The supreme, the merciless, the destroyer of opposition,
Two years from now
He walked the brightly illuminated corridor methodically turning his head to the left and to the right in order to observe and catalog the many strange machines, if they were indeed machines, that adorned the floor and walls. Occasionally, during one of his many explorations, he would stop to examine a particularly strange apparatus in an attempt to discern its function. During these data gathering forays, he often thought that a former associate of his would have been particularly useful for this endeavor and would gladly have spent many years learning all the things this place had to offer. It would take ten lifetimes to learn even a fraction of the knowledge that was available here.
Although there were much faster and more sophisticated means of transportation at his disposal, walking afforded him the opportunity to see firsthand as much of his new home as possible. The particular corridor he presently occupied was about a thousand feet wide with a five hundred-foot ceiling. The passageway could go on for miles. This, coupled with the sheer number of similarly-sized corridors -- which numbered in the hundreds, perhaps thousands -- his self-prescribed task was Herculean. In the year that he had spent here, he had only been able to explore a small percentage of the endless hallways. The immense rooms that these corridors sometimes led to were even larger still. It was to one of these rooms that he had been summoned.
As large as the room was, a gargantuan figure still managed to dominate it. His massive back facing the entrance, the giant gave no indication that anyone had entered the room, although this lack of reaction meant nothing. The giant was aware of all that transpired in his home. This absence of a response was more a matter of his visitor's lack of significance to the great being than of the giant's awareness of his surroundings. The visitor understood his master's regard for inferior beings. They were simply beneath his notice.
As usual, he did not wait to be addressed and spoke with no visible acknowledgment of his presence. "Preparations are underway. All will be ready upon our scheduled arrival."
The giant's response was in a deep resonant timbre, without inflection, that conveyed absolute authority. "Very well. During your short time here, your performance has been quite adequate. See that it continues."
"I will return to my prescribed duties."
The giant momentarily stopped what he was doing and didn't quite turn around but inclined his head slightly as if expecting something more.
This seemed to satisfy the giant, who resumed his mysterious activities.
He exited the room to complete his tasks and resume his exploration. Direct confrontation with his captor at this time would be suicide, even for a being with his power. Escape was his only option, and events were developing that might afford him just that opportunity. A humorless smile formed on his face that would only terrify or impart a sense of foreboding to the poor soul unfortunate enough to witness it. Yes, his stay here would serve him well for the future. He had learned many useful things in a brief period of time, things that could be learned nowhere else. With this knowledge, he would eventually pay back his "master" and those like him. They would serve him, or die. After all, was this not part of his ultimate objective?
An even larger, more terrifying smile spread across his face. He would accomplish all the things he had first set out to do over 5,000 years ago. This unforeseen captivity would only serve to strengthen him and help him achieve his goals. His ultimate goals in mind, Earth's first and most powerful mutant, the dread lord Apocalypse, purposefully went about his appointed tasks.
Continued in Chapter One.