Rise of the Collective

Disclaimer: If you recognize anything in this story, I don't own it.

"Hello" - General Speaking.

'Hello' - Thoughts.

Chapter 2: Mutants and Heroes

-Earth 616-5. Off the coast of Cuba. October of 1962-

Exiting the reality tear, I find myself standing right beside the metallic hull of a beached submarine, while the sounds of shouting and battle resound around me; yup, definitely in the right place. While the X-men comics and cartoons were quite enjoyed by many of my friends, I'd never been much of a fan, the movies on the other hand? Now that's where my interest lay, it's also why I now find myself in a universe based off the events of the X-men: First Class movie rather than the true X-men storyline.

"-my is out there, I feel their guns moving in the water." A voice calls, one that I can clearly hear from this side of the island. "Target-"

From the short monolog now drifting to me from the other side of the Island, I'm guessing this is the just after Magneto goes dark side; I'm just in time then.

Grinning wide, I activate the phase-shift capabilities of the MURS and pass through the walls of the submarine, passing through the broken and battered vessel with relative ease. With a few long strides, I find myself standing on the other side of the submarine, a small group of mutants gathered before me. Luckily, none of them seem to notice me, as their attention is locked on the forms of an arguing Magneto and Xavier. With a skip in my step, silent steps as I'm out of phase, I make my way towards my goal, the cooling corpse of Sebastian Shaw.

As I have to deactivate the phase-shift technology in order to interact with the normal world, I do so and drop to one knee, a single hand on Shaw's chest.

'Caine.' I call mentally, summoning the dormant AI from the depths of my mind.

He appears across from me, knelt beside Shaw's corpse in the same manner, I also notice that he's now wearing a suit exactly like mine, fancy that.

"Yes Dorian?" Caine inquires with his ever present smile on full display. "How may I be of assistance?"

The loud boom of firing missile's echoes around the island but I pay it no mind, I already know how this ends.

'Initiate a gene splice.' I command, receiving a nod from Caine.

I manage to stifle my pain-filled screams as three long needles imbed themselves into my arm once more, digging into my flesh and bone to retrieve a batch of nanites, removing them rather than inserting new ones. With an almost silent 'click', a small port opens at the front of the device and I watch in amazement as a thick stream of silver sludge pours out from the device and onto Shaw's chest, eating through the clothing and seeping into the flesh underneath. There's a three second pause before the sludge seeps back out of Shaw's skin, the millions of little nanites crawling up my arm and back into the MURS, carrying samples of Shaw's blood cells and bone marrow.

"Alternate genome acquired." Caine reports in an excited tone, a labeled DNA double helix appearing on the MURS screen. "Genome appears to be primarily human with a single mutated gene, what are your orders Dorian?"

'Splice the mutated gene with my own genome, also search your database for the mutant known as Sebastian Shaw and download all information on the use of his abilities directly into my neural nanite database." I order, grimacing as another bout of pain runs up my arm, the nanites reentering my system.

By this time, the missiles have been stopped by Magneto and he and Xavier are engaging in a round of verbal tug of war, I should probably hurry up before someone notices me. I'm surprised none of them have noticed yet, especially Xavier and Beast, Xavier I can understand since his mind is elsewhere right now but Beast should be able to smell and hear me, I guess he's just too caught up with the dozens of missiles bearing down on the island.

My worries and thoughts are washed away as I feel a flow of information pouring directly into my mind, every scientific explanation, every fan based assumption, every little tidbit to do with Sebastian Shaw's mutant abilities is downloaded directly into my mind, giving me the mother of all headaches. Luckily, my nanites have gotten well experienced with my brain chemistry and they're able to quickly deal with the headache, that's going to come in handy the next time I face a killer hangovers.

With the simplest task complete, Caine vanishes from my sight as every single nanite focuses on one task, mutating my genome with Shaw's X-GENE. My entire form seems to pulse, waves of energy running through me as my DNA is manipulated on the genetic level, I can see what the victims of Nirrti meant when they said 'something within me has been changed'. It's an odd feeling and it will take some getting used to, but I think the benefits will far outweigh the discomfort, especially as I don't need to worry about genetic degeneration and dissolving into a puddle of water.

After a few minutes, during which Xavier and Magneto have their little struggle and Xavier takes a bullet to the spine, my body stops pulsing and a feeling of perpetual warmth fills me. I can feel my new mutation at the back of my mind, just waiting to be called upon, waiting to be used. It's definitely an odd feeling, but one that I will most assuredly be getting used to.

I know that I shouldn't even feel my mutation, as it takes years of practice for a mutant to get to this level of control, but that's where the nanites come in. After all, it is through them that I've gained this ability; they have a deep connection with my very cells, allowing me to control my mutant abilities with relative ease.

Thank god for that because the mutants seem to have finally noticed me, I just wish they would stop staring like that, it's like they haven't seen someone like me appearing out of thin air; ironic as Azazel is standing right over there.

-Earth 616-5. Off the coast of Cuba. October of 1962-

'Oh god my legs, I can't feel my legs.' Charles Xavier raged mentally, groaning in pain as felt Erik pull the bullet from his back. 'Dammit Erik, how could you do this?'

