Though your hands may bleed,
And your body may lie broken,
The rage you feel,
Will consume you and destroy you
Let this rage inside you die.
Every storm must soon give way.
Raise your head up high
Raise your head up high
So the heavens hear you cry
Light the brightest fire,
From the highest mountain,
So the whole world knows,
That your spirit can't be broken...
~Resolution – VNV Nation
I saw you cry today
The pain may fill you
I saw you shy away
The pain will not kill you
It has to end
Living in your head
Without anything to numb you
Living on the edge
Without anything to numb you
It has to end to begin...
~Numb – Sia
Chapter 47: The Rage Inside
The rage inside of him was building.
It was building at an alarming rate and the anguish had caught him off guard. It struck him in such a terrible way that he had dropped the tablet he had held, the tightening in his chest growing. It clattered to the tiled floor, the screen cracking in one large spiderweb that rendered the machine useless. It had cut off the signal he had received from his wife's bracelet, indicating that she was in trouble.
He took in a gulping breath as he raised a hand to his chest. There was something he had not been aware of on a conscience level- a tether of some kind within his mind that was linked to someone he cared for. It had suddenly snapped and the loss of it could be felt.
The Other Guy was raging beneath surface.
Something had happened to Ana's mother. Something that had cut the link among the family, among the Pack. He could feel the others: Tony, Thor, Jenn, Pepper, and – more importantly – his wife, who was in current danger. Yet Sido was no where among that strange mental link. He had not even been aware of feeling such a thing aside from Ana. Had Ana somehow managed to link all of them together on some telepathic level? How had he not been aware of it before now?
The door to the his lab had swished open and Bruce glanced up at the sound of it, his breath coming in huge, gulping, gasps. Tony Stark had staggered in, his right hand clutching the glowing orb of the arc reactor in his chest, mimicking the same gasping breaths that Bruce was. His hazel eyes had locked with the green orbs of Bruce Banner and the communication that had passed between them went unspoken. They both knew that Sido was dead.
"Get out... of here," said Tony, struggling to stay upright as the anguish grew. Through their familial link, they could feel the piercing sadness grow ten fold as Jenn's emotions rippled through all of them. She had felt her sister's loss the strongest of all.
"Go!" he cried out as he winced, feeling the shock and then the sadness from Pepper's emotions. She was a smart woman. She could figure out exactly what was going on with all of them. "Bruce, get out of here! You're going green!" He stumbled forward and nearly collided with a nearby counter that held various instruments used for the lab. "Go and... f-find my sister! Keep her safe! I'll be right behind you!"
Bruce did not need telling a third time and he was staggering out of the lab and toward the nearest stairwell. Everything on this floor had been made to withstand the Other Guy's attempts at smashing things to pieces. He had to get to a level that was not made in such a way...
He struggled down the steps, each floor passing with the anguish in his heart increasing. The Other Guy was yearning to be released. He had to find his woman and his children and keep them safe. It was the moment he made it down to the floor below his own apartments that he finally felt it was time. He knew Tony would replace what was needed. He clutched his chest as he struggled through the guest apartment, staggering against several pieces of furniture, before he finally let loose a bellowing roar...
Captain America's heart was pounding with each passing moment.
It wasn't hard to see why.
Three months earlier, he had been on a mission to find the Abomination in a small town known as Lead, South Dakota. He had found nothing of use save for a few members of the guard who had indicated a man of scientific background who had paid the monster a visit in the Homestake. The man had not been registered officially when he had paid a visit. Which meant that there had to be some sort of bribery involved. There were several changes in staff since then and the ones who had worked to guard the monster the day that man had paid a visit were no where to be found. False aliases night have been used. However, all of them had checked out as verified in the US Registry as people of rank in the military before being pronounced as officially dead within the last couple of months. If they were truly dead or gone missing, they were still trying to find out.
The Abomination had gone missing and there was nothing tying him with other people to his disappearance. He had reached a dead-end. He had no other choice but to return to SHIELD with what little info he had procured.
Cut to present time and Steve Rogers was presented with the task of keeping an eye on one Jane Foster. Apparently, she had found an alien being who bore eerily similar characteristics to a current member of the Avengers. One who was searching for a missing kin of his. At the moment, they had been called upon by members of SHIELD who were taking on a particular monster that the Captain had searched for.
The Abomination had revealed his current location and he had within his grasp one Anamaria Banner. This was just going to hell in a hand basket...
Captain America glanced down at Hawkeye and then Black Widow, who were piloting the plane that was taking them to Midtown Manhattan. It was an eerie how similar this jet ride was to the one seven months earlier when the Chitauri had attacked this very same place...
