Deathlok walked past the two heavily armored guards into the main office of Four Freedoms Plaza. He was wearing his disguise consisting of a trench coat and fedora. He knew it was a corny disguise and really didn’t make him look any less suspicious, but it was the only disguise that he had and at least it disguised his features enough that no one could see his true identity underneath. He was desperate. That’s why he had come here in the first place. Not only did he need to come here to remove the infernal tracking beacon from his brain that had caused the psychotic cyborg, Eliminator, to track him down, but he needed to know who he was and where he came from. He knew he had some past life and he assumed that his key to it was the visions he had lately been having. Who was the little girl he kept seeing? Was she a part of his past or was she a figment of his imagination? He needed answers. He needed help. He knew this was the best place to come to.
There was a receptionist at the front desk reading the Daily Bugle. The front page of the paper told of numerous robot attacks all around the country. None of the incidents were known to be tied together. No common thread could be found. There was also an article reporting on a massive explosion of an electrical substation in one of New York’s less prestigious neighborhoods.
Deathlok approached the receptionist and she looked up from reading her horoscope. She was in her mid twenties with ear-length blonde hair. She wore black, thick rimmed glasses that detracted from her good looks. "Nice outfit," she said. "You fit right in around here."
"Thanks," Deathlok replied. "I love what you’ve done with the place. You’ve really spruced it up."
The receptionist replied, "Well thanks for the compliment, but that really wasn’t my work. I’m just a receptionist. Ben Grimm is the real interior decorator around here."
"Beautiful and a great sense of humor. Great combo."
"Who said I was joking?
"Listen, Casanova, I’m really busy here so if you’d kindly state your business here, I’d appreciate it greatly."
"I was wondering if Reed Richards was in."
"He is, but he can’t be bothered right now. He’s in the middle of important work. To see him you’ll need an appointment."
"This is an emergency. When is the earliest I can make an appointment?"
"You can make one right now, but I don’t know when you’ll be able to get in."
Deathlok was beginning to grow impatient. He decided to control his temper and act calm. "When is the earliest I can see Dr. Richards?"
"Well let’s see," she replied. She put down her paper and turned to her computer. She started typing at it.
Deathlok turned around to look at the two security guards. They were glaring at him and seemed very antsy. They obviously didn’t trust him. He knew he would have to play it cool to avoid any trouble.
The receptionist spoke up, "The earliest I can fit you in is next... wait, sorry... Two weeks from Tuesday. Would you like to set up an appointment?"
In his mind, Deathlok let out a scream of frustration. He calmly said, "I said this was an emergency. I must see Dr. Richards as soon as humanly possible. Can you please see if you can get me in any sooner? Sometime today would be best."
The receptionist seemed unfazed. She turned to her computer and unenthusiastically said, "Well why didn’t you say so? Here I’ll just enter you in as an emergency case and see when is the soonest I can get you in. Here it is. How’s two weeks from Tuesday sound?"
Deathlok clenched his fists as tightly as possible to keep from blowing up at the mouthy receptionist. He said, "Nevermind. I guess I’ll go elsewhere for my help. Thank you for your time."
The receptionist, with fake perkiness, said, "You’re very welcome. Have a nice day. I hope you enjoyed your time here at Four Freedoms Plaza. Please come again."
Deathlok turned and headed for the door. The guards were watching him closely the whole way. He kept his head down so his hat would keep his face concealed. When he got to the door he turned around and told the receptionist, "Oh, by the way, I was lying about the ‘beautiful’ thing. Have a nice day." With that he walked out the door.
Deathlok: Cybernetic living weapon. His past a mystery, he searches for clues to his identity. Who is he? Where did he come from? Anything is possible in a world where everything is more than meets the eye...
Issue #3 "I Need a Hero... or Four"
Deathlok stood on top of a tall office building that was right across the street from Four Freedoms Plaza. He looked up to the top of the massive building. Even though he was standing on the tallest nearby building, the headquarters of the Fantastic Four still dwarfed it. He would have to climb all the way to the top of the building if he wanted to get in. According to the files he had on Four Freedoms Plaza that would be the best place to sneak in. He also had schematics of the building stored in his internal computer that could tell him where he needed to go and also had a complete breakdown of the building’s security web. Deathlok was curious how his computer had attained that sort of information and why his creators thought he would need it. It was no doubt to be used for something less than friendly. The thought frightened him that a group of such noble and upstanding heroes were unaware of evil forces having total knowledge of their headquarters.
