Chapter 2: "Molecular Bondage"
Disclaimer: Resident Evil belongs to Shinji Mikami and Capcom. Street Fighter also belongs to Capcom. Alloy belongs to Cloud Link Zero and is a Marvel-sourced OC. I make no money whatsoever from this story and am only doing this for fun and as a gift to someone who's become a good friend in my book.
Author's note: Sorry it took me four months to write up a new chapter; I've had a lot going on in my life lately, but I am at the point where I am no longer letting myself be bogged down by it. Thus, I am doing what I do best, which is write fic for the entertainment of my audience. Before I start off, I would like to mention how much I am opposed to 's current purging of M-rated fanfics with adult content.
From a logical standpoint, it wouldn't be that hard to create stronger safeguards and proofs of age to prevent underage readers or account holders from accessing adult content on the site. Furthermore, it is also a violation of the universal right to freedom of expression that so many of us depend on when we go to to write, post, and comment on fanfiction. There are terrible things that can be and have been posted on the site, horrors of perversity and degradation that would appall even the most desensitized connoisseur of hardcore pornography, but that does not excuse mass purges of content based on the actions of a few degenerates. If 's tagline "Unleash your imagination" is to mean anything at all, then these purges cannot be allowed to stand, especially when there seems to be no method or motivation to allow account holders to challenge or contest these purges. It is a betrayal of everything "Unleash your imagination" is supposed to mean and stand for.
And now that I have said my piece, I would like to sincerely thank Cloud Link Zero for his help completing this chapter. This story is his idea, after all, and I am merely helping his vision come to life. In any event, it's time to begin chapter two of "Versus Love." Enjoy the read, everyone!
The young man who called himself Alloy woke up in a bed he did not recognize, in a room he did not recognize. It took him a few seconds to remember what had happened. That leather-coated psychopath Wesker, the Nazi wannabe M. Bison . . . Jill Valentine and Chun-Li – spring beauty, he idly thought to himself – being brought with them back to their headquarters . . . and falling asleep here, in this room.
Alloy got up from his bed and found a radio next to where he'd been sleeping. Idly, he turned it on and went browsing until he started to hear some hard rock. Then he found the volume and turned it up, as was his custom for fully waking himself up in the morning.
"Last night I saw that beauty queen / Watched her paint her face on / I wanna be that magazine / That she bases life on / I wanna waste her monthly blood / Wanna get some on my love / Wanna get some gasoline / And burn the house down!"
"She's got nothing to say / She's got bills to pay / She's got no one to hate / Except for me . . ."
As the song played, Alloy began to practice his katas, moving slowly at first and accelerating as his practice continued, moving against an invisible foe as though he were shadowboxing. It wasn't too long that he had to wait for someone to knock on the door, and he heard Chris Redfield shouting from the other side, "You mind turning that down?"
The song finishing anyway, Alloy turned down the volume and went to open the door and confront Chris. "Sorry about that," Alloy said. "It happens to be a waking ritual of mine. Nothing helps you fully wake up like loud noise."
"Loud noise is right," Chris grumbled. "Anyway, when you're ready, kid, get down for breakfast."
"I don't exactly know where you all meet for breakfast," Alloy dryly replied.
Chris sighed, as though he was resisting palming his face in irritation. "Jill will come and show you. Just get ready, all right?"
"Sure," Alloy answered and closed the door to clean himself up. After ten minutes of that, he got dressed in a pair of dark blue jeans, an olive drab T-shirt, a dark blue jean jacket, and a pair of brown combat boots. A minute or so of combing his hair later, and he was ready to go, just as he heard another knock on the door, this one softer than the last. "Hello?"
"It's Jill," the voice on the other end replied, prompting Alloy to open the door.
"Hi," Alloy greeted.
"Sleep all right?" Jill asked.
"Yeah," Alloy replied.
"What was with the music?" she wondered.
"My waking ritual," Alloy answered. "Nothing like some loud rock to shake the cobwebs out of my brain."
"Heh," Jill replied. "You might wanna cut down on that while you're here. We're not exactly soundproofed."
"Sorry," Alloy said, his tone a bit bashful.
"Anyway, Chris sent me to check up on you and bring you down for a more formal meeting with everybody," Jill admitted.
"All right, then," Alloy conceded. "Lead the way."
Once Alloy and Jill had come down to the meeting room, the first thing out of his mouth was, "Morning. Anybody got decent breakfast around here?"
"We're in a hotel," an imposing blond man in U.S. Army fatigues remarked dryly. "Enough places to find some breakfast if you're really hungry, kid."
"Hmm, good point," Alloy assented. "In the meantime, I'm sure you've got questions. I'll answer them. First, I'd just like to know who Captain Hair Gel is."
