Walter felt the armored truck start to shake back and forth. Something was happening outside. The guards had gone out there to check on it and they hadn’t come back. Walter knew that something was wrong, but he couldn’t figure out why he knew. He was here for a reason—he knew it—he just couldn’t remember what it was.
Something had happened on the plane. It was going somewhere, but then it had to go somewhere else. He wasn’t supposed to be here—where he was now.
Why couldn’t he think straight? Something was keeping him from figuring something out. He used to be a great thinker—he thought. Now he was confused, but he didn’t know why he was confused. Maybe that meant he wasn’t.
He felt the truck stop and heard the men climb out of the front seat. The back door opened and two men came in and grabbed Walter. They pulled him out of the truck and sat him down in a dark, empty room. The room was cold. Walter didn’t like the room, but he wasn’t sure why.
The two men who grabbed him from the truck stood aside as another man walked toward Walter. It was hard to see his face in the dark, but Walter thought he knew the man. The man reached forward and pulled something off of Walter’s head.
Suddenly his clarity returned to him. What sort of hellish device was that metallic headband? He’d never experienced anything quite like it.
He now recognized the man standing in front of him. He was wearing a wool coat over a custom tailored suit, but more importantly he had on one of those tiny devices that the Assembly had worn to prevent Walter from controlling them, only this one nullified his abilities completely. He found himself unable to enter the man’s mind at all.
“Where are we?” Walter demanded.
“They were going to send you to the World’s Prison,” the man responded in a low, rumbling voice. Walter thought he noticed subtle traces of a Scandinavian accent as he spoke. “I thought maybe you’d prefer it here.”
“Where is here?” Walter again demanded. “It is very cold.”
The man laughed aloud before answering. “Here is Russia. I admit it’s no paradise, but I figured it was better than the alternative.”
Walter shook his head in disbelief. “And how exactly did you manage to intercept a highly guarded prisoner transport en route to the world’s most heavily fortified prison? And more importantly—why?”
The man paused for a moment before responding, “Since you wiped out most of the world’s superhuman population the transport security isn’t quite what it used to be. As to why—well I believe you and I have similar interests.”
Walter exhaled. He knew what the man had in mind. “You want me to help you go after the Assembly.”
“Maybe it is that I want to help you,” the man countered. “Either way, does it really matter?”
Walter considered his options a moment. A large part of him still hungered to take his revenge out on his former team. This was the second time they’d tried to destroy him and once they learned of his escaped there would most certainly be a third. His only option now was to exterminate them—not to save the world but to save himself.
“I accept your offer Doctor Fairbush—or is it Mister Bankman now?”
Slowly, the shadowy male figure stepped into the moonlight, clearly exposing the face of none other than Roger Bankman.
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