we'd been doing that for four months and it wasn't working.
We were all in the control room as soon as the message alert went off. I think we were all still hoping for a ransom demand, or at least an ultimatum that we could tie to the incident. I
Veldron 38 Veldron's Saga 38: Midnight
My new body was based on that of Jazz, the man who Dr Rivers had based my skin on. Being scan-proof was a very rare ability and one that threatened to blow my cover; it was not, however, unique. There were plenty of cases of people sharing powers in the past, and hopefully nobody would suspect me of being Veldron based entirely on that.
Short black hair, dark grey eyes. A much younger face, with entirely different features. I paid special attention to the nose and jawline; they were major features of identification. I was smaller and more muscular than Veldron. There was no way that they could identify me by appearance, not without knowing that I could puppet a body with any appearance that I liked.
I had ditched the scarlet suit for something more suitable for my young hero persona. I wore a dark blue outfit; tights (tights!), a tunic, and a jacket. My hands were concealed with gloves, but the left had a gash in the palm, velcroed closed. Instead o
Veldron 37 Veldron's Saga 37: Details
The League of Shadows. Many of the details were missing from my memory, but a quick internet search fixed that.
Lord Oberon, king of the villains. Mechan, who was basically like me but a generation earlier, and his gift was focused on things larger than electronic circuits. More a machinery kind of guy; a gift for architecture too. Wisp, said to be able to hide in any shadow. Muria, the warrior woman; the 'tank' of the team. And Dr River, microbiologist and biochemist.
They were legendary. They were no longer around. More than half of them were confirmed to be dead. Including Dr River.
I knew what he had looked like. It was easy to create a suitably aged Dr River face. I programmed the relevant instructions into the medical lab's bots as well as the instructions for my other necessary cyborg. The body that would be mine.
Veldron had to disappear for the illusion to work. There could be no suspicion on me. So I didn't contact anybody at all as I worke
Veldron 35: Callback Veldron's Saga 35: Callback
I still remember my first robot rebellion.
I'd made stupid mistakes. Mistakes I'd never make nowadays. So I can afford to be perfectly calm as the man outside my throne room runs about, cursing. I could just kill him now, but... well, when you work in the shadows like I do, sometimes it's satisfying to have a proper confrontation, even if it's only with your duplicate.
I was lucky that I returned when I did; it seems that he was already suspicious. He noticed my boat docking. Safe in my secret throne room, I watched him find all the little discrepancies in the records and put two and two together. It only took a couple of hours. And now he's trying to find me.
I'll let him.
He's built a few more gadgets in my absence. I don't know what they do but he's wearing them inside the base, which is unusual. And now he's found a crowbar and he's physically ripping panels of the walls, following the tiny circuits underneath.
Eventually, he finds my room, find
Veldron 34 Veldron's Saga 34: Fighting Back
The computer my brain had to communicate with my body. That meant that if my deductions were correct, there would be a small sister transmitter to the one at the base of my skull that was in contact with the AI computer. The logical place to put such a thing would be under several metres of electronium, but...
But I knew villains. And I knew who I was dealing with. Everything about the room around me, the elaborate throne room that nobody was meant to see, told me about his psyche. The one that my mind was based on. That gave me a definite advantage.
He would want to talk to the AI, to be in control. With such an important piece of equipment, he would keep it somewhere in the room that formed his centre of control, where he could physically interfere with the transmitter if he had to. Which was, unless I was mistaken, the throne room.
After some careful searching, I found it; a small metal box behind a panel on the floor. Standard
Veldron 33: The Reveal Veldron's Saga 33: The Reveal
I laughed; the deep, hearty cackle of a villain who has just figured everything out. Yes, this was it; this was the moment where things fell together and a plan finally formulated in my mind.
I couldn't believe it had taken me so long to figure out. I mean, it was obvious! Amnesia? Regeneration? Ha! I speculated that it might be some sort of deliberate block in my thoughts, but I knew that was just me trying to salvage my own ego. There was no reason to suppose that I was smart, after all, even though I obviously retained electronic genius.
Amnesia? Deliberate blocks? A failure to form the memories in the first place? There might be blanks where dangerous memories had been physically edited out, but in general it was likely that I didn't remember things because I hadn't done them, like the small modifications that the intruder had made in my absence. Extremely similar to my own designs, I had noticed. At least I had identified him now. I knew his
Veldron 32 Veldron's Saga 32: Veldron with an "i"
I raised my hands very slightly, just making it clear that they were empty and I wasn't reaching for my belt. "It's not me. Look, could you lower that thing? I don't want to get shot by accident and you're not much of a gunman, no offense."
He didn't lower it. "You can just heal any damage anyway. This is just to slow you down."
"No, I can't heal damage! Why does everyone assume that? I don't heal, I regenerate! It doesn't kick in until I'm practically dead so unless you want to end up in an abandoned building with a corpse could you lower that damn gun!"
He hesitated and, finally, lowered it. But not completely. I knew that Devnull didn't like guns; he was famous for it. His crimes were committed electronically, and preferably from another country. "Then perhaps you could explain to me exactly what is going on."
"I hope to. I have some important evidence. In fact I need your help to find more evidence. But first I need complete, one hund
Volpi.You will find that the story you tell
is very rarely your own. In Lucca,
even the smallest pebbles
breathe in the warm sunlight.
Knotted stones and cobbled roads
beat out a paper-dry heartbeat heat
my city breathes in and out,
inhales sparrow air.
It's writing a story.
You are the pen.
You will find that in Lucca
the daisy chains forge fire
in side streets and back alleys.
Teenagers intertwine. Tell me,
odd flower, are you still closed?
Here we are colored wax;
the heat of the city melts us.
We run into each other, rhapsody
of pigments. Operas are our specialties.
Open up; feel the reds.
If not, try and see them. There is a place
of deep knife marks, a street
long as midnight
you may learn something there.
Valentina's voice glimmers like red wine.
You may enjoy intoxications. Still,
know alcohol has no story
and will swallow your own.
Find the sign with the wolf on it.
You'll know the place. Epiphanies ring true as church-bells.
Lucca still guides the wanderers
to well sp
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