Written by The Watcher
Deep below in the bowels of the palace, a captive sat in his solitary prison. His cage a vile laboratory where the Overlord's minions worked in vain to comprehend his secrets. His chains the instrumentation which allowed them to tap his power and utilize it against his will. A will which still was strong and determined as ever, having only been tempered by the fire of his experiences.
From this shackled perspective he had seen it all. His friends and teammates cut down one by one. His hero and mentor sent into a temporal acceleration chamber, to be broken by that monster Desaad. His emergence from the long session defiant and unbroken. His subsequent triumph and death.
Now he was the only one left. He hadn't been active for long, but he was the last one active now that everyone else was gone. His course was clear. He could never give in no matter what happened to him. Never relent. Never surrender. He had an example to live up to and a debt to pay. He owed it to them all to persevere until a day came when he could somehow strike back at their murderers, and deal a fatal blow. For he was now The Last Avenger, and he swore that he would live up to that name.
Written by Chuckg
Watcher froze in mid-thought upon hearing the resonant tones of the Overlord's voice from directly behind him.
"Truly excellent." Glancing once more at a panel of instrument readings, the Lord of the Dominion strode out from behind the rack that held the Watcher's body motionless.
"Excellent? That I've rededicated myself tenfold to your destruction, you monster?"
"Of course. Why do you think that your mind has remained unbroken, despite having been so long in my clutches?"
"Because you just don't have enough to get the job done."
"You inflate your own self-worth far worse than I have ever been credibly accused of doing. Had I truly wished your spirit crushed, you would currently be in a state where oblivion itself would be a mercy."
"Typical Evil Overlord. All talk, no walk. Your pet torturer couldn't break Captain America, and your pet scientists will never break me."
"I am not a common Overlord, I am an extraordinary Overlord. And Steven Rogers remained as unbroken as he did... solely because I did not wish him to be."
The Watcher snorted derisively "Yeah, right. I heard your orders to Desaad..."
"Watcher, sending annoying subordinates to their deaths by assigning them hopeless tasks with no chance of success is one of the traditional perquisites of my position. Surely you've had more than enough chances to see that principle in action already?"
"Then what was the point? If you didn't really want Desaad to break Cap's spirit, then why that whole years-long song and dance with Desaad and his execution?"
"You, along with all the rest, shall find out presently. But for now, it is time for your assistance yet again. You're going to find my Orb for me, Watcher. It lies somewhere within the disputed territories between the dimensional borders of my Dominion and the hiding places of Tanith and her forces. And with your eyes as my searchers, we shall find that 'somewhere'."
"Have you gone senile already, you bastard? I can't scry out the Orb, nothing can! If it were that easy to find, the whole Multiverse would been tripping over it eons ago."
"Of course. The Orb's immunity to all clairsentience and divination is one of its most reliable safeguards. Which is why you are going to find it for me... by scanning for the one blank spot in that particular cluster of universes you cannot see."
Betraying the first small sign of nervousness, the Watcher replied. "You're going to try running a simultaneous-scan of that large a volume through my head? But..."
"The electric shocks are inducing short-term memory loss, I see. As I said recently -- it is a good thing that your willpower, your mental resilience has been increased manyfold and forged adamantine-hard in your hatred. It pleases me that your dedication to resist is now becoming a full-blown obsession, giving you a true fanatic's strength of will."
As the Watcher's rack was inclined back to link the neural-interface couplings into the scanning machines, the Overlord's hand descended towards the largest lever on the main control panel.
"You're going to need it."