Disclaimer: I dont own Marvel
Here's another update, which serves as a direct tie-in to Chapter 19 of The Hunt. It also shows possible future events in the continuity of my Marvel Universe.
Captain America: Rebirth of the dream
Chapter 4: Child of destiny
There was a moment in my life when I thought I was untouchable. It was before my experience with alcoholism, before I was intoxicated with the feeling it gave me. That moment was the Avengers, even before Steve when it was just me Hank, Janet, Thor and even the Hulk. I felt like I was the most powerful man on the planet. There I was, leading Earth's mightiest heroes, owning my own company and having a page on nearly every cover magazine and gossip column (like there's any celebrity that doesn't read the gossip). It wasn't just because of all the things I had, but because I was in control. Yeah the team had some disastrous missions but I was still in control. I could come up with armour designs that could make me as powerful as the Hulk in case he went rogue, subtly inject Hank and Janet with formulas that could depower them both. Then there was Thor, I had a sample of his DNA, I analysed it, preserved it and planned to use it to prove Thor's whole "I'm a god" act wrong. But even though they had their moments they were still some of the best heroes I ever fought with.
Then we found Captain America, Steve Rogers the poster boy, super soldier and hero all in one. I mean here I was in the presence of a guy my dad spoke about at least every week. Suddenly I didn't feel like I was untouchable. Sure he had the serum, but Steve Rogers was…is a regular guy. Me I'm the billionaire, playboy, genius, philanthropist and yet Steve was above all that. He didn't have the best living arrangements, financial situation and he wasn't as popular with the ladies as I was (still am really). When I think about Steve Rogers I don't feel like the most important guy in the room, I feel inspired beyond how I could truly describe. When Cap was leading us, fighting alongside me, lecturing me and even smacking some sense into me I felt honoured that I could call a guy like that friend.
Now, standing in front of the mirror and looking at my new eye patch I discover just how vulnerable I truly am. I sigh as the door opens behind me and I turn to face the woman I was dreading seeing; Sharon Carter, Steve's old lover and the woman that would have bared his child if not for Sin.
"What are you doing Tony?" Sharon asks, crossing her as she looks at me.
"Admiring my new patch, I think I might get more action than Fury now," there I go with my usual bravado, when are you going to stop that Tony?
"Funny Tony, look I know half of your old Initiative has been brainwashed and that some of your team mates are wounded, but I need your help to get Steve back," Sharon says.
I sigh again as I look back at the mirror.
"Society is standing on the brink of a planet wide riot, whole families are looking for their children and casualties are numbering in the millions because of both Deathblade and the Squadron Supreme. I've got Hand requesting my help with a Deathblade hunt and then there's the Infinite mansion, we've lost contact with Hank's academy…we're hanging on by a thread Sharon and the world's depending on men like me to come up with a solution," I explain it as softly as I can, without giving away just how on edge I am.
I'm basically telling her that now more than ever we need Steve Rogers.
"We've lost contact with Pym, he cant help us, the only mind I can think of who can help us is you Tony, don't tell me that your too busy to help me save the man you betrayed," I knew she'd bring that up.
"No one wants to see Steve back more than me Sharon, you have no idea how much crap I've got on my plate. But your right, Pym's struggling to protect his students and me with my super brain, I'm too busy doing what I did to get me in trouble, helping the government," I turn to the mirror again and lower my head. "Give me three days, three days to clean up this Deathblade mess and then I'll build a machine to help you get Steve back."
Sharon doesn't bother with the thank you and I don't blame her. I take a look at myself in the mirror and run my hand across my eye patch. Steve's going to have a lot of surprises waiting for him.
Michael Van Patrick looked at the Captain America mask gripped in his hands. He sat outside the room where everyone that knew Union Jack and Hellfire were now mourning for him. Though for Blazing Skull that included very little. Patriot was inside to pay his respects to both men along with his girlfriend Kate Bishop. Spitfire was probably resting her head on Black Knight's arm, crying for Joseph Chapman, a man that was once her lover. Michael looked up as a blonde haired man in a Captain America costume walked towards him. For a moment he thought he was seeing Steve Rogers, before recognising the difference between US Agent and Cap.
