Mischief

They pull the bag up over his head, forcefully, the sacking scratching his chin. His eye socket throbs from where they knocked him out before dragging him into the van.

He's blinded by the bright light, not used to being stripped of his goggles, and he's a little scared. But his captors haven't hurt him that badly. He's had worse.

He rotates his shoulder, thinking about Captain Hammer, and blinks fiercely until the room swims into focus.

The guy standing in front of him isn't that imposing, physically. He's unexpectedly skinny/wiry, with mid-brown hair and a thin face. He has old bruises and a scar under his chin and one on his cheek. When he speaks, his voice is monotone and hypnotic.

"By now you know that the Evil League of Evil is a worthless organisation. You don't know how you know it, but you do. And you're thinking of ways to get out, or to sabotage them from within. But you know, Billy. You know that they'd kill you first."

Dr Horrible blinks slowly because his eyes are very sore. There are a bunch of guys lined up behind the one who's speaking and, yeah, they are what he was expecting - hulking great dudes who look like they'd bounce you out of this place (Basement? Prison?) and ask questions later. Dr Horrible doesn't ask who they are because if they wanted him to know then they'd tell him. His wrists are tied and they've taken all his weapons while he was unconscious.

They know his name. It should worry him but he doesn't. It's been a long time since he felt anything deeply.

"You want to make a difference, Billy." The leader (he assumes he's the leader due to the excessive charisma and monologue-ing) says. "You want to put the power in different hands. But you're trapped in a cage just as much as the schlub who works in the office building pushing paper all day or the factory worker who asks his friend to clock in for him just so he can snatch a half hour of extra sleep."

The leader steps back, out of the light, so that his eerie voice floats around the room. Dr Horrible can appreciate the effectiveness of the technique although he kind-of wishes the guy would just get to the point already!

"You're asleep Billy. Just like the other sheep in LA. You've been asleep for six months."

Dr Horrible can hear the smile in the other man's voice.

"I am Tyler Durden," The man announces. "And this is it, man. Ground zero. We're initiating Project Mischief and we'd like you to join us…"

Dr Horrible narrows his eyes. Finally, he clears his throat and begins to speak. "Dude. Seriously! If you think so little of the Evil League of Evil, what do you want with me? I'm a League man, through and through." Then he smiles. "Oh right… You want a guy on the inside, who can spy for your little… outfit. Oh, come on!"

Tyler takes two steps forward and punches Horrible right in the face. He has a wicked right hook but he's also just a mere mortal with a fist made of normal skin and bone. When you've been thrown half way across the room by a punch from Captain Hammer, nothing quite compares.

So Horrible laughs. "That all you got?"

Tyler raises an eyebrow, smiles and nods before hitting the bad doctor twice more in rapid succession.

Horrible's head snaps back on his neck. A thick stream of blood pours down his nose and over his lips and chin. He grins, despite the pain, tasting iron. "Really? You really think this is going to persuade me to betray Bad Horse?" He spits and a spray of blood spatters across his tormentor's face.

For a moment, Tyler looks as though he's going to hit him again but instead he wipes his cheek, cocks his head and grins. "Nah, I just wanted to see if you could take a beating. I mean, man, I'd heard you could but I had to see it for myself. I'm not the best with the trust…"

Horrible sighs, feeling the blood drip from his chin on to his lab coat. "You're kidding?" He says sarcastically. "And you look like such a decent guy…"

"I don't want you to betray Bad Horse." Tyler says.

"You don't?" Horrible frowns. That is unexpected.

"No. I want you to come back with us to New York, help us in our cause." Tyler nods over at one of his goons, who strides forward, holding a big-ass knife. Horrible steels himself not to flinch but the guy simply cuts through the rope binding his wrists to the chair behind his back.

"Billy," Tyler continues. "We're going to change the world. We are really going to change the world. Remember the controlled demolition of the financial district in New York a few years ago? Us. The current economic crisis? Us. And not only that, but we had a ball doing it. Exactly what can the Evil League of Evil give you that we can't?"

Dr Horrible shrugs, rubbing his sore wrists. "Am I being head-hunted?" He laughs at the irony. "That's just so… corporate."

Tyler chuckles. "Call it what you want."

Dr Horrible thinks about it.

Tyler grins, reading his mind. "You're thinking about it?"

Horrible shakes his head. "Well, all right… you're saying all these words, you know? But how do I know that any of what you're talking about is real?" He smirks. "I'm not good with the trust, either."

Tyler's laugh has a hint of insanity to it. Horrible wonders if he practices it. "Oh, it's real. And to prove it, when you wake up tomorrow morning, something incredible will have happened down at City Hall."

Two of Tyler's goons help Dr Horrible to his feet and brush his coat down. Horrible staggers a little. "So you kidnap me and now you're just letting me go? Just what kind of anarchists are you?"

"The best kind. Get him outta here, boys!"

Someone grabs Horrible from behind and the bag goes back on his head.

Everything goes dark.

Literally.

*--*--*

Dr Horrible wakes up the next morning to Moist shaking him, his henchman's clammy hands making stains on his lab coat. He's fallen asleep, as usual, down in his lab.

"Doc! Doc! Did you hear?" Moist yells.

"Well, obviously not! Since you just woke me up!"

"Where were you last night?" Moist asks him, then continues, "scratch that. This, you gotta see!" He points the remote at the plasma screen that takes up most of one wall and it flickers into life.

"Chaos at City Hall today when workers arrived to find two of the most notorious criminals in the city tied up in their legal department, and the offices stripped as bare as Dead Bowie and Fake Thomas Jefferson were themselves…" The report continues, showing pictures of the two naked-and-bound League members (with strategically placed fuzzing of the screen) and explaining that the Mayor has estimated that they've lost a whole host of paperwork pertaining to cases the city was bringing against bad debtors, local businesses and five years of archived records.

Dr Horrible begins to laugh, quietly at first, but then uproariously.

"Doc, how-? What? Why? Will ya stop laughing already? There's a new superhero in town, must be - someone we don't know about yet. Doc!"

But Horrible can't stop laughing. He roars until he's laughed himself out, tears rolling down his cheeks. It's not until a long time after that he realises it's been six months since he even smiled properly.

In the meantime, Moist thinks he's gone mad. His voice is worried. "Doc… please? This is a disaster! Ain't no laughing matter."

Horrible claps him on the shoulder and stands up.

"On the contrary, Moist. That was hysterical!" He grins at his friend and reaches for his goggles before changing his mind and setting them back down on the work bench. "Hey, Buddy."

"Yeah, Doc?"

"You ever felt like going to New York?"

"Sure."

"Great."

"Why's that?"

Dr Horrible's smirk spread across his face until he was beaming. "Because I think it's time for a little mischief."