Previously on Blessed Inversion SWAT…
Having escaped death at the hands of his former student, the Inhibitor Mentalist, Steven Kessler returns home. Having been forced to stop his investigation into Acel-Corp thanks to a pyrokinetic Inversion, he prepares for his second trip…
Doctor Khonshu/Kreon Galanis
I wait until Monday night before I head out as SWAT-Spider again. I expect security will be raised again but I’m confident I can get around it. Between my skills, Doctor Khonshu, and the Khonshu Band this should be easy.
“So are you absolutely sure about this?” Doctor Khonshu asked.
“I came from above last time. They’d expect me to go from above again on the assumption I’d think going from the ground is the obvious choice and avoid it.”
“It is though! Are you sure you aren’t just paranoid?” he sounded confused at my confidence.
“I’m sure, they knew who I was which means they have an idea what my powers are. In case you haven’t noticed, burrowing is one I rarely use so I have no reason to think they’d see it coming.”
“Fine fine just don’t die.” he sighs.
“Thanks.” I reply half-heartedly.
I stuck to the shadows and burrowed underground from the parking garage next door. Doubt anyone would notice or care but I pick my spot right below a disgusting dumpster. Really glad my suit is protecting me right now. I burrow under the garage and to the basement of Acel-Corp next door. But I don’t break through the wall yet. I phase part of Guardian Aranea through the wall to get an early look ahead of me. Power generators that keep the building running but no security cameras. Recalling Guardian Aranea I lift up the floor tile and slip inside.
“I’m in.” I whisper to the Khonshu Band. We really should get a more covert way to communicate. I kept the communication function offline until I needed it to maintain some semblance of stealth. Most he’d be able to do is vibrate to get my attention. “Any idea what I should be looking for?” I ask Doctor Khonshu.
“If it looks like something we’d do, scan it or smash it.”
Repeating what I did to get inside, I have Guardian Aranea check the hallway first. Nobody was roaming the halls but there were still cameras to deal with. My suit can change it’s look based on my thoughts. A quick reconfiguration to emulate the ceiling design while I crawl against it is. All I had to do was modify it if a security guard walked by so I blended in better. Basement is clear so I move onto the main floor. My goal is to find either their R&D department or McKellen’s office itself. They’re expecting I’d go to the office so I set my sights on R&D instead. When I get there nothing looks impressive. Nothing close to RajTEK. To think they used to be our competitors…No wonder they were trying so hard to steal from us. But it couldn’t hurt to get them on file.
“I’m sending you what I’ve found.” I scan some of the failed prototypes they had scattered across the room.
“Really? That’s what they’re up to?” Doctor Khonshu laughs. “If they are stealing from us they’re doing a terrible job at it. No point in breaking it.”
“I’m moving on.” My danger sense activates and I go on high alert. I jump onto the ceiling and blend in when a security guard comes in. Makes sense it’s one of the places he has to check out periodically. There was no need to knock him out so I just wait for him to leave then a few minutes more before moving. I take one step out of the room and everything goes black.
My head hurts like hell when I finally come to. Not sure what hit me but it was enough to knock me out in one hit. Whoever it was had to be an Inversion or using a weapon. Don’t feel blood so I’m leaning to the former. My first thought is to find out where I am and what’s going on. My suit is still on so that’s good news. I try to move but my hands are chained behind my back around a support beam with my palms together. Webs have nowhere to go and if I managed to use my strength I might just crush myself. Whoever caught me knows how my powers work. I scan the room and it looks old and abandoned. Doesn’t lower the list of possible spots but it might help me later.
“You’re finally awake. I was getting tired of waiting.” a male voice says from out of sight. I’ve never heard it before now. “You don’t know how long I’ve been waiting for this.” He comes into my line of sight. He looked like he was in his 40s or 50s with his slicked-back gray head of hair. But he filled out his nice black suit like he worked out every day.
“Am I supposed to know you?” I ask outright.
“Wow, I did not expect that accent to come out of you.” he says surprised. “Well boyo you’ve been fucking with my business for years and you haven’t even bothered to find out who I am?” He’s taken aback before punching me in the jaw. His muscles aren’t just for show. I think I know who knocked me out earlier now. “What was it you said? The first time is a warning and second time is an execution? I like that. I’d consider hiring you if you didn’t make my life an unending hell.” I remain silent. I’m not going to give him an inch or even taunt him. Too soon for that. “I’m feeling generous so let’s play a game. You answer a question, and I’ll do something for you. You don’t? I give you a little motivation.” I continue my silence. “Who do you work for?” he asks but I maintain my silence. “Really? Okay then.” He signals behind me and another man comes forward. Younger and his suit was gray. Like a younger copy of the guy. “Forecast, you know what to do.”
