Avengers: Urban Warfare.
By Erik Howlett.
Disclaimer: All elements of Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes are the sole property of Marvel Comics with Disney Entertainment helping to produce the show. All characters from the Street Fighter series are the property of CAPCOM, alongside their American comic-book publishing company, UDON Comics. I do not claim any of the characters or elements of either show, comic-book, or video-game as my own, and am only writing this story as a leisurely past time and because I am a humble fan of this genre simply telling a story.
Greetings once again, True Believers, author Erik Howlett here. Well gang, by now you've guess that I've got an affinity for crossovers, so this new tale should come as no surprise to you. In light of the upcoming installment to the Marvel Vs Capcom series, Marvel Vs Capcom: The Fate of Two Worlds, I thought to myself that it was time to try my hand at a story of similar crossover awesomeness. Inspired by my beta-reader and fellow writer, Rider Paladin, I've crafted a tale that will hopefully kickstart a spin-off or two as the big release draws ever so closer.
Just as a warning though, this fic is rated "M" for safety, due to cursing, violence, gore, suggestive themes, and alcohol references.
Well, I hope you're ready for an epic, True Believers, because this tale is going to be quite the ride. But why are you listening to me? The action is only a scroll down away, so get going!
New York City, NY; July 4th, 2010.
"He is the one. The one who would lead us unto victory, The one who shall remake this world, the one who shall bring us unto salvation."
"Just you wait brother, I shall be the one who is chosen! The Organization will see the light soon enough. I will lead us into a better tomorrow, all of us!"
"You dare to defy me, little brother? I am no longer your President. I am your Emperor, your Messiah, your Savior! I have been lenient in bestowing my former title upon you, Urien, do not make me regret my decision."
"Mark my words, your Highness, this is not over."
"How could this have happened? Zola promised me this creature, this… Adaptoid, was the answer to the G-Project! But again, just like with that sub-human creature, Necro, he and Strucker offer me nothing but failure! They shall pay sorely for crossing me, for crossing the Illuminati! I am its strength, its cornerstone, and soon, HYDRA shall feel my wrath!"
"Urien, what have you done? (Cough) How could you betray us like this? You have sold us all to S.H.I.E.L.D., (cough, cough) as though we meant nothing to you! The Council will see you dead for this! (Cough, cough, cough) I will see you dead for this!"
"I highly doubt that, brother dearest. All I have done is outside the Council's sphere of influence. The Illuminati will see this as a weakness in leadership on your part, the failures of a man who has been put up on a pedestal, his head so high in the clouds that he thinks his will subverts the Organization's law. Wolfgang and I have kept this betrayal silent in every sense of the word. Everything that is done here is on your head, brother. Enjoy your stay in the Raft."
Danger. Danger. Raft Systems Offline. Containment: 0%
How long had it been since he had seen light? Since he had opened his eyes even?
His head ringing like Notre Dame, Gill suddenly felt the familiar sensation of falling, one that immediately snapped him out of his groggy state and into full awareness. Flipping himself over midair, his blonde trusses flowing about behind him, the former Emperor of the Illuminati Organization righted himself just in time to see the very solid steel floor rushing to meet him. Blue eyes quickly became glowing white orbs as he called upon his powers, now fully awakened for the first time in years. The air around him sizzled and popped as oxygen molecules where excited to the point of bursting, intense flames erupting from his body as his skin shifted colors from blue-and-red to complete crimson. In one swift motion, his momentum was abruptly halted, the fiery plasma haloing his form defying gravity itself as he simply hovered feet above the ground, surveying his surroundings with a keen eye.
"This is… The Raft," Gill surmised, quickly assessing the situation as his memories started to return.
