A Titanic Tale Told in a Timely Fashion!
Pie Jesu Domine, Dona eis requiem
In an undisclosed location along the eastern seaboard
General Thaddeus 'Thunderbolt' Ross walked briskly past the armed MP's as he entered a elevator in the nondescript building. The walls, floors, and even the ceiling were all a dull gray color. The constant drone of the lights overhead did little to ease his mind as the elevator began its descent into the bowls of the building.
After making his way past even more guards, he slipped into a large white chamber and quickly got into a radiation suit. Getting into it in record time, he waved to the guards on the other side of the blast shield as they opened the gate to the room on the other side.
The lead lined suit made him feel like an overgrown scouring pad, but that was the only way the suits would let him see her
The now green skinned woman as laying on her side with a Geiger counter ticking off the radioactivity in the room.
She didn't even respond his presence as he tapped on the glass. Her attitude had been growing increasingly cynical and dark over the past few months, but so far she had resisted the urge to break out. Of course, the moment she decided to listen that particular impulse they were going to be up the creek without a paddle.
"Where is she?" her deeper voice growled, sending Ross out of his thoughts. Sighing, Ross tried not to look his wife in the eye as he answered. "Betty doesn't know what happened to you. As far as she knows, her mother left."
Those words proved to be the wrong thing to say as Jennifer Ross, now presently dubbed the 'She-Hulk' leapt to her feet and pounded on the lead lined glass. "Damn it Ross I'm not dead! Why can't I see my own daughter? Why?" she howled as she continued to slam her fists into the glass barrier.
The armed MP's stood at ready as Ross frantically ordered them to stand down. "Look, we're working on a cure, you just have to trust us" Ross pleaded as the guards slowly exited the room.
The plea did little to soothe Jennifer's temper, but she did stop hitting the wall. "Alright, alright. I'm just feeling a little stir crazy in here."
And from that, the talk broke down into more mundane things, while unbeknownst to them…
J. Edgar Hoover didn't like change. The very act of altering anything from the deviated norms was so unnatural to him, the very thought almost made him sick.
Spread out on his desk was arguably the greatest representation of change: the so-called 'superheroes'. Beings who deified the norms of the wholesome American people, and worse, had abilities that actually made them superior to anyone; Hoover hated these freaks, but thankfully most had vanished after the war.
Sadly the same couldn't be said of the conversation he was listening in to. A secret microphone had been installed in the She-Hulk cell, so as to act as a early warning system for when she decided to break out. The only snag in the plan was that that blasted green hussy didn't seem to show any interest in making an escape. Naturally, this had to be corrected…
Pressing a button on the intercom, he tidied up the large oak desk as his guests entered.
Now, Hoover never put much faith in the supernatural, but if he had then he would have sworn that before him stood two ghosts. The man and the younger boy beside him were, for all intents and purposes Captain America and Bucky.
Who ever the man was before wasn't a concern; all Hoover cared to know about was that the man before him had somehow managed to replicate the experiment that had turned the original Steve Rogers into a perfect fighting machine, only the man must have left out something, because there was something in the man's eyes though; something that sent chills up Hoover's spine every time they talked. Hoover didn't really know the old captain very well, but the man before him scared him.
"Mr. Hoover, what's the problem today, more of those dammed reds?" the man now called Steve Rogers said almost in a manic tone.
Clearing his throat, Hoover pulled a large dossier file out from a nearby file cabinet and placed in the large muscular hand before him while Bucky stared wide eyed at the other photos on his desk. "Gee whiz Steve look at all those guys!"
Steve chuckled as he gripped the file in one hand and playfully patted his partner on the head. "Now Buck, this is important business here. You can look at those kiddy books later" he said firmly, much to his partner's disappointment.
