27 Chapter 28 - Living Nightmare

(POV Insomnia) 

Heh! Heh! Heh! What a great source of entertainment I'd found. After an unfortunate chain of events, I'd found myself imprisoned in this godforsaken place, subjected to all types of poking, prodding, and dissecting. My stay here had been rather dreary, to say the least. Just recently, however, I'd noticed an influx of prisoners; each more unique than the last. I hadn't used my powers in who knows how long, but with these new additions, I'd gotten the opportunity to run wild. Sensing them enter the sweet embrace of slumber, I took the liberty of spicing up their rather dull slumber. No doubt they should be grateful to me, they had nothing more than a tedious repetitive life ahead of them, at least during sleep they could experience some real action...some terror. 


Poking around my newest victim's...ahem, patient's mind, I discovered her to be a real nutcase. Now, I may have my problems, but this girl was bonkers. Try as I might, I couldn't seem to conjure a nightmare horrifying enough to faze her. I created beasts of monstrous size, trapped her at the depths of an ocean, and had rabid wolves chase her through a forest, only for her to shake everything off casually. 


Instead of falling down and trembling before the beasts, she placed a hand on her chin and shook her head as if disappointed. Instead of panicking when in the abyssal depths of the ocean, she just swam around merrily enjoying herself. Instead of running and tripping in the forest only to be devoured alive, she wagged her finger, telling the wolves off as if they were puppies. 


In growing frustration, I did something I normally avoid. My voice was made to mimic my victims' own, to ensure my presence and interference in the dreams remained unknown. 

"This is a nightmare! Why won't you quake in terror? Tell me what you fear!" 


"A nightmare? This? None of that stuff was scary, ya silly goose, that's why.! Now, Mr. Spooky Eyes, he's scary. Speaking of Mr. Spooky Eyes, when's he gonna come save me?! Do you think he'll really uphold his end of the bargain? It's been a while already...maybe he forgot." The girl's bright atmosphere was seemingly shattered as she said this. 


Mr. Spooky Eyes was scary? What the hell was that supposed to mean? I was pissed off and confused about this girl and her nonsense. I'd spent days poking and prodding at her, and this was the first time I'd gotten any semblance of reaction from her. Thanks to her mumblings, however, I was able to discern something she feared, being forgotten. 


"That's right, he forgot about you. You're going to remain here forever, alone. No one will save you; no one remembers you; no one cares about you." My voice whispered in her ear causing the girl to crumple up in a ball, sobbing silently to herself. 


Cackling to myself at her expense, I removed myself from her mind. Ah, another job well done. It truly was, I couldn't help but pat myself on the back. It had taken much too long to find what made her tick, but the payout was well worth it. Hm? It was then I noticed the presence of a new consciousness, or rather unconsciousness. What do we have here? Extending a strand of my power I connected to the new arrivals sleeping form. 


My celebratory mood quickly shifted as I came to enter an utterly black expanse. Despite its outward appearance, the moment I'd appeared I felt as if I was being watched. Unknowingly my heartbeat began to hasten and sweat began to pool from my brow. I'd entered many different minds, and they certainly weren't supposed to be empty. I didn't know what was worse, the fact that the place was empty, or the possibility that I just couldn't see what was there. 


"Who are you? Why're you here?" From the depths a chilling voice reached my ears, halting my advance. 


Robotic in movement, I slowly turned toward the direction I'd heard the voice. Sitting behind me was a figure seemingly unaffected by the darkness, his eye locked directly onto me. He shouldn't be able to see me, perhaps this is all part of his dream. With cautious steps I backpedaled away from the motionless figure, only to discover the distance between us remained unchanged. (IMAGE)


"Who are you? Why are you here?" The figure repeated, this time his tone carrying an edge to it. 


Eyes widening, I stopped once more, this time whispering slightly, 

"You can see me. How?" 


"Who. Are. You? Why. Are. You. Here?" Ignoring my words completely, the figure repeated himself causing the air to grow heavy. 


In a mixture of nervousness and anger, I yelled back in response, 

"I am the Dream Walker and Lord of Nightmares Insomnia! I control the very dreams you have, and you are in my domain!" (IMAGE)


Upon my outburst, I did what I should've done the moment I'd encountered the figure and called forth my ability, hoping to rain down unforeseen terrors. As I grinned murderously at the still motionless figure, from within the endless darkness a single eye opened. The moment it did so, I discovered that the sitting figure was no longer seated and instead was standing directly in front of me. Before I could react, his hand had grasped my neck and slowly squeezed the life out of me. Kicking and screaming I felt my body shut down before I inevitably hung lifelessly within his grasp. 


