All standard disclaimers apply, you can use what I have written, but if you have any decency as an author, please ask me first.
Life, things in it can be harrowing, dangerous, disgusting, bloody, cruel, but there would always be beauty, even if you must look hard to see it.
Friday, the Fifteenth of November, Two Thousand Five
Hundred. Victor Von Doom clasped his hands behind his back as
he stared out his office window. He looked over the new buildings, the
people, who seemed so happy in their daily lives.
It was so terrible that it was all so fragile… oh so very fragile.
The threats reawakening in the world were greater by the day. Hate. Fear.
Even with his vast knowledge, his highly advanced technology, and his rather impressive life span, he still could not understand why humans and mutants alike had to carry on such petty fights, such petty hatreds.
He sighed and placed a hand on the window pane. If only things in history had gone differently, maybe there would be less fear. People needed to know they were safe. But it wouldn’t happen as long as some people believed they were greater then others.
“Sir,” the voice of his assistant came from the intercom on his desk,
“Exodus is here to see you.”
Victor moved away from his window and pressed a button on the intercom.
“Send him in please.”
The solid oak double doors to his office swung open a moment later and Exodus stepped into the room, his black cape flowing behind him, a black bag slung over his shoulder.
“Ah, Exodus, a flare for the dramatic as always.” Exodus just waved a hand slamming the doors behind him with a touch of his power. The tall black haired mutant stalked over to the small bar at the side of Doom’s office and poured himself a glass of water.
“Victor, I seriously think you should reconsider some of these applicants for your Avengers.” Doom had known this one was coming.
“Oh, really. I thought we agreed to stay out of each others ways when forming our teams, me my Avengers and you, your new X-Men.” Exodus chucked his still full glass at Doom who sighed as it shattered on the wall next to his head.
“Still temperamental I see.” Before Doom could blink Exodus was holding a glowing hand to his throat.
“My team. We both know that the existence of this team of mine, is supposed to remain out of public view, which brings me to ask why you are being so careless with its name.”
“Because I know for a fact that this entire room is completely bug free, its window is a two way, it’s sound proofed, is impervious to most scanning devices and has a device that can scramble telepathic waves.”
Exodus shoved him aside to stand looking out the window as Doom had before.
“These times are dangerous, things are almost exactly like they were right before Apocalypse’s reign. I’m sure I don’t have to spell out for you what that means.”
Doom nodded and moved to stand beside the dark mutant. “I know. Things can go almost any way. You and I have both done all we can to ensure a peaceful co-existence, but now, with groups of human or mutant haters springing up everywhere, most of which we are unable to track, Magneto’s dream does seem to be sliding farther into the background once more.”
Exodus nodded. “True, but the majority of people enjoy not having to look over their backs every second. They enjoy not having to worry about proving themselves.”
“And what of those who don’t?”
Exodus laughed, “Doom, the answer to that is right in front of you. They become like us.”
Doom nodded. “I am not surprised you think that way, my old friend.” The two moved away from the wall, Doom’s mechanical body moving with the fluidity of Exodus’s flesh.
“Now, Exodus, I admit to guessing you’d have some problems with my team, but I am still unsure as to what problems you’d have.” Exodus stared at him.
“They are each suburb candidates, when looked at individually but I’m more then a little worried at the sparks that will fly when you try and get them to work together, I know for a fact that two of them would love to tear each others throats out as it was I who stopped a brawl between them a mere two years ago.”
Now Doom looked interested, “Exodus, you’ll have to tell me that tale, it isn’t in their files. And as a matter of fact, I have already made my final selections. I now have a final team of eleven. They have all just arrived on location and are waiting in my boardroom, would you like to meet them?”
Exodus nodded. “Let’s get this over with, it will be amusing to watch.”
“You have no faith in my judge of character do you?”
Exodus smirked, “I’ll bet you handling the next shift rotations for all of Eurasia that someone is trying to kill someone when we get there.”