Indeed it was. The metallic structures towering around him, the sickening antiseptic stink pervading the air, the cries of jubilation that erupted from all around as his fellow inmates awoke to newfound freedom and liberation, that damn S.H.I.E.L.D. insignia marking practically everything in sight. This was definitely the Raft alright, S.H.I.E.L.D.'s fourth super-villain prison designed specifically to keep people like him contained, "Omega-Level threats." But now… They were free? How could this have happened? Had the Organization done this?
"No." Gill dispelled his pyrokinesis and allowed himself to drop to the floor in a practiced fashion, rising to his feet as he strode out of the chamber that had moments ago been his cell, his skin shifting back to its normal, half-blue, half-red pallor. "No, this is not our work. Someone else perpetrated this release." He knew from the lack of order that this breakout was not the doing of the Illuminati, they would've been more professional about this, more covert. This was… Chaotic.
Super-villains were running amuck left and right! Some white creature was scaling the walls on the far side of the main chamber, digging its claws into the metal effortlessly as it clambered upwards, Hell-bent on freedom. A man in a green jumpsuit dashed past him for an elevator on the opposite side of the room, his appearance far more confusing in that both his skin and hair were a deep shade of purple. A great roar turned his attentions to a man who was practically a giant, garbed in only a prehistoric-style loin cloth (similar to his own white briefs), and sporting four arms! With strength unheard of, he managed to tear one of the other elevator doors free from his path with a horrible screeching sound, as though they were but tissue paper. Several other inmates followed his lead as he ducked inside.
"FURY!" bellowed an enraged voice from high above, the world around him literally shuddering in response.
Snapping his gaze upwards, Gill found the source of the disturbance: A man with a thick black beard and a flowing mane, adorned in a deep navy-blue prison-jumpsuit accentuated by stark-white armored greaves, bracers, and shoulder-pads, his eyes burning with inhuman wrath as he levitated hundreds of feet in the air, held aloft by some unknown force that he seemed to be in control of somehow. A quick mental breakdown identified him as the physicist Franklin Hall, a man whom the Illuminati had been considering signing onto the G-Project before he disappeared after agreeing to work with S.H.I.E.L.D. scientists… ten years ago.
"Making this nine years since…!" It was all coming back to him now! The repeated failures of the G-Project under Zola's supervision, the assault on the Organization's San Francisco headquarters by both S.H.I.E.L.D. forces and Iron-Man, Urien and Strucker's betrayal, his capture perpetrated as his demise by the world's leaders, his imprisonment in the Raft. He had been rotting in this Hell-hole for nine years!
A massive explosion above him heralded Hall's departure from the Raft, punching a massive hole in the top of the prison. It looked to be just big enough for a damned semi-truck to slip through with no effort at all. Needless to say, this brought a smile to Gill's face. "Excellent."
Summoning his pyrokinesis once more, Gill felt gravity's hold on him release nigh instantaneously as he rose into the air with incredible speed. The world around him became a black-and-grey blur as he picked up speed and rocketed towards freedom, the impromptu exit growing closer and closer with each passing second. The light of the outside world consumed him, if only for a moment, and then it all became clear. Somehow, Hall's newfound abilities had allowed him to levitate the entire prison out of the Bay and miles into the air, higher than any structure in Manhattan (save the Empire State Building, that is).
Even higher still, Gill could make out the forms of two men suspended in the air as well. Even at this distance, he could tell they were both Hall and his captor Nick Fury respectively, with the S.H.I.E.L.D. Director completely at the mercy of the now psychopathic Franklin and his mysterious powers. Although everything within him seethed with anger at the sight of the man that had kept him imprisoned like a dog for nine years, he knew that Fury would have his day soon enough.
Right now, he had a score to settle.
"What in the Hell is going on out there?" thought Urien aloud as he stared intently out the window of his downtown office high-rise, cold white eyes scanning the horizon for any sign of what was happening to the city.