Swallowing the tightness in his throat, he glanced back at their charges. Jane Foster was sitting in a seat beside the man who called himself Erai. He was looking tense at the moment and the Captain could see the glowing red veins in the man's neck through the frazzled waves of his dark hair. He was tall and lean and looked every bit as nonchalant as Cin did in her quiet state. However, the Captain had seen the video footage of what this man could turn into. The ten foot tall, crimson-skinned, monstrosity gave Cin a run for her money. There was no doubt this alien was a member of the race that Cin was. Cin looked like a watered down version of the real thing considering she was part of a human. Captain America couldn't help the foreboding that filled him. He wondered if the alien would be able to hold his own against the Abomination. He prayed to the heavens above that they would find a way out of this mess. He only knew it was a matter of time before the Hulk would emerge and followed closely behind by Iron Man.
Would this be a fight the Avengers could win? He hoped so...
There had been darkness for so long...
He could barely remember a time when he had seen the light and those had been the memories of his ancestors.
They had always remained hidden within the bowels of their home world. The only light they had had been the light of the magma that flowed up from within the core of their planet. It had warmed them. It gave energy and life. However, it was not the light of their home sun. They had lost that generations ago when the Chitauri had attacked them and the Asgardians had not heeded their call for help.
It was not the Asgardians' fault.
The Chitauri's technology had disrupted the bifrost of their own planet. The message had been sent too late and, after all the devastation and the loss of lives, all that the ancestors in power at that time could do was use the Forbidden Stone in trying to seal away the evil that had descended upon them. That yellow gem, which had been placed with the Pyragians in trying to protect it from all those who sought its power, had been used to pull the realm of Pyragia and the evil away from the Nine Realms in an effort to protect other lives. Their realm had been cast into a separate realm of darkness, a separate reality from the time and space of the Nine Realms.
There they had remained for the last several millenia.
Until one of their own, a Lyttan woman by the Erin, had found a way out. She had been a direct descendant the Olympian Lytta. A warrior in her own right. A beloved sister and daughter. One of the two heirs to the throne of their crumbling society. She had disappeared through the wild portal to who knew where. Her mission: To find a way to save their realm and their dying people within it. There had been a problem though. The Chitauri had caught sight of her when she had made the journey to the distant mountains where she had located the fluctuating portal. She had barely made it through alive with the help of some of the warriors who had traveled with her to protect her. They had lost their lives that day save for one, who had made it back to their underground city to deliver the news.
Erin was gone.
The wild portal had been a one way trip. It had closed after she had disappeared within it.
Her plan had been to find a suitable being to merge with, to gain strength in knowledge and technology. To find a way to communicate to Asgard. To let their former ally know that the proud races of Pyragians and Lyttans were still alive and still in need of help.
That had been cycles ago. There was talk among the dwindling population that the Lady Erin had been lost. It had been a fleeting chance of her return. Not many had held their breath.
He had not been among them.
This was his sister. His twin. The other half of his shared soul.
He would have known if she was gone and dead, no matter the time and space that separated them...
It had happened the moment the Chitauri had been growing restless. They had been flying over the surface of the barren realm of Pyragia for so long that they had been a common sight to the scouts that ventured to the surface. The moment change had come was when the dark skies were no longer filled with the sight of hovering giants nor of the zipping vehicles of the humanoids. They had disappeared. Their mother ship, the one blight upon the endless expanse of stars and galaxies in the darkened skies of Pyragia, had been blown apart in an expansive array of flame and destruction.
The Chitauri were gone.
He had known then that it was sign from his sister. She had found a way to free them of one torture. Somehow, someway, she had survived and she was still trying to find a way to set them all free.
The celebrations had been immense. They all had celebrated the liberation of Pyragia from the hell that were the Chitauri. However, no sign of his sister had emerged. No sign of the Asgardians, nor of any from the Nine Realms, had emerged. They were still trapped within the dark realm. The ruling council had debated upon using the power of the Forbidden Stone as their ancestors had but the consensus remained. The stone was too powerful to bring back into the fold of the Nine Realms. That yellow gem, which had the power to distort the very fabric of reality itself, was better left where it was. Even if the Pyragians and Lyttans were dying because of it. The people had sworn an oath to the Ancients and each new life born to them upheld that oath. The Forbidden Stone was to stay away from the hands of those corrupted in heart...
He agreed with them. He was a part of the ruling council, holding the seats he and his sister would have shared upon her return. She never did return. He was beginning to grow more worried as time passed.
Where was Erin?
It was the moment he felt her that brought his resolve. After nearly thirty cycles, he had finally caught wind of her in their familial link. It had been fleeting, a simple taste of happiness that he had not felt himself in so long, but it was hers. His sister was alive and she was happy. What had brought about such a feeling in her? What had brought such a happiness to his twin that he could feel?
