A Titanic Tale Told in the Timely Fashion!
The coming of…THE SHE-HULK!
In the year 1940, the noted German scientist Dr. Abraham Reinstein defected to the allied forces. Dr. Reinstein had perfected a means to create an almost unstoppable army of super-soldiers. In 1941, the first experiment, the first in what would hopefully be many, was carried out in a secret location in New York City. The test subject, Steve Rogers, was given both the chemical compound and an exposure to the mysterious Vita-Rays. The experiment was both a success and a failure. A success in that the previously 4-F Rogers was transformed into a man capable of handling almost thing the Axis Forces could dish out and a failure because Rogers would be the only one of his kind. A German spy had infiltrated the project and had killed Dr. Reinstein. The spy's victory would be short lived when a vengeful Rogers tossed the spy directly into the Vita-Ray machine. The machine was destroyed and the spy was electrocuted when he grabbed some exposed wires. Almost everyone believed that the secrets of Reinstein would be buried with him.
This was not entirely true. The secret of the Super-Solider formula was that it needed both the chemical compound and the Vita-rays to work. Without one, the other was almost totally useless. Reinstein had been careful not share his information with anyone. The formula for the chemical compound was in fact written down and known by most of the top-ranking personal. What was lost however was the process of the Vita-rays. Reinstein never told anyone how he built the machine, and there wasn't enough time to try and rebuild it. So it the only success of Project: Rebirth became the costumed hero known as Captain America, and began his adventures. However, man is a creature filled with curiosity. One year later, another group of scientists would set in motion plans for a different kind of super-solider, one almost the complete opposite from the star-spangled champion.
Chapter 1 1942-Washington D.C.
The scene being played out in front of Yeoman Jennifer Walters was like something out of James Whale's nightmare. On a screen in front of her was the image of what was formerly a pig, with a strong emphasis on formerly. The animal was bright green and the muscles were so developed that it looked like it could hardly walk. She, along with General Sam Philips and (much to her disgust) Captain Robert "Buck" Buckowski were sitting in a private screening room watching a young man discussing the reopening of Project: Rebirth. The man, Banner or something, was droning on about how the Vita-Rays were no longer needed, and that he could even make improvements on Reinstein's original formula. Science was never the yeoman's strong subject, and Yeoman Walters would have probably fallen asleep. That would not be the wisest course of action, seeing as to how her commanding officer was seated on her right. And the fact that the Captain took it upon himself to run his hand over her knee at ever given opportunity, it was only a question of what would get her court-martialed first: Falling asleep on duty, or striking a superior officer.
"So gentlemen, as you can see, instead of using the Vita-Rays, I substituted Gamma rays in the process. So far all tests on animals have been positive, which leads me to this. I propose we open up Project: Rebirth, no wait, I already said that, so that-" The man on stage was obviously not use to speak in front of large crowds thought Jennifer. "We have heard enough Dr. Banner. The higher ups have already approved the project. We appreciate your efforts to bring us up to speed." General Phillips said in his usual commanding tone. "My aides will escort you to the facilities and we can begin Project: Resurrection." Banner looked rather relived at not having to speak anymore, and hurriedly shoved his notes into a scratched up briefcase. "Doctor Banner, the country is depending on you to succeed. I wish you the best of luck." General Philips said, as he looked the thin scientist right in the eyes. "I am assigning my two aides here to watch over you Doctor. Rest assured, there will be no slips ups like on the last project". Jennifer was a little shocked. Nobody had told her she was going to play nursemaid to some test-tube jockey! Of course, Buckowski was almost glowing with pride at this new duty. "You can count on me sir!" Buckowski said with so much enthusiasm that Jennifer that he was going to suffer some kind manic episode. "Good, I expect to hear good news from the both of you." said General Philips then saluted them both and made his way out of the auditorium.
Several days later- an Army base in Death Valley, California
The plane ride over was mercifully uneventful. Doctor Banner was nervous about the security, which was understandable. General Philips has assigned both Walters and Buckowski to guard the Doctor until they got to the base, after which the base personal would handle it from there. When the plane landed, only two people where there greet them, a man and a woman. The man ("the base commander" Jennifer thought) was tall and looked like someone who was used to having people ask "how high" when he said jump. The woman Jennifer didn't recognize, but Banner did. "Helena"! Banner exclaimed, "I thought you would be at the lab!" "Well Robert" the woman said with a slight Russian twinge in her voice, "I thought you would be surprised". "Well I am, but in a good way." The Base commander stepped in between the two. "Now that everyone's caught up, I'd like for you two get to work on the project immediately." The Commander said in a gruff voice. So with little fanfare, the two scientists drove off towards the lab. "Now, Captain, do you and your secretary have the time to stay and watch our progress?" "Well Commander Trask, the general was expecting us back in a few days, but I don't any reason why he would mind, do you Jen?" Before Jennifer could answer, Trask responded "Captain, I asked you. When I want a woman's opinion, I will give it to her. Now, if you will accompany me, I'll have some of my men take you to your quarters." "Why that son of a" "Hold it Jen, he is the commander here, and I'd hate to see that temper of yours get you into trouble again." Buck said in a calming tone. This did little to placate the irate yeoman, but Jennifer bit back any sort of remark. Her temper had gotten the best of her, and the last thing she needed was to lose it at a member of the brass. So, swallowing her pride, the yeoman climbed in the back of the jeep and soon was making her way towards the base.
Things had been getting stranger and stranger the last twenty-four hours. There was almost no personal present at the base, and the few guards that were there seemed intent on keeping both Jennifer and Buck under close watch. About five in the afternoon, Jennifer got word that Commander Trask wanted her and Buck to report at the main lab supposedly so they could see the fruit of the doctors labor. With an armed guard, Jennifer was escorted to the main bunker. Buck stood (also with guards on him, Jennifer noticed) near the back, while Commander Trask leered at the yeoman from a raised platform in front of a large something that was covered in a tarp. Doctor Svidrigailoff and Doctor Banner were also in the bunker, and like both Jennifer and Buck, they too were under close guard.
