Disclaimer: I dont own Marvel

The Hunt

Chapter 18: Crossing the line

Heroes are always held in such high regards. But I've always had a difficult time distinguishing heroes from men and women simply smiling to cameras, like actors, politicians and costumed celebrities. I once asked; what defines a hero? When I found the answer I knew that the one thing I could never be was a hero. Heroes serve as examples to individuals. Each of us chooses an idol or a set of idols, like Winston Churchill, Oscar Schindler, Sam Childers or others that we should know about but choose not to remember. These idols can be those famous faces or people that don't get recognised, our parents, friends or acquaintances. The point is that our idols, our heroes must have codes and lines that are not willing to break. Today I've realised that I haven't even set a line.

My name is Cade Hunter and this is my confession.

"Stand down Hunter, this armour's powered by the energy you give off," Tony said as he stood over Deathblade.

Cade felt a crack run across his helmet as he got off the floor. He recalled Iron man hitting him with a repulsor blast. Except the energy was different than his usual weaponry. The energy Stark had used was the same kind Cade used. Deathblade looked at his hands, the gauntlets had broken to reveal his gloved hands. Venom seemed to have gained a backbone as he snarled at Cade, while Moonstone aimed the palm of her hand at him. Taking a spike off of his armour, Cade turned the spike into a sword as he approached Tony.

"I said stand down!" Tony thrust his hands forward; firing red energy blasts from his palms.

The red energy struck Cade, causing him to step back slightly. His armour glowed red for a moment before the energy disappeared.

"Did you ever account me reabsorbing that energy?" Deathblade asked.

He raised his hand, drawing in the energy inside Tony's armour. Stark widened his eye as the red energy leaked out of his armour and into Cade's hand. Cade then suddenly redirected his hand, firing a blast straight towards Ares. The blast consumed Ares, burning his hair and armour. Ares crashed through the building, landing amongst the Sentinels. Deathblade remained casually still as Venom leaped towards him.

"YOUR TOO OPEN!" Gargan cackled.

Suddenly, Gargan fell on the floor, the symbiote screaming as it began to expand. Moonstone phased into the wall, blocking out Gargan's screams. Spinning his sword against the floor, Cade waited as Scott Lang burst out of the symbiote's chest. Cassie stared at her resurrected father in horror as blood dripped from his body. The symbiote crawled away from Gargan's still body like a worm. It squirmed as it reached a crack in the building, one it seeped into to find some form of freedom. Deathblade focused his attention on where Moonstone had retreated.

"Meet with the others," he said to Lang.

Scott shrunk back down to microscopic size and much to her teammate's shock Cassie followed her father. Deathblade swung his sword at the wall, firing an energy blade that cut a hole he could walk through. Marching out of the building, Cade narrowed his eyes at the sight that awaited him. He gripped his blade tightly, overcome by a sense of outrage.

"Unbelievable Hand, UNBELIEVABLE!" he yelled.

Moonstone smirked as she folded her arms, standing behind her were members of the Thunderbolts. Atlas was joined by his brother Smuggler (dressed in a new dark force dimension suit), Fixer seemed to be overseeing the members of the U-Foes and Psionex, while Abner Jenkins led the three teenagers that had stolen his old Beetle suits. Mach also sported a new suit labelled V, making him Mach 5. Other members included Speed Demon, Joystick, Paladin, Taskmaster in his UDON suit, Blizzard, Mr X, Ant-man and Radioactive man.

"Give it up Deathblade, your hopelessly outnumbered," Victoria Hand said, from within the confines of a sentinel squad suit.

"Outnumbered? Wrong!"

The ground suddenly began to shake as a building beside the Thunderbolts caved in. Black Goliath tackled Atlas to the ground, causing the Thunderbolts to disperse. An energy blast flew in-between Mathemanic's eyes, hitting him like a bullet in the head. Yellowjacket then surrounded herself with energy as she flew like a bullet through Pretty Persuasian's eye and out of the other end of her head.

"Shit, no one told me these guys killed," Coronary panicked, trying to run for help.

He suddenly felt himself being lifted off the floor. Looking at his attacker, Coronary widened his eyes in horror. None other than a resurrected Namorita in her white haired Atlantean form was flying him above the buildings.

