Previously on Blessed Inversion Rise of the Pheromaster…
With Raja Eishner captured and no idea where the Pathogen is, SWAT-Spider calls upon unexpected aid in the form of his son Gabriel Kessler. Using his super speed, the young hero races to the Cell and searches for any sign of Raja. Instead, he finds and defeats Degree before locating the remaining Inhibitors with a captured Director Sasha Boone. There they meet Mentalists boss, Jason McKellen the Pheromaster. They quickly discover the hiding Jetstream and depart in one of the VTOLs, leaving Construct to murder him. In a fit of fear and desperation, Jetstream uses his energy construct ability to defeat his rival and informs the other heroes at RajTEK. Now, it’s up to them to take care of Pheromaster and his team of criminals…
Black Ice/Henry “Hal” Sharp
Six months ago…
“What’s the good news gentlemen? How many people appreciate our efforts with the Inhibitors?” Jason McKellen asks. Adjusting his tie as he enters the boardroom. The somewhat aging staff that worked at the top bracket of Acel-Corp each bore similar dismal expressions. “Oh god, what is it now?”
“You might want to read this sir…” an elderly man says passing Jason a news magazine.
“RajTEK heads funding and staffing the Inhibitors, RajTEK at the forefront of pro-Human/Inversion affairs, RajTEK, RajTEK, RajTEK!” he shouts grabbing and throwing his chair out the 40th-floor window. “Someone get me a new chair.” he sighs grasping the bridge of his nose. “I get not talking about Eclipse Labs. I can more or less see why you’d leave out Gunma. But why THE FUCK are we getting thrown under the bus with those hacks?! We aren’t even in competition with them!”
“Well…um…They’ve been using the momentum since coming out as Inversions to stay in the front of the publics thoughts.” a young man says looking at his clipboard from the doorway.
Jason instantly stares down the only other person younger than 40 in the room. Just a glance being enough to startle him into tensing up. “Who are you?”
“Um…I-I’m Nick.” he shudders.
Jason takes a moment to size up Nick. He had a brown buzz cut, his stance was tense and unimposing, and he shook like a wet puppy. “What do you do here Nick?”
“I’m an intern.”
“Well intern, do you have any other insight my esteemed board seems to have missed?” his curiosity was sparked and he wanted to see where this conversation went.
“Well, um since Mr. Eishner opened up about being an Inversion they’ve been the center of the public spotlight.”
“I already know that.”
“Oh, uh, right…Um…” Nick furiously flips through his notes. “Okay, well besides making it known their products are made by Inversion they’ve been hiring them almost non-stop. Before we have a chance to make anything or hire any Inversions they’ve already swooped in.”
“Again, I know this already.” Jason’s patience was running thin.
“Sorry.” he apologizes. He attempts to calm down but fails miserably. “If we wanted to get noticed we’d need to do something big or hope RajTEK does something really bad.”
“Really bad huh…” the gears begin to turn inside Jason’s mind. “Good work Nick, you have a bright future with us.
Four months ago…
“It’s done Jason, I’ve gotten rid of Kessler.” Fabiana reports to Jason on her cell phone.*
“Good work my dear. A bit sooner than I expected but it’ll do. I’ll be sure to alert Biohazard so we can make our next move.”
“What about me?”
“Undo whatever resistances they have and leave a psychic imprint on anyone you catch worthwhile.”
One month ago…
“What the hell happened Fabiana?!” Jason shouts at the top of his lungs.
“I’m so so sorry! I did what I could! But that bitch Chaos ruined everything.” Fabiana tries to cover her mistake.*
“The perfect opportunity to ruin them and instead they’re being seen as even bigger heroes! Whatever, we can still salvage this. The brighter the star the further the fall as they say. Just keep doing what you’re doing. Once I’ve dealt with SWAT-Spider here, we’ll move to the next phase.”