"Captain, this is a grave matter. Back during the war, there was an attempt to create another super solider. The experiment was sabotaged but something was created, a monster. This creature is a threat to our very existence, and it must be stopped." he spoke evenly as the faux Rogers opened the file and stared wide-eyed at the photos. Hoover continued as he pressed another button on his desk, causing a projector to lower from the ceiling. "This is some footage that we managed to capture of the creature"
Rogers continued to stare at the footage; if it weren't for Hoover's demeanor he would have written the thing off as a joke. The film showed a beautiful if terrifying woman rampaging through a city street. "This…freak is what's the problem?" Rogers smirked as he causally tossed the file back down. "An overgrown girly with a bad skin complexion is what's worrying you sir? With all due respect I have my doubts that this broad could really be that much of a problem."
Hoover shook his head as he flipped another switch, causing the projector to shut down. "Be that as it may, this creature is dangerous. We were holding her in a secluded spot, but she managed to escape. We have reason to believe that Russians are trying to smuggle it out of the country. We need you to stop it Captain America."
Rogers stood up proudly and saluted. "Yes sir, you can count on us! We'll stop that un-American freak!"
As the pair left, Hoover smiled. Picking up a plain black phone from inside his desk, he spoke softly after he was sure the two were no longer in the building. "They are on their way. I want her out and on the town within the hour, understand? Those two are becoming too dangerous and unpredictable. You know what to do." He quickly hung up the phone and slammed the drawer shut as he continued to look over the papers.
At that same time
Jennifer popped her back in boredom as she sat in the small room. "With my power I could easily get out of here" she thought for the hundredth time, "But if I did that they never would stop hounding me."
As her thoughts settled on that particular topic, she noticed a slight odor in the air. Looking around, she was angered to see a strange colored gas filtering into the room. "So, locking me up isn't enough, you have to gas me too?" she shouted as she jumped to her feet and began to pound on the glass barrier.
The glass surrendered under the full assault of the green Amazon's strength. Easily stepping past the jagged barricade, Jennifer stomped her way down the hall. Looking around and seeing no one, she stopped. "Hmm, this is too easy. Am I being tested?" she wondered as she continued.
Stopping by a janitor's closet and quickly changing from her medical gown into a heavily stretched pair of overalls, she quietly as possible made her way to the gate. "No time for subtlety" she whispered as she reared back and kicked the gate dead center.
The sealed gateway gave way and fell in two pieces with a long clang. Still not seeing a trace of the MP's or any other personal, Jennifer quickly dashed towards freedom, or so she thought.
After several turns and runarounds, Jennifer found herself getting mighty sick of seeing the same corridor. Crouching down, she jumped as hard as she could. Breaking away through the concrete and plaster, she briefly flashed back to an old image of a cartoon she used to watch with Beatty about some sarcastic rabbit digging through things.
That particular mental image served her well as her head burst through what looked like tiled floor of a restroom. "I knew I should have made a left turn"
Thaddeus Ross woke with a start. Looking around the dimly light office, he wasn't much to think of the supernatural, but there was a strange feeling that he couldn't seem to ignore. Rubbing his bleary eyes, he reached for the phone.
Quickly dialing a secret number, he was rewarded with static. "Oh no" he mumbled as he jumped out of his chair and rushed out of the office.
Hoover smiled as he monitored the outgoing phone call from General Ross's office. "Excellent, he'll think his wife has escaped, the erstwhile Captain and the brat will think she escaped, and the two of them will finish each other off." He thought with pride on his plan.
"Ok, where the heck am I?" Jennifer wondered as she stepped out of the restroom and into a deserted diner. Looking around at the dust covered counter and empty booths, the silently made her way out side.
Her voice echoed down the deserted streets. All along the sidewalk, she saw storefronts that while looked like thriving business on the outside, but where empty and hollow on the inside, like a movie set.
The roar of the airplane's engines was annoying Captain America, although Bucky's constant chatter and the pilot's pathetic attempts to tell a joke were almost equally irritating.
"You boys better get ready to hit the silk, we're coming to the drop zone!" the pilot shouted in between gales of laughter.
