AUTHOR'S NOTE: Wwwwhy? Why am I writing another self insert? This is my third one! I need to be careful man. Not to mention I have a bunch of other fanfics that need love.
Well, the muse is in session.
Ben 10 and Marvel Cinematic Universe. God I love these universes.
I remember being a kid and watching the very first episode of Ben 10. I was so excited, watching a kid become powerful aliens and using them to become a hero. I remember later watching Alien Force, seeing the older, wiser Ben, with a new suite of aliens and a new threat. After that, well... Things went kinda downhill for me personally. Ultimate aliens were cool, but as useful as all that beyond being a ploy to sell toys. As for omniverse and the reboot, not a fan.
Even so, I had mad love for the franchise, and I've always wanted to write a fic for it.
And then we have the MCU... What, am I gonna explain it? It's the MCU. All of us have our first moments realizing the insane awesomeness we were in for when we first saw Iron Man. The movies, the shows, they are often great, sometimes decent, rarely terrible.
So now, a fic. A guy gets dropped into the MCU with an Omnitrix. Have fun, and please let me know what you think.
July 15, 2018, Portland, Earth Prime Source
I was writing, late at night. Not something uncommon for me. I was working on a new story after a long day, my legs still burning from my leg workout in the afternoon. It had been a good day though. My nephew had come back from a visit to our family in California and as soon as he saw my face, started asking where his DS in that combination of adorable and annoying only a child can. He'd followed up by incessantly showing me every step he took in Luigi's Mansion Dark Moon.
It was super annoying having him ask me to watch him play while I was trying to get work done, and I absolutely loved him for it. Once again, it was something only a kid you actually love can get away with.
He was asleep now. My legs burning and feeling satisfied with my day, I tapped away at the keyboard, idly sending fictional characters on fictional adventures. I'd probably sleep soon. Maybe. Probably. When I felt like it. For now, in the peaceful cool of an Oregon summer night, I was okay.
A face leaned over my shoulder. "My, you really do need someone to teach you proper grammar, don't you?"
I jumped, spinning my chair around in shock. There, in my room, stood a man. He was tall, thin, and had a dignified age about him. He looked about as old as my dad actually. His face was unshaven, hair slicked back and white with age at the sides. He wore a brown vest over a white shirt and black tie, all covered by a lab coat. A pair of safety goggles with green goggles hung around his neck.
I stared at him for a moment. I mean, if the guy had broken in, smashed my apartment door down, I may have been able to respond in some way. I might have been angry, or scared.
As it was, all I could do was stare at this random guy who'd just shown up out of nowhere in my room.
"Well," he said, still reading my computer monitor. "I suppose it doesn't matter too much. You can practice later."
As though his words were some sort of trigger, I snapped up from my chair, reflexively grabbing the nearest thing to a weapon I had close by. "What the fuck!?"
He smiled at that. Stepping back and raising his hands up with a casual slowness that made me feel foolish, he chuckled. "Young man, while I admire your choice of weaponry, I do believe that the Hero of Hyrule is the only one who could possibly use that weapon. Still, I admire the effort," he said in a accent right out of those classy movies from the fifties.
I looked down at the weapon I'd chosen. I'd gotten it at comic con a few months back. It was a replica Master Sword. The edge was blunted, the point sort of sharp, the hilt made of cheap plastic with a cylindrical hilt that would prevent me from knowing where the edge of the blade was without looking. Barring it's near uselessness as a weapon, it was still in it's plastic sheath.
That said, a big metal stick in a plastic sheath is still an effective club. I tightened my grip, and stared at the guy. "Dude... get out of my room."
He laughed. "Ah, 'dude'. I'm afraid I've come here for a reason. And I don't believe you will attack me. Not without a true reason for attacking me. Sad to say, but the sort of violence that would allow you to attack a man who is simply standing in your room is not a part of you my dear boy."
"I...uh," Once again, I felt foolish, and angry because of that feeling. The fact was, he was right. People just aren't built to attack randomly. Not if you've been raised all your life to avoid that instinct. After all, how many times had I seen street fight videos where two guys yelled at each other for four minutes before unleashing punches? It was 2018, and nobody was really ready to just unleash hell on some random person they'd met. Nobody except those trained for it, people from rough homes/neighborhoods, and insane people. Barring exceptions.