Moments ago, the morning had been as it always was. He awoke in his penthouse apartment, readied himself for the day, drove to his office at Roxxon Industries, rode the elevator to the top floor, spoke with his secretary, Colleen, about the day's schedule, and checked his company's records. Never once in these last nine years since his brother's capture by S.H.I.E.L.D. had something like this happened. Sure, the recent emergence of the superhuman community caused waves here and there, with his company wisely stepping in to both clean up the damage after each public battle, and to use the data they collected from these battles to further their understanding of the superhuman genome, regardless of origin. All of this was done with the intention of furthering the still active G-Project that he and HYDRA had been collaborating on behind the scenes, alongside MODOK's A.I.M. scientists.
But something like this, of this scale… To cause the entire city to shudder at tremble to the point where streets began to cave in on themselves and I-Beams came loose from their girding, it was far greater than any power possessed by a superhuman he himself had created or observed.
Suddenly, the temperature in the room dropped dramatically, causing his breath to become abruptly visible and a chill to shudder through his body as he shivered to keep warm, though slowly failing. Shocked at this bizarre turn of events, the white-haired corporate-head was even more disturbed to see the room-spanning observation window before him begin to ice over with impressive speed, a thick layer of frost obscuring everything from view in a matter of seconds. As he stared at this strange phenomenon with cautious apprehension, a humanoid shadow cast itself upon the ice, hovering high above the ground as it faced him. Even through the frost, Urien could somehow sense the figure was looking directly at him.
"What the He-ACK!"
With a raucous crash and the sound of shattering glass, a blue hand tore through the frozen window with inhuman strength, seizing the Illuminati President by the collar and hoisting off his feet, choking off his oxygen as the hand's owner himself entered the room. Urien immediately recognized his assailant, his eyes growing wide as he beheld his brother with mind-numbing disbelief.
"Hello, Urien," growled Gill in sarcastic greetings, his inhuman strength tightening mercilessly over his brother's throat as he spoke.
"G-G-G-G-" Urien attempted to choke out, his mouth foaming slightly as his eyes lolled back into his head. The world around him started to blur as he began to blackout, but Urien forced himself to stay conscious, relying on his superhuman genetics to keep him alive long enough to think of a plan.
"I told you before, little brother," Gill said with a smirk as he held his brother aloft, breath misting as his cryokinesis fueled the freezing temperatures that pervaded the office, tightening his grip with each passing second, "that I would be the one to see you dead."
Ice slowly forming around Gill's hands, the creeping chill traveled up the collar of his brother's suit, climbing up the man's neck. Realizing through blurred eyes that his brother meant to asphyxiate him with his cryokinetic powers, Urien futility attempted to resist the ice's progression, weakly thrashing about as his body screamed for oxygen. Within seconds, the chilling substance had made its way up the man's neck, and in less than a minute, Urien's head had been completely encased in a thick, helmet-like layer of ice. Beneath his frosted skin, even his blood had slowed to a crawl in his veins.
"It took longer than I had thought, far longer, truth be told," Gill continued as his brother's head froze over, knowing full well Urien most likely couldn't hear him, but savoring the fact that he was still somewhat alive. For the moment, that is. "But you know what they say." Having enjoyed his brother's suffering long enough, Gill knew it was time to end this, and drew back his free hand, forming a powerful fist as his knuckles cracked menacingly and his face contorted into a mask of pure, hate-fueled insanity. "Revenge is a dish best served… Cold!"
With a single, brain-rattling blow, Gill shattered Urien's frozen head into a thousand pieces, not a single shred of remorse in his gunmetal-grey eyes.
The sound of a door slamming open drew his gaze to the voluptuous from of his personal assistant, Colleen. Upon seeing him there, standing victoriously over the broken, headless body of her former employer and President, the blonde woman's eyes widening in disbelief at what she was seen, the papers she had held carefully suddenly dropping to the floor in a somewhat comical fashion as she beheld the man she had once called "Messiah." Realizing it was truly her Emperor, Colleen immediately feel to one knee and bowed her head low, a sign of total servitude that Gill had missed these past nine years, and brought a smile to the man's face.