"The name's Guile," the blond man, who indeed seemed to have used a lot of gel to get his hair in its unique style, growled. "And I've been brought up to speed on you."
"Nice name," Alloy replied. "And you have? That's nice."
"Guile has worked with Cammy and I on several occasions in the past," Chun-Li replied.
"Hmm, questions," Crimson Viper remarked. "Like where that suit of yours came from, or where you came from, for that matter . . ."
Alloy's suit started to form over his hand, the bio-metallic cords then extending from said hand to hook into the flat-screen TV set. "What is that?" Chun-Li asked, starting to put her guard up. Guile also looked rather concerned, to say the least.
"Relax," Alloy replied. "It's another function of the suit; it can bond with not only metal but circuitry as well. You'll see what I'm talking about soon."
Indeed, they did see what he was talking about, the screen lighting up to show something rather horrifying. From the looks of it, it was some kind of metallic substance inexorably creeping over and seeming to consume a human body, being shown from the perspective of the human being engulfed. Everyone present, even the oh-so-hardened Crimson Viper, was aghast at what they were seeing.
"Is that . . . you?" Jill asked.
"Yeah," Alloy replied. "That was me. Just a regular kid named Lee Williams, with no clue what was happening to him and why. Turns out that thing you saw was an alien bio-weapon that had been jettisoned by its creators, and it crashed onto Earth – my Earth, anyway. An organization called S.H.I.E.L.D. found it and planned to study it, but it got interference from HYDRA, a massive terrorist organization with Nazi ties. HYDRA goons attacked the convoy that was supposed to be transferring the bio-armor to the S.H.I.E.L.D. Helicarrier, and it got lost in the firefight. That was when it found me, or I found it – we're not sure anymore."
"'We'?" Chris repeated. "You mean it's alive?"
"Yeah," Alloy admitted. "Sapient, too. Don't worry; it has no power to take over my body except under extreme circumstances – like near-death . . . which happens surprisingly often."
"So what did you do after it bonded with you, become a superhero?" Guile asked.
"Pretty much," Alloy replied, and the image on the screen shifted to him fighting alongside various other superheroes. One was a man in metallic red-and-gold armor shooting blasts of force from his armored palms. Another was a large, muscular longhaired blond man in ornate black leather over silver chainmail and carrying a hammer that he used to summon lightning from the sky itself. A third was an incredibly tall green woman in a white-and-purple leotard that stretched almost impossibly tightly over an impossibly curvaceous yet muscular figure.
A fourth was a smaller but no less powerful-looking blonde woman in a skintight black leotard with a red sash tied around her waist and shooting energy blasts from her hands when not using those same hands to pummel her opposition. A fifth was a man in purple armed with naught but a bow and a quiver full of arrows, arrows that struck true every single time and were fired at almost impossible speeds.
A sixth was a tiny woman in yellow-and-black who was using the insect wings on her back to fly into and sabotage the inner workings of the octopus-like machines attacking the city. The seventh was a lithe man in vivid red and blue with spiderlike patterning on the red parts swinging from web-like threads that he also used to clog the moving parts of the machine octopi. All the while, the man in red and blue moved with uncanny agility, slinging quips as fast as he slung his webs.
The eighth was a man who seemed to be a walking American flag, his costume blue with red-and-white vertical stripes wrapped around his waist, an American star on his chest, white sleeves with red gloves, and a winged mask with the letter "A" embroidered on the forehead. This man was the one coordinating the other superheroes' efforts, using a large discus shield with an American star on a black circle in its center with concentric circles of red-and-white spreading forth from that circle to the end of said shield to defend himself. It also seemed to make a good throwing weapon, one that always returned to him like a boomerang.
"Loving your country, I get, but that's just really tacky," was Crimson Viper's dry remark.
"Old-fashioned charm," Alloy remarked. "He was a World War II experiment in creating super-soldiers to fight the Nazis. Supposed to be the first of many, but a saboteur killed the guy who invented the formula, and since that guy was smart enough to realize what his work could be used for, he kept most of it in his head. Even so, Steve Rogers was a rallying symbol for the United States to fight against the Nazis and 'make the world safe for democracy.'"
"Sounds like a real hero," Guile commented.
"Who are the other bozos?" Crimson Viper asked.
Alloy narrowed his eyes in annoyance. "They might look like 'bozos' to you, but each and every one of them was and is a hero in my world and more others than I can count, so show some respect."
Crimson Viper huffed, while Chun-Li sighed. "They meant a lot to you, didn't they?"
"Yes," Alloy confessed softly. "The Avengers were an assembly of the greatest heroes of my world, even if not everybody there was willing to recognize that."
"Go on," Chris grunted.