Now Doom smirked, “Exodus, you have a deal, and no dumping it on aides or department heads.”
“As if it would be anything else.”
“Well then, this way if you please.” With a swirl of green cape Doom walked out of his office and down the halls to one of his boardrooms, Exodus placed a hand on the bag at his side, then followed Doom. As they walked in they counted two people unconscious, three nearly there, five others at each others’ throats, and one person standing in a corner watching in amused silence.
“ENOUGH!!” All movement in the room ceased. Doom walked forward and quickly checked the two unconscious ones while Exodus quickly went over the barely conscious three. It took five minutes before everyone was sitting at the conference table, most of them nursing wounds and headaches that Doom and Exodus had refused to let them go get treated.
“I can count on one hand all the times in my life I have been this embarrassed.” Doom glared at each of his new Avengers in turn, his mechanical eyes boring into them. Only two managed not to shiver. “You all are some of he best in your fields yet you are no better then petulant little brats! I pick you to form possibly the most elite group of peace-keepers yet you can’t even lay eyes on one another without starting a fight! WHAT!”
Exodus placed his elbows on the table next to his black bag, placing his chin on his black-gloved hands as he stared at the black haired teen who was getting the full of one of Doom’s better death glares.
“Well, sir, with all due respect, we didn’t have any idea as to why we were here, and still don’t have much, and before you brought us all together you should have made sure there wouldn’t be any problematic history or personality combinations.”
Doom fumed but before he could form a reply Exodus stood up. “Well said,
young Canders. Oh, and Victor, I’ll make the arrangements for you to handle all of Eurasia’s next shift appointments.” If Doom’s face had still been flesh it would have been a truly shocking shade of red.
“Lord Exodus, thanks to you people I stopped being young a long time ago, and I have a truly hectic schedule so if you and Lord Doom are done with your little games I’d appreciate getting back to it.”
Exodus smiled slightly. “Now, Canders, your schedule is being taken care of even as we speak, and I am shocked, Victor, that you didn’t even tell these fine people as to why they are here.”
Doom glared at him. “Exodus, I felt it best to maintain certain security
procedures in light of what we were discussing earlier. Now, before we get any further, I believe introductions are in order?” Doom motioned to the vacated seats and Canders sat down, while Exodus just waved his hand.
Doom glared at him again.
“People, welcome to the first meeting of the Avengers.” He was met with a variety of faces and the amount of shock in several of them allowed him to regain some of the pride he had lost in the bet with Exodus.
“As you are aware from the announcement made near a year ago, I have chosen to create a new team of heroes who will avenge the wrongs committed on society, who will avenge those placed lower by others. A list of worthy candidates for so difficult a mission was given to me and Exodus by a worried deity, Thor, God of Thunder. If any of you meet him, which I’m sure some of you will, take care not to anger him. It has taken me a year but I have narrowed down the list of candidates he provided to you eleven. You are the most capable and the most ready, despite some of your ages. Now for those of you who do not already know or hate each other, allow me to make introductions, stand up when called.”
Doom pointed to the black haired teen who challenged him.
“Canders Mitchell,” the boy flipped him off as he stood. His black hair
looked greasy like he hadn’t washed it in a while, and his brown eyes seemed to bore a hole right through him.
“Raben Ulgrad, Lightstrike.” Doom smiled as much as he could as he looked across the table to where the pure white teen looked like he was going to be sick. The teen stood up, and Doom could see small bursts of energy as white as the boy start to jump around the nervous teen. Doom was certain that if the kid had irises in those white eyes of his they would be huge. His white hair seemed to froth around his head, blending with the light around him while his white skin seemed to throw all the light in the room back at his eyes.
“Trista Blare, Cold Shot.” The blonde haired blue eyed woman stood up, tossing her head. She glared across the table at one of the males, a gash on her cheek had just stopped bleeding.
