We Can Rebuild (Story)




It was an unusual operating room, but then, these were not the usual surgeons. They stood around the metal operating table containing the "patient" in the way they had been trained back when they were considered legitimate doctors. However, this operating room was strange in that it contained all the butchery tools and maniacal electric machines suitable of Dr. Frankenstein's lab. It was almost enough to overlook the operating "room" was merely a raised stone platform in a still-operating section of the Paragon City sewer system.

The head surgeon indicated to his assistants that he was ready to begin, and began to monologue for the records of the operation.

"Subject: 'The Nanites.' Cause of death: poisoned crossbow bolt fired by... well, me."

The head surgeon smiled. The other surgeons chuckled at his little joke. The head surgeon gestured and was given a wicked looking curved saw from the table. He began to cut into the abdomen of the corpse, a humanoid that appeared to be wearing full-body grey tights with a bright neon circuitry pattern. The head surgeon continued his monologue.

"Initially the hero appeared to be biological composition but further investigation reveals a... quasi-metallic lattice. It seems quite incompatible with our existing creations. Perhaps we can reanimate the corpse under our control instead. As I dig deeper... hmm..."

The surgeon withdrew his saw and furrowed his brow. He placed the saw he was using aside and gestured to be given a small electric slicer. He dug into the wound again.

"The... metallic flesh of this hero seems to have some regenerative properties that have proved resistant to the standard probing saw. I've switched to a powered blade and am making some progress now, but the incision appears to be regrowing almost... no, faster than I am cutting and..."

The electric slicer suddenly stopped. The surgeon's eyes widened in surprise as he withdrew it from the wound. As he turned the slicer over in his hand, wondering where the malfunction was, he noticed the blade seemed to be disintegrating rapidly. The blade was gone entirely in the space of a few seconds and now the machine base of the electric unit seemed to be dissolving. The surgeon passed a look of amusement to his assistants and tossed the destroyed device off the platform and into the sewer water.

"Right then. Hand me the Rikti blade. We'll see if this cadaver is any match for a monomolecular energy field. I'm now reinserting the... what?!"

The body of the hero on the began to melt and pour off the sides of the operating table. The surgeons stepped back and watched as it formed a small river that drained off the concrete platform and into the sewer water below. In moments, there was nothing left. The head surgeon frowned and put the rikti blade on the now bare operating table.

"Well, it seems the subject has lost molecular cohesion. This salvage operation has concluded unsuccessfully. Lets try to find some heroes that are not so useless next time, shall we?"

The surgeons put down their operating tools and picked up the hacksaws and crossbows they used when fighting heroes on the streets of Paragon City. There was often unusual things encountered when operating on mutants, aliens, or other freaks of nature that were the heroes of Paragon City. Nothing really surprised them anymore... in fact, they looked forward to it. As Dr. Vahzilok had promised when he convinced them to join his crusade, they really were making some incredible medical discoveries now that petty morality had been cast aside.

As they turned towards the sewer grating leading over water that was sole exit from the room, they noticed the green slime that was the sewer water was bubbling furiously. It suddenly spewed upwards in a fountain and, as it fell, a humanoid creature was found standing there, blocking the exit. It was instantly recognized by its grey tights and the green circuitry pattern - the hero was back, and apparently alive. Then there was something new: suddenly it had red glowing eyes and a series of large wicked spikes burst strategically from every section of its body.

Before battle was joined anew, the creature said one thing in a voice that sounded like it was made up of millions of smaller ones.