"You Michael Van Patrick?" John asked.
"Yeah," Michael said.
"Are Skull and Chapman in there?"
An awkward silence hung over the two men. John sighed as he took a seat next to Michael. He touched the shield resting against Michael's leg.
"Two good men dead, along with the new Miss America, where's her body?" John asked.
"We had no right to hold it, we sent it to her parents, they got no idea when they'll have the funeral. I broke the news to them, got spit in my eye and a punch across the cheek," Michael explained.
"But it didn't hurt you, you don't even have a bruise," John said.
"Doesn't mean it doesn't hurt, I've made too many mistakes, another example of why no one but Steve Rogers can do this," Michael sighed as he lowered his head.
"You got the shield from Bucky, the original Cap's partner and successor, me I got it from the government. Michael you were a better Cap then I ever would have been in this environment, they may say otherwise but right now the world needs men like Captain America," John explained.
Michael dropped the mask and got off his chair. He turned his back to John and sighed.
"Bucky Barnes is being held by the worlds most psychotic woman and Steve Rogers is stuck in time, Captain America isn't around to save the world. Maybe Sharpe's right, maybe this is a time for the world to save itself," Michael slammed his fist into the wall, gritting his teeth in frustration.
John picked up the shield, walking to Michael's side.
"Your dead wrong Van Patrick, the world needs a symbol, it needs hope, and yeah the real Captain America isn't here, so the world's going to have to settle for you!" John said strongly as he handed the shield to Michael.
He cringed slightly, lifting the shield onto his shoulder.
"Its heavy," he said.
"It gets lighter kid, believe it or not it gets lighter," John said.
Michael Van Patrick walked out of the mobile command centre; making his way past the tents the army had set up and towards the nearby construction ground. John watched him leave and then entered to pay his respects to his Invader teammates. Walking through the ruins, Michael found a pile of bricks to sit on. He dug his shield into the ground and sat on the pile.
"I'm here, come out," he said.
Michael looked to the shadows as a young man walked towards him. He wore a black muscle shirt with a baggy sleeveless blue hood. A pair of cargo trousers and sneakers covered his legs, while the bangs of his silver hair hung over his eyes. This was one of Michael's accomplices, Siegfried Wallace.
There are moments in my life when I have made mistakes. I made a mistake during the Civil War, I only just realised I made a mistake trying to stop the original Aeon from destroying that alien tech. Now I'm reliving another mistake and I wonder whether I should even try to stop it. It's a mistake so bad that we sealed it from Avengers records and did our best to forget about it. The day we met Muramasa and almost allowed him to turn Siegfried Wallace into his apprentice.
It started out like any ordinary day. Except this was a day when the original Avengers, minus the Hulk felt like paying us a visit. My Avengers were old criminals; the Scarlet Witch, Quicksilver, Hawkeye and the king of Wakanda the Black Panther. Tony, Thor, Hank and Janet were visiting to check our progress and just for a general socialise. At the time no one knew that Tony was actually Iron man, so he spent the whole day in his armour. While everyone was outside either sunbathing or cooking something on the grill, I was sitting in my office. T'Challa stood in the corner with his arms crossed while Iron Man was looking over the Avengers charter.
"I've gotta say Cap, you've done pretty well, but I still miss the team and I'm pretty sure Hank and Janet feel the same way," Iron man explained to me.
"But you didn't come here to tell me that your coming back," I said, knowing how Iron man's mind worked.
"Maybe someday but not right now, Stark still needs me plus I don't want to lose my bet with Pym," Tony sighed.
"Bet, what was it?" T'Challa asked.
"He bet I'd be tempted back into the Avengers first and me vice versa," Iron man said.