"Miss Walters, I am so glad you could make it" Trask said with what had to be the most phony smile Jennifer had ever seen. "Now, you and the Colonel must be wondering as to why I have kept you two here. America is weak, and we are getting weaker by the day. We are letting godless foreigners" Trask stared at Doctor Svidrigailoff as he said this, "invade our pure country and poisoning us with their ways." "Nice speech, does Goeing do your work?" Jennifer said moments before a rifle butt in her side made her collapse. Banner rushed to help her up as Trask smirked. "No, Miss Walters, he dosen't. But a women couldn't understand what the real world is all about, so I don't expect you would see things my way." As Trask continued to talk, a small group of the soldiers moved away from the wall and took the tarp down. Underneath it was something that Jennifer had never seen before. It looked like almost like a vault with a large glass door on the front of it. Several of the guards removed some pieces of equipment from the main body and placed them by the floor. Judging from Banner's reaction, this was not a good thing. "Are you insane Trask? That's the gamma inhibitor! Without it" "The gamma rays will reach lethal levels and the machine will explode. I know, Doctor Banner, I know. You see, my friends have already copied most of your work, but we still need a few components to make our project a success." Jennifer began to slowly inch her way towards the door, but Trask noticed the action. "Typical woman. Leave them on their own for a minute and they get themselves into trouble. Maybe this will teach you some respect." In almost slow motion, Trask drew his .45 caliber and fired a round. Jennifer flinched, but then she saw who the target was. "Buck!" She screamed as the colonel fell to the floor, a hole right between his eyes. "You bastard!" Jennifer could feel the rage bubbling beneath her skin. "Save it Miss Walters. As Doctor Banner noticed, My men have removed the gamma inhibitor." With a motion, Trask's men began to turn the machine on. "In two minutes, the machine will reach critical mass and this area will be flooded with radiation. I have no further use for you or the egghead, but the commie I need. So doctor, if you would" Trask was cut off as Banner plowed right into him, the skinner scientist pounding on the base commander with all the strength he could muster. "You inhuman monster!" Banner screamed. Trask was momentarily taken off guard by this, but he could still shoot straight. One gunshot later, Banner was slumped on the floor, clutching his bleeding stomach. "I know the radiation will kill you Walters, but why take a chance?" Trask said as he leveled his gun at the yeomen. "Trask, I promise you I won't let you get away". Jennifer said bravely as she stared down the barrel. "Miss Walters, I already have". Trask said simply as he squeezed the trigger. Jennifer's head jerked back sharply as she fell to the ground. "Ok men, we now have one minute, ten seconds to clear the area". Trask said as he checked his watch. The rest of the soldiers hauled the equipment outside as Trask took one final glance at the inside of the bunker before joining his troops.
Robert Banner knew he was going to die. After all the years trying to build a better human, his great reward was to have his guts shot out by a lunatic and then get fired to a crisp. Banner's final thoughts were interrupted by a low moan. "What was that?" Banner painfully managed to turn over and look at the sound of the interruption. Yeoman Walters was moving slightly, and clutching her head. "Yeoman! I thought you were dead!" Walters shakily got up. Blood was flowing quite freely down her back. "Trask's not as good with a gun as he thought. He just grazed me," Walters swayed on her feet, "But I'm not important at the moment. Can you walk?" "Yeoman Walters, we have maybe fifty seconds before this area becomes ground zero. I think the bullet severed my spine and you more than likely have a concussion. I'm afraid this is the end." "We're not dead yet Doctor" Walters began to move slowly towards the door. "There's a trench maybe five yards from here. If we can both dive in, it should protect us from the blast." Banner stared at the woman. "Yeoman, that is craziest idea I have ever heard. The radiation will burn us to a crisp." Walters looked down at the scientist. "Yeah, but do you have any better ideas?" Walters bent down and slung the wounded man over her shoulders. Running for all she was worth, the yeoman ran out of the bunker and made a dash for the relative safety of the trench. "Odd, there's no tires tracks. How did Trask get the equipment out of here so fast?" wondered Walters as she felt a sharp pain in her neck. "Doctor Banner", a wave of nausea hit the yeoman. She dropped Banner and tumbled into the trench. "What did you do?" It felt like every nerve in her body was on fire, and Walters bit back the urge to vomit.
"I'm sorry Jennifer, can I call you Jennifer? That was part of the Super-Solider Serum. That, combined with the gamma rays, were supposed to create a new champion for liberty. We've failed to do that. Jennifer, you have to carry out the work. Stop Trask, and don't let the Nazis use my work for evil. Good bye." Banner tossed the used hypodermic needle away and put his hands together in prayer. The bunker seemed to dissolve in flash and Doctor Robert Banner ceased to be as a tidal wave of heat blasted the skinny scientist to atoms. Jennifer felt like her skin was being ripped apart by the blast, and her insides felt like they were melting, thanks due to whatever Banner had injected into her. Thankfully, Jennifer lost conscious in a few seconds and welcomed the oblivion that took her.
Chapter 2 Several days later, Memorial Hospital-Los Angles
The first thing Jennifer saw when she regained conscious was the sun setting, looking like an egg yolk slowly sliding off a plate. A man in white (Am I in the hospital?, Jennifer thought) walked over to her bed. "What happened?" Jennifer said aloud. "Well, miss, the army found you in a ditch. I tell you, I don't how you survived." The man walked closer to Jennifer and slowly picked up a pillow. "Now Yeoman, I want you to tell me how you lived through that explosion, and if anyone else did too." The man gripped the pillow and began to press it against Jennifer's face. Just then, a armed guard walked in. The two men arguing in German was the last thing that Jennifer heard as what felt a small bomb went off inside her.
"Idiot!" Yelled the guard. "Has she told you of any survivors?" "Well…no". "Than I suggest you ask her nicely, before this hospital is swarming with-what is that?" The guard yelled as the petite female laying on the bed begin to change…
Jennifer Walters had never experienced anything like quite like this. Intense pain burned through her as her bones lengthened to accommodate her rapidly enlarging muscles. A gray pallor spread it's way across her skin, contrasting with the white of the room. The pain ended in seconds as a new sensation replaced it. Jennifer, for the first time in her life, felt powerful. Warmness spread through out her now massive frame. A horrible grinding nose assaulted her ears as her bed crumbled underneath her. The two men looked down in abject horror at what Jennifer had become.
