Footsteps are quiet on marbled floors as a figure, shrouded by shadows, creeps along. He pauses in a corner, fingers massaging his temples.
Lips press together in a thin line as visions of the next few minutes flash in clips across his closed eyes.
Suspended and tied together with ropes are Winteria, The Ethereal Titan, and Obsidian Beast. The three will be lowered to a foot above the water when Winteria, using her ice ray, will freeze the boiling water over, Obsidian Beast will use his razor claws to tear the ropes that bind them, and all three will land almost soundlessly upon the ice. The Ethereal Titan and Winteria, pausing only for a brief second to converse with Obsidian beast, will both go after his boss who stands across the room by the computer.
The world comes back to him like a punch to the gut, pushing him harder against the metal wall, the air gone from his lungs.
He starts the countdown.
There’s two minutes before they break free, that means two minutes to run the plan over again in his head in search of flaws or holes.
If everything goes as planned, there shouldn’t be any issues.
Brushing his thumb over the ring on his finger he admires the smooth finish of black steel as he turns it, sliding the ring so the indented circle on the otherwise flawless band faces up.
The seconds tick away until half a minute remains and he presses his thumb sharply against the circle, once, twice, three times, then waits. The ring comes to life only a moment later, giving three abrupt vibrations in response.
His boss heard him.
Nathaniel’s job was nearly done, all he had to do now was wait.
Two more times the ring vibrates and with that his boss is on his way out of the room.
Thirty more seconds pass and the already chilled room grows frigid, the sound of rope ripping bouncing off the metal walls.
“You get the shadow, we’ll go after his boss.” The Ethereal Titan’s voice is as deep as one would expect from a man of his stature.
The Ethereal Titan and Wisteria are gone the moment their feet touch the ground, already heading out of the room and after his boss.
If all goes as planned, he should already be out of the building and towards the car Nathaniel had prepared.
“I know you’re here, Shadow.”
It’s just him and Obsidian Beast left now.
Nathaniel can’t help the small upwards twitch of his lips at the nickname. He hadn’t planned on having a ‘villain name’ but he supposed that Shadow was better than the names that other villains have taken on.
Besides, he thought as blocked out the dimmed light, focusing on blending further into the darkness he created, it really was rather fitting.
Footsteps grow louder and Nathaniel remains still.
He was found.
“Come now, you know I hate hide’n’seek.”
A leather clad boot lands hits the wall next to his face, the darkness in the room swirling like smoke around his body and disappearing, revealing Obsidian Beast towering over him.
The hero smirks down at Nathaniel, golden eyes crinkling beneath the mask covering half his face.
“Especially since I always win.”
And now, as his ring vibrates one last time, Nathaniel’s job as distraction was officially over. He had kept Obsidian Beast busy long for his boss to be out of range of his sense of smell.
The hero keeps talking, “Oh come now, don’t give me that silent treatment. Where’s that quick wit I’ve come to love?”
Nathaniel straightens his body, sliding his right hand behind his back as he finally responds. “Does doggy want to play?”
“There it is!” Obsidian barks out with a laugh before he squares his shoulders, eyes glinting in the low light. “You ready to get your ass kicked?”
“Oooh puppy’s got a bark, but does he have a bite?”
“Why don’t you come over here and find out?” Obsidian Beast steps forward, sharp teeth glinting in the moonlight that filters in through the window across the room.
“You know, as much as I’d love to stay and get my ass kicked by the Wolf Man himself, I’m afraid I really should get going.”
“And what makes you think that I’m going to just let you go?” Obsidian’s hands curl inwards, light reflecting off his claws that grow sharper by the second.
“Well, I was hoping that just maybe,” Nathaniel pauses for only a moment, pulling his hand out from behind his back, “you’re going to be distracted by something else.”
“Oh? And what would that-..” Obsidian Beast’s words trail off, eyes landing on the item in his grip.
Nathaniel couldn’t held the chuckle that escaped him as he tossed the ball in the air, catching it with his other hand.
“Something catch your eye?”
A low growl came from deep within Obsidian Beast’s chest. “That’s cheating.”
Nathaniel only hummed, tossing the ball from one hand to the other.
“Don’t you dare.” His posture lowered, body growing tenser, unable to tear his eyes away.
Nathaniel had been right in assuming that the Beast’s animal instincts would be too strong to fight.
“You know, I was thinking we could play a new game. How about...”
And Obsidian Beast was off like a bullet, chasing the ball as it traveled across the room.
Nathaniel had little time to act as he turned and ran across the room to where his boss had previously been working. He pulled the flash drive from his pocket and plugged it into the bottom of the system.
Maybe he wasn’t as smart as his boss but it was simple work to access the previously transferred data and move it from the computer to his drive. Well, simple enough with the hidden program he had prepared only seconds before his boss entered the room earlier while the trap was being set up.
In less than a minute the transfer was completed and the drive was back in his pocket.
Another device was in his hand as he slid under the computer, making quick work of stabbing the box into the socket besides the computer’s plug. His pressed his thumb over the sensor on the square top for two-seconds, waiting for the beep before pulling back.
In five minutes time the device would send out an electrical charge that would not only fry the computer’s hard drive but also blow out the power and back up generator in the building, just as an extra precaution.
He flipped around under the table and slid out from under the computer, his head hitting Obsidian Beast’s boots.
He glared down at him, pointed nails digging into the tennis ball in his grip. His chest was heaving from what Nathaniel hoped was exhaustion and not of anger, though considering the snarl on his face that was pretty unlikely.
“Awe, you brought my ball back, good boy.” He said with a grin, attempting to bring back their previous banter.
The hero remained silent as he lifted his foot up and positioned it above Nathaniel’s head.
Yup, definitely anger.
“I think it’s time someone taught you the importance of sit.” Nathaniel grunted, wrapping his arm around Obsidian’s other leg and rolling to the side, forcing his leg out from under him and sending the hero crashing to the ground.
He scurried out from under the computer before the other could get up and reassessed his exit strategy.
If he left out the door like his boss he could easily find a way to escape the Beast’s grasp. But the door was across the room and who knows if he would be fast enough to escape the hero’s claws.
The only other option, and closest exit, was one he really didn’t want to do.
By the time Obsidian Beast was back up and running at him Nathaniel was already against the window, thrusting his foot through the glass.
Six stories was higher than he usually jumped and although he hopefully wouldn’t die, there was a good chance he would be hurt, bruised at the very least.
But, he supposed as he kicked the last shard out, he’d rather had a few broken ribs and fall into a pile of glass, than have his ass handed to him by Lassie the wonder dog.
And speaking of Lassie, he turned around and looked back towards the running hero who seemed to be growling out loud now, claws growing sharper than Nathaniel ever remembered them being.
A familiar pool of dread built up in the bottom of his stomach.
It was now or never.
He lowered himself down, sitting with his legs still inside the building as he leaned backwards into the night.
Brining his fingers to his lips he blew Obsidian a kiss. “Well, you know how I hate to up and leave, especially right as you’re falling for me, but I’m afraid I have some falling of my own to do.”
Obsidian beast is an arms length away when Nathaniel releases his grip on the window sill, submitting himself to let gravity do its job. Sharp nails barely brush over the cowl covering his face before he’s just out of reach and is free falling in the night.
Golden eyes blend in to the stars in the sky above him, watching him intently.
Nathaniel stares back into those eyes, ignoring the fire that they seem to ignite within his chest and focuses instead on thinking light thoughts, light, airy, fluffy, smokey thoughts, slowing the speed of his descent.
A lime green tennis ball falls onto his stomach and breaks his concentration, sending him plummeting down towards the ground.