152 – Supervillain Landing
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Dr. Zlo blasted out of the falling Zloppelin, hot on Icarus's heels. The fight below spread out before him, and Dr. Zlo caught a bird's eye view of the absolute chaos that was Menagerie's final event. Players of all kinds launched attack after attack on their foes, dotting the coastal area in various craters, pockmarks, and burn scars. It was enough to make Dr. Zlo pause in his chase.

"What a mess," Dr. Zlo said as he watched Menagerie and the Trollstompers go at it.

This messy fight wasn't the final product Dylan had in mind, not at all. He wanted something more, though he didn't know what that was. Metal groaning brought the player's attention back to the Zloppelin, and he watched as his creation broke in half.

"I barely even got to use it," Dylan complained.

Like a strange hailstorm, the falling debris landed amidst the Trollstompers and Menagerie, breaking up a few fights and taking down some other players. The player looked back up at the remaining pieces of the Zloppelin, catching a glimpse of his minions as they lay around the final levitator.

Dylan scratched his head; none of it felt right at all. The first wave of attackers destroyed his giant weapon, and the battle below hadn't even reached the climax. Dextra was still making headway through the various heroes, dragging along Sweet Dream and Riptide as well. About twenty feet away stood Rampart and his team, the players working together again now that Dr. Zlo's brainwashing fell.

A fist pulled Dylan out of his stupor, knocking his top hat off as he ducked the blow. Icarus had circled back around and was using his power to take the fight to Dr. Zlo. The villain responded with a strike from his cane, rapping Icarus on the knuckles. However, it didn't stop the hero's punch, and Dr. Zlo felt a wince of pain in his gut from the blow.

Dr. Zlo stabbed with his cane, "Do you truly think such a weak punch can take me down?"

Icarus stepped off another platform of air, twisting around the strike to arrive at Dr. Zlo's left, "Probably."

The hero threw another punch, connecting with Dr. Zlo's shoulder. Another wince of pain followed the villain's dropping health bar, doing the same amount of damage as a gut punch. Growling, Dr. Zlo blasted Icarus with his monocle, swinging his boots around to fly away from the hero. While Icarus dodged, Dr. Zlo secretly unlinked some of his button bombs. It wasn't time to use the dueling gloves, the hat drone, or the teleporter watch just yet. He wanted to save the surprise if he could.

Icarus ran after the fleeing Dr. Zlo, creating panels of air to jump off every step. Dr. Zlo timed his shots, firing the monocle laser whenever Icarus jumped into the air. Each time, Icarus created another platform, pushing off it to dodge out of the way and continue the chase. Dr. Zlo stayed focused, learning which way the player preferred to move.

Once the villain had studied enough, he launched his assault. The first barrage was a simple laser beam that forced Icarus to dodge. As the beam traveled, Dr. Zlo tossed his button bomb to his left. Just as predicted, Icarus evaded in the direction, landing right in the path of the bomb. The fiery explosion crashed into the hero, sending him flying through the air as his body vanished.

Dr. Zlo dusted off his hands, "And you thought you could take me with simple fists.".

He ignored the notification that appeared, going back to look over the battlefield while making his way back to Cass. Not much had changed from before, players still sent each other flying, and the whole affair looked like an abstract painting with no meaning.

There were too many moving pieces by the end of it, Dylan decided. He still loved the idea, and overall the entire process was a success. Players were joining their new faction, and Dr. Zlo got to unleash at least one of his bombs. But it wasn't the same as the image Dylan had in his head for Dr. Zlo.

The villain needed to be the centerpiece, the thing that attracted all the attention; Dr. Zlo was always the star of the show. That wasn't him right now. If anything, the Wave Widgets were the main focus. Plus, there had been a lot of waiting, and after his big reveal, Dr. Zlo barely got involved.

"I'm not getting enough attention at all," Dr. Zlo said as he landed on the remains of the Zloppelin's broken walkways.

"Isn't that a good thing, boss?" Cass asked. The butler pulled a drink out of nowhere for his leader, who took the glass but ignored the contents.

