Chapter 1: Used To Be

Alex Mercer was a long way away from New York, yet he could still feel that same sense of familiarity in this new town. The citizens still gave him strange looks wherever he walked around. Pedestrians still reacted the same way when he shapeshifted his viral biomass in public. Law enforcement was still quick to go to guns the moment Mercer used his whipfist to snatch up and consume a police officer on duty.

He'd already lost all faith in humanity. The ensuing screams of terror meant nothing to him now. All he cared about was reshaping the world into what it should've been since humans began to exist. Mankind will remain flawed in its self-destructive ways until he managed to infect everyone with the Blacklight virus. Only then would humans finally become "evolved." Only then would Mercer be able to erase this world's eternal conflict and end its suffering completely.

But before he could attempt any of that, Alex needed to make sure that the top of the food chain was reserved to him alone. He couldn't risk anyone else with formidable power usurping his control once his plans commenced, and as far as he was concerned, there was only one other person in the United States remotely capable of putting a stop to codename Zeus. Being preemptive, Alex decided the best way to take care of this potential problem was to bring the fight all the way to his target, but he would need to draw out this unknowing adversary first.

What Alex quickly gleaned from the consumed officer's memories was that his target was considered to be the hero of this still recovering city. Apparently, one of the boroughs of this urban town was the site of a large-scale terroristic attack that resulted in a deadly explosion a few months back. Just another reason Mercer needed to carry out his "new world" plan as soon as possible.

More police officers arrived on the scene via blaring police cars. Alex didn't mind having some fun with them until his intended target came to their rescue.


-X-

Things escalated quickly, to say the least. Burning automobiles were overturned and scattered about the streets. Dozens of officers lay dead in bloody heaps. Screams and piercing gunshots did nothing but add to the chaos in the atmosphere. Any minute now, and a certain Conduit would show his face.

Alex Mercer stood in the middle of a four-way intersection; he was clearly the pivotal focus of the law's attention. Bullets originating from pistols, assault rifles, and shotguns in the hands of desperately firing police officers directly ahead of Mercer repeatedly pierced his body.

Hardly even flinching, Mercer decided now was a good time to go back on the offensive. Doing a quick one-eighty, he sprinted away from the relentless gunfire and leaped to the nearest building's side, scaling up along the tall edifice's wall until kicking off and jumping back down into the fray. Mercer aimed his falling body over one of the cop cars, which was currently surrounded by six unlucky police officers. Positioning his elbow overtop the car, Alex landed a devastating elbow-slam that practically collapsed the vehicle's roof three feet into the pavement, also causing a surreal shockwave with enough force to send all six cops tumbling away.

More lawmen began raining gunfire in his direction, so Alex retreated to the police officers' periphery, avoiding the never-ending waves of ammunition. Then, Alex shifted gears and made a beeline for two cops posted up next to each other, firing from handguns. Transforming his arms into the lethal claws, Alex arrived in front of the officers and drove his claws through both of their chests, earning screams of pain from either of them as blood marked the streets.

Extracting his claws and allowing the two cops to fall lifelessly, Alex restored his limbs back into human arms, looking around to see if his target was ready to come out and play. Still, he was nowhere to be found.

Shrugging, Mercer said without remorse, "Looks like he needs more goading. Where are you, Conduit?"

Transforming his right arm into the deadly blade, Mercer turned and honed in on another police officer, who panicked and fired potshots at the incoming Prototype. Even though Alex could've easily cleaved said officer in half, he actually felt somewhat merciful and only left a deep gash that ran across the man's upper body, resulting in the cop faltering and bleeding out on the ground.

"I can do this all day," Alex muttered, turning around to face the rest of the police. Oddly enough, they ceased firing, opting to take cover behind vacant automobiles. Squinting at them, Alex wasn't sure if they were all just stricken with terror or something else was about to happen…

An electric jolt suddenly caught Zeus in the center of his back. Having jolted forward from the shock, Alex whirled around immediately to finally catch sight of the man he'd been looking for. Standing just ten feet away, he was a man of average height sporting a buzz cut, a yellow jacket, dark gray pants, and a one-strap sling backpack; his clothes reflected that of a bike courier's apparel.

