Silence. That's what defined this room the best. The foyer was impressive, for sure. Marble floors, white walls, a silver chandelier hanging in the middle of the room, black, leather couches symmetrically placed against either wall, and a giant marble desk with a polished granite top, which sat the secretary whose mind was filled with these thoughts. She glanced around the room to check if anything had changed. It hadn't. It never does. Believe it or not, an electronics company office was not the place to be. And she had so much hope. She rolled her eyes after that thought. Even her own mind was starting to annoy her. The only break in the monotony of the day was when Mr. Spencer stopped by around lunch time to make sure everything was going alright and to get the mail. Even though he was the CEO, he always made time for his employees. His excuse was that he should know to whom his money is disappearing to, but she knew that he was far more caring than that. He simply liked people, which is why he got into electronics in the first place: to help people and make their lives easier. His son, David, though still a teenager, was being beginning to show similar personality traits of his father. He would make a great CEO one day.
The golden front doors burst open, causing the secretary to jump. In walked two men, both in pinstripe suits. The taller one was in a blue one, and looked very dignified in his short, slicked hair and pencil moustache. He looked completely in his element. Must be an investor or something like that. The other, however, did not look at all comfortable. He walked stiffly, his face set into a permanent frown. The suit was not tailored to his muscular body and bulged and wrinkled everywhere, making him look even more uncomfortable. They walked straight up to the desk of the secretary and the taller man leaned slightly forward.
"Good afternoon, miss. I was wondering if it would be at all possible to see Mr. Zimmerman today?"
His accent was curious. His voice was soaked in a 1950's upper class air, with just a tinge of Canadian for good measure, and made him incredibly charming. The secretary blushed slightly.
"Uh, let me just check his schedule here..." she quickly flipped through a pile of papers off to her side. "Yes, he is free at the moment. Does that work for you gentlemen?"
"That would be perfect, miss." The man smiled and tipped his head forward. "Thank you very much for your help. You have a wonderful day."
The two men turned and walked towards the large oak doors to their left, and she smiled as they left. That should keep her entertained for at least a few hours.
Captain Incredible pushed open the heavy wood doors and revealed the large, posh office. At the opposite end facing them was a big redwood desk with a pudgy mad crouched over some papers. As the doors opened, he looked up and was struck with a confused look.
"Hello? Do you have an appointment? I don't remember making any today...I'll have to talk to Susan..."
Zimmerman started to stand up from his work, but the Captain was closed the doors behind him.
"Jacob Zimmerman, we have a business proposition for you. Sorry we did not phone ahead, but we knew you would be interested."
Zimmerman's confusion was somewhat replaced with a look of interest and he slowly sat back down. Pointing to the black leather chairs in front of his desk, he nodded to the two heroes in disguise. The Captain looked over at the Gladiator, who pulled a piece of paper out of his coat and laid it on the desk.
"We have heard that you are suffering some nasty losses in personal involved in some...extra curricular business." He gave Zimmerman a quick wink, then continued. "We have a solution to that problem. They need training to be effective and we own the best training outfit in the Easter United States. Your excursions would become much more profitable."
Pointing to the paper on Zimmerman's desk, the Captain added, "This is our basic terms and conditions. Pretty run of the mill, no real surprises, but we do need you to sign on that pretty dotted line at the bottom there."
Zimmerman grabbed the paper and skimmed over it, his frown growing deeper with every passing line. After a minute of silence, he looked up.
"Your business doesn't exist."
Doing his best to looked shocked, the Captain exclaimed, "That is a fairly rash accusation when two of its founders are in the same room as you!"
The man behind the desk set the paper down on the many piles covering the beautiful redwood top. "Your story and paper has so many holes that I won't even bother to tell you of all of them. I have better uses of my time, like asking what brought Captain Incredible and the Gladiator to my office."
The Captain sunk slightly in his chair. He was certain that his fabrication was strong enough to last at least a few minutes. He glanced at the Gladiator to his right. His expression had not changed the entire meeting, staring coldly ahead with his face set in stone. The Captain could not get too dejected, though. This is why they came here. He straightened in his chair and stared at Zimmerman, who was matching the Gladiators cold features.
