prompt 004

[WP] You used to be the most powerful evil overlord humanity has ever seen. Then you turned over a new leaf, and your empire is a utopia. The only person who refuses to believe you’ve changed? The hero who has tried to stop you for decades.

.:. T.I. Pendraig

The International Leylines may have been a headache to initiate, and perhaps several more heads had rolled than was strictly necessary at the time, but generations removed from that unsightly mess, who was to know? But the fruition of all those years of planning — discouraging some, guiding others, and yes, a bit of controlled chaos…ah, well worth the trouble. Well worth the headache. It was old history at this point, besides. There was a time and place to drudge up old ghosts which was not now; and yet, on a morning fit for relaxation — tea and toast, perhaps even an extra helping of jam — and yet, there was Frank.

Who really needed to get out more. Really.

Theo sighed quietly and set the stout mug back on its glass coaster. Handcrafted by a local birdwatcher’s son, this one sported dancing crows along its rim — best to keep it away from Frank. He’d smashed the last one without an ounce of remorse, the hypocrite.

‘Frank, to what do I owe the dubious pleasure of your company on this fine morning?’

Frank, in his customary costume of blinding green Lycra and fuzzy boots, smoothly detached himself from the shadows by the open villa doors of the balcony. If the sensors hadn’t picked up his signature some four minutes prior, it might have been impressive.

‘I take no pleasure in being here, in doing this, but if no one else will do it, then it falls to me.’ He held at his side an eighties-era blaster; very hefty, very pricey, and quite deadly if aimed properly.

Theo said nothing, staring down the muzzle of the very illegal weapon.

Apparently they hadn’t all been disposed of following the Galau Treaties — it would bear looking into. Steam curled up from Theo’s mug, the only movement discernible for several heartbeats, before Frank spoke again.

‘You will answer for the lives you have taken,–‘ he took a deliberate step forward, ‘–for the lives you have destroyed. Whatever your evil plans are now, this ends here.’ He took another step forward, eyes narrowed in righteous anger, sliding the charge plate along the barrel as he did so. And still, Theo did not move to stand.

My,’ breathed Theo mockingly, ‘how far have you fallen.’ A smirk was in the words.

‘Don’t patronise me,’ Frank warned in a hard voice.

‘Patronise? Certainly not. But perhaps I might correct your blind assumptions. Surely you have seen the vibrancy of the oceans, the vitality of the people? Surely in your travels to find me again, you have felt the magic pulse beneath your feet? Who do you think brought that into being, if not me?’

Frank took another step, forward and right over the golden-hued rug, so as to stand directly facing his nemesis. ‘Of course it was you. But whatever you’re planning, it won’t succeed. Today you finally die, and your evil with you.’

Theo scowled. ‘What a pest.’ The whine of the blaster initiating drowned out the words as Frank released the trigger, but did nothing to hide the movement as Theo deftly slid a gemstone ring from its place on the left hand. In the time it took for the blaster to fire — 2.87 seconds, not bad for an outdated hunk of junk science — Theo had flipped over the plush chair and swept a concentrated wave of energy toward Frank, abruptly spinning him around to face the balcony. The shot missed its mark entirely, instead briefly lighting up the periwinkle sky with a sickly purple light.

Frank found he couldn’t move. The blaster fell from limp hands as he collapsed to his knees, only just catching himself with numbing hands. ‘What…are you…’

‘So little you have learned in four decades,’ said Theo softly. The low hum of magic sank into his bones and blood. Frank could only imagine the expression his nemesis must be wearing; gloating, smug, certain of victory. He grit his teeth stubbornly, valiantly trying to move his fingers.

‘Despite your petty, paltry efforts, my plans as you say will continue unimpeded. You, on the other hand…’

‘Can’t kill me,’ he grunted with strain.

‘Hmm, no. Why would I kill you? But clearly the meditation chamber did not work, so where to put you this time? Hmm…’

The last Frank could discern was the soft whisper of magic as it overcame his body, slowly sinking him into sleep. But he would return — Theo couldn’t afford to kill him, and Frank would make the monster regret it. He would put a stop to the evil — no matter what.

Posted originally to r/writingprompts here.