T'Challa and I both shake our heads before we both become fully alert. The perimeter alarms blare and I pick up my shield, covering my face with my cowl. Iron Man flew straight out of the window and I hear the sound of his repulsor rays. Finally T'Challa and I get outside to find a sight that shocks us both. The Avengers are being bowed to by a being I'd only later discover to be the true representation of evil, Muramasa.
Michael looked Siegfried in the eyes, holding a strong gaze that gave away his feelings of anger.
"What have you been doing huh? The whole world has gone to hell and you've been tracking small time crooks, Tigra told me about what happened with the Hood," Michael explained.
Siegfried sighed as he walked over to Michael.
"I had some things to sort out, I've been a wreck and I see that now. When Arachnophillia, Tyrone Cash and the Hood tortured me I began to see things in perspective. I had fears and doubts before and so did you, but now we can both say without a shadow of a doubt that we know what we have to do," Sieg smiled and turned to Michael, clapping his shoulder. "If you think you cant be Captain America, then go and find the real one," he said.
Michael widened his eyes for a moment before smiling.
"A lot of people are saying that he's not needed anymore," Michael sighed.
"Screw em, right now they're proving that they need something to believe in," Sieg said.
"Something to believe in? Your right Sieg, the people aren't acting the way they need to in order to get through this whole Squadron mess. I can help Agent Carter find Rogers but someone needs to restore the hope this country needs," Michael explained.
"I've got that covered," Sieg nodded.
"You're bringing your plan into affect now?" Michael asked.
"Yes, there isn't a moment to lose, which is why you cant afford to wait for Tony Stark," Sieg explained.
"I know that, I'll find Carter then and together we'll get Rogers out of whatever nightmare he's trapped in," Michael said.
"I know you will Michael, you keep a hold of that shield until you get it back to the person that should really be holding it," Sieg turned around and began walking back into the woods.
Michael looked at the shield, and then began walking to the command centre. He stepped in to see Black Widow working with some of Fury's warriors.
"Find me Sharon Carter, now," he said.
Reliving things that you know are going to happen can be difficult. But I don't stop them from happening, even when I know that I'll have to relive those events again. I don't know much about time travel, but Iron Lad's attempt to stop himself from becoming Kang the Conqueror taught me that one should never interfere with the timeline. I prevented my fellow heroes from fighting the original Aeon because I knew that it wouldn't affect the outcome of that mission. When I later met his predecessor, reduced to using technology I had no idea of their link. That's why I went along with Muramasa the first time, because I genuinely believed that this second Aeon, Sven Reilly was truly a warmonger seeking to use an alien prince.
The truth however is something I now know as I walk with Muramasa and Nick Fury. He claims to be the protector of an alien world, an alien world ready to invade Earth if their prince isn't found. Their prince, a mere baby child is the one that Kang told me to kill in order to prevent time from collapsing. Even though the image of Iron Lad continually switching between his two personas haunts me, I know that I cant alter this event. Though I have the power to stop Muramasa right now I know that things must happen the way they originally did. Muramasa's right in front of me, repeating a conversation with Fury that I've already heard six times now.
"We must recover our prince Colonel, not just for the sake of Earth but for his own innocence as well, Aeon will corrupt him in ways I can not even bring myself to summarise," he explained.
He's full of it, I know that now and I can't stop myself form glaring at the back of his head. A part of me wants to grab his head and twist it around, to stop him from performing the evil acts I know he'll one day perform. But at this moment I'm supposed to be ignorant, I'm supposed to be the dupe. He plays all the Avengers and leads them against a true hero that's trying to protect a child. That has to happen, I know it does.