"Oh no, NOT AGAAIIIIN!" Coronary screamed as Namorita dropped him.

The glass being's form shattered as soon as it hit the ground. Mr X drew his swords, crossing them together as the original Swordsman ran out of the smoke. Jacques slammed his sword against X's, ducking as the psychopath countered. Swordsman deflected Mr X's second strike and applied a brutal punch to the man's face, shattering his shades. Across from them the U-Foes fired relentlessly at Deathblade as he engaged Taskmaster, Paladin and Joystick at close range. Deathblade deflected a blast from X ray and kicked Joystick in the chest. He then swung around, slashing Paladin across the cheek before blocking Taskmaster's sword.

"Even with reinforcements Cade you must see that it's over, just give up," Moonstone said as she flew at Deathblade.

She fired a blast from her hand, hitting Deathblade in the back. Moonstone flew upwards as an energy blast flew towards her. She looked up at the rooftops to see Jack of Hearts firing blasts from his hands. He was joined by someone in the Scourge of the Underworld costume, Kraven the Hunter and the Jack Monroe Nomad. The three fired fully automatic rifles, hitting Hammer agents and reformed super villain alike. Several bullets flew into Fixer as he was gunned down with several others.

"FIXER! YOU MANIACS!" Mach yelled at the shooters.

He fired several missiles from his armour, hitting the spot the shooters were perched on. Nomad landed on the floor, his burning form quickly regenerating as he ran at the U-Foes. Kraven landed on the floor as well, but unlike Scourge and Jack, the hunter disappeared into one of the alleyways. Nomad grabbed X-Ray by the neck, ignoring the energy burning his hands. Monroe grabbed a knife from his belt and plunged it into X-ray's chest. Vector yelled as he fired an energy blast at Monroe, while Vapor spread poison throughout Monroe's body.

"Don't let up, he's just using their bodies, hit him with everything!" Mach ordered.

The Beetles fired their blasters, adding to the assault of the second Bucky. Missiles, gas and energy collided with the continually regenerating body until slowly, it started to burn and crumble. Jack Monroe, AKA the second Bucky was dead for good this time. But like Fixer and X-Ray there was no silence for his death. Moonstone hit Deathblade with another energy blast and deflected a blast fired by Jack of Hearts. Swordsman cut Mr X across the chest and used his own hand to block Mr X's second katana. Goliath punched Atlas across the face, knocking him into several Sentinels. He then mercilessly squashed Ghost with his foot before picking up a crowd of Hammer agents.

"I'd apologise for this but Deathblade already told me what you guys did to kids from the Bronx in your spare time," Goliath said before throwing the bundle of men down his throat.

"Oh my god, this is a bloodbath," Melter said.

"He's turned the Avengers into monsters," Xavin growled as she caressed Karolina's cheek.

Deathblade deflected one of Moonstone's energy blasts, causing her to fly back to avoid it. He then batted aside Taskmaster's sword and stomped Paladin's foot before head butting him. In a show of style and utter deadly accuracy Cade span around, stopping with his knees bent and his arms outstretched, as well as the headless body of Speed Demon slamming against a nearby wall. Taskmaster and Paladin looked at Deathblade in shock for a moment before a deafening roar echoed in the streets.

"HAVE AT THEE!" Ares yelled, swinging his axe down at Deathblade.

Cade slammed his swords together, turning them into a scythe that he used to hook onto Ares's axe. He then diverted Ares course, throwing him into the Beetle squadron. Jack of Hearts fired an energy blast into Iron Clad, throwing him on top of Smuggler. Conrad phased through Iron Clad's body, only for Yellowjacket to hit him with a blast in the back. Namorita flew into Atlas's side, delivering swift punches to his kidneys. Deathblade cut apart Paladin's guns and dug his scythes into Paladin's shoulders. The mercenary let out a screech of agony as Deathblade dug his weapons into his shoulders.

"You killed people for money, MONEY!"

