“I know we can do this June.” a man says confidently.
“Do you really think so?” a woman replies somewhat concerned.
“You’re the smartest and most capable women I’ve ever met. We can start small and then work our way up.” he holds her hand tight in his. “Then I’ll make sure your dream comes true. And with my powers-“
“-No, I want us to do this without them. If we just use your powers to get our way then did we really do anything great?”
“Okay June…” he sighs. “We’ll do it your way.”
Eight years later, a man walks through an office hallway wearing a maroon suit. Jayson McKellen had an important meeting to attend about the future of Acel-Corp. When he reaches the boardroom, everyone inside had dour expressions. Never a good sign when you first enter the room. Jayson sits in his chair and prepares himself.
“Either there’s bad news, none of you had your coffee, or you all can’t stand I actually came in. Which is it?” Jayson leers across the room. He was by no means a bad boss but his direct nature could be intimidating at times. The room remains silent for an awkward thirty seconds. “Did someone die?”
“No sir, it’s just…Have you seen the news?” an elderly man mumbles under his breath.
“No, I was busy at R&D. Why?”
“RajTEK made an announcement.” another board member speaks.
“Shit, did they finally make the jump to television?”
“Oh no, we still lead in that. It’s just, Mr. Eishner announced he was an Inversion.”
“The hell is an Inversion?” Jayson rubs his forehead.
“The name conspiracy theorists have been calling those super-powered people. The Aetherion Religion has been calling them Blessed, you might’ve heard that one more than Inversion. But that’s only half the problem. RajTEK also announced with this they’re going to be hiring Inversions with no judgment. This means-”
“That they’re already huge lead on us is just going to get bigger with a super-powered workforce…” Jayson sighs and scowls. His hands clasped together as his foot taps rhythmically. “At least this explains why they’ve always been three steps ahead of us. They’ve been using their powers for personal benefit. This would be funny if it weren’t so sad.” he calms himself and returns to a cool and collected demeanor. “Here’s what we’re going to do. We’re doubling down. We don’t need to use Inversions or whatever they’re called to prove how great a company we are.”
“But sir, do you think that’s wise?”
“I’m not compromising my…our business just to try and get an edge. They didn’t get here on their own skills or merit. All we have to do is make sure everyone else sees that.” Jayson stands and begins to storm for the door. “Next time we meet, make sure you have some good news.” he slams the door behind him as he makes his exit. While walking down the hallway, he pulls out his cell phone and places a call. “June? We need to talk.”
“What’s wrong Jayson?”
“RajTEK is using superpowers to get where they are.”
“Oh…I see…” the tone of her voice was clearly disheartened.
“I know I made you a promise but.”
“You’re better than this Jayson. We don’t need to be the top of the figurative totem pole. We’ve done amazing things on our own. Let’s just keep doing that okay? I’ll come up with some new technology. I’ll look at my old ideas again. I just need you to trust me okay?”
“Okay June.” he exhales.
“I love you Jayson.”
“I love you too.” he enters the elevator and heads to the basement level. He then walks over to his car and leaves. He drives through the streets of Silver Plains until he reaches Ludwig Tower. Parking outside, he walks towards the bouncers guarding the door.
“Looks like we got a celebrity.”
“Take me to your boss.” Jayson orders with eyes turned purple.
Jayson follows the muscular bouncer to the elevator and takes it to the top floor where the Starlight Club sat empty. The inside appearing empty and desolate without the night lights or club goers filling the dance floor. They enter a back room where an older man sat behind a desk. Maximillian Mills was his name, and running the Starlight Club was just one of his many jobs.
“You have one minute to tell me what you want and why I shouldn’t rip your head off, Mr. McKellen.” Max threatens casually.
“I want to make a business deal. You help me ruin RajTEK, and I make you a wealthy person.”
“Hahahahaha! The balls on this one. You think you I need money? If you came here you know who I am already which means you know I don’t need money. So why should I keep entertaining you?”
“Because it’s best for business. And we both know you have a spider-themed thorn in your side.”
“You have my attention.” Max leans forward in his chair and looks Jayson in his eyes.
“I’ll do anything to protect my business. I’ve done a lot of things to make sure we survived since we first formed. I’m willing to bet you’re the same. I can give you access to some of our lesser used buildings to help cover up for the ones you’ve lost to…what’s his name again?” Jayson smirks slyly. He knew exactly who he was talking about but wanted to exert some power over Max.
“SWAT-Spider…” he groans annoyed.
“Of course, SWAT-Spider. I’ll help give you newer safer places to work along with some extra funding to cover losses and weapons to deal with SWAT-Spider. In exchange, you help me ruin RajTEK.”
“Sounds too good to be true.”
“Don’t look a gift horse in the mouth, I’m just making sure my business doesn’t suffer even more because of some young upstart. You just happen to be the best way to do it.”
“Well, I guess we got ourselves a deal then. All that’s left is the matter of aliases. Wouldn’t want unwanted listeners figuring out who we are.”
“Did you have something in mind?”
“I’m a fan of Biohazard. A lot less suspicious than calling me kingpin or don. What should I call you?”
“I have an idea or two.”