9 PM, February 28th.
Wilhelm had begun to re-evaluate.
Why had he even gone to Atlantis in the first place?
It was a question he knew the answer to in the back of his mind, but didn't want to actually address. He'd been granted a gift, and the first thing he'd done with it was to go behave like an infatuated teenager.
He really hadn't been prepared for the sudden hormonal shift of adopting Bjorn's body, which was quickly dying as an aside, and had reacted accordingly.
He would be more careful a second time.
First order of action: create a new plan. Rather than focus on Karen, Karen, Karen, he would use the fact that she was currently busy and believed him dead to make a move. He knew of monarchists in Austria who would be virtually euphoric to have a metahuman von Habsburg, especially one as powerful as himself pressing his claim, as well as Spaniards who had lived through and still fondly remember a Fascist regime.
Second order of action: get out of this dying body.
Wilhelm wrenched open the sealed door to one of his many hideouts, coughing as old dust flew up his nostrils, a smell similar to death. This had been his home for the first year after he'd come to Hub City, a younger man with an open wound on his forehead. He'd made his home in an old nuclear bunker, left abandoned after a fatal safety flaw was discovered that made it unworthy of continued use.
A Mossad agent poking around the nearby town for men of his description was enough to make him pack up and seal the building back up.
He had almost been caught by the Israelis on more occasions than he could count, but a faked death in the sixties took them off of his trail, and remained as his official date of death until he re-emerged and died for real.
The wound he carried when he first discovered the place had come from a fight with Heinrich Dersch, a former Gestapo officer and the sponsor who had ferried him in. Unfortunately he was simply attempting to turn him in for clemency, Dersch struck him in the skull with a shovel and dragged him into his truck. Wilhelm crashed the vehicle with a concealed grenade and was forced to slash Dersch's throat.
The surge of nostalgia he felt when he entered the bunker was palpable, and the fact that everything, to the dust on the radio, was exactly how it had been when he had hastily left so many years ago. The bunker looked like a well-furnished family home, he could easily see two children running amuck as a father sat upon the couch with his hound, the mother of the house off in the kitchen fixing up a meal.
This sameness was exactly what he was counting on.
He picked up the old bubble-shaped radio with its massive antennae and sighed. The batteries inside would have long since discharged, but he still felt his heart beat just a bit quicker as he ran his fingers over the dials and felt a feeling so familiar.
This was a strange feeling. He had never longed for the past quite so boldly before. This damned body and its hormones.
Speaking of bodies. He spotted a pair of glasses on a chair armrest. More accurately a frame, he had worn it as a disguise for a few months. Ah, the follies of youth. Taking the time to decorate and disguising so poorly: inexperience manifest.
Why did these glasses excite him so? One memory. The frames were manufactured in pieces, with the temple tips being separate from the rest of the frame. This separation lead to little strands of hair being caught between and pulled out, a painful and unpleasant experience. This was before he had begun to shave his head, and he would be lying if he said this annoyance hadn't contributed.
Human hair lasted around a year, unpreserved, but this bunker had been sealed for decades. Mummified bodies often retained their hair, so Wilhelm could only hope that this factoid carried over to his own.
As he lifted the frames, a small yellow line in the frame granted his wish. An old hair, blonde as the day it had been ripped out. He pulled it out and secured it between two microscope slides.
With one last longing look at the bunker, he left at speed, using his telekinesis to toss himself into the air. As he flew, he pulled out a phone.
He had gotten an amount of his DNA, now he just needed to clone it.
He'd never been a genius with computers, but he had connections to be geniuses for him. A hack of a certain email account, luckily not detected, gave him the password to the personal email of one Leonardo Cash, a vigilante streamer of little importance, except for one notable email. A simple notice, and a simple, simple really, but it showed an impressive construction, far beyond the capabilities of anyone Wilhelm had ever interacted with. Not only that, but also a program, incredibly complex and wonderfully effective, at least according to his contact. Perhaps this person, demonstrably a genius, could be able to recreate his body.
He floated, writing out an email haltingly, cursing himself as he floundered with the phone's many buttons.
To: GirlGeniusJ355@ihavemyownemailservice.pizzaFrom: J61d187yya543@Emailburner.com
Subject: Business Proposition
Body: Dear Girl Genius J355,
Hello, this is a business proposition, as can be assumed from the title of this electronic letter. I have
discovered your considerable talent, and wish to commission you. Your creations are both impressive in
construction as well as in concept, and I have made a few assumptions about your capabilities. To state it
simply: I require an adult-aged human clone, created both speedily and clandestinely. I will provide the
necessary genetic material, as well as a considerable sum of money.
To assuage any fears as to the authenticity of this electronic letter, I have attached an image of two
gold bars as well as the current date and time as I send this. I have taken pictures from multiple angles to
assure that the images are not electronically constructed, and I have attached a picture of my hand holding
the time and date to assure that I am a real person.
If there are any questions, I will be sure to answer. I am certain that the payment will be immense for
such a gargantuan task, and I assure you that I have more than simply the gold bars that I have shown you.
I will come to a meeting location of your selection once all details have been decided upon.
A potential business partner.