Deathblade tore his scythes through Paladin's shoulders, ripping the arms away from the body. Then he swung around, slashing through Paladin's head. Blood stained Cade's arms as he turned to Taskmaster. He ran at the hooded man, slashing his shield. Taskmaster pushed Deathblade back with his shield and drew a pistol from his belt, firing it at Deathblade's armour. Jack of Hearts charged energy in his hands, yelling as he fired a blast at Iron Clad. The metallic, Hulk like man grit his teeth together as his form began to crack. He moved forward, gripping Jack's neck.

"Do it, kill me, before I…hurt someone else," Jack begged the man.

"WITH PLEASURE!" Iron Clad yelled.

He grabbed both sides of Jack's body and ripped the old Avenger apart. Goliath, Yellowjacket, Namorita and Goliath looked on in horror as Jack's body no longer regenerated. Without a second's hesitation, Deathblade threw his left scythe into the back of Iron Clad's head.

"Use villains against me, you think that's going to frighten me? I've killed cops that seemed like good men, there's no line I'm not willing to cross in order to get my message clear. From now on, the punishment will fit the crime!" Deathblade declared as he attacked Ares again.

Suddenly, a gold and blue blur flew into Cade, punching him across the face.

"Ah, excellent punch Bob," Ares said as Sentry flew in front of him.

Moonstone shook her head at Ares's antics. She looked to her "team mates" as they continued their battles with the Dead Avengers. Genis Vell fired a blast through the chest of the giant Beetle, whilst Swordsman took two swords to the chest to slash Mr X across the throat. Mach fired his wrist blasters at Goliath, who stampeded towards Atlas. He tackled Eric, both of the giants slammed into a building behind them. Goliath pulled his fist back, only for a series of green tentacles to wrap around his arm.

"STOP IT!" Hulkling yelled, trying to pull Goliath away.

Xavin wrapped his elongated arm around Goliath's shoulders, joining Hulkling in their attempt to pull the former hero away.

"I want him to return to normal, I want him to return to normal," Wiccan repeated the words as he and Karolina pushed against Goliath's chest.

Speed ran straight into the fight, pushing Thunderbolts members and Dead Avengers away from one another. He managed to pry the Scarlet Spider away from the second Beetle, only for the clone to head butt him. Scarlet Spider then fired a web at the Beetle, pulling her towards his fist. Patriot blocked Swordsman sword, protecting the boy in the first Beetle armour while Kate tried to disable some of the Avengers with her arrows. But the dead men and women carried on their relentless assault. Atlas groaned as he regained consciousness.

"Bro are you okay?" Smuggler asked, appearing beside Atlas's head.

"Yeah, just a small concussion, give me a sec and I'll get back into the fight," Atlas said.

A yellow blast then flew past Smuggler, striking Atlas's head. Eric Josten screamed in agony as the electricity ran through his gigantic brain.

"NO!" Smuggler and Wiccan yelled.

Smuggler turned around, glaring at the one that killed his brother. She was the Yellowjacket, or at least someone wearing the Yellowjacket uniform. Having grown to her regular size she had fired her energy stingers in a way they had never been used before. She grew to her wasp size and flew at Smuggler, flying through his head like a bullet. Melter clutched his head as he was overwhelmed by the bloodshed around him.

Aeon kept his arms crossed as he stood on top of the Ultimatum jet. He tapped his finger against his arm, waiting for the jet to reach its destination. Sieg was safe and Zack was holding his own, that left only one thing for Sven to do. He had to stop Deathblade from crossing a line he couldn't come back from. That was his mission, to save a person that couldn't save himself.

"Are you sure about this Sven?" James asked over the radio.

"Yeah I am, this is the choice I've made, Sieg's got his own battle to fight now its time for me to fight mine," Aeon explained.

He uncrossed his arms and jumped off of the Ultimatum. Changing to his bestial form, Aeon dived towards the city like a bomb. And with the same devastation he slammed into Goliath, knocking the giant man and several of his friends and foes alike down. Shifting to his armoured form, Aeon looked to Sentry as the man flew away from the carnage.

"I need to reach Cade before he does something really stupid," Aeon said.

"Need a lift?"

Aeon looked up and nodded his head at Ms Marvel.

"How about a lift your way?" Carol smiled.