Deathlok thought to himself, "Well whatever reason it is that my creators gave me knowledge of this building, they’re going to be mighty disappointed that I’m going to use it to separate even farther from them."
Inside his head, Deathlok told his computer, "Alright, Computer, let’s go give Mr. Fantastic a little visit. You ready for the job?"
His computer replied, "AFFIRMATIVE."
In his head again, Deathlok said, "Okay then. Let’s do this." With that he ran to the edge of the roof farthest from Four Freedoms Plaza. He then turned back around and ran at full speed in the direction of the immense building across the street. When he reached the edge of the building he leapt with all of his might off the roof. He soared across the street and slammed hard into the side of Four Freedoms Plaza. He quickly dug his metal fingers into the concrete wall and from the tips of his feet ejected short blades, which also dug into the side.
Deathlok clung tightly to the side of the building and looked up. He still had about thirty floors to scale up. He then looked down to see how far the fall was, should he lose his grip. He gasped as he looked down. Without magnifying the image, he could barely see the street below, let alone any cars or pedestrians. Inside his head he asked his computer, "Hey, Computer, tell me that a fall from this height wouldn’t do us much harm."
His computer replied, "STATEMENT WOULD BE FALSE. A FALL FROM THIS HEIGHT WOULD CAUSE IRREPARABLE DAMAGE AND IMMINENT SHUT DOWN OF THIS UNIT."
Deathlok said, "You can’t just tell me one little lie?"
"Well, I guess I’m not as invincible as I thought. I never realized that I had any weaknesses till that twisted bastard, Eliminator, beat the slag out of me.
"Computer, do you think even if I make it all the way in I’ll be able to handle the Fantastic Four if worse comes to worse."
"ACCORDING TO AVAILABLE DATA ON SUPER HERO TEAM DESIGNATE: FANTASTIC FOUR, WEAPONS AT THIS UNIT’S DISPOSAL SHOULD PROVE SUFFICIENT."
"Okay, I’ll take your word for it. Let’s just hope it doesn’t come down to that."
Deathlok looked back up to the height of the building above him. "Well," he said to himself, "let’s get started." With that he began scaling the side of the massive building by digging his fingers and foot-blades into the sheer wall.
As he climbed higher he said to himself, "Eat your heart out, Spider-Man."
Several minutes later Deathlok pulled himself up to the roof of the immense skyscraper, panting and exhausted. He collapsed on the roof in fatigue. "Well that sucked," he said to himself.
Then to his computer he asked, "Okay, what’s our next move?"
"DEACTIVATE ALARM ON VENTILATION SHAFT AND PROCEED INTO BUILDING."
"A ventilation shaft?! Are you kidding me? That’s gotta be the oldest trick in the book!"
"VENTILATION SHAFT PROTECTED BY LEAST AMOUNT OF SECURITY. THEREFORE VENTILATION SHAFT IS MOST LOGICAL ENTRANCE."
"Sounds good to me. You’d better know what you’re talking about," Deathlok replied as he headed to said shaft. There was a grating covering it, which was connected to a security device. On the security device was a blinking red light. Deathlok held out his right hand to the security device. From his palm, ejected a three-inch metal probe. He inserted the probe into a port on the security device. In a matter of seconds, the blinking red light on the device turned off. Deathlok then ripped the grating right off of the shaft and proceeded to climb into the shaft.
Later Deathlok was still crawling through the seemingly endless maze of ventilation tunnels. Becoming worried at the lack of security they had encountered, he asked his computer, "Hey, Computer, we’ve been crawling through here forever. How have we lucked out that we haven’t run into any security measures since we got in here?"
His computer replied, "VENTILATION SYSTEM EQUIPPED WITH MINIMAL SECURITY AND THIS UNIT HAS AVOIDED TUNNELS THAT ARE OUTFITTED WITH SUCH DEVICES."
