Lightning cracked the sky, and thunder shook it. The window pane under the Hoods shoes trembled from the concussions, like an negative afterthought of the storm. Even used to English summers as he was, this one was rather unpleasant.
'Bloody right night for climbing down a skyscraper' Hood thought to himself.
The rain beat down even harder, and the wind howled its outrage, as if in response to his miserable thoughts. His costume was mostly waterproof, and his cloak was water treated. But it could still only handle so much. And having long since breached its resistance limit, clung awkwardly to his back and shoulders.
Having cut a suitably sized hole in the window, he slipped into the dark room, dripping wetly as he paused. His eyes adjust slowly to the darkness, He had left off the night vision built into his mask, so he wouldn't be blinded in the lightning flashes. The office was beyond posh. Worthy of royalty. Well, almost. Rhicine Mckency evidently had excellent decorative tastes. Or, much more likely, had hired someone with decorative tastes. He could certainly afford it. His designer drug, Sloe, had spread through the streets like flu germs on the tram. And since no one could reproduce it, he got to pocket all the revenue.
Sloe jacked up the senses, and reflexes, making everyone, and everything seem to be moving in slow motion. Hence the name. Addicts of this vile substance needed to up the dosage each use. But too much, too close together, resulted in the heart literally exploding. Word on the street was, a milder version was in the beta test stage. If it got out, it could take years to rein it in. If ever. The Hood had to find the evidence tonight, to shut Rhicine down. Failure was not optional.
"Eveni'n." A voice said from the shadows. The Hood hears a gun being cocked.
"Now don't make with any funny business, les you can dance around bullets, yeah?" The light switch is clicked, flooding the room with light. Six men in black op uniforms, and holding machine guns, stand in a semi-circle around the Hood. "Helluva welcome committee eh? The original speaker (Rhicine himself) commented, tucking the handgun into his waistband. "If you wanted to see the laboratory, you could have just asked." He grinned with a mouthful of perfect teeth. Two of the guards cautiously cuff the Hoods hands together, while the other four keep their guns trained on him. Then he is marched to the elevator.
* * * *
"I'm actually glad you dropped in. We needed a volunteer for Sloe 2.0, and here you are! Its almost too good to be true. Oh wait, it is too good to be true." Rhicine tapped the needle with a finger.
'Keep him talking...' Hood thought, as he carefully picked the cuff on his left hand. "You'll never get away with this Rhisine. The agency knows all about you. There'll be others after me."
"Brave last words?" Rhisine raised one eyebrow. "Oh! You think Sloe 2.0 is a drug? That what the agency told you? Its a performance enhancement, actually. But you are the test subject, just not in the way you thought. See, your agency sent you here" He taps his arm, seeking a vain "To me. Served up like the sacrificial lamb." He pushes the needle into his arm with a slight hiss, plunging the orange fluid into his vain. "All those people out there? In the streets? They were the beta tests you fool. And you will be the final test."
The Hoods shackles open automatically with a snap, and the Hood leaped off, and reached for his flare gun.
"Ah ah. None of that now." Rhisine was at his side in a flash, and batted the gun away effortlessly. "Now show me what you got." He slams his knee into Hood's stomach, driving his air out. Hood, swings a forearm at Rhisine's face, but it is easily blocked. The Hood sends a roundhouse kick at Rhicine's head, who caught his leg, and tossed him against a wall, shattering a row of beakers and, test tubes.
"Let him help you up." He sped forward, and kicked the Hood up into the ceiling.
'Its like fighting bloody Zoom!' The Hood thought as he barely ducked beneath a speeding punch. But caught the next one square on the jaw.
"I would say its a smash, wouldn't you agree Mr Hood?" He stood triumphantly over the fallen hero.
"Only one problem," Hood replied, as he coughed up some blood.
"Oh? Whats that?" Rhicine sneered.
"Dosage." The Hood groaned, slamming a syringe into Rhisine's chest, overdosing his system with Sloe. Rhisine didn't have time to scream before his heart exploded in his chest. "That quick enough for you mate?" Hood asked. But something did bother him. How did Rhicine know he was coming? Was there a traitor in the agency?