Operation Chimera

Julius was sleeping when the director entered his holding chamber. A loud buzzing noise woke him up, just in time to see the spindly man approach the viewing window. The intercom blared into the room, it was like needles in his head.

"Mr. Maddox, wakey wakey." The director said in his usual condescending manner.

"Ya know, the only thing I have to do in this God forsaken box, is sleep. Yet, you won't even let me enjoy that." Julius grumbled as he rolled out of bed.

"You're government property now Mr. Maddox, you don't decide when you sleep, I do."

Julius stood up and stretched, then mosied his way over to the window. "So what do you want... Eugene?" Of course Julius new the director hated it when people called him by his first name.

The director made an effort to conceal his frustration, but it was a futile one. "Hm... well Mr. Maddox, I have a problem. A big problem."

"Oh do tell." Julius sneered as he rested his chin in his palms.

"Very funny... this is no joking matter. You see, after your apprehension five years ago, we hadn't encountered any metas above a tier 3, it's almost like you were literally one of a kind. Most of the metas we've found since you checked into our lovely hotel here, have been relatively insipid. They don't pose any real threat, and their abilities are little more than parlor tricks." The director was needling Julius' ego. He knew Julius would be vexed by the notion of a more powerful meta running around. He'd built quite the reputation for himself in the outside world; after all, he was the most wanted man on earth for nearly a decade.

Julius sighed, "Why don't you just tell me what you want? Right now it seems like you stopped by just to blow smoke up my ass."

"Oh, tsk tsk. You never were a patient one." The director taunted. "What I want, Mr. Maddox, is your help. 2 weeks ago I sent my best recovery agent to capture two teenage metas. Little did we know, these two were a lot more of a challenge than our Intel had led us to believe."

"Wait... you want me to help you abduct teenage girls? I'm gonna have to pass on that one. If I were you, I wouldn't be telling people you're into that kind of stuff." Julius needled the director right back. They had this dynamic... when someone is the only person you speak to in 5 years, weird things can happen.

"Clever as always Mr. Maddox. But I'm afraid the situation is far more dire. One of these girls destroyed an entire town with an unprecedented lightening storm. She killed 430 people in the span of 18 seconds, while also causing over $210 million dollars in property damage. She almost beat your record, but at least with you it was never civilians..." The director's tone had become decidedly more stern.

Julius raised an eyebrow. That was impressive, maybe he should meet this chick... team up. They could do some damage to these company man douchebags. "I'll admit, that's interesting." Julius replied.

"Oh you haven't heard anything yet. The other girl... is a shape-shifter." The director paused for dramatic effect, and it worked.

Julius was excited now. In all his years he'd never met a shifter. He'd met strongmen, speedsters, braniacs, and even some weaker mind movers, but never a shifter. Theoretically, shifters would be just as, if not more, powerful than he was. One second you're a 10,000lbs Rhinoceros, the next you're a barely visible flea? The possibilities were endless. "I suppose you're telling me all this because your recovery agent has gone radio silent? Now you need someone else to hunt these girls down... so what do I get out of it?"

The director didn't respond to Julius' first comment, but to the second, "Well, for starters, you can get out of the box..."

"Uh huh.. and what's to stop me from snapping my fingers and popping your beady little head off your shoulders?" Julius inquired.

"Upon your arrest, you were rendered unconscious for several hours. During this time we implanted a microchip at the base of your brainstem. This served two purposes. One, we could track you if you managed to escape. Two, no matter where you were on earth, I could hit a switch and.. pop your head off your shoulders."

"Ah, well that's a fair incentive I'd say. But I'm gonna need a little more bang for my buck. I mean, I've been I here for 5 years. I've grown to like it. So what else can you give me?" Julius had never had the opportunity to haggle before. He liked it.

The director sighed, "Well your freedom is absolutely off the table. But, if this works out we can see about putting you on a permanent task force."

"Freedom? Pffft... I just wanted a fucking TV. Get me those streaming services, a PS5 with a bunch of games and.. my own food menu. Then I'll hunt your CW villains for you." Julius wasn't entirely serious, but none of things would hurt either.

"Ah.. okay, fine. We'll get those things for you then. Is that all?"

"Nope. One more thing, if I'm going out in the world, I want my tailored suits. You'll kill me before I wear one of those hideous tactical outfits." Julius stated bluntly.

"That can also be arranged. So, are you ready to see the blue sky again?"

Julius couldn't hide the grin. Of course he was ready. "Ya know Eugene, I think this could be the start of a really beautiful friendship."

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