"And you know this all because of the little schematic that you’ve got in you. Where the heck did that schematic come from anyway? I mean it’s not like the FF post their security web on the Internet."
"THIS UNIT CONTAINS STORED INFORMATION FROM OVER EIGHT HUNDRED THOUSAND SOURCES."
"Man! They didn’t waste any space in you did they? You must be one of the smartest computers..." Deathlok was cut off as the ventilation shaft beneath him gave way and he fell through. He fell nearly fifty feet into a large, metal-walled, gymnasium-type room. He landed on the floor on his feet, taking very little damage.
He asked his computer, "How did that happen? We crawled through at least a mile of those vents without them giving out on us."
"VENTILATION SHAFT WAS PURPOSELY RIGGED TO GIVE WAY UNDER EXCESSIVE STRESS."
"What do you mean? Why didn’t you tell me that was going to happen?"
"EVENT WAS UNPREDICTED. FAULTY SHAFT NOT INDICATED IN THIS UNIT’S BUILDING SCHEMATIC."
"Well I’d sure like to know what other outdated information you..." Again Deathlok was cut off before he could finish. This time he was cut off by a wailing security alarm, blaring through the room. Deathlok tried covering his ear and his audio sensor to block out the annoying sound.
He then said, "Just great. Now the whole building knows we’re here. So much for sneaking in stealthily."
His computer immediately warned him, "AUTOMATIC GUN TURRETS BEING EJECTED FROM FIFTEEN SEPARATE AREAS IN ROOM. EVASIVE ACTION BEING INITIATED." Then, before Deathlok could even look around to see the gun turrets, his body immediately ducked and went into a somersault. Sure enough, bullets went ripping through the air where he had just stood. Deathlok then leapt into the air dodging more bullets. He jumped, ducked, dodged, and ran all over the room keeping just out of the way of the guns' sites. Every now and then he would feel a bullet whiz frighteningly close to his face.
While he was performing acrobatics that he never knew he had in him, he told his computer, "Can you target and take out these guns while still dodging their shots?"
"AFFIRMATIVE," it replied.
"Then let’s do it." Then, while in the middle of a flying somersault, Deathlok reached into his side holsters and whipped out his two blasters. As soon as that was done, Deathlok’s computer began targeting and destroying the gun emplacements. One after another, the machine guns would explode into a ball of flames as they met with Deathlok’s deadly aim. All the while he was still rolling, flipping, and diving out of their way. Not even a minute had passed and all of the gun turrets had been destroyed.
Deathlok finally rested, crouched on the floor. He was panting. Smoke was floating out of the barrels of his blasters. He said out loud, "Jeez, coming here is starting to seem like more trouble than it’s worth."
Then behind him, a gruff, low voice said, "Buddy, you haven’t experienced trouble yet." Immediately, Deathlok spun around and brought his guns to bear. Standing in a doorway to the room about fifty feet away were four familiar figures that didn’t look too happy to see him.
Deathlok’s computer said, "SUPER HERO TEAM DESIGNATE: FANTASTIC FOUR HAS ENTERED ROOM."
Deathlok replied, "Thanks. I never would have noticed."
In a high-class restaurant, Maxwell Dillon, also known as the supervillain Electro, walked over to a table in the corner and sat down. His guest was already there and waiting for him. Both of them were wearing fine suits, trying to put aside their public personas for a more refined look.
The other man said, "What took you so long, Maxwell? It’s highly impolite to invite me here and then show up late."
Electro replied, "Traffic was insane. And don’t call me Maxwell. Only refer to me as Electro."
His associate laughed to himself. It was a wicked laugh. It was the laugh of a man who wasn’t used to taking orders. Electro became nervous and wished he hadn’t said that. The other man said, "Last I remember, it is YOU who came to ME for a favor. As long as you need my assistance, I will call you whatever I choose... MAXWELL."
Electro tried to act calm and not reveal that he totally regretted what he had just said. "Fine, call me whatever you want. It’s not important. What’s important is your word that you’ll help me with my problem."
The other man calmly replied, "You see the problem is that you haven’t told me what you want of me. I won’t give you my word on anything until you tell me what it is you want me to do."
Electro began, "Okay, you know about my little assassination attempt a couple of weeks ago?"
