Note: Power Pack will feature in this story in their recent miniseries form(their Marvel Adventures form). That is to say, they will be as though their origins were moved forwards several years. Alex is 15, Julie 13, Jack 11 and Katie 8. Or thereabouts.
Kristoff Vernard moved about his room, collecting various odds and ends and packing them up. He was the heir to the Latverian throne and the adopted son of Dr. Doom. So naturally his possessions mounted quite high in number. He looked around and made double sure he'd packed enough latverian francs for the trip. Satisfied Kristoff collapsed on his bed.
Two years, two years it had been since he'd spent time believing himself his 'father'. He was eight then. He'd returned to Latveria after spending time with a number of others. Why? Well he had to admit, despite the incident, Doom was still the closest thing to a father he had. Kristoff loved him as such, and he knew that he was one of the few Doom cared for in return.
However Kristoff had decided in those two years he did not want to be Doom's heir. He wanted to live his own life, not his father's. He remembered what it was like, just vaguely, and it was a path he didn't want to walk. However Kristoff also knew Doom would never accept 'no'. So the boy decided to leave, and now Doom was in Britain(for diplomacy), Kristoff decided to take his chance.
He sighed and looked over in the mirror. His green eyes stared back at him. His brown hair was a little tousled and his skin a little tanned from alot of outside time recently. He was wearing clothes that weren't particularly in style in Latveria, whether by order of his father or simple old fashioned ways Kristoff would never know. He wore a lime green long-sleeved shirt and blue jeans. Ontop of his shirt he wore a black leather jacket and on his feet wore sneakers. None of this could be bought in Latveria. Kristoff smiled, but when you're the heir to the throne you can get things he thought. The superhero/villain work had also added a little muscle to his frame.
"Right, I guess it's time to leave." he said, testing out his American accent. That where he figured he'd go. He knew the Fantastic Four so there were some familiar faces. Grabbing his suitcase, Kristoff took one last look around. He'd sort of miss this place. And he knew his father wouldn't be particularly happy. But he was set on his decision. Doom was his father, but not his master.
About forty-five minutes later, Kristoff was getting onto the plane. Nobody questioned his motives. Another bonus with being prince. Just as he did he looked behind him and saw two Doombots march into the building and speak to a guard. Kristoff felt his heart drop. Doombots were robotic versions of his father. Almost indistinguishable if given a cloak, and often used as decoys. They were programmed to believe themselves really Dr. Doom, unless in the presence of him or another Doombot. Since there were two here, obviously they weren't being used as soldiers. They were also Dr. Doom's elite guard. Kristoff chuckled a little, he always found it amusing that Doom's highest guard was himself times a hundred.
But if they were here, they might be looking for him. And Kristoff knew that if they caught him his health wouldn't be terribly great. He hurridly ducked into the boarding tunnel and half-walked, half-ran to the plane door. And in he went and quickly found his seat and slumped in his seat, just in case the Doombots decided to search the plane. They never did and when the plane took off, Kristoff relaxed he was bound for New York city. Though things would only be worse when he got off.
The flight and luggage collection was fine. Unfortunately he had to do some walking to get to a bank to convert his money. The task was made even harder considering he was only ten-years old. But he was sure the teller was surprised when he spoke with phrases even she could scarcely understand. That was another side effect of the Doom Memory Programming. though the persona had been removed from Kristoff's mind, the scientific, financial, mystical, and political knowledge remained. Effectively he was a child prodigy with the ability to build a couple high tech devices and cast some spells.
It was the taxi trip that went wrong. The man was babbling stuff that Kristoff paid no attention to. He was focused on getting to the Baxter Building now. At a light Kristoff made out something from the cab driver's babble. "My that's on odd lookin' feller ain't it." he said.
The boy looked out the window in time to see a metal creature raise an arm cannon and fire. He raised his hands and a shimmering barrier of magical energy formed around himself, the cab driver and the suitcase. The blast struck the hood of the car and it exploded. The blast sent all three occupants flying, but the magical shield had protected them from alot of injury. And of course there was screaming now, panic. Kristoff picked himself up off the ground and looked around to see the cab driver getting up too. "Get away from here!" he shouted to the man. "Find a superhero. Any of them, but make sure you're safe."