“Max Ichahara.” The black teen seemed to be the exact opposite of the young Raben, black haired, black eyed, black skinned. The solemn teen nodded as he stood up, then held a hand to his head trying to steady himself.
“Mule.” The towering mutant just looked at him blankly as he rose to his
feet, you couldn’t see any bruises or cuts due to the rather shaggy nature of the silent man.
“Jenna Starmy,” the red haired girl stood up, blue eyes flashing, she fingered a bruise on her right arm as she smirked and coolly eyed the rest of the team.
“Ryan and Rachel Wilson,” two nearly identical teens smiled and stood, their gray hair and eyes sparkling, the two flicked their fingers and a burst of fire shot over everyone’s heads. Almost everyone hit the floor and the two chuckled earning them several glares.
“Melissa Valoy.” The brown eyed woman stood up, flipping some of her long brown hair over her shoulder. She had a hand pressed against the side of her stomach.
“Ben Avrey,” a purple haired man with a military bearing stood up, one of his green eyes were beginning to disappear in the beginnings of a truly horrific swollen black eye, he was sure that Trista had given it to him due to the fact he was now returning her glare full force.
“Amelia Carter.” A blonde haired girl jumped up, her glowing pink eyes
almost matching the little kid type smile on her face.
“Now that those introductions have been made get yourselves to the infirmary, sixth floor. Go.” The team moved towards the door to only to stop when Canders stopped in the door.
“Lord Doom, what if we do not wish to join your Avengers?”
Doom smiled, “Canders, at the moment you have absolutely no choice, now get out of here.”
The black haired teen stormed out, followed by the rest of team.
Exodus looked over at him. “You certainly handled that, I am so impressed.”
“If that had been sarcastic, I’d think you had absolutely no respect for me.”
“What makes you think I do?”
Doom glared at the door his Avengers vanished through.
“THAT BASTARD!!” Canders screamed as punched the infirmary wall while watching the others get patched up. He sagged against the wall. “Damn it
all, why can’t you two just leave me alone?”
“You know, all that rage won’t do you any good.” Canders spun around and
flipped off the red haired Jenna and sank into a chair next to him.
“Why don’t you shut up, his rage is justified.” Max said as he shoved the medic away from him. “These Immortal Leaders do whatever they want with almost no care to what the rest of us mortals have in mind. That much is obvious.”
“They must have good reason, they probably have more concerns then they let out, besides, they have always been there to protect us, lead us, we are theirs to command.” Trista said as the medic near her just shook his head, the gash on her cheek had already healed. She received several heated glares.
“And we were chosen by a God. There is no way to escape divine duty.” Jenna said calmly.
“Screw that. I’ll walk around naked in front of a leaders assembly if that so called ‘God of Thunder’ is real.” Ben said as a medic ran a device over his swollen eye.
Jenna narrowed her eyes. “You should be more careful when you speak of
things you could not possibly understand.”
“Oh really, little girl. So enlighten me.” The tall purple haired mutant
moved to tower over the red haired woman.
“Listen you prick. I’m nineteen, you are just four years older then me but you have seen or done nothing compared to what I have.” She shoved him away from her and moved to storm out of the room when Melissa Valoy moved in front of her.
“Listen, all of you. This isn’t right, some of us definitely have problems with other people in this group. But it is also obvious that we’re going to be stuck together for a while whether we like it or not. So we may as well forget about the past and start over or we will never live through this.”
They all looked at her, some nodded and some just stood still, but all
“Excuse me for interrupting.”
The Avengers turned to see an elderly man in all black standing in a doorway.
“My name is Larden. I have been assigned as the housekeeper and butler for the team’s mansion. If you will all follow me transports are waiting for us.” He turned to lead the way but was stopped by Raben turning into a flash of white light and appearing almost instantly in front of him.
“They didn’t say anything about us moving!” The young mutant looked absolutely panicked.
“Relax young sir. It will not be that bad. This way please.”