The feeling had remained for some time though, coming is sporadic spurts. The happiness continued to grow stronger with each night that passed. Finally, after weeks of this happiness, it had exploded from within his heart of hearts. The happiness had spiraled out of control and, for a moment, he had caught a glimpse of his sister's mind from their link. He caught an image of a man with green skin and intense green eyes. The man's face was caught up in a moment of passion. His sister's passion was rivaled, her emotions screaming of love.
Mate. Hulk. Bruce... Love... him...
The image and thoughts had faded as quickly as they had come but it had done its job. He knew his sister was very much alive and she had found her mate. That much passion was not felt through a familial link unless it was a strong binding that made it so. The gladness in his heart was hampered down by the thought that his sister may have forgotten them. Had she merged with a being only to forget all that she was?
Her people, her family, would have taken precedence over any finding of a mate...
That had been the moment he decided to find her. He was the only living close blood that still bore a connection to Erin. Their other distant relatives had not felt a thing from their wayward daughter. It was after some preparation, where he had secured his seats on the ruling council with a cousin whom he trusted and gained promise that their people would be cared for, that he followed his link to his sister.
The link led him up to the barren surface of the world of Pyragia, through wastelands and valleys that held echoed memories of a time where lush green oases and a few great rivers had once fed life to this already hard world. He had followed the telepathic link of his twin up into some distant mountains and into a single cave that sparked with promise. He didn't wander very far before he was swept up into the gravitational pull of the very same wild portal that had taken his sister. It had appeared again and was taking him to the exact realm where she had been deposited.
The ride had been wild and erratic, filled with the images of distant galaxies, stars, and realms. He had emerged from the other side only to feel the cold expanse of space. He instinctively held the only breath he had and curled into himself, catching a fleeting glimpse of a blue and green planet below him, before darkness overcame him. His body had exploded with heat and he was pulled into the orbit of the planet below him. It had pulled him, faster and faster, until he had landed in one of the northern regions.
His landing had caused some damage to the surrounding area, which was mostly forested. He had not awoken until he felt a strange hand upon his brow. He had opened his eyes and found himself staring up a strange woman. She was a local of the strange realm he was in. She, and her companions, had taken him to their home, gave him clothes, and time to heal. He could not speak their language so his question about where he was and where his sister was had fallen upon ears that could no understand.
Over the weeks that had followed, he was beginning to understand their strange tongue well enough. He had made out that the woman who visited him each day was named Jane Foster. She was a woman of strong intelligence and was well-respected among her peers. There was something about her that pulled upon his mind. Some strange shadow of a link he could not fully grasp. Intuition guided him to the likely source. This woman was important to someone in this realm who was very close to his sister.
The emotions of a familial bond ran strong and deep among Lyttans and Pyragians should a connection be made. Those who were close with any member of the Pack, be it friend or lover, were under the immediate protection of the family. They were a potential family member. The moment the telepathic link of the Pack binding touched a soul that was honored above all others, it was made instinctual to care for and protect that member, should the need arise.
Apparently, this Jane Foster was linked to his sister in some way.
He would protect her.
Sadly, the members of this realm did not treat their brethren with such close regard.
A group of people had come to Jane's home, people she did not trust. Erai could sense the unease within the human woman who had shown him so much kindness. It could not be blamed that he would protect the woman who was important to a member of his sister's new Pack. It had only been the fear of harming her that kept him from losing control over his calm side and unleashing hell upon the people who threatened the calm of Jane Foster. They had taken Jane and himself.
They were separated.
His anger had been given new rise the moment Jane was taken from him. She was safe. There was no need for fear of hurting her. He had changed to his feral state, exploding with power and unleashing all the combustible attacks he had within him. It was his surprise when he found that the chamber those people had placed him in was one that could withstand his attacks. His anger had only grown and the fire that burned within him was fueled even more. They gained in such intensity that one of his attacks had nearly melted the strange glass window he knew those people were hiding behind...
It had been sometime after that that Jane had appeared in the chamber.
At the sight of her safe, he had lost nearly all of his anger. The one link to his twin sister was here before him. There was a still a chance. He had reverted back to his calm state and collapsed to his knees. It had been then that Jane had gone to him and spoke to him in her language, basic sentences that he could grasp.
These people might know who he was looking for. There was a chance that his sister was an ally of theirs... A strange human woman who bore similar characteristics as he did. A human who could transform into a feral creature of red claws and glowing veins. Her power to incite explosive attacks and spontaneous combustion within a living being.
His sister was one of the few within their realm who had the power to incite enough heat within a being that they would go aflame without an outside source. A telltale power that immediately caught his attention. When these people, a somewhat shadowy council that called themselves SHIELD, showed him moving images of this woman transforming into the feral creature; he had nearly wept with the joy that pierced his heart.
Erin was alive.
