Now. Deep in a cave on the other side of the world. Again.
“I asked you a question,” Intrepid stated, his teeth gritted and both fists aglow with deadly energy. “What are you doing here?”
The other figure did not emerge entirely from the shadows. The stranger’s eyes glowed bright blue with the same energy. “Intrepid,” he responded. “That’s not really the question you want to ask, is it?”
“I asked it, didn’t I?” Intrepid said. “I assume that the answer to my question would cover other pressing topics, like how you are still alive, for example. We don’t have to talk at all, if you wouldn’t like. I killed you once, and apparently it didn’t stick. I’m happy to try again.” He released a fierce energy blast at the other individual, though he suspected that it would be ineffectual.
The stranger just laughed. “You truly embody your adopted home, Intrepid. Such an American cowboy, shooting without thinking. The last time I checked, your powers do not work on me, just as mine do not work on you.”
“You were behind this all along, weren’t you, Doctor Cobalt?” Intrepid asked. “What do you want with stolen Russian nukes? What sort of insidious plan do you have? Because whatever it is, I will stop you, just like I have, so many times before.”
This time the figure truly emerged from the shadows. He was a tall, gaunt man dressed in a white suit with a white dress shirt and white tie. He was bald, and his skin, much like Intrepid’s, was a pale shade of blue.
“Quite the opposite, my eternal foe, quite the opposite. I am here to propose a truce. There are no nuclear warheads. I tricked these ideologically-challenged fools into thinking I had arms to sell, knowing that they would foolishly chat about it within their networks and that chatter would get picked up by the CIA and they would send you to clean up.”
“You did all of this, just to get my attention?” Intrepid seemed skeptical, and for good reason. Doctor Cobalt was a villain through and through and not to be trusted.
Cobalt shrugged nonchalantly. “Your number is unlisted. I needed some way to get in touch with you.” He motioned to the dead terrorists sprawled in various pieces across the cave floor. “Consider these jihadists my version of a gift basket.”
“What do you want?” Intrepid demanded.
“What I just told you, a truce.”
“Will you turn yourself in to the authorities?”
The villain laughed. “Human authorities? Absolutely not. I have grown tired of the petty matters of Earthly affairs. I have a grand new vision and I want you to be part of it.”
Intrepid’s square jaw stiffened. “You know I would never work for you. You’re a monster.”
“Enough with the postering. I get it. You don’t like me. I don’t like you either. You could be a god to these earthlings and yet you choose to be their puppet. But you and I are alike in many ways, ways that neither of us truly understand. Until now.” Cobalt outstretched his hand to the superhero. “Come with me, Intrepid. Come with me because I finally have the answers to all the questions that have plagued us both for so long. Come with me because I can finally tell you who you really are.”