Whatever the man said next was lost as the two costumed Sentinels of Liberty made their way to the rear of the plane. Shortly thereafter, the pair were freefalling out into the night sky.
After making a safe landing, Captain America slid his shield off of his back and gave himself a final look over. "Would the real Captain be this nervous?" he thought as Bucky had already tossed his chute away and was busy making his way towards the holding center.
"No time to worry about that now. Now is the time for action, and time for Captain America!" he almost whispered to himself as he straightened his mask and marched off towards the faux city.
Jennifer looked around, her mind still puzzled. The few cars she had seen were as phony as everything else. Real bodies, yes, but lacking everything underneath the hood.
"Like a few people I know" she grumbled as she slammed the hood down on the latest car she had checked, crushing the front end beyond all repair. "Damn it, I could just leap out of here, but if I don't know where I am I won't know which way to go!" she shouted as she kicked the already ruined automobile, sending it hurtling down the street and causing it to crash through a hollow storefront.
On the other side of the fake city
Captain America flinched as he heard the sounds of breaking glass. "That loon must be wrecking half the city!" he thought as he spied his youthful partner Bucky.
The lad was at present staring down at the giant jade figure from the relative safety of the alley. "Golly Cap, this dame looks like she might be trouble!" he quipped.
"Easy lad" Cap spoke softly as he placed a gloved hand on Bucky's shoulder. "I know this may seem impossible, but we've tackled harder villains. Besides, all we have to do is lure the big ape into the waiting arms of the FBI. Hoover won't let us down son."
"I guess you're right Cap. Let's go and bag this overblown pin up!"
At the same time
Jennifer, having decided to hoof it rather than risk jumping and getting even more lost, made her way down the empty street. Her green feet making little noise on the cool concrete, she was startled when she heard the sound of a something metallic scraping against brick.
"Who's there?" she shouted.
She was answered by a red and white shield whizzing past her head. She was taken aback by the site of the iconic disk, so much so that she wasn't aware of the being in front of her.
"Bucky?" she gasped as the familiar red and blue glad youth stepped out of the darkness of the alley. "But, you're dead!"
"That's what you're Commie masters would like to think, isn't it?" another all too familiar voice said behind her.
Slowly turning around, Jennifer's voice died in her throat as she looked at the man before her.
Standing proudly in the all too familiar red, white, and blue uniform, Captain America gripped his shield in his right hand as he stared down the She-Hulk.
"Now, are you going to come quietly, or do we have to drag your freak carcass to the feds?"
Whatever spell the man had her under, those words broke it. "Ok buddy, you may have the look down, but I do know one thing in this crazy place. You're not the real Captain."
Those words seemed to set off a firestorm behind the man's eyes.
"Yes I am!" he bellowed as he threw his shield at the She-Hulk's head. Jennifer caught it with one hand before gripping it like a oversized plate. "If you were the real deal, then I couldn't do this!" she said with little effort in her voice as she crumbled the shield into a small metallic wad.
"The shield was unbreakable"
The stranger in the costume stared open mouth at her. "You…what the hell are you?" he shouted.
"Someone who" she began to say, but she was distracted by the Bucky imposter tackling her from behind. "Come on Cap, don't give up!" the youth cried as he swept his feet low, making contact with Jennifer's shins. The blow wasn't enough to knock her over, but it was enough to make her stagger.
"You're right!" Captain America said as he shook his head before charging. Slamming his fists down onto Jennifer's face, his own features were twisted into a mask of pure hate as he kept his assault. Even after the sound of his knuckles braking filled the night air he kept on.
Now, Jennifer was hardly immune from physical pain, and although the imposter wasn't strong enough to do any permanent damage to her, he was doing a good job of keeping her off balance.
Weighing in if she should run and simply turn the man before her into a fine red, white, and blue paste, the decision was taken out of her hands.
A large gas grenade was lobbed into the street by unseen hands. Both the She-Hulk, as well as the faux Captain America and Bucky, fell quickly to its effects.
