I’m not one to brag, but I learned most of the lessons the Red Room had to teach me well. Very well. The lessons I wanted to learn anyway, infiltration, evasion, assassination, strategic planning, being a pretty good bowler, things of this nature. I say most because it turns out that I’m not so great at destabilizing a country and bringing about a regime change, which was covered. Then again maybe going 0-1 isn’t a big enough sample size to say that I’m not good at it. How often does the CIA succeed when they try to organize a coup? Probably not even half the time.
The thing of it is that bringing down a government, even a small one, isn’t really a one-woman job. Even if that woman is me. Generally you need at least a team of 4 to 6 to pull something like that off reliably. In retrospect what I should have done is recruited a couple other former Widows. I haven’t really kept in touch with the old boarding school murder orphan gang though, I don’t know who’s being mind-controlled by a rouge Ultron-bot and who’s dead and who’s a triple agent and who’s a trainer at Avengers Community College Regional Annex in Tupelo and who murders bad guys to deliver their souls to Satan.
Or I could have hooked up with that skull-faced Punisher knockoff guy. That dude loves overthrowing governments. He might be dead though. I think the Winter Soldier’s daughter shot him through the eyeball in that Pakistan mess. In any event what I did do is go it alone. It wasn’t a terrible idea, I had my training and 80 million in the bank. I had a shot.
The first step was to gear up. Since the Fixer was stuck in a stable time loop and Fabricator was currently dead on account of having been murdered by his wife and Tasklord was in prison again and Sasha Hammer hates my guts (don’t ask) I decided to go my own way for the tech.
I approached a small robotics software/hardware company founded by AIM wash-outs and with a combination of threatening to turn them in for money laundering, a little flirting, and offering to let them take a look at my Pom-Pom battlesuit they agreed to help me build my robot army.
Okay, not a robot army, more like a robot tactical squad because those things are expensive. 80 mil doesn’t get you as far in the robot soldier world as I would have liked. What I did pure genius, if I do say so myself, which I do. I had the mirror universe Big Bang dorks reverse engineer my suit to create an armored shell of sorts with rocket feet, reflex enhancers, and supercharged punchin’ gauntlets with frickin’ lasers for the low low cost of half a mil each.
We knocked out 80 of those bad boys in a few months. It helped a lot that Benny had given me Axis-Superman’s lightning wand because as far as I can tell it’s just unlimited free energy. Who’s going to pilot them you’re asking. Well that’s the genius part.
After the helicarrier heist I mentioned to the real It Girl that some dude had been impersonating her and we kept in touch after that. The real It Girl was hooking up with some other social media villain who was a member of the 800th version of the Master of Evil, which isn’t important in and of itself, but the girlfriend is friends with a mutant by the name of Pete who has the fantastic ability to “clone” non-living things under a certain size with a million other caveats.
It’s a weird power but the end result is that the most useful thing he can do is replicate small pieces of technology. He’s not exactly “in the game” but he does go to jail sometimes because the courts can’t decide conclusively if using your mutant ability to bootleg iPhones is illegal or not.
I did buy one robot, one of those little flying surveillance balls that no one is even sure who originally made anymore (probably the Terror) and I had old Petey Pants replicate that 80 times for a hundred grand. I wired those puppies up to control the suits, programmed them to obey me, and Bob’s your uncle. Small robot army on the cheap.
That was the high-water mark for the rule my own nation project.
I don’t think it was something that Helen did intentionally but somehow I ended up even worse off financially than I was before the helicarrier heist. I didn’t get a cut of the profit from selling the helicarrier and everyone got to keep their suits, which are worth millions, but my suit was wrecked during the heist. I didn’t even end up getting the 10 grand I was owed by the Barrel Brigade because Jack went back to his own time. Where was his samurai code of honor when it was time to pay me?!
I don’t think Helen left me broke on purpose, I really don’t, that’s just the way it worked out, everyone got rich off of that job but me. That’s what I get for pushing her away. I’m sure she would have taken care of my if I hadn’t been so clingy. Malligator reached out to me because the AIM lady from the helicarrier is the same one who’s been shaking me down for my Extremeis payment. I was hoping since she got all those quinjets she would say we were even, but no such luck. Supervillains am I right? They never give forgive a debt. No matter how rich they are.