"Gott in Himmel!" shrieked the one in white. Jennifer smirked as she knocked him across the room with a slight kick. The other one proved to be made of sterner stuff as he fired his M-3 at her point blank range.
Jennifer didn't have time to blink as the armed guard fired on her. Looking down and expecting to see shredded skin and entrails, she was greeted with the sight of a tattered hospital gown, and exposed gray skin. "Well" said a husky voice that Jennifer barely recognized as her own; "This is rather unexpected".
The man's gun either jammed or he ran out of bullets, because a scant few seconds after the first volley of bullets, the man dropped his gun and passed out. Jennifer could hear shouts and people running towards the room. Jennifer's first impulse was to greet them, but a second voice seemed to speak to her. "Why should I stay here? Those people could be friends of those creeps, and besides, this whole situation raises questions." Jennifer gracefully walked over to the window. "I hate answering questions." With one punch, Jennifer knocked down a better portion of the wall. Looking down at the city below her, Jennifer felt a wave of excitement build in her as she looked at the roof of a nearby building. Just as the door to the room opened, Jennifer leaped out over the street and, much to both her surprise and dismay, she not only cleared the street, but she also cleared the roof of the building she wanted to land on, along with at least ten others buildings in the general vicinity. The words that came to mind as her momentum carried her past several blocks, but not the wall of a condemned building that loomed in front of her, summed up her thoughts perfectly as she went head first through the brick and mortar. "Well damn."
The same time, downstairs at the hospital
Captain Thaddeus "Thunderbolt" Ross waited patiently in one of the hospital's stiff-backed chairs. He grumbled to himself, mostly about his being placed on this assignment, but mostly on the chair's (lack of) comfort. He thought back to earlier in the day when General Philips had ordered him to come back from the front and check up on this woman Walters. An entire military base goes up in a pillar of fire, and the only witness is a Yeoman who was supposed to leave after dropping off a scientist. She somehow lived through the explosion with nary a scratch on her, while the entire area was scorched. The familiar rat-tat-tat of a machine gun shattered Ross's musings. The gunfire sounded like it came from Walter's room! Drawing his .45, Ross rushed up the stairwell and made a headlong dash to Walters's room. The guards he had posted lay dead in the hallway. Cautiously he crept forward, listening for any sound. A man screaming in German, than a loud thump were the only sounds from the room. Ross kicked down the door as an incredible sight caught his eyes. A woman with gray skin, and wearing only the tattered remains of a hospital gown stood by the window. Not even bothering to look back behind her, she knocked down the wall and seemingly without effort, leaped off into the night sky. The only thing that came to his mind as he watched the woman disappear into the night summed up the way his day had been going so far. "Well damn."
Chapter 3-Across town
Jennifer slowly stood up from the rubble and examined herself. She had expected the impact to break some bones, or at least wake her up from this fantastic dream. While the impact had done no damage to herself, the same could not be said for her clothes. Her hospital gown was shredded almost beyond recognition. Looking around, Jennifer saw that she was in the middle of what used to be a ballroom. A fine layer of dust covered everything, and Jennifer could still smell the order of spilled alcohol and ladies perfume. "Hmm, well, I know I'm in a nightclub, but that doesn't really help me, now does it?" Jennifer said out loud. Jennifer didn't even notice the holes her feet were creating as she walked across the floor. Noticing a side door, Jennifer walked up to it, and with one tug ripped the door off of it's hinges. Tossing the useless thing aside, Jennifer walked into the dark room. "This must have been the dancers dressing room. Damn, I've got to stop talking to myself, people will think I'm nuts. But since I can rip doors off of hinges and stop a bullet, I don't think anyone would say anything." Noticing a small patch of color in the dark (Maybe I can see in the dark too, Jennifer added) she made her over to it. It was a costume (maybe one of the dancers, Jennifer thought as she picked it up.) Walking out of the room and closer to the moonlight, Jennifer got a better look at it. It was purple, and with no designs or sequins or anything. "Well, what the hell. Beats walking around stark naked."
Tearing the remains of the gown off of her massive frame, Jennifer slipped the outfit on. The purple clashed with her gray skin, and the costume highly accented her breasts and thighs. "Well", she sighs, "At least it fits".
Making her way out of the building and on to the street, the gray giantess takes a look around. Instead of the midtown sprawl, the evening fog and the sounds of the sea greet Jennifer. "Wow, I must have cleared half the city!" Giddy with her own power, and attracted by the sounds she heard, Jennifer made her way around the neighborhood until the sounds of a bar caught her attention. With a wry grin on her face, the woman who was once Jennifer Walters made her way in the bar.
All sounds in the sleazy dive stopped the second she walked in. Striding confidently up towards the bar, Jennifer slammed her fists into the scratched wood. The bartender (who looked as if he trying not to lose control of his bladder) meekly looked up at her and asked what she wanted. "Beer, and keep it coming!" Jennifer grinned inwardly. The old Jennifer Walters wouldn't even had the guts to walk in this neighborhood, much less have a drink in public. But she wasn't the old Jennifer Walters. While sipping her drink and musing on what to call herself, Jennifer failed to notice the three men in a corner booth her were staring quite intently at her.
"Baron, that woman!" One of the men said in a voice that was a bit too loud for comfort. "Quit Wankshaft, or I'll feed you to her myself". "That's Vankshift, Vankshift!" the other man hissed under his breath. The man called Vankshift bowed his head lower and cursed softly. "That freak is on to us." The other man, a bald headed fellow with a long scar on his right check (received in a duel, at least that's what he said when asked about it's origin) leaned in closer. "Look, that woman, what ever the hell she is, looks be interested in just drinking this swill these Americans call beer and that about all she's done. Our operatives at the hospital haven't reported in yet, so we stay here until they do. And besides, gray skin or not, she's far easier on the eyes than you." The last comment obviously ranked under Vanksift's skin. He stood up from the table and left the room in a huff. The third man at the table took off his rumpled felt hat and whispered to the Baron. "Sir, do you think it wise to remain here? That worm could blow our cover." The Baron took a swig of his drink and glanced at the other man. "Siegfried, you worry to much, as long as we keep our heads down, we should" The Baron's last word was drowned out as the front of the bar exploded. When the smoke cleared, the Baron lifted his head in time to see Vankshift gaily stepping back into the ruined building, holding a smoking bazooka. "Well Baron, unlike you, I am prepared to deal with the enemies of the Reich." The Baron and Siegfried slowly got up. "You half-wit! You've blown our cover and now the American authorities will be here any second!" A low growl emanated from the smoking remains of the bar. Slowly, the three men turned around and to their horror, the gray woman stood up and began to walk towards them.