Aeon let out a deep breath as his armour glowed. He and Carol jumped towards one another, releasing a flash of light as their bodies fused. When the light passed Aeon revealed his Warbird form. He wore black armour with yellow glowing lines gathering at the Z symbol on his chest. The mask of his helmet had taken a sharper shape while blonde hair flowed out of the back of the helmet. Completing the look was a red belt wrapped around his waist. Taking flight, Aeon began flying after Sentry.

Cade's vision blurred as he awoke to find himself in a dark apartment building. He looked at the series of holes that had been left in his wake. Reynolds had punched him at least a few blocks away from the fighting. That meant that they were now in civilian territory. Leaning against his scythe, Cade picked himself up off the ground. He crouched into a fighting stance as he felt someone approaching.

"You truly can see the sins of others cant you?"

Deathblade swung his scythe around, nearly beheading Moonstone. Karla quickly went intangible and phased through the blade. She hovered off the floor, keeping her distance from Deathblade.

"Give it up," she said.

"I'd take her advice!"

Deathblade ran a finger across his scythe as Iron man and the Sentry flew by Moonstone's side.

"You may be able to reabsorb this energy, but this armour still knows your next move before you make it," Tony said.

Cade sighed as he focused his energy.

"I see many things Karla, like the fact that you want redemption but don't seem to actually do anything to redeem yourself. Your time in the Thunderbolts wasn't enough, MORE IS NEEDED!"

With a yell, Deathblade fired an energy blade that swept his three targets away. The intense energy consumed the building in front of Deathblade and wiped out the apartment he stood in. Cade let out deep breaths as the smoke from the attack cleared. Moonstone and Iron man had been thrown aside by the force of the blast but the Sentry was nowhere to be seen. He collapsed to his knees, coughing as he fought back unconsciousness. But he knew that no matter what he needed to keep going. He had to stay the course.

Then-Days before infiltration

No longer could he see the sins of others. He wasn't Deathblade anymore, he was just a man forgotten by society. Cade Hunter, a man whose life was incomplete. So he threw himself into the fight. He had spent years under the fist of his father, now he applied some form of payback to men that were just as violent. Cade was a violent man himself, but cage fights against martial arts wannabes and thugs looking to make money acted as a good way of honing his skills and harnessing his anger into something useful. With an empty expression, Cade knocked one man out after another, the cheers of the crowd doing nothing to appease him. For while he was violent, Cade was a contradiction in the fact that he didn't enjoy violence. As his last opponent went down, Cade let the referee raise his hand and declare him the winner. This was his life now after the disappearance of Aeon and the rise of his apprentice. Those connected to Aeon were either dead or had lost their abilities and had tried to find some semblance of a normal life. But Cade couldn't find that, so he took small comforts where he could.

"Beer please," he said to the barkeep.

People offered to buy him a drink, but Cade never accepted it. He coldly rejected their offers of friendship and waited as the barman poured the contents of a lager bottle into a glass.

"Put that on my tab!"

Cade widened his eyes for a moment as he recognised the voice behind him. He turned around and saw someone he never thought he'd see again. Her hair was brown and tied into a bun at the back of her head. She was attractive, but she didn't have a model's frame, but her build was athletic. An oversized blue coat however had covered most of her body.

"Hello Cade, long time no see," she said.

"Elizabeth Reilly," Cade said.

"Its Elizabeth Jenkins now, but you can call me Faith!"

She was his rival's lover and wife at least in a spiritual sense. Sven had once joined his body with the woman he loved to save her life, that created an even deeper bond between the two. Though they would never legally marry, that didn't stop them or others from calling them husband and wife. Cade himself had envied Sven for the love he had for Faith, a love Cade had only given to one person in his life.

"What brings you to this neighbourhood?" Cade asked as he and Faith walked back to his apartment.

"I was in the city so I decided to look up a few old faces, Brute and Red Falcon, I mean Rick and Kyle have been busy with their hero work, Tito's now in charge of a big company and Lazlo's travelling again, but nobody knows what Gabriel is up to," Faith sighed.

"So you had to settle for me," Cade said.

"Its no where near as bad as it sounds Cade, you and Sven had a bond that not many people understood, you were…brothers in a sense," Faith smiled at Cade.

He hung his head low, looking away from the woman as they reached the run down apartment complex.

"You should try meeting Sieg, he's the inheritor of Sven's will, his adopted son," Cade sighed, opening his door.