The next instant I found I was once again standing directly in front of the seated figure, the eye in the darkness still open as though nothing had happened at all. Without a moment to recover another eye opened and a familiar scene presented itself. The sitting figure lunged forward and casually pierced its claws through my chest, lifting me up in the air as I bled out. Wait, claw? 


As darkness embraced me, I again was before a seated figure with two eyes gazing down at my shivering form. From above another eye opened and in an effort to protect myself, I leaped backward having anticipated the figured signature charge forward. Only, it never came. Instead, I felt a long hot breath exhale from behind me. Turning my head slightly, attempting to keep my movement to a minimum, I found I was face-to-face with a wide-open maw. Rows of razor-sharp teeth and four extremely long fangs casually engulfed my figure with ease. 


The next time I appeared in front of the seated figure, I was on my knees, breath heaving, and body convulsing. From above me, I noticed another eye open, and then another, to my horror hundreds if not thousands of eyes began to open. For each eye I locked onto I imagined having to experience another death at the hands of this unknown figure...this creature...this demon. 


"You don't belong here. Leave." Spoke the demon as it waved its hand. 


Instantly a violent force repelled me from the being's mind and back into my cell. 




(POV Amanda Waller) 

Well, well, well. Standing before the bars of the Basilisks Cell I couldn't help but shake my head at the beast's stupidity. (IMAGE)

"Oh 'Lord of Serpents' what a pickle you've put me in. I believe I gave you strict instructions and I don't believe the terms of our agreement were unfair. Yet, what did you do? You went and broke them. For what reason were you wandering around U.S. soil, in the City of Crime of all places? After Banes's mysterious death, Gotham has somehow become even worse." 


Receiving no response from him, I clicked my tongue. 

"Well, no matter. You see you'll repent for your actions one way or another. I'll let you in on a little secret. A.R.G.U.S. takes criminals like yourself and helps rehabilitate them by enlisting their services. Someone like you while a danger to the American people can also prove useful if in the right hands...my hands. This time you will comply, because you have no other choice. If you don't want to die that is." 


Smirking at his still silent form, I directed my gaze to Eve, our resident freak. 

"Eve, I want you to monitor the Basilisk here and ensure he's aware of his current circumstances. I expect him to be prepared for transfer within the next week." 


Receiving a nod in response, I took my leave. Things were truly looking up for the Task Force. Say what you like, but the Basilisk was without a doubt the heavy hitter of my current group. I felt much more confident in our mission odds with him at the helm. 




(POV Eve) 

"After Banes's mysterious death, Gotham has somehow become even worse." 


Waller couldn't see, but I could. Within his dark cell, the Basilisk revealed an eerie smile at the mention of Bane's death, causing my eyes to widen. As though sensing this, his head shot up locking directly onto my own. The chill that ran down my body as he tilted his head in curiosity nearly broke my composure. 


After Waller left, he seemed to ignore my presence and calmly inspected his environment. Testing the shackles at his neck, wrists, and ankles he nodded to himself as though approving of their sturdiness. After a few more moments of silence, I couldn't help but clear my throat to gain his attention. 


"If you're done admiring your imprisonment there are some things you need to be aware of. First, there is a bomb implanted in your neck. The moment you show any sign of disobedience or insubordination, Waller will blow you to kingdom come." While I delivered this otherwise nerve-racking news, the Basilisk rather disinterestedly glanced at me. 




(POV Stygian) 

Following my rather rude introduction to one of the members of Task Force X, I then woke up to find Waller and a random woman outside my prison cell. Listening to Waller pretentiously talk my ear off, I began to grow increasingly impatient with her. That is until she mentioned Bane. Smiling to myself, I noticed the girl beside Waller could see perfectly through my otherwise darkened cell. So, she wasn't human? At least not entirely. After Waller's departure, I grew acquainted with my surroundings before addressing 'Eve'. 


"Eve, huh? You one of Waller's super-human dogs? What can you do?" Getting straight to the point I asked what was on my mind. 


Frowning slightly at my words the woman bit back, 

"You will address me as Nightshade, and I am no one's dog. Though, I certainly owe you no explanations criminal scum." (IMAGE)


"Oh, I apologize. Well, Nightshade, Waller's super-human 'friend' I'm glad you feel that way. I hope Waller shares your sentiment. You will address me as the Basilisk, Lord of Serpents, the Skartarian King, his scaled Royal Highne-" Before I could finish mocking the woman, she scowled at me and stomped away. 




(POV Nightshade) 

Absolutely insufferable. This 'Basilisk' acted nothing like the previous reports stated. He was like a child. Perhaps I was being one as well, but in my fit of anger, I reported back to Ms. Waller. Detailing the suspicious smile, I'd seen him reveal upon her mention of Bane. To say it had perturbed her would be an understatement. 