"The whole point was to make our name known," Dr. Zlo said to his minion. "The world would hear how we destroyed an entire city, three of them in fact, and tremble at our prowess. Instead, I'm playing second fiddle to a bunch of recruits. I've even lost the Zloppelin before I could do anything grand with it."

Cass patted Dr. Zlo on the back, making the villain jump back in disgust. "Don't worry, boss," the butler said. "There's always next time."

"He's got a point, hon," Mabel said. The minion was resting on Suitor's shoulders, one hand idly running over the controlled NPC's muscles.

The remaining Jacques around the area all gave various forms of thumbs up, nods, or other affirmations.

Dr. Zlo rolled his eyes at the sight before looking back down at the battlefield. Dextra had made it to the water's edge now and was directing the remaining villains to hold off a player barreling through everyone. The villain watched as players sent blasts of energy, gunshots, and much more toward the hero, only for it all to stop directly in front of the man. Seconds later, players fell as the hero launched a white beam that ate through almost every defense.

"What a fight, eh, boss?" Cass said.

"Indeed," Dr. Zlo said. Something was familiar about the hero charging at Dextra, "I know that hero from somewhere…"

"That's the guy who attacked our mansion, boss," Cass answered.

It all came back to Dylan. This hero was the guy who attacked after John took everything! Dylan frowned at the thought; he didn't want to remember his old friend during his big event. In fact, he hadn't seen anything of John at all the entire time. Was it possible he caused this whole ending?

"How dare that hero show his face in front of me after what he did to the mansion," Dr. Zlo fumed.

"Uh, boss? Didn't we destroy the mansion?" Cass inquired.

Dr. Zlo ignored the question. Instead, the player was brainstorming ways to make a dramatic entrance. Dylan was going to fight this hero down below and do it with all the style and grace of a villain who lost his gigantic zeppelin of doom.

"You two, make your way back to Skyline if you can," Dr. Zlo said. "I've got a grudge to settle."


Dr. Zlo waved his minion off, "Later, Cass! It's time for some revenge!"

Before Cass could say anything more, Dr. Zlo jumped off the platform. The wind whooshed through the villain's clothes as he picked up speed, billowing out his suit jacket like a sail. Halfway down, Dr. Zlo activated his rocket boots, slowing his descent a small amount. He switched the rockets off and on as he fell, controlling his fall to land in front of the hero who so greatly wronged him. Moments before Dr. Zlo landed, he switched his cane over to his smokescreen and pointed the nozzle to the ground.

Thick grey smoke erupted from the cane, masking Dr. Zlo's final descent as he impacted the ground. The surprise halted the players around the area, each of them stopping their attacks so they could look at the dispersing smoke cloud.

As the smoke swirled away, the silhouette of a thin, reedy man formed. A black top hat was the first reveal, followed by black dress shoes as the cloud melted. Black leggings and a coat followed, leading to pearly white gloves grasping a cane. Finally, the smoke cleared to reveal the face of Dr. Zlo, his mustache impeccable despite the fall. The villain stood ramrod straight, his feet close together and the tip of his cane resting on the ground at a slight angle.

Dr. Zlo removed his top hat and bowed to Matt-att, "Good evening. It seems we have some business, you and I."

Matt-att blinked. How did Dr. Zlo know he wanted a fight for the stream? The player glanced at his chat, who were in an uproar from the entrance. A few of the subscribers were spamming "supervillain entrance!" repeatedly while the moderators deleted what spam they could.

Matt-att puffed out his chest, acting exactly like the confident hero. "Here to stop me yourself, I see," the player said. "Good to know you recognize a threat when you see one."

Dr. Zlo chuckled, "A threat? No, hardly." The villain placed his top hat back on his head and adjusted his tie, "You see. I remembered only recently, but you've destroyed something of mine. Normally, I would be the bigger man and ignore it. I do have more important things than to remove every small pebble in my path. But I can't ignore you bringing in this army and ruining my plans. So I decided it was time to nip a fledgling hero in the bud."

"I'll show you a fledgling," Matt-att said as he crouched low to fight.