(Hopefully this is good ;A;)
Stable. Calm. Steady.
His throat had been mangled just yesterday. He could not speak. He could barely breathe. The assassin not only severed his jugular, but also tore through his windpipe. If not for the quick reaction of both Horizon and Eciton, the meek scientist would have died within minutes. He tried to get some sleep, but visions plagued him. Near-death experiences were never a concern when he worked in Georgia. Now he faced them every other week. He did not regret becoming a hero. Hell, it was his dream ever since he watched broadcasts of the legends Andferne and Nighthunter when he attended grade school.
Slower now, easy does it.
His heart rate descended quietly. He finally found a calm place to be, away from all the paperwork and protesters. He began to drift off to sleep.
"Good morning, Dr. Palmer,"
The room was dark. He would have recognized any of his fellow Enforcers in an instant, but none of them would be waking him up at this hour unless it was an emergency. This voice sounded different and he began to panic.
“Do not struggle. You will only hurt yourself,”
A figure moved out from the shadows cast by the hallway light peeking underneath the door. His arms were folded behind his back, but the most noticeable traits the man possessed existed in the form of his enlarged cranium and green skin. Two jade eyes stared straight ahead at the bedbound acting CEO of the building he had infiltrated.
“Surely you remember me. I am Dr. Samuel Stern, formerly a world-renowned radiologist specializing in gamma radiation. I am less recognizable now after...the incident. But it is no concern as of this moment. Right now, I am here to talk. You are going to listen. Your communicator is gone. Security is disabled in this pocket I have created. You are helpless and will remain so until I have delivered my message,"
With that, Stern moved closer, close enough for Aaron to see the smug grin under his pencil-thin mustache.
"You are so weak now, so helpless," Stern moved a hand from behind his back over to the series of wires hooked into Aaron's body.
"Without any single one of these tubes, you would die a slow and painful death. But you would be alone. It would be peaceful. Your friends would not have the memory of watching you die imprinted upon their shallow little minds,"
Stern left Aaron's bedside and started pacing in front of him. Aaron, propped up, watched him carefully.
"Allow me to give you a history lesson. Stern Enterprises once existed as a partnership between me and my brother David. We studied gamma radiation, sold energy, and made a decent profit. That is, until you discovered Source Particles. They revolutionized science by making the impossible so simple to achieve. You put us out of business. But that is not the worst of it. We could have easily used our combined intellect to pursue other careers. However, the bankruptcy drove us to desperation. We worked tirelessly to work our way out of your shadow. The late nights and endless toiling took its inevitable toll and one of the containers ruptured, triggering an explosive chain reaction. Two lives spent looking to improve humanity with gamma radiation were both irreversibly mutated into an uncompromising hatred for you and your ‘miracle particle.’ While I admit it is a truly remarkable discovery, it ruined lives outside of your own. The scientific community will never be the same, but at least you have made some new and dangerous enemies,”
Beginning to fade like a horrible nightmare, Stern delivered one last part of his message before vanishing entirely:
“Be forewarned, Palmer. I am creating an antithesis to your precious Source Particle, something that will shake the foundation of this reality. I expect by then I will have you begging for your life.”