Credit Note: The picture for this story is credited to JKSketchy. Bell and Doctor X are credited to Bleedman though X's surname Cranston, as well as the use of Barasia is credited to Griddles. Mekel is credited to Eclipse02, and the base characters such as Blossom, Bubbles, Buttercup, and Dexter among countless others are credited to Cartoon Network, their animators such as Craig Mcracken, and others.
Special Credit Note : Big shoutout to my good friend Havoc. Most of the basis of this story came solely from his suggestions. Kudos.
The Chronometal Wars
The Red Story
-Mekel the Healer-
Part 1 of 2
His memories are foggy and his dreams are poisoned...
"No, DON'T!" Is all he can hear. He holds his hand out to stop him, but he goes off every time, ignoring his words. His hand burns, he's never felt so empty. He looks down to his hands... one is missing. His left hand is burned off about an inch down the wrist.
His remaining hand trembles and shakes, as he looks up into her eyes. Her burning eyes... His throat is clamped, he can't breathe, he can't think...
All he can think about is how he failed. He watched his brothers die and failed to bring their murderer to justice... instead she choked the very life out of him. He clenches his teeth as tears drop down his face before he realizes that he's still alive.
He stands under a giant meteor. The storm has stopped, yet the meteor still remains. He hears someone behind him and he looks back.
"B-Boomer... Butch?! You're... you're alive!" He says, running over to them only to have them disappear. "What...?! What's going on?" The world rumbles and before he knows it, everything is black again, but he's standing on something.
It seems to be a giant stained glass floor depicting two people... himself... and...
The area is dark, the sky is dark and not even any stars are present. He looks around, but sees there is someone standing across on this giant plane of glass. Even from this far distance, he can see who it is... a girl with a suit of white armor.
"YOU!" He yells out, charging after her before she already appears in front of him! He lunges his only remaining hand at her in an attempt to knock her out, but she grabs his hand with her left hand and his body with the other hand. She brings him in closely with a dewy look in her eyes.
She brings his face closer to hers. She brings his lips closer to hers. Is... Is she doing...?! Right before their lips touch, she stops. She stops to a point where they can feel each other breathing. She moves her lips to the side of his head and whispers something into his ear.
"You lost." Is all she says before she pushes him back! He stumbles, trying to regain his balance, but he falls and breaks the glass! He screams, falling through this darkness! He looks up and notices that the only part of the stained glass mural remaining is the half image of Blossom... his own image is completely broken!
He continuously falls and sees a white light as he goes down. He stops screaming and simply closes his eyes, bracing for impact.
(Within fits and moans-)
Brick screams as loud as he can, regaining consciousness in a bed as two people stand over him! He takes deep rapid breaths and looks over to the doctor to his right who is holding defibrillators. He looks down on his rapidly rising and falling chest. His shirt is off...
Was he just dead...? He shakes his head as the Doctor leaves the room.
"Glad you have you with us." The man on the left says, causing Brick to move his head over to him, still breathing deeply, but now starting to come into sync with the world around him.
"Brisbaine...? Agh... my head." He says, rubbing his head deeply. He rubs it over and over, counteracting the inner pain with outer pain in an attempt to drown it out before he realizes something.
To Brisbaine's surprise, he jumps clean out of bed and runs over to a window and opens it. He sticks his head out and looks around. The sky is blue and the air is fresh. Cars drive by and a flock of birds flies by the building as well.
It's like the world is... okay...
"What the..." He says, slowly bringing his head back into the room and walking around aimlessly.
"Brick, get back in bed. I'll explain everything... okay?" Brick nods rapidly, still with a far away look in his eye as his gaze sticks to the floor. "Yeah, sure... okay..." He slowly climbs back onto the bed before realizing he is only in his underwear. He looks at a mirror nearby.
His long red hair cascades over his back and his red eyes look surprised at the reflection he is seeing. He rubs his neck, as it is a deep blue, bruised and beaten. He remembers Blossom...
Then he remembers his brothers... He looks over to Brisbaine.
"Boomer...? Butch...?" Brick asks. Brisbaine merely looks at the floor and shakes his head. Brick sighs and looks around. He sees his clothes on the nearby stool and hops off the bed and quickly puts them on.
"Are you feeling alright?" Brisbaine asks. "Never better." Brick says with pain and malice in his voice. He zips up the front of his suit and falls into a nearby chair, not wanting to be confined to that bed anymore.