And I wasn't one of those exceptions.
"I do admire the effort however. On a basic level of course," he sat down in my chair. Despite the fact my chair had been just behind me a moment ago.
"Wait," I turned to see my chair was gone. I looked back at him, eyes wide. "How did you... I don't-"
'Goddamnit,' I thought to myself. 'What is going on!?'
"Now, I wish I could explain everything," he swung his left leg over his right, leaning back in my beat up old chair. His smile was sad now, almost pitying. "But, sadly, the nature of my visit means I'll need to send you off as is. So, I am only here to be your, what is the word... oh yes, a ROB," he took out a pocket watch of all things and fiddled with it. Behind me a noise filled the air as blue light filled my dark room. The noise was like a plastic cup being torn apart over and over again. "I wish you best of luck. I suppose you won't forgive me, but it is what is needed."
I turned, and stared in shock at the sight behind me. Instead of my desk and computer resting peacefully, there was a giant glowing blue circle hanging in the air. "Oh shit."
"Indeed," A hand pressed into my back with incredible strength. I stumbled. "My name is Paradox, by the way. Safe travels."
"Oh shiiiii-" I fell into the glowing blue circle, and all the air in my lungs was sucked out.
'I should have hit him with my fucking sword.'
I fell in a void of blue lights. My body stretched into infinity. But it was also small as an atom. I had infinite understanding, and knew nothing. A whole bunch of other cliché ways to describe traveling through a portal.
I'd been going through that place for a while. I wish I could say it was boring. But it wasn't.
Instead, pain filled my entire body. Knives sliced apart my skin, ripped it from muscle, left my skeleton open to chilling air. My eyes were filled with needles, bit by bit. My limbs flew off of me, wriggling in the void.
Then, in an instant, I was healed again. I knew I'd felt pain. But the memory was only brief, as though I'd read, rather than experienced it. Until happened again.
I had no sense of time, so I had no idea how long I spent in that place. But when it ended, I was still screaming.
I flew into a brick wall in a flash of light. I fell to the ground.
"Ahhhhh!" I screamed, horrified. "Ahhhh! Oh my god, ohmygodohmygod." I screamed and screamed, hugging myself. "No... no. Please. I can't... I can't."
I lay there, in that place, feeling asphalt on my cheeks, tears on my cheeks as rage, horror, and pain left me just...
I never even noticed the watch resting on my left wrist. One with a symbol of two triangles connected at their points. All in green.
The sun had been up when I arrived in the alleyway. It had gone down by the time I had calmed down. I slowly got into a sitting position, my right cheek and arm still raw from lying on the concrete. I looked around, eyes drying, my muscles clenching in my arms.
I was in an alleyway. It was disgusting, littered with garbage that ranged from simple plastic wrappers to rotten food, with a dumpster a bit away from me. It smelled pretty terrible. But compared to where I'd been, I was okay with it.
I shivered, and looked down at myself. Whereever I was, it was chilly. Not snowy or anything, but the shorts and Tardis t-shirt I was wearing was still not cutting it. Granted, my beard and long hair was protecting me a bit, but it was no replacement for a sweater.
Still shivering, I rose to my bare feet and started walking. I didn't know where I was, what the hell was happening, though I had some theories. Crazy, insane theories.
I needed to... I needed to find a phone. I could call my brother. Shit, what was his number? Who memorizes phone numbers any more? I mean, maybe I could message him on facebook.
I got to a gate at the end of the alley and found it unlocked, opening it with a squeal of noise. I tripped slightly on my way out of the alleyway, but managed to keep walking, still shivering in the cold. Without a hair tie, my hair was in a poof of curls, so I kept brushing it out of the way as I walked. I looked around the city I was in.
The street I was walking on was named W 48th Street, which meant I had no idea where I was. Most likely a big city though. There were all the signs. Trash in the streets, constant noise in the distance, a random blanket on the floor. Apartment building were rising to the sky. Cars were parked all along the street. I passed by an abandoned lot, covered in gravel and dirt.