Jenna went over to the teen who was starting to hyper ventilate. “It’ll be okay. At least you’ll have company.”
He looked up at her and tried to smile.
They were practically shoved out of the way by Mule who strode past them
after Larden. Canders followed him with the twins after him, the others
followed them but none of them looked happy.
When they arrived at the mansion they were each informed about the extensive automated security. Everything was DNA coded as to prevent unauthorized personal from using dangerous items. They learned that all of their belongings had been taken from their residences and offices. Everything had then been placed in the exact same order. Some were interested when they learned that all sorts of extensive labs were at their disposal.
They were lead to their rooms by Larden who explained that aside from a few robots he was the only help at the mansion. He then informed them that any food or drink preferences were to be given to him and he’d arranged for them to be accommodated. He then advised them to study the maps of the mansion on the tables, to look around, and to not be late for the meeting at six. Then he vanished.
They each decided to ignore his advice and they locked themselves in their rooms, which as he had told them, were exactly like they were before being moved to the mansion. Larden had explained that they would be required to keep some things slightly more sanitary though.
Around five fifty they all grabbed their maps and started off to find the meeting room. Only three of them made it there before six.
Canders settled into one of the chairs around the conference table. His eyes kept looking around at the numerous computers even as Mule stalked into the room. Jenna Starmy walked in a minute later.
At six exactly Doom and Exodus walked into the room. Doom looked at the only three occupants of the room and hit a button on his wrist, “Larden, come to the briefing room please.” Exodus gave a small laugh and slid into a seat, he placed his black bag on the table in front of him and leaned backwards in his seat.
“Yes, sir.” A minute later Larden walked in and immediately saw the problem, he hit a button on the wall and spoke quietly into a microphone that appeared out of the wall. It slid back when he was done and he nodded to Doom and Exodus.
“Is their anything you would like, sirs? Lady?”
“An ice water Larden,” said Exodus, when Doom shook his head.
“I’ll take the blackest coffee you have.” Canders murmured as he watched slightly wide eyed as a robot came in and dumped a sheepish looking Raben and Amelia on the floor at Doom’s feet then left.
Mule just grunted at the show, “The strongest alcoholic drink you got.”
Jenna pressed a hand to her forehead. “A cup of very hot water.”
The two kids picked themselves up off the floor just in time to avoid having Ben dropped on them by another robot.
“The two things with the most caffeine in the house.” Raben said and Amelia quickly agreed with him.
Larden looked at Ben expectantly and he finally got it, “your strongest coffee with two sugars.”
Larden moved out of the way of another robot dragging a kicking and screaming Melissa into the room. She immediately shut up, and when Larden asked her for her drink order she turned even pinker then Amelia’s eyes and muttered “Water”.
The doors slid open to reveal not more Avenger bearing robots but the triumphant looking Ryan and Rachel who gave each other a high five while
screaming “We finally found it!” Their drink orders were both iced tea with a lot of sugar and lemon.
Trista was dragged in moments later literally be the seat of her pants by a damaged robot. She glared at the robot then stood up straight and calmly walked to a chair. Her drink order was rose hip tea.
Max calmly walked in moments later, dragging with him the remains of a robot. He dropped it at Doom’s feet with a muttered, “oops.”
“Now that we are all here,” said Doom in a slightly sarcastic voice making several of the Avengers cringe, “we can get down to business.” He surveyed the motley group in front of him and sighed, maybe Exodus had been right. He looked over at the normally stoic mutant who was still trying to hold in his laughter and Doom sighed again.
“This team, the Avengers. Exodus and I designed the concept for the Avengers to give humans and mutants alike hope for the future. You will be a versatile team used to attack problems at their source before they can become very large, but also to defend the populace in case of attack. Together this team will avenge the wrongs done to society. You will be a symbol of hope for the good of society and a symbol of ends to the bad. The Avengers will play a definitive part in changing this world to be one where dreams can come true. A world where no one needs to live in fear, a world that can teach anyone, anyone at all, that differences can be joyous, and that there is beauty in the smallest things.”