Faith looked at the mess that Cade's apartment had become. Beer bottles and junk food had been spread out across the carpet, while the sand of a broken punching bag had decorated the side of the wall.

"Sorry about the mess," Cade said.

Cade himself wasn't the epitome of health. He was skinnier than usual, his hair was longer and he had grown a shaggy, sweaty beard. Faith sighed as she walked into the room, sitting at Cade's sofa.

"I did hear about Sieg, I still don't fully understand what Sven did to him to give him such power, or even where Sven went himself."

"Sven's dead," Cade said bluntly.

"So were you at one time, as was Lazlo and even myself, hell for a time even your parents came back didn't they?" Faith asked.

Cade rubbed his eyes as he turned his back to Faith. She was referencing many events from their past, which was strange in itself. He couldn't place it yet but something was off about this meeting.

"You think Sven will come back?" Cade asked.

"Maybe, one can only hope, but he's not here right now, if he was he'd save you from this," Faith said, motioning to the mess in the apartment.

"He had a way of wanting to save everyone, "no one dies while I'm here" he'd say. Sven had it right all along, its not about changing the world for us, its about the moment and what we do in that moment," Cade explained, turning to Faith.

She seemed slightly confused by the statement. Cade narrowed his eyes at the woman as he sat down beside her.

"Why did you come here Faith?" he asked.

"I'm here to help you Cade, you used to treat your body like a temple, now you look like a shadow of the man you once were," Faith explained.

"I'm still in the best shape of my life," Cade sighed.

"Your not!" Faith growled, running her hand across Cade's cheek.

Cade stepped back and squeezed his hands into fists.

"There's only one man Elizabeth Jenkins has ever loved in her life," he said as he ran his hands across the floor.

He was searching through the wrappers and rubbish, feeling for one of the numerous blades he kept close by. Even without his abilities he was still a fighter and still a tactician. That meant accounting for break ins if anyone was ever stupid enough to try and rob him at the door. But this time he had accounted for something else entirely, gripping the blade of a knife.

"She was sometimes verbally playful, but she never touched another man, she also only allowed her closest friends to call her Faith, and she and I were never friends but also…she had her name legally changed to Reilly to honour the only man she would ever love," Cade explained, tightening his grip on his knife.

Faith looked at Cade in confusion as he got up off the floor. Suddenly, Cade threw his knife at Faith, who immediately caught it between her fingers.

"WHO ARE YOU!" Cade demanded.

"Faith" sighed before she stretched her arm forward. Her arm literally stretched like a snake, expanding the hand and slamming Cade against the wall.

"The Intel was right, you're far too smart for your own good," Faith said, her brown eyes turning green.

Cade grabbed a bottle between his feet and flung it at the light bulb. As the bulb shattered, everything went dark in the apartment, giving Cade the opportunity he needed. He slipped out of his enemies grip and ran through the darkness, grabbing the knife off the floor and stabbing the intruder in the gut. Cade pushed the body to the floor and reached for a torch, one he deliberately kept on the coffee table for such an occasion. He turned the light on and gasped at what he saw. Sat on his sofa, bleeding from the mouth and gut was a Skrull woman.

'What the hell does this mean?' Cade wondered.

Dropping his knife, Cade went for his phone. He thought of who he could call that could relay his message to S.H.I.E.L.D. But then he began thinking of the implications of this one Skrull woman, walking across the street in the guise of Sven Reilly's wife. Cade narrowed his eyes as he heard the rustle of paper wrappers behind him, the sound a foot would make when it crunched against rubbish. Turning around, Cade threw the crumbs in his hand at the invisible intruder. With the man exposed, Cade slammed his fist into the Skrull, causing him to reveal his form. He then punched the Skrull again, knocking him head first into the edge of the table. Cade ran for his door, only for an arm to wrap around his body. He yelled at the top of his lungs, hoping someone would answer as he was pulled out of his apartment window and slammed back first onto the roof.

"We knew what city you lived in, we just needed to find the right place," a Skrull cackled as he walked towards Cade, bearing the form of Reed Richards.

"Now try to remain calm, relax and this wont hurt a bit," an Emma Frost copy said as she gripped the sides of Cade's head.