Today was the first good day for Jason McKellen in a long time. His months and months of planning are finally coming together. Both Raja & Director Boone were his prisoners, the Inhibitors reputation would be tarnished by the end of this, and all but two Inhibitors were under his command. Not the ideal outcome he wanted but it’d suffice. Within the next 15 minutes, they’d arrive at the Pathogen and he could finally move onto the second to last phase of his plan. After a short flight, the VTOL lands on the Pathogen which floated peacefully over Ireland. He takes the lead alongside Sasha Boone and the Inhibitors.
“Director Boone?” One of the security guards says confused at the sudden arrival.
“Would you kindly show the way to Director Todd?” Jason asks politely.
“Yes sir.” he responds without even hesitating. Leading the group to the Pathogen where Director Todd floated above. His eyes shining bright like the fluorescent lights that shone off his pale bald head.
“Director Boone? I was not expecting you or your Inhibitors.” Director Todd says slowly while floating closer to the ground but keeping his feet from just barely touching it. The glow of his eyes remaining constant like the gravitokinesis he used to keep the Pathogen perpetually afloat. “He is not an Inhibitor.” he squints his eyes at Jason. “Who are you?”
“Call me Pheromaster, and I’m your new boss.” he says with eyes aglow.
“Why?” he inquires seemingly unaffected by the pheromone manipulation.
“Well, Acel-Corp is taking an increased presence in the Inhibitors. Ms. Boone is already in agreement and has brought me to meet you so I can inspect the Pathogen.” he pauses to look around the facility. Much of it still remained incomplete, but the non-essential areas for the staff and the prisoners were kept up to code. “It seems you’ve all been busy.”
“We are always busy. Especially when we have to accommodate the prisoners ahead of schedule.” he replies flatly.
“I bet, mind showing me the prisoners? I’d like to make sure the inside of the cells look as good as the outside.”
“I do mind. Only Pathogen staff is allowed to see the prisoners without prior arrangement.”
“Fine…” Jason sighs unable to persuade Director Todd. Something that annoyed him immensely but he was in too good a mood to let it be ruined.
“Director Todd, we did come here for more than just a casual visit.” Director Boone steps forward to aid her new boss.
“Nobody ever does a casual visit.” he responds as flatly as he did before.
“We need to get to the Nucleus. And the only way to do that is with both of us agreeing to it.”
“Still, I must ask why we need to go there.” he continues to pry for information after a moments pause.
“The information Director Velez has been sending is painfully inaccurate. I’m hoping we can see him in person sort this out directly.”
“That reasoning seems sound.” Director Todd finally relents. “Follow me.” he orders. Floating with Director Boone close behind towards the control room that lay suspended in the center of the room.
“Finally, be a dear and stay here Fabiana. I can do this next bit on my own.”
Jason smooths back his hair and walks off to the prison cells that consisted of hard light doors that allowed full view of those inside. Each individual cell was a standard single person bedroom with a bed, a television built into the wall, and a bathroom. While it was a prison, they fully expected some of these cells to be filled by individuals not intentionally malicious. But victims of their own powers. As such, the quality was kept humane. Each prisoner was outfitted with a silver jumpsuit lined with the latest anti-Inversion technology from Eclipse Labs. Each seam of their suit lined with a still undisclosed fiber that is capable of preventing an Inversion from accessing their powers. Not only that, but the cells themselves gave off a special energy field inside that’d have the same effect. The first cell on Jason’s path belonged to quite possibly the most dangerous captive within the Pathogen; Ahmed Noonan, codenamed Blazer.
Ten minutes later; the VTOL carrying SWAT-Spider, Reflex, Black Ice, Doctor Khonshu, & Chaos nears the Pathogen. Thanks to the efforts of Doctor Khonshu, they were already en route by the time Jetstream informed them of the Inhibitors departure.* Within the next 5 minutes, it’d be time to end this whole affair. But despite leaving early they knew they’d still be behind Pheromaster and the Inhibitors Not only that there was only one landing bay which meant they’d be discovered the second they arrived.
“Any last questions before we touchdown?.” SWAT-Spider says as he exits the cockpit for the transport section that made up a majority of its design. It had enough seats for the full team of 10 Inhibitors with room to spare for any criminals they caught.