We find the second Aeon; his armour is already beginning to shatter under the punishment of the Dawn ninjas under Muramasa's command. He pulls himself onto the Apprentice's flight platform and grabs the baby from his arms. This was the moment, the moment I realised that Aeon was a hero. The Apprentice kicked Aeon in the chest, throwing him off the flight platform. This was the moment when I knew that Aeon was protecting Sieg. He hugged the child and used himself as a cushion. He fell into the nearby woods and now doubt had all but destroyed his armour. Running with my Avengers comrades I see the Dawn Ninjas running towards the young man.
"I swear…I swear little one…I swear Siegfried I will not let any harm come to you," he choked out as markings on his armour began to glow. "I swear that from this day I will protect you, from all the evil and the heroes if I must…I will…I will…PROTECT YOU!"
His weakness faded and I saw a man protecting a child not for the sake of a mission, but because it was the right thing to do. This was when I realised that we were on the wrong side. Throwing my shield into the fray, I knocked the Dawn ninjas away from Sven.
"AVENGERS WE'VE BEEN DECEIVED!" I yelled.
We joined Sven in his fight, forming a circle around him as he approached Muramasa. The armoured man drew a sword from his back, throwing his cloak aside. As Muramasa swung the blade at Sven, I dived in front of the boy and intercepted the sword. I held my shield firmly in place, stopping the madman from moving. The markings on Sven's armour were revealed to be coming from his own body as the last bits of his armour fell to the ground.
"Powers of Aeon, guide of the spirits GRANT ME STRENGTH!" he yelled.
His body began to crystallise before shattering to reveal his grey and red armoured form. The gauntlet of his armour expanded as he swung his fist at Muramasa. I ducked, allowing Aeon to strike Muramasa's chest. Energy streamed out of Aeon's elbow, launching the gauntlet like a rocket. Muramasa screamed as the gauntlet pushed him into the air and exploded before his Apprentice's eye. Still holding the child, at the time I could only imagine Sven's face as he looked down at the boy.
"Thank you," he said to me.
That was then and now I find myself back in an unknown time period. It's the graveyard where I met Kang. This time he stands with a group that fills me with greater shock than I can imagine. They were supposed to be our students, now they look more like our replacements.
"Good to see you again Cap," Eli Bradley says.
He stands with his Young Avengers comrades, all of them dressed in the same costumes as the ones they represented. I see a man in a Kree soldier outfit and know that it's Teddy. Next to him I see someone in Dr Strange's costume, but with an Asgard helmet obscuring his face.
"You messed up again Rogers," Eli speaks with more disrespect than he had when we first met.
"You shouldn't be wearing that costume Rogers, it belongs to Eli now," a dark skinned girl, dressing in Sam's Falcon outfit stands affectionately at Eli's side.
"This is impossible," I speak my mind, causing Kang to laugh.
"We are the splendid result of the future Siegfried Wallace will create, he is the child of destiny Rogers, and the one that will create the single dystopic future we have all dreaded. In that present timeline, the supposed Mutant Messiah is being raised with the belief that Sieg is her enemy and she will kill him when she comes back. His death will bring about my ascendance as the protector of timelines," Kang explains.
"With corrupted versions of the Young Avengers to help you," I narrow my eyes at the group before me.
I know that if a fight breaks out then they could easily beat me. But I'm still not going to give them the satisfaction of making them feel right. Because they are wrong, I know that they're wrong because of how Sven looked at that boy. A man like that couldn't possibly raise a tyrant.
"For a time Hitler was a good man," Kang spoke as if he was reading my mind.
"He's in the past, Sieg is in the present right now, if he knows about his future then he can change it," I say.
"WHY STEVE! WHY DEFEND HIM! We are from that future, we ran away from that future."
"A future where Captain America uses a gun instead of a shield, and encourages his own flesh and blood to go to war too," I point at Eli and his son, disgusted by his new take on the Bucky and Cap duo.
"We grew up Steve, if growing up is a corruption then I wish we'd have stayed the Young Avengers," tears ran down Eli's eyes and I notice Cassie and Vision suddenly disappear.
"Its happening, time itself is changing because of him, there's no telling what'll happen to us in the next few seconds," Speed spoke hysterically before he too disappeared.
"You see what your inaction is doing Steve, you're the only one who can stop Sieg, you need to kill him in the past before he does anymore damage to the time stream," Eli explains.
I open my mouth to retort, but then I realise something. Smiling I begin to laugh, causing Kang and his Avengers to blink in confusion.
"Nice try Kang, nice try," I mockingly clap my hands, causing Kang to growl in fury.
I know now that Kang is trying to manipulate me. Eli and his friends learnt the hard way what messing with the past could do. They know not to change history and that's a lesson they'll carry with them for the rest of their lives.
"This is all a lie, maybe you do come from a future where Sieg's a villain and kills all the heroes, but I've got news for you Kang," I brandished my shield, ready to throw it at the time traveller.
"You are a fool Rogers," he growled.
"ITS NOT MY FUTURE!" I yell, hurling my shield at the conqueror.
The discus hits Kang in the chest, throwing him into a time vortex. Without hesitating I run after Kang, diving and grabbing him by the collar of his robes.
"Your drawing me out of my time warp somehow, lets see what happens when I piggy back on your machine!"
"NO YOU FOOL!" Kang yells and the light consumes us both.
"First things first, we're going to Washington, Intel's confirmed that that's where Bucky is being held, we draw the Serpent Squad into the open, while Sharon rescues Bucky and interrogates Sin into revealing how they were intending to draw Cap out of the time stream," Michael explained to the team he had assembled.
Before his team had been about inspiration, now it was about results. He called in a US Agent's old Bucky Battlestar, along with Rikki Barnes. Black Widow was an immediate volunteer, along with Falcon. Sharon also joined, being the best hope of bringing back Cap if Sin and her squad had all the equipment available.
"We stop Sin and her dupes, save Bucky and then bring back Cap," Michael said as he raised his shield.
Battlestar and US Agent nodded their heads, whilst Natasha loaded her Widow stingers. Falcon opened the cargo hatch for the helicopter, revealing a spectacular view of Washington. He stroked Redwing's neck before releasing the bird. Spreading his wings, Sam looked at the Justifiers marching around the White House.
"I just wanted to tell you Michael, Cap would be proud," Falcon said.
"That doesn't matter, get down there and help the civilians."
Falcon smiled at Michael's order before diving towards the city. Black Widow loaded her pistols and pressed a finger to her ear.
"All agents, begin operations to take back the city," she ordered.
Michael walked up to the cockpit, watching the other old S.H.I.E.L.D. helicopters airdrop Fury's not so Secret Warriors. The super human youths landed in different parts of the city, engaging the Justifiers and brainwashed heroes the Squadron Supreme had spread across the city.
"Do you think Sin is involved with this Squadron somehow?" Rikki asked.
"Not likely but we cant discount that possibility," Michael said.
"ALL RIGHT BOYS AND GIRLS YOU KNOW THE MISSION!" Nick Fury shouted across the radio. "You guys go in and get out with Bucky and Sin and whatever equipment they have!"
"Does that include relics?" Rikki asked.
Michael shook his head before grabbing his line. The helicopter hovered over the war museum, the place that Sieg's Intel confirmed to be the staging ground for the Serpent Squad's operations. The team jumped out of the helicopter, zip lining onto the museum roof. A Hydra agent burst out of a ventilation duct, aiming is gun at the ground. Suddenly, Falcon swooped over the roof, grabbing the agent and throwing him aside. Michael broke off into a run, leading his team to the stairway. He raised his shield, blocking a stream of bullets. AIM and Hydra agents maintained a tight defence of the stairway. Fortunately Michael's defence was tough enough to give Black Widow enough time. She pulled the pin on a concussion grenade and threw it at the wall. The grenade ricocheted and landed at the bottom of the stairway.
