View Full Version : Fiction A What-If Story #11 (read only)
(song lyrics by Chris Isaak)
'Baby did a bad bad thing, baby did a bad bad thing.
Baby did a bad bad thing, baby did a bad bad thing.'
Location: dingy hotel room. She sits on the foot of her soiled bed and pulls her leather pants on, enjoying the pleasurable tingling as the tight clothing fits her every curve and recess. She follows this with her knee-high boots, picking them up off of the brown carpet, covered with cigarette butts and beer cans.
'You ever love someone so much you thought your little heart was gonna
break in two?
I didn't think so.
You ever tried with all your heart and soul to get you lover back to you?
I wanna hope so.
You ever pray with all your heart and soul just to watch her walk away?'
She pulls her green cotton half-top on and her gloves, black leather. She glances back over her shoulder. He isn't moving. Hell, he isn't breathing.
'Baby did a bad bad thing, baby did a bad bad thing.
Baby did a bad bad thing, feel like crying, feel like crying.
You ever toss and turn you're lying awake and thinking about the one you love?
I don't think so.
You ever close your eyes you're making believe you're holding the one you're dreaming of?
Well if you say so.
I hurts so bad when you finally know just how low, low, low, low, low, she'll go.
Baby did a bad bad thing, baby did a bad bad thing.'
She goes to the window and opens it. Once out onto the fire escape, she breathes in the cool night air of New York, her city. She jumps...and flies. So this is what that feels like. She also knows that she can survive underwater, and the strength coursing through her.. exhilarating! She wants to rip something apart now, but she knows that she has to wait. She shouldn't even be flying. She finds an alley near her goal and lands.
"Where you been?" Ororo asked. She's been working here the longest, she's in charge when X isn't around.
"I was on a job." she replied, pulling several large bills out of her left boot and handing them to Ororo.
"Well.. get back to work."
She complied, walking to the edge of the sidewalk as cars slowly pass by. She loved her job. She was the best hooker in Mutant Town.
Steve and Dane didn't want to be called out at 3AM, but they were on duty. The pair responded to a call at the Royale. The 'real' cops were already there.
"What info do we have?" Steve asked, approaching the homicide detective he recognized. John Gold had been a cop for seventeen years. He had an alcohol problem and was on the verge of divorce. When he had nowhere else to turn, he would call Steve.
"DNA has been analyzed. The corpse was a mutant. High, arched eyebrows, tiny wings on his ankles.."
"Namor." Steve stated. "I fought by his side against the Nazis. He disappeared before I was defrosted."
"You telling me that someone aced the famous Sub-Mariner? Good God, that's a red ball in my case file. Just what I don't need."
"Don't worry, John. I'm taking the case off your hands. He was always standoffish, but I considered Namor a trusted ally. I am going to find out who killed him."
The men went up to the room. SCU was gathering evidence from around the room. Cap took a whiff of the bed area.
"Someone had sex in this bed, not long ago either. Uncover the body."
John pulled back the blanket that had been draped across the corpse. There he lay, naked, long hair and beard, his skin sunken. "Oh yeah. Looks like he died happy, though." John said, replacing the blanket.
"I will be present for the autopsy. I can't detect the method of execution." Cap walked over to the open window. He looked out, toward the lower east side. Mutant Town.
She leans forward as the gold Lexus stops beside her, letting gravity accentuate her 'selling points'. Three young men, early twenties, sit inside, ogling her.
"Muties or flatscans? I take only muties." she said, resting her arms in the opened passenger window recess. The boys smiled. The one in the passenger seat began to grow until it looked like he was going to break open the vehicle. He returned to normal size.
"What about you, what can you do?" the driver asked.
"I can see the future. I see a wild night, if you have five-hundred dollars."
The driver flashed the money. She slid into the remaining space on the backseat.
"You know, I remember when this place used to be something. Great places to eat, lots of entertainment. Then the muties took over."
Monica half-listened to Dane's rant. She was partnering with the man for Steve, who was present at an autopsy. She didn't like Dane, few did. He was a bitter man who only held his tongue around Steve.