He looks around the room. He is in a hospital; that much is certain. His bed isn't the only one in the room, either. There is another bed in here, one that seems to be occupied. A large curtain blocks vision from all sides. Brick looks over to his left hand... or what would be his left hand.
It's cauterized and disinfected. This is as good as this nub is going to get it seems. He sighs and looks over to Brisbaine.
"The world is... okay?" Brick says; his suspension of disbelief still shattered from when he looked out the window.
"You mean, from World's End and the Knights? Yes. It was destroyed by Blossom and company." Brisbaine says with a professional scowl. Brick shakes his head and chuckles angrily. "Blossom, huh? Ain't that fucking ironic." He spits.
"Don't worry; we all share in your sentiment." – "And you guys haven't done anything about it? What about that chemical Buttercup and Dexter were talking about? Has everyone forgotten, or what?!" – "We haven't forgotten, Brick. This is just a... touchy subject. They are "Heroes" after all. They destroyed World's End." – "They CAUSED World's End!" Brick yells, before coughing, his throat still hurting.
"You shouldn't yell so loudly, you are still healing." – "Don't patronize me, Brisbaine, I'm fine." He says, taking a deep painful gulp. "If you say so..." Brisbaine says, rising to his feet.
"Where are you going?" – "Visiting hours are almost over. The doctor will surely be back to check in on you." – "Wait..." Brick says, stopping Brisbaine before he leaves the room.
He looks blankly at the wall and down at his nub, all the while rubbing his neck. He looks up at Brisbaine as he is standing near the door, waiting for him to talk.
"How is Blossom doing?" – "What do you mean? She "saved the world." I think she's doing just fine." – "That's... not what I meant..." – "Then what did you mean?" – "Gah, forget it... just go already." Brisbaine nods. "See you tomorrow." He says before leaving the room.
He closes the door behind him and Brick walks over to the window again. He opens it and flies out. His power is weak, but he can still float, using his one arm as an anchor to the hospital.
"Is it really all over? Is Model M gone? Is the world... safe?" He says to himself near the window, getting breaths of fresh air. This hospital is big... and the buildings aren't destroyed. This place definitely isn't Megaville.
"Wait... I know this place..." He says, looking over the bustling traffic and tall skyscrapers. "This is Citysville!" This place is the nearest city to Megaville. I guess when it comes to medical services, this is the best they could do. Brick looks up at the wall of the hospital. It's really big... Brick could do much worse.
"Enjoying the view?" Someone says behind him, startling him. Brick looks back through the window into the Hospital. It's the doctor from before. He merely looks back with a smile.
"Glad to see you are doing better, you had us worried for a minute." – "Oh, thanks for what you did back there..." – "No problem." He says informally. Brick looks back at him with a strange look on his face.
"Aren't you going to tell me to get back into bed? I mean... I'm floating over an active runway." – "Nah, I've treated superheroes before. In fact they are my specialty. I know you guys are strong, heck if you weren't- you would be alive right now! Besides, how would I make you? Insist?" He says sarcastically. Brick smirks and floats back into the hospital and closes the window behind him.
"You're different." Brick says, walking back over to his bed and lying down. "Oh yeah? How?" – "You are really down to Earth. I bet most doctors would have an aneurism seeing their patient floating outside a window when they had just woken up." – "Well, as I said; I specialize in heroes. Your flying around is basically an equivalent to 'normal people' stretching!" He says with a smile. Brick looks at the doctor's nametag.
"Mekel, is it?" – "In the flesh." He says, his blue hair catching Brick's eye.
"You..." He says, confusingly. "Yes?" – "I think I've seen you before." Brick says, curious. Mekel merely smiles. Brick keeps darting his eyes back and forth. "Where have I seen you before...?" – "Want me to give you a hint?" Brick shrugs. "Sure." – "We met in Townsville." – "Townsville, huh? I haven't been there since I was a kid." – "Last time we met, you 'were' a kid." – "Is that so?"
Mekel nods. "Yup. I specialized in heroes in Townsville too. I treated you and your brothers several times, even though all your wounds were caused by each other." – "Ha... true." He says with a sigh. Brick breaks into a frown.
"I'm... sorry about what happened to them. They were good boys." Mekel says, legitimately sad. "Thanks... I'm sure they would be glad to hear someone say they weren't all bad."
