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#1 Posted by Time_Phantom (831 posts) - - Show Bio

AN/ @batkevin74 helped me out with this new character. These stories have been fun. Oh, just real quick. Stay away from the self-publisher aka scam "Xlibris" and just read the stories with this guy ok? Thank you for reading.

Xlibris.

It was Latin for library, and best described how his mind worked. He remembered everything he’d ever read and could think up a practical application for things, some of what would have been considered pseudo-science, until he actually created it. New medical technology that was considered impossible, weapon concepts that were like something out of science fiction and unravelling the super human phenomenon. He had come up with several theories and frustrating to him, any of them could be true. His busy mind needed something more definitive.

Xlibris wasn’t his choice, it was given to him by benefactors who had cultivated his gift more than academia ever did. They never told him something was impossible, they just gave him tools and stayed out of his way. They of course did watch everything he did. Xlibris just couldn’t figure out how. Was it when they sent him on missions? While he was in his labs with his support staff? Were his staff all spies? He could not be sure.

“Apollo, what did they do to you?” Xlibris said as if he were examining a machine as she lay on the mortuary slab. Xlibris pondered why the US government had named her after a male Greco-Roman god, but even since the Founding Fathers the United States has had an obsession with empire.

Xlibris had been told she had killed the Impossible Man, that she had completely incinerated him and that during the battle her body had been broken. Apollo was missing an eye, bones were broken, and her arm was ripped off. The government hospital she laid in had no idea how to treat her or the means. Her healing factor they couldn’t begin to understand. They didn’t even have the means to break through her skin.

Apollo had flown to a military base after the battle as directed by her handlers. Her healing factor was working fine, it was just much too slow. Xlibris’ benefactors could not have that.

“A weapon that was not ready to be used at any time was a terrible weapon,” Xlibris thought as he set up his instruments in her hospital room. Apollo, also known to a select few as Carla White, stayed quiet and waited. Xlibris appreciated that. He opened a brief case and carefully laid his tools down on a hospital tray. He filled a syringe with a clear liquid and inserted it into a bulky gun. He walked over to Apollo and pressed the gun to her chest.

Carla sighed. “That isn’t going to w…” The muzzle of the gun flashed with light as the needle went through Carla skin and ejected its contents inside of her.

“Sonic vibration to promote cellular regenerative movement and molecular malleability. The steroid compound should react with your cardiovascular system to briefly enhance your healing factor beyond previous limitations.”

“In Engli—” Carla felt her body flash with heat as if she were walking through a house fire, her missing arm and eye began to regrow quick, too quick and her whole body soon after began to rattle. Carla writhed and rocked at the sensation. Her hospital bed collapsed beneath her strength and she rolled out of bed onto the floor.

“Essentially your healing factor has gone from five to eleven.” Xlibris stated as he began to pack up his tools and make notes on a small note pad.

Carla peeled the bandage off her eye, which moments ago she had no arm nor eye. She gazed into the mirror looking at herself reconstructed. “Whoa.”

“You’re welcome, Apollo.” Xlibris said as he made his way out of the hospital room.

Carla would not admire her speedy recovery for long, “No. You’re going to answer some questions of mine.”

Xlibris turned a dial on his watch as the air in the room shifted and Carla appeared in front of him. “You don’t understand me.”

Carla put jabbed her finger into Xlibris chest to stop him where he stood. She said as her eyes began to charge with energy, “I have questions. You can’t get around me and you will get hurt if my questions don’t get answered promptly.”

“Very intimidating.” Xlibris said as he raised his hands in the air to signify his compliance. “But, you can’t keep me here either.”

Carla reached to grab him when out of nowhere a low hum appeared, Xlibris’ watch began to flash like a strobe light and the hum became an ear-splitting shriek! Carla screamed! The light made her violently nauseous and the sound had overwhelmed her. The super human assassin dropped to her knees and continued to scream.