There was more though. Lots of portions of the city had apparently been hit by some sort of attack the likes of which I couldn't understand. Buildings had great holes dug into them. Detours were set up everywhere, leaving me to avoid certain streets, but I could see men in orange vests cleaning up broken and twisted steel and concrete.
"What the hell happened here?" I stopped at one point and stared at on bit of the work being done. A guy was driving a crane, taking away some massive piece of metal the color of polished bronze. I rubbed at my arms.
"Damnit," I walked away, trying to focus.
Thankfully, thanks to my workouts, I'm a pretty big guy now. I was actually pretty proud of it, since I'd worked so hard on it. So no one seemed willing to bother me. Which was good, because all the signs of a rough neighborhood were right there with the damaged buildings. Graffiti, guys gathered in protective groups while glaring at passersby. Still, the streets were practically empty.
I saw a park and turned to walk into it. It was forested little area, with bushes and a fence blocking it from the rest of the city. The leaves were brown, and the grass dead, but it was a park nonetheless. I strolled through, my feet burning a bit from the cold and the walking on asphalt. I got to the middle of the park, the trees around me blocking the lights of the city. A chilly wind blew some leaves past. It was actually peaceful.
Of course, that was when the whistle noise came from behind me.
I stopped in my tracks and closed my eyes. "Oooooh, this can't end well."
I turned to see four guys walk up to me. They were wearing jean jackets with matches sewn into them in a symbol I recognized. The guy in front of me was bald, his eyes brown and wide. His pale white skin seemed to glow in what little light there was. The other guys were white as well. This was important.
As they came closer, the patches caught my eye once more. Swastika's covered the men vests with the sort of pride the symbol did not deserve.
I don't give a damn about people talking about Holocaust conspiracies and how not all of them are bad, or how all opinions should be listened to. If you're the sort of jerk who wears a swastika and starts blaming people's race, religion, gender, or sexual preference for your problems, if you use those as a reason to hate people, you don't deserve sympathy, you don't deserve an opinion. Ignorance can be cured. But not when it's intentional ignorance.
The men walked up to me, the guy in the lead grinning. "Well well, look at you? Forget your shoes boy?"
I frowned, slowly backing away. "I did. I'm on my way to get them. Can you let me go?"
A knife came out. "Nah," he chuckled. His friends joined him in chuckling. They surrounded me. "I think I'd rather show what happens to immigrant fucks who come to New York."
He leaped forward, knife aimed at my stomach.
I wasn't a martial artist. I'd only been trained in some boxing and high school wrestling. Luckily, I was scared as hell.
I'd been shoved into a realm of pain, woke up in a random city, and found myself getting attacked by some of the worst kind of people in the world.
Like I'd said, no one in the modern world is ready to fight someone immediately without the right mentality.
I was finally in the right mentality.
When the guy stabbed at my stomach, I reached out as fast as I could and grabbed his wrist. The knife bounced off my watch, slicing deep into the back of my forearm. I pulled the guy in towards me, shouting.
"Fu-" My other hand rose up. I pulled him forward. My right hand pulled him close. My left snapped forward. I clenched my left hand into a tight fist moments before impact, twisted my hips with the blow, and slammed him with all the force I had. I aimed for his solar plexus, not wanting to break my knuckles on his skull. As the air was driven from the neo-nazi, I spun him around. The guy was a skinny jerk, so even though he was taller than me, he was easy to spin around and pull close. I clenched his wrist tight, pulling him back with me as my other hand wrapped around his neck. My right hand moved from his wrist to his hand, clenching it tight around the knife he was holding. I forced him to point his knife at his own throat.
I almost fell over, stumbling a bit, but I clutched the neo-nazi close and choked him. His friends came closer as I backed off. One guy took out a handgun.
"Let go of him!" He shouted. I ducked, trying to get the guy in between me and his friends.
"Better do it," the guy I was holding laughed, then tried to shake me off. I squeezed harder, trying to keep a hold of him, and I pressed his knife hand into his neck. He stilled at the feeling of it piercing his neck. "You fucking asshole!"
