MWDC: Part 2 Book 7:
Chapter 1: Unleashed
Anger is an acid that can do more harm to the vessel in which it is stored than to anything on which it is poured.
September 21st 2012, somewhere in Utah
Bruce Banner found himself standing in a strange yet familiar place. He was looking into a house through a sliding glass door, standing in the house's backyard. Before him was a living room, sparsely furnished with a slightly dirty shag carpet covering the floor. Sitting in the room was a small boy, no older the six. He was dressed in ragged, ill-fitting clothes and was sitting on the ground with his hands over his ears.
Bruce tried to move closer to the boy, tried to open the door and go inside, but it was locked and all he could was put his hands against the glass, helplessly watching the events unfold in front of him.
As he watched, two people came into the room. One was a woman, with wavy brown hair and brown eyes, wearing a white blouse and a beige skirt. The other was a man, roughly the same age as the woman, with shaggy brown hair, brown eyes and a mustache. The two of them were yelling angrily at each other, gesturing violently at each other. Eventually, the boy began crying loudly, catching the adults' attentions.
Bruce felt a feeling of dread come over him as he watched the scene unfold before him. He desperately tried to get through the door, even banging on the glass with his fists, but it was no use. He watched as the man stomped over to the boy and began shouting at him, grabbing his small arm. The woman began screaming as the man continued to yell at the boy, who was crying louder and louder. Eventually, the man pulled his arm back and slapped the boy hard across the face, sending him rolling across the ground.
Bruce began punching the glass, trying desperately to get through, but it was to no avail. As he watched, the woman grabbed the man's shirt, trying to pull him away. Anger growing on his face, the man turned around and slapped the woman hard across the face, sending her falling to the ground. Grabbing her by the hair, he slapped her across the face again. As he moved to slap her again, the woman reached up and clawed at his face, scratching him with her nails. The man stumbled backwards in pain, holding his hand up to the bleeding wound on his face. His face crunched in anger as he glared at the woman.
Stomping past her, he entered the kitchen that could be seen from the living room. Walking over to the counter, he reached for the knife block and drew out a long carving knife. Bruce began throwing himself against the glass door, but it refused to budge. As he watched, the man lifted the knife into the air and brought it down on the woman as Bruce's screams of terror mixed with the child's, creating a cacophony of pain and horror.
Bruce let out a scream of horror as he sat up in bed, readjusting to his surrounding as he shook the lingering bits of his nightmare from his head. He looked around at the small motel room that he had rented for the night. There were a few pieces of furniture such as a dresser with an old television sitting on it, and a poorly maintained chair. There was also a mirror next to the television, showing the dim reflection of the room.
Only instead of seeing his own reflection in the mirror, he saw a large, green, hulking figure. He had short black hair and bright, practically glowing, green eyes. His physique was bursting with muscles, and he stood roughly ten feet tall. Or at least he would, if he weren't sitting on the bed, the reflection in the mirror bending under his weight. The only article of clothing he wore was a pair of tattered, dark purple pants.
"BAD DREAM?" the creature asked, a smirk on his face.
"Shut up," Bruce growled as he threw off the covers and hopped out of his bed. The creature merely smirked at him as it watched him move around the room.
Bruce quickly dug through his things, throwing on the clothes he had picked up at a Salvation Army after he had crawled his way out of the desert. Thankfully, his wallet had still been in his pants, meaning he wasn't without money to pay for the black sweatpants, ratty old red sneakers and dirty sock, an old white t-shirt and a stretched out grey sweatshirt he now wore.
That hadn't helped with the other problem he faced however. Military patrols were everywhere, even out here, dozens of miles from the base. Bruce knew he couldn't allow himself to be captured. Thinking what someone like General Ross wanted to do with the kind of power the creature inside him seemed to have made him shudder.
And he seemed to have a lot of it. Even now, Bruce could feel the creature fighting to get out. He could feel rage in his belly, something that he was able to control but not truly quash. He took a deep breath after putting his clothes on, working to keep his anger in check. It did little to help.
"PUNY BANNER CAN'T KEEP HULK IN FOREVER," the creature's voice growled from the mirror, "PUNY BANNER ISN'T STRONG ENOUGH AND HULK IS THE STRONGEST THERE IS."