The concussive force of the grenade threw the agents off balance and gave Michael the opening he needed. He dived at the agents, knocking them out with swings of the shield. Sharon thought she was looking at Steve for a moment, despite his head of brown hair, Michael still thought as viciously and courageously as Steve could. He kicked an agent down the stairway and ran to the bottom. US Agent cocked his rifle as Battlestar cracked his fists together. Michael swung the door open and was immediately faced by a wall of bullets. He blocked the bullets with his shield, drawing a pistol from his hip holster.
"PUSH THROUGH THEM FAST!" he yelled.
US Agent threw his shield and fired his assault rifle at the Hydra Agents. They fell in droves, both from the bullets and the black and red shield bouncing across the museum. Displays were knocked down by the shockwaves of the vicious battle that had begun. Black Widow ran between two Hydra mechs, throwing EMP grenades at their legs. She then fired her pistols, dispatching several Hydra agents. Sharon kicked a Hydra agent in the chest, knocking him to the floor.
"WHERE'S SIN!" she yelled at the guard.
Falcon suddenly crashed through the front entrance, throwing two Justifiers across the floor. He flew into the main hall, drawing the fire of the Hydra mechs. As they fired at the flying targets, Rikki fired her EMP blaster, taking out the robots electronics. Sharon knocked the useless Hydra agent out and fired her assault rifle, mowing down several Aim agents. King Cobra jumped off the wall, tackling Falcon in midair. Sam crashed onto a display of eighteenth century firearms. He grabbed a musket and clubbed Cobra across the head. Eel fired a stream of electricity into Battlestar's helmet, only for the former Bucky to deflect the blast into a Hydra mech. Battlestar then backhanded Eel and knocked him into a display case, knocking down several displays of military uniforms.
"Get to the World War 2 exhibit," Michael said.
"Why there?" US agent asked.
"Cause its ironic!"
Viper popped out of cover, firing poison darts at the heroes. Michael shielded Rikki from the darts as Falcon dropped Cobra on top of Viper. Crossbones grinned as he walked out of cover, placing a nineteenth century minigun on the ground. He rolled the barrel, firing into his own allies. Michael and Rikki dived for cover as Battlestar and US Agent hid behind their shields.
"Shit, this is bad John," Battlestar said.
"We've had worst," US Agent muttered.
"You've had worse, I've been off the game for a while."
Black Widow flipped Death Adder to the floor, knocking him out with a single kick to his face. She turned to the minigun blazing at the World War 2 exhibit. Pulling the pin on one of her grenades, Natasha jumped off of a howitzer and threw the grenade towards Crossbones. The masked man quickly ran away from the minigun, but the explosion threw him into a WW2 tank. He got up off the floor, his vision blurred, the vicious bastard had a concussion. That only made things easier for Falcon as he flew the man off of the floor.
"Payback time you murdering psycho!" Sam growled.
He dived and slammed Crossbones into the ground. Rikki slammed a well-deserved foot on Crossbones crotch before leaving him to Falcon. Michael led the rescue squad through the World War 2 exhibit, knocking out or even killing any Hydra and Aim agent in their way. He clutched his head as he saw Cloud 9 standing before him.
"Abby?" Michael looked at the blonde haired girl in confusion.
"Nice try Black Mamba," Sharon said as she shot the illusionist in the arm.
Rikki then punched the woman in the face, knocking her out. Michael quickly recovered and kicked an AIM agent down a flight stairs. Leading his team, Michael walked down the stairs and entered a small theatre. Rikki widened her eyes in horror at what they saw.
"About time you guys got here," Bucky chuckled.
The former sidekick of Captain America had been tied to a cross, Russian and Nazi symbols carved into his chest. He had been dressed in his old Bucky uniform and the chest area had been shredded to show off the former Winter Soldier's scars. Michael narrowed his eyes at Sin, who stood smiling as if she had achieved something. But Michael's then drew to the person sitting, watching an old Captain America recruitment add.
"No, I killed you," Sharon said.