Cade grit his teeth together as the Skrull entered his mind. He squeezed his hands into fists and looked the woman in the eyes. Suddenly his eyes flashed red and a matching aura appeared over the woman's head. She screamed, throwing herself back and rolling across the floor. Her screams echoed through the streets in pure agony.

"Impossible, he was supposed to be depowered," the Reed copy said.

The Emma Frost Skrull returned to her natural form as blood poured out of her nose and her brain went dead. Cade immediately broke off into a run, swinging his fist at the Skrull. The Reed look alike elasticised his body, bending into Cade's strike. He then wrapped his body around Cade, squeezing him tightly.

"No matter, we can still capture you quite easily, it took months to replace the people on this street, no one's going to hear your cries for help human," the Skrull smirked.

Cade lowered his head, his eyes drifting shut as he gasped for air. The Reed Skrull loosened his grip and bought his face closer to Cade's.

"A good effort, he loves you very much," the Skrull said.

Cade's eyes popped open and he slammed his head against the Skrull's. He punched the Skrull again, knocking him into the air vent. With two fluid moves, Cade ripped the cable antenna off of the vent and stabbed the Skrull in the heart. He stepped back, breathing heavily as his bruises and self-destructive life style caught up with him.

"Impressive, very impressive, if I was taken in by all that garbage I would say he loves you, but the world we live in quite clearly says otherwise…don't you agree?"

Turning his head, Cade glared at a fourth Skrull, he was dressed in a black and gold uniform and unlike other Skrull's his eyes had a red hue.

"You've thrown our plans back, replacing Reed Richards and Emma Frost is now out of the question, but I think it'll be more entertaining to infiltrate and destroy an enemy with the face of one they love…don't you agree?" the Skrull asked, changing to Scott Summers as he smirked.

"GO TO HELL!" Cade yelled.

The Cyclops Skrull fired an optic blast, causing Cade's whole world to turn red as he was knocked unconscious.

Time became a mess and he would find himself regaining consciousness for only small moments. He saw other humans occasionally, Elektra, Mockingbird and a few others he didn't recognise. But eventually alls he could see was a cell of some kind. Most of the time Skrull soldiers, and the occasional priest would surround him. But more often than not Cade would wake up to find himself alone, his surroundings alien to the point where he couldn't describe them. He couldn't tell whether months or years had passed. His hair had been allowed to grow and scientists would occasionally cut his nails and trim small strands of his hair for their experiments. They fed him even less, keeping him fed just enough so that he still had the strength to breathe.

"Tell me, do you intend to replace every human on the planet? If that's the case then your incredibly stupid, what makes you think your going to win?" Cade asked.

He waited for a response, keeping his eyes on the door. It slid open, revealing a Skrull woman of incredible beauty. She nervously walked towards Cade, looking back occasionally. Placing a hand on the prisoner's shoulder she bought her mouth up to Cade's ear.

"Human, is it true that he has given you sight? That you can see our sins and forgive us of those sins?" she asked.

Her voice was gentle and it reminded Cade of a friend he had when he was a child. The Skrull woman stepped back, her eyes begging Cade for an answer. Cade sighed as he lowered his head.

"I can see, but one must admit to their sins in order to find forgiveness," Cade lied; he couldn't see people's sins anymore.

"Forgive me human for I have sinned, it has been six decades since my last confession," the woman said, falling to her knees as she put her hands together. "I love my people as he loves all creatures, I have prayed to him everyday even when the throne world, the world of my parents was devoured by Galactus, even when my children perished during the rampage of Titannus and my husband fell in battle with the Kree I never stopped praying. But I have insulted him in a way that I fear I can never take back. The Skrull are in need of hope so much so that in our desperation we have turned to a Queen that I fear has twisted his teachings to suit her. My queen plans to invade Earth, the home of the noble heroes, as you said she intends to replace every human with a Skrull."

"Please continue my child," Cade said.

"Out of loyalty to my people I helped my queen perfect a means to turn our own soldier's into human's at the genetic level, I took someone's identity and replaced it with a copy of another's, I have insulted the very essence of life that he had created. I violated a person's soul yet that isn't enough, I betrayed my own queen by working with the royal guards that seek to usurp her throne by replacing her with the true heir to the Skrull throne, the son of Captain Mar-Vell. I was just so desperate, our people need hope yet not the kind that the queen offers, not this violation of life itself," she explained.