Silence passes before Mekel's beeper goes off. "Sorry, I have to take this." – "No problem." Mekel nods and leaves the room.
(Outside of the room-)
Mekel runs down the hall and down the stairs. Someone really important has arrived! He runs through a mob of people before arriving at the entrance to the hospital.
"Dexter!" He says excitedly. Dexter looks back from the crowd and smiles! "Mekel!" He says before closing in for a quick friends' hug. "How have you been, Dexter?" He asks. "I've been better... I'm glad I have a day off today." – "A hero's work is never done?" – "A hero's work is never done... now, the reason I'm here." – "Ah yes... you haven't told me. You told me you were coming down, but you didn't specify why."
"Is she here? Were they telling the truth?" – "She- OH! Oh... yes... she is." Mekel says, picking up on what he was talking about, before breaking down into a more somber tone.
"Is it really that bad?" – "It is, Dexter. I've never seen anything like it." He says, walking back with Dexter.
"I can still see her, right?" – "Visiting hours are almost over. I can give you a glance and you can even try to strike up a conversation if you want... but I wouldn't hold my breath if I were you." – "That's okay... merely knowing she's okay will be enough." Dexter says as they reach the room.
Mekel opens it up and walks inside with Dexter.
When Dexter walks in... he meets eyes with someone he didn't expect.
"BRICK?!" – "DEXTER?!" ~ "What is he doing here?" ~ They both say in unison. Mekel raises his hands and chuckles, but still wanting to break the tension.
"Sorry, I should have mentioned, Dexter... Olga wasn't alone in this room." – "OLGA?!" Brick sputters, having had enough of this confusion. He gets out of his chair and walks over to Mekel.
Mekel turns around, embarrassed. "Look... I'll explain everything just calm down, you two..." Dexter sighs, not really hot on the prospect of getting into a fight in a hospital in the first place. Brick follows suit, but is still very interested in Olga.
"You said Olga... is that the person who is in that bed?" Brick says, pointing over to the curtained bed. Mekel nods. "You are free to join us if you wish, Brick." – "I'll... uh..." He pauses. "Okay." He says simply. Mekel nods and walks over to the bed.
Mekel slides the curtain away...
To both of their surprise, she's awake. Completely awake and sitting up in the bed. She's not looking at anything. Her hair isn't in pig-tails. Her hair is down, cascading over her back. She is in a hospital gown that covers her front completely, but her back is exposed. Her giant scar down her face even more acknowledged without her addition of any kind of make-up. She's staring blankly off into nothing. She doesn't even look at them or acknowledge their existence.
Brick notices this and moves his hand in front of her face and waves it around, to no avail. She stays somewhat catatonic.
"What's wrong with her?" Brick asks as he retracts his hand. "There... isn't a word for it... but, it's due to a lack of a whole soul." – "Soul? Not this again..." Brick says, walking off. Mekel turns around.
"What is it, Brick?" – "I won't get involved in this." – "Involved? Involved in what?" – "Do you know what would happen if Brisbaine saw her? He was JUST in the room!" Mekel opens his mouth as if to say something... but closes his mouth and thinks a small bit before frowning. Looks over to Brick, who is now looking back.
"I... honestly didn't think of that." – "She would be killed. If not here, then somewhere else. Smothered with a pillow, poisoned, taken out back and shot. Any of these things would happen." – "You son of a bitch!" Dexter seethes, walking over to Brick, but Brick smacks Dexter's chest and sends him flying back, crashing into the wall and knocking the breath out of him. He slumps to the ground and coughs.
"BRICK!" Mekel yells. "What are you doing?!" – "He should feel glad all I did was push him. Dexter." Brick says, calling attention to the gasping man on the floor. He looks up. "You aren't wearing Model D I've noticed. Next time you step to me, you may want to be better equipped. I could have killed you right there." – "B-Bastard..." Dexter says quietly, his breath still not returned to him.
Brick rolls his eyes and opens the door out. "Where are you going?! You are in no condition to leave this hospital!" Brick looks back angrily at Mekel, but Mekel doesn't relent. He maintains his angry eyes as he looks into Brick's. "Thanks for seeing after me, Doctor Mekel... but I'll be going now." – "Is this about Olga?" Mekel asks, stopping Brick in his tracks.