Malligator vouched for me with her and with him acting as a go-between the AIM lady agreed that all my debts would be forgiven if I broke her daughter out of super-jail. The daughter that she had with her Steve Rogers clone that she made after a bunch of Aliens 4 gross mistakes. You know the one. That Malligator is good people I tell you.
AIM daughter wasn’t locked up in the Raft or in Reed Richards another dimension prison or one of the really tough ones, but she was still in a super-prison. This caper was going to be harder than the helicarrier heist was to start with and we were going to have to pull it off without Helen to plan the whole thing to perfection.
I almost called her to see if she would help me out but it would have killed me if she had said no. I didn’t want to do the job at all, but what choice did I have? It helped that Malligator and his crew were going to be in on it, otherwise I probably wouldn’t have gone along with it. Good guy that Malligator.
The jail break went off without a hitch, I mean without a hitch by supercrime standards. The daughter hates the mother and she bolted on us immediately after we got her off the grounds and I was almost killed by Saberclaw (one of Wolverine’s 15 illegitimate children) but that’s about as “without a hitch” as you can expect things to go in the supervillain game.
Ironically, the team that showed up to stop us from busting out Steve Roger’s illegitimate clone baby lady included a female Captain America sporting what looked like forty pounds of curly blonde hair. I have no idea how she keeps that much volume in her locks with so much hair. Maybe that’s part of the super-soldier serum they don’t tell mention very often.
Quick tangent, I know the Avengers started this crap but heroes need to build their teams more equitably. Blondie showed up with a sword guy, Saberclaw and Golden Woman in tow. So their squad is made up of two basically non-powered people, one cocaine bear murder badger, and then a lady who’s Green Lantern. That doesn’t match up. At least with Superman and Batman you have brains and brawn, but what is sword guy going to do when a Green Lantern level villain shows up? It makes no sense.
I never came up with a reason but I had a hard time finding work after the prison job. I can’t explain why but it seemed like my reputation was in the toilet when I should have been in the most demand in my career after what we pulled off. All I could get line up was some low-level smash and grab robberies with a group of what was left of the Lizard Tribe and couple of the Morlocks. There was some talk about going to Santo Marco for a big job but that’s all it was, nothing came of it.
When I first started out I didn’t care about money so much. I was just having fun. Somehow being out of debt made things worse for me on that front. I wanted to make a living and have nice things. A place to live would have been good. I ended up taking some jobs I really didn’t like. I’m a supervillain but I’m not evil you know?
Probably because I was doing things I didn’t like that I was doing I started partying a little too hard. I got into this “super-drug” called Tempo. I convinced myself that with Extremeis it wouldn’t really hurt me and that I couldn’t get hooked on the stuff. Maybe I believe it at the time or maybe I just didn’t care.
I remember when I was kid my mom being very serious about presenting me with a paper she printed out that she wanted me to sign pledging that I wouldn’t use drugs. Must have been something she saw on Dateline. I thought it was funny at the time, A because of all the drugs I took for my medical condition and B because I couldn’t even leave the house so where was I going to get drugs? That memory made me feel bad sometimes when I was getting high.
I was 100% wrong. I wasn’t immune from all consequences, instead the interaction between Extremeis and Tempo really messed me up. I developed some kind of respiratory issue problems and crazy joint pain. And as things got worse my powers would suddenly stop working after only a few minutes. Like they were shorting out. I almost died finding that out when my powers abandoned me fighting some Hulk lady dressed like a 90’s singer.
What I was most afraid of was blowing up of course, that the Temp was messing up whatever balance was keeping me alive. I asked around and I’m almost certain I’m the only Extremeis person left who hasn’t exploded (or been murdered by Tony Stark). That’s the only reason I stopped using Tempo. I wish I could say that I had the balls to get off Tempo on my own, but I was just afraid to die is what it was. I went to AIM lady and begged her to help me.
She agreed to help me. Things were about to get a lot worse.