"I just want to go home," I said back to him. My voice cracked. "Seriously, I just..." I trailed off when I saw my watch. The watch I'd never seen before in my life. Scratch that. I knew the watch. But I'd never seen it in a form that wasn't either in cartoon or toy form.
"...Ha!" I let out. The three guys staring at me shared a look. The guy I was holding tried to struggle again. I felt myself go just a little insane. It was kinda nice. Kinda freeing. "Tell you what boys," I reached for the watch, struggling with my 'prisoner' as I did. "How about this? If this doesn't work... I'll let you kill me."
Looking back, I was probably lying. I'd damn well fight back either way. At this point, I was crazy enough to do it.
I grabbed the watch and twisted the face of it. The triangles opened up, and the guy I was holding stared with the same shock I felt when the watch lit up. A image floated from it, a green figure with a head like fire.
"What the..." One of the guys said softly as we all stared at my watch.
"I know right?" I said a bit crazily.
With that, I slammed my hand onto the watch. A flash of green light came from the device, before it enveloped me. I let go of the guy in my arms, shoving him away even as I became a different person.
My bones widened, growing outwards, before they dissolved entirely. Flesh and blood shifted, until only the green of vines remained. My organs began to produce methane in massive amount. My mind changed, connecting to the world around me in a way I didn't understand. In all, the change must have take less than a second, only a blink of time.
When it ended, I stood up tall, stretching my body out and looking at my hands. My body was now green vines and black sections of bark. My feet looked like roots surrounding rocks, allowing me to stand stable on the ground. My hands clenched into green fists. I knew, if I looked at myself, I would have a head shaped like flame, with slit green eyes.
I sighed. My voice sounded different now. Kinda nasally actually.
"Well... Tradition and all that, right," I reared back, crying out one word as proudly as I could. "Swampfire!"
"Holy shit!" the guy I'd shoved away yelled in amazement.
"Kill it!" The guy with the gun started shooting.
Bullets slammed into me, punching through my body to fly behind me. I staggered back, blinking as I felt the odd sensation of bullets going through me. A moment later, he had emptied his handgun. I looked down at myself.
There were a bunch of holes in me. About fifteen or so, tiny. I felt some wind passing through them. As I watched, the holes began to seal themselves. With a bit of concentration, I accelerated the process. Soon, all the holes were gone, leaving smooth plant-life.
"Whoa," I said in that nasally voice. "That is cool."
I felt so powerful. As though I was a hundred times stronger and more powerful than before. I took a deep breath, my massive chest moving with the action.
Then I raised a hand, mimicking the move I'd seen more than once on Cartoon Network. A plume of flame erupted from my palm. The guys crinkled their noses, apparently bother by the smell.
"What the hell!?" The neo-nazis backed away, scared.
So I threw a fireball at the ground in front of them, laughing. The fireball exploded, erupting with a brilliance I found gratifying.
They spun around.
But we were in a park. In a place full of greenery. Swampfire's home turf.
I reached out with my mind, and felt the trees around me. The feeling of the life around me was intoxicating. I struggled to focus, to ignore the way the world suddenly seemed so much larger, as though I was part of a conversation I'd never known was happening around me every day.
The grass grew up into massive stalks as tall as a man. Trees suddenly erupted with branches. A giant green oval sprouted from my chest, which I ripped out and threw in front of the group. The oval object exploded in front of them, turning into a plant that stabbed into the ground with it's roots and began to grow.
In seconds, the work of months or years, even millenia, passed by. When the guys ran, the plant I'd thrown launched out vines. The forest continued to grow and grow at high speed.
"God hel-" The leader, the guy who'd tried to stab me, was silenced when a vine wrapped around his mouth. In seconds, more vines surrounded his arms, legs, and chest, holding him tightly as he released muffled screams.
The other three turned around, trying to escape the other way. I grabbed one, a guy with a beard bigger than mine, by the shoulder.
"Not today!" I lashed out with a green fist as large as watermelon, my knuckles digging into his side before my inhuman strength lifted him up as I felt something like sticks break under my vine fist.