He turns around. "Yes. I don't want to be in the same room when Brisbaine finds her. Consider yourselves lucky I don't intend to rat you out to the government." – "You... don't?" Mekel says, unconvinced. "No... I don't. But I'm not going to intentionally hide it from Brisbaine either." – "Brick... please... she needs help." – "HELP?! You want me to help that monster? She tried to kill the entire planet!"
Mekel and Dexter look away. Brick growls. "What the hell is wrong with you guys? That woman is a freak, a monster... she nearly killed everyone! It's her actions that led to my brothers dying!" At first Brick looks angry, but his face builds into one of sadness and he turns and walks away again.
"Please, Brick... we need you." – "What? What the hell do you mean?" – "W-Well... you are a high ranking government agent... maybe you can help us... hide her?" Brick growls. "Did you not hear ANYTHING I just said?!" – "Yes, but I'm a doctor! I will help this girl and your help would make it much easier! Please... we only need several weeks to... fix..." Mekel tries to say before trailing off.
"Fix? Fix what? Fix HER?! How is that even possible?" Brick asks, before Dexter stands up and walks over. "I've done it before." Dexter says. "Done what before? Fixed a soul?" – "Yes. I've fixed Blossom's soul." – "B-Blossom...?" Brick says in a confusing way. But he soon tenses his hand and forms a fist, but resists the urge to hit Dexter again.
"You fixed the woman who killed my brothers... and want to fix the woman who tried to kill the world... and you all want my help...?!" – "We need it..." Brick looks over to Olga, who is still staring off into nothing over on that bed in the corner of the room.
"She still looks just like her old self." – "Huh?" – "If Brisbaine DOES see her, she can't look like that. She needs a disguise." – "D... Disguise? Like..." – "It can be something simple. Dye her hair a different color. Give her glasses; give her a hat... things that won't call too much attention." He says, thinking to himself, before looking over to a computer.
"Is her name in the database?" – "Y-Yes, we've had her for weeks." – "Christ... it's a wonder they haven't found her by now. They must not have been looking." Brick walks over to the room's computer and sits down. He accesses files using only one hand and breaks into the Hospital security in a matter of seconds, astonishing Mekel.
"There." He says out of nowhere, printing something out. He takes the paper, rips it into a strip and slaps some tape on it, walking over to Olga's bed. He pastes the paper strip over the name-plate on the bed.
Now replaces Olga on the nameplate.
"I'll count on you to do the rest." Brick says. "Why are you doing this?" Mekel asks, thankful... but curious. Brick looks back with a mixture of emotions in his eyes.
"Butch taught me something before everything happened... we can be heroes... it relies on us being able to forgive... being able to move on." He looks out the window sadly.
"He died... he didn't have to... but he died. Blossom killed him. But that's the past. Something tells me this entire whirlwind of death isn't over with yet. I'll... I'll do my part, no matter how small." He says, sitting back down on his chair.
Mekel and Dexter are silent. But Dexter walks over to Brick.
"Thank you..." – "Whatever."
Dexter walks back over to Mekel. "I think I have an idea that might help..." – "Really? What is that?" – "Give me a couple weeks... I may be able to fashion something that could help Olga." – "Okay." Mekel says, bowing graciously to Dexter.
"I'm heading with the Powerpuffs to Rio De Janeiro tomorrow. I'll be back to check up on her... whenever I can."
Brick rolls his eyes before he notices something. It's on the chair Brisbaine was sitting on before he left. He walks over to the chair and looks at it. It's... a letter...
"Heroesbane?" Brick says to himself.
Author's Notes: And thus begins the Red Story. Funny thing about this series, it wasn't ever intended to be a full blown story when I started writing it, it just sort of ended up that way. I liked the concept of a somewhat leaf-turned Brick surviving what happened to everyone and everything, and waking up in a very different world than when he "died." This story takes place during the Chronometal Panic, so you will not see TOO many character cross references past a certain point. This was also the first ever story I stopped using my personal "chapter" system with, and instead just wrote as I went. This was mostly a good thing, but lead me, later, to no longer pace myself, and some stories can get out of control because of that.
Also, due to the slightly lighter hearted nature of the story, and how it is mostly about healing while the other stories are mostly about dying (And while naughty language still exists, it is in significantly more controlled quantities) this will be my second story to be rated T, not M. On that note, if you're a new reader reading this, keep in mind that most of my stories before (and probably after) this are usually rated M, so set your filters to be able to see them.