Even with his mind blocked to him, Charles could still feel the rage and pain within his friend, Erik was truly sorry that this happened; yet it was still his fault. Charles groaned once more as he felt the minds of the others wash over his senses, his pain feeding his mutant powers and allowing their strong emotions to breach through the wall of pain and regret that filled him. He could feel the worry and fear from the Raven and the others, the fear and regret from Agent MacTaggert and the traitor Angel, the indifference of the red skinned Azazel and the wind controlling Riptide.

Yet there was one more, there was some one new on the island, someone that had definitely not been there minutes ago. Charles could sense the glee of accomplishment from this strange presence, glee that was only offset by an undertone of focused determination, who was this? Ignoring Erik's presence at his side, ignoring the man's whispered apologies, Charles focused the entirety of his psychic ability of this new presence.

He could only gasp in awe as he touched the mind of this being, this strange entity, whatever this creature was; it was most definitely not human. Rather than the rush of thoughts and memories that he would usually receive from touching another's mind, Charles found himself overwhelmed by millions of tiny little voices, all of whom were speaking at once. Within this one being, he could sense a million tiny minds, all focused towards one single goal, a goal that he could not determine through the multitude of voices.

This was a hive mind beyond anything he had ever encountered, even the minds of bees and ants weren't this powerful, this focused and complex.

For the first time in many years, Charles Xavier felt true fear.

"E-erik." He called, silencing his friend's words. "Look up Erik, there is someone here, someone who doesn't belong."

He received a strange look from the other man but Erik had learned to trust his words, no matter their disagreement, so he looked up, his head turning in search of the strange entity. Charles could tell the exact moment his friend found the entity, easily noticeable by the widening of Erik's eyes, and the mental flow of surprise as everyone else noticed the being. As he couldn't turn to look, he closed his eyes and dropped into Hank's mind, viewing the entity through the superior vision of the beast-like mutant.

Surprisingly, he was met with the form of a young male, not the horrifying eldritch abomination his imagination had supplied. Despite the elderly color of his hair, the man looked to be around his age, if not a few years younger, and was dressed in the most entrancing outfit Charles had ever laid eyes upon.

'Is that his mutation at work?' Charles wondered, assuming this was some sort of mutant and not a hive-minded alien being. 'What sort of mutation would allow his clothing to move like that? What purpose does it serve?'

Then he noticed the man's eyes, eyes that were the exact opposite, yet similar, to those of his oldest friend. Was this man a relation of Ravens? Certainly not a father but who knows, if he had Raven's shifting abilities then he could appear to be whatever age he wanted. That wouldn't explain the man's strange mind however, it wouldn't explain the millions of minds that he had sensed, nor would it explain what the man was doing here, with a hand on the corpse of Sebastian Shaw.

"Who are you?" he heard Erik shout, a sound that was distant yet close at the same time.

Charles could only hope this ended well, whoever this man was; he had to be powerful, powerful and dangerous.

"Who are you?" Magneto shouted, his tone commanding and demanding a response.

I already have what I came here for, this would be an excellent time to open a rift and leave but I just don't feel like it, I have this new mutation at my disposal, why not test it out? A feral grin crosses my face as I stand, causing the first generation of X-men to take a step back nervously, this should be fun.

"Me? I am no one of importance." I reply with a chuckle, my mind racing as I try to think of a mutant name, they all have one so why can't I? "You may simply call me... Accretion."

This might be my nerdy, astrophysicist side rearing its ugly head but I like the name, it definitely fits in this regard. For starters, the design of my suit is that of a dark accretion disk, and when coupled with my newly gained ability to absorb and manipulate all forms of energy, it's a very fitting name.

"Accretion." Magneto sneers, the word running down his tongue heatedly. "What are you doing here? Are you one of Shaw's men?"

His eyes flicker over to Azazel, Riptide and Angel but they all shake their heads, letting everyone know that I'm most certainly not with them.

I chuckle and hold up a hand, a ball of crimson energy sparking to life at my fingertips, causing Magneto's eyes to narrow dangerously, a wave of my hand causes to the ball to dissipate to no effect. What Shaw didn't know, but many X-men fans rave about, was that his energy absorption ability is a small branch of a much grander power; Energy manipulation.

While Shaw was able to easily absorb incoming energy and release it in a manner of his choosing, I can do far, far more, I can manipulate energy at its most basic level. All forms of energy are within my dome of influence, I can do whatever I please with any form of energy, even manipulating cosmic energy is within my power, essentially I've achieved a form of godhood; hey, if a little kid like Franklin Richards could have this much power, then I'm more than entitled to it.

Now, I don't consider myself to be anywhere on the level as beings such as 'The One Above All', 'The Living Tribunal', 'The Daedric Princes' or 'The Endless', but I can probably go toe to toe with 'The Ascended and The Ori', 'Apocalypse' or 'Darkseid', and that's saying quite a lot.

"There was something here I needed." I reply, glancing at Shaw's corpse. "So I came to get it."

I don't know how that all works out in his mind, but the next instant I find myself flying back and pinned against the submarine as Magneto's eyes burn with anger.

"Shaw is mine, I won't allow you to take his body." he growls, squeezing his hand and causing the MURS, my cufflinks and my gun to press into me painfully. Luckily, the nanites within me are far too small for him to manipulate at this time or I might be in a spot of trouble, maybe once he's older and stronger but not now, and not ever if he continues this attack and forces me to kill him.