"Alright, which one of you guys made me spill my beer?" Jennifer growled. Two of the men glanced at her, than ran from the bar. The third man tossed what Jennifer thought was a bazooka at her. It didn't matter what it was though. The object missed her by several feet and the fool who threw it just collapsed as she cleared the space between them with two steps. From his spot on the floor, the man began to shriek in German to the rapidly retreating forms of the other two men.
"Baron, I believe the American authorities are the least of our worries now!" Siegfried said between gasps. The two men ran to the edge of the dock, with a rather irate amazon behind them. "Baron, what are we to do now?" The Baron smiled smugly as a rope ladder fell from a low-hanging cloud. "The Sky-Shark never fails Siegfried." A loud humming sound filled the air as a man-sized object fell from the cloud and streaked towards the dock. "Come. Wankshaft's is done for, and our new buzz-bomb will surely finish off that woman."
Jennifer was taking her time chasing after the two men. She scoped up the hysterical German and was walking briskly (for her anyway) after his companions. She saw a ladder fall from a cloud, the two men grab on and began to make their way up it as the cloud began to dissolve, reveling a swastika shaped airship some meters in length, along with a bomb beginning to fall towards her. "Damn, I can't let them get away." The German man began to kick at her and screaming louder. "Well, this is for my beer!" With one heave, she tossed the man into the air, directly into the path of the bomb. The man's final words were cut short as he connected with the bomb.
As the explosion rocked the area, the Baron was already in the Sky-Shark's airship. "Well, I was partially correct anyway. Small losses anyway. Come on Siegfried, we don't have all night!" Siegfried's response died in his throat when he felt an iron like grip on his ankle.
Putting her new muscles to work again, Jennifer leaped and managed to grab the one of the escaping men before he made it into the ship. The man was screaming in German to his commander, a bald man with a long scar on the right side of his face. The commander said something Jennifer didn't recognize before saluting the man. The man stopped screaming and saluted the other man back. Jennifer was puzzled by this, before the commander pulled out a small pistol and shot the ladder's supports. The ladder gave way, sending Jennifer and the spy falling through the air before smashing into the Pacific.
Chapter 4-A few hours later-In Germany
Commander Larry Trask paced around the German bunker like a caged animal. The pick-up had gone off without incident, and the German army was preparing to begin its creation of a new breed of solider. Trask hadn't been bothered by this, or by his own betrayal of his country. The only thing that kept Trask from enjoying his victory had just walked into his room. From what little German he knew, the base personal called her "Warrior Woman". She was tall, at lest 6'5. And had raven black hair tied up in a bun. She also had the best physique Trask had ever seen on a woman, or a man for that matter. Her thighs looked as if she could break bones with them, and Trask could see the veins budging underneath her skin. She looked down at him with a look of disgust on her face and spoke in broken English. "The captain wants to see you American." Trask looked up at her, shrugged his shoulders and went along behind her. After a few minutes of walking, Warrior Woman lead him to a small office and stopped at the door. Trask walked in, and tried not to stare at the German officer. The Allied forces had called the man "Half-Face" on account of the massive injuries he had received during the Polish invasion. Somehow he managed to keep himself in the service, despite his handicaps. Half-Face looked at Trask with his one eye and asked in a normal tone:
"Commander Trask, when you defected to our side, you promised us you had removed any witnesses that could possibly trace you back to this location." Trask stared directly into the officer's eye and spoke. "Yes Sir. I left no survivors" "Then how is it Herr Trask, that two of our agents, before they committed suicide while in the American Army's clutches, radioed back to us that there was in fact one survivor." Trask began to sputter like a dying engine. " I-I don't know who anyone could have lived through the explosion sir!" Half-Face stared back at the man, his scarred lips twitching into what could have been a smile. "Also, Herr Trask, we also lost two more of our agents. One was an intelligence officer, the other was the second in command of the Blitz Squad. Do you know why I'm telling you this?" "No sir." Trask was rapidly losing his cool by this point. "Because Herr Trask, after all we have lost, what exactly have you brought us in return?" Warrior Woman entered the office, a bullwhip dangling from her hip. "Sir, I gave you the Gamma Ray Projector!" "Yes, but how do we know it'll work? Your men told us that you removed several parts of it. What I am proposing is a test run, just to see if our faith in you was well placed." "What?" Trask roared, "You can't do" Any retort Trask had was silenced as Warrior Woman slammed her fist into the back of his skull and dragged him out of the office.
Early Morning -Los Angles, CA.
The night had not been kind to Captain Ross, nor had the morning. The two men he had found in Yeoman Walter's room had killed themselves last night, but not before one of them managed to use a hidden radio. Coupled with the reports about some kind of giant going on a rampage, and the sightings of a bizarre flying machine, these thoughts were not making the trip back to the hospital any easier. As Ross wearily made his way towards the receptionist's desk, he was greeted with by the sight of Yeoman Jennifer Walters, whole and hearty, talking with a few MP's. "Walters?" Ross shouted, and earned a stern look from the head nurse. Walters turned, and gave an almost embarrassed look at him. Ross, perhaps for the first time, got a look at what she had on. She wasn't wearing a hospital gown, but instead clothes that looked three sizes too big. She snapped to attention as he walked over to her. The nearest MP saluted and gave him a folder. "What's this?" Ross asked. "Sir, we were just taking the Yeoman's statement about the incident last night, Sir." Ross saluted back and as the MP's walked off, he flipped through it. The started out like a cheap sci-fi serial. A giant (the one I saw last night, Ross thought) somehow gets into her room, knocks out the guards, and sprits Walters away. She had no recollection of where the giant took her, or how long she was out. She just woke up near the beach and made her way towards the hospital, borrowing some clothes on the way. It seemed amazing, but he had seen crazier things on the front. He would have to go over this with General Philips, and he wouldn't mind having Walters' commentary on it either. She was still standing at attention while he read the file. "At ease Yeoman." "Sir." Walter relaxed, then struggled to keep her oversized shirt on her shoulders. "Seems like you had quite the night last night." "Well, sir, I really don't remember much of what happened." Walters seemed to tense up that, but Ross decided to ignore it for the time being.
The pair started to walk out of the hospital and towards a unmarked car. Jennifer spoke up as Ross opened the door for her. "Where are we going?" "Well, I think it's good idea if we move you to a safer location." Jennifer climbed in, and Ross closed the door behind her before getting in the front seat. Seeing Jennifer curled up in the backseat, holding herself, somehow touched Ross. He wanted to protect her, although somehow he knew she didn't really need any help. They drove through the early morning traffic in silence.
In a German bunker
Half-Face opened the door to the lab and was rather shocked at what had happened in his absence. The American troops that had defected with Trask were laying scattered about the lab, and judging from the numerous pools of blood and gore, they had not met their ends peacefully. Half-Face would have been shocked by this carnage, but as a man in a Gestapo uniform stepped out from behind the Gamma Ray projector, Half-Face relaxed. "Autumn Mist! When did you arrive back in the Fatherland?" The man simply smiled at Half-Face and paused to wipe some blood from his black leather boots. "I apologize for my entrance, but these Americans needed a lesson in how to treat their superiors. The Fuehrer himself wants me to over see this operation, just in case." Warrior Woman entered after Half-Face, with the now awakening Trask slung over her shoulder. With a shrug, she tossed Trask headfirst into what remained of one of his officers. Trask jumped up with a start and grabbed a discarded pistol. The man called Autumn Mist gave a cruel smile at this. "Commander, may I?" Autumn Wind asked, removing his coat. Half-Face grinned and moved back towards Warrior Woman "By all means old friend, by all means." Trask screamed incoherently and began to fire the gun at Autumn Mist.
The bullets passed through the man's chest like he wasn't there. Trask had seen some things in his life, but he had never seen a man who could take a .45 to the chest and not even twitch. The German's body began to evaporate, like an ice cube on the sidewalk. The mist streaked towards him and started to force it's way down his throat. Trask tried to scream, but he felt the mist beginning to solidify. Through the red blur of pain, Trask pointed his gun at Half-Face, but even that joy would be denied him. Warrior Woman rushed over, and before Trask's brain could even comprehend it, She had crushed his hand. Any other sensations that he could have felt were cancelled out as the now hardening lump in his throat ripped a bloody hole through his chest, leaving the American officer to watch as his life's blood run out of him like a river onto the cold concrete floor.
As Autumn Mist's body regained it's shape, Half-Face stepped forward. "Well done. But, there was a female here" "Ah, yes, the blonde. Lovely thing, but she had a rather nasty mouth. I locked here in that chamber over there." Autumn Mist said, pointing over to the giant machine in the center of the room. "Good" Half-Face lightly stepped over the remains of Trask and walked over to the machine. Doctor Helena Svidrigailoff was locked in the main chamber of the Gamma Ray Projector, pounding furiously on the door and cursing in Russian. Half-Face began to turn the machine to full power. He looked at Dr. Svidrigailoff and wistfully shock his head. "I had hopes to use the machine on Herr Trask, but now…oh well, one makes due with what one has at hand." With a push of a button, the machine roared to life.
After an hour, Half-Face decided to turn the machine off. There was a limit to the amount of screaming that he could stand. Autumn Mist got up from his chair and walked over to the chamber. "Sir, perhaps you should let me handle this. We've never studied the gamma radiation effects of the human form, and the doctor may be hard to control." Half-Face thought it over, then he stepped back from the machine. "A excellent idea, as always. You open the chamber, and Julia will handle it if the creature is too dangerous to be controlled." Warrior Woman grinned at that order, before uncoiling her whip.
Before Autumn Mist could open the door to the chamber, the door exploded off of its hinges flying directly towards him! He misted his body before the impact so the door flew through him with no side effects. The creature that emerged from the chamber bore little resemblance to the Russian doctor. Autumn Mist took in all the details of Doctor Svidrigailoff's new body with a perverse interest. The creature was nude, although the form was still vaguely feminine. The skin had become a deep green, and the eyes had taken on an almost reptilian form. Svidrigailoff's long blond hair had fallen out, and in its place was a series of hard looking scales that ran down to her feet. Warrior Woman was the first to respond. "It's an abomination!"
The creature reacted to that, snarling and knocking Warrior Woman across the lab. "Mist! Try to control her!" Autumn Mist shot a skeptical look at the commander, but he reformed his body into its mist state again and floated over the creature's head. The transformed doctor snarled and clawed at the mist, but was helpless to defend itself as Autumn Mist filed her nose and mouth with his name's sake. After a few agonizing minutes, the creature toppled over, totally unconscious. As Autumn Mist solidified his body, and Warrior Woman arose from the wrecked wall, Half-Face's deformed features curled into a smile. "I believe we have found our new weapon that will stop the Allies in their tracks."
Back in the states
The drive to the safe house had gone off with out incident. The house stood on the outskirts of the city, looking like any other house. The sunlight streamed in through the front windows as Ross began to make preparations, just in case they were followed. Jennifer walked into the room, her rags discarded for a proper uniform. "Sir, well, I would like to" her words stopped as she gripped her head and swayed on her feet. "What's going on?" Ross wondered as he felt the room beginning to spin. Several black clad troops in gas masks simply walked in the front and carried Yeoman Walters out. "Who are you?" Ross asked as he drew his gun. One of the men laughed and simply knocked the gun out of Ross' hand. The room started to spin faster and the last thing Captain Ross saw before passing out was the Swastika on one of the men's sleeves.
