Like many famous people, he’s smaller in person than you imagine. You’d be unwise to mention this to him as there’s always a chance he may decide to put you in a baroquely life-threatening situation from which only someone like Spiderman or Superman could save you. The Spectre laughs when I tell him my fears. This is not in itself surprising, you would expect a person well known for his infamy to simply laugh at the fears of a celebrity reporter, but his laughter has a different source than mere malice and sociopathology. He laughs because at one time such a comment would have sent him into a homicidal rage.
We’re sitting in a tastefully appointed uber modern Penthouse apartment somewhere in, around or under New York City. I’m not sure where exactly as I was abducted as I left for work this morning and was spirited here (after being rendered unconscious through some noxious spray) with a bag over my head. The beautiful views through the floor to ceiling windows are the products of incredibly lifelike holographs. They show wildly discordant scenery (a mountain range at sunrise, a desert at sunset, the New York skyline as would be seen from the Atlantic etc.).
“Obviously my secret lair must remain secret but there is no reason for it to be uncomfortable,” my host confides as he offers me more green tea. I decline, my nervousness combined with the already copious amounts of tea I have ingested to take away the aftertaste of that gas, have left me with a bladder fit near to burst. I am afraid to ask him to use the bathroom. One never knows what might set off these Supervillains.
He leans back in his leather armchair, adjusts his tasteful silk robe and steeples his beautifully manicured long tapering fingers.
“I have agreed to this interview after years of declining such opportunities because I am no longer afraid of you.” Afraid of me?, I ask, incredulous. I’m sure he has no difficulty asking to use the bathroom whenever he feels like it! He looks puzzled by my comment and continues.
“Well of course I am not afraid of your puny physique or clearly limited intellect. What I was afraid of was your opinion or how you would express that opinion to the world. Essentially, I was uncomfortable with who I was and thus, at the slightest perceived criticism, I would fly into a rage and at the end of it often have ruined quite valuable outfits with blood and such. I constantly felt the need to justify myself and my actions. For that reason, I would often get into quite long-winded explanations of my behaviour while I had various superheroes in my grasp. Generally, they would either successfully escape or manage to seriously injure me and foil my plans. But that’s all changed now.”
I squirm in my seat trying to get comfortable. His red eyes flash dangerously.
“Are you listening?” I hurriedly acknowledge that I’m fascinated and surreptitiously pinch myself to try and distract myself from the increasingly urgent demands of my kidneys.
He continues, “Recently I came to the realization that I’m not really a frustrated scientist whose ideas were laughed at by a corrupt and bloated scientific community. Nor am I a man who lost his true love so she could become the glorified whore of some nauseatingly virtuous superhero. I am not even a once great man whose mind became unhinged due to the incredible powers I discovered through my dangerous experiments after I lost out on respect, love and human companionship. No. What I really am is an incredibly evil super genius with a lust for power and that I am really good at what I do. It has been incredibly freeing.”
Prometheus Unbound Story cont. on page 25