Men in protective suits quickly emerged from various points around the city. "Come on, we don't have much time before the gas wears off!" one of the men shouted as the three sleeping figures were placed like luggage onto three gurneys.
"Hold it, HQ says the green one goes east. Those two get sent up to the New York cell for the cold storage treatment." One of the lesser-ranked men read back from a recently radioed order.
"Fine, let's just get these freaks on ice as fast as possible."
Ross hated many things in his life; being made to wait was one of them. This was driven home was he stared outside the drab gray walls in the drab gray building that was surrounded by other drab gray buildings.
The door before him slid open soundlessly. Stepping inside, he was greeted by a familiar face.
Sitting in a modern looking chair and surrounded by paperwork was a man that Ross had heard about and even on a few occasions had even worked with.
Staring up at the newcomer with his one eye (the other being rendered useless thanks in part to a German potato masher), Nick Fury, former commander of the unit known as 'the Howling Commandos', looked Ross over.
"General, I'll try to keep this short." Fury said in between chomps of his cigar. Pressing a button under his desk, the dark was darkened as the familiar whirl of a projector started up.
"General Ross, several hours ago your wife escaped."
The rest of Fury's words seemed to go by in a blur. Shaking himself to listen better, Ross sat down on a nearby desk. "How?" he managed to gasp.
"We're not sure. But the thing that sticks in my craw is that the installation was deserted; it seems someone up top was quite interested in making it look like Mrs. Ross escaped under her power."
"Never mind that, do you know where she is?"
Fury looked away. "At this moment, no. We've had a few leads, and it looks like Hoover sent in some boys to transport you're wife somewhere, but we don't know where just yet."
Ross shook his head and stood up. "Nick, I know there is more to this than what you're saying. You think Hoover set this thing up?"
Fury spat the chewed up cigar into a trashcan before lighting up another. "Officially? I can't comment on that. Unofficially though, Hoover has made it clear that he doesn't think too highly of the long underwear set. I wouldn't put it past him to break her out so he could justify whatever he wanted."
Ross cursed under his breath. Fury continued; "but we aren't totally unarmed in this matter. General, we're going to get your wife back. I promise." Grabbing a hastily scrawled note, he thrust it into Ross's hands. "Things aren't the way they were back in the war Thunderbolt." He said as two men almost as nondescript as the building ushered Ross out of the room and back outside.
J. Edgar Hoover smiled as he conversed on the special red phone. "Yes sir, the package should be arriving there within the hour. No sir, those two are being flown to another location. Yes sir, oh, and tell the misses I said hello."
While on the other end of that particular phone call
"Yes, I'll do just that" the speaker said slowly as he waited until he was sure the line was no longer in use. Standing up in the shadowy room, the figure moved in the darkness until a light switch was found.
The light that quickly flooded the room reveled the speaker to be none other than Vice President Richard Nixon, at least that's whom the speaker looked like until the figure's face began to darken to a deep green and slowly reshape until it no longer resembled a normal human's features at all.
The chin shriveled while the ears elongated. Nixon's rumpled suit seemed to shrink in on itself seconds before changing color into a ghastly purple/green military style uniform.
Glancing nervously around, the strange being checked the locked door before pulling back the rug and opening up a secret compartment in the floor. Reaching inside, it grabbed a small disk and flipped it open.
"Agent Zet-00 reporting in. Proper translator is still malfunctioning; therefore I will be forced to report in using this primitive language. Stage One is complete, and the cargo will be delivered into out hands shortly. I request that the pickup shuttle bring extra armament, as the Earthling has shown to possess a greater strength than the previous Earthlings encountered. I will contact you again when the second objective is complete."
The creature then closed the disk and placed back under the floor. Returning the carpet to its original position, the creature once again under went a metamorphosis. The skin shifting again, the creature again resembled VP Nixon.
Smirking, he unlocked the door to his office and stepped out into the fall. "What fools these mortals be" he thought wryly as he eyed the door to the Oval Office with a knowing grin…
"I'm beginning to hate this part" Jennifer groused as she opened her eyes and sat up in the strange cell. The walls were curved upwards like a ball, and there didn't seem to be any windows or doors either.