"My Lord Gill," breathed an astonished Colleen as she kept her bespectacled gaze trained on the floor, doing her best to fight back the hot tears of joy that were forming in her eyes as she spoke. The sensation of a comforting hand on her shoulder brought her back to reality, her eyes lifting to meet the Emperor's heartfelt gaze.
"Rise now, my servant," commanded Gill with all the grandeur and demeanor of the Greek god he resembled, Colleen following his command as she got to her feet in the most dignified manner possible (difficult for one in a mini-skirt). "There is much that needs to be done, now that I have returned and that the traitor has been disposed of." Upon saying this, he gestured callously to Urien's lifeless- and now headless- body, which lay slumped on the floor. "But that can wait for a time, should you wish it. Today is a day for rejoicing after all, for the prodigal son of the Illuminati has been freed from his shackles, and has returned to his rightful place."
"Indeed it is, my Lord," agreed Colleen with a smile, happy to see him alive once more as she observed his well-toned musculature through her slightly-tinted spectacles. "I had guessed that something was amiss when I receive a call from an old acquaintance of ours less than a moment ago, asking specifically for you. I told him you had been dead for nine years now- as all of us had been lead to believe- but he insisted that you were here, and urged me to check Uri-… The traitor's office, and see for myself."
"An old acquaintance?" Gill parroted somewhat surprised, wondering who it was that had called, or who it was that could have known he had been freed from the Raft for that matter! News of the breakout was only just now starting to spread, so how was it that someone could have known about it so quickly, or known where he was going even?
Sensing her Emperor's confusion, Colleen took a small remote from one of the pockets of her jacket, angling it towards the large, flat-screen television that rested on the wall of the room's far right. A simple press of the button activated the system's video-conferencing feature, and the screen sparked to life to reveal a man that Gill had not seen in a long time, a welcome sight to the Illuminati Emperor that brought a smile to his face.
The mountain of a man before him was garbed in a dark red military uniform, accentuated by large silver shoulder-plates, wristbands, and shin guards, a large black cape draped over his imposing form from the clasps on his shoulders, giving him the appearance of a member of the Wafften SS from Nazi Germany than what Gill knew him truly as. Sitting proudly atop his head was a similarly colored military-cap with a silver, winged skull insignia emblazoned on the front. Though his cape and uniform hid most of his body, Gill knew he was all raw power, extremities and frame rippling with muscles that could put any bodybuilder to shame.
"Welcome home, Emperor Gill of the Illuminati," said the man with a shark-like grin, eyes glowing a deep purple beneath the shadow of his cap, his Psycho-Power flowing effortlessly through his body on a whim, as if to demonstrate that he had not lost his touch over the nine years the Emperor had been imprisoned.
"It is good to be home, Dictator M. Bison of Shadaloo," replied Gill with equal enthusiasm. "And it appears that we have much to discuss."
Location: Bayankala Mountain Range, Qinghai Provence, China. Later that night…
High atop the mount known as Ho'o Peak, said to be the former home of the mythical race of Phoenix people, something had begun to stir.
At the base of the mountain, the hundreds upon hundreds of natural springs, each one said to be the site of a terrible tragedy in the native mythos, felt the phenomenon's occurrence first. The once placid waters of each spring began to reverberate the rumblings that rocked the earth miles below, the water's surface rippling violently with each passing second as the tremors grew stronger and stronger and stronger! Through the thick evening mists, even the bamboo shoots that dotted the landscape for miles around had begun to shudder and shake, swaying to and fro in the grip of this strange occurrence.
Then, all of a sudden, something even more bizarre happened. One by one, miniature crystals at the bottom of each pool, normally unseen by the human eye because of their position in the water's depths, began to emit a mysterious light. It started off very dim, barely the strength of a candle flame, but then, they abruptly sparked to life, increasing in brightness until the thick forest was illuminated by the light. Starting at the outer edge of the valley, each spring began to light up one by one, moving inward towards the foot of the mountain. The second the last spring became alight by these crystals, a sizeable fissure broke the silence of the night with a sharp CRACK, the same golden glow piercing from within the break in the earth.