The man nodded and ran. Kristoff quickly unlatched his suitcase and dug out a small pair of silver gloves and two wristbands made of metal. He pulled them on and closed his suitcase and turned to the robots that had appeared. And in the small amount of time, an additional four had appeared. They looked something like a velociraptor. Of course they had no mouth, only glowing red eyes. One arm ended in a cannon, the other was a three clawed hand. The tail ended in a small device that could extend an energy blade if necessary. They were designed to track, chase, engage and kill.
Then a voice blared from a small hovering sphere. Kristoff instantly recognized the voice as Doom's. "Kristoff! You should know better than to run off like that. Now please return to Latveria before the Seekers have to take more aggressive action."
Kristoff gulped. He should've expected this. He had, but not this soon. "No father." he responded.
"I said no. You may be the closest I've ever had to a father, that I've known. But you're not my master!" Kristoff said, his voice gaining strength as he spoke. "I'm sorry father. But I refuse to be your heir."
"Kristoff-!" Doom started, but his 'son' interrupted him.
"No. I will not go through the mindwashing program ever again."
There was silence, even from the crowds. They'd all turned to watch the young boy, only ten, speak back to the most evil man on the planet. Finally Doom's voice brok the silence. It was hard to tell the emotions behind it, but he sounded a mix between angry and depressed. "Very well. You leave me no choice. Seekers, attack." As soon as he'd finished, the sphere self-detonated.
Kristoff looked around as even more Seekers had appeared. They might not kill him, but they'd stun him. Anyone else though was free game. Immediatly Kristoff ducked behind a parked car. He heard firing and the car exploded. The boy lept away before it did. Now an attack was on, the running and screaming had picked up again. Anyone who got in the way of the Seekers was killed.
Kristoff bit his lip at all the death and destruction that could occur simply due to him being there. The Seekers were looking through the crowds also. Not all had seen where their prey had gone to. Kristoff raised his hand and shot a bolt of force at a nearby robot. It flew backwards and crashed to the ground, sparking madly. Over a dozen sets of glowing red eyes turned to him. "Hey! It's me you're after!
A whole squad of fifteen Seekers leapt over the heads of the crowd and landed on the road. They advanced on a slowly backing away Kristoff. Apparently Doom had taken no chances. He knew Kristoff had the wit to fight back, and would use it. Kristoff raised his hands slowly and just as they were above his head the wristbands glinted. A spray of metallic darts shot out and every robot was hit at least once. Not enough to destroy them, but enough to damage an arm or leg.
And Kristoff took that moment to run. "Now why didn't I remember to pack any flight enabling devices?" he mumbled to himself as he dashed down the New York streets. Once he was away from the danger area he moved to the sidewalks. The rest of New York was still moving. Though they wouldn't be for long. The Seekers were still following, ploughing right through crowds and smashing through traffic.
Of course by this point he was starting to run out of breath. He had to stop occasionally only to cross the roads. Then it was on again. He may have fancy gadgets, but he was no superhero. He had average strength, stamina, speed and agility. So he was beginning to tire out, while the Seekers were closing in on him fast.
Then the worst thing that could happen, happened. He turned down an alley and came face-to-face with a brick wall. "Dead end?!" he exclaimed. He whirled around and shot a bolt of force at the closest Seeker. It collapsed, but more came. More metal darts, and still he did little good. Soon he was backed up against the wall.
"Refusing the hospitality of Dr. Doom should earn you death. But we have our orders to spare you. However perhaps a coma?" the lead Seeker said. Suddenly it floated tinto the air, surrounded by a sort of transparent white aura. Then it fell to the ground and broke apart. Something heavy came down and crushed another of the robots, while multiple bolts of energy tore apart most of the rest. Any remainders were quickly destroyed by somesort of rainbow thing.
Kristoff rubbed his eyes and looked again as four kids appeared in front of him. Two boys and two girls. He analyzed quickly and decided they must all be siblings. They had the same eye colours and general facial shape. They all wore skin-tight suits with weird black designs and strange silver cones around their lower legs and arms. Each had a different coloured suit, but all had the black designs. The eldest, a boy of about fifteen wore white, the second eldest, a girl about thirteen, wore red. The youngest, a girl of maybe eight had yellow and the second youngest, a boy of maybe eleven had blue on. "Um hi?" Kristoff said nervously.
"Are you okay?" the two girls asked at the same time.
Kristoff nodded. "Fine, but um, who are you?"
"You've never heard of us?" one of the boys asked, the one in blue.
The Latverian shook his head.
"Oh, well, we're Power Pack."
"Never heard of you. Only ever heard of the Fantastic Four, but that's because..." he trailed off. If these were superheroes, then they wouldn't hesitate to attack him if they knew he was related to Dr. Doom in any way, shape or form.
"Because?" the older girl asked.
"Beeecause they're really famous, y'know. Like celebrities."
The girl nodded, but she didn't seem wholly convinced. "I guess you'd like to know the names of your saviours eh?" the eldest boy asked.
"I'm Zero-G. Gravity powers and all."
"Lightspeed, just superspeed really." the red clad girl said.
"Mass Master! I can control my density." The boy about Kristoff's age said.
"Oh, so were the thing that crushed that one Seeker?"
"Oh yeah! Good to know they're called Seekers too."
The youngest smiled. "And I'm Energizer, nice to meet'cha, um?"
"Kristoff." he said, almost without thinking. But they didn't seem to recognize the name so he relaxed a little.
"You seemed to do pretty well on your own Kristoff." Zero-G complimented.
"Just simple gadgets. Um, would any of you happen to know where the Baxter Building is?"
"Oh, need help from Reed or something right?"
"You could put it like that."
Kristoff got some directions that seemed slightly difficult, but he managed to remember them, mostly. Then Power Pack left, but not before Kristoff had slipped a small trackng device onto Zero-G's collar(he'd managed to get one from his suitcase). If he failed to find the Baxter Building before sundown, he'd want a place to crash. And they seemed like he could try asking them.
Not only did Kristoff fail to find the Baxter Building, he also got completely and totally lost. And it was night now. And although there were streetlights, cities were kind of creepy at night. He kept thinking he was hearing things move. Once he even fired metal darts at a bunch of garbage cans. He cursed his foolishness and turned back around.
With a sigh he looked for the tracker. A simple metal rod with a grip. It flashed more rapidly the closer it got to the tracking device. Currently it wasn't flashing at all. He turned around and got no signal. "Must be outisde of the range." he mumbled and wandered around trying to get within range.
A man in black, baggy jeans, leather jacket, red tanktop and sunglasses leaned against a wall in the shadows. His clothes were ripped and patched and his black hair was a mess. He spoke to a communication device that looked like a piece of a headphone. "You won't believe dis boss. Dere's dis kid here, and he's got like, incredibly hi-tech little weapons. Just smashed some garbage cans with bolts of metal from dese wristband tings."
A deep voice replied over the device. "Most interesting. Keep an eye on him. If you see a moment, kidnap him."
The man smiled. "Yes sir."
"Jacob!" the voice roared. "Did you not find my joke funny!"
"Oh, uh, yes sir. Apologies, I was just eager to do deh job."
"I see. This conversation is terminated."
The device clicked off. Jacob tucked it inside his pocket and continued to follow the boy.
Kristoff frowned as he walked. The tracker still didn't detect anything. And he'd designed the tracking system to have a wide range. He was so focused he didn't notice he'd come to a very hidden away part of town and a moment later tumbled down a set of stairs. He sat up and rubbed his head and looked around. He seemed to be at the entrance to some sort of base. Abandoned by the looks of things. A small concrete room that led into a hallway, also concrete. At the end was a rusted metal door.
That door was broken and ajar. Of course to a curious mind that's like candy. And Kristoff had a curious mind. So in he was and he gazed in awe at the room. Mostly broken shelves and lab equipment, but he could see it had once been full of hi-tech equipment. He looked around the floor. Broken vials, smashed glass, rubber stoppers and paper littered the floor.
He stopped when he saw a vial sitting on a ledge nearby. It was full of glowing green liquid, but still looked dusty and aged. Scooping it up he looked it over, removed the stopper and smelled it and shook it after replacing the stopper. "Not volatile. If I had to guess, it's a form of crude mutagenic formula. Consumption of which would probably cause increased reflexes, but also insanity." he mumbled to himself quietly.
"Both of which you'd need kid, if you wanted to get away from me." came a voice.
Kristoff jumped and looked up, slipping the vial into his pocket quickly. A man in gangster looking clothes. "Aw, did I fwighten the wittle baby? Well too bad chum. You got yourself an appointment."
Normally the 'mock-baby' thing would have been annoying, but Kristoff was a little too scared to worry. "With who?"
"My boss, the Kingpin."