Infinite DC Journeys: The Missing Face

Part Three

The life Peyton Westlake once had was no more.

His work, his career, and his face – all singed away in the senseless act committed by those men…those gangsters; his vengeance on them would be long and merciless.

All he needed was to find a place to set up a new lab to begin where he left off.

That suddenly became impossible with the new setting he found himself in.

Nothing about the city he lived in most of his past life was recognizable; signs, places, and…the people. In his wandering, he managed to attract more than enough unwanted attention with his hideous disfigurement.

Then he saw their faces.

It might have been the deliria he suffered from his injures, but Peyton perceived the face of every citizen around him as distorted and pig-like. They all had large, thick brows, sunken eyes, swollen and twisted lips, and wrinkled noses with extremely large nostrils.

To Peyton, they were far more unsettling to look on than himself.

And yet, these grotesque beings were astonished by his face.

“Look at him!”

“He’s gorgeous!”

“I wonder who his surgeon is!”

“How do I get a face like that?”

“Does he have a girlfriend?”

“Who is he?”

In spite of the unexpected outcome, the swelling interest in him was too overwhelming to stand any longer. As such, he ran away in haste.

Unfortunately, news of this gloriously attractive individual spread fast.

In a matter of minutes, everyone in the city was talking about it.

It reached as far as the halls of the capitol building, where the Superior Leader dwelled. Seeing the mysterious man televised all over news stations, he was just as enthralled as every denizen of Superior City.

“Find me this missing link,” he ordered his men. “And bring him to me!”

The spot where the Type-Z T.A.R.D.I.S. materialized was what Walter Smith called the “Village of the North,” filled with beautiful people just like him. However, none of them considered themselves charming whatsoever.

As Clarence learned in his time with them, Walter and his people were outcasts labeled as “inferior” to those from Superior City, the prime civilization of the world.

“But that’s ridiculous,” the 8-year-old stated. “You all should be on television or magazines!”

Walter chuckled. “I wish it could be that way. But just the sight of one of us makes a person lose their breakfast or would give a child nightmares. It’s the burden we must live with, even though some of us have tried to alter it, like Miss Tyler.”

He gestured to a woman not far from where he and Clarence chatted.

Clarence thought she was a movie star at first glance.

“Why?” he asked Smith. “There’s nothing wrong with her.”

“She doesn’t see it that way,” Walter said. “Ever since she came to this village, she’s kept to herself. Even the others here find it difficult looking at her.”

“This world is bananas,” Clarence dismissed. “I need to get Mandy, so we can find the Darkman and get out of here.”

“She’s in Superior City.”

“Then that’s where I’m going.”

“You can’t go there, Clarence. The people there aren’t like you and me.”

“You keep sayin’ that, but I still don’t know what ya mean.”

“You’ll just have to trust me.”

But Clarence did not know Walter well enough to trust him.

In his growing impatience, Clarence snuck out of the village, as soon as he was alone and undetected, heading straight for Superior City.

“I’m comin’ for ya, Mandy!”

Underneath the bandaging, Mandy could only see whiteness.

It ranged from bright whiteness to dark whiteness, depending on the lighting outside the wrappings.

She was guided out of the hospital and to somewhere else entirely by Dr. Douglas.

Unbeknownst to her, she was taken directly to the capitol building.

“Your Majesty,” he addressed the Superior Leader, once inside his domain. “I seek audience with you to present my latest masterpiece.”

Mandy cringed beneath her dressings. What does he mean by that?

“Doctor, the importance of your project has lost its meaning to me,” the Superior Leader said. “For I have found the missing link between superior and inferior!” He then turned to his guards and ordered, “Bring him in!”

Following his command, they hauled in a captured, restrained Peyton Westlake.

“What kind of [email protected]$$ed society is this?!” he furiously barked.

Douglas stood momentarily dumbfounded by Westlake’s glorious façade. “He is indeed a wonder to behold, Your Highness. B-But I have created a face that far excels even his! Behold!”

He was on the cusp of unwrapping Mandy’s bandages before being once more interrupted.

A child barged through the doors, crying and screaming.

“Get away! What’s wrong with your faces?! Why’re they all piggy like that?!”

Mandy’s ears perked at the voice. “Clarence? Is that you, sweetie?”

“Mandy,” the child cried, rushing to embrace his Time Lady friend at the hip. “I’m so glad I found you! They all look so scary! You should see them!”

“Oh, sure…their faces disgust you,” a somewhat offended Westlake uttered.

Angered by all the disruptions and unannounced guests in his domain, the Superior Leader pointed towards Clarence and shouted, “Whose child is this?! Why does he think himself so important to come here without permission or the company of an adult?!”

“He’s of no importance to anyone here, Your Majesty,” Douglas denounced. “Neither to me or my subject.”

“Now wait just a minute,” Mandy disregarded. “I don’t know who you people are or who you think you are, but this lil’ fella right here…” She patted Clarence on the head. “…he’s my friend! And I am no one’s ‘subject’! What the hell does that even mean?! What’ve you done to me?!”

Her fear and paranoia rising, Mandy removed her bandages herself.

Soon after they were off, she allowed some time for her eyes to adjust to the room’s lights. She was taken aback from all the deformed faces looking on her, with the notable exception of Clarence, who was the only simple-looking individual there.

The man she knew as her surgeon, Dr. Douglas, was horrified at the result of her face. “No change,” he pronounced. “No change at all!”

Unable to see what she looked like, Mandy was even more scared.

Turning to Clarence, she inquired, “What’s wrong with me? How do I look?”

Totally enraptured, Clarence barely got a word out: “You’re…You’re… lovely!”

His opinion was the only one that mattered to her; and if that was his initial response to her new face, she’d take his word on it.

She lightly touched it, detecting a normal forehead, nose, lips, and pair of eyes.

Her hair was still flamed as red as before the accident.

By all accounts, she was herself again…or a facsimile thereof.

Regrettably, the Superior Leader did not share Clarence’s vision of her, instantly ordering his men, “Kill that thing on sight!”

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