Cade lowered his head even more and let out a deep sigh. Everything was as bad as he thought. But despite an imminent invasion of Earth Cade still thought of this Skrull woman in front of him. She was desperate for God's forgiveness so much that she was willing to believe that he was some kind of priest or forgiver of sins. Minutes passed with neither one of them talking, until Cade finally said what the woman needed to here:

"You are forgiven, he loves you as he loves all of his children…but there is still much more you could do to atone," he said.

The woman looked up at Cade with tears in her eyes.

"Thank you, thank you so very much, he loves you as well (gasp)" she froze as she felt someone grip her neck.

"Suit, disengage cloaking tech!"

Cade widened his eyes, recognising the voice. A man in black and purple armour appeared behind the Skrull woman. His exposed mouth was twisted into a sickening grin. He gripped her neck from behind, bringing his mouth closer to her ear.

"He is God right? Let me tell you something about God, God exists: but he's a coach potato, he cant be bothered to fix whats broken, he says do it yourself and when you do he takes the credit, the heroes beat back your invasion and they'll call it a miracle, Galactus destroys your world and they say "oh well, he works in mysterious ways"" the man cackled as an energy blade appeared around his arm.

"NO!" Cade yelled as the man stabbed the woman in the chest.

The armoured man pushed the wounded woman onto the floor, his cloak flaring behind him like wild wings.

"Pray if you'd like, pray and be met with his silence, god intended to leave us to our own devices and I'll make one hell of a disaster, one so grand that people will see that god does not exist!"

"DAMN YOU MURAMASA!" Cade screamed.

He was Muramasa, the man that tried to kidnap Sieg as a baby, the being created from the fusion of the souls of dead murderers and atheists, the face of insanity and chaos and the sworn enemy of Aeon. Muramasa stepped over the bleeding Skrull and flicked Cade's eyes.

"Cant see can you? You can't see people's sins anymore, its too bad I chalked up quite a few new ones while you were out," Muramasa giggled like a school child as he skipped over the Skrull body.

"This is impossible, your original apprentice betrayed you and gave his life to stop you," Cade said.

"Did he? What makes you think the boy was on target, in fact what makes you think my original apprentice died at all? But that's a plot for another time," Muramasa giggled.

He clapped his hands and a squadron of Skrull soldiers rushed into the room. They looked at the body in shock before drawing their weapons and aiming them at Cade.

"I became a royal advisor to quite a few royal households and governments, the Queen was just the first of many (and she was very good in the sack too)," Muramasa whispered into Cade's ear.

Cade snapped his jaw at Muramasa, who pulled his head back with his hands raised.

"Hey no need to get all feral on me, I mean come now, you didn't think that the Scarlet Witch had a complete psychotic break did you? That Galactus took the Skrull home world without a little push in the right direction? Its what I do Cade, I manipulate and implant ideas into people's heads, that's why these men here think that your out of your chains and that you've killed this poor, defenceless scientist," Muramasa explained, poking the body with his foot.

"You could never influence minds like this," Cade growled.

"No, but my work with Doctor Doom and the Scarlet Witch gave me a boost, she could manipulate the world and I could manipulate the people…right down to their genetics!" Muramasa chuckled.

"What are you talking about? What have you done?" Cade demanded.

"Random resurrections, people losing faith in heroes (though that one didn't require much effort), heroes suddenly turning against their teams (again something that didn't need much effort) and my personal favourite No…More…Mutants!" Muramasa smiled as he turned to Cade.

"Oh no…tell me you didn't."

"Okay I didn't, it was the Scarlet Witch and Doom all on their own, believe what you want to believe, but as you know things can be very hard to change back. You should also know that I have never had a regret in my life, not even what I'm about to do now!"