Even with my near infinite power, I'm not immortal, if Magneto had sensed my nanites and used them to attack me from the inside, I would be dead, no question about it. Rather than panic at finding myself pinned against the wall, I chuckle in amusement and grasp onto the part of my mind linked to my mutant abilities, mentally bending it to my will. A centimeter thick aura of crimson energy surrounds my entire form, absorbing the electromagnetic energy Magneto is asserting on me and allowing me to drop down, free from his influence.

The look of shock on his face is simply Kodak worthy.

"Oh, don't worry little mutant." I reply in an amused tone, brushing imaginary dust off my shoulders. "I have no interest in that worthless husk; I already have what I came for."

I can feel his powers continually slamming against my energy barrier, causing it to flare an extra millimeter or so as it absorbs the miniscule amounts of electromagnetic energy he's throwing at me, I don't even need to expend my own energy powering the barrier, he's doing it for me.

"Who are you?" Magneto shouts angrily. "Why won't my powers work, I know you have metal on you."

This comes as a shock to the other X-men, as they've mostly been paying attention to me and didn't notice the look on Magneto's face when I nullified his powers, as far as they knew, he'd released me.

"What are you talking about Erik?" Mystique calls, the first one other than Magneto to speak since I made my appearance. "We all saw you pin him against the sub."

"He did something to free himself." Beast answers in Magnetos place, his fabled intellect putting two and two together. "Somehow, he was able to free himself from Erik's power and now it won't work on him anymore."

"H-he's not human." Xavier gasps, drawing everyone's attention, mine included. "I don't think he's a mutant either."

That causes me to raise a brow in question, hiding my shock as best I can, I wonder why he thinks that. I haven't really done anything beyond the capabilities of a normal mutant and it can't be because of my appearance, not with Azazel, Mystique and Beast standing right over there.

"Oh? What makes you say that Charles?" I ask, surprising him by the casual use of his name.

"Y-your mind," He gasps again, the pain must be getting to him. "I touched your mind; I could feel it, feel them. T-there are over a million minds within your body, millions of minds shouting as they work towards an indeterminable goal."

That seems to shock everyone, myself included. I didn't even know the nanites could be sensed by a telepath, heck I didn't even know they had minds of their own. A human form replicator I can expect to have its own mind and thoughts, after all they are sentient beings capable of creating electrical impulses much like those of a human brain, but such individual thoughts should be far beyond the capabilities of an individual nanite, just how advanced are the creators of the MURS?

At this point everyone is staring at me in shock, soaking in this new bit of information. I can deny his claim and explain just what I am to them, or I can go with the flow and accept it. Damn, too bad I already gave them my name, this would be a really good chance for an 'I am Legion' line; oh well, maybe next time.

"Huh, I didn't think you would be able to notice that, impressive." I reply in a cheerful tone, striding forward.

I begin making my way towards Xavier, ignoring the others as I focus on his form. I don't really have anything against the guy and he seems to be in a lot of pain, this will give me the chance to manipulate some healing energies and practice with it, besides I've seen just enough of the comics to know how badass walking Xavier is compared to wheelchair Xavier.

My intentions with Charles however, seem suspect to the rest of the group as I hear both Magneto and Mystique shout, "Stay away from him!"

I don't much feel like explaining my every action to a bunch of suspicious mutants, an action that would most likely set a precedent that could lead to the fatal flaw of powerful beings everywhere, monologing, so I simply continue forward without pause. Magneto growls and finally loses his short temper, deciding to actually stop me rather than continue asking. However, rather than uselessly throwing his power against my barrier again, he uses his powers to lift a heavy piece of nearby wreckage and tosses it at me.

With a confident smirk, I hold up my left hand and stop the wreckage midair, using his own powers against him. I can feel him pushing at the wreckage, trying to overpower my influence and crush me with it but I've absorbed more than enough of his power to gain a mastery over electromagnetic force, there's no way he can able to overpower me with it.

That's another thing I've found about my powers, it appears that being subjected to a certain wavelength of energy allows me greater ease when it comes to manipulating that frequency of the energy. For example, absorbing Magneto's power now allows me to use the 'magnetic' frequency of EM radiation with greater ease than if I were to try using just electric radiation or X-rays or any of the other forms of EM radiation. While I can still manipulate all forms of energy, being subjected to a certain wavelength will allow me greater ease and control, something that might just be required someday.

"What are you doing!?" Magneto shouts at the others, all of whom are watching our struggle in shock. "Stop him!"

That seems to snap them out of it and they all focus on a single goal, stopping me.

The first to act is Azazel, the red skinned demon having aligned himself with Magneto after Shaw's death, and he teleports away with a poof, disappearing from his spot meters away and reappearing behind me. With fast, practiced movements, he swings at my neck with his sword while his tail stabs for my heart; it has no effect as my aura easily absorbs the kinetic energy of his strike.

In retaliation, I swing at him with my free hand, hoping to land a heavy blow powered by his own kinetic energy but he manages to quickly teleport away, avoiding a hit that probably would have killed him. I am pleased to see him frown as he notices that even my clothes are unmarred, showing the true ineffectiveness of his attack.

My attention is drawn away from Azazel however, as one of the 'noble' X-men decides to attack while my back is turned, this comes in the form of a powerful sonic screech from Banshee. While loud and annoying as it flies towards me, the attack has no effect at all as the sound energy is absorbed by my aura, leaving only dead silence as what's left of the pulse passes through me.

Without pause, I turn as much as I can with one hand held steady, reach into my suit to draw my Particle Magnum, and quickly fire a bolt of red energy at the shocked Banshee. Even if the energy bolt wasn't flying so fast, Banshee is far too shocked at his failed attack to dodge in time, allowing the energy bolt to clip his right shoulder; it's not bad for my first shot ever, but I'm a bit peeved as I was aiming for his head. Despite such a bad miss, I can't help but grin as the portion of the bolt that didn't strike Banshee continues on to strike a surprised Mystique in the chest, rendering them both unconscious.

It may have been a big miss, but that was one lucky shot.

Watching two of their team drop to the ground, unmoving, Beast and Havoc both lose their cool, the former more so than the latter. With a loud feral roar, Beast launches himself at me, running on all fours and quickly closing the distance in his enraged state. Despite the massive blue beast bearing down on me, my attention is solely on Havoc, who has furiously launched two disks of glowing plasma right at me.

My smirk turns into a grin as I flick my upheld hand, ending the struggle with Magneto and tossing the piece of wreckage towards the sea, much to his shocked anger as he could do nothing to prevent it; like I said before, maybe when he's older and stronger, right now he's no match for me, not when I can use greater amounts of his own power against him like this.

The plasma disks are just a few feet away now but I manage to tuck my gun back into the holster, freeing up both hands just in time to catch Havoc's plasma disks, my form splitting and blurring much like Shaw's as I condense the raw energy into a small, compact ball. There are a few gasps at this familiar blast from the past, X-men and Hellfire Club alike feeling the same emotions, shock and surprise.

I don't pay them any mind though; I still have three hundred pounds of enraged Beast bearing down on me, quite the terrifying sight. Still, despite the terror inducing form of a charging Beast, I manage keep my cool, fully confident in my abilities, confidence gained from the knowledge that I could walk through a nuclear explosion and come out unscathed. With a thought, I manipulate the ball of destructive plasma energy, focusing on the wavelength of my firing magnum, and transform it into a ball of stunning particle energy. Just in time too as Beast leaps, claws out and teeth bared, only to receive the energy ball right in the face.

I duck as the now unconscious Beast goes sailing over my head, rendered instantly unconscious by the energy matrix. He hits the ground hard, tumbling head over heels as his momentum caries him forward, only stopping once he crashes into the side of the downed jet. Havoc releases a loud cry, a mix between a sob and rage filled shout, as he watches another one of his friends taken down by his own technique but I pay him no mind.

While my attention was on the two X-men, and my back was turned (again), one of my opponents decided to strike. In this case it's Riptide, who has thrown a miniature twister at my turned back, hoping to blow me away with the gale force winds. Luckily for him, he witnessed my use of Shaw's ability and aborted his attack, knowing full well that it would be pointless.

The other mutants seem to have realized the same as no one is attacking me any longer, not even Magneto, who I'm sure, is remembering his near defeat at Shaw's hands; there's no Xavier to bail him out this time and he knows it.

With an amused chuckle, to hide my shock and elation at my new found power, I continue making my way towards Xavier, who is glaring at me hatefully. I can feel his telepathic assault against my aura, the psionic energy dissipating before it can even reach my mind, and continue forward with a wide smile. After what has got to be the most interesting stroll of my life, I'm standing above Xavier, grinning down at him even as he continues to glare at me. I do notice that there's a hint of fear to offset the hatred in his eyes, I'm not sure why he's so afraid, I haven't really done anything to threatened any of them, they attacked me first.

"Ah Charles, there's no need to fear, I'm not going to hurt you." I comment cheerfully, kneeling beside him and placing a hand on his chest, my eyes narrowed in concentration.

I can feel all sorts of energy flowing through him, suffusing every single one of his cells, the ones on his lower back releasing a low amount of 'life-force', or cellular energy as it's known in the scientific community, slowly healing his wound. It's not all that difficult to copy the wavelength of the energy and begin pushing it into his body, a ray of green energy pouring from my hand and into his chest.

Xavier gasps once in surprise before releasing a relieved sigh as the pain vanishes, there's a loud crack and his eyes widen in shock as his very spine begins to regenerate, I bet that feels pretty weird.

"You, you healed me?" he whispers in surprise, shaking one leg then the other, something that was impossible mere moments ago.

I nod and stand, clapping my hands together in a pleased manner. "Of course I did, I'm not your enemy Charles, in fact, I'm quite a fan of your work; this is the least I could do."

He stares back in shock for a moment, then his eyes narrow in anger. "A fan of my work? You just killed three of my friends! I'm grateful that you healed me, but I will never forgive you for that."

I simply chuckle once again, fueling his anger.

"Killed? Oh no, no, no, no, no." I reply, waving a finger, almost like I'm scolding him. "You really should verify before you accuse Charles, had you done so then you would know that your friends are simply unconscious; they'll wake up in a few hours feeling fully refreshed."

His eyes widen and I can practically see his psychic energy as it flows over the three forms of his friends, ascertaining the truth of my words.

"This is, this is amazing." He gasps, jumping to his feet. "They really are just unconscious."

