"Haunted": Across Los Angeles, those affected by Brainstorm's intelligence spikes are growing more and more agitated. Downtown at the Greenery Mall, Brainstorm has surrounded Mister Terrific with mind-controlled citizens.
- I'm one of the smartest men in the world, but I'm acting like a neanderthal. A frightened caveman whose only method for expressing pain... is pure unadulterated rage. Is that who I really am?
Appearing in "Haunted"
- Athena Tavaris (On a TV or computer screen) (First appearance)
- Detective Hanson (First appearance)
- Edgar Holowitz
- Stephen Wyzeck (First appearance)
Synopsis for "Haunted"
Across Los Angeles, those affected by Brainstorm's intelligence spikes are growing more and more agitated. Downtown at the Greenery Mall, Brainstorm has surrounded Mister Terrific with mind-controlled citizens.
In order to escape them, Mister Terrific flies up into the sky, regrouping, and then coming back down with a fist landing right in Brainstorm's face. It seems as though he has the upper hand, but Brainstorm gleefully explains that he had intentionally brought his enemy closer to him so that he could feed on his mind. Launching cables out that attach to Mister Terrific's body, Brainstorm begins tasting his mind.
In order to escape, Mister Terrific uses his T-Spheres to blast Brainstorm's ears with 200db of white noise. Unfortunately, Brainstorm recovers quickly, and recounts the story of how he became what he is.
He had been Dominic Lanse, a Silicon Valley scientist working in the field of artificial intelligence, with a goal to create transhumanistic interfaces for downloading the intellect into machines. While he succeeded, an accident showed him how to reverse the process - to cause the human intellect to ingest intelligence, human or artificial. With each mind that he consumes, he gets one step closer to the all-mind.
Reaching out, Brainstorm sends out his intelligence spikes to such a great extent that Mister Terrific can't create a field dampener large enough to protect the entire city. However, he does remember that Brainstorm mentioned having figured out how to reverse the ingestion process. Working from this idea, Mister Terrific calls thousands of T-Spheres from his T-Sanctuary to come to the mall and feed Brainstorm with their artificial intelligence.
The resulting influx of information causes the equivalent of mind-indigestion, sending Brainwaive into shock. The result frees all of those citizens who had experienced intelligence spikes. However, Brainstorm isn't beaten. He reveals that he has learned that Mister Terrific is actually Michael Holt, and that revealing the information will destroy his superhero career.
Additionally, Brainstorm informs Michael that he knows the truth about his wife's death. While Paula Holt had been in her car, Brainstorm had performed his first mind-harvest attempt. That harvest caused malfunction in a number of advanced driving systems. All of the onboard electrical systems in Paula's car and others' malfunctioned, causing hundreds of crashes. Paula's death was a side-effect of Brainstorm's birth.
In rage, Michael begins violently beating the man who caused his wife's death. Unfortunately, he looks up to find that he is being watched by children; children who had idolized him. But now, seeing him nearly killing someone has changed their perspective - particularly of his fair play motto. Feeling ashamed, Michael uses a T-Sphere to erase Brainstorm's memory of his identity, knowing that he will not forget what nearly happened there. As he leaves, he is further depressed seeing that his number one fan has given up on him because of his violence.
Sadly, Michael decides to withdraw. He announces to Aleeka that he will be leaving Holt Industries, and he enters the Ninth Dimension. Aleeka is confused and upset, feeling that the company needs Michael Holt to lead it. Donald, however, encourages her to take his place, though he has ulterior motives.
Wandering the Ninth Dimension, Michael hears a voice. He turns to see two interdimensional aliens, who call him Sky Rider and warn that beings called the Kryl are coming, and he is their only hope.
- This book was first published on November 9, 2011.
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