The two were in the middle of Mutant Town. Steve had a hunch that he was unable to follow up on. Anyone else, and Monica would believe it was 'blame the muties first' again. She respected Steve. He was a man of honor. If he said that the killer could be from Mutant Town, she believed him.
Mutant Town had overtaken the lower east side in the mid-eighties. In conjunction with the Mutant Registration Act, the people who complied needed a place to live. Almost the entire nation played 'NIMBY', refusing them access. With a good-sized mutant population already present in this area, other mutants migrated here. Soon they were an immovable fixture.
The coroner had just finished inspecting the body and was about to make a 'Y' incision in Namor's chest. Steve stood on the other end of the table, watching.
"The skin is slightly dessicated, flaky in some areas. Due to his half-Atlantean parentage, there's no telling if this is a result of drying out or not. No more Atlanteans to ask anymore, either." the coroner stated for the benefit of his autopsy recording.
Steve couldn't believe it. How could this happen to someone like Namor? This was a mystery in itself, one from which Steve had to tear his attention away. He was here to investigate Namor's murder.
"Upon opening the chest area, his vital organs appear to be undersized. His body water looks extremely low." The coroner s####ed some skin from Namor's chest and placed it in a viewing plate. He handed it to Steve and directed him to the microscope as he began to remove Namor's heart and lungs.
Steve peered at the skin. It was indeed dessicated, not just dried out. Dessication was a tool that some insects used, like spiders. They would catch flies in their web, then suck the juices out of them. Someone sucked the life out of Namor.
"So.. what's your name?" One of the three boys asked as they entered the slimy motel room they'd paid for.
"I'm whoever you want me to be." she replied.
The last one in was the one who had grown in the Lexus. He secured the door behind him. The driver reached under the bed and pulled out a plastic body covering. He pulled it on himself and grabbed a baseball bat.
"What if we want you to be dead, mutie?"
She turned to leave. The young man at the door grew. As he did, he got stronger. He grabbed her by her gloved wrists and tossed her across the room.
She smiled, unhurt.
As she got up, she grabbed the one in the plastic outfit and slammed him through the bathroom door. The second man grabbed a knife from under his shirt and stabbed her in the back.
Except that the knife didn't puncture her skin.
She slammed her fist at his head. Blood and skull went everywhere as the young man's head vaporized under the force of her punch. The big one fumbled with the door lock, trying to escape. She removed her gloves and caught him with her unexposed hands.
As the young man began getting smaller, weaker, he cried out. She tossed him to the floor. "You're not a mutant, are you?" she asked, knowing the answer.
"No! My dad gave me these powers! Please!"
She pulled her gloves back on and grasped the young man by the neck and squeezed until he was dead.
The young man in the bathroom opened his eyes and saw her standing over him. "You..you said you could see the future.."
"Oh I can. It's not my power, but I can. I see you dying."
She lifted the young man over her head, and brought him down, back first, across the rim of the tub. His back gave before the tub did.
Morning. Her time on the street was done. She returned to the room she shared with Ororo, who wasn't there yet, destroyed her bloody clothes, and went to sleep.
"This is the worst part of the job." Steve said, pulling the black sedan up the long driveway. He drove slowly toward the mansion ahead, Dane beside him in the front, Monica and her partner Clint in the back. Steve stopped behind the classic Rolls Royce that was being washed. He and the others disembarked and went up to the massive double doors. Steve knocked.
A butler answered the door. Steve handed him his card. The butler turned back toward the dining room. "The police are here, Madam." he declared.
"Send them in, Jarvis. I'm done with breakfast."
"As you wish, Miss Van Dyne."
Jarvis led the three men and one woman through a gallery and into the dining room beyond. Sitting at the table, dressed in lingerie and covered by a thin, silk robe sat the mistress of the house. Janet Van Dyne, world famous fashion designer.
"I can tell by looking at you that you're not normal police, not with those builds. Super cops?" Van Dyne asked, placing a cigarette in a holder and lighting it.
"Special Police Investigators, Superhuman Affairs." Steve stated. Van Dyne motioned for them to sit. Dane and Clint did.
"The former Avengers. So, you found something to do after all the 'super villains' were captured. I assume you are here about my son?"
"Yes, ma'am. We were unable to locate the father, so.."
