Rating: PG-13, for now. Will probably become an R.
Summary: Syndrome reappears after his supposed demise ready to make the Supers' lives difficult. But instead of going after his hated enemies, the Incredibles, Syndrome declares himself the official nemesis of a more recent Super, known as Static. It becomes clear that Syndrome and Static have met before, and are battling not only each other but also events and troubles from their past. Is he her nemesis, or her hero?
Warnings: Well, what with the title and all… cheesy puns, language, an original character and probably some smut. Hey, at least there's a semi-decent plot, right?
Setting: Post-Incredibles, various places. Metroville and Nomanisan, mostly.
- - - - - - - - - -
I know you had to go away, I died just a little
And I feel it now, you're the one I need
I believe that I would cry just a little just to have you back now
Here with me…
- "Here with Me" by Michelle Branch
The ocean sparkled like a thousand sapphires under the glowing sun. Mirage watched the deep blue passing beneath her through the window on the jet, piloted by two silent men whose faces she could not see. They wore the gray uniforms and visors of guards - guards she knew only too well.
Two other guards sat beside her, guns on their knees as a warning to her: You run, we shoot. You're dead. There were several other almost identical looking men sitting in other positions around the jet. Two of them were playing a game of chess and talking in low voices, laughing occasionally. It seemed to be the only sign that these men were human at all. The others all sat in stoic silence, hands on their guns, watching their prisoner tensely.
Mirage had been attempting to ignore them the entire ride. She knew who they belonged to, of course, and she knew exactly where she was going. But she didn't want to think about it - not yet.
It had been almost a year since Syndrome's terrible death in the jet explosion. Mirage had been quite uncertain how she felt about the fact that her previous employer and ex-lover was dead. Part of her told her smugly, He deserved it. He killed; he sought revenge when he should have forgiven. He deserved to die.
But there was another voice that said, You deserved it too. You killed right along with him. You wanted revenge on the Supers, too. He was not the only one who was selfish. And he had so many problems… so many fears, that no one knew but you… if you'd been a better person you would have helped him overcome, instead of just sitting there and aiding him like you did. You don't want him dead. You miss him. You want him back.
"Approaching Nomanisan," the pilot's voice announced over a radio. Mirage stiffened, and the guards' grip on their guns tightened. The two men who had been playing chess quit immediately after this message and lifted their guns, eyeing Mirage nervously.
The island came into view. Mirage stared at it. It was the last place she had ever expected to see again. Her hands, neatly folded in her lap, began to twist fearfully. She turned to the guard beside her and asked, "What does he want with me, Jason?"
Jason shrugged. "No idea," he said, smiling sympathetically. "He doesn't tell us much, you know. But he seems pretty upset about something."
Mirage shuddered. "Great," she muttered. "He's going to kill me."
"If he wanted you dead," the guard at the end of the row said, "We would have killed you already."
"That's certainly comforting," Mirage snapped, crossing her arms over her chest and turning to stare out the window again.
Nomanisan was much closer now. They circled the steaming volcano, and the pilot radioed in. "Jet 06660 requesting permission to land."
There was silence on the end of the line. For one tense moment, Mirage thought that they were going to be shot down by missiles, but then a familiar voice came over the line. "You've got her?"
"Yes, sir," the pilot said. He sounded immensely relieved; apparently he had believed, like Mirage, that they were all about to die. "She's on board."
"Good work. Landing platform 1313."
"I'll be meeting you down there; don't let her give you the slip."
"We won't, sir."
The line went dead, and the jet began to plummet. Mirage's hands flew to the armrests of her chair. She gripped them so hard her knuckles went white as the jet plunged downwards. It pulled up abruptly, and then hovered lightly a few feet above the ground. After a few more seconds it landed lightly on the platform.
The guards stood up. "Let's go," Jason said tersely.
Mirage glanced out her window before standing up. She saw a line of more guards in gray, and another, quite distinct figure. Before she could get a better look, Jason gripped her arm and pulled her to her feet. "Come on," he said nervously. "I really don't want to make him anymore pissed than he already is."
Mirage swallowed hard and stood. She knew what he was like when he was pissed. She followed the line of guards to and down the ramp. She almost didn't dare to look up, although she already knew he was standing right in front of her. The guards lined up behind her, and Jason announced, "Mirage, sir."
"I know who she is, Jason," he said testily. After a moment of silence, he said, "Well?"
Mirage still didn't look up. "Well what?" she said softly. "You're the one who brought me here, Syndrome."
He reached out and caught her chin in his hand. He lifted her head, forcing her eyes to meet his. He still had very wide, aqua blue eyes and freckles across the bridge of his nose. His hair still stood straight up in a bright shock of red. He had several burn marks on his face and neck, and Mirage guessed there were many more in other places on his body. He was still dressed in a supersuit, but it was different than the original. It was still a very deep black, but there was an aqua blue diamond across the chest, and in the center of the diamond was a black 'S.' His gloves, Mirage noted, were also black, as were his boots. There was a blue belt around his waist, covered with various buttons and devices. Mirage could guess that they were all new, high-tech weapons he could use against his enemies. He had no cape.