Chris's blunt tone snapped Alloy out of his depressive funk. "Yeah. The man in the red-and-gold was Iron Man, a.k.a. billionaire genius playboy philanthropist Tony Stark. His company initially specialized in making and selling weapons, most of those weapons being invented by Tony himself. Then he got caught up in a warzone, captured by terrorists who wanted him to build them a weapon. He did it, all right, but they got a lot more than they bargained for, since he created the weapon to fight them . . . and that armor was the exact weapon he made.
"Over the years, he improved on the Iron Man armor, even came up with multiple custom jobs depending on the environment or threat he was going into or up against. He pulled Stark Enterprises out of the weapons biz and started turning toward using his tech to create solutions to the world's problems as opposed to just blowing them away with superior firepower . . . which not a lot of his old allies in the U.S. military or his corporate rivals agreed with. The man had his issues, big alcohol problem, couldn't say no to a beautiful woman to save his life, but he was a good man. . . . One of the best, even, no matter what he'd say about himself."
A small memory began to play out on the screen. They could see him jumping to the side as what looked to be a small missile just barely missed blasting the area where had had stood on. Transforming his arm into a giant hammer which he had absorbed from Iron Man and taking the trick from all the fights with Sandman, he lashed out at what looked to be a grey, much more heavily armed version of Iron Man.
A blue beam of energy struck the machine as it dodged his swing. Iron Man used the distraction Alloy had provided to collide with the machine and send them sprawling across the open field where they had been fighting.
"Nobody, I mean NOBODY, steals my tech!" they could hear the man shouting as he rushed to catch up with him.
Crimson Viper looked awestruck by the power of Iron Man's armor. "If you could bring him here . . . I'd like to pick Mr. Stark's mind for that ingenious designs."
"Don't even know how I got here, anyway, and I'm not even sure it's a replicable feat," Alloy dryly commented. "I will let him know that he's got a woman interested in him for his mind and not just his body or his cash."
That earned him a lot of chuckles. "You were looking like one of those lovesick schoolgirls, Viper," Chun-Li remarked between snickers.
"His suit impresses me," Crimson Viper corrected. "That's all."
"The one with the hammer is Thor, Son of Odin, Prince of Asgard, God of Thunder," Alloy replied. "Seriously, he is . . . except he got kicked down to Earth and stuck in a mortal body for being too much of a fight-happy, arrogant jerk. Odin wanted to teach him humility, so he stuck Thor in a human body and life, in which Thor developed compassion for others, to the point that he was eventually allowed to unlock his true identity and power. Of course, he didn't discard his mortal identity immediately, maybe because he was too attached to humanity to leave it so easily. My personal theory, he met a girl."
"Know this, foul villain, wherever you may hide yourself – the Son of Odin, Prince of Thunder will never relent until your wicked stratagems are put to an end!" Thor declared inside another small memory as his lightning crashed down upon an otherworldly silver armor that had been already severely weakened by going up against Alloy's armor, the successive assaults leaving it utterly inert.
"Whoa, that guy needs some downers," Crimson Viper remarked. "He's way too hyped for his own good, with that kind of power."
"It's Thor," Alloy commented wryly. "Just how he is. His speeches are kinda epic, sometimes."
"What was that suit you were fighting?" Cammy wondered.
"The Destroyer," Alloy replied. "Ancient Asgardian weapon, usually used whenever somebody needs to get in Thor's face but doesn't have the physical might to do it themselves. Lucky for me, the Alloy's not of this world, either."
"And Ms. Jolly Green Giant?" Chun-Li cut in.
Crimson Viper chuckled. "What's the matter, Chun-Li? Worried that you have a rival for 'Strongest Woman in the World'?"
"Her name is Jennifer Walters," Alloy explained. "In her day job, she's a lawyer. In her off hours, she's six-and-a-half feet and six hundred pounds of raw power. Thank her cousin Bruce Banner; he was doing research on creating a gamma bomb, but a kid named Rick Jones wandered into the test zone and Bruce tried to save him. He did it, but not in time to stop the idiots from making their big test. Shockingly enough, he survived, something in his DNA being unlocked by the excess of gamma radiation, something that turned him into over 7 feet and a half-ton of not only raw power but raw aggression as well.
"He's actually a surprisingly nice guy in both forms, but everybody's first response seems to be attacking the guy and that always turns up the collateral damage to eleven. He's tried to cure himself or find a way to control it over and over, but it never seems to stick for long and it doesn't help that the U.S. military keeps trying to chase him down so they can either contain him or figure out a way to use him. Lucky for us, Jen has more self-control in her Hulk form than he does in his; she just becomes really uninhibited, but she's still a nice lady."
"You forgot to answer what Banner has to do with her becoming She-Hulk," Chris pointed out.