The other man began laughing again, even harder than before. This time he truly was amused. Electro blushed in embarrassment. Inside he was raging with anger and it sickened him that he had to put up with this kind of treatment. Unfortunately, he had no other choice. The other man stopped laughing and replied, "How could I forget, Maxwell? It was on the national news for God’s sake! I’ll never forget the look on your face as that freak kept coming after you, despite your electrical blasts."
Electro slammed his hand on the table and through gritted teeth cursed, "That’s exactly what I’m talking about! That lunatic made a complete ass of me! I want revenge! That’s why I’ve come to you. You and the rest of the world know that I’m powerless against him, but you... the rest of the guys... you could all take him out. It is HE who would be powerless before YOU!"
The other man reached for the glass of water before him and took a long drink while Electro waited for a reply. The man finished his drink and smacked his lips. He spoke up. "Let me get this straight: You’re asking me to destroy this... thing so you mayhave revenge?"
"What kind of idiot do you take me for, Maxwell? I’m not some sort of hired gun who will kill off anyone one of my associates asks me to. I’m far above revenge... Especially for someone else’s gain."
"‘Above revenge?!’ You made half of your criminal career out of revenge!"
"MADE, Maxwell! That’s the key word. I’ve changed. I don’t do the whole ‘attacking superheroes blindly’ thing anymore. I’m a businessman. I use my brain. If a superhero has the audacity to try to get in my way... THEN I will do away with him. I don’t go looking for trouble anymore."
"Okay, it’s below your image. I see that now. But what about all of the times I’ve helped you out? You’ve ordered me around your fair share of times. I feel it’s only fair that you pay me back for my loyal service to you."
The man laughed again, and again Electro cringed. He wished he were a better talker. The man replied, "There’s a reason I ‘order you around,’ Maxwell. That’s because I can crush you." He emphasized these last two words by nearly shouting them. Electro looked around the restaurant to see if anyone was looking.
Electro then turned back to the man sitting across from him. He had enough of these threats and belittling. He leaned forward and whispered, "Fine then. You want something out of this? I’ve had this one up my sleeve, but was hoping I wouldn’t have to use it. Unfortunately, you’re such a pompous ass that you leave me no choice."
The other man’s jaw dropped open in surprise. Then it closed into a tight frown and his eyebrows tightly wrinkled together. This time Electro wasn’t afraid. He knew that what he was going to say next would more than make up for angering the other man. The other man, through clenched teeth, slowly said, "This had better be good."
Electro continued, "Trust me, it is. You see, I figure that if you take Deathlok out you can keep him for your own. Then you could find out what makes him tick. You can use whatever knowledge you gain from him on yourself. This guy is one sophisticated piece of hardware. I’ve seen him in action. Just think of having the same power he has at your disposal."
The man was silent. He rubbed his chin for a moment then unenthusiastically said, "He would make an interesting specimen. I imagine the technology used to create him must be highly advanced. Possibly something ahead of our time.
"The problem is this: If you say he is so powerful that his technology will benefit me so much, what makes you think I can handle him? And if I can handle him, doesn’t that mean he’s really no better than me and therefore not worth my trouble?"
Electro enthusiastically replied, "That’s exactly the thing! I don’t think you’ll be able to handle him alone. I think you’ll need more help if you know what I mean."
The man was silent in thought again and then said, "Very well. You’ve got yourself a deal... under one condition: You must gather the others."
Electro was disappointed that he still had to do work, but he couldn’t afford losing this help. He replied, "I’ll try, but some of the other guys aren’t available anymore."
The other man said, "Then find replacements. I’m sure there are others even more skilled than they are."
Electro stood up and reached his right hand out. "Alright, you’ve got a deal. I’ll get right on it."
The other man took his hand and shook it. "Very well. Good luck, Electro." Electro turned and started leaving before realizing how the man had addressed him. He was halfway to the door when he did. He stopped and turned around with a big grin on his face. The other man was smiling contentedly back. Electro pointed at him as if to say that he had caught on. He turned again and left the restaurant.
The other man sat at the table silently for a few moments then said, "The idiot didn’t even get any food..."