"Ugk!" He grunted as his ribs shattered. He was sent flying back, slamming into a tree. The tree, under my orders, wrapped him in it's branches, leaving him trapped in a wooden cocoon.
The last two guys tried to escape as well. They ran through the growing grass of the lawn next to the walkway. Which meant they were a field under my control. Feeling a bit vindictive, I stood for a moment, watching them run. When they'd gotten about twenty feet away, the grass rustling as they ran towards the nearest exit from the park to the streets, I dramatically raised a hand. For some reason, feeling like I was being a bit ironic, I snapped my fingers. The grass moved, and the two men fell.
I felt the grass speaking to me, letting me know they were wrapping around them. Some weeds joined in, growing with immense speed.
I looked over at the leader. He stared at me from the bonds of the plant I'd thrown. "New York City... Good to know." I looked over the men for a moment, then looked down at myself. "Hmm. You know fellas, I am going to need some clothes."
Later, with a bundle of clothing, an empty pistol, knife, and their cell phones and wallets, all stuffed into a bag made of vines, I turned and walked out of the park. Still transformed into Swampfire, flowers began to bloom in the middle of fall, police sirens came closer, and fire burned. Then, with a loud set of beeps and a big flash of red light, I became human again, and walked into the city.
Sleeping in a hotel is always a bit disgusting to me. I'm always thinking of how many people use hotels for things I'd prefer not to imagine without supermodels involved. That said, I found a solid place to sleep for the night, and thankfully the neo-nazis had some cash in their wallets, enough to get a room.
I managed to get some sleep, even clean the clothes I'd stolen in the small washer and dryer that came with the room. Granted, the clothes wasn't perfectly my size, but I'd gotten some jeans and shirts. Though I ended up having to rip a few swastika's off at one point.
I distracted myself like that for a bit. Rifling through the guys wallets, folding clothes, showering. All the while, I ignored the object on my wrist. It seemed to weigh me down with every move, a reminder of everything that had happened.
Soon, I had to confront it. I sat on the floor and stared at it, resting against the bed of the hotel room.
The Omnitrix. THE Omnitrix. From the tv show Ben 10.
I felt a smile rise on my face. So freaking cool. I loved that show, and the idea of the Omnitrix, a device that could turn a person into one of a plethora of badass aliens, was exciting as hell. And it was my favorite design too, the one from Alien Force. I reeeeaaaly wanted to play with it, to see just who I could into. Humongosaur? Diamondhead? Oh god, please don't let the Worst be one of my options. Hell, while I'd been freaking out before, turning into Swampfire was freaking awesome. Feeling so powerful, that connection to the plants around me, and the feel of summoning methane and igniting with a thought. Damn it was cool.
I lowered my arm and sighed. But then there was the elephant in the room. Why give me a uber powered watch with limitless potential, then drop me into New York City?
I decided to discard the fact this was all impossible. That the Omnitrix, Professor Paradox, teleportation, and aliens were all fictional, or at least not possible according to the 2018 I knew.
Professor Paradox. He was the key. He had answers, he knew why I was here, why I was given the watch. But most important...
I reached for one of the phones. It was locked. So were the other three. No answers. But they were older models. I couldn't tell if that meant anything.
I decided to wait for the next day to find information. But in the end, sleep wasn't going to come easy.
The next day, I was in the Columbus Branch Library. I'd been directed there by a kindly older woman. The library was two stories, gray stone, and in between a place called Rey's Deli Grocery on it's right, and an apartment building of some sort on the left. Once inside finding a computer was easy. Looking up recent news took seconds. I scrolled through the stories, some things jumping out at me immediately as weird. But one took my breath away.
It was seeing a picture of Robert Downey Jr, that guy from the movie Kiss Kiss Bang Bang. He was wearing a dapper suit, a suave smile on his face as he waved from a private jet. The headline made my headspin.
'Tony Stark Makes Plans To Rebuild Stark Tower As The Avengers Headquarters.'
Well, there was only one response I could give to that.
"Since when the fuck did Robert Downey Jr. play Iron Man?"
October 19, 2013. The day I entered the Marvel Universe.