"Henry Pym. What potential he had when I met him. He could have been like that Richards gent, making scads of cash from his inventions. I married him before I realized what a dreamer and a fool he was.
"You see, he was infatuated with you super types and was always trying to create 'super powers'. Would you believe that fool actually wanted me to shrink and fly around like a bug? Thank God for pre-nups. I divorced him, but we had conceived David. He was too much like his father."
"So his father is the one who gave him the ability to grow and become stronger."
Van Dyne puffed on her cigarette. Steve guessed that she thought she looked sexy doing it, but cigarettes were just disgusting to him. "Ma'am?"
"Well isn't that obvious? Yes, it was his father."
"Did David have any enemies? Why would he be killed in a motel room by someone physically stronger than him? He and his friends were brutally killed."
"Well.. they were mutie haters. Maybe they tried to attack one."
"Thank you, Miss Van Dyne. We'll be in touch." Steve led the others out. His suspicions were slowly being confirmed.
"I'm afraid.." the girl said, looking up into the eyes of her roommate.
Kitty smiled at her. "It'll be OK, Jubilee. This guy's a regular. He's always been good to me." she said, wiping the tears from the fifteen year-old's eyes. Jubilee hugged her, then went outside. The man was hairy like an animal, long sideburns, a cigar in his mouth. He couldn't be taller than 5'4". He put an arm around Jubilee and walked away with her.
Kitty sighed. "The first time is always hardest. She'll do fine, though."
"So..why'd Logan stop his 'Kitty Only' policy?" Lorna asked, coming down the stairs of their run-down tenement.
"I got too old." Kitty replied. She'd just turned eighteen.
Steve and Dane had slept for a few hors in the afternoon, now the two were in Mutant Town for the night. Steve wanted a resolution to this, and he intended to get it. He pulled his tan trenchcoat on over his black sweater and pants, then closed the door to their car.
"What's the plan?" Dane asked, looking around him with disdain. He hated the muties, hated the way they were taking over. He patted his holster and looked at his partner.
"Who would kill Namor naked? Why would he be exposed like that?"
Dane listened to Cap and cast his eyes at the street corner. "Hooker? You think he was killed by a mutant hooker? Where's the motive?"
Steve stepped onto the sidewalk, followed by Dane. There were three women here, one of which had a small coating of fur and a tail. Leaning against the wall was the tall one, a black circle covering her face around her left eye.
"You boys looking for a good time?" the tall one asked, sauntering to Steve, who took a step back. Dane stepped between them.
"Are these the only #####s working this section?" Dane asked, grasping her wrist. The tall woman scowled.
"Tabitha, Maria, go inside. Cops want to talk to me."
"Do I have to ask the question again?"
"Betsy and Alison are with Johns. Why? Looking for someone in particular?"
Steve grasped Dane's wrist until he let go of the woman. "Ma'am, what are the powers of your..girls?"
"Well.. Alison makes pretty lights that have a psychotropic effect on her clients. Tabitha makes little bombs, Betsy's a psychic, and Maria, obviously, is animalistic. You wouldn't believe how many guys go for that."
"What other prostitutes do you know of in Mutant Town?"
"Hell, boy, the ones up the street about six blocks do the best business. Go bother them."
As soon as Steve and Dane were back in the car, he got a call.
"It's Monica. Miss Van Dyne called. She said that Mr. Pym called her, weeping about losing his son. She gave us an address where we can find him. You want Clint and I to take it?"
"No. This guy has illegally given superhuman powers to at least one person. The four of us are going to respond together. Tell Clint to bring his friend."
Another delay, something else to keep him from finding the killer of Namor. Steve held his anger and drove the sedan out of Mutant Town, toward the address in Brooklyn that Monica had downloaded to his guidance system.
"Armor up." Steve said as he and Dane left the car. This was a decrepit section of Brooklyn, steeped in decay. The building they'd been directed to looked like it was abandoned, and looked like it could collapse at any moment. Steve and Dane walked back to the trunk and opened it. Steve tossed his trenchcoat in and removed his shield. Dane pulled on his chain mail and chestplate. His neuro-sword was already in his holster.
