Worst Case Scenario

Psyched Out

So not astrous.

Robin tried to get to his feet, but another blast from Psimon screwed up his balance even more and almost made him throw up.

Rocket was on her back, starring in horror at the psychic as she tried to pull herself away from him.

"My dear Raquel" said Psimon. "You have certainly performed wonderfully. I wish all my puppets would follow orders so well."

"Get… back" grunted Robin, trying to aim his taser. Psimon hit him with another round of psychic energy, and Robin dropped it, his hand shaking.

"Of course, there are limits to what I can make someone do, but fortunately, direct physical control of your body isn't one of them. I'm sure Red Arrow will forgive you when... I'm sorry, if he wakes up."

"You're supposed to be in a hospital in Qurac" muttered Robin, whose attempt to recover the taser was foiled as Psimon's telekinesis pulled it away. "Miss M put you in a coma."

Psimon smiled, and then hit Robin with a brain-blast. "I got better."

"I... I've seen you before" muttered Rocket, using the wall to get to her feet.

"Ah, yes. Did you rest well last night, my dear? No unpleasant dreams? You didn't go sleepwalking did you?"

"What. Did. I. Do?" demanded Rocket. She had to know, even through she felt the truth would tear her apart.

"No need to get pushy, Ms. Erving. You see, our friend Professor Ivo created this nasty nanotech poison."

Robin recovered enough to start reaching for something on his utility belt, but Psimon struck him with more psychic energy, driving him to the ground again.

"Don't interrupt when teacher's talking" said the psychic. Then, for good measure, he flattened Rocket too.

"But you see, this poison can stay in your blood for days and do no harm until it receives a certain electromagnetic signal, such as the one being projected around our base. Then, the little nanites bond to your red blood cells in place of oxygen. Very complicated stuff. But the important part is that no oxygen is getting anywhere. Calculated correctly, a victim can survive, but is rendered unconscious. Mess it up, and, well, at least it's quick."

Robin started reaching for his belt again, so Psimon just went ahead and ripped it off with telekinesis, tossing it to the end of the hall.

"Now, we had a dose of this weapon, only one, I'm afraid, but we needed to use it. And your witch friend... Zatanna, I believe?, drew the short straw. And what better delivery system than a member of your little team? Of course most of you had some resistance of one form or another, but not the new girl. Her mind was fresh. It took so little effort it almost didn't seem worth it. Almost."

"I... didn't..." mumbled Rocket, wide-eyed.

"Oh, but you did. You injected her with the nanites that led to her collapse with your own two hands. You weren't in control of yourself, of course, but don't let that keep you from feeling responsible. It's so entertaining to observe."

Robin had had about enough of this guy, but being weaponless and vulnerable, he started scooting backwards, slowly, trying to put some distance between him and his opponent. Fortunately, Psimon's attention was still focused on Rocket. A plan had formed in his mind but he'd immediately thrown it as far from his thoughts as he could to protect it from mental intrusion.

All he let himself remember was that he had to get to the other end of the hallway, back where they'd come from.

"I... killed her?" Rocket asked. She'd already failed Zatanna once by not protecting her in the woods; if she was the reason her friend had needed help in the first place...

"Oh, no. You didn't kill her. But... no reason to spoil all the fun. You'll see what I mean soon enough."

He poured psychic energy into her mind. Rocket fell to the ground, clutching her head in her hands.

"No! No! No! Get out! Get out!" she screamed, spasms running through her body. She didn't want to be his puppet! She'd rather die than give in! But he was everywhere, and there was no way she could fight it.

For a second, Raquel opened her eyes and instead of one Psimon, there were two. Then she blinked and there were a thousand. She shut her eyes again as the pain increased.

Finally, blackness overtook her.

And then things got even worse.


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