The Fantastic Four walked into the large room looking like they were ready for a fight. Instantly Johnny Storm flamed on and turned into the Human Torch. He then took to the air and flew right after Deathlok. Reed Richards reached up and shouted, "Johnny, wait!"
Johnny didn’t listen. He flew straight at Deathlok and said, "Break into our home will you? Here’s what happens to intruders!" With that, he threw several fireballs at Deathlok who quickly dodged all of them.
Mr. Fantastic, Invisible Woman, and the Thing watched on to see how the intruder would respond to Johnny’s attack. However, the Thing wasn’t liking it. He turned to Reed and said, "What are we waiting for, Stretch? We’ve gotta help out Hothead."
Mr. Fantastic put his hand on his old friend’s shoulder and calmly said, "No, Ben. Due to Johnny’s impulsiveness, we have to see how our visitor reacts. We still aren’t sure if he’s a threat or not."
The Thing couldn’t believe this, "What are we supposed to do, wait until he kills Johnny? This is the guy who attacked the president!" (See Deathlok #1)
The calm Sue Richards interjected, "We won’t let him harm Johnny. Remember, Ben, this same man saved Captain America’s life."
Meanwhile, the Human Torch was still angrily chucking fireballs at Deathlok like a madman. Deathlok kept avoiding them. He pleaded with the young superhero, "Please listen to me. I don’t mean you any harm. I didn’t come here for a fight."
The Human Torch laughed. "Sure," he said, "all friendly visitors come in through the ventilation shaft." He then held out his hand and created a tall cylinder of flame that surrounded Deathlok. It then slowly started closing. He continued, "I don’t buy sob stories from would-be assassins."
Deathlok was getting frustrated. He thought to himself, "This pleading is getting me nowhere. The little punk won’t even listen to reason. I haven’t even attacked..." He then got an idea. He realized the one way to shut up the Human Torch. It was something he had come up with back when he was planning out this whole mission. It was something he was going to save until negotiating had failed. The Human Torch’s fire cylinder was closing quickly and starting to get awfully hot. Deathlok could hear the rest of the FF telling Johnny to back off. The Human Torch was too enraged to listen to them. Apparently Deathlok had no other choice.
Deathlok reached into his backpack and pulled out a special grenade. He immediately attached it to the barrel of his gun. He then aimed the gun at Johnny Storm. He stopped before he fired. He realized the Human Torch was probably shielded from the front by one of his sister’s invisible force fields. He quickly moved his aim and fired.
The grenade sailed right past the Human Torch who began laughing. He said, "Nice shot, Ug..." Before he could finish his sentence the grenade exploded right behind him. Deathlok had aimed it at the wall where it rebounded and immediately bounced right behind the Human Torch. From the grenade spewed a huge wad of gray goo that spilled all over the Human Torch. The superhero tried pulling it off, but it just spread until it covered his entire body, suffocating his flame. Johnny then fell to the floor powerless. The force of his fall knocked the young superhero unconscious.
The cylinder of fire around Deathlok went out, and not a moment too soon. Deathlok could feel his human skin tingling from a very minor burn.
The rest of the Fantastic Four immediately reacted. Simultaneously Reed and Sue shouted, "Johnny!"
Ben Grimm on the other hand was enraged. He ran after Deathlok at full speed yelling, "Torch!" Mr. Fantastic and the Invisible Woman followed shortly behind him.
Deathlok saw the three coming after him and thought to himself, "Great! Now what have I gotten myself into?"
He then addressed his computer. "Computer," he said, "run program for best possible course of action with least amount of injury to the Fantastic Four."
The Thing charged at Deathlok with his fists clenched tightly in the air. He shouted, "It’s clobberin’ time!" Deathlok stood his ground. When the Thing reached Deathlok, he swung his massive fist as hard as he could at the cyborg’s head. Deathlok just ducked below it. While Deathlok was low, he reached his arms around the Thing’s waist. Then he used only a portion of his massive strength to stand up straight, lifting the Thing off the ground and carrying him on his shoulder. The Thing couldn’t believe what was going on. He was helpless in the position Deathlok had put him in.
