by Hitman 44077
It was an early December morning in Long Island, New York. The dismal weather had grown bleaker with the onset of winter, but it wasn’t unexpected. This was a perfect place to go about one’s business without worrying about being bothered — especially if one had other matters in mind.
A snow-covered beach next to the Atlantic Ocean was an extended yard for an out-of-season beach house. The home itself was dark except for one small light within its basement, an oddity in itself.
Within the basement sat plenty of electronic equipment as well as several pieces of robotics. A small, self-efficient heater was running, warming the room as if it were a spring day, and the sounds of tinkering alternated between soft and loud. The sounds came from a table upon which a pinkish-hooded figure was working on what appeared to be a humanoid robot or android, itself clad in green pants, dark-green armbands, and dark-green boots. Its chest cavity was open, exposing circuitry and other parts. A flesh-like substance had been removed from half of its head, yet the face remained intact but lifeless. Feverish movements and quickened tinkerings made it clear that there was an importance to the hooded man’s actions.
“Finally — finally!” the hooded figure exclaimed, turning a battery plate within the android body’s chest. Instantly, the android’s eyes shone with a semblance of life, yet the cold glare told that there was no humanity to the creature. It stared back at the hooded figure, who spoke again. “You remember me, don’t you?” The creature nodded slowly as the hooded figure closed the android’s dark-green chest-plate, which contained a diamond centerpiece colored solid black.
The hooded man stared, and though his face was covered, he appeared very pleased with his work. “They thought they’d finally destroyed you for good at the end of May. (*) But they never found me, the blasted Justice League! How could they, my friend? My silence bought me enough time to stumble onto a surprising quirk of fate,” the hooded figure said before reaching for a metallic red skullcap. He walked toward the android and ordered it to stand. It did so, and after the hooded figure stood up onto a small set of steps, he placed the skullcap onto the creature, effectively covering the area where the flesh-like substance had been removed.
[(*) Editor’s note: See The Flash: Terminal Velocity, Chapter 5: Leave of Absence.]
“You see, I’ve built and rebuilt you several times before, and through one means or another, you’ve been stopped. But this time — this time,” the hooded figure stated, motioning for the creature to look at a standing mirror near the table upon which it had once lay, “they never counted upon an invasion to nearly overwhelm their world. They never planned for their greatest hero to be near-death or for their second-biggest city to be damaged. (*) They never expected that, in the repairs of Metropolis, while Superman rested, the collapse of a building would fall one of his Superman robots. Or that one of my minor droids would locate the damaged creature and, by way of the ocean, bring me such a prize to exact new vengeance against the League!”
[(*) Editor’s note: See DC Universe: Invasion, Book 3: The Return.]
The creature looked at itself, not aware of anything different, as the hooded figure continued speaking. “I removed every bit of programming which could have made your new body susceptible to an override at the hands of the Man of Steel, and I plan to decipher what I’ve removed in an effort to gain control of each and every Superman android. Imagine such an unstoppable army led by me — and you as their field commander, Amazo!“
The creature stared at the hooded figure and seemed to show a cold smile. “Yes, Amazo, you have been reborn once more… in a body that cannot be destroyed by being disposed of in the sun or infected with a nano-virus. And revenge against the League will aid me in another way, though you couldn’t comprehend why,” the hooded figure said bitterly before turning around and walking a few steps.
The hooded figure walked toward his television set and turned it on. “I could attack Metropolis, New York, even Gotham, but I need to properly test you before sending you out to those cities,” the hooded figure said as a breaking news segment interrupted what had been the morning news.
“We’re hearing breaking news from Central City that the Central City Arsonist has been captured. Here’s a correspondent from Central City’s Picture News to bring us up to date,” one of the news anchors said. From there, the hooded figure watched footage of the Flash and listened to the reporter’s accounts that Firefist had been brought to justice just hours earlier.
“Perfect,” the hooded man said, anticipating the outcome between his creation and the fastest man alive. He quickly turned around and walked back to Amazo, who continued to stare at the mirror. “Amazo,” the hooded figure said, “there’s a tunnel by the stairs that leads out to the cold ocean waters. Take that to exit this place. You are to then head to Central City and face the Flash. Destroy whatever you can to draw him out, and bring him to me — alive, if possible. If not, then bring me what you can of him.”
The android complied and left the hooded man, its only intent to do as its creator ordered. The hooded man looked at the standing mirror and slowly removed his hood. The disfigured face of Professor Anthony Ivo stared at the mirror, the sadness of his eyes staring back at the face he sought to rid himself of. “Anger, hatred, sadness — I’d give anything for a cure for this. And I’ve failed up to this point. Yet those pathetic heroes can walk about, stopping me at all costs. Sure, it was wrong for me to try and kill all of those athletes and the Black Canary a few years back, but they don’t have to look like this!” (*)
[(*) Editor’s note: See “The Price of Humanity,” Justice League of America #218 (September, 1983).]
His growing rage took over, and Professor Ivo shattered the standing mirror with a punch. The mirror fell into pieces, and Ivo stared at his cut hand, which was as disfigured as the rest of his body. Immortality or close to it — and at that cost? Ivo thought as the blood dripped from the open wound. I must remind myself that time’s on my side. In the end, I will be victorious!