Outside of the house, the German officers were beside themselves with glee as they loaded the still unconscious yeoman into the airship. "Baron, I can't believe how easy we did this!" The familiar scar-faced visage of the Baron looked down at the men. "Yes, and we do have Herr Trask to thank our victory. If the fool hadn't had a list of safe houses in the Los Angles area, we might not have gotten here in time. Now, let's get out of here. I'd don't want to run into that hulking she creature again." As the airship took off, one of the men walked over to the Baron. "Sir, what exactly are you talking about?" Baron Struker shock his head as the rest of the men removed their gas masks and prepared themselves for flight. "Just musing Otto. That idiot Vankshift thought that gray woman might have followed us to that bar. It was a coincidence, but all the same, I do wonder." "Sir, do you think this…what did you call her, She-Hulk? Might try and stop us?" "I wouldn't rule it out Otto, but I'll feel better once we're back in the Fatherland once again."
Chapter 5- Late afternoon-Germany
Thanks to the Sky-Shark's airship, The Blitz Squad was able to make it back to Germany in record time. Walters had slept the entire trip, but some of the men had noticed that her skin had looked rather gray when the sun went down. Regardless of any change in skin tone, Walters was unharmed, and that's what was important.
When the ship landed at the base's airfield, an armed squadron of Germany's finest took the awakening Yeoman to a nearby holding cell. Autumn Mist stood outside, shaking the Baron's hand. "You and your men have done a great service to our country, Baron Strucker." The Baron saluted and stood at attention as Autumn Mist continued to talk. "Take your men and go. Der Fuehrer himself wants to congratulate you, and to give you a new assignment." "Thank you sir, but shouldn't we stay? In case the She-Hulk returns? I believe she has something to do with that American." "Don't worry yourself Baron, we are quite prepared for anything the Allies have." With a look of regret, the Baron saluted, and left the field with the Blitz Squad.
Inside the holding cell, Jennifer Walters slowly came to. "Damn, this is getting to be an annoying habit." She slowly rose herself off of the ground and looked around her cell. The walls were concrete, and thick iron bars stood in the window. What little light there was came from the window, where Jennifer could see the setting sun. "This is like what happened before, when those goons came after me in the hospital. I hope" Jennifer's thoughts were interrupted as she felt the change happening again. This time though, the change was different. She began to shudder uncontrollably as a strange tingling sensation ran across her body. The world started to spin out of focus as an eerie gray pallor spreads across her skin. "It wasn't like this the first time! What's happening to me?" Walter's question was unanswered as her body began to erupt. It was like she was watching a movie, like it wasn't happening to her. Her frame was starting to grow, her limbs thickening and expanding with muscle. She could feel her skirt beginning to shred and the leather in her shoes was starting to warp as her toes fought their way out. She could feel her thoughts slipping away as a gray haze started to fill her eyes. With one quick motion, she ripped away most of her top, reveling the purple costume she liberated from the nightclub. Her skirt's zipper had exploded, causing the rest of her already torn outfit to fall away from her now massive seven-foot frame. Jennifer felt like her head was wrapped in cotton as new thoughts entered her head. It felt like she was swimming and had no control over her own body as whatever she was now stood upright in the now too small cell. A deep voice Jennifer would barely recognize as her own came out of her lips. "Grrr, where am I? What is this place?" The creature that was once Jennifer walked over to the door of the cell and with one push tore the door right off of its hinges.
The creature that was once Jennifer Walters slowly made her way down the hall and into the main area of the compound. Once outside, she quickly caught the attention of the German troops. " Gott!" screamed one of the men. "It's the She-Hulk-fire men fire!" She heard one of the officers shout. As the bullets bounced harmlessly off of her gray skin, Jennifer paused to collect her thoughts. "They called me the She-Hulk. Well, why not? A name's a name." She waited till the German's stopped to reload before charging at them.
Without a moments glance back, the newly christened heroine broke through the German's defensives and made her way across the compound towards what looked like the main building. A radio spire on the roof gave rise to the She-Hulk's thoughts that there would be a working radio inside. "Not that it would matter. If I can't call for help I'll just fight my way towards the Allies. Heh, I bet Jennifer Walters wouldn't even have the guts to call for help." Her thoughts continued on that path as she smashed her way through the building.
Inside the compound
For the last several minutes, Half-Face had been listening to the shrieking man detailing how he and his men were easily defeated by what Baron Strucker had called the "She-Hulk". He was getting rather tired of hearing the Lieutenant blubber like a child. "Very interesting, now tell where she is now." Half-Face said with a casual air. "Sir, that creature is lose! She's near the communications building and is probably radioing our location to the enemy!" The officer was near hysterics at this point, but Half-Face calmly stood up and walked out of the office. "Sir, where are you going?" "To correct a mistake Lieutenant. You go and fortify our positions around the base. I'll see that the She Hulk doesn't leave here alive!"
Jennifer's attempt to radio for outside aid had been a total failure. Not knowing her own strength, she had accidentally crushed the radio receiver in her palm. Throwing the now useless device out of a nearby window, Jennifer saw a strange man walk out of one of the buildings. He was tall, and Jennifer couldn't believe her eyes when she saw the man fade-in to mist and disappear. She would have written the whole thing of as a trick of the light, but something about the man made Jennifer uneasy. The mist flew under a door of a nearby bunker, then all hell broke loose.
Autumn Mist reformed back into his human shape and quickly ran towards the cell which was holding what the soldiers lovingly called 'The Abomination". The six soldiers standing nervously around the cell saluted him. "Now my love, now we prove your worth!" Autumn Mist said under his breath. The soldier nearest the cell door looked at him with apprehension. "Sir, do you think this is wise? There is no telling what she will do!" Autumn Mist looked calmly at the young solider and then, with out warning, he drew his Lugar and shot the man through his head. Autumn Mist looked coolly at the remaining men. 'That will be your fate, if you try my patience again. Now open the cell!" Cautiously, the five soldiers opened the cell door.
Given the past twenty-four hours, Jennifer thought she was beyond anything that could surprise her. She was proved wrong as a green skinned and obviously naked female ripped her way out of the same bunker that the mist man went into. The woman stumbled about, wildly slashing at anything that got in her way, be it German soldier or lifeless object, everything that was in the creature's path was cut to bloody ribbons. The mist man was behind the creature, directing it's carnage towards the same building where Jennifer was.