The room remained silent for what seemed like ages as people fiddled with cups they didn’t remember being brought in. Doom himself broke the silence by clapping his hands together. “On a lighter note, in two days is the official announcement of the finished roster. There will be a press conference which you will all attend, followed by a banquet, you will all be at this as well. For those of you without code names, I want them to me by tomorrow. I also want each of you to submit costume designs by tomorrow and they will be seen to at once. If you don’t have them in by noon, it will be up to my design artists. Also, if you have ideas for a team symbol, submit them as well. And since I am still not over how you all acted upon first meeting, each of your rooms, this includes in some cases labs, will be locked without you in them from seven in the morning until seven at night, you will have to spend all of you time in the physical presence of another team member, you’ll all learn to get along if it takes a hundred years. Plus, each one of you is to submit a reason as to why you think our reality still exists, and it must have some solid reasoning to how you reached the conclusion.”
“Darn, and I thought being an Avenger would mean I wouldn’t have any more homework.” Amelia muttered and everyone in the room except Doom and Exodus laughed.
“Now all of you get to looking around this mansion or you’ll never find
your way around this thing.”
They all bustled out while Doom and Exodus remained seated around the giant circular table. “I must admit Victor, they are doing far better then I assumed.”
Doom looked over at Exodus, “really, they are performing far less then what I would call adequate.”
Exodus stood up and pressed a panel on a computer so that some of the screens sprung to life and showed the Avengers trying to find their ways back to their rooms. “That is the problem. You and I have survived for so long, we each have aided in many things that some would call miraculous. It has become second nature to the both of us, it occasionally brings us to believe that everyone else can do the same. They’re just kids compared to us. They have lived their lives in a world far safer then the ones we have. They’re scared, Victor, and truthfully, I had expected at least six of them to be raving at this point.”
Victor Von Doom looked at the images of his new charges and for not the first and not the last time, wondered if this had been a good idea.
Saturday, the Sixteenth of November, Two Thousand Five Hundred.
Despite all his hopes and dreams of becoming a hero, an adventurer, someone whom his ancestors could be proud of, Raben was scared out of his mind, and this was just a practice session. Raben quickly lighted out of Ben’s way, the purple haired mutants limp form banging into the concrete wall behind him. He then eeped and dodged out of Trista’s way as the crazed woman was sent barreling after him by Rachel. He looked up at the gray haired girl and gulped. She set her sights on him and advanced towards him, her hands beginning to glow yellow with psionic energies. His eyes exploded with a white as he crunched down in fear, his powers reacted and they lighted him right towards her.
She dodged him, partially.
She screamed in agony as his light form passed through her leg like a
thousand lasers, the partially organic energy he could transform himself
into burning her, her nerve ends firing all at once as the energies stimulated her own electrical responses. He managed to coalesce himself into a shining semi-solid form behind her. She spun on him and fire began to leap into the air along with more energies.
He panicked even more and his powers lashed out releasing a burst of light from his hand that slammed into her, sending her flying after Ben and Trista. He breathed heavily and he felt himself shift all the way back to his solid form only to be tackled to the ground by a giant white tiger. He screamed and what seemed to be a small super nova was created and the tiger’s roar of pain drowned out his startled cry. Everything in the room stopped as the white light exploded, when it died down everyone looked to see Raben start to cry as he quickly shoved the tiger’s smoking form of him. He started sobbing and
didn’t stop even as Jenna and Canders jumped forward to check on the tiger and said aside from losing all his fur he was fine, as Amelia ran up to him and tried to hug him. He didn’t stop sobbing until the tiger began to stiffly move again, and then slowly collapsed in on itself to reveal a grinning Max.
“Kid, that was the biggest jolt of power that’s hit me in ten years, nice one.” Then Raben started to laugh.
