Image by @Grafhou on DeviantArt
Featuring Dr. Angel Wolf ( @IronWithInky )
Featuring Mitre. D. Bel ( @lilian-tanver) on deviantart/twitter/etc
Polished floors blended the light of the ceiling and tile. The white of the entry hall was unspeaking, silent, giving no hint of the labs.
Phantom crossed her legs. The only other soul in the lobby was Mitre D. Bel, her on-again very on-again rival and the CEO of Oasis Industries. Phantom did everything she could to ignore her. The nacreous-white floor and walls were a pristine contrast to the vibrant world outside.
Security Chief Chambers escorted the both of them inside for a meeting in a laboratory. Dr. Anglea Wolf had no use for dedicated spaces for meeting.
Mitre opened first. Her southern accent contrasted against the neutral tone of Phantom and Angela.
"Dr. Wolf, I've got nothing but the most sincere and genuine respect for your work. I guarantee, I've never seen anything quite like it. Your creatures? They're quite lovely. But I'm not interested in your creatures. Don't want to waste your time making endless reams of shiny baddies; I'm not quite that covert. No, I need something a little more real, more accessible. Your MPP could be a real boon, you know; living symbiotic creatures could make armor, defenses, or could even be miniaturized for small-scale or PEV-scale improvements. A little research work and you could be a real boon."
Dr. Wolf motioned for Chambers to leave the room. She responded coolly, with a slightly manic glee in her eyes.
"And... let me guess. Once you've reverse-engineered my research, you've no more need for me."
Phantom opened with her proposal before Mitre could continue. Her briefcase unfolded, displaying gentle dancing lights on the ceiling that intonated her plans.
"Your Mutant Pathogen Project continues to impress me. MirageCorp is a simple chemical company, you understand; the wondrous, semi-sentient MPP would absolutely change our industry forever. But we wouldn't want such a leg up on the competition. No, you're a reasonable woman."
Dr. Wolf was not a reasonable woman.
Quiet, dismissive, predatory. She ran fingers through auburn hair, taking off her glasses to speak.
"You don't want my research? What do you want then? Tickets to the park?"
Grainer Park was the massive national park in which Dr. Wolf had made her home; utilizing the various biomes and natural fauna for her own MPP experiments. More than a few humans had disappeared into the park or into her lair, never to be seen again - not in their original forms, anyway. Those victims she experimented on were like her children; coated in a gorgeous, glossy sheen and given new life as rubber-coated creatres. The vivarium of Grainer Park was a dangerous, and sometimes very shiny place.
"Something better. Easier. I want to hire your services to make me my own custom fauna. You've got bees, butterflies, ants, spiders... why not help me with my very own variation of dangerous, lethal hunters? Customize them for loyalty and self-sufficiency. No need to pay them, no need to explain what happens if they disappear. I've seen your work. It is quite commendable. A few improvements here and there and you could make me a positively dastardly project of shining, glossy soldiers."
Dr. Wolf put her glasses back on. She lowered her head.
"You want me to make you creatures?"
Phantom nodded. "Of course I do."
"The both of you have come to me, treating me as though I'm some common stooge. What would you offer me? I'm sorry for my lack of manners, but I'm not used to dealing with such children. Except for my MPP creatures, of course, and I assure you both - I value them more than any trinkets you can offer me."
Phantom and Mitre were absolutely taken aback. They immediately began to speak over each other, each denigrating each other to no end. They were about to come to blows when the room began to fill with a strange gas.
Phantom and Mitre barely had time to see Dr. Wolf wearing a gas mask before falling unconscious.
When they awoke, they were bound and gagged tightly with rope, and Dr. Wolf was waving goodbye.
"I wouldn't worry about trying to escape. Nobody will find your bodies, even if you get out of your bonds."