"Where am I?" she asked as the wall in front of her slowly became transparent.
Standing in front of her were two green skinned creatures with elongated ears and shriveled chins gabbing in a foreign tongue.
"By the Atomic Generator, I've been here so long even these Earthlings are starting to look good!" the closet one said, although Jennifer couldn't understand him.
"I know what you mean; shame we can't put something over that face of hers. Has the shuttle arrived yet?"
"It just touched down. Well, back to the mines" the other shrugged as a button was pushed outside of Jennifer's view, causing the containment bubble to be pushed outwards at blinding speed.
When the thing had come to a stop, Jennifer almost cried out as the walls began to close in on her.
"Not today buddy!" she snarled as she lashed out with her foot. Hitting the wall with all her might, she was surprised to see that not only did she not inflict any damage at all, but now her foot was firmly implanted in the strange substance.
As the bizarre liquid oozed over her, Jennifer tried to struggle. But despite her strength, her movements simply caused the slime to cover her faster.
"No, it can't end like this!" she thought before the slime enveloped her head.
"How is the Earthling handling the treatment?" the Skrull captain asked as he nervously tapped his pistol.
"Not very well. I fear we might have to simply terminate it. Her DNA is unsuitable for our needs, and it would to be too much of a strain to put her under control." The Science Officer spoke as he read off the incoming data.
"Very well, we go with the backup plan as ordered."
The mention of this caused the Science Officer to pause. "Sir, with all due respect, wouldn't that attract more attention to us? Surely these beings would find the evidence of out being here on that Earthling's corpse."
The Captain simply waved his gloved hand as he flipped a few switches near his chair. "You worry too much. Their technology could never find any evidence of our superior science, and even if they did, it's unlikely they would even understand what they were looking at. Assuming that they would even leave enough of that creature's body to be examined anyway." The Captain rationalized before he slammed his fist down on a large red button.
"Still, this whole plan does seem far too complex, doesn't it? I fail to see why we have to bring their protectors into it. I think we were doing just fine by escalating tensions between the tribes."
"Orders are orders. You know that" the Captain tersely replied as the ship shuttered a bit when the metallic cocoon holding Jennifer dropped out of the sky and towards the busy metropolis below.
Ross cursed as he speed through the night. The meeting with Fury had done nothing, and the more red tape he had cut through only reveled more red tape. Flipping on the radio to try and take his mind off his worries, he began to randomly tune the dial.
"Try our new all beef patty"
"The weather for this week"
"Reports coming in of a strange creature raining havoc in out nation's capitol."
That particular bit of news nearly made him collide with an oncoming truck as he tried to listen in the already fading channel.
"Jennifer" he said as his mouth suddenly lost any trace of moisture.
Slamming on the brakes (and ignoring the stench of the burned rubber), he did a nearly perfect U-turn in the middle of the road before stomping on the gas.
As the trees whizzed by in a blur he prayed he wasn't too late…
This was the only thing going through Jennifer's mind as she mindlessly stomped her way through downtown DC. She tried to think about something else, but every time she slowed down or tried to think, she was rewarded with a blinding pain that seemed to seize her muscles.
"Make it stop!" she cried as she ripped a lamppost out of the pavement and used it to clear the way before her. The cries and screams of the people around her did little to stop her torment, but she did see something that made the fire inside lessen ever so slightly.
Before her eyes was a small ball that was floating in the air before her.
Something deep in her mind clicked on, and she began to follow the ball, regardless of whatever stood in her way.
Outside the city limits
Ross pulled off of the road when he saw the massive evacuation going on. Grabbing his pistol and id, he made a mad dash past the deadlocked cars and panicking civilians.
"Hold it!" he heard a scared voice shout behind him. Turning around, he wasn't too surprised to be staring down the barrel of a M-5. "Nobody enters the city!" the solider, who probably wasn't even old enough to hold his liquor, shouted as he kept his finger on the trigger.