With astonishing speeds, similar crystals dotting the mountain followed the example of those in the springs, formerly innocent-looking rocks lighting up the night as they revealed their true nature, creating a series of perfect lines that all lead to one place: a gigantic, peach-shaped rock at the very summit of the mountain.
The fissures all met at the bottom of the strange rock simultaneously, causing the rumble to increase dramatically as the whole mountain shook and the tremors rocked the forest. Small animals ran for cover, birds took to the air, trees groaned in protest, leaves came loose from their branches. At the top of the peak, the peach-like rock suddenly began to crack, a powerful golden light streaming through the minute cracks along its surface as they traveled to its apex. Then, just as it seemed this supernatural earthquake would tear the mountain apart, all was silent, the crystals ceasing to glow, save for the rock on the peak.
With that single, mind-numbing explosion, the peach-like rock abruptly broke into a thousand miniature fragments. No longer hindered by the dark casing of the rock, the strange light now shone freely, illuminating the blackness and drawing the attention of all for miles around, and inside the rock, was a sight even stranger than those heralding its arrival.
Sitting cross-legged at the rock's center, greeting the world with nothing but an eager and curious face, was a beautiful young woman, who looked to be in her early-to-mid-twenties.
She was spectacularly naked, revealing every inch of her voluptuously curvaceous body, a frame virtually made for combat, with a musculature reminiscent to that of a master martial artist that sported the grace and dexterity of an acrobat. As the light around her began to fade, her beautiful brown eyes regarded the world around her with utmost curiosity, along with a subtle spark of mischief. Brushing a hand through her short brown hair, the young maiden gave a large yawn, her firm, C-cup breasts bouncing slightly as she stretched the kinks out of her muscles. Rising to her feet, a strange new portion of her anatomy came to light, just above her tight buttocks. Swaying about in a happy fashion, extending from the base of her tail-bone, was a long prehensile tail, covered in brown fur the same shade as her hair.
Taking one last look around her, blinking twice to make sure she wasn't dreaming, the strange young woman bent down to pick up what looked to be a long red bo-staff, accentuated by a golden carving of a Chinese dragon winding around its frame. Either end of the staff was topped by a gilded ball, secured to the weapon by a similar band. Attached to the staff was a yellow neckerchief, which the woman swiftly undid and fastened about her neck, smiling gleefully to see that it still fit after all these centuries.
A rumbling in her stomach drew her from her nostalgia. Rubbing her firmly toned tummy in hunger, the sky-clad girl shouldered her staff and leapt down from her perch, landing in an oddly natural, monkey-like crouch.
"Well then," she thought aloud as she continued down the mountain. "Guess I should get going then. Hmm… I wonder if there's a good dumpling shop near here?"
And with that, Sonson, granddaughter of Sun Wukong the Monkey King, began her journey westward, into the modern world.
Insert "Fight As One" by Bad City (the theme song for "Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes").
Next time: The Gathering Storm.
Author's Note: … Wow. Just, wow. Looks like things are going to be more hectic for the Avengers than they had originally counted on. With Gill now freed in the wake of "The Breakout," Sonson having reawakened in out era, and Bison join in on the Illuminati's endeavors with his Shadaloo forces, a few supervillains are going to be a cake-walk compared to what will come next. All I can say for now is that this will be one heck of a challenge for the fledgling Avengers, even if some time will have passed before everything is set in motion, so stay tuned! Please remember to read and review as well, since you're input is greatly appreciated, as is constructive criticism (though remember that flames get doused and trolls get crushed by bridges). Well, stay awesome, True Believers, and until next time, EXCELSIOR!