"Face the Truth": Hooker and the Transhuman are dead, and Mitch Shelley has is surprised to find that his fighting has not ended. Above even Hooker, The Lab has one man who runs the show: [[Mitchell Shel
Appearing in "Face the Truth"
- Transhuman (Appears only as a corpse)
- Hooker (Flashback and main story)
- Deathstroke (Flashback only)
Synopsis for "Face the Truth"
Hooker and the Transhuman are dead, and Mitch Shelley has is surprised to find that his fighting has not ended. Above even Hooker, The Lab has one man who runs the show: Mitch Shelley. Looking into his own eyes, Mitch can't imagine how this is possible - that there could be two of him.
Suddenly, though, a flood of memories fills him. Five years ago, it had been the original Mitch Shelley who ruthlessly tested The Lab's biotech on the dead and dying during the war in Iraq. Despite the unorthodox nature of its field testing, the Tektite Solution showed promising results. When an attack on the field base ripped Mitch's arm from his body, a strange figure had injected the solution into him. Deathstroke had gathered Shelley and his companions taken away on an Evac chopper. When Shelley regained consciousness, he ordered the doctors to inject everybody on board with the tektite solution, including himself, Hooker, Carmen Leno, and Bonnie Hoffman.
Shelley's arm was reattached, and the Tektite Solution helped it to heal, though it was still weak. Hooker, unfortunately, could not regenerate, despite being affected by the solution, and so his appearance remained mangled. Leno and Hoffman had shown the best results so far. They were not only able to heal and regenerate, but also their strength and speed were enhanced. Their healing properties would take effect almost instantaneously, rendering them essentially immortal.
Shelley's arm remained weak, and eventually, it began to hurt considerably. The doctors were forced to remove it, thinking that his body had rejected it. They discovered, though, that the reason it had not reattached itself was because his body was growing a new one. The rejected arm was burnt, but the tektites in its bloodstream persisted and were dispersed into the atmosphere. Eventually they reassembled by stripping raw materials from any available resource, forming a fully grown man. It was an exact copy of Mitch Shelley.
The copy, however, was able to work more effectively with the tektites, able to resurrect from death with a new metahuman ability each time. Hooker and the Body Doubles devoted their time to following the trail left by this man. Though the girls were suspicious at the evidence indicating that the head of The Lab was actually the one they were chasing, the real Mitchell Shelley was in fact a cripple, and dying. He hoped that in finding this man who was perfectly fused with the tektites, he could learn how to heal himself and return Hooker to his previous physical state. In order to do that, though, they would need to take this Resurrection Man apart, one particle at a time.
Angrily, Mitch realizes the truth about himself. He was being tracked all this time just to be used as a lab rat in finding a cure for the real Mitch Shelley's condition. He understands that the reason that he was brought back was to make amends. The tektites gave him the good karma to balance out the evil in his old self. With a blast, Mitch knocks his crueller progenitor out of his mechanical suit. The dying man seethes that Mitch is just a weak copy, who couldn't possibly have the guts to kill him. Coldly, Mitch responds that reluctance to kill is not a weakness.
Suddnely, both Mitches are enveloped by a supernatural force-field, with the forces of Heaven and Hell both determined to collect Mitchell Shelley's soul. The demon reminds that this is a contract that Mitch cannot break. He owes the afterlife one soul, and he must choose where it goes. Angrily, Mitch points at his former self, the original, and suggests that Suriel take his soul; the one who set all of this cycle of life and death in motion. The demon is all too eager to let Suriel take him. He has other plans. Suspicious, Suriel plunges her sword into the original Mitch Shelley's chest, and takes his soul to Heaven. Then, the demon whisks both Mitch and Kim Rebecki to Kim's office in Metropolis, leaving the Body Doubles alone and unemployed.
The demon explains that Mitch's soul gets more and more powerful with every resurrection he undergoes. He believes that the world is a more interesting place with that kind of a soul in it. Besides, now that this Mitch's soul is owed to Hell, the demon has plans for him.
Now, worrying about what those plans might be, Mitch and Kim are left alone to wonder what happens next.
- This book was first published on September 12, 2012.
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