He was sitting in the corner of one of the larger common rooms, the rest
of the team, even Canders and Mule, had gathered there, trying to at least cheer him up a little.
He looked down at his own uniform, blue with white lightning, why did he think he was worthy enough to wear this? He didn’t deserve his name, Lightstrike. He looked around at the others, they were real heroes, even if they didn’t want to be, which made him feel even more upset, he wanted to be a real hero yet all he could do was act like a petrified child. He looked at the others again, each like him wearing their new uniforms that only accentuated their code names, new and old.
In a yellow body suit with pink boots, gloves, and belt, Amelia Carter, Hail Fire. Abilities: like the legendary Gambit she could kinetically charge items to turn out one heck of a blast. Plus she had a kind and generous heart.
Sporting browns and greens Melissa Valoy, Hood. A master marksmen and thief. She could break into almost anything and hit any target. Agile, strong and smart, she could calculate scenarios and plan for eventualities at the same rate as any computer and got people out alive.
Ben Avrey, Triton. He could turn things, even living beings, into water. May not sound like much until you find yourself drowning in the middle of a steel room as the air inside your lungs transforms into water. Yet he wouldn’t do that for he was the most honorable person Raben had ever met.
Max Ichahara, Lunar. He could turn himself in whole or part into a white
tiger, but had it’s grace and power in all forms, he could use it’s skills to maneuver any terrain in nearly any conditions. He was the one that Raben had nearly char-broiled. His costume was made up specially between Larden and Canders. It consisted mainly of white straps that when he transformed into a tiger retracted into a silver collar and belt that stayed on him transformed and then would shoot from the belt and collar to wrap around him forming his uniform again when he transformed back into human.
Canders Mitchell, Hotwire. That kid could do anything with machines, it had only taken him twenty minutes to rig up Max’s uniform, and he was already working on something similar to it for the rest of them. He also had this weird connection with computers, when Amelia asked him what it was he said he had a chip implanted inside his head that let him connect with any computer by touch.
Rachel Wilson, Sadju. Her uniform was a solid gray body suit that had gray pieces of body armor strapped to it. She seemed to have a natural dislike of weakness, and she had already displayed enough powers that Raben definitely categorized her as not weak. She also seemed to have absolutely no qualms about using her powers among which Raben had already counted telekinesis, psionic blasts, and pyro-kinetics.
Ryan Wilson, Chaser. His uniform was also gray with body armor, and like
his sister displayed many powers and very little hindrances in using them. Yet unlike his sister, who hated weaknesses with a passion, he seemed to think that it was a rather small problem, and that weaknesses just needed to be worked on until they were stronger.
Trista was wearing an icy blue uniform with plenty of black and silver
weapons strapped to her and looked precisely like what she was. The combat and weapon specialist, ace assassin, Cold Shot. Her icy demeanor and complete dedication to whatever cause the leaders pointed her at made a very, very, chilling combo.
Mule, that guy was odd. He hadn’t given any other name and wasn’t inclined to, his uniform consisted of a red criss-crossed black body suit and that was it. Aside from his super human strength Raben hadn’t seen anything else special about him, but with this crowd he wouldn’t be surprised if the guy could turn himself into a soprano singing Apocalypse.
Jenna Starmy, if it wasn’t for her sweet mannerisms, Raben would have
screamed bloody murder at being in the same room with her. She had named
herself Salem. A historical event so vague that Raben barely remembered it and had to ask her about it, and she told him it had been a witch hunt. An event that had left more then a few innocents dead thanks to superstition and fear of the unknown. She said that the new Salem would be different, that according to the spirits things would change this time around. He didn’t doubt her, or the spirits she could call upon, especially as he remembered the burn marks that she had had a spirit leave on Rachel when the girl had laughed at the thought of spirits.
And then there was him. He had no place among these people, they were all so strong and in control. Then there was him, most likely chosen to be a poster boy. He wanted to cry again. But he wouