His feet tapped away on the ground, incessantly. He wasn’t aware he was doing it, his full concentration was dedicated to the most dangerous thing Falk was capable of doing.
He was sitting in a chair in a dark, damp room that wasn’t big enough for him to stand up or open his arms, not that he could do any of those things. He was tied to the chair with so much zeal he was practically wearing rope, which was chained to four rings on the floor, and wrapped so tight his blood wasn’t flowing all that well, and neither was his oxygen.
It was all because they had been unable to remove his mechanical limbs, a small victory in an otherwise terrible day. He had spent roughly twenty minutes trying to move the chair slightly so he could hear it scraping against the floor, only to find out it was metal.
He was in a metal cage, and although his limbs were still attached, his optics attachment wasn’t. His eyes were free and blindfolded. The only silver lining in his situation was, besides the fact Griff had not wanted him dead outright, the fear that had been demonstrated when treating him like that.
He assumed Griff wanted him alive to come to terms with the fact he had been outsmarted. That Griff ambushed him, and conjured a prison from which he could not escape, proving once again to be the intellectually superior.
One final count was that he was being fed intravenously. He had had no human contact for what he believed were two days.
Falk had already figured out how to escape. His limbs could either safely detach…or eject. The ejection was for the eventuality of capture by men with the clear intent of stealing his greatest bio-mechanical achievement. The rope was tight, fair enough, but it was still only rope, it would contend with the concentrated heat of the little burner he had put on his limbs, which had the intent to send it rocketing to the sea, no matter how many miles that meant.
Escaping wasn’t the problem, the problem was a realization he had had during Griff’s ego stroking which had made him feel the need to re-prioritize his goals. He felt the need to plan.
Back when he was first in prison, condemned unjustly for the death of many of his peers, he had made the decision to become the terrorist menace everyone was claiming him to be. He would punish them for what they had done to him, the things they had said and claimed about him. But in truth, he had never truly prioritized that.
While he focused on being a terrorist menace, his ulterior goal, to dismantle the world society and its many civilizations, never had…truly been his ulterior goal. He really had no interest in political forces driving the world, his interest was in inventing. Finding out if he could build this or that, all the while keeping it steered towards destruction so to justify to himself how he was, in truth, working towards his goal.
Griff had made him realize he hadn’t. He didn’t study the powers and their institutions or actually made any effort to destabilize them, or to at least provoke chaos in the various chains of command that ruled the world. He had, alas, stayed true to the very core of his nature, which was being a scientist and inventor foremost.
But that was not what people thought he was, he needed to remember that. He needed to show everyone what it was like for him to be exactly what they thought he was. There was no better way to show them they were wrong.
The great thing Griff had done, unknowingly of course – no one ever truly knew how they affected Falk as he was beyond their meager understanding – was to slap Falk into attention and present him with the fact the Tech Guild was already the backbone holding together the status quo in most of the world. Bringing him down, and the guild with him, thus became the logical first step if he wanted to refocus his efforts on taking down the world.
Even Griff, however, had shown fear and respect for his competence and abilities. The ambush had been of the highest level of convolution, and his prison was, without a doubt, the most paranoid endeavor Falk had ever been put through. Whatever Griff had said during his ego-stroking had not been what he truly believed about Falk, that was evident.
For that measure of respect and consideration, Griff had not in fact changed his place in the order of entities needing punishment and revenge. After all, Falk was not an unreasonable individual, he had killed Griff’s son.
In any case, first came the beasts. Second, the world. Third, Griff and the Tech Guild. Unfortunately, in order to pursue the second, Griff and the Tech Guild had to come down. And the beasts before them, lest they be left untouched.
Thus, to accomplish it all, Falk was thinking. And planning.
All the information he needed was available to him, he knew that. He never gave it much thought, but he did know everything about the several factions plaguing the world with their order and control. He was aware of the individuals at their head, most especially now, that Griff had revealed himself and his true role in it all.
In a way, he was thankful for having the time to think. The silence, the controlled breathing, the slow blood circulation, it would drive regular men insane, but he was a genius. He had more than enough mind to lose himself in, more than enough thoughts for his concentration to occupy itself with.
Making a plan that accounts for the behavior of dozens of individuals, using thousands of the masses, is a hard thing to do. Very hard, but it wasn’t beyond his faculties. Nothing was.
He heard a door open behind him.
“Well, seems your time’s up, genius.”
That meant the only allies he had in the world, for the time being, had finally caught up with him. Just in time, too, he had gone over his machinations three times, as well as finished the calculations of these new thruster boots he wanted to engineer soon as he reached one of his workshops.
“We’re under attack, no more time for you to suffer.”
He chuckled. A muffled thing which nevertheless made the man hesitate. A switch was flipped inside his mechanical wrist, something whirred and clicked into place, followed by a momentary revving sound.
What followed were a few moments of reactionary micro-events that not even Falk could follow. The flame erupted, bullets were fired, chains broke and his body flew and spun around to the sound of chaos and mania.
Falk found himself on the floor mere seconds later, kept awake by a burning in his arm made of flesh. He grunted, kept conscious by the pain he found all too familiar; it wasn’t the first time his arm suffered high degree burns. He managed to open the arm, feeling the rope crumbling due to its burnt parts. He looked up to see he was in a corner of the room. The chair was in the process of deciding whether to catch on fire or not, still attached to his legs.
While he unwrapped the rope, he saw the shooter, a woman in track pants and jacket, lied knocked to the side and unconscious. The noise of a burning engine was still fighting to try and get his mechanical arm through the wall, the flames of its jet burning through the fuel fast and violently.
He snickered victoriously and stood up. One of the chains had set loose and hit the woman across the face, exactly what he had theorized would happen. He was less hurt than he thought it would be, such was the benefit of good fortune, of opportunity meeting preparation.
He stepped around the flames his mechanical limb was emitting and carefully reached to its fist, which was clenched shut, with the middle finger oddly extended and snatched into a trigger. It was trembling, but stable in the small dent it had created in the wall while trying to escape.
He rotated the finger, dislodging it mildly, and then pulled it from the trigger. The flames died down within a couple of seconds, and the arm fell gingerly into his hand.
He took a few minutes to be able to attach it back, especially since his good hand, or well, the one made of flesh and bones, was jittering erratically due to the damage it had suffered. The pain was but one more nutrient to the need for vindication that was, more and more, making up the core of his personality.
So many people vexing him. So many individuals seemingly bent on suffering the consequences of his wrath.
He looked aside at the woman while the arm whirred into a satisfactory clasping noise. Steam exited out the tiny exhaust ports in his shoulder and bottom elbow, and his hand moved.
The woman moaned, beginning to wake up. He walked towards her.
Another person showed up at the door. The get up was different than the one used by Tech Guild members; blackened by dust and gunpowder, wearing a mechanic’s overalls over a tight dark suit and smelter’s goggles pulled over the forehead.
“Mr. Goldschmidt? It’s us, Led by Anarchy!”
“I know,” his mechanical hand opened all the way up, a gun barrel opening in its wrist.
He shot the woman in the head without a moment’s thought. She had the gall to use genius ironically? As if intelligence was a joke?
That is the problem with the common idiots of this world. Always too wrapped up in they own stupidity to even be able to–
“Heeey! We could’ve gotten information out of her.”
Falk looked at the young man, annoyed at having his considerations interrupted. He flinched.
“Trust me,” his hand reverted to normal as he kept the man’s gaze, unaware he was not wearing bandages around his face as he usually did. “She doesn’t know anything that I don’t already know.”
Falk was indeed showing the crisped burnt surface of skin that the accident had made of his face, which was bulging due to all the commotion as well as due to the rush of blood through his body.
The man winced in reaction and looked away as if he had heard someone to his side.
“Right. Of course, Mr. Goldschmidt. Come this way!”
He ran off, and Falk smiled. That made him remember, for the first time since he triggered his arm to free him, that he was missing the bandages on his face. And his ocular apparatus.
He would remedy that, and then he would begin to enact the plan…wherein everyone who had irked him would pay.
Without exception. Without mercy. And without further delay.