"Blood transfusion," Alloy replied. "From him to her. She enjoyed it a hell of a lot more than he did."
"Come on, She-Hulk, is that all you can do!" a tall, muscular red-haired woman in a skimpy purple leotard roared at her rival amidst a devastated cityscape.
"Not even close, 'Skeeter'!" She-Hulk shouted back, before beating down her redheaded foe.
"Nice going," Alloy remarked inside the memory.
"No sweat," She-Hulk answered cheerily. "Titania's always good for when I need a workout."
"I can see why," Leon muttered, boggling at the memory.
"Lots of collateral damage, though," Guile remarked. "Do superheroes get away with that sort of thing where you come from?"
"Kinda . . ." Alloy admitted. "There's even a company whose main stock in trade is cleaning up after our fights. Damage Control, Inc."
"What about Blondie in the leotard and go-go boots?" Leon asked.
"That's Carol Danvers, an Air Force pilot before she got exposed to a Kree super-weapon that altered her biological structure to give her superpowers comparable to Captain Marvel," Alloy explained. "She took up the name Ms. Marvel, and became one of the Avengers. Lots of stuff happened between then and now, including her taking up a few other names like Binary and Warbird, and then she returned to being Ms. Marvel and to the Avengers. She's quite a fierce woman, and I wouldn't want to get on her bad side even if she is a softie at heart."
"What about fly-girl?" Crimson Viper asked.
"The Wasp, actually," Alloy corrected. "Her real name's Janet van Dyne, a socialite who used her family money to fund her boyfriend Hank Pym's research on reverse-engineering insect traits to help humans. He came up with particles that could be used to shrink a person to the size of an insect, which is a lot better than it sounds when you remember that insects can jump many, many times their height and have good climbing abilities. He also invented a helmet that he could use to communicate with insects by translating his human speech into insect language and vice versa.
"Oh, and another thing about the particles: They can also make someone grow in size, about 60 feet high at the safest extreme for a human heart. He used the stuff on himself and on her, albeit at her request, they became Ant-Man and the Wasp, and it was smooth sailing from there into the Avengers . . . except the guy had serious problems. They eventually broke up because of those problems, and he took up a few new identities while Wasp tried her hand at leading the Avengers . . . and was actually very good at it."
"The one swinging around on those threads and leaping about in that garish red-and-blue costume," Cammy requested.
"Spider-Man," Alloy replied. "You could say he's my mentor, almost a brother to me in some ways. He was the guy that taught me a lesson about the meaning of power, namely that the blessing of power also comes with the burden of using it responsibly. The reason he became a hero was that he learned that lesson the hard way, and he's been doing his best to live up to it ever since, not that it stops The Daily Bugle from calling him a criminal menace and crap like that. He takes it in stride for the most part, though."
"Game's up, Mysterio!" Spider-Man shouted within another small memory that came up, inside what looked like a South American jungle full of overgrown spiders. He picked up a small rock with a web-line and swung it like a hammer at nothing, only for it to make a small shattering noise that dispelled the jungle. The illusion gave way to the reality of New York City, also revealing that the "rock" he'd smashed into the unseen window was really a hologram-generating cube, which was now broken.
"Never did have an eye for illusionism, did you, Webs?" Mysterio, a man in a purple cape and opaque crystal ball for a helmet, grumbled before being taken down by a blow from Alloy, who used a piece of his armor to keep Mysterio trapped.
"How did he manage that maneuver?" Jill asked.
"He literally has a sixth sense for that kind of thing," Alloy replied.
"And the guy who thinks he's Robin Hood, but wearing the wrong color?" Crimson Viper quipped.
"Hawkeye," Alloy replied. "Super-skilled archer, taught by a circus of crime, seduced by a Russian agent into fighting Iron Man, eventually reformed and became an Avenger. So did the Russian agent for that matter, goes by the name of Black Widow, she and Hawkeye used to be a thing. He doesn't have actual powers to speak of, but he's a badass with those arrows, so it doesn't really matter that he doesn't have powers."
"Arrows are so outdated," Crimson Viper sighed. "Though he does have nice arms."
"And I thought it was Iron Man that held your interest," Alloy teased.
"A woman's allowed to look," Crimson Viper rejoined.
"I wouldn't want Ryu to meet this Spider-Man," Chun-Li commented. "It wouldn't be a pleasant experience for him."
"Why not?" Alloy asked. "Is he an arachnophobe or something?"
"Yes," Chun-Li replied with a slightly amused chuckle, remembering just how Ryu had developed his fear of spiders.