That seems to calm the rest of the group, Havoc and MacTaggert releasing a sigh in relief, heck even Magneto looks a little relieved. Riptide and Azazel on the other hand look like they couldn't care less, both appearing to be completely disinterested with the goings on of the group, although they are eying me suspiciously; an expected response considering my little display a few minutes ago.

"I really must ask... What are you? What's your mutation?" Xavier asks excitedly, returning to his normal excitable state now that he knows I'm not an enemy. "I saw you use Shaw's powers back there, my bet is that you can absorb the powers of other mutants, which would explain all the voices in your mind."

He tries to smile but I can tell that the thought sickens and scares him, a mutant that can absorb other mutants and has done so to millions already? Scary thought. Deciding to alleviate his fears, I chuckle at that and shake my head in the negative, smiling when he releases a relieved sigh.

"My mutation is simply energy manipulation; the voices are just a technique I employ to keep telepaths out of my mind." The lie flows out freely, although the first part is sort of the truth.

"Amazing! Energy manipulation, that's a powerful ability right there," Xavier replies excitedly, looking curious when I mention my employed technique. "I wasn't aware there was a method to resist telepaths, I must say it's quite an effective one."

I smile and nod, preferring not to elaborate on my 'technique', much to his chagrin. I do make note of the calculating gleam in both Xavier and Magneto's eyes, which is to be expected as energy manipulation is an omega class mutant ability after all.

"You simply must join the team; we could use someone with your abilities and knowledge." Charles propositions, grinning friendlily in the hopes that I'll accept, I did say I was a fan after all.

Smirking in amusement at his antics, I take a step back a tear open a rip in the fabric of space, my smirk turns into a grin as I take in his wide eyes. I wonder if he can sense the infinite number of minds within the multiverse, that would be a major trip, he might just swear off telepathy if that were to happen.

"Sorry Charles but I have many places to be and many things to do." I reply with a shrug, making a motion towards the rip in the space-time continuum. "I'll be sure to come back and visit you in a few years though, it will be interesting to see how your actions serve to change the world and benefit mutant-kind."

He smiles at that and nods, hiding his disappointment at my reply but looking determined at my words regarding the future. Returning his nod, my gaze turns to Magneto, who's staring right at me with a mix of anger and shock, seems like I've made my first enemy.

"That goes for the both of you." I add as an afterthought to my previous comment, wondering if Magneto will still continue on his path or if my actions here have changed the future, it will be interesting to see.

With that I step into the void and head for my next destination, the rip sealing shut behind me and leaving the mutants to their antics.

Travel through the multiverse is quite disturbing this time around, as I'm able to sense the cosmic energies of the multiverse around me, it's quite a humbling feeling. Knowing about the infinite size of the multiverse is one thing, sensing it and realizing just how small of a speck I truly am in the grand scheme of things? Well, that's a whole other ballgame.

With a new insight into the insignificance of a single life, heck even a million lives, I realize just why the Ascended are so uncaring of the fate of the galaxy. In the grand scheme of things, a single galaxy is worth nothing, even a hundred galaxies are worthless, nothing can compare to the infinite space that is the multiverse.

It doesn't mean I'm going to be as hands off as the Ascended though, my actions may not mean anything in the end but they will still affect me and those I encounter. I may have all this power but I won't be as uninvolved as the Ascended, neither will I be as controlling as the Ori; in fact, an existence much like that of Q seems to be more up my alley.

Releasing a sigh at such uncharacteristic thoughts, I release my hold on my mutant powers and allow my senses to dim, an action that I plan to repeat whenever I cross through the multiverse. I've barely touched the surface of the multiverse and my entire outlook on life has been changed, perhaps there are something's that the mind just isn't ready to understand, the deeper workings of the multiverse is most definitely one of these things.

-Central Multiverse. Earth 616-5. October of 1962-

"Well, well, well, this is a first." Astok comments, whistling appreciatively. "Rising from mortal human to lesser god in a matter of hours, that's quite an achievement."

"See? Didn't I tell you this guy would be entertaining?" Ludvig asks in reply, grinning widely. "He knows what he wants and just what to do to get it, I happen to like his method of doing it too, it's so much faster than ascension. You have to admit, this is way better than watching those Alterans meditating for hours on end, day after day, just to move up to one of the lower planes."

"Oh yeah, those were a few of the most boring centuries of my existence." Astok replies, grimacing at the memory. "I just hope he doesn't go overboard, god or not, he can only rise so high and handle so much power before he's overwhelmed and torn asunder."

"Indeed, hopefully he's smart enough not to make that mistake; otherwise this will be one of the shortest rounds since the time we all bet against Volian." Ludvig agreed solemnly, his mood changing as his gaze returned to Dorian's progress. "Hey, look where he's headed next."

Turning his attention to the traveler, Astok followed the Dorian's path through the multiverse, grinning as he noticed what lay at the very end of that path.

"Alright! My superhero realm, good choice Dorian!" Astok cheered, watching as the rip formed and Dorian entered said reality. "Oh, this should be so much fun!"

"Ha, it will be interesting at the least." Ludvig chuckles.

-Earth 224-3. New Orleans. March of 2007-

My thoughts on the complexity and vastness of the multiverse are dashed away as I exit the reality rip, into a mess of smoke and fire, this is not one of my best exits.

Drawing on my mutation once more, I form my centimeter thick aura and instantly put an end to the fire and heat licking at my skin. Unfortunately, this does nothing for the lack of oxygen in the atmosphere, forcing me to release a few coughs as I inhale the smoke floating around the room.

'Note to self, find a way to breathe without oxygen.' I muse, forming a gust of wind to blow the smoke away from my immediate surroundings.

As the majority of my future plans will involve the vacuum of space, I really need to find some way to create oxygen or remove my requirement of it at the least, something far beyond the capabilities of energy manipulation. Despite my ability to form gusts of air and whatnot, actually creating oxygen or manipulating atoms is far beyond me, that power lies in the realm of matter manipulation.

'Hold on a tick…' I grin, a sudden idea springing to mind. 'Well, I know where I'm headed next.'

Future plans aside, I should really focus on the reason I'm here, namely the blonde woman laying a few feet away. With a skip in my step, I make my way to her side and kneel, my hand placed on the arm of one Niki Sanders.

While she's unconscious, I'm pleased to see that she is still alive, which means that this warehouse could blow at any moment. Expanding my aura to cover her form, I stand and grin at the obstacle blocking the exit, a burning beam leaning against the door.

'Hmm, should I move it or phase through it?' I muse, mentally running through both options in my mind. 'Or… option number three.'

My grin turns dastardly and I draw my gun, the Particle Magnum powering up with a low hum, a click signifying the change in firing mode. I don't even bother to aim, simply pointing the gun at my target and firing a slew of shots, eight in total. A few shots hit the beam and the door while the rest slam into the walls on either side, the end result is a broken beam and doorway, the weakened wood falling apart as large chunks of it are disintegrated; a job well done.

Unfortunately, the warehouse chooses this time to explode, the blast destroying the walls and rendering my doorway unnecessary. Oh well, with a shrug I bend down and pick Niki up, stubbornly choosing to pass through the spot where my doorway was located rather than the much closer exit formed from the destroyed walls.

Humming to myself, I pass through the remains of the warehouse, my aura several inches thick as it feeds off the thermal energy from both the earlier explosion and the flames I'm passing through. Around this time Niki has woken up, the healing energy I've been pouring into her counteracting the effects of smoke inhalation; hmm, I wonder what effect this has on the virus within her.

"What the hell?" she gasps, head swiveling about in wonder as we pass through another wall of flames. "This is impossible."

I simply chuckle and smile, choosing to remain quiet as I carry her through the building, at this point she's noticed my awesome suit and eyes and is staring, a mix of shock and curiosity clear on her face.

"Who are you?" She asks, voice tinged with a hint of warning. "What do you want with me?"

"Oh, I don't want anything from you Miss Sanders." I reply, smiling in what I hope is a charming manner. "I just saw someone in danger and decided to assist."

Her mouth is slack for a moment as she simply stares, finally she decides to say something but it's too late, we're outside.

"Mom!" a voice shouts, drawing her full attention away from me.

"Micah!" Niki shouts in reply.

I set her down and withdraw my aura just in time for her son to crash into her, sobbing and wailing as he hugs his mom tightly.

"I thought you were dead." Micah sobs, his face buried in his mother's shoulder.

Niki pats his back and whispers into his ear, but I choose not to listen in and turn my attention to the third person on the street.

"Hello, I'm Dorian." I greet, holding out a hand.

She takes a look at my suit and eyes, before smiling wide and shaking my hand. "Hi, I'm Monica, thanks for saving my cousin."

With that she turns her attention to the couple knelt on the street, no questions asked about my appearance or abilities, not even about the three inch thick aura of red light surrounding my body. I know she was written to be nice and polite for the show but still, no questions or suspicions is a bit of a far stretch, she doesn't even seem to care that I might be projecting harmful radiation.

Speaking of which, I should really release this energy soon, I've absorbed quite a bit of power from my stroll through the warehouse, power that needs to be released in some form or another. Being energy, I can't simply destroy or dispel it, it needs to be used and released in some form.

A tap on my leg draws me from my thoughts, I can't actually feel it but I can sense the kinetic energy being absorbed, and I glance down to see Micah staring at me with wide eyes.

"Thanks for saving my mom." He whispers, using that shy, yet excited, tone I've come to associate with his character.

"No problem," I reply, smiling wide. "It's what heroes do."

That causes him to grin, Niki behind him huffs in exasperation, this will probably fuel the kids 'let's be heroes' desire. Oh well.

"Are you special like us?" Micah asks, eyes twinkling with curiosity.

I raise a brow at that; can't he see the aura I'm radiating? My awesome eyes? Stylish suit? I'm practically the definition of special; the other two seem to share the same sentiment.

"Of course he's special Micah, he's the farthest from normal as it gets." Monica comments, before her eyes widen and she turns to me. "No offense."

I simply smile and shrug; I'm more worried by the look on Micah's face.

"I know he's different Monica," the little guy replies, eyes squinted in concentration. "I meant if he's special like us or if he was built that way."

Well, that just causes confusion all around.

"What do you mean honey?" Niki asks, coming forward to place a hand on her sons shoulder.

Micah glances up at her before turning back me, eyes narrowed once again.

"I don't know, I don't think he's human." The kid replies, causing all three of us to perk up in surprise, me most of all.

What is it with people thinking I'm not human? Is it the eyes? The suit? I expect to receive this reaction in some realities, the Stargate one most of all, but here? Coming from a kid that's met all sorts of 'special' people? This is really unexpected.