“What are we gonna do after we win?” Black Ice remained confident in their success despite having only the bare minimum of knowledge about the Inhibitors.
“They’re all going in a cell. We’ll sort out what to do with them after.” SWAT-Spider responds grimly.
“Jeez…should I even ask for a rousing speech to inspire us since we’re apparently soldiering up?”
“Give him one of your trademark rousing speeches SWAT.” Doctor Khonshu requests almost to spite Black Ice.
“Fine.” SWAT-Spider responds deforming his helmet so they can hear him properly. “I won’t lie, all the odds are against us. Even if they didn’t know we’re coming there’s only one entrance so they will the moment we land. We’re outnumbered and they’re all mind controlled. Which means we shouldn’t hurt them more than we need to. Good news, mind control means that if Mentalist goes down our friends get freed. Look out for each other, be careful, remember the plan, and improvise when you have to.”
“Movies make it sound so much better.” Black Ice sighs.
“No, they don’t you dumbass!” Chaos leers defensively at Black Ice.
“Okay! Okay! I was just joking to lighten the mood.”
“Oh…” Chaos shrinks back into her seat and returns to her light mode. Embarrassed by her outburst.
“Don’t worry.” SWAT-Spider says reforming his helmet and opening the hangar door. All they had now was a short walk left. “We got this.” he takes the lead and walks on into the Pathogen with Reflex & Chaos close behind him. When they arrive, Mentalist is standing there waiting with the remaining Inhibitors Titan, Mach, Granite, Sleuth, and Nature. All fully aware that they were about to face their former allies. “I’m disappointed but not surprised you really did all this.”
“Haven’t seen you in a while. Sneak up on any more innocent girls?”* she asks.
“We all know you aren’t innocent.” he responds deforming his helmet once more. Revealing his identity to all but Titan’s surprise.
“I knew I should’ve made sure you were dead.” she says through gritted teeth.
“Steven? You’re alive?” Granite asks confused. “But we thought…”
“She tried, she failed, and now I’m here to take her down.”
“But we don’t have to fight. We could-” Mach tries to be peaceful but is cut off by Reflex.
“No. We already know how this conversation will go so let’s cut the banter.”
“Wait, they aren’t talking like they’re…shit.” SWAT-Spider thinks to himself realizing something was off about the conversation. When someone is mind controlled they at most become a mouthpiece for the person controlling them. They have no control over their actions. But when someone is controlled by pheromone manipulation they retain full control and keep their personalities intact. Unlike in mind control where you were forced to do as your controller says, pheromone manipulation makes you want to do it yourself…
“We aren’t joining you and never will. She’s done too much to forgive. Free our friends and turn yourself over before I break your goddamn nose.” she threatens with an adjustment of her gloves that create a spark of electricity. Her normally contained rage shining through unopposed.
“I know you aren’t the smartest person Jun but can’t you count? Six-on-three isn’t exactly good odds. You should be the one surrendering.” Mentalist chuckles smugly.
“A Kessler never quits.” SWAT-Spider muses reforming his helmet. “First time is a warning. Give up now, or I’m going to have to hurt all of you.” his words meant nothing to Mentalist but he could see their effects on the other original Inhibitors.
“Hold that thought.” Mentalist raises her index finger and uses her other hand to place a phone call. “We have some trouble down here. Mind helping out?” Before she could even hang up her phone; Reflex, SWAT-Spider, and Chaos are levitated into the air against their wills.
“Intruders? How?” Director Todd asks leaving his command room to look over the trio. “Two former Inhibitors and…I do not know what or who you are. But I know you should be put into cells.” With a simple thought, he sends the trio flying into their own individual cells on the left portion of the Pathogen before they can defend themselves.
“W-what did you do to me?” Chaos asks looking at her reflection in the wall mirror. Her hair remained the asymmetrical smooth white and unkempt black but her eyes were no longer stained and her arms were normal once more. Her mind and thoughts clear.
