"Hello you're watching The World Wants to Know, a talk show where we discuss all things superhero...and supervillain." The hostess Evita Krump finally directed her attention to me and away from the faces of the cameras. "We have a special guest with us today: Mirage." She leaned forward seriously, though her eyes were brightly eager, her behavior was beginning to make me wonder why I'd agree to do this in the first place. But her first question brought it all back to me, "Now, Mirage we're told you can give us the inside scoop on Syndrome. You used to work for him as his right hand lady, correct?"
I nodded, steeling myself up, I was doing this for him, so that the world might really know what he was like. "Yes, I worked with him for many years."
Evita cocked her head curiously at me, "Really? Just how long did you work for Syndrome?"
I felt a faint smile crease my lips as I considered. "It's hard to say exactly. We were together for a long time, we were friends in school; I was able to grow up with him before all the Syndrome business had really taken a hold of him."
Evita tipped her head back and gave a sharp triumphant cackle. Once she had control of herself she leaned into me, closer than before, "So we can get an inside scoop on his childhood," she whispered almost venomously, in a slightly louder tone she asked, "So tell me, what was it like knowing Syndrome before he was, well, Syndrome."
Bright and exciting memories of my childhood began to flood back to me. "He was stunning as a child, an inventor for as long as I knew him. He didn't have an ounce of superpower in him, but he wanted to help the supers so badly...of course that was before I knew him. When I came on the scene his ideas were already starting to be twisted, he'd had a few years to stew on Mr. Incredible not wanting him as a sidekick."
Evita interjected abruptly. "And you don't have any superpowers either, correct?"
I nodded. "Syndrome did as much as he could by his own brains; the supers had done him an injustice, so he was not eager to bring them to his side. But he wasn't all bad; there was a time when he really wanted to help save the world, not simply get revenge on the supers to make it look like he'd saved the world." I chuckled briefly. "He could be such a regularly rambunctious boy, once I helped him sneak into Edna Mode's place so he could steal some fabric to make a costume for himself. He even helped save my cousin from Bomb Voyage once." I smiled fondly, "Oh the adventures we had."
Evita scoffed a bit, "Surely, you can't be telling me that one of the greatest supervillains of our time was once just a regular boy dreaming of saving the world?"
"Ideas like his are often a long time in developing and coming to fruition, but I'm not saying he was a regular boy either, he more clever than anyone I've known before or since. I've never known anyone but him, with such a mind for inventing things. The things he could have done if he'd put his energy to it rather than defeating Mr. Incredible."
Evita leaned in grinning viciously, more triumphant than ever. "But you knew him before; couldn't you have shown him how to direct his energies that way?"
Tears choked at me; did she think I'd never had the same thought? "I was blind. When we were younger there were only faint glimpses of the ideals that were to come, he rarely spoke of the supers. By the time I realized what his plans had been all along, I was in too deep."
"How can you harp on about the greater good if you yourself were not even obliged to follow it?"
I looked at my hands realizing I'd tightly clasped them in my lap. I opened my mouth, but my throat was too tight for words to escape. I hadn't wanted to become so emotional in front of anyone; leastwise a tv audience as well, but there wasn't anything I could do to replace that ache now. "I was in too deep." I managed to repeat, though I wasn't sure if the words were actually audible.
"How could you be in too deep to defend the truth and justice and all that is good in this world?" Evita pressed unrelentingly.
Tears finally escaped and I sobbed hard as the question returned: if I had acted better could I have saved Syndrome? Was it my fault that the man I loved was dead?
Evita put a hand on my shoulder, though I doubted it was as kind as it was meant to look, if I knew anything about her she was just fishing for an answer to her question. "Mirage," She stated in a soft tone.
Not wishing to embarrass myself anymore, I managed to pull myself together. I looked up at Evita my eyes still flooded with tears. One of her eyebrows was raised archly; clearly she still expected an answer from me. I wanted to glare at her, stand up and just walk out, but I couldn't, it wouldn't be doing a proper honor to Syndrome if I couldn't at least admit this, show the world that there had been enough good in him for someone to fall in love with, that his life had just ended up going a little bit astray.
"Why can I defend good, but still be in too deep?" I asked quietly, letting the question help me catch my breath, "Because I love him." The present tense wasn't even forced; his death hadn't stopped me from loving him. If anything it had only confirmed how strongly I did love him.
In the quiet that followed this final statement I stood up and left, back straight and unashamed. I hoped I'd done Buddy justice.