"Are you implying that the Basilisk killed Bane? That he has been on U.S. soil...walking the streets of Gotham for an unknown amount of time right under our noses. That within this window of time, he met and killed Bane in cold blood? If your words ring true, then this needs to be kept under wraps. Not only that, but we have to question every word that leaves his mouth and the lack of words. Hell, we have to question his entire file!" Slamming a fist on her desk Waller began to pace around her office. 


Running a hand through her hair in thought Waller paused, 

"How could I have been so blind? The missing eye, and the injured one. The scars marring his body. He'd clearly just recovered from a battle. From the tales Dr. Moone and the others shared, he had been injured but never to the point where there'd been lasting damage. If anyone was going to put up a fight capable of mortally wounding this beast...it would be Bane." 


While at most I'd thought that he knew more than he'd let on, I certainly didn't come to the same drastic conclusion that Waller did. Was she merely paranoid or was I simply underestimating the snake-man? Before I could consider more, Waller pressed a button on her desk. 


"I want the Basilisk strapped down and prepared for examination immediately. You're to cut him open and find what makes him tick, I want to know how strong he is, how fast he is, how smart he is. I want you to find his limits." Her announcement spread throughout the facility like an alarm. 


Watching all of this from the side, I couldn't recall the last time I'd seen Waller be afraid. 




(POV Amanda Waller) 

Crossing my arms, I watched as five medical personnel put the Basilisk to sleep. Immediately they began poking and prodding at his body. Things seemed to be going rather smoothly as they prepared to collect blood samples until one of the doctors screamed and began to fight the air in front of him. Throwing wild punches, it was only a matter of time until he connected with a colleague. The moment he did the other doctors hurriedly attempted to hold him back. 


Muffled yells spread throughout the room, as they attempted to calm the maddened man down. Seemingly just as sudden as his outburst, his body completely stilled going limp in the arms of his compatriots. Silence ensued as everyone glanced at one another unsure of what to make of the situation. 


Pressing an intercom from within the room, one of the examiners spoke, 

"He's dead, Ms. Waller. Um, what do we do now? Would you like us to continue?" 


Clenching my jaw, I nodded my head. With that, some personnel entered the room removing the body before the doctors rather nervously went back to work. I wasn't sure what had happened or why, but I did know that we wouldn't find out by sitting around doing nothing. As they prepared to draw blood once more, I remembered what Eve had told me and pressed the intercom button. 


"I have reason to believe he can still see despite having such grievous wounds on his eye. Not to mention the other one he keeps closed. I can only assume his eyes were wounded but I don't know to what degree. Check those first." Stopping their actions, the group of medical examiners nodded at my words. 


Surrounding the Basilisk's sleeping form, they positioned a rather bright light directly over his face before all closely and efficiently inspecting his left eye. After some mumbled discussion between each other they all seemed to come to a consensus and began writing things within their clipboards. Afterward, they moved on to his right eye. Each doctor leaned forward a bit to get a better look, as one of them attached an eyelid speculum to the creature's unconscious form. 


The otherwise seamless examination took a sharp turn a split second afterward, as the otherwise calm doctors grew restless. One fell to the floor scrambling backward, the one nearest to him grabbed a scalpel and began swinging wildly, while another leaped for a medical saw, and the next dove forward tackling the final doctor to the floor. From there utter chaos ensued as horrified and pain-induced screams filled the room. Friend, coworker, none of that seemed to matter as the group fought amongst each other. Within seconds first blood was drawn, and it soon painted the floor, ceiling, and viewing glass. One by one colleagues brutally killed each other in clear hysteria. 


Once more a deafening silence filled the area. The agents standing at attention sharing horrified glances with one another before directing their gaze at me. They looked to me for answers, but who was I supposed to look to? Digging my nails into my arm, my mind raced. 

"Get that eye closed, now! I don't care how you do it, just get it done." 


Hesitation filled the room before the first agent responded to my orders. He rather nervously opened the examination room, doing his best not to vomit at the gory sight within. With cautious steps he crept closer to the Basilisk's sleeping form, making sure not to make eye contact. Watching him carefully, I spotted a mirror that had fallen over during the carnage, and before I could warn the boy, he'd caught a reflection of the creature's gaze. Instantly madness seemed to overtake him as he fought an invisible force. Within moments, much like those before him, he fell to his knees. 


Hesitation was at an all-time high as I began to force agents into the room one by one. After the third death, we'd finally gotten his eye shut and could put an end to the living nightmare. 


NOTE: Sorry for the boring chapter. Gotta do character introductions for this, and the next part so it's just gonna be boring.