"Stand down!" Ross shouted back as he flashed his id at the younger man. His grip on the trigger didn't change, but his stance relaxed somewhat. "Sorry General, but no one is allowed in. We just got orders to evacuate this section before the bomb goes off."
J. Edgar Hoover wiped the sweat off of his brow as he gathered his documents into a wastebasket and lit a match. The sound of the phone ringing shattered the relative quiet in the office, causing him to drop the thing into the basket anyway.
Tossing the burning thing aside, he snatched up the phone and shouted. "What?"
The voice on the other end almost made him shiver, despite the heat of the room. "Yes sir, I understand. Don't worry, this whole mess will be taken care of!"
Nixon, or the Skrull agent pretending to be Nixon, smiled as he hung up the phone.
Turning around (and once again shifting into his natural state), the Skrull agent picked up his communicator from the hidden place and flipped it open. "Has the order been given? Good. I fear the plans we had for the Earthling will have to be ended prematurely; she's simply too radioactive to keep under control for much longer. But make sure the vortex isn't too big; we don't want any unsuspecting Earthlings to see what we have in store, now do we?"
The stalemate between Ross and the sentry was quickly growing on both men's nerves. "Sir, I don't care what you've got on your shoulder I have my orders!" the guard said firmly.
"Alright, and I respect that private, but…" Ross held up his hands before lashing out with his foot and catching the guard in the gut before slamming his joined fists down into the back of his head. "I mean no disrespect." He said as he grabbed the fallen man's gun and made a mad dash in-between the abandoned cars.
At the same time, the gamma radiation inside Jennifer's body was already acting as a counteragent of sorts against the foreign control, causing the alien substance to slowly lose its effects.
Slowly coming to halt like a runaway train, Jennifer rubbed the back of her neck as she stared around at the devastation around her. "What is going on?" she wondered aloud as the distant sound of crying brought her out of her bewilderment.
Turning around, she saw a young girl pinned beneath the remains of a car. "Hang on, I'll get you out of there!" Jennifer called out as she cleared the block in less than three steps.
The girl (who couldn't have been more than 10 Jennifer thought) had both legs pinned down under the twisted metal. Her face was streaked with tears and blood as she silently stared up at the giant woman.
As Jennifer easily removed the wreckage, the girl suddenly found her voice. "Stay away!" she cried as Jennifer moved closer. "Easy, I don't want to hurt you" Jennifer said softly as she realized that she was probably to blame for the girl being in trapped in the first place. "I want to help. My name's Jenny, what's your?"
The girl, her face puffed from crying, answered slowly as she sat up. "Jill"
"That's a nice name Jill." Jennifer said soothingly as she carefully picked the girl up and made her way down the deserted street. "Do you have any family around here?"
That trigged a fresh set of tears as Jill began to shake. "My daddy was taking us on vacation when out car got smashed. He left to go get help but I don't now where he is!" she wailed, prompting Jennifer to hug the girl.
"I'm sorry to hear that Jill. You know, I have a little girl of my own. She'd be about your age by now I think."
Jill, her eyes still red, looked back up. "Really? Is she green like you?"
Surprisingly, this caused Jennifer to laugh, perhaps the first time she had done so in years. "No, no she isn't.
"Jennifer?" a familiar voice rang out. Looking away from Jill, Jennifer caught sight of someone she wasn't sure if she be happy to see or angry. She settled for a mixture of both.
"Thaddeus?" she spoke, the emotions trembling in her voice. Putting Jill down gently, Jennifer marched over to her husband.
"Jenny, I'm" Ross started to say before he was silenced, first by a passionate kiss, the next by a (comparatively speaking of course) punch to the gut. "You got some nerve Thunderbolt" Jennifer spat as she clenched her fists in rage.
Ross, doubled over and struggling to breath, looked up with pleading eyes. "Jennifer, please listen to me, the army is going to bomb the area! We have to get out of here!"