“Don’t be too alarmed.” Xlibris reassured. “You’re just dealing with your standard riot repression system. Just miniaturized and turned way up, because your senses are super human. You won’t even remember this happened!”

Xlibris watched her writhe in pain for a short while before stepping around her and leaving the hospital. Carla’s vision faded. The questions she had seemed to escape her mind. Who was she even talking to? The face of… someone felt as if it had been just plucked out of her mind. Her body slacked, and she ended up lying flat on the floor. Carla, fell asleep. She would not remember this meeting when she woke up.

Xlibris stayed in his lab. In a location his benefactors had built for him. Where it was, he wasn’t entirely sure and had theorized it wasn’t on Earth. He just was not sure. He had a staff that monitored his experiments should he leave or construct whatever he asked. The facility was inside of a massive cavern and housed dozens of labs, the landing zones held strange craft he had never seen before in huge bays. His benefactors would let him know when he could leave the facility and what his assignment was to be. Only there were large gaps in his memory.

But, being inventive was his nature. He watched Apollo and Mark Metcalf battle on a large glass screen in his lab that he’d built out of crushed Coke bottles. He examined everything he saw and heard. Mark Metcalf was stronger on a scale yet to be measured but he fought like an angry ape, all muscle no skill. But this style had taken Apollo by surprise adding in Mark’s complete resistance to her flame attack made Apollo as effective as a potato gun versus a tank.

The charts and graphs that he designed all read that she was still alive. Though, just barely after her skull was crushed from Mark’s pounding of her face into the pavement.

“Her healing ability continues to amaze!” Xlibris exclaimed aloud. It reminded him of Howard Leach and his healing factor. Both were incredible. Xlibris smiled. He knew his benefactors were watching, but he knew they would miss this important detail. They usually did. Like when he developed the technology to catalogue the events around him with implants he built into his eyes. Amongst other measures to guard against their tampering.

His eyes glowed as he looked at the screen. Images that he otherwise had forgotten about through the mechanizations of his benefactors were suddenly flashed before him. Xlibris replayed one specific moment from the fight between Mark Metcalf and Apollo.

“That was for, Howard!”

Xlibris couldn’t hide excitement that spread on his face. The insinuation made him want to shout. He rewound it back and watched it again.

“That was for, Howard!”

Xlibris immediately thought of several scenarios. The only good reason for Metcalf to bring that name up would be if he knew, Apollo killed Howard Leach. How did he know to give the killer of the Impossible Man that rebuke when no one is supposed to know that, Apollo, even exists? That is what that comment suggested. Xlibris came to one conclusion and he would not say it out loud. He was being listened to.

The interface he looked at opened a catalogue. It contained names, dates, times and more information than he had time to catalogue. He scrolled down to Howard Leach’s name. He had to update his status.

HOWARD LEACH AKA THE IMPOSSIBLE MAN: ALIVE

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#2 Posted by cbishop (15500 posts) - - Show Bio

Dude, I'm really enjoying these stories. Question though: are you sure of the word's meaning? I thought "xlibris" meant not just "library," but "from the library of." I thought "libris" was "library." It's been over two decades since I took Latin though.

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#3 Edited by Time_Phantom (831 posts) - - Show Bio

@cbishop: Thank you. Yes, it more accurately means "library of". I think it works a bit still though.

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#4 Posted by cbishop (15500 posts) - - Show Bio

@time_phantom: I get that the "X" somehow makes the name cooler, but why not just "Libris?"

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#5 Posted by batkevin74 (15255 posts) - - Show Bio

@time_phantom: Pleasure to help. We might have to make our own Xllibris soon

@cbishop:Because then it wouldn't be cool. Why go to the regular boring library when you can go to the XLIBRARY! :)

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#6 Posted by cbishop (15500 posts) - - Show Bio
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#7 Posted by Time_Phantom (831 posts) - - Show Bio

Bumped. Too appear in Impossible Man # 2