"I think you know very well why we're here. You're cheap labour gave you up when we apprehended them. Now we have to stop you."
Instead of anger, Zimmerman instead began to smile. It wasn't a comforting smile, either, but one that made you nervous of the next words that would exit his mouth.
"I knew you would come. I even knew my stupid minions would give me up. I have bigger plans. Did you figure that out, there, Captain?" Zimmerman sneered at the two heroes in the chairs in front of him and rose from his own. "In fact, I was hoping you'd come."
Suddenly, the Gladiator jumped out of his chair and punched Zimmerman right in the face. He stumbled backwards into the back wall, slightly stunned and wiped his mouth with the back of his hand. A streak of blood remained after Zimmerman dropped his hand, and soon a streak was dripping down the right side of his mouth into his goatee and onto his tailored suit. The smile immediately disappeared and his voice became a harsh growl.
"I know theres only two of you. You're old and washed up. You can't afford to have many enemies. But I'm about to make the most powerful one you've ever seen. I'll finally be rid of you, even if I have to be patient."
"But why get rid of us? We keep peace and justice, which usually isn't a bad thing," asked the Captain, who was beginning to be very worried. Zimmerman was brilliant, but also unpredictable and violent. Things were not going to be pretty.
"Because," burst Zimmerman, now holding a small pen with the clicker on his thumb, "we businessmen need to be free to make money. You're stopping us! You're cancer to the American economy and must be eradicated for everyone to be happy again!"
As the Gladiator took another step toward Zimmerman, he clicked his pen. One more punch crossed Zimmerman's face before a dull thud was heard from above, which shook the entire office, and was soon followed by people screaming and the sound of fire extinguishers. Captain Incredible turned wide eyed to the man sitting on the ground with blood in his facial hair and now a broken nose that was pouring blood. He was chuckling between spurting coughs.
"What have you done?" the Captain asked slowly and accusingly.
"You just killed the great Douglas Spencer."
The Gladiator stomped over to the pathetic mess of a man on the floor, grabbed his collar, lifted him up to his face, and screamed, "WHAT HAVE YOU DONE?!"
He dropped Zimmerman back onto the floor. He groaned as he hit, but continued to chuckle. "I set off a bomb I had planted there for weeks. Along with it was an exact replica of your helmet, Gladiator, along with a chunk of the Captain's cape. I even rigged security footage to show you running from his office. When his son finds out, he's gonna want revenge. And he has powers of which I have never seen. He doesn't even know he has them!" The low chuckle now was a full out laugh. "I've killed both of you!"
Captain Incredible was beside himself. He had walked into the most perfectly formulated trap in his life. Ten years ago he would not have made this mistake. Now his image was ruined and he would have a formidable enemy in the future. He was infuriated and worried and confused and mortified. Drastic times, as the saying goes, call for similar measures.
"James, grab him. He cannot be allowed contact with the boy."
The Gladiator hoisted Zimmerman over his shoulder, much to Zimmerman's discomfort.
"What are you doing to me? I'm untouchable!"
The Captain bent down to his bloodied face, now pressed against the Gladiator's back. "In this country you are."
Horror filled every pore of his face. "No." He stuttered. "You wouldn't. You're supposed to be the good guys!"
The Captain turned and walked out of the room, ignoring Zimmerman's panicked pleas. The Gladiator was going to break out of the low window in the office and meet him at the van. He walked by the secretary, who smiled at him, but he failed to notice. He was deep in thoughts consumed in emotion. In America, Zimmerman was immune to all forms of justice. He had connections everywhere and he knew he was going to get off scot free. However, there were some places outside of the continent, say, for example, Siberia, that would love to take a prisoner and not ask any questions. That's what Zimmerman deserved, and he knew it, too.
There was one more thought on the Captain's mind. He had walked into a trap without having the slightest hint. It was shameful. If he was younger, he would have known. Therefore, there was only one logical conclusion. He was almost 50, had children and grandchildren, and after this story got out, his reputation would be toast. It was time to disappear. It was time to retire.