The Gravemaker finally had Mister Miracle right where he wanted. It was too cliched. He kidnapped Miracle's girlfriend, made her scream a little to draw Miracle in. What he didn't know was that his girlfriend was just one of Gravemaker's minions. She was a prop, paid to draw in Miracle with her damsel in distress shtick about once a month until they made some sort of connection. And now the payoff.
Gravemaker paced around the specially crafted cage ready to delivery his stereotypical "winner" speech. He was ready to finally unload all the pain and suffering that had been locked away for years.
"Where is she Gravemaker?" Mister Miracle demanded, while trying every angle to bend or break the bars of the cage.
"Who? Missy? She's quite safe." He pointed over to a chair in the corner where Missy sat, playing on her phone with glee. Mister Miracle looked confused. "Oh did you think she was your girlfriend? Does is crush you to know that she's worked for me this whole time?"
Mister Miracle backed off of trying to break out and leaned back against the bars. "Well... yeah.... I kind of thought we made a connection. I mean we liked all the same stuff and I thought maybe she was getting herself in trouble just to hang out with me."
Gravemaker cackled. "Well you're an idiot. Finally I've proven that brains can beat out brawn." Then he went into his primary main speech. "You know, since I was a child I wanted to be just like you Mister Miracle." He emphasized the name like he was spitting it out at someone. "I wanted to be tall..."
"Lifts.." Mister Miracle interjected.
"... and strong..."
"exoskeleton..." Miracle interjected again.
"... and handsome..."
"chin comes with the cowl." He interjected once more.
Gravemaker fumed "It's very hard to deliver a monologue with you interrupting!"
"Sorry. I'm just saying."
"Just saying what exactly? That you're a fake?" Gravemaker questioned, his voice booming in the almost empty room.
"Well... yeah I guess. I mean, honestly I always wanted to be the bad guy. You know, using my vast knowledge and underworld connections to manipulate the world toward my ultimate villainous goals. It always sounded so much more fun than beating people up."
"What?" Gravemaker wasn't sure exactly what he was hearing. "You're just saying that because I have you locked in a cage and I'm about to incinerate you with this electrolazer I've created."
"Electrolazer? See... now that's what I'm talking about. I can't even use guns. I'm supposed to be this goody goody guy and go around and save people, even the bad ones. I'd live to just blow something up once. Or punch right through a guy's face."
"You're a liar! Don't toy with my emotions. You've somehow deduced that I wanted to be a hero growing up and now you're just playing me to make a connection."
"Would a hero lie?" Mister Miracle posited. "I mean when in any of our encounters have I ever lied?"
Gravemaker thought for a moment. He couldn't think of any situation where Mister Miracle had ever lied. He was too goody-two-shoes for that kind of stuff.
"Ok... so what? You made your choices and now you're a good guy and in my little cage."
"Well... I don't have to be a good guy. I've been doing it mainly because my dad made all this stuff and expected me to take up the mantle when he died. Then he up and died and my mom and the butler just gave me those puppy dog eyes. So what could I do. I had to be a good guy. Then mom died last year and the butler was squashed by a loose gargoyle on that old mansion. Tragic accident. So sad to see him go that way."
"So you're saying that you don't want to be a good guy anymore?" Gravemaker asked.
Mister Miracle began slipping out of his Miracle suit to reveal a much shorter thinner and less handsome man underneath. "I think it might work out better if we just traded places. Maybe give me a shot at being the villain I've always wanted to be and you the hero you've always wanted to be?" His voice was thin and nasally without the enhancement of the suit.
Gravemaker looked at his captive and it was as if he were looking in a mirror. Here was this "hero" who was thin and frail and nothing that looked like a hero. Maybe that meant that he too could be a hero if he just had the right equipment. But he was so close to his goal of destroying Mister Miracle. His mind was doing flips.
"So we just trade places? I become Mister Miracle and you become Gravemaker? Would that even work?" Gravemaker asked.
"Well, noone has ever seen the real identities of either of us. All of my family is dead and my butler just met an untimely demise. Who's going to say you aren't Mister Miracle?"
Gravemaker came to the cage slowly pondering a new life as a hero. He could be out in the sun, flying around, people looking up at him in wonder, people cheering with joy. No longer would he be bullied or laughed at. He just had to have the suit.
"Deal. You give me the suit and everything you have, I'll give you my electrolazer and everything in my lair. Agreed?"
"Sounds great. Wow! Thank you so much this is awesome. I thought I was going to die today and it ends up being the best day of my life." Mister Miracles eyes welled up with tears a little. "Best day of my life." He repeated.
Gravemaker hit the unlock button for the cage and it fell away, leaving a half naked little man and a Miracle suit in the middle of the room under a spotlight.
The discussion had finally pulled Missy away from her phone and she started toward the too men to see what was going on.
Gravemaker moved quickly to grab his prize, handing off the electrolazer, stripping off his own clothes to done the Miracle suit. His voice changing as he pulled the cowl over his own boring face, to become suddenly dimpled and handsome. "THIS IS AWESOME" He boomed with his new deepened voice. He flexed this way and that, feeling the strength of the suit.
The former Mister Miracle picked up the former Gravemaker's black robe and pajama bottoms and slipped them on. "No need to go around half naked. These fit great and they're so much more comfortable. I never knew you wore pajamas under your robe. Such a great idea. This has been really eye opening. But you know what I don't even know your real name?"
"What? Oh, oh. It's Mark." The new Mister Miracle said.
"I love being on a first name basis. My names Bob. It's been really nice knowing you Mark."
Mark realized his fate a moment too late as he saw the electrolazer crackle at the tip and then ZZZZT ZZZZT and Mark and the Miracle suit were no more.
Missy chortled as she got closer "Oh now that's good stuff. You do this bad guy thing really well, I like you." She smiled.
Bob smiled back. "Well it was his fault anyway. I mean first just if you think of me as the bad guy. Am I really going to just give him a pass when I could just kill him on the spot. I mean it's not like we're friends or anything or I owe him anything. Plus this whole idea of good guy, bad guy. It's just a false dichotomy. Good people do bad things. Bad people do good things. It's all about the balance of happiness after the outcome really. If something bad happens but people are ultimately happy, then was it really a bad thing?"
Missy beamed and threw her arms around Bob. "I really like smart guys. Do you wanna go to the lair and have some fun?"
Bob frowned. "Missy, I thought we were going to be best friends. Plus I just don't swing that way."
She looked surprised for just a moment and then she looked like ash.
"Yuck," Bob said as he brushed Missy off of his purloined robe. "Now I remember why I don't like guns. Too messy. I better get back home, it's almost dinner time and Mom always gets a little too frisky with the butler if I'm gone too long. Can't have that man holding another sexual harassment lawsuit over my head."