Muramasa clicked his fingers together and smiled as Cade's eyes suddenly began to glow red. Cade let out a scream as countless images ran through his mind. He saw many things, Skrulls replacing their very souls to become copies of Earth's heroes. Then he saw the Scarlet Witch alongside Doom and Muramasa. A moment passed before he saw the Scarlet Witch flying over her fellow Avengers, conjuring threats that had pushed them to the edge. He saw a Skrull changing into Cyclops, smirking over the dead body of Jean Grey before removing his glasses and making love to Emma Frost. More images appeared before him, including Muramasa giving pills of some kind to a businessman, who then passed them onto Nitro before he blew up Stamford. He saw Muramasa standing in the shadows, watching Captain America and Iron man fight relentlessly. Muramasa's laugh echoed in Cade's mind as he saw Muramasa killing countless men he didn't recognise before cloning their bodies in a lab, including the body of Bobbi Morse, AKA Mockingbird. He saw Captain America being shot by his own lover, then a Skrull invasion and the people cheering to Norman Osborn.


Cade let out a vicious roar as his body was surrounded by red energy. The energy twisted around him, forming the silhouette of an armoured warrior, wielding a curved sword. He shattered the chains around him as his muscles expanded, returning to the pinnacle of health they once were. Then he threw an energy blade, slashing the Skrull warriors in half. Muramasa however remained perfectly still as Cade focused his sight on him.

"My apprentice made me proud when he betrayed me even if it was for a pathetic shot at redemption. But you Cade, you Deathblade, well its as I've heard in a remake that recently came out…." Muramasa paused as an energy blade burst through his chest.

He casually looked at the sword and the man that had impaled him, Cade Hunter, the reborn Deathblade.

"You're the heir to my kingdom," Muramasa whispered before he broke into a fit of laughter.

Overcoming a moment of disgust, Cade pulled his sword out of Muramasa's chest and yelled as he swung his sword around. The energy around Cade continued to glow as he watched Muramasa's still grinning head drop to the floor.

"You've crossed the line Muramasa, and in order to change what you've done I'll need to cross the line as well," Cade said.

His fierce look was replaced by pity as he looked at the body of the dead Skrull woman. He picked the body up and took it with him as he flew into space. Then he let her go, allowing her to fly amongst the stars.

"The galaxy is filled with evil men, and I will purge it of all that corruption, beginning with Earth!"

Now-Outskirts of New York

Cortez let out a wicked laugh as he and his select few of the Squadron Supreme watched the mayhem unfold. Hyperion and Power Princess had yet to return from San Francisco, but Cortez had no doubt that they would return. He looked amongst his "heroes" all of them designed to his specifications. Tyrone Cash and Arachnophillia were welcome additions, but also pivotal tools for the rest of the plan.

"Every hero in America is distracted, very soon we'll be able to launch the final part of the plan," Cortez smiled.

"Then the whole planet will be ours," Tyrone Cash said.

"You'll have all the women and gangsters you could possibly imagine, then your pathetic life will be complete," Arachnophillia giggled.

"Bitch, you don't know a thing about my life," Cash growled.

"I know that you had everything a human should ever need and you threw it away for a juvenile fantasy," Arachnophillia said.

Tyrone approached the red skinned girl, ready to smash her into the ground. But Tyrone stopped as he and every other Squadron member heard a deafening blast. It was like a rocket, yet there was no flame as a figure landed on the building beside the Squadron. He landed in a crouched position, his arms spread out as his glowing gold eyes glared at the Squadron. His costume was a mixture of armour and cloth, grey diamond shaped gauntlets covered his black-gloved hands while armoured boots adjourned his feet. Grey armoured pads had spread across his blue shirt, which was worn underneath a sleeveless grey hoody. Completing his look was a helmet very similar to Aeon's, although this helmet exposed some strands of silver hair at the back.

"Wow, he's back in the game," Arachnophillia moaned as the new arrival stood straight.

"What? This guy's that punk we beat up earlier?" Tyrone asked.

Sieg raised his hand, squeezing a fist before he relaxed and twitched his fingers, taunting the villains to attack him. Tyrone let out a yell as he jumped straight towards Sieg.

'No more doubts, I know what I have to do, I wont cross the line anymore,' Sieg thought as he slipped into a fighting stance.

Next Chapter 19: Crossing the line part 2

Hope everyone enjoyed the chapter- more secrets will be revealed next chapter as a renewed and repowered Sieg fights back