“The Cells are designed to suppress an Inversions abilities. With your powers suppressed your physical anomalies have returned to normal.” Director Todd answer her question casually. His eyes glancing at SWAT-Spiders cell as his costume fades to reveal the swat uniform he wore under it. “Mr. Kessler, why are you attacking the Pathogen?”
“Because you’re working with the wrong people Director.” SWAT-Spider sits down on the side of his bed. Without his costume keeping his ribs properly aligned, it became difficult to breathe and move again. A few minutes pass by before he’s greeted by Pheromaster himself.
“Well this day just keeps getting better and better.” he gloats seeing his eternal nemesis trapped behind a cell. “Do you know how hilarious I found it when I discovered you were SWAT-Spider after having Fabiana try to kill you? To think all I had to do was wait and you’d get caught on your own.”
“Pheromaster right?” SWAT-Spider asks slowly standing up. “I’m guessing pheromone manipulation is your main thing.”
“I thought it was a bit on the nose but figured what the hell. Everyone needs a brand. At least I can live knowing I wasn’t quite as literal as you were.” he motions to all of SWAT-Spiders body. Mocking his choice of attire.
“Did you come here just to gloat?”
“I just came to let you know your pretty boy friend is going to be sharing a cell with you soon. Then I’ll gloat and then I’ll probably torture you again. Let off YEARS worth of steam from dealing with you for so long. Maybe make you watch everyone get killed before doing that. Heh, been dreaming of this for so long I just couldn’t settle on one idea ya know?” he giggles to himself like a child on Christmas.
“Mr. McKellen, Haze has arrived.” Mach races to the scene and delivers the news.
“Right on cue, see you soon Stevie boy.” he waves putting his left hand in his pocket and walking away proudly to meet Haze who came accompanied by Raja, Forecast, Sunspot, and Cinder.
“Oh, you are shitting me.” Raja groans in disbelief at being brought before his rival CEO.
“Good to see you too Eishner. Had an unpleasant trip I hope.”
“It was great actually. Had nice music too.” Raja responds to deny Pheromaster any pleasure.
“Cute.” he answers his sass with a left backhand that sends him to the floor. “Get him back up so I can do that again.”
“If you wanted to kill him then why did we go through all this effort?” Forecast states the obvious.
“You have such a one-dimensional mind. I wonder who you get it from…” Pheromaster fearlessly insults Forecast and by extension his father, the current kingpin of the mafia. “He can survive a backhand or three. Either way, bring him to Kessler’s cell. I want them both to know what’s coming to them.
“But-” Forecast prepares to speak but Haze simply holds his arm up which makes him stop.
“We’ll get right on it.” Haze helps Raja up and walks him to SWAT-Spiders cell. For a moment Pheromaster questions where the second VTOL went but dismisses it. He was in too good a mood to let something trivial like a missing ship get him down. Elsewhere, Miles, Doctor Khonshu, and Black Ice make a beeline for the Cell. Landing in the Hanger where Jetstream remained laying on the floor. Stuck somewhere between unconscious and half-asleep.
“Is he okay?” Black Ice questions while simultaneously skating over to check on the young speedster.
“Huh?” Jetstream grumbles while he sits up. “Black Ice? Is it time to go home?”
“Not just yet.” Doctor Khonshu says glancing at the still downed Construct. “Did you beat him yourself?”
“Yeah, why?” Jetstream finally works his way up.
“You’re not looking so good, kid.” Black Ice notices the clear exhaustion and sweat still all over his face. “Maybe we should you know…improvise the next part.”
“I just need food and I’ll be fine. Promise.” he tries to assure them.
“Not like we have time to argue. I’ll get food and get back here as fast as possible. Then we begin phase two of your idiot father’s plan.” Doctor Khonshu sighs and grumbles under his breath while floating away.
“The bad guys don’t know about you or Doctor Khonshu.” he answers. “Maybe me too I think…” he continues lowly in thought before speaking at normal volume again. “But SWAT, Reflex, and Chaos let themselves get captured so they could learn more about their plan. We’re gonna break em out.” Black Ice gives a confident thumbs up despite knowing everything now rested on their shoulders now.