Monica and Clint arrived a couple of minutes later. The buzz-cut blond reached into the backseat and brought out a bow. It was a work of art and an amazing weapon all in one. Monica approached the door with Steve, the others close behind them.
"If you'll take a peek inside, detective." Steve said. Monica nodded. She converted to light and tried to pass through the crack between doors. She was unable.
"I think this guy's got some countermeasures in place there. I'll be right back, check every entrance into the building." She was gone for less than ten seconds. "This place is sealed up tight."
From his comfortable chair inside, Henry Pym watched the quartet of cops as they gathered outside his home. Security measures were already in place...always in place. Several cameras were hidden around his building and neighborhood. Hank smiled and ate some more popcorn.
"You stuck up sons of.. I coulda been one of you. I coulda been the greatest hero ever. Now you're gonna taste my vengeance.."
Steve stepped back as the doors became slightly ajar. Inside was too dark to see. "Flare arrow." he said, pulling the door on his side completely open. Clint obliged.
It was a hovel in appearance, broken furniture and garbage lay strewn about, bugs skittered and ran from the light. Steve nodded. He and Dane entered first. Clint and Monica followed.
The doors slammed shut behind them and security plating slid into place. Monica tried to get back out but was stopped. They were trapped.
(song lyrics by Semisonic)
'Closing time - open all the doors and let you out into the world.
Closing time - turn all of the lights on over every boy and every girl.
Closing time - one last call for alcohol, so finish your whiskey or beer.
Closing time - you don't have to go home but you can't stay here.'
"Marvel, we need light." Steve said. If being locked in a mystery building wasn't bad enough, Cap was reverting to their former code names. He only did that when he was really worried.
Captain Marvel shone brightly with ambient light, showing them most of the room around them. She wouldn't be able to fight like this, but they needed to see.
"This is fake." Marvel said. Cap nodded.
"I see it to. No dust. It's a hologram. You detect a power source we can nullify?"
"Back wall, to the right of the door. Five feet up."
Clint raised his bow. An arrow flew through the room and the junk heap disappeared. This was a state-of-the-art room, armored walls, turrets and cameras on every side. Dane activated his neural sword. "Oh Cra..."
'I know who I want to take me home.
I know who I want to take me home.
I know who I want to take me home.
Take me home.'
"I'm treatin' the little buddy to a night on the town. He's gotta lose his cherry sometime!" The big man snorted.
"Shaddup Blob!" the smaller man groused, frowning. A green tongue flicked out of his mouth.
At least she was sure these two were both mutants. As she entered the rented room, the big guy belched.
"If I'm doing him, why are you in here?" she asked.
'Blob' sat on a desk, wary of the little chair underneath. It definitely would not hold under his girth. "I'm here to watch." he snorted.
"That'll cost extra."
"We can afford it. The Toad an' me gots plenty of money."
She stripped off her clothes. Toad was crouched on the bed, panting. He tossed his shirt aside as her top came off. From the corner, Blob chuckled. Toad reached out to touch her.
"Get your clothes off first."
After her boots, she peeled off her pants. Blob was grunting in the corner. She turned the light off and jumped into the bed with Toad.
What was pleasure had become pain. Continued skin contact with her was killing Toad, he could feel the life draining out of him. Blob was oblivious. When she was done with Toad, she jumped onto his friend.
'Closing time - time for you to go out to the places you will be from.
Closing time - this room won't be open til your brothers or your sisters come.'
Steve took point, shield before him, as he launched himself through a hail of bullets toward a corner. He vaulted up the wall and smashed the closest turret with his shield. Nearby, Dane was destroying another turret. Clint had launched three arrows in less than five seconds, each hitting their mark and destroying more killing machines. All three men attacked the last turret, then rushed up the stairs.
Steve put an arm back to restrain the others, shield up. Before them was a large, metallic form with a fearsome visage.
"Congrats, Avengers. You made it past the guns. Now meet Ultron. He's going to kill you."
'So gather up your jackets, move it to the exits, I hope you have found a friend.
Closing time - every new beginning comes from some other beginning's end.'
As she arrived back at the corner, she saw Ororo talking to X. The bald man smiled at her and motioned her over. She complied and handed him all the money she'd taken from Blob and Toad.