"What makes you say that?" I ask, noticing the slight shift in Niki's stance, she's prepared to fight if it comes to it. Micah doesn't look all that worried and I don't think Monica would hurt a fly, not without being threatened first.

"I can sense it." Micah replies, frowning and concentrating once more. "You're like a machine, but not, it's really confusing."

Ah, my nanites, I should have expected that. Considering this kid's ability, I don't feel all that comfortable knowing he can sense my nanites, at least I know what to do with all this pent up energy now.

With little warning my aura pulses, the energy exploding off my form and covering everything in a ten meter radius. I'm not sure what affect this has on animals and bugs inside the area but the three humans in front of me drop to the ground, the wave of stunning energy rendering them unconscious in an instant.

While I know it would have been simpler to just explain who I am and what I want to them, the approaching sirens informs me that I'm low on time, besides, I'm still trying to avoid the whole 'monologing' thing. There's also the fact that Micah can apparently 'sense' my nanites, I don't want him ordering them around, that's a bigger recipe for disaster than having Magneto sense them.

I can hear the sirens getting closer by the second; I really should hurry this up.

Kneeling beside Micah, I place my hand on his chest and focus, relaying my orders to Caine as I do so. Once more the slot opens on the MURS device, allowing the silvery sludge of the nanites to spill forth, eating a hole through the kid's shirt and seeping into his skin. A few seconds pass before the nanites return, allowing me to stand as they flow back inside my bloodstream, a job well done.

While I don't perform the splicing now, being low on time and all, I have Micah's genome stored within my nanite database, allowing me to implement it at a later time. With Micah's powers, my future plans are slowly coming together, the ability to literally tell machines what to do is one I just can't pass up.

With this power, all technology is mine to command, even a highly advanced technological device like the MURS will obey my commands without pause, no machine will be able to deny me. This will most definitely come in handy in the Stargate universe; I could actually steal a Goa'uld mothership without the hassle of fighting my way to the Pel'tak, heck I could even command the Stargate to do my bidding.

This trip was most definitely worth it.

As I turn to leave, wanting to disappear before one of the firefighters sees me, I catch a glimpse of Monica's body and a sudden idea springs to mind, I should take her ability as well. While I'd originally planned to acquire the Sharingan for its memorization and copying abilities, Monica's powers will be far more useful than those of the Sharingan.

For starters, I can already memorize and store large amounts of information through the nanites floating in my brain, essentially making the photographic memory of the Sharingan useless. There's also the fact that the stored information will only rise to the forefront when I require it, rather than being there constantly like the information gathered by the Sharingan.

Secondly, I can actually 'sense' different kinds of energy, an ability far superior to being able to see Chakra. As far as I know, the Sharingan can only see Chakra, I don't know whether it can see other types of energy, which would make it useless outside of the Narutoverse. Not to mention the fact that my energy manipulation can easily allow me to replicate all techniques granted by the Sharingan, including those of the Mangekyo Sharingan.

Lastly, while the Sharingan will allow me to copy and perform any action I witness, it will be far inferior and sloppy compared to the original action, requiring constant practice in order to master it. Monica's ability on the other hand, will grant me instant mastery of any action I witness, as it will be my muscles that memorize it rather than my brain.

Unfortunately, with the alteration to my genes to enable reality travel, the introduction of energy manipulation and Micah's powers, I've performed three out of the five alterations that the nanites can handle. Adding Monica's will make four and there are still two abilities that I want to acquire, meaning I'll have to discard one if I want to have enough.

'Hmm... That's a bit problematic.' I muse, running through all six abilities in my mind. 'I definitely need Micah and Shaw's abilities, Monica's not so much but it will make things far simpler, unless I want to actually spend years learning how to fight.'

While time might be irrelevant with the MURS, I don't have the patience to spend years training and learning how to fight, especially when it comes to sword fighting and shooting.

'I can't handle multiverse transport without the first alteration though, my body would be torn apart.' At this point my thoughts are racing; the vehicles are only a block away now. 'If only my body was actually strong enough to handle it, then I could…'

A grin stretches across my face as another idea comes to me, this might just work out.

Moving as fast as I can, I kneel next to Monica and activate the MURS, informing Caine to work as fast as he can. By the time the first fire truck turns the corner I'm gone, slipping through the reality tear and away from the crime scene.

That was a close one.

-Earth 224-3. New York City. April of 2006-

I exit the reality rip onto the empty rooftop of a tall imposing building, one located in the center of the most well-known American city.

Having escaped the fire trucks and actually traveled back in time, I feel like I'm allowed a moments rest before I go after my next target, this will also give me the chance to implement my newest mutations.

"Caine." I call, my voice echoing around the rooftops.

The AI appears before me, clad in his stylish suit and smiling benignly.

"Yes Dorian?" he asks, joining me on a seat on the rooftop, our legs dangling off the edge. "What do you require?"

"What can you tell me about the two genomes I've just acquired?" I ask, wondering if the powers of this reality count as mutations as well.

Caine is silent for a moment, examining the two samples of DNA that I've collected before replying.

"Both appear to be wholly human with an additional genetic strand, one that requires an additional component to activate, a form of radiation only encountered in a quarter of the realms accessible from the multiverse." Caine replies, displaying an energy wavelength on the MURS screen.

Interesting, this must be the same energy released during the eclipse, the energy that activates and disables abilities in this reality.

"Interesting, are you capable of isolating the specific abilities granted by the gene? The exact same ability granted to the humans I extracted the genomes from?" I ask, hoping the answer is yes.

I would hate to go to all this trouble just to find out I can only gain a single unique ability, which would be pretty annoying. Then again, what if my ability is a super cool power? One that was never shown in the show… nah, I'd prefer Micah and Monica's powers.

"It will require the creation of a synthetic gene, one that incorporates the extra gene as well as the DNA of the donor." Caine replies, causing me to grin widely. "I can synthesize the genes using excess waste and materials from within your body, it will require several minutes work however."

Nice, nanites are so awesome.

"Go ahead and do so, I want both of those abilities before I move on the next target." I command, pushing the single button required of me.

Caine nods and vanishes, activating the nanites as he does so and beginning the first step of the process, a countdown clock appears on the MURS screen; an hour and thirty minutes until completion.

"Well, that gives me time for a well-deserved lunch." I hum, activating the cloaking component of the MURS and hopping off the roof.

I land without a sound, the kinetic energy of my fall being absorbed with ease and begin making my way down the street, paying no attention to who bounces off my aura; if the invisible man could get away with it, why can't I?

Hidden within an alleyway behind my targets building, I deactivate my cloak and activate the phasing device, grinning as my body is pulled into an alternate dimension. With silent steps I pass through the wall before me and instantly focus on the man sitting a few feet away, a man who's full attention is on the small pocket watch in his hand, Gabriel Gray a.k.a Sylar.

I've made my appearance far before he's gained all of his abilities, far before he's had a chance to kill and murder his way to his invincible power. Not that I have much of a choice anyways, I want his original ability, his ability to instantly understand how things work; it'll be easier to gain said ability without dozens of other abilities mixed in.

Still unnoticed by my target, I drop back into phase and make my presence known, choosing to scare him much like he does his future victims.

"Hello Gabriel." I comment, causing him to spin in his seat, eyes wide with surprise.

Before he can react to my sudden appearance, I flick the fingers on my right hand, causing him to go flying across the room. Another sweep of my hand forces him up against the wall, restraining him and pinning him to the wall with an invisible force.

Huh, telekinesis is far simpler than I expected, then again I'm not exactly using my mind to achieve the same effect as an actual telekinetic. My method involves simply manipulating kinetic energy to achieve the same ability as an actual psychic, and I've absorbed more than enough kinetic energy to know how it all works.

"Isn't this ironic?" I ask, slowly stalking up to him, ignoring the sheer terror in his eyes as he takes in my appearance. "Then again, I suppose you have no idea what I'm talking about."

He tries to speak but I flick my fingers once more, causing his mouth to close with a painful sounding click, effectively silencing him. "Please don't try to beg Gabriel, I know what you are, what you're capable of."

With that my hand is on his chest, nanites seeping into his skin and copying his DNA, ignoring his wide, terrified eyes. Once the nanites are extracted I release him, allowing him to drop to the floor, free from the restraint of my power.

"I'll be keeping an eye on you Gabriel, do try and behave or I might just come back to deal with you." I finish, looking up as the bell above the door rings.

With a quick burst of movement I'm cloaked and out of the store, easily passing through the now open door without disturbing the man entering the store. I take one final look into the store before leaving, Sylar is sitting up now, his head darting around frighteningly as Chandra Suresh rushes to his side; the old man doing his best to help the man that will likely kill him in the future.

I could have just killed Sylar and saved the lives of his future victims, but that would just mess with the space-time continuum and change the future of this reality. I don't much care about the space-time continuum and all that jazz but knowing how the future of this world will go, I don't feel like changing things all that much, not as far as Sylar is concerned at least.

While I feel bad about the people he'll kill someday, none of that matters in the grand scheme of things, they're just a handful of insignificant dots where the multiverse is concerned. Killing Sylar could just make things worse for this reality, otherwise Hiro and Peter would have gone back in time and ended him much sooner, then again it might be because the screenwriters didn't think of that.

Either way, I dont plan to kill Sylar nor do I feel the need to save his future victims, a pointless task all things considering; after all, there are countless dimensions out there, many of which where those very people do survive and live long saving them in a single dimension will make absolutely no difference in the grand scheme, other that providing me with some amount of entertainment...hm.. nah, not worth it, I have other things to deal with.

Satisfied with the completion of my task, I leave the store behind, turning into a nearby alley and dropping my cloak.

"Caine," I call, suppressing a startled jump as the AI appears beside me, falling in stride with my steps. "Synthesize and implement the new ability I've just acquire, but make sure it can be turned off whenever I will it."

While my other abilities are built without a shutoff switch, I need Sylar's ability to have one; it's far too dangerous to have it activated at all the time. Coupled with my other abilities, the hunger for knowledge and power could lead to the death of millions of innocents, I just can't have that happening. Besides, Intuitive Aptitude is an ability that is only required at certain times, namely when I want to learn the inner workings of a highly advanced device without wasting my time.

Caine nods and vanishes, returning to wherever he stays when he's not needed, probably some digitized world similar to that of the human form replicators.

'Hmm, what can I do for seventy-five minutes?' I wonder, taking a glance at the countdown clock on the MURS screen. 'Maybe some sleep before I go pick a fight with a god.'