The image on the screen then shifted to a chaotic battle between superheroes and super-villains. On the superheroes' side were Iron Man, Spider-Man, Captain America, Thor, a man-shaped green hulk powering through his foes with his fists, and Ms. Marvel. There was also a woman in black, white, and gold with pink-streaked white hair with a harness that she used to generate shapes from what looked like pure sound. Fighting alongside her was a man in a black suit that made him look like a humanoid cat yet carried an air of regal dignity. Three other heroines were the Wasp, a brunette woman in skintight red and yellow with web-like flaps extending from her arms and shooting electric bolts, and a blonde woman in a black-and-white suit with tinted goggles and dual-wielding staves.
Another one among the superheroes was a short, almost feral-looking man in a yellow suit with black sides and yellow claw marks accenting those sides. His face was partially concealed by a yellow mask with black edges that flared out dramatically and white slits over his eyes. Three sharp claws extended from between the knuckles of his hands, which combined with his snarling expression boded poorly for his foe.
Completing the ensemble was a group of four in skintight blue suits, their leader being a man that was currently stretching his body in impossible ways to get at his foes. A blonde woman stood beside the elastic man generating what seemed to be invisible force fields, while a younger blond man engulfed himself in flames that he used to fly and attack his foes. The fourth was another man-shaped hulk, this one looking like he was made entirely of orange rocks, simply overpowering his foes with his fists.
Among the super-villains was a man in green with a five-pointed jagged star seemingly burned into his face and shooting electrical bolts at a rapidly dodging Spider-Man. Another one was a man in an armored suit with laser whips extending from his arms, whips that he lashed out with at an evading Iron Man that countered with blasts from his palms. The Wasp was helping Iron Man fight the laser whip-wielding armored man by using the maneuverability afforded by her small size to distract and disorient him with her "stinger" blasts.
A man in a white suit and death's-head mask fired dual pistols at Captain America, who blocked them with his shield. There was a quartet of thugs, the leader of whom was a purple-masked man in a green jumpsuit armed with a crowbar. Another of the four was an African-American man in green and yellow carrying a wrecking ball and chain. The last two were a blond man in white and red with oversized fists, and a massive man with metal armor seemingly bolted to his shoulders and a domed metal helmet covering his head. All of them were fighting Thor, who was literally whipping up a storm to fend them off with Mjolnir.
A metal-skinned man with a metallic wrecking ball and chain and an Amazonian redhead in a skimpy purple outfit with spikes adorning her sleeves were taking on the man-shaped green hulk. The metal man used his wrecking ball to smash the green hulk while the Amazon opted to get up close and personal and smash him with her bare fists. A blonde in white with a large gold diamond shape taking up her torso was shooting energy blasts at Ms. Marvel and the sound-generating woman, who were both firing back at her.
A man in a green cloak over a metal suit and mask furiously fought against the man in the black cat-suit and the quartet in blue, trading mystic bolts with flames and force blasts. A leather-clad Japanese woman with long metallic claws extending from every finger on her hand fought the man with the claws coming out of his hands. A black-haired woman in tight black pants and a skimpy black top extended what looked like glowing wires to attack the woman in red and yellow and the staves-wielding blonde.
"Stark!" roared the whip-wielding armored man as he lashed at Iron Man. "You are dead!"
"Not yet, Vanko!" Iron Man retorted as he dodged the laser whips.
"Wonder how She-Hulk's gonna feel when she finds out I beat her favorite cousin into the dirt!" the purple-clad Amazon, known from the earlier flash of She-Hulk's memory as Titania, shouted while she clobbered the green hulk.
The hulk merely chuckled unpleasantly. "Other way around, honey."
The metal man hammered the green hulk with his wrecking ball. "That's my wife you're talking smack to, Hulk!" he bellowed irately.
"I'll mount your head on my wall like the animal you are!" the leather-clad Japanese woman screamed as she slashed at the masked man in yellow with the claws extending from her fingers.
"Better than you have tried, Yuriko!" the man in yellow retorted as he slashed back with his own claws that had extended from between his knuckles. Both fighters healed uncannily rapidly from the wounds they'd inflicted upon each other, much to the surprise of those viewing Alloy's memories.
"Stay still and die, you goddamned bug!" the bolt-throwing man yelled indignantly as Spider-Man continued to dodge his bolts in a seeming frenzy of high-speed acrobatics.
"No, thank you!" Spider-Man rejoined. "I'd tell you spiders aren't bugs, but that would go over your head, you being a dropout and all."
"So who are the rest of them?" Chris asked.
"The not-so-jolly green giant is the Hulk I was talking about before," Alloy replied. "The woman making actual sound barriers is Songbird, once Screaming Mimi of the Masters of Evil and currently turning her life around for the better. The man in the cat-suit is the Black Panther, ruler of the land of Wakanda and my world's chief source of the extremely rare, and nearly indestructible, metal known as vibranium, which is also what his suit is made of.