"I said shut up!" Bruce shouted, rounding on the mirror. Only now the creature was gone, replaced with his own image, bright green eyes staring angrily back at him. Bruce quickly took a step and took a few calming breathes and when he turned back to the mirror, his eyes had turned back to their old dark brown. Bruce wiped his brow of the sweat that had formed upon it and turned away from the mirror. He rushed to collect the few things he had with him and slipped on his shoes before making his way out the door.
The hot, dry air of the American Southwest hit Bruce full in the face as he stepped out of his motel room. He stood on the walkway of the second floor of the cheap motel, the only thing that he could afford. Looking out from the balcony, he could see the main part of the small town he had wandered into out of the desert the night before. Beyond it, the brown, dusty expanses of the desert continued on towards the horizon.
Bruce made his way back down to ground level, cautiously looking around as he did. As he did, he heard the sound of a large vehicle coming his way. Quickly, he ducked behind a low wall as a military jeep, painted desert camo, rolled by, the man in the gunner's position looking around as if trying to find someone. After a moment, the jeep passed and Bruce emerged from his hiding spot, warily watching as the jeep disappeared around a corner.
Bruce quickly made his way down the street, making sure to keep his head low and his eyes on the ground in an effort to go unnoticed. He had to get out of this town, it was already swarming with soldiers and he was sure they'd set up road blocks soon.
"HULK NOT AFRAID OF PUNY SOLDIERS," the Hulk's voice boomed in his head as he walked past a storefront. Glancing to his side, Bruce could see the Hulk looming over him in the reflection in the store's plate-glass front window.
"HULK SMASH ALL PUNY SOLDIERS," Hulk growled down at him, "LET HULK OUT AND HE SHOW PUNY BANNER"
"No," Bruce whispered harshly as he glared up at the reflection of the monster, "What we need to do is get out of town without attracting attention to ourselves. We don't need to bring the entire army down on us."
"LET HULK OUT!" the Hulk bellowed at him, heedless of Bruce's advice, and Bruce could have sworn he saw the window reverberate from the sound.
"No!" he shouted back, eyes flashing green again. As he did, he seemed to snap back to reality. The Hulk's image was gone again, replaced by people within the shop giving him looks of surprise and confusion. Bruce looked shocked for a moment as his eyes turned back to brown before he quickly turned and left before anyone else could react.
Ducking down a back alley, Bruce quickly looked around the corner to see if he was being followed. Seeing no one, he eased his way back into the alley, sighing in relief. Just as he began to relax though, Bruce's stomach spasmed with pain. Gasping in surprise, he doubled over as his stomach spasmed again while his heart began to jackhammer in his chest, feeling like it threatened to burst from his chest. His eyes flashed green again as his brain pounded against his skull.
"LET HULK OUT!" the Hulk's voice bellowed in his ears, as his whole body seemed to spasm at once. Bruce was having a hard time breathing as he fell to his knees his eyes turning brown again.
"Well, well, well," a voice said from the other end of the alley, "What do we have here?"
Looking up, Bruce managed to make out through his blurry vision a group of men approaching him. They were all of various ages and builds, and dressed in what Bruce would call stereotypical biker clothing. The one closest to him grinned savagely under his large bushy mustache.
"Looks like someone had a little too much of the good stuff," he sneered as he and his cohorts surrounded Bruce.
"Go…away," Bruce growled, trying to regain control.
"Oh tough guy here," the man with the bushy mustache, apparently the leader, mockingly said, "Listen buddy, this is our turf, and if you want to pass through it, you have to pay the toll. Understand?"
"Please," Bruce pleaded, bring his hands to his head, "I don't want to hurt you."
"You? Hurt us?" the man laughed, his cronies joining in, "You really are some kind of tough guy. Well, let me show what being a tough guy gets you."
He grabbed Bruce by his shirt and hauled him to his feet before slamming him against the brick wall. Bruce hissed in pain as he felt his control leavening him.
"You shouldn't have done that," Bruce informed him his eyes closed in pain.
"Oh?" the biker laughed, "And why's that?"
"Because you're making me angry," Bruce growled, opening his eyes, revealing his irises were glowing bright green, "And you won't like me when I'm angry."
A convoy was making its way across the desert, the trail of exhaust smoke and dust creating a dust cloud hundreds of feet in length. The convoy was made up entirely of United States Army vehicles, painted with desert camouflage. They were made up of numerous types of vehicles, mostly weaponized Humvees and armored personnel carriers. All of them were circled around a large sixteen-wheeler trailer truck, with the army insignia on its side. Behind the convoy trailed a dozen tanks, rumbling through the dust cloud created by the convoy. Along with the convoy, numerous attack helicopters and Ospreys loaded with soldiers swarmed through the air above. Even higher up in the sky, a gunship could be circling overhead like a bird of prey.