The allied ad stopped as distinct German music began to play throughout the museum. Falcon looked up at the speakers, the distraction allowed Crossbones to punch him in the face. Battlestar and US Agent jumped away from the theatre entrance as a Nazi mech stampeded towards them. The mech raised its fist, knocking US Agent across the museum. Black Widow aimed her pistol at the supposedly dead man, following his movements as he stood up. He revealed his uniform, decorated with medals and Nazi symbols, and smiled. His white teeth were framed by blood red bone.
"The Red Skull," Michael growled.
"Yes, indeed the American idea of shoot first ask questions later failed for Agent Carter," the Red Skull laughed.
He walked in front of Bucky, smirking as Natasha lowered her gun slightly.
"So you are the latest would be Captain America, I'm not impressed so far, Rogers had a little subtlety in his infiltration methods. Your but a child trying to play Captain America," the Red Skull smirked as Sharon drew her pistol.
"You bastard," she growled.
"What? Did you think that by some miracle I had a way to bring back your Captain?" Red Skull asked.
"You had a plan for Cap's body," Michael said.
"Indeed, I planned to use Miss Carter to draw Rogers out of the time stream and to possess that body and use it to destroy Washington. But with Osborn gone and Doom busy attending to his own matters I lack the support or the technology to fulfil my plan," the German explained.
"You really sent Cap back in time to relieve every moment of his life, why make that kind of risk when he could just as easily change history?" Michael asked.
"Because I know what kind of man Rogers is, as does Miss Carter and Miss Romanoff there. Even if given the opportunity to fix a mistake he wont take it, I'd wager that so far he's relived his Civil War eighteen times yet still hasn't taken Iron man's hand," Red Skull laughed at Michael's shocked expression.
"The Civil War, is was your manipulations that helped bring it about," Michael said.
"I thank you for the faith you have in me, but no, it was the contribution of a large number of things, the replacement of your leaders was one thing," a smile spread across the Red Skull's face as he looked to his daughter.
"What do you mean the replacement of our leaders?"
"You fool, you really don't get it now do you? The president in actuality doesn't have any power, it all falls to congress, and the collection of the corrupt, fearful and ignorant men that make the laws you so cherish."
"Congress, that makes sense, congress was pushing for the registration act for a long time, but your saying you didn't replace them," Michael said.
"Indeed, it was not I that replaced congress, you will discover it soon enough boy. That doesn't matter right now, what matters now is America's impending death," Red Skull said.
"Your wrong about that, as this moment a group of heroes are carrying out a plan to unite America and drive back the corrupt regime of the Squadron Supreme," Michael explained.
"And I have every bit of reassurance that they will succeed, the point I am making boy is that America, the dream, the ideal and everything people believe it should stand for is dead, its been dead for a long time," the Red Skull clicked his fingers as multiple Nazi soldiers appeared from their hiding places.
"You see we have already have a plan that'll finish off America and every other country," Sin giggled as she drew her pistols.
Red Skull drew a pistol from his holster and shot the theatre screen.
"Even if the real Captain suddenly appears, America will never feel hope from that outdated shield again," the Red Skull declared before he began shooting at Michael.
Michael blocked the bullets and stepped back as the other Nazi soldiers fired their rifles. Sharon and Natasha back flipped out of the room, whilst Rikki fired her blasters at the soldiers. Seconds passed as the heroes evacuated the theatre. Michael widened his eyes slightly as he listened to the creaking of machinery. A mech, piloted by Sin burst out of the theatre. She levelled her miniguns on the heroes and began to laugh hysterically.
"Bunch of idiots, you really think you could stop us like that?" she asked.
She pulled the trigger, tearing Michael and the trio of women apart. Falcon looked at the scene in horror, giving Crossbones the chance he needed to stab him in the chest. The other mech then fired its missiles; hitting the place Battlestar and US Agent had fallen.
"Those people truly were idiotic father, they never had a chance against us," Sin grinned.