"If it's a fight they want, then it's a fight they'll get!" Jennifer thought to herself as she smashed down the wall and rushed at the creature head-on. Which proved to be a poor idea, as the creature was a strong as Jennifer.
"Yes, you stupid American, try your best!" Autumn Mist was floating above the Abomination, his head fairly solid, while the rest of him was egging the creature into a frenzy. The She-Hulk rushed at them head on, only to be knocked back by a savage kick from the Abomination. She leaped on the She-Hulk, slashing her claws against the gray skin of her opponent, leaving the skin in bloody red tatters. The Abomination was like a wild animal, but she couldn't manage to completely overpower the gray Amazon. The She-Hulk freed both of her arms, and she proceeded to slam both of her fists into the Abomination's head. The Abomination reeled, and that was enough for the She-Hulk. She rolled the transformed scientist off of her and she kicked her hard in the side. The She-Hulk coldly smiled as she felt the creatures ribs break. The Abomination whimpered like a injured puppy. The She-Hulk looked down at the prone form. "What am I doing? She's just a mindless animal." Another, darker voice within answered. "She's the enemy, why should you care about her, or any of these stupid weaklings?" The momentary lapse was enough for the Abomination. The creature stood up and charged the She-Hulk, knocking her to the ground, biting and clawing all the way. "Yes, yes! Kill her now!" Autumn Mist screamed as he reformed his body back into its solid shape and stood over the bloody form of the She-Hulk. "You Americans, always rushing into things that don't concern you." Autumn Mist continued to taunt the bleeding woman as he pulled a grenade from under his jacket. "I know bullets won't harm you, but some high explosives probably won't do that face of yours any good." The Abomination stood off to the side, a dull look on her features slowly giving way towards a look of rage. "What are you doing you stupid cow? Go back to your cage and" Autumn Mist's words were cut off as the Abomination cleared the space between them in one step and before the officer could think, she had punched a hole directly through his chest. "Not possible, I was the finest example of the Reich superiority over mankind". The Abomination pulled her claw out and let the dying Nazi fall to the ground.
Nearby, the fight had not been going unnoticed. Half-Face and Warrior Woman stood and watched the final outcome of the battle from the relative safety of the base's hanger. "Well, this has not gone very well." Warrior spat out as she began walking towards a nearby autogyro. "Where are you going? I order you to stop those freaks!" Half-Face screamed impotently. "Sir, I did not break out of an Allied prison camp just to clean up after you." Warrior Woman said as the autogyro's engine roared to life. "Wait, what are you doing?" Cried Half-Face as the machine began its takeoff. "I'm going back to Berlin. As far as Der Fuehrer is concerned, this experiment never happened." The rest of her words were lost as she flew off into the night, leaving Half-Face standing alone in the hanger. "No, I won't be humiliated by a woman, I won't! I'll prove her wrong, I'll send all of those monsters back to the hell that spawned them!" With that, the commander slowly made his way out of the hanger and towards the main lab, where the Gamma Ray Projector was kept.
The She-Hulk watched the Abomination warily. The Abomination just stood there, a dull look on her features. Suddenly, the creature turned and ran off towards another building. "Wait, come back here!" The She-Hulk shouted. She saw the creature dashing towards what she assumed was the place where the Gamma Ray Projector was kept. She started to run after her, but the pain in her wounds almost made her fall down again. "Ok girl, this time a little slower. You're not totally unstoppable." Moving at a slower pace, the She-Hulk still made it to the building in time to see the Abomination dart down a nearby hallway.
She heard the tearing of metal, and as she turned the corner, she saw the Abomination leap down a elevator shaft. "I've got to destroy this base and get out of here. I don't have the time to waste chasing down some thing out of Saturday morning serial." Pausing only adjust her now tattered costume to try and maintain some dignity, the She-Hulk quickly jumped down the shaft after the Abomination.
Down in the main lab
Half-Face smiled grimly as he entered the lab. He sidestepped the remains of the unfortunate Commander Trask and made his way towards the device that would immortalize him to the Reich historians. He set about switching the machine on when he heard a horrible growling noise and the sounds of something very large coming down the elevator shaft. He didn't even bother to turn around as he heard the creature's footsteps behind him.
The She-Hulk emerged from the shaft and almost tripped over what was left of Commander Trask. She contemptuously kicked the body out of her way. "Fool had it coming" she thought as raced through the lab.
She stopped dead in her tracks when she saw Half-Face near the machine that started this nightmare and the Abomination ready to pounce on him. "Should I stop her or not? It'd be easier for me if they both died right here." But the Abomination took action before the She-Hulk could do anything. Half-Face pulled a lever, then saluted as the creature leaped upon him and began to maul the Nazi into bloody ribbons.
The machine began to hum and it seemed every light and buzzer in the complex was going off at the same time. The Abomination growled and started the smash the Gamma Ray Projector, causing a series of small explosions through out the lab. Jennifer could fell the heat blister her skin as radiation flooded the room. Ignoring the pain as best she could, she hurried over to where the Abomination was simply staring at the wrecked machine. "Come on, we have to go!" Jennifer yelled. The Abomination simply started at her with a pained look on her face, before Jennifer realized what the Abomination really was. "Helena?" The Abomination flinched at the name, but she still didn't move. "We have to get out here!" Jennifer screamed over the noise of the lab exploding. The Abomination stood perfectly still as part of the ceiling collapsed, separating the two. The fire seared Jennifer's gray skin as she tried to move the rubble. She managed to move a few bits out of the way before the entire lab erupted into a flaming hell.
Even with her strength, Jennifer still needed to breathe. "Helena!" She screamed. The smoke was blinding, and the only response she heard was the sound of more lab equipment exploding. Stumbling over to a nearby stairwell Jennifer kicked down the door, only to be greeted by the sight of the stairs buried under tons of debris. "Now this is getting ridiculous." Jennifer felt angrier than she had ever felt. The hate surged through her body, and Jennifer, no, the She-Hulk, felt like a living dynamo. Without thinking, the She-Hulk started to smash the debris and everything else in her path.
When she finally stopped, Jennifer noticed that she was outside. The cool night air felt great against her burned flesh. Looking around, Jennifer noticed that the entire base was destroyed. "Wow, I did all this?" Jennifer said to no in particular. "Well, it doesn't look like there's anyone left except me. All the soldiers are either dead or running back to Berlin." Walking around the devastation, Jennifer felt rather depressed. "Well, unless I find a radio, then I'm going to have a long walk back home." Shaking off those feelings, Jennifer found a wall that wasn't too badly damaged and plopped herself down for the night. "Hmm, I guess the lab exploding must have done most of the damage. Oh well, not my problem anymore." Slowly sliding down the wall, Jennifer closed her eyes and within seconds, was fast asleep.
The hours went by extremely quick for the slumbering amazon. When Jennifer woke up, she first noticed the first rays of morning sunlight warming her gray skin. Getting up and stretching, Jennifer felt a strange sensation run through her as her body as the sun began to climb above the horizon. Jennifer felt light- headed as the incredible transformation began to reverse itself. She could feel the muscle and sinew shrink and soften. She started in shock as her hair and skin slowly regained their original color and portions. The now totally human Jennifer Walters blinked in the new dawn. The incidents of last night seemed to be shrouded in a gray haze, but Jennifer was sure about one thing. "I want some more".
Chapter 6-A few hours later
The atmosphere in the Sub-Marnier's airship was tense. The Invaders had gotten word from the OSS of a Nazi spy ship that had taken off with a American Yeoman and a Russian scientist. They were ordered to trace the ship's path and rescue both of them at any cost. "Come water-bug, we haven't got all day! Can't this rust bucket go any faster?" Toro, sidekick to the Human Torch, whined as he sat by the cockpit window. The Sub-Marnier looked at the lad. "Firebug, if your partner wishes to travel at a faster velocity, he is more welcome to jump out of the airlock." Namor said, barely holding back his anger. "Whoa there Subby, he didn't mean anything by it. We're all just a little edgy at the moment. I mean, heck, the reports mentioned the Blitz Squad and Warrior Woman were seen in the area." The Human Torch shot a quieting look at his partner, and Toro got the hint. "Strange, according to the maps, we should be seeing a base, but I don't see anything." Captain America said as he studied the landscape below. "Hmm, this does not bode well. We should be on alert." Namor said as he piloted the sleek airship down in a nearby glade. Captain Ross, who had spent the entire trip staring quietly out the window, jumped out the ship. "I still can't believe how quiet this ship is. Why, if we had something like this." He was cut off as the Sub Marnier stood proudly before him. "Yes, but you don't. The science of Atlantis will never be shared with any surface dweller-be they Allied or Axis." He added. The assembled group, along with Captain Ross, started the march towards the enemy base.
They had been marching for an hour before Captain America motioned them to stop. The Sentinel of Liberty bent over to examine a strange mark of the forest floor. "What's wrong Cap?" Bucky asked. "These tracks are like nothing I've ever seen." Captain Ross walked over and noticed a few more tracks, along with the remains of what could have an arm at one point. "Sir! Take a look at this!" The group rushed over to the officer, and noticed what was probably the rest of the solider laying scattered about the forest. "What the devil is going on?" The Human Torch asked, looking pensively around. "I don't know, but we had better be prepared for anything." Captain America said as the group started around at the forest, which despite the fact that it was morning, suddenly looked much darker. The Sub-Mariner snorted at the group and began walking towards the base. "Come on then, the Avenging Son does not show fear, especially to the enemy or the remains of an enemy." The Atlantian ruler said, striding off into the woods. "He does have a point. We need to get the women, and get out of here." Ross stated as he flipped the safety off on his Thompson machine gun.
As they made it to base, or at least the remains of the base, the first thing that hit them was the smell. The smell of death was all around them as they walked through the tattered barbed wire fence. The base looked as if some large force had scooped up the base and dropped it. Most the buildings were smashed, blown up, or a combination of the two. "Damn, I wonder what could have caused this?" Ross wondered aloud as they walked through the remains. All around them they saw torn bodies, or at least the remains. "Wait, what's that?" Bucky asked as a slight noise from the inside of nearby building made all six of them jump.
A young woman dressed in a coat that was too large for her stepped out of the building. She looked like hell, but Ross lowered his weapon and walked up to her. Seeing the captain's calm, the rest of the Invaders relaxed their guard. "Walters, what happened here?" Ross asked, his gaze never leaving the woman for an instant. "I, I really don't know. They locked in a cell, and the next I know, I'm out here." (Which is the truth, to a certain extent. I really can't remember everything I did after I changed. I hate to lie, but I can't let anyone else know about my secret.) Jennifer thought to herself as Ross lead down the path towards the ship.
As she sat on the back, quite a few thoughts were racing through the yeoman's as the ship made its way across the English Channel. "I know I changed when the sun went down the first two times, but will it happen every time? It doesn't matter though, I finally have the power to crush anyone that gets in my way!" Jennifer suddenly sat up at that. "No, why am I thinking that? I don't want to hurt anyone, but now… now I can finally serve my country." Jennifer mulled over the last statement over and over. She did want to serve her country, but she could also do anything she wanted to anyone she wanted. She glanced over at Captain Ross, who was sleeping with his cap drawn low over his eyes. One thing for sure, she wasn't just plain old Yeoman Jennifer Walters anymore!
Hi, and welcome to the first issue of SAVAGE COMICS. My inspiration came from a picture done by the artiest The Manic. Manic, thanks man, you're too damn cool.
Anyway, as some of you may have noticed, this story is a marked departure from my usual style and content. I hope to do more She-Hulk stories, and I would really like some feedback, be it good or bad. My reasons for doing a story with the She-Hulk are that, let's face it, Marvel isn't doing a heck of lot with the character, so why not?
Hopefully I'll be doing more Marvel stories (I have always had a weakness for them) and rest assured True Believers, I will do all in my power to do justice to both the characters and the company that created them.
Next time out, I'll be doing a team-up with The Mysterious Black Widow. Later on, I hope to be doing more guest appearances by other Golden Age characters.
I should also mention, the female Abomination was also Manic's idea. I think Half-Face was a villain of the All Star Squadron, but I thought he worked well here. Also, the character of Autumn Mist was a creation of Jess Nevins, used without permission.
Every other character and the concepts all belong to the Marvel Comics Group, all rights reserved.