For a long time he felt nothing. No emotions, no runaway fleeting thoughts of grandeur. Someone had at last found his off switch, calling silence to his irascible every-day. The self-styled thief had come afoul of a force he could not best, one that for whom hubris was quashed by sheer force. Falling foul to cunning, unseen Skrull hands, Fantomex had been rendered comatose along with the other cherry picked humans, a combination of self-styled heroes and villainesses. And unlike the others, his period of languor was far from restful.

As age gradually takes hold of the human condition, one grows familiar with the unique rhythms and creaks of their own bodies. They'll come to accept that, after a certain while, they'll lose the ability to take part in a sprint without getting caught for breath after a few seconds, amongst a host of other abilities linked with youth. As the physical form gradually declines, they'll draw on family and friends, the aspects yet to be unfettered by crippling moral limitations. But when the same begins to affect one of science's greatest living weapons, the reception of fatiguing attributes was…far from cordial.

The voices in his head — formally little more than white noise that he could ignore — were screaming.

The door to his pod engaged with a start, spearing the chamber's interior with investigative flashlight beams and gusts of cleansing air. Soon, the pod's cover was lifted upwards and away by an exterior force that vaguely resembled S.H.I.E.L.D. employees. In an unfortunate parody of Halloween fiction, Fantomex's bleached white form bolted upright with a start, his unmasked visage striped with sweat. It was as if the un-dreaming man had just awoken from a nightmare, but alas, this was untrue. He had instead been plunged into brand-new torment launched by his very awakening.

His mind under siege from within, the man with the three brains struggled to prioritise his needs. Naked panic setting in, drowning out snatches of conversation put to him as a growing number of uniforms surrounded his former resting place, the alarmed thief struggled to see past the two dozen strong throng of peace-keepers all apparently putting pause to their apprehensive desires see if anyone else was around. All that he could determine was that the other pods had been vacated several hours beforehand, pouring a gallon of cold water over the infant-like idea that he somehow took precedence over the others rescued, when in fact he was retained as the sweet dessert to cap off an intense series of events. Trapped in S.H.I.E.L.D. custody for the second time in less than a month.

Seeking to spring himself from unfriendly company, Fantomex hurried to deploy his misdirection, and would have crafted a (poor, by his standards) illusion to distract the governmental operatives and enable his escape had all been well: lamentably, in yet another dreadful twist, deducing from the amount of deadpan expressions staring back at him, his perception skewing powers, in sharp contrast to the rise to prominence regarding conflicting voices within head, had been severely impaired, if not removed entirely. Mouth quivering in unuttered whisper, for words had since fled his compromised vessel, Fantomex resorted to dragging himself over the side of the Skrull stasis pod and rolled awkwardly on the floor. Ignoring atrophied muscles protesting over taking such action, the thief dragged himself aloft, one fist curling around a pocket sized calling card that was inexplicably nestled between his numb fingers upon coming to and made a beeline for the exit.

Parking all thoughts encircling the card and its ominous message, for he barely had the capacity to think at present, once on his feet the distressed thief batted away helping hands, suspecting that their kindness was fuelled by lucrative intention. Robbed of forethought, ultimately Fantomex's bid for freedom was marked by a chain spur-of-the-moment actions, responding to local stimuli with a mixture of flailing arms, spoken French, and exerted force. Committing yet more offences to fatten numerous warrant charges, he ignored the lasting repercussions and fled through the exit, venturing forth into a night he had no recollection of arriving, addled by internal voices and racked by his loss of influence.

Whatever the Skrull had done to him, whether knowingly or not, it had left a considerable mark.