"Mr. X has something special in mind for you. It looks like you're not going to be with us anymore." Ororo said, her words dripping with venom.
"Yes, my dear. You'll never have to walk the street again. There are high-profile mutants that wouldn't dare come down here, but they might send away for a girl to come to them. That's the plan. You're my first choice. Do you want to get your things?"
"No. There's nothing here of value to me."
Safely in the back of the Packard, chauffeur at the wheel, Mr. X disappeared. In his stead was a blue-skinned woman who sipped wine and smiled at her companion in the vehicle.
"We're moving to stage two, my little Rogue. Namor was a good catch and a surprise, but the street picks you've been getting are pretty useless. Now we go after the major powers."
'I know who I want to take me home.
I know who I want to take me home.
I know who I want to take me home.
Take me home.
Closing time - every new beginning comes from some other beginning's end.'
Ultron lashed out with metal tentacles, trying to grab Steve and the others. Cap was being consistent at blocking them, pinning them between the wall and his shield as they shot forward.
"It's heavily armored in the front. The sides should be your target, Hawkeye." Cap stated. He ran at Ultron and flipped, spinning over the machine and landing behind it's back. Ultron did not turn, it didn't have to. Steve barely got the shield up before a grenade was launched at him. It ricocheted off of the shield and struck Ultron, exploding. A black mark, but no injury. Hawkeye's arrows were being deflected by the tentacles.
"Hawkeye, flares. Marvel, process him." Cap ordered. The archer fired two flare arrows, letting Monica switch from ambient light to a more useful form. She coursed around Ultron, trying to find an entrance. Her light disappeared inside of him.
"Good Job, Monica." Steve said.
"Steve, I'm using the robots audio component to speak to you. I can't get out. The pathways are sealed now."
Rogue approached the Waldorf, excused from the Packard. It turned out that her patron had a job lined up for her already. She looked at the s#### of paper. 'Telford Porter, room 1220'.
When she reached the twelfth floor, Rogue found the proper door. The corridor was wide and beautifully decorated, finer than Rogue had ever seen. She wondered what the room would be like.
She didn't have to wonder long. After a short knock, a tall, lean, bald man answered. He smiled at the sight of her. "Come in, dear." Rogue smiled back and complied.
Les than fifteen minutes later, Rogue teleported into the Packard. the blue woman was unsurprised. "Good girl. You're going to do fine." she said. Rogue held out the money, which caused her patron to laugh. "Keep it, my dear. Enjoy."
"I want Pym found, now."
Steve Rogers had not been Captain America in years. It felt good, he had to admit. It was like trying to suppress a part of himself. He functioned well as a cop, but he wasn't. He was an Avenger.
Hawkeye and Black Knight had checked every room on the second floor. No sign of Pym. He was here, though. Steve knew it.
"Oh! How could I have been such a fool! He's in the basement! He wouldn't put his secure room above ground."
Steve lifted his shield above his head. In a powerful swing, he brought it down on the robot, slicing away a chunk of it's back. Monica flew out and landed beside him.
Rogue awoke in a large, mission style room. She furniture was finer than any she'd ever seen in a private home. How her patron could afford such things, even with her 'street workers', was beyond the young woman.
She slid out of bed and went straight to the bathroom. As soon as she was in the shower, the water pouring over her, she felt right. This Namor guy must've really loved the sea.
Rogue turned the knob. Instead of a shower, she submerged herself in a bath. There she lay, head underwater, for ten minutes. How exhilarating!
When she finally made it to the dining room downstairs, the woman was there, waiting for her. A servant brought out several breakfast entrees and set them out before Rogue. Her patron watched as she ate, not even commenting on her poor table manners. When Rogue was done, the blue-skinned woman stood.
"You will have a busy day today, I hope you are full and well-rested. My dear, the man whom you will 'acquire' today was once a leader in the pro-mutant movement. Since then, he has fallen far. All he wants is a dinner companion. You will be so much more..."
Steve and the others went back down the stairs and through the passageway into a back room, Monica lighting their way. There was a large vault door here, imposing in it's size.
"Don't suppose you have an acetylene torch arrow, Hawkeye." Steve asked with a half smile.
"No. Always figured trick arrows were a little silly." Clint replied.