Inside the trailer of the truck, large computers had been set up, lining the walls of the reinforced container. A number of technicians, dressed in Army fatigues, sat at the computers, typing away commands or reading information on the screens. Sitting in a command chair in the center of the trailer was an older man. He had grey hair and a thick mustache, along with dark brown eyes. He had an athletic physique for someone his age and wore Army fatigues along with black boots. The markings on his uniform marked him as a four star general.
"General Ross," one of the technicians said, turning to face the general, "I think I've got something here."
"What is it?" he asked gruffly.
"I'm picking up a police broadcast from a nearby town," the technician explained, "Seems they've got some sort of brawl breaking out on the streets."
"So?" Ross asked.
"The report says it's a dozen men against one," the technician stated, a grim look on his face, "The one man is winning."
"Do we have any patrols in that area?" Ross asked.
"We do sir," another technician spoke up, "and they're reporting in right now."
"Put it on speaker!" Ross ordered.
The technician nodded before flicking a switch, the speakers connected to the terminal springing to life in a burst of static.
"Repeat this is patrol Bravo Nine calling in, do you hear us command?" the soldier called over the speakers.
"Put me through," Ross said as he picked up a microphone connected to the terminal. The technician nodded and imputed a command before nodding to Ross again.
"Bravo Nine, this is command," Ross said, "Report."
"Command, we have confirmed sighting of the target, he is tearing through the local police, and our men" the soldier reported before an explosion followed by a bellowing room came over the radio "Requesting immediate backup!"
"Request granted!" Ross replied before putting down the microphone and turned to others, "You heard them! We have the target now let's go get him!"
The technicians immediately went to work, transferring the general's orders to the other soldiers as the convoy changed course towards the small town. As his orders went out, Ross retook his seat in the command chair.
"You're not getting away from me this time," he growled to himself, glaring out into space.
A red jeep roared across the lonely desert highway, kicking up a dust cloud as it followed the larger dust cloud kicked up by the convoy a few miles in front of it. Two people sat in the jeep.
One, a young woman, sat in the passenger's seat. She had shoulder length blonde hair that she had tied back in a ponytail and blue eyes. She wore a white short-sleeve button-up blouse that was open revealing the black tanktop she wore over her slim physique. She wore a pair of kahki shorts and white tennis shoes as well.
Next to her, in the driver's seat, was a teenaged boy. He was about sixteen years old, with wavy brown hair, brown eyes and an athletic physique. He wore a red and black stripped t-shirt, blue jeans and red sneakers.
Noticing something, the woman stood up in the jeep and squinted her eyes as she tried to get a better look at the convoy.
"What is it, Betty!?" the boy shouted to her over the wind.
"I think they're changing directions, Rick!" she shouted before she sat back down.
"Do you think they found him?" Rick asked.
"I don't know," Betty replied uncertainly, "I certainly hope not."
"But we better follow them to make sure," Rick finished her thought with a nod.
"Yeah," Betty agreed, "I can't thank you enough for this, Rick."
"No problem, not like my old man would miss me anyway," Rick replied with a shrug, "Besides, the whole reason this happened to him was because of me."
A grim look settled on Rick's face.
"I owe him a lot," he stated.
"You can't blame yourself for that," Betty said, concern on her face, "That accident would have happened whether you were there or not."
"Doesn't change the fact Bruce got a bigger blast of…whatever the hell that was because he was saving my ass," Rick replied.
"That still doesn't make it your fault," Betty argued, before she put a hand on his shoulder and gave it a squeeze, "And I know that's not the only reason you're doing this."
Rick's face only became grimmer.
"We're going to save Bruce," Betty assured him, "And we're going to find out what they did with Ronnie."
Rick nodded, his face brightening.
"I'm with you, Doc," he stated with a smirk.
"That's good to hear," Betty replied, an uncertain look crossing her face, "Because I think I'm going to need all the help I can get."
A/N: Here's the next story in my growing pile! Huzzah! But in all seriousness, I'm a big fan of the Hulk and I'm very happy to be writing a story about him. I hope you guys like what I do with him and his supporting characters! Please review! Later True Believers!