From the Desk of the Dictator:

I know I gave his eulogy a few days ago, but I want to spend a bit more time remembering Saber-Cat here.

When I first joined Technefarious, Saber-Cat spent six weeks trying to kill me.

At this point, I’ve been associated with our criminal enterprise long enough that people think of me more as The Killing Man: That Guy From Technefarious than anything else. Back then, I still best known for killing the Titanium Android. Not constrained by the limitations of merely biological body, the Titanium Android relentlessly patrolled the Earth, saving lives of every sort. He was so dedicated to preserving life that he declined to kill those villains he fought that the rest of the world would dispose of in a flat second.

Saber-Cat had fought the Titanium Android three times over the years. Twice, he fought the Android to a standstill and then escaped. The third time ended with a short stint in prison for Saber, which Technefarious extracted him from.

Despite his association with us, Saber-Cat was not so much of a criminal as an immortal furry man with a Sabertooth tiger’s head whose ancient sense of morality is out of step with the modern world. The illegality of jaywalking made no sense to him, and the concept of sitting through a red light when no one was else was coming struck him as insane. His willingness to fight and disdain for the finer points of modern bureaucracy made Technefarious a good fit for him, but he was certainly capable of appreciating the good that Titanium Android did for the world.

As such, he was less than appreciative of the invitation Dr. Occultomancer made to the superhero’s killer to join Technefarious’s ranks. Saber wasn’t able to talk Occult into rescinding his offer, so the big cat-man decided to address his discomfort with the situation by killing me. He was perfectly aboveboard with intentions, challenging me to a duel to the death. I declined, since I didn’t feel any particular need to kill him. He persisted, so I negotiated a different set of terms. We would fight. If he surrendered, I could stay. If I surrendered, I would have to leave. If one of us happened to die during the fight, so be it.

We met that evening in one of the Technefarious’s gyms, before an audience made up mostly of Saber’s friends on the staff. Dr. Occultomancer tried to talk us out of it, but neither Saber-Cat nor I are exactly slavish in obeying orders. After Occult retired to his seat in annoyance, Saber-Cat and I faced off. Saber was armed with that magic saber he loved so much, while I brought in a sword so I had a blade to match against his. It was just a regular sword and perfectly incapable of killing the furry idiot, which I confirmed every night for six weeks by maiming him to the point where he couldn’t actually continue the fight. He got stabbed through the heart, had his eyes ripped out, and limbs severed. My favorite evening was the one where I decapitated him and he spent fifteen minutes cursing at me until his tongue got too dry to speak clearly anymore. He still refused to surrender though. He was immortal and saw no reason the temporary inconvenience of a lack of body parts to declare the fight over.

I’m underselling Saber-Cat’s fighting skills with that last paragraph. He had millennia of combat experience under his belt and none of our fights lasted less than an hour. I just happen to be really, really dangerous myself. After it was clear that a single round wasn’t going to resolve the issue, Dr. Occultomancer declared that we could only continue our fight after the workday. For six weeks, we were the star event of Technefarious’s evenings. Saber couldn’t beat me, and I refused to walk away.

The last night, I waited patiently across our battlefield from Saber-Cat for sixty minutes. He stood the entire time with his resting on the hilt of his saber, its tip dug into the ground, watching me through slitted eyelids. At the end of that hour, he placed his blade on the ground, then walked over and knelt before me. That was the last time we crossed swords.

Well, with actual swords anyway. He never hesitated to tell me off when he thought I was wrong, even after I took over Technefarious.

Our occult department tells me they think there was some sort of magical interference with our attempt to rescue him after the failure of Operation Carved Branch. When possible, the Establishment likes to teleport its superpowered prisoners when it needs to move them from one place to another. There have been so many escapes and rescues during transit when their prisoners are moved the regular way that the expense of teleportation is worth it when the superpowers involved don’t make it too risky. The interruption of the power containment they have to use on Frigid and Bleach if they were teleported means they will have to be moved over land. Saber-Cat, with his purely physical powers, was a perfect candidate for teleporting. Technefarious has been sitting on a scheme to intercept an Establishment teleportation signal for some time now, and this seemed like a reasonable time to tip our hand on that. The worst that our attempt should have resulted in was causing enough interference to bounce him back to his original teleportation pad. Instead, our attempt to steal the signal scattered him across half the world.

When our science department reported that, I knew he was dead this time, just like I knew my sword couldn’t kill him back when I fought him. Because of his powers, we could never hook him into our soul catchers, but I had our occult department try to retrieve him anyways. They could only confirm that his soul had indeed passed to the other side.

Goodbye, Saber-Cat. You will be missed.

Your Leader,

Dr. Photius Callaway
The Killing Man