A Fly on a Wall

A Fly on a Wall

Somewhere in Century Station…

A lone figure strode through the hall, her insect-like wings twitching unconsciously. The antenna on her forehead moved back and forth, sensing the area around her in ways her normal senses could not. A trail of roaches followed and flanked her. Her normally calm face was a mask of rage and fury. Two sentries moved to bar her path. One spoke. “Lady Hive, Modulus left instructions-” his voice was cut off as a swarm of the roaches ran up his body and into his mouth, cutting off his words and choking him. He moved away in a panic, frantically trying to clear the insects off of him. The other sentry wisely stepped back, allowing her to proceed. As she passed a swarm of the roaches engulfed him as well. She was not in the mood.

Lady Hive entered the chamber Modulus was inhabiting. Workbenches pressed against the walls, littered with tech projects. In each corner were powerful 8-foot tall robots, seemingly powered down. She and her insects could feel the hum of their machinery though – they were functional and ready for action at a moment’s notice. In the center of the chamber sat a 5½-foot tall, non-descript man. He appeared to be meditating in a lotus position. Lady Hive approached him but stopped several feet away. “Modulus,” she started to say to him, but it was his turn to interrupt her.

“Tell me what happened,” he asked her in a carefully neutral tone. He didn’t open his eyes or move to acknowledge her presence in any way.

She started as if she had been slapped. She didn’t interpret his tone as a good sign. “We had secured Dr. Wendell Moore, as you instructed, and was preparing to leave with him when those new heroes, S.A.V.I.O.R., showed up. We were overwhelmed. The robot-”

“Caedechron,” Modulus corrected.

“…the teenager-”

“Miss Amazing,” Modulus corrected once again.

“…and The Beast all ganged up on me while the beer commercial guy-”

“Rubber Band Man,” Modulus added, in the same exact tone as all his other statements.

“…snatched the Doctor from my pet. They didn’t even flinch when I directed my spiders to kill the remaining people inside. They just let them all die to keep fighting and humiliating me.” She clenched her fists in anger at the memory. The roach swarms around her began to writhe and undulate in response.

“The spider caught in another’s web, so to speak?”

Lady Hive glared at him with fear in her eyes. He knew. Of course he knew.

“What of the others?” Modulus asked calmly, directing her back to her tale.

She calmed herself slightly and continued the tale. “Inside the building Obelisk started knocking it down, per your instructions. But The Gryphon intercepted him. He flew Obelisk out of the building and toward the harbor. It looked as if the hero meant to toss him into the ocean. The suicidal woman-”

“Deathwish,” Modulus simply corrected.

“…intercepted Scream Queen and managed to capture her outside the building, with Caedechron’s help. I lost sight of the Rubber Band Man, I assume because Phaze was dealing with him.”

“I was,” a voice suddenly announced, from the edge of the chamber. The form of a young bald man appeared visible in that moment. “Rebota surprised me. A man with his talents… I still can’t believe he’d abandon the lucrative life we lead to become a mere hero, content to simply save lives.”

Lady Hive glared at Phase as he walked closer to them. She still couldn’t sense him in the room at all, despite seeing and hearing him now. The man was like a living ghost. Modulus didn’t react to this interruption at all. Likely, Lady Hive thought, because he already knew the mercenary was there.

Modulus snapped opened his eyes and stood up, looking straight at Lady Hive as if he had heard her thoughts. Phaze teleported across the chamber to be standing near Lady Hive – but not too close. “Phaze returned a little while before you did,” Modulus informed her. “He had both the primary objectives and, it turns out, our friend Obelisk, who he rescued from certain death over the ocean. Both The Gryphon and The Beast worked together to send him flying into the water. Obelisk is almost as perturbed as you are, Sharon.” Lady Hive flinched at the mention of her old name. Modulus clasped his hands behind his back and began slowly pacing. “The Beast’s new wings were a scenario I didn’t anticipate. Imagine my surprise when instead of The Gryphon dying, it was nearly Obelisk instead! Phaze, as per our arrangement you will be compensated accordingly for your intervention.”

Phaze nodded curtly. “I take it you don’t require me to retrieve Scream Queen from CSPD?”

Modulus shook his head. “No. Our business is concluded for the time being. If she had followed directions she would never have been caught. She can sit there and contemplate her failure for the time being. We don’t require her for the next phase of our plan.”

“Understood. I’ll take my leave then. It was, as always, a pleasure.” Phaze took a step back and disappeared, teleporting away and leaving Modulus and Lady Hive alone again.

“I thought the Doctor was the primary objective?” Lady Hive asked incredulously.

“Of course you did. I told you that on purpose, so you would provide a meaningful distraction for the majority of the heroes, allowing Phaze to collect what I needed.”

She didn’t like being played like this, but she knew better than to direct her anger at Modulus. She’d burn off some of this steam later. “So what now? Do you finally have everything you need?”

Modulus cracked the barest hint of a smile. “Almost. An old friend left some parting gifts with his ex-girlfriend, and I think the best time to relieve her of them will be at hand in a few days. Rest up. You’ll have your chance for revenge – I promise you that.”

3 Replies to “A Fly on a Wall”

  1. I wish I knew any of this- because I really want to know how he knows I am Rebota- no one is supposed to know that!!
    Why and where does he know me from? This Phaze guy disturbs me greatly!
    Awesome job with Hive- we have really pissed her off!

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