Note: Because the XoO forums do not allow HTML all the the formatting (bold, italics, underlining) was lost and I don't feel like going through the story to replace them with vB Code. Chapter 1 by Tyloric (Secksy) Dr. Horrible is not a murderer; never has been. He holds no interest in ending a life. Controlling someone against their will, sure. As long as it serves him some sort of purpose. But killing for the sake of killing? Not his thing. So maybe that’s why, he rationalizes, he shot Bad Horse with his Stun Ray when he moved to kill the man that just happened to be standing in the wrong place at the wrong time. He never had worked well under pressure. In retrospect, though, it probably hadn’t been one of his brightest ideas. They killed him anyway, and he was to be punished for betraying and attacking their ‘leader’. Traitors aren’t highly regarded in the Evil League of Evil. Ironic, isn’t it? Two years, that’s how long they tortured him. Day and night for two years. Bringing him within an inch of death, only to let him recuperate and repeat the process. He could feel his mind begin to unravel. With every stab wound, every electrocution wave, each injection and prod, he felt his sanity begin to fray, the thoughts in his mind stretching taut until, one by one, they began to snap. He stopped feeling after a while. It became routine. He had it down to the exact second. In the mornings (he thought they were mornings, anyway) they would force-feed him. He had stopped eating by his own will quite some time ago. After all, the body requires a good deal of fuel to regenerate skin and organ tissue, and even more to do it over long periods of time. Next, they would strap him to a chair where all sorts of medical devices were attached to him. Of course, the idea was to make him suffer, not to kill him. You can’t play with a broken toy. From there, one of two things would happen. The first was that he would be injected with a drug, the name of which he did not know, that made him feel like he was on fire. Everything would just be burning, quite literally from head to toe, and everything in between. The second option--and he really did prefer this--was that they would electrocute him. With electrocution, at least there were brief moments of reprieve. These two things seemed to alternate with knife treatment. Some days there were no injections or electricity, just various pointy and sharp objects they would run along the surfaces of his skin. After a while, the blood loss would make him light-headed, and he would pass out. He had just lost concept of time. He didn’t know how long any of these events took place, anymore. The entire time, however, all he could think was, ‘Wow, these guys really aren’t that great at torture. I mean, I still have all my limbs, fingers, toes. Even my crotch is still where it’s supposed to be.’ He pondered if he was going insane. Maybe he already was insane. Do insane people know they’re insane? How does one determine if they’re insane or not? Maybe they get lost in their own inner monologues. Anyway, he’s in pain. Constantly. But not as much pain as he could be in. He hasn’t spoken in over a year, excluding his screams. There isn’t any point anymore. No one to hold a conversation with. No real reason to live. Maybe that’s why he doesn’t notice when the door to his room explodes outwards and unfamiliar voices start yelling incoherently. He remembers someone moving him, but only until a sweet blissful darkness encases him, causing everything else to melt away. *** Bright light blinds his eyes when he opens them next. Annoyingly bright. His head is swirling and he can hear the drumming of his heart in his ears. Quick, but steady. Did that mean he was alive? Do dead people have beating hearts? No, of course not. What a stupid thing to think. He tries opening his eyes again, this time having a bit more success. He was correct in his assumption that the light was bright, however. It shone directly above where he lay. Not the most excellent of places to lay someone down when they’re sleeping. He doesn’t make an effort to move for quite some time, however. He ends up counting the tiles on the ceiling. Forty-eight. Then he starts counting the beeps the heart monitor next to him is making. He gets to one hundred ninety-three before he gets bored and moves to try and sit up. The room is very dull. And white. White and dull. Dull and white. In a strange way, this makes him feel at home, though he can’t place why. The walls aren’t decorated at all. The tiles on the floor look new and stain-free. The interior decorator must have run out of ideas… or maybe there hadn’t been one at all. The only thing in the room that has any is the generic brown door off to the right side, which is, speak of the devil, opening. Through it steps a petite girl, about five and a half feet tall with short brunette hair. She’s wearing hospital scrubs and is writing something down on a clipboard as she approaches his bed. When she looks up, she stops dead in her tracks. “Oh, you’re awake.” He just tilts his head to the side, curiously. “Um…” she stammers, walking backwards as if he was some sort of animal that might pounce on her if she turned around. “Let me just get the doctor.” And with that she left the room, closing the door quickly behind her. He doesn’t have time to feel confused, however, as not ten seconds later a man, who he notes is completely bald, walks in wearing a white doctor’s coat. He stands tall and confident, seemingly well-seasoned, at about six feet. He’d be intimidating if it weren’t for the fact he is extraordinarily skinny for a man his age. “So he is,” the doctor says simply, walking up to him and shining a bright flashlight in his eyes. “Can you tell me your name, son?” He opens his mouth to speak, then closes it, unsure of what to say. He mulls over the question a while, wondering what answer would be the most appropriate. “Billy,” he says after a few moments. But the doctor eyes him disbelievingly, and Billy wonders if that hadn’t been the right answer, until the man shakes his head and sighs. “I’m Dr. Badeau. Tell me, Billy, what is the last thing you remember?” Once again, he doesn’t answer right away. He searches for the correct response, still not sure what it is. “Screaming,” he says finally. “And before that?” This time his answer is immediate, “Fire and lightning.” Dr. Badeau eyes him curiously, “What do you—” But he is interrupted by another nurse, this one male, coming in and taping on his shoulder. Whatever the nurse whispers into his ear, it annoys Badeau, as his faces scrunches a bit, and his eyes narrow. “Now?” he whispers a bit too loudly. The male nurse nods. “We can’t get him to leave.” He sighs again. “Fine.” Dr. Badeau stalks outside of the hospital room, halting Captain Hammer. “You shouldn't be here, Hammer.” The Captain scoffs. “And why not? There is a super villain in that room.” “I don’t care if he’s Bad Horse,” Dr. Badeau snaps. “He is a patient in this hospital and he is going to be treated accordingly. I’m tired of you always coming in when you like, thinking rules don’t apply to you.” Captain Hammer either doesn’t hear him or doesn’t care. “Step aside, citizen. There is hero work to be done.” As he steps past Badeau he adds, “I was the one who brought him here, after all.” Billy eyes the man in surprise and bewilderment as he steps into his room. “Hello, Dr. Horrible!”he bellows heroically. “Remember me?” Billy thinks about it for a long moment, brows pulling together in concentration. “No,” he says. Then he frowns, concerned. “Should I?” ~tbc.