Whatever words he said next were lost as before Jennifer's horrified eyes a large red flower seemed to bloom around her husband's shoulder. Ross looked almost confused as several more spots opened up on his legs and one near the center of his chest.
"I'm…" he sputtered as he pitched himself forward into his wife's arms.
"No!" she screamed as she looked at the perpetrators with vengeance in her eyes.
Standing several yards away was a small group of men dressed in basic army fatigues, the closest one holding a smoking pistol. He grinned as he twirled the gun like a cowboy before holstering it.
It was at that point that Jennifer Ross ceased to be; she was now the She-Hulk.
She made sure to hammer this point in as she thrust both her fists into the cracked pavement and with one smooth motion ripped the road up like a cheap rug, sending the men scurrying like rats.
The one who seemed to be in charge shouted orders in a language that the She-Hulk didn't understand.
"I'll smash you all!" she grunted as she gripped the large chunk of asphalt in her hands and hurtled it at the men. She counted at least three who were crushed beneath it, but her attention quickly turned towards the remaining soldiers.
The apparent leader shouted something at his men and then ducked behind a pile of rubble as two soldiers held two silver staffs in both their hands.
"It will take more than that to get rid of me!" the She-Hulk boastfully shouted as she easily stomped her towards the men, neither of whom showed any fear in her presence. Instead, they bent the staffs and connected them, until they had a perfectly formed square in their hands. The leader screamed something high pitched at them as the men pressed a button and dropped the square.
Ignoring the strange shape, the She-Hulk focused her attention on the men running away from her. "Not so fast!" she growled as she clasped one massive hand around the neck of the closest one.
One quick 'crunch' later, she was down to the other one. With a helpless gaze at his commander, he blubbered in the same strange tongue. Ignoring what ever was shouted back, she grabbed the man by the shoulders.
"Make a wish" she grinned as a bizarre noise began behind her. Tossing the screaming man aside, she was dumbstruck at the sight before her:
The square had reshaped itself into a disk, which was now spinning wildly around on the pavement. A strange sucking noise was coming out of it as the She-Hulk felt the pull. The man she had discarded was sucked headlong towards it like a piece of grass caught in the path of a vacuum. The man feebly tried to grab hold of something, but the suction increased, dragging him into the mouth of the vortex.
Trying to hold on by grabbing the edges of the disk, he was rewarded for his efforts with a sickening crack as his back folded like a cheap deck of cards due to the suction increasing.
"Good riddance!" the She-Hulk thought as she dug her feet into the pavement. Seeing the leader holding on for dear life, she smiled evilly as she stomped her way to him. "I'm going to enjoy this" she thought as she gripped the squirming man by the scruff of his neck.
"Help us!" a familiar voice cried out just as the She-Hulk was about to let the man go.
On the other side, and getting perilously closer to the ever-widening abyss were two people. One, a small girl who was the one who cried out, and the other a injured but familiar man.
"R-ross?" the She-Hulk said slowly as she tried to remember the man's name. Letting the screaming man in her grasp go, she stomped her way over. "What's going on?" she demanded confusedly.
The girl, who seemed so familiar yet she couldn't think of the child's name, looked up at the She-Hulk with pleading eyes. "I can't hold him anymore, please help!"
Blinking, and ignoring the ever-growing winds, the She-Hulk bent over and scoped up the bloody figure of Ross in her arms.
At the same time
The solider she had so casually tossed had regained his footing among the ruble. With her emerald back to him, and with her blocking the view of the other humans, the man griped the ground and changed, his features letting into that of a Skrull agent.
"Blasted human sow!" he grumbled as he secured a safety line to the ground and pulled a hidden blaster out from his boot and a small cylinder from his other as the winds threatened to tear him into two. "After I've killed those humans I'll just shut the vortex off. Easiest mission I've been on!" he smugly thought as he took aim…
"Look out!" cried Jill as she spied the now un-disguised Skrull as he leapt out from his hiding place and took aim at the trip with an oddly shaped pistol.