Deathlok saw Reed Richard’s running at him, ready to attack. Deathlok heaved the Thing straight at Richard’s. Reed couldn’t believe he was seeing Ben flying through the air after him. Reed immediately stretched his body out of the way of the giant, rocky missile. The Thing sailed right by him, just barely missing him. The Thing then slammed into a wall of the room and fell to the floor unconscious.
Deathlok noticed that Reed was the only one left. Johnny was still laying on the floor. Then Deathlok realized who was missing. He turned up his audio sensor. He could hear the steps of a woman sneaking up behind him about fifteen feet away. He thought to himself, "So the Invisible Woman thought she could sneak up on me, eh?"
Inside his head, he commanded his computer, "Computer, locate source of footstep noise and target."
Reed was slowly advancing on Deathlok. He wasn’t going to attack the cyborg. He was just to be a diversion while Sue sneaked up from behind him. From there she would slap Reed’s inhibitor device on the back of Deathlok’s neck, shutting down his motor skills. Reed kept coming forward like he was ready to attack and Deathlok kept his eye on him, apparently knowing nothing.
Reed was shocked when Deathlok pulled out one of his blasters and, without even taking his eyes off of Reed, reached behind him and blasted the thin air. The shot exploded in the middle of the air and there was the sound of a woman’s gasp. Sue then turned visible and fell to the floor unconscious.
Reed was enraged. Now this creature had gone too far. He stretched the upper half of his body all the way over to Deathlok and shouted, "You’ll pay for that, Monster!" Just before Mr. Fantastic reached him, Deathlok dropped both of his guns to the floor and raised his hands in the air.
Reed stopped where he was, completely perplexed. Deathlok said, "Now that it’s just you and me, do you think we could talk?"
Reed couldn’t believe what this creature was saying. He shouted, "You break into my home, you attack us, you shoot my wife, and you want to talk?!"
Deathlok calmly replied, "Hey, I wanted the least trouble possible. I tried meeting with you formally, but they wouldn’t let me in. I tried not to fight you but you attacked me. All I did was defend myself.
"Your friends and wife are fine. I shot the Human Torch with a flame retardant grenade. The only reason he’s not still conscious is because of his fall. We both know the Thing can take more of a licking than I gave him. And as for your wife, the Invisible Woman, I hit her with a very weak stun ray is all. In a manner of minutes, she won’t feel a thing."
Reed’s face turned serious. He was still stretched across the room. His upper body was hanging in the air over Deathlok. He stretched his upper body back to his legs and then walked over to Deathlok. Calmly and smoothly he asked, "Who are you and what do you want here?"
Deathlok replied, "My name is Deathlok. That’s really all I know about myself. I don’t know anything about my past or even who made me."
Reed asked, "There have been others who have gone by the name Deathlok and they looked a lot like you. Do you have some connection to them?"
Deathlok answered, "As far as I know, I don’t. I have knowledge of them and I’m sure that they are completely different cyborgs from me. Whether we were created by the same people or not, I have no clue.
"As for your other question; the reason why I’m here: I need your help, Dr. Richards. My creators, whoever they are, built me for evil. It was only by taking back control of my mind that I was able to overcome their programming. That’s why half the world saw me attacking the president. Apparently my creators are mad that I rebelled. They sent another cyborg killer after me to get rid of me (See Deathlok #2). They failed.
"They can find me whenever they want because they’ve implanted a tracking beacon somewhere in my brain. I want to get rid of it, but it won’t be an easy procedure. My onboard computer tells me that there are safeguards to make sure I don’t take the thing out."
Reed asked, "And you think I can do this for you?"
Deathlok answered, "No, Dr. Richard’s. I PRAY that you can do this for me. I’ve worked too hard to get back what humanity I have. I won’t be their slave again. I don’t want to have anything to do with them. If you can take this thing out of me, I will be cut away from their influence for good."
Reed thought for a moment then said, "Well, I guess I can always try."
Deathlok went on, "And, Dr. Richard’s, while you’re working around up there, can you see if there’s some way to restore my memory? I don’t remember anything about who I used to be. The only possible key I have is I keep having these visions of a little girl. I assume that I knew her once."
Reed answered, "I’ll see what I can do, Deathlok. However, I have no idea what I’m going to find when I open you up, so I can’t give you any promises."