Monica stepped forward. "Cover your eyes or leave the room."
As the men averted their eyes, Monica changed light form to that of an intense laser. She seeped into the tiny crack along the outer edge of the door and cut the security bars, then the inner lining. When she was done, Cap kicked the door and it opened.
"Clint, behind me." Steve said, starting down the stairs.
A huge, angry form filled the area at the bottom of the stairs. In ragged clothes, appearing as though he had not showered for days, Henry Pym was at least twenty feet tall. He smashed a fist upward that met Cap's shield. Steve then jumped, shield first, and struck Pym in the face. He brought the shield across his chin and knocked the man unconscious. Pym reverted to normal size.
Monica passed them and formed at the computers. The security programs were found and overridden. Light shone down the stairs.
"How many hours have we been in.. jeez!" Dane exclaimed, glancing at his watch.
"Get an evidence team down here. Clint, cuff this guy, you and Monica take him in. We're getting a good day's sleep, then we are going to find Namor's killer. This guy obviously wasn't involved."
Early evening. Steve and the others were in Mutant Town again, this time across the street from the corner they'd been informed about. Women haunted the street like ghosts, leaning near cars that pulled up. Some got in, some didn't.
"We have one african-american female with white hair. One caucasian woman with green hair, another with brown hair just returning. There's an asian female, very young. Black hair, yellow jacket. We are approaching."
Steve and Dane left the car and started across the street. Behind them, Monica and Clint were on the roof, prepared to cover them if they needed to retreat. Steve approached the woman with green hair and flashed his badge.
"Cops, Ororo." the woman said. The white-haired woman approached from where she'd been leaning against the wall.
"What do you flatscans want?"
"We are investigating several deaths in which the powers and life-essences of several mutants have been drawn out of their bodies, apparently by touch. We believe the perp is a mutant and a prostitute. Anyone here match powers like that?"
Ororo grinned. Rogue, you nasty little devil! She smiled and handed her cell phone to the blond cop. "I don't know where to find them, but our 'patron' gave me this phone to contact him in emergencies. We only know him as Mr. X, you see. He took the one you're talking about off the street last night."
After the cops left, the other girls started questioning Ororo. "Relax, girls. Something tells me that this is the perfect opportunity to go into business for ourselves..."
"Raven Darkholme? What kind of cheesy name is that?"
"It's the name of the owner of the phone, Dane. We have an address. Meet you there." Monica replied.
Rogue stood in the private elevator for the penthouse of a large, posh apartment building. Her next quarry would be here.
As the elevator ascended, Rogue felt a spasm in her mind. The edges of her vision grew dark, and she almost passed out. The young woman reached a hand out to lean against the wall beside her.
Another attack. This one was worse. Rogue dropped to her knees and grasped her head with both hands. As the elevator stopped, she let out a bloodcurdling scream.
The interior door opened. A tall, imposing, silver-haired figure looked down at her.
"They better have not sent me another drug addict." The man reached down and put a hand on her head.
"YOU DARE TO TOUCH THE LORD OF ATLANTIS?!" screamed Rogue, tossing the man away while climbing to her feet. Imperiously, unlike herself, she strode after the man in a regal manner.
A metal chair rose from the kitchen table and flung itself at Rogue, who raised an arm. The chair wrapped around her but she was unharmed.
Steve and the others were near the mansion which was listed as the address of Raven Darkholme. It had formerly been the address of a Charles Xavier... Mr. X.
As the sedan entered the grounds, several hidden weapons systems emerged and began attacking the vehicle. From under a large fountain in the main courtyard a missile fired. The sedan burst into flames and exploded on impact.
(lyrics by Bad Company)
"Walkin' down this rocky road
Wondering where my life is leadin'
Rollin' on to the bitter end"
A light-form Monica Rambeau emerged from the wreckage of the black sedan that had just been destroyed by the defense systems of Raven Darkholme's mansion. Several weapons detected her energy source and tried to fire on her, but were unable to harm her in this form.
The double doors to the mansion were pulled open and a tall, lean, blue-skinned woman stood in the doorway. She glared at Monica, who continued toward her.
"Monica, is it clear to approach?" Steve asked from the other sedan a few yards away from the entrance to the grounds. No answer came. They had seen the huge fireball and heard the scattering wreckage.
"Let's mobilize, people." Steve ordered, getting out of the car. Once again he went to the trunk. This time, however, he started removing his clothes. The others followed suit. Steve had not put on the 'colors', that uniform, for several years. There he was, standing among them again. Captain America.
Dane Whitman was stored in the truck in the form of his badge. The man standing with Cap was the Black Knight. In the costume that had originated in a carnival and had been removed the day his wife died, Clint Barton was replaced by Hawkeye.
"Finding out along the way
What it takes to keep love living
You should know how it feels, my friend"
Cap bounded up the car and flipped over the wall surrounding the grounds, cutting through the cool night sky. He landed on his feet and deflected a blast from nearby security systems with his shield. Hawkeye perched atop the wall, telescopic sight over one eye, firing arrows like a sniper. Black Knight was last over, and followed Cap from a short distance.
Monica-Captain Marvel was about twenty yards away, waiting for them. As Cap approached, however, he saw that her mannerisms were wrong.
"Are you OK?" Cap asked.
Captain Marvel's chest was heaving. She suddenly collapsed. Cap disregarded his instincts and bounded the distance between them. As he leaned over her, Captain Marvel reached up and grasped his throat with both hands.
"Ooh, I want you to stay
Ooh, I want you today
I'm ready for love
Oh baby, I'm ready for love
Ready for love
Oh baby, I'm ready for love"
Rogue lifted the silver-haired man and tossed him across the room. He halted in mid-air and launched a sword and knife set, hanging on one wall, at Rogue. Dozens of blades flew at her. As she began to dodge them, another spasm struck her mind. She screamed, crying.
Several of the blades missed her. Those that struck did no damage or left pin pricks on her. Her intended victim, not to be fooled, held his ground. Rogue suffered another mind-spasm and hit the ground, rolling into a fetal position.
"Now I'm on my feet again
Better things are bound to happen
All my dues surely must be paid"
Cap lifted an arm to break the grip of this person who looked like his teammate. Whoever she was, she was strong. The faux Monica got her feet under him and flipped Cap over her head, then pounced to her feet.
Shifting from the Monica form, a now blue-skinned woman turned and caught an arrow in mid-air as it neared her. This she tossed at Cap, who deflected it easily with his shield. Black Knight attacked, leaving his ebony blade in it's sheath and attacking with the neural disruptor sword. The woman flipped and avoided the attack.
"Many miles and many tears
Times were hard but now they're changing
You should know that I'm not afraid"
Cap saw Monica's withered body now. Next to her was some sort of weapon. She looked like the very light energies she had been composed of had been drained out of her. While momentarily distracted, the woman, Raven apparently, caught Cap in the gut with a kick. She then turned toward Black Knight.
"I remember you. Different look, but the eyes are unmistakable." Raven said to Dane.
The man formerly known as Magneto put Rogue on his couch and placed his hands on her head. Her neural pathways were severely disturbed, as though several people were trying to share the same mind.
Another time, another place, Magneto would have killed this woman for trying to kill him. He had lost too much in recent years, though. This woman was almost as old as his daughter had been when..
Using his power as skillfully as he could, Magneto struggled to find the woman's 'real self'. He fought the other personas to bring this personality to the forefront. Exhausted from the effort, Magneto closed his eyes when he was done.
(lyrics by U2)
'See the stone set in your eyes
See the thorn twist in your side
I wait for you'
Raven charged at Black Knight, avoiding his sword swing, and chopped him across the throat. His windpipe damaged, Knight dropped his neural sword and fell to his knees.
Cap was up. He threw his shield, which collided with the back of Raven Darkholme's head. She also fell, stunned. Cap approached Knight.
'Sleight of hand and twist of fate
On a bed of nails she makes me wait
And I wait without you
With or without you
With or without you'
Rogue cut through the night sky as she flew back toward her patron's home. This man she had been sent to kill, this 'Magneto' had given his life to heal her mind. His prolonged touch drained him of everything, and his indomitable will in her psyche allowed her to be fully in control.
What was more, she finally knew why the blue-skinned woman sent her on this campaign of murder.
