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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
Veldron 31 Veldron's Saga 31: Abandoned Battlefield
My freeloader had last left the island in New Zealand, but I had no way to track their position from there. I figured that they'd probably remain there, since that was obviously where they were keeping their captives, but there was no way to be sure.
They were so... brazen! They had left evidence of their stay all through the system, once I knew what to look for, and all the little upgrades and changes that I'd chalked up to amnesia or an unpredictably sophisticated autorepair... it was good, I guess, that I hadn't forgotten nearly as much as I'd thought in the past, but I had no way to defend myself against this threat. Except remain at sea indefinitely.
I tipped Shadow off that the missing people were probably in New Zealand on the promise that she kept her source secret and updated her on Polaron. I was pretty confident that the Host and Cabaret wouldn't kill him, but he should be safely out of everyone's hair for awhile.
How to cont
Veldron 30 Veldron's Saga 30: The Host and Cabaret
This was exactly why it was important to know everything about one's floating mechanical island at all times. There had been a time when I could do that with all of my gadgets, but the base was just too big now, and there was too much going on all the time. A quick check showed that nobody except me had been inside my secret part of the base, but I wasn't sure how much I could trust my own security system any more.
Cameras. Physical cameras. Interesting how they always seemed to be non-functioning for some reason. And the strange upgrades to the base that were suspiciously good for raw autorepair-created designs. Suddenly it made sense. I'd been chalking those things up to my bouts of amnesia, but no my base had been stolen from under me and I hadn't even noticed.
The only person I knew who could do that was Devnull, but it wasn't really his style. Devnull was... lofty in his villainy. He was on Rainbow or the Count's level, nicki
Veldron 29Veldron's Saga 29: A Question of Numbers
Apparently he'd gone off searching for the Captain and got himself caught in some underground cave. Fortunately he had prepared for an adventure and had brought food, but it had taken him a long time to get out. That had to be traumatic. I wondered idly how he was taking the news of his sister's disappearance.
I docked the boat in the island and...
Wait a minute.
I owned three boats. There were two in dock. The third had been abandoned in Africa.
So where had the boat that StarFyre had escaped in come from?
I went to recheck my records. No, she definitely escaped in a little motorboat. I really should identify them by serial numbers or something. Had I built a fourth and forgotten about it? I was pretty sure that I hadn't suffered any recent bouts of amnesia. I checked the records more thoroughly.
There were records of several trips that I could identify. Going to Africa, two trips to America to meet the mercenaries and then stea
Veldron 28 Veldron's Saga 28: The Power of Heart
Rainbow lives in New Zealand.
I try to avoid the country, myself, largely because of that reason. I couldn't help but wonder if she was our kidnapper. Rainbow's world-conquering schemes were rather direct, and her methods for avoiding vigilantes quite uninspired. Simply removing all possible enemies from the equation was a viable strategy for her. But just because she was probably in the same country as one disappearance wasn't really enough to incriminate her.
Two disappearances. She was at Devnull's party.
Dammit, I was going to have to talk to her. I couldn't very well just ignore a lead.
Fortunately, she wasn't hard to find. The one time we'd ever worked together I had been able to secretly learn her real name, so I found her with google. She was one of the only villains who lived a double life and still had the audacity to live permanently in her lair. Of course, her lair blended in very well.
I suppressed a shudder as I approached th
Veldron 27: Power Dowsing Veldron's Saga 27: Power Dowsing
My path was surprisingly clear as I ran for it. Again. I guess it shouldn't be surprising, really. The boys were professionals.
I returned to my island without further trouble. Snow White had left the Trabethan Jewel in my motorboat for me. The boys contacted me the next day to invoice me for their services and a plane ride home (since I was already on my way to Antarctica by then), and to chew me out about my sloppy methods. They hated it when idiot clients tried to do their job for them, but the last thing I needed was fatalities. They charged me an absurdly high price for the paralytic tranquilisers they'd used in place of bullets, mostly out of irritation I think.
I built a simpler version of my omnidetector, focusing on StarFyre's flight, and headed for the spot at which she'd escaped from my island. The island itself gave a signal; contamination from all the superheroes that had been hanging around. I adjusted the instrument to make the s
Veldron 26 Veldron's Saga 26: A Really Obvious Flaw
You know what? Fuck the inverse square law.
I mean, shit. That hurt like hell. I was completely unaccustomed to my own pain weaponry and the only part of my skin that was currently breached was the two points directly touching the pain grenade clutched in my hand. It felt like my hand was on fire. That, I could see, was going to be a serious flaw in using my arm-battery.
I cut the pain out almost immediately. It had been enough to drop most of my enemies, but it had also been enough to force me to my knees and lose my bearings. Somebody was still in the sky. I could hear them; perhaps they'd been shielded by my body. I spun around, put my free hand over my eyes and made the egg flash, brightly. Then I clambered to my feet and ran. I barely noticed as my belt beeped Rose Red's clear signal.
Yeah, the egg thing wasn't efficient. It was compact, but having the emitter directly against my wounded hand like that made me vulnerable to half th
five hour energyi suppose
last week was only an aftershock
of the earthquake you were before.
this place used to vibrate
with metal strings and melodic,
testimonies to life,
emitting coffee-scented moods
and the burn of it too.
i had memorized the
sounds of silence,
i couldn't help but relish it.
no longer had i known
the sounds of folk
and scent of mocha-
you became nothing more
than an echo of the laughter
i so desperately needed to hear again.
then the echoes got louder,
bouncing ferociously off the walls
to be made manifest
i walked into your room
expecting exactly what i found-
an unmade bed,
and an empty beer
(the one that you insisted you needed
just days ago).
i pressed my nose
into the pillow
for incense and cologne and starbucks
to penetrate my mind
and thinking fervently
i already know
what a clean sheet smells like."
how strong an aftershock can be,
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