“With pleasure boss.” Forecasts eyes spark with electricity before they fire lighting at me. I grit my teeth and bear it as best as I can. I can’t let them see me show pain and I need to maintain my costume. But holy hell did it hurt. I try to catch my breath after he’s done.
“…Fuck you…” I couldn’t help myself.
“I like that spirit but we’re going to have to fix it.” With another signal, he has Forecast shock me again. It’s getting tough but I don’t let my suit fail me.
“Time to try one more time. Who are you working for Kessler?” My heart skips a beat but I try to mask any reaction. I fail and he smirks at it. “That’s right, even with your suit on I know who you are. I was surprised how easy it was to find out. After all this time you finally fucked up. But it made so much sense why we had such trouble. You’re two-in-one and all this time we figured you were just some all powerful unstoppable Inversion.”
My mind races and I try to figure out what I did wrong. “Is he psychic? Did he see me change into my suit somewhere? Was he tracking me?” I think to myself in rapid succession. This was the first time my identity was discovered and it was in the worst possible scenario.
“At first I was ready to have Sunspot take a long walk down a short pier. Then one of my boys went all CSI and to my surprise found a footprint. You can guess where I’m going from here can’t you Steve?” he taunted me smugly.
Guardian Aranea was backfiring on me. It could enhance anything I wore or held, first and foremost being my own skin to make the costume. But it conflicted with my normal powers. My wall crawling only works if my hands and feet are unprotected. Even clothing would be modified and could result in giving me away when it made the suit over it. Normally I don’t wear anything so I can have maximum mobility and nobody would discover who I was. But now my god damn toe prints are going to be my downfall. I didn’t even realize that would’ve happened while in the fight. In the past, I usually made my old SWAT uniform part of the costume. I was slow and clunky but back then I was far less…subtle about fighting. After today I might just go back to that.
“I know who you are and that you work for RajTEK which was not a big shocker mind you. But what is the shocker is that we did some digging. You’ve been at this before working with them so I can’t help but wonder and ask for what? A third time? Who are you working for? Are you flying solo still or did the boys in teal and orange join you?”
“If you’re going to torture me. Just get on with it. I’m not telling you shit.” I say defiantly.
“Oh, I was going to do that anyway as payback for the years of pain you caused me laddie. I was just going to be more forgiving in my methods if you cooperated.” he mocks my accent again. He then snaps his fingers and Forecast resumes his electrocution. I scream in pain but I’m so pissed right now all I can think about is what I’m going to do when I get free. I know he knows who I am but I keep my suit active. If I lose it they’ll see the Khonshu Band and I can’t let them get it.
“W-who are you?” I ask.
He grabs my head and forces me to look him in the eyes. “Biohazard, and you’ve been a thorn in my side for the last time.” he pushes my head to the side as he lets go. “Forecast, keep torturing him until he talks or dies. Preferably the first then just kill him after.”
“Yes boss.” he replies like a loyal dog.
“Hey Biohazard…” I say lowly. It gets his attention.
I deform the mouth of my suit so he can see and hear me without any filter. “The Starlight Club was the warning. Next time I see you I swear I’m putting a bullet between your eyes.” I grin as menacing as I can. “Then when I’m done I’m gonna kill every single member of your little gang as an example.” he smiles at me.
“Can’t wait to see you try.” he says leaving.
Forecasts torture resumes without delay. I had no way of escaping and I couldn’t reactivate the Khonshu Band while he was around if it wasn’t damaged already. This was far from my best moment but aside from my desire to get revenge on my mind. The thought that if I didn’t get out of here as soon as possible they might go after Gabe…
For two days they’ve been at this. I don’t have the energy to attempt an escape anymore. It’s a trial just to keep Guardian Aranea active between blackouts. Most I can maintain is the helmet and right arm. Thankfully they haven’t noticed the Khonshu Band under my suit. They must really want to get from me since they haven’t just killed me yet.
“Man, you look like shit!” Biohazard says casually. “You’re wearing even less than the last time I saw you. Really don’t even know why you keep the helmet. We already know…” He pauses before covering his nose. “Jesus, gonna have to get you an air freshener or fan in here.” I can’t even acknowledge him being there. I refuse. “Still not talking?”
“Nope. He doesn’t respond to being electrocuted or even dealing with the cold.” Forecast says.
“You’re really making my job difficult here man. Okay Forecast, we’re skipping to phase two. Phase two, in case you’re wondering, is us just walking up to RajTEK and tearing it down. Don’t care if they know you’re moonlighting but I love the idea of killing your coworkers. Teaching you a lesson. Forecast, get Hornet here.”
“Really? He’s terrible.”
“Are you talking back to me?”
“No da-I mean no boss.” Shoulda known Forecast was Biohazard’s kid. Nepotism at its finest.
“He may be shit but we can spare him. You, Tox, Ace, and Pulse move out. We got a business to ruin.”