'Through the storm we reach the shore
You give it all but I want more
And I'm waiting for you'
Cap tried to help Black Knight. Hawkeye fired on Raven again. Again she dodged. It was uncanny.
Raven picked up Cap's shield and hit him over the head with it. She struck him again repeatedly, then turned to face Dane Whitman.
"You're not going to get it so easy, murderer. You're going to suffer, after I.." Raven raised Cap's shield to block several arrows, then charged toward Hawkeye. Knowing he would have to fight, Clint Barton tossed down his bow and jumped from his perch on the wall. Raven was on him immediately, he didn't stand a chance. She kicked him repeatedly, then broke his neck when he stopped defending himself. She marched back toward Captain America.
'With or without you
With or without you
I can't live
With or without you'
Cap stood as Raven neared him. The two stood still for a moment, studying each-other. Then Raven attacked.
The blue woman missed with her first two kicks, and Cap was able to punch her in the solar plexus, doubling her over. He grabbed her arm and she performed a nearly impossible feat of agility, putting her behind him. She wrenched his arm and dislocated it.
'My hands are tied
My body bruised, she's got me with
Nothing to win and
Nothing left to lose'
Rogue landed near Raven and Cap. Darkholme smiled. "Finish him for me, my dear." she ordered.
"No, no more killing. You used me enough. No amount of killing is going to bring him back." Rogue replied defiantly.
Raven's eyes burned with a fire that made even Cap's blood run cold. He helped Dane to his feet. "You little B####. After everything I've done for you. You dare to betray me?"
Tears were visibly running down Rogue's face. "You're sick. Please, let these people help you." she turned to Cap. "Please.. she's mad with grief.."
"SHUT UP! SHUT UP!" Raven screamed, slapping Rogue and hurting only her hand. She turned and pointed to Dane. "This is one of them! One of the men that did it! They had powers, skills. The mutants, for all their gifts, THEY DID NOTHING!"
Dane removed his helmet. "You people don't deserve to live." he declared. Cap looked at him, stunned.
"HEAR HIM? One of these so-called HEROES! THEY KILLED MY SON!"
Dane spat. "He was a monster, just like the others. He tried to live with real people and paid the price."
"HE WAS A PRIEST! All he EVER wanted to do was HELP YOU FLATSCAN SCUM!" Raven charged at Dane, but Rogue caught her. "LET ME GO!"
Rogue released Raven, who stumbled back... onto the ebony blade of the Black Knight. He kicked her free and swung at Rogue.
In haste and in fury, Rogue stretched out her hand. The armor that Dane wore constricted around his body, squeezing his internal organs. Blood poured out of his mouth and he fell dead.
Captain America picked up his shield. Too much had happened in too short a time for even him to take it in. Rogue sobbed, falling into his arms.
"When will the world soak up enough pain? When will we stop destroying each-other?" Rogue asked between sobs.
Cap had no answer for her.
I hope you all liked it. It was a darker story than my earlier stuff, and health problems delayed the writing of new episodes. Please tell me what you think.
It was awesome just like your first 10 stories. Keep up the good work!
That was terrific, I do enjoy the darker twist. It was familiar and different all at once.
two thumbs up! youre an inspiration. keep em coming.
my...god. That was fuc king cool. Please do more!
ok so in your story i take it that the black night is a bigot and killed knightcrawler right
nice story, keep up the good work
Cool, Masada. An interesting story. I think the ending shows improvement, and that you are making strides to make the end of some of your stories less abrupt, but I think you could have expanded it a touch more - (Cap showing a bit more shock at the Black Knight's statements, maybe a little more detail in Hawkeye's death - I dunno.)
It's definately cool to see a darker story from you. I enjoyed it very much. Keep up the awesome work.
*how rude of me - BTW, I hope whatever health issues were plagueing you have been resolved. Best wishes!
by the way what exactly happend to capt marvel/photon
Please make the rest of your stories just like that!:devious:
I am taking it upon myself to give all of Masadas old stories a fresh bump as a tribute to the currently away due to illness Masada. We miss you, get well soon.
I'm still hanging on edge for the continuation of what-if 12
These haven't been up on the front page in months, so...
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