She had merged with a human woman, who had found a way to gain allies who had the knowledge and technology to communicate with Asgard. Seeing the Asgardian in those footage of battles was no illusion. He bore the hammer, Mjolnir, within his grasp. The features of the male spoke of a strong lineage. One who was a descendant of the great Asgard king Bor. His grandson perhaps?
He did not know for sure but he knew that this Asgard was an ally of his sister's. The link to this male was strong in the connection to Jane and this role of this Asgardian was clear. He was considered a close friend, even brother, to his sister. The confirmation through moving footage and written reports gave credence to that. However, the fear that his sister might have forgotten her people was also true.
She had no memory of her life before merging with the human that was named Anamaria Brandt.
He had been shown the old reports of his sister's growth within this strange realm the people called Earth. She had merged with a six-year-old human female. She had been captured and tested upon by another group of these people who cared little for lives outside of their own. She had grown with this human child and became fully ingrained within this child's body and mind. She could not separate from this girl even if she wanted to. She had merged fully with the child in trying to protect her life.
In doing so, she had forgotten herself...
She had given some clues of her earlier life based on her knowledge of the Chitauri and the other Forbidden Stone, the stone that controlled the fabric of space itself. She had protected it from falling into the wrong hands. A frost giant who masqueraded as an Asgardian, one who called himself Loki and brother of Thor. She had helped to protect this Forbidden Stone and in doing so had shown signs of remembering herself.
Yet, nothing else had sprung forth since then.
She had instead formed a new Pack, out of instinct, and gained new family along the way. She had found a human male who was much like herself. Calm and small in stature and yet, when provoked in anger or anxiety, would erupt into a large, green being. His name was Dr. Bruce Banner.
His brother by way of becoming his sister's chosen mate.
Erin's new family cared deeply for her. She had found a new mother, aunt, sister, brothers, and mate. It was not surprising that she could not remember. Who would wish to remember the darkness of their world when the light of this one was so much brighter?
The sadness that had touched him was a keen one.
His twin had forgotten him...
However, there was a part of her that still wished to remember her old life.
The Asgardian who cared for Jane, whose full name was Thor Odinson, son of the All Father, had taken his sister and her mate to Asgard some several months earlier. She had gone to find out about her people. She was craving for answers. She still felt the link between them.
It was only when they had finally returned to Earth that he demanded to be taken to his sister.
The people of SHIELD had requested that he wait awhile longer, if only to allow his sister to relax. When he had been told of his sister's pregnancy, and that they were twins, had brought him to his knees in shock. Tears of happiness had welled within his eyes and he bowed his head in thanks to the heavens above. His sister was carrying new life within her. She had formed such a strong bond with her mate that she had become gifted with life from one who was not of her own people. Much as their ancestor Lytta had...
He had to protect his sister and her new Pack at all costs...
Now, this was where his path in life had led him to.
He was in one of the strange flying vehicles with Jane beside him and a few members of the special group that his sister was a part of within SHIELD. They had gotten word of his sister being taken by a dangerous creature who might have worked for the same group of people who tortured his sister earlier in her human's life. The anger was brimming beneath the surface of his skin. The anger was heating with each passing moment. His sister was in the hands of this monster. None of the people here were strong enough to take this creature down. Only Jane's reassuring gestures and calm words kept him from exploding.
Jane's Asgardian had disappeared a couple of weeks ago so no one knew how to reach him. The Metal Man, the one his sister's mental link pulled to as – and this pain at this thought was a sharp one – a new older brother, was strong in his suit but perhaps not strong enough.
His new brother by way of mate bond was the only one strong enough to fight this monster hand to hand. However, there was no guarantee of success. He had barely survived their last encounter... Yet, this was his mate and young on the line. A man so desperate to protect his family would prove strong.
He only hoped he would prove to be of help to this new Pack. He would be a stranger among them. Yet, their link to his sister would show that he was a wanted ally.
This monster, this Abomination, would wish he had never breathed life in this realm once Erai was done with him.
His sister would ask no less of her twin.
~End of part 2~
(A/n) I am sorry for the lack of updates.
Life has kept me away from this keyboard to write.
I am still continuing this story. Have no fears. I just need things to settle down for a bit since so much has changed for me.
I had missed the one year anniversary of me publishing this story so I am happy to find over 206,000 hits in that span of time. You guys are wonderful.
Just to let you know, I have watched Thor: Dark World just yesterday so will be encompassing that storyline into this one as best as I can. This is AU of course so please do not expect it to follow the movie exactly. I will be working on this storyboard and figuring out how to work with the time lines. The battle with the Abomination will be next chapter, the start of part 3. I cannot say when I will update since life is taking precedence at the moment but I will be uploading again.
Thank you to those who leave reviews, my new ones and recurring favorites, and thank you for alerting and favoriting. Please forgive any errors since this is not betad.
You will hear from me again, this I swear.
In the mean time, please enjoy your holidays, should you celebrate them.