Red Skull walked out of the theatre, looking at the remains of his enemies.
"YOU IDIOT!" he shouted at his daughter.
Sin re-examined the remains and instead of seeing flesh, saw circuitry.
"LMD's!" Red Skull growled.
"The perfect distraction, so we can walk right through the front door!"
The Nazi and Hydra forces turned to the stairway. Nick Fury grinned as he and many other S.H.I.E.L.D. agents aimed their guns at the Red Skull. US Agent stood in his black costume, with Battlestar beside him. Falcon flew hovered over the soldiers and pointed his finger at Crossbones.
"Don't think I didn't feel how much you enjoyed that, I hope you cherished the feeling, cause I'm going to cherish sending you to hell," Sam said.
Michael brandished his shield, a helmet with an A on the forehead. Sharon and Natasha both aimed assault rifles at Sin, while Rikki drew and twirled her revolvers.
"And they aren't alone!"
Red Skull turned to the theatre and yelled in anger. Standing at the entrance was Bucky, freed of his chains by Jim Hammond, the original Human Torch and his sidekick Toro. Spitfire also suddenly appeared, having ran throughout Washington.
"KILL THEM ALL!" Red Skull yelled.
'Once more onto the beach,' is a term I've heard in reference to a great battle. So I share that sentiment because I'm now full prepared for one last trip through time. I slam into Kang, punching his face again and again. Never, since the day of Erskine's death have I let out all of the strength that the super soldier serum gave me. My singular purpose right now is the destruction of this man. With every punch I see the enemies I have fought throughout my life. I bear my hatred for Zemo, the Red Skull, Korvac and every enemy on this single man. Moments of our history flash before our eyes.
I see Kang speaking with his younger self, putting him the path. I see myself enlisting and being rejected again and again. I see a young Kang creating his Iron Lad armour. I see Erskine injecting the formula into my arm and the Veta rays bathing my body. I see both Kang and I fighting, with the Avengers at my back. I see us together, trying to stop the Young Avengers.
Kang destroys the Badoon, then travels to a world that worships him as a God. I see him as Immortus, standing helplessly at the mercy of children of the Avengers. I see a joyful reunion, Iron Lad hugging Cassie and being patted by his teammates.
My life flashes before my eyes, but wait, what else am I seeing? This cant be, images of the future? Is this my future, or an alternate one? Wait, that boy Siegfried Wallace.
I see him encouraging Erskine's Grandson. I see him giving an Alpha Flight uniform to a boy I've never seen. I see him transform, surround himself in crystal armour. I see him lead Citizen V against a sea of villains I've never seen before. I see him laughing, being a teenager with young heroes and X-men. I watch him rush into the middle of a battle between the X-men and beings in similar armour to his own. I watch him cry and punch Cable across the face, then fight with a red haired girl. He's casting the X-men out somehow, expressing his hate. But why is he suddenly kissing one of them.
"What's happening?" I demand an answer from Kang, who looks at me in fear.
"This is impossible, he's changing destiny," Kang gasps.
"He is changing destiny, cause that's what he refuses to be, a child of DESTINY!" I yell as I punch Kang one last time.
Washington had become a battlefield, with heroes fighting villains for control of the city again. But in the midst of this fighting was an event that seemed miraculous in its nature. A portal opened in the park and two men rolled onto the grass. One's purple helmet shattered as his enemy punched him a final time, knocking him out for good. The victor stood and looked at the war zone in confusion.
'Is this the future?' he wondered.
Then realisation hit him.
"No, this is the present, I'm back," he said.
He looked at his hands and the rest of his body. Feeling his mask, he sighs in relief at the fact that he doesn't have to search for clothes. He narrowed his eyes at the battle before him and began his walk into the city. His country was on the brink of collapse, and the people needed symbols.
Next Chapter 5: Side by side
But first read Chapter 19 of the Hunt for Michael Van Patrick's gruelling battle with the Red Skull