The Doctor of Death smirked at me, “I knew you weren’t out of the game.”
“I’m just asking. It doesn’t mean anything.”
“Sure, sure.” He reached into a box box behind his desk and pulled out a device I was familiar with.
“Is that a Gurrola Sonic Cannon?”
“Mark two,” he added.
“Bullshit. No one has a mark two.”
“I have a source who found a small cache of them. The only problem is they don’t work and I don’t know how to fix them.”
“May I?” I asked reaching for the sonic cannon. He handed it over to me. GSC Mk 2’s were considered bleeding edge of non-lethal weaponry at their time. Even by modern standards they were incredibly advanced. I extended the projection chamber from over the main housing and locked it in place. What it should have uncovered was a smooth machined aluminum housing for the sound generator and amplifier unit. Instead a section had been cut out and a small circuit board had been installed. “What’s this?”
“After market modification.”
“After market modification? Hmm.” The board had a printed circuit, dozens of resistors, transistors, and diodes, a row of ten switches, and a rheostat. Several wires trailed off the edge of the board and snaked into the housing. “What does it do?”
“All of them have the same circuit board installed?”
I lifted the cannon to my face and sniffed the open housing. No burnt smell, maybe the original hardware hadn’t been fried. Without a careful analysis of the circuit I couldn’t know what it did. The board was held in place by a few spots of solder. A forceful tug snapped it free of the housing leaving it attached only by the wires.
“Ahh-” the Doctor of Death began.
I held up a finger and glared at him, “I’m working.” I tilted the cannon hoping to see where the wires were attached. I thought back to the circuit diagrams of the GSC Mk 3 I had seen over twenty years ago. Nope, still no idea what the circuit did. Taking a firm grip on the wires, I yanked them out with a hard tug.
The Doctor of Death made a strangled gasping sound.
On the other side of the housing I flipped the main power switch and heard the distinctive hum of a Gurrola Sonic Cannon but with an undertone I had never heard before.
The Doctor of Death raised an eyebrow, “Really just like that it’s fixed?”
“You dare question The Scientist of Death. I’ll show you what happens to someone who questions me,” I said slipping back into the hyperbolic personal far easier than I thought possible. I adjusted the cannon for low power and fired at second chair I hadn’t been sitting in. A sharp clap filled my ears. I shouldn’t have heard anything; the joker who had tried modifying the gun must have damaged the damping shield. The chair slammed against the wall which shook from the sound pulse. I turned back to the Doctor of Death with my own eyebrow raised.
“I guess I should know better than to –” He was cut short by the door being kicked in by his receptionist, Susie. She aimed at me and I instinctively fired the sonic cannon at her. The sonic discharge again clapped in my ears and sent Susie flying back through the door into the hallway.
“What was that about?” I asked my heart pounding.
The Doctor of Death hurried around his desk and out the room to check on Susie. “You did fire a sonic cannon with out warning.”
“I guess I did.” I took a deep slow breath. “Still charging into a meeting with a…,” I squinted at the gun laying on the floor, “What is that?”
“Hmm, Morris Maser Gun.”
“Not very non-lethal,” I commented.
“In house security is allowed lethal weapons.”
“I guess times have changed.” As I powered off the sonic cannon and retracted the projection chamber, I noticed my ring finger twitch. “Well, now that you know how to fix them, you really don’t need me anymore.”
“The job offer is still on the table. I could use your tech skills.”
“I’m retired and I should stay that way.” I set the sonic cannon on the desk and picked up my purse.
“If you ever change your mind, just give me a call,” the Doctor of Death said as I walked out through the open door to the empty reception area.
Later that night I sat in the dark thinking. I had had fun today. Shooting Susie had been unfortunate but the rest was good. Holding a sonic cannon after years, examining the circuits and making the quick fix had felt like the old days.
Could I work for The Doctor of Death? I had thought my career as a supervillain was over. My plan had been to leave all that in the past after I transitioned. I didn’t need to return to being a face in the League of Evil. All I really wanted was resources and equipment for tinkering and improvement of tech. The heists and warehouse raids had just been a means to an end. But if The Doctor could provide me with all that…
A lamp snapped on. “Why are you in the dark?” Julie asked.
“I was thinking.” She walked around the room turning on lamps until the illumination of the room was at normal levels.
“Thinking about what?” she asked.
“I went to see that guy who recognized me yesterday.”
“Your friend?” she asked sitting down next to me.
“Ex-coworker,” I corrected. “He’s got his own business now and offered me a job.”
“That’s great. Why don’t you take it? It sounds like he’s cool with you and it’s got to pay better than retail.”
“It would pay better. I’m just not sure I want to get back into that … environment.”
“What’s so bad about it?”
“Nothing on the surface. It’s hard to explain. Some of the guys in the industry can get real confrontational.” Laser duel confrontational.
“Well it’s up to you if you take the job. I’ll support you either way.” Julie snaked an arm around me and pulled me into a hug. I brought my own arms up around her as well. How long could I lie about I was really doing? I wondered if our relationship would survive if she knew the truth about me.
Author note: The story doesn’t end here. The Scientist of Death hasn’t even really begun her new villainous adventures. Sorry it’s taken so long for me to get back to this story but more will be coming.