"You don't look very happy to see me," Syndrome told her in a deathly quiet voice.
She shrugged slightly. "I can't say I've missed you very much," she said.
Syndrome laughed bitterly. "Yeah, you made that very apparent when the Incredibles were here," he said icily. "You set them free… not once, but twice. Talk about betrayal. After everything I did for you, too."
"You would have let him kill me!" Mirage cried, angrily trying to brush the tears that sprang to her eyes away. "You didn't care about me at all, so why should I have cared about you and your worthless plans?"
"I would remind you that you were a pivotal part of making those plans happen," Syndrome snapped furiously. He drew a deep breath, as though to calm down. "Look," he said, "That really isn't why I brought you here. I have something important to show you."
Mirage's eyebrows shot up. "Something important?" she said. "Does it have to do with revenge on the Incredibles?"
Syndrome waved a hand. "Not remotely," he said impatiently. He grabbed Mirage's tiny wrist and started to pull her after him, reminding her of a little boy anxious to show a friend an exciting new toy. "But it will surprise you, I guarantee that. And it'll explain a lot, too."
"Explain a lot of what?" Mirage demanded.
She sighed, but followed him without further questioning into the familiar halls of the Nomanisan lair.
Everything looked surprisingly different. Things seemed to have been redecorated since Mirage had last been there. Of course, the last time she had been present was when the government had flown in and destroyed almost everything on the island. She had showed them where all of the buildings were, so that they could strip them of inventions and weaponry and such. It appeared that Syndrome had managed to repair most of the damage. Of course, there were still spots where once could see the destruction the lair had undergone. Several guards were repairing a section of wall that was crushed inward, with several sparking wires hanging out of it. Syndrome stopped to speak briefly with them, and then he and his former sidekick continued without further conversation.
After a long walk through Nomanisan's many corridors, the finally reached a room filled with computer terminals. Mirage recognized this as Syndrome's research lab. Here was where he found and stored information on Supers, their nemeses, their sidekicks, their civilian identities, and almost anything else you could imagine that dealt with Superheroes. He pulled her over to a specific computer terminal, but forced her to close her eyes while he typed in the password. When she opened them, she saw him flipping through various screens with many Supers she didn't recognized.
"I don't remember any of those," she said, leaning over his shoulder to watch.
"They're all newer Supers," Syndrome told her. "Kids and teens, mostly, who were born with superpowers but were too young to actually be famous before the Supers were banned. Obviously, you know the ban's been removed, and most of them can, so to speak, 'come out of the closet.'"
"So how is this relevant to anything?" Mirage questioned.
Syndrome stopped on a particular screen and pointed to the super. "Look at her," he commanded.
Mirage studied her closely, but saw nothing relevant about her. She had beautiful, shiny, fire truck red hair, but her eyes were hidden behind a visor. Her uniform was black and yellow, with a black lightning bolt as her insignia. She appeared to be sparking with bright yellow lightning. Above the picture, a name flashed: Static. "So?" Mirage said in exasperation.
Syndrome clicked on a link marked "Civilian Identity." A new picture appeared, along with a different name, and this time, Mirage saw what was relevant. Her hand flew to her mouth.
"Oh my God," she gasped. "It's Bex!"
Syndrome looked back at her and nodded. "Bingo," he said.
A few minutes later, Mirage was still attempting to recover from this knowledge. "But… but Bex… she refused to work for us!" she exclaimed.
"Because she's a super," Syndrome said evenly. "And so was her father."
"But I'm a super!" Mirage cried. "And I was willing to stay!"
"Yeah, but you never told her that," Syndrome said with a shrug. "Besides, you don't use your powers much."
Mirage nodded slightly. "I still can't believe she didn't tell us," she said, shaking her head in disbelief. "We were her best friends!"
"I know," Syndrome said darkly. "I don't understand it, either. I mean, she could have told me of all people!"
"Is she working with the other Supers now?"
Syndrome nodded. "She's gone on several superb rescue efforts," he said, bringing up another file on the computer screen. "She began by helping the Incredibles destroy the Underminer, but just recently she single-handedly wiped a supervillain named Snakeskin off the earth, and she did the same with a supervillainess named Dark Angel. She's very widely respected, but she's got no set nemesis."
Mirage suddenly guessed exactly what Syndrome was planning. "You aren't going to go after her, are you?"
Syndrome raised his eyebrows. "Why not?" he said. "She abandoned me, after all."
"Well, you could at least attempt to find out why!" Mirage cried, leaping to her feet. "You two were best friends since you were children! Everyone thought the pair of you were going to get married someday!"
Syndrome looked away. "Yeah, they weren't the only ones," he said bitterly.
Mirage chewed her lip. "Syndrome, don't hurt her," she said softly, laying a hand on his shoulder. "I'm sure she didn't mean you any harm."
Syndrome stared at the picture on the computer screen. "I wish I were as sure as you," he said unhappily.
Thoughts anyone? Drop me a line and tell me your thoughts on my latest Incredibles fic. And try not to get confused, if you've been reading "Define Hero" - Kauri Bexer is technically the same character, but "Define Hero" has nothing to do with this fic. Just so y'all know. Auri Mynonys