Death Ray

1. Act One.

"How long?" Billy asked.

"Twelve months. Maybe six," the inappropriately named Dr Healey had told him. "There are treatments. You have several options - aggressive therapies! Experimental procedures…"

The fish rots from the head, so they say.

Billy went home, a large manilla folder clutched tight to his chest. Inside it were the MRI brain-scans he'd insisted that he'd wanted, that he'd paid to keep. When he got home, he placed all the transparencies carefully against several sheets of glass and affixed halogen tubes to the wall. It looked as though the scans had been professionally backlit, Billy thought, proudly.

2. Act Two.

The headaches were excruciating. The tumour made him especially sensitive to light, which made the bright LA sunshine particularly hard to bare. That summer, he confined himself to his apartment, outfitting his living room as a makeshift lab while he searched for some way to…

To what?

He spent a lot of time on the internet. There were a hell of a lot of disaffected people. People like him. People who wanted to change things. People who felt helpless.

He made a list of last wishes - wasn't that what you did?

Stop time. Find a girl. Rule the world.

3. Act Three.

The goggles helped his eyes, the thick, dark circles protecting him from the world. The E.L.E. gave him something to aim for. The Henchman's Union gave him a social circle, even if it was an online one.

The only times he left his apartment was once a week for groceries, twice a week for laundry. He never went back to the hospital.

He kept a tally of his remaining days on a large whiteboard in his makeshift lab.

Freeze Ray was at 50% when he met Moist, purely by accident.

That day, he wiped the whiteboard clean and started again.