"You know, mister Blond, when you first joined my organization, you seemed too good to be true. I suppose I really should have expected this."
Jain Blond shifted on the cold steel table and tried to get his bearings. Heavy leather straps held him firmly in place, from his wrists and ankles all the way to his head. He strained, but could only see the stretch of ceiling directly above him. Still, that was enough to tell him that he wasn't in one of the main labs. The stone walls and thick wood ceiling were part of the older structures further up the mountain: Doctor Mayhem's private retreat.
"There's no point in struggling, mister Blond." The voice was dry, cultured, and methodical as always. "I'm not going to kill you. That said, I can hardly have you trying to sabotage the Great Work, either."
There was a brief pause, and Jain Blond could hear the doctor moving around. "What are you going to do?" he asked.
"I'm going to make you happy, mister Blond. In fact, I'm going to make you so happy that you'll no longer have the will to oppose me. You, my valued assistant, will be the final test of my ear worms. If they can suppress your clever mind and unrelenting sense of duty, then they are truly ready... and it will finally be time to drag this battered world into a new age of peace and happiness, whether its inhabitants like it or not."
Jain Blond had become a spy knowing that each job might be his last; that he might be killed, or tortured, or just imprisoned. He knew how to be patient, how to pick his moment; he had been trained on how to escape from restraints, if he only had time. Only now there was no time, and death would be preferable to what the doctor had in mind.
For a moment, he strained against his bonds. Leather creaked, but nothing gave way. The doctor must have seen him, but the older man didn't bother to comment; he was fitting something against the outside of Blond's ear. Jain tried to shake his head, but to no avail; he felt the worm slither into his ear canal.
For a moment, nothing happened and Jain Blond thought that he might be safe; that the worms were a failure, that he'd managed another miraculous escape.
Then the singing started.
Against his will, international spy Jain Blond began to smile.