On the floor beside them, Johnny Storm groaned and started moving. He pushed himself off of his stomach and sat on the floor, rubbing his head. He looked at the gray goo covering him and said, "What the hell is this crap?" Reed and Deathlok both laughed.
Reed then put his hand on Deathlok’s shoulder and said, "Listen, Deathlok, I’m very sorry about the welcome you received."
Deathlok smiled and said, "Don’t even worry about it. You had every right to do what you did. That’s what I get for not making an appointment in advance."
Several hours later, Deathlok awoke on a white bed in a laboratory. For a second he forgot where he was and jumped to a sitting position and reached for his guns. Then he saw Reed Richards standing beside him. He breathed a sigh of relief. He said, "Sorry, Mr. Fantastic. This just reminded me too much of a familiar nightmare."
Reed stepped forward. He was wearing a white lab coat and face mask. He pulled the mask down and said, "It’s alright, Deathlok. I can imagine you’ve been through a lot."
Deathlok said, "You bet. I mean I... I..." Deathlok stopped. He realized he had no more memories than he did before. He turned to Reed and said, "You couldn’t do it could you?"
Reed exhaled loudly as if ready to say something he didn’t want to, "Well, I have some good news and I have some bad news. The good news is that I located and removed the homing beacon. You were right. It was a tricky piece of work. I know maybe one other person who could have taken that out without killing you."
Deathlok almost didn’t care. He wanted to know what Reed was getting at. "What’s the bad news, Doc?"
Reed continued, "I couldn’t figure out anyway to restore your memories. I’ve seen many things in my day, many kinds of technology, but I’ve never seen anything like what you have in your head. It was like the circuitry was perfectly woven directly into your brain. I couldn’t figure out how it worked for the life of me. Any other scientific mind I know would tell you the same thing.
I don’t know what to tell you about your memories. It’s possible that you’re merely suffering from a temporary case of amnesia and eventually you’ll regain full memory. This is a good possibility if you’re truly seeing glimpses of your past. However, it’s also possible that your brain has been wiped and maybe those are just glitches that weren’t taken out. In that case you may never get your memories back."
A look of sadness covered Deathlok’s face. It was a look of utter defeat. He quietly said, "Oh. I see."
Reed said, "But I honestly can’t tell you what will happen, Deathlok. Chances are that if you have any memories at all, the rest are buried in there somewhere."
Deathlok looked up and said, "I can only hope. After all, hope is the only thing those bastards left me with."
Shortly after, Deathlok left and Reed and Sue showed him to the door. They stood watching him walk down the street.
Sue turned to her husband and asked, "Are you sure he should be leaving so soon after having brain surgery?"
Reed kept watching Deathlok as if in daze and replied, "He has some sort of nanotechnology that heals him at a rapid rate; even his organics. He’s as good as new already." He continued to stare off as if his mind were somewhere else.
Sue noticed that something was wrong with him and asked, "Reed, why are you so distant? Something’s on your mind."
Reed turned to Sue as if finally noticing she was there. He answered, "It’s his technology, Sue. It’s unlike anything I’ve ever seen, and I’ve seen lots of strange technologies. It astounds me that even though I have been exposed to numerous alien technologies, whatever he's made from is completely beyond my knowledge. He’s highly advanced beyond the Deathlok cyborgs of the past. He’s definitely more than meets the eye."
Deathlok walked into the abandoned building he had made his home. He walked through the backdoor. He always did, so he wouldn’t be seen from the street.
He was about to unlatch his gun belt and throw it on the floor when he noticed something different. All throughout the large open loft that made the main floor there were numerous boxes spread around. Some were labeled with words like "dishes" and "clothes." Deathlok was confused. He had been here for nearly two weeks and hadn’t once run into a sign of life in this building except for the occasional mouse, and the all-too-often cockroach. He was sure this place was abandoned. Then why were someone’s boxes thrown in here?
Behind him, he heard the crash of a box being dropped. He quickly spun around. Standing in the doorway was a very attractive woman with brown hair down to her shoulders. In front of her was a box marked "fragile" that looked to be in bad shape. She had a look on her face that was a mixture of confusion and anger. Simultaneously her and Deathlok asked each other, "Who the hell are you?!"
To Be Continued...