He sat there, looking at the screen on his wall. Wolf had amazing taste. Her idea for taking out the Empire’s airship was inspired. Of course, she couldn’t have gotten any of it done without him. Part of him relished the challenge that came with working for her. It was amazing. Most of the time. Right now, it was rather bothersome. Her eyes were getting bigger, which was leading to complications in the creations of her new tech. It wasn’t easy, being her developer. She had given him the title Riddler, but the truth was, he hardly felt like the character at all.
The man was a engineering and mechanical genius. He remembered people in town coming to him when he was 14 to have him fix stuff. Anything that broke, he could fix. People called him a child prodigy, but he just liked tinkering with stuff. He never fixed things exactly the way they should have been. Little tweaks here, small changes there and the stuff that they was broken before was now amazing. That was how he liked it. And he was damn good at it too. Into adulthood, his skills preceded him wherever he went. Then the war came.
In the war, he was busy repairing military vehicles. He was terrified, the whole time. He didn’t want to die. For years, he was working to keep the troops okay. Not some noble goal, not some big firefight. He just worked on their machines. Did little tweaks to them, too. But he got captured. The Empire had heard about him too. When they realized who they had caught, they immediately put him to work on their machines too. When he didn’t cooperate, a soldier saw fit to shoot him in the leg, as motivation. It never healed properly. He used to like to run too, and now he couldn’t do that.
Whatever the reason, he got very vindictive about losing his ability to walk properly. This led him to take action to make sure that the soldiers who did this to him paid for it, in blood. They came in with several vehicles they needed fixed. In miraculous time, he got them all to working order. Or so the Empire thought. They came under attack and took what he fixed into battle. They didn’t take it far.
In a blaze of glory, all of the machines burst into flames. The insides were instantly filled with a powerful liquid that was literally melting the flesh off of the soldier’s bones. The man relished every second hearing almost 100 of them screaming in agony as they watched their skin melt. He took every second to love it, before the vehicles exploded and the Canadian soldiers overran the base. He disappeared in the confusion. It was a good memory to this day.
How Wolf had found him was a mystery. He was certain that he had covered his bases and disappeared completely. But there he was, out on is property when he saw her, leaning against his door. She had a mask on her face. It disturbed him. He didn’t like her.
“They say that you can fix anything. Is that true?”
A dark look came to his face. “I don’t know what you’re talking about, little girl. Now go the fuck away.”
“I also hear that you have no love for the Empire.”
That got his attention. “What do you want?”
“I’m organizing a resistance. The best that’s ever been. I don’t merely want to just retake Canada. I want to bring the Empire to their knees.”
A smile came on to the man’s face. “And what makes you think that you can do it?”
“Because I know how they work. I know how they think. I know how they plan and I know how to turn that power against them. But I can’t do it alone. I need your help. You are the best tech expert there is, and I ONLY take the best.”
Despite the age difference he could hear, he still liked this girl. She had confidence in her voice. Something you didn’t hear much these days. “Alright, what do you need from me? I’m not able to join you in the field.” He pointed to his cane, which he loathed having to use, but his injury demanded it.
“I don’t need you to be. I just need your technical expertise. You used to be used to repair and maintain machines. I want to give you a challenge.”
The man looked over, smiling. “Oh?”
“I want you to develop machines. I will make sure that you have all the resources you need, provided that you can fulfill the needs that I will have for different requirements I will have for various missions.”
Despite himself, he felt his eyes go wide. Finally, a challenge! “I like what I’m hearing so far.”
“You won’t be working alone. I’ve already assembled dossiers on some of the best mechanics I could find, and any recommendations you have for other people would be welcome. As I said, I only take the best. So, do we have a deal?”
With his mouth watering and his mind already ablaze with ideas, he held out his hand. “Most definitely! When do I start?!”
“Actually, immediately. Let me take you to where I have set up shop. I think you will find it most accommodating.”
Ever since then, he had been working for Winter’s Shadow. Now, as he sat in what had once been an aircraft hangar that she had, he knew he’d made the right choice. While the world was sometimes over-bearing, he was doing something worthwhile and getting paid a fuck-ton of money to do it. That was what he wanted out of life. When all of this was said and done, he would retire a rich man.
Suddenly, there was a beep on his phone. A message, sent over their secure insider-access to the Empire’s channels.
What’s your progress on the latest project?
Wolf, as usual. Though her inquiry led him to believe that this was something that was critical.
It should be done in the next ten days. I’ve got a shipment of parts that I need coming from Cuba, so it is a bit of a delay. Don’t worry, it will get done on time.
Having to get parts he needed from Area 2 was not what he wanted to do, but it couldn’t be helped.
Excellent, once I am back from vacation, I will be rounding up the squad leaders. We have a lot to talk about.
He nodded. Her new designs, her missions were getting bolder. Though now it came down to what the Empire would do in response. It always did.
Got it, boss. Safe travels.
The network cut off and he got back to work. It was strange, despite not feeling like his namesake, he did look the part. He generally wore a nice suit, walked with a cane that had something of a question mark feel to it and even wore an appropriate hat. Though he wore khaki pants and a black shirt when working. No need to mess up his suits. But so long as he had a namesake, best to make it look good.
She closed the link, putting her phone away. She would have to thank Oracle for the instant-access to PRISM that she could get whenever she wanted. It was proving useful in every way that counts. She looked down at Emily, asleep in her arms. Things were getting complicated, and faster than she wanted. But it couldn’t be helped. And she couldn’t deny – it was nice to be able to have a life where she doesn’t have to constantly worry about what mission is next or what plan to put into motion. The problem was – she had to go back to that, eventually. This vacation with Emily couldn’t last forever. It made her sad. She really was beautiful, breathing softly and trying to get more comfortable. The girl smiled, settling back into the bed and holding her girlfriend tight. Once all of this was done, and she got her revenge, she planned to make the most of this relationship. She did love Emily, with all her heart.
Until next time, a quote,
“You’re all experiencing fear, in anticipation of certain pain or danger. This is perfectly understandable.” -The Riddler, Batman: Arkham City