Glaring heavily at the man, Alex allowed his right arm to revert back to normal, clenching his fists down by his sides in unyielding pre-battle tension.

Judging by the man's facial expression, he didn't seem too happy with Alex's messy work. Scowling back at Alex, the man declared, "It's over, freak."

Smirking, Alex replied before officially starting the fight, "My thoughts, exactly."

Like lightning, Alex planted his right fist into the street, simultaneously distributing a tremor of ground spikes that moved beneath the pavement the other man stood on. This man's instincts definitely must have been superhuman in nature judging by how fast he dodge-rolled out of the way before Alex's fifteen-feet-tall ground spikes impaled him.

Just as quick as they'd risen out the ground, the spikes retracted back into the pavement and returned to Mercer's arms. Before Mercer could even follow up with another attack, the other man had used both of his hands to summon an electromagnetic shockwave to forcibly send Alex airborne into the side of an abandoned SUV.

Alex's opponent was fast and relentless; before the Prototype could even regain his bearings, the man with the buzz cut charged forward and repeatedly punched Alex against the SUV. For each impact of his fists, the man's arms sparked with electricity, sending painful shocks through Alex's body like a flurry of electrifying agony. When the pummeling finally ended, Alex looked up to see the man backflip and lob a flashing blue orb towards him; this orb, evidently a collection of electrical energy, seemingly stuck to Alex's chest with the weight of a beach ball. Seconds later, the orb exploded like a powerful hand grenade.

Dazed and damaged, Mercer found himself lying face-up on the street in a cloud of dirt. In the immediate vicinity, he could hear the other man say decisively, "Good riddance."

With a small chuckle, Mercer stood up to his feet, smirking at his electrically powerful opponent. Earning a curious look from the man, codename Zeus stated, "I hear you're one of those Conduit things—the Prime Conduit, to be exact. Sorry, but not even you can take me down that easily."

Now, it was Alex's turn to show off his moves, mainly one of his Devastators. Bending his knees a little, Mercer concentrated deeply as wormlike biomasses encircled his arms and torso, indicating an extreme buildup of inner power. As he did so, he could clearly see that the other man's face was stricken with apprehension. Finally, Mercer let loose his highly destructive Tendril Barrage technique, encroaching the entire block with dozens of spearing black tendrils that originated from his back. Just as Mercer expected, his quick adversary had been able to successfully dodge one of the tendrils hurtling his way

This time around, Mercer tried something new with his technique; like plethoric extra arms, he used some of those tendrils to snag up a few fallen police officers, pulling them into his body for immediate consumption. After each tendril retracted once more into his back, Mercer was pleased to find that most of his wounds from earlier had rapidly healed over. Casually standing on the street, Mercer awaited his foe's next move with a cool and confident expression.

Angered by Mercer's freaky rampage, the electric man started in a low growl, "I don't know who or what the hell you are, but I'm bringing you down. And if you think you can come into my city and kill innocent people like the monster you are, then you're in for one hell of a surprise."

Alex mocked, "Big words, Electric Man."

"Wait…I know who you are, now," the other man suddenly stated, seemingly on to something. "You're the beast Kessler warned me about!"

Shaking his head, Mercer nullified, "Beast? I guess you could insert that moniker under my résumé. Actually, I used to be known as Alex Mercer. Used to be." Looking his opponent dead in the eye, Alex deduced, "And you must be the infamous Cole MacGrath."


-X-

It's another Deathmatch! This time, we've got Alex Mercer from Prototype going head to head with the hero-version of Cole MacGrath from the Infamous series! A match made in Combat Heaven!

Usually, when I do Deathmatches, I have two stories go out at the same time, one for each respective franchise. Last week, I updated Cole's side of the first chapter without updating this one…which was late and delayed even more. Work with me guys. This whole "weekly update" thing is sort of new to me, but I'm catching on.

So please, stay in touch for more on-time updates of Deathmathes, stories, and more action-packed entries every week! (Usually on Thursdays.)