"The woman in red is Spider-Woman, no relation to Spider-Man by the way, believe it or not, and a former agent of HYDRA. The man with the claws is Wolverine, he of the short temper – no short jokes, please – and the incredibly long lifespan, not to mention a longtime member of the X-Men. The woman with the staves is Mockingbird, an agent of S.H.I.E.L.D. and Hawkeye's wife and partner earlier on."
"What about the Blue Brothers and Sister?" Crimson Viper quipped.
"The Fantastic Four," Alloy replied. "The elastic guy is Reed Richards, a renowned scientist in multiple fields and the inventor of unstable molecules, which are "unstable" in the sense that they are incredibly adaptable to the form and abilities of their wearer. The woman with the force fields is his wife Sue Storm, a.k.a. the Invisible Woman because that's her primary power, to turn herself and whatever she's touching invisible. The hothead – sorry, had to do that – is her little brother Johnny, the Human Torch . . . and you can see why. The guy made out of rocks is Ben Grimm, whose credentials stretch from test pilot to best friend of Reed Richards to one-man demolition crew to superhero."
"What about the other bad guys?" Leon asked.
"The guy shooting electric bolts at Spider-Man is called Electro, a regular loser who got shocked so hard that he should have died but instead got electrical superpowers that he used just to be an even bigger loser than he was before," Alloy explained. "The guy with the laser whips is called Whiplash and he's got it in for Iron Man since it was repurposed Starktech that was used to destroy his village. The nut in the skull mask is called Scourge of the Underworld, who sets himself up like a vigilante doing what the superheroes won't but is usually nothing but a pawn for psychos like Henry Gyrich or the Red Skull or Norman Osborn.
"The Four Stooges are the Wrecking Crew, a bunch of thugs who got their hands on weapons empowered by Norse gods and used them to be even bigger thugs. Bonnie and Clyde with muscles would be the Absorbing Man and Titania, a pair of regular super-thugs who liked each other so much they got married, and Titania has a serious mad-on for She-Hulk, which might be why she was beating on the Hulk here, closest she could get to her. The not-so-ladylike lady in white is Moonstone, who started out by conning a super-villain-turned-mental patient out of his power source and who takes sadistic joy in screwing with people's heads for her own benefit.
"The guy in the cloak and armor is Doctor Doom, dictator of the country of Latveria and archenemy of the Fantastic Four. Why? He blames Reed Richards for his face getting all messed up in a project he should have thought twice about to begin with. Alas, he dodges responsibility for his own actions as well as any regular politician, and he's since dedicated his entire life to screwing over Richards. The woman with blades for fingers is Lady Deathstrike, who really has it in for Wolverine for reasons I'd rather not go into right now. She of the tight pants and energy wire is Skein, who is not quite an archenemy to Spider-Woman though she'd probably like to be."
"And why are you all fighting?" Guile questioned.
"Those super-villains? They're the Sinister Legion," Alloy replied. "All brought together to destroy their enemies – us." He closed his eyes for a moment before going on. "This is where it gets really nasty."
The image on the screen shifted this time to a luminescent Doctor Doom, crowing over the unconscious frames of defeated heroes and villains alike. "None of you! None of you could grasp my true aim! Nor my true power! And now you will all bow down to Doom – or you will all be doomed!"
"Shut up . . ." growled a familiar voice, and it didn't take long for the viewers to realize that it was Alloy's voice, the image rising in tune with the young man himself struggling to his feet. "I've heard it all before. The same grandiose crap all you 'big-time super-villains' love spewing. You're still gonna lose. Just like you always do, and then you're gonna go home crying like a bitch . . . just like you always do."
"Insolent child!" Doctor Doom roared furiously. "How dare you speak to your superior with such disrespect!"
"I don't see anything worth respecting," Memory-Alloy snarled. "Just another egotistical dickhead who really needs an ass-kicking. And it falls to me, it seems."
"Doom, you son of a bitch!" was Electro's outraged cry as electrical energy lashed out wildly from him, presumably him juicing up to strike out at Doom. Before the fight could be joined, however, the screen fizzled out in bright light, which everyone watching presumed to be simply because of Electro's power output. When the memory clarified itself again, Doom was glaring furiously at Memory-Alloy, his eyes literally glowing with wrath and Electro just as unconscious as the rest of the heroes and his fellow villains.
"You dare!" the would-be master of the world roared. "You dare think you can steal the power that is rightfully mine?"
"Wasn't yours to begin with," Memory-Alloy retorted as hellish storm clouds covered the sky, an ominous humanoid shadow starting to form inside those clouds. "And now look what you've done. We're all going to die here . . . unless I stop you."