For the She-Hulk, everything seemed to slow down as she turned around. Before her was a creature waving a fancy piece at her. "I should just leave. Ross left me to rot in that cell and I don't owe that brat anything." She thought as the creature began to shout something above the roaring din. She tuned him out as she took a final glance back at Ross, lying bloodied on the ground. A shudder went through her as her eyes suddenly lost the hardness about them. "Thaddeus, my God what's going on?" she shouted as she grabbed her injured husband's hand. "Jennifer, you have to stop them!" he managed to say before slumped over.
"Don't worry, I will" she muttered as she jumped high into the air and crashed into the alien. He (or it, the She-Hulk didn't really feel like checking) shrieked as a line that was holding him in place snapped and the two of them hurtled towards the now massive hole.
"I'm so sorry Betty" she silently thought as the pair of them disappeared into the hole.
Just as the last trace of them vanished, the hole quickly closed, leaving no trace of either the alien or the She-Hulk.
"Jenny" Ross muttered as the sounds rescue crews moving in were the last thing he heard before blackness claimed him.
General Thaddeus "Thunderbolt" Ross sighed as he stepped out of the car. The cemetery was small and quiet, something that did little to ease his mind as he straightened his dress uniform while walking towards the back row. The stiffness in his legs did little to draw his mind away from the purpose of him being there.
It had been almost seven exactly and no one had stepped forward about what had happened. There had been talk of aliens impersonating key members of the government, but that was just silly.
Walking past cracked and crumbling headstones, Ross stiffened when he saw the blue clad figure standing over the newly craved tombstone.
"Hello Betty" he said, causing the woman before him to nearly jump out of her skin. "Hello Daddy" she replied with little emotion in her voice.
Looking around, Ross silently placed the roses he had under his arm onto the freshly dug plot of Earth, directly under the words "Jennifer Walters Ross-beloved wife and mother".
Taking his hat off, Ross stared down at the Earth while his daughter looked away. "How did she die?" she finally asked.
"I can't tell you."
"Can't, or won't?" she spat, the anger almost visible in her tone. "She ran out on us daddy, how do we even know she's dead?"
Ross just looked at the blazing and barren landscape around them. "It's hard to explain Betty, but I know. Your mother was a good woman, but she had demons like anyone else. Hers were just more visible than others."
This did little to placate the seventeen year old. "I'm going to find out one of these days daddy." She said firmly.
Ross said nothing but headed silently back towards the car. " I know darling, I know." Under his breath he added "I and hope you're ready for what you find."
Some bad news/good news here folks, but first let's get to the reader mail first.
From Lord Havoc
I haven't had the chance to check out your Savage Comics, but I just caught up and I am impressed. It has a good retro atmosphere and the characters are well fleshed out. The story flows well and I like how you established Jennifer and her alter-ego (s).
Definitely good work!
Many thanks, and I appreciate the kind words.
From other regular Tiffani
Very nice job (yet again). I agree with Havoc, you have a nice flow and good atmosphere.
Thanks for the support Milady.
And to everyone who ever sent me a fan letter, I can only say this:
Thanks; your words have helped me more than anything else in this world.
-To the Manic-your art inspired this entire series.
-to Fonzie-for putting up with me and hosting my work at his site
And to much anyone and everyone I may have left off, sorry, but I still owe you all my deep felt thanks. Without your support this series never could have lasted as long as it did.
Well, here's the bad news. What you are reading is the last issue of Savage Comics. After this, there will be no more misadventures of Jennifer Walters nee Ross to read for your enjoyment.
But don't despair readers! For did I not mention some good news as well?
Well…I can't quite explain just that may or may not pertain to (not just yet) but fear not gentle readers. I'm not quite finished with the She-Hulk just yet.
And so, I will leave you with this little statement:
Remember, for every cloud there is a silver lining
Take care kids and be good to each other. The world needs more friendly people.