He had paced for several moments in the lab. “What’s the hold up?”
“There’s a slight issue with getting around the security protocols,” said the computer tech lackey.
The giant man placed his hands on the shoulders of the man who furiously pressed keys on the keyboard. “You have two minutes remaining, or I snap you like a twig.”
“I am going as fast as I can!”
Around ten seconds remaining, the man jumped out of his chair and took several steps back, “I’m through, I’m through!”
The skull-faced man grinned, his visage sending a shiver racing down the man’s spine. “Good. Now, activate them,” he said.
The techie walked back to his chair and sat down at the computer. “Are you sure? They’ve proven to be unreliable lately.”
The skull seemed to glow red with anger, “Did I stutter? I told you to activate them… now!”
In another room, the fluid-filled cylinders drained. They had been sent back for… reprogramming as a result of their latest mission which had been labeled as a failure by Agency standards.
The skull-faced man entered the room to examine each subject. One. Two. Three. Four. Their eyes all opened. Lifeless. Absent of any care in the world. Each one stepped out in front of their corresponding tube. The skull-faced man stopped before the first of the four.
The first specialist knelt down, “Pestilence.”
The next… “Famine.”
And the next… “…”
The skull-man motioned his head back towards the techie, “This one does not kneel or speak before it’s master?” The computer lackey shrugged through the looking glass behind his computer desk.
The dark figure remained motionless, with the shadows hiding its face. “Death has no master,” they replied. A frosty vapor spewed out.
The man nodded at the remark. “Justifiable.”
Finally, there stood War. “And you? Why do you not kneel?”
“I am a herald of destruction… and Death’s brother. There is no one superior to us. Any of us.”
“I beg to differ, puppet.”
“You dare attempt to supersede us? By what way? A clever light show with smoke and mirrors, or perhaps your silver tongue?”
The skull-man grinned, “I have no need for justification of my actions, nor clarifying in what way I could dismantle you, and your ‘brothers.’ Just know that with a flick of my wrist, I can bring you down faster than you can say “Bob’s your uncle, Morty.’”
War squared up, while Death only watched unwaveringly; their brothers remained kneeling.
The skull-faced man sighed. “I would rather not have you go to waste and be replaced by another, War.”
“War… is eternal. Even in times of peace, so long as someone holds hatred in their heart, I shall exist.”
The now red raging skull-man grabbed War in the blink of an eye and motioned to snap his neck. “And you are but a tool to a god, bred and designed to do his bidding. So either comply or die. The rest of your brothers will not be far behind. I recommend you choose wisely.”
War thought about the situation and looked to his brothers. The eyes… they flickered with what humanity remained. It was enough to make him kneel.
Death, however, did not.
“Death… We have work to do,” said War.
Death nodded, its cloak moving in acknowledgment.
“I am Omega,” he smiled sadistically, turning his back to the four specialists, “and my friends, we have much work to carry out… starting with Johnny Jones. Kill him with any means necessary.” He turned around and faced the four, his skull returning to a grey-white hue. “Collateral damage is… encouraged. Make. Him. Suffer.” he said enthusiastically.
War struggled with his words, “The Horsemen answer your call… master.” The others gave a slight bow.