"Even with the Uni-Power, your childish mind is no equal to mine!" Doom protested irately. "Your strength of will is nothing compared to mine! You will fall! Uni-Power or not!"
"Let's see about that . . ." Memory-Alloy replied with grim resignation, and then the screen fizzled out in bleak whiteness.
"My memory isn't so clear after that," Alloy admitted. "I remember well enough, though, that Doom stole the power of a cosmic devourer of worlds known as Galactus and the Sinister Legion was just a red herring to keep us distracted from realizing what he was really up to. As you might have seen, Electro attempted to strike back at Doom for screwing him over, but Doom used his power to turn Electro's power back on me. Bastard knew my weakness is that my whole body is essentially a huge lightning rod now thanks to the Alloy. The armor nearly overloaded itself again trying to absorb the output, so the Uni-Power had to intervene to save my life again and help me stop Doom.
"It wasn't my first time with it, actually, but I'd presumed it was a one-time deal. Turns out absorbing Electro's blast caused what remnants of the power I had left inside me to act up to keep me alive and give me a boost against Doom. Even so, it nearly tore me apart from the inside . . . I still held on long enough to finish Doom, and that was when I bit it, too. When we both died, it caused the powers we were using to dissipate, turning Galactus's attention away from Earth, at least for that time – and the next thing I knew, I was in the mountains in just my underwear facing off against some decaying wolves."
One last memory began to play out on the screen.
Alloy was looking down at the smoking husk that was Doom's armor. They had both kept absorbing the Power Cosmic that the villain had tried to steal from the World Eater itself, but Alloy had outwitted him. Once he thought he absorbed enough energy, he forced all the energy he absorbed into him, essentially overloading the man like he tried to do to him.
"Failure is beneath Doom!" was the last thing he heard the villain cry out before a blast of white knocked Alloy back. Now, the man known as Victor Von Doom was dead, ironically by the power he sought so ardently.
Alloy just shook his head at the scene. "Told you."
Just then, he clutched his abdomen as his body convulsed violently. After that intense backlash, all the power Doom released just got sent inside of him. Uni-Power and Cosmic Power, he had them both in spades now, and it was destroying him from the inside out.
The assembled heroes finally began to stand up and noticed that Doom was gone and Alloy was the only one left. Spider-Man began to walk up to him to congratulate him, but he put up his hand to stop him before coughing violently, willing the Alloy back over his face so the blood wouldn't get in the way.
This had gotten everyone's attention and the resident geniuses all swarmed towards him to give him medical attention before he said the one thing that shook them to the core.
"Guys . . . I can't. I'm a goner. There's too much energy inside of me. I can't contain it all. I have to let it out, draw Galactus away from here. I . . . I'm sorry. Looks like I won't be heading home with you guys."
With the helmet back on, they couldn't see the grim grin he was giving them, but the proverbial light bulb began to go off in everyone head before they all started turning away slightly. They had all lost someone dear at some point, and now they were all about to lose another friend.
Captain America walked up to him and spoke clearly, his emotions masked. "Young man. You may not have let us know who you are, but we are all in agreement that it doesn't matter. You took on your mantle to defend others in need. You're defending us now to your dying breath. Please know that for what you did today, you will always be remembered by all of us. Godspeed, Soldier."
Alloy chuckled a bit as the greatest hero of them all actually saluted him. "Hey Cap. Last request. Can I give the rallying call?" he asked.
The Captain looked at him for a brief second, before smiling. "Of course. You've more than earned it."
Alloy stood up straight, despite the intense pain of feeling his body breaking down slowly. He looked one last time at those he called comrades and friends. Some of them were crying, others were sad, some couldn't show any emotion due to masks or helmets preventing that from being seen.
"It's been a wild ride. See ya later."
He looked down at his hands before it began to glow an intensely bright white.
"Avengers . . . ASSEMBLE!"
With that shout, he leapt off the ground and used the new power inside of him as a makeshift jet pack, flying higher and higher into the sky. He could see the clouds before breaking through them. It wasn't long before he was in space, among the stars.
He didn't stop till he was a good distance away from Earth. Then he called forth every single bit of power inside of him.
"You wanted this so goddamn badly? THEN FUCKING TAKE IT BACK!"
He released it all, every single bit of energy that had accumulated inside of him. He became the equivalent of a white supernova, releasing the energy out into space, where it would harmlessly drift away, back to its master a few Galaxies away.
With that, he was done. He had nothing left. He couldn't move, he could barely breathe, let alone think. The backlash from the explosion sent him drifting back towards the Earth and he had a front-row seat to what was normally reserved for astronauts.
"Beautiful . . ." he thought to that mixture of colors for the planet he sacrificed himself for. The screen then went black as he slowly closed his eyes just before entering the atmosphere.
"Kid . . ." It was at that moment that Guile spoke, and he sounded very earnest. "You're a real hero. I don't say that lightly, but you are. Takes a lot of guts to die not just for your country, but for your entire world."
"Thanks," Alloy responded, slightly embarrassed.
"Why go so far?" Cammy asked.
"Something personal," Alloy replied, and the screen cleared into an image of a massive apartment fire, seen through his memories. The Alloy in the memory had been desperately trying to reach a frightened child trapped in the burning – and collapsing – room.
"I'm coming!" Memory-Alloy shouted. "Don't be scared! It'll be ok!"
The child in the memory hesitantly reached for Memory-Alloy, as the bio-armored hero kept making way to her. Unfortunately, it wasn't in time for them to escape before the apartment collapsed on them entirely, the roof and the ceiling both caving in. Fire and pain were all that registered in the memory, and then darkness . . . darkness that gave way to firefighters desperately pulling the rubble off, trying to find survivors.
"The girl . . . what happened to her?" Memory-Alloy asked.
The lead firefighter looked at Memory-Alloy with unvarnished sadness in his expression. "She . . . she didn't make it . . ."
"What do you mean, she didn't make it?" Memory-Alloy exploded, having forgotten the pain in his limbs in a rush of grief-fueled rage.
"We did all we could!" the firefighter protested. "We're just human! You're supposed to be a superhero! How come you couldn't save her?"
With that question, the rage inside Memory-Alloy had been snuffed out completely, replaced by terrible self-hatred. "You're right," the Alloy in the memory muttered. "You're right . . . how come I couldn't save her?"
Crimson Viper did not consider herself a very sentimental woman. She in fact thought herself quite the hard-assed bitch, but when she wasn't on the job, she had a daughter named Lauren that she doted on with every fiber of her being. The thought of not being able to protect her, particularly if one of her enemies came after Lauren to get to her kept her up at night sometimes. Having those fears brought up by Alloy's memory made her grateful for tinted sunglasses; just thinking on it again, and here of all places, was enough to bring tears to her eyes.
Chun-Li, Cammy, and Jill looked at Alloy with undisguised sorrow, and Chris, Leon, and Guile looked rather heartbroken themselves. All of them had all-too-vivid memories of those they couldn't save; Chris and Jill had the entirety of Raccoon City and most of their comrades in S.T.A.R.S., Guile had his old partner Charlie Nash, Chun-Li had her father, Cammy had her fellow Dolls, and Leon had a few partners he'd lost himself. The undisguised grief on Alloy's face as that horrid memory played out on the screen his armor was wired into had made them all remember their old losses.
"That was why," Alloy whispered ruefully. "I wasn't going to let an entire world end up like that little girl. I wasn't going to let the world die like I let that little girl die. I wasn't going to fail the world, my world, the way I failed her . . . if I had to die for that, so be it."
"You're a better man than I gave you credit for," Crimson Viper quietly admitted.
"I think that's a unanimous opinion here," Leon remarked dryly, but with genuine respect in his tone.
"Thanks for the praise, but I'm still hungry," Alloy dryly stated.
"Would someone like to escort this kid to somewhere he can eat?" Guile wondered.
"I'll do it," Jill and Chun-Li said at pretty much the same time, as Alloy withdrew the bio-metal wires from the flat-screen he'd been using to visualize his memories for them.
Cammy chuckled. "Sweet on him, aren't you?" she quietly observed to Chun-Li, a mischievous smirk on her face. "A little young, but you could do worse."
Chun-Li blushed at Cammy's words, but Guile spoke up. "Wouldn't do much harm to have you both go with him. Better security that way."
"Then it's settled," Jill said, turning to Alloy. "I happen to know a place . . ."
"So do I," Chun-Li interceded. "But why don't we let you see them both and then you can decide where you want to eat?"
Alloy let out a brief humored chuckle. "Thanks for the consideration."
End Notes: All right, so this chapter turned out to be nearly entirely exposition on Alloy's past in the Marvel Universe. All the same, it was necessary to introduce him more fully to the readership here, and now that that's over with, we can get to the good stuff – namely, him making "friends" with Chun-Li and Jill Valentine. Important questions remain, though, like how will the others react to his burgeoning bonds with both of them, how will Alloy himself adjust to his new world, and has everyone heard the last of M. Bison and Albert Wesker? (Last one's rhetorical.) In any event, I will endeavor not to take as long with the third (and presumably final) chapter as I did with this one.
By the way, the song lyrics used here come from "Gasoline" by the band Seether. Since this sort of thing is also being censured by this site, it gives me a bit of personal stake in this ongoing fight against the encroachment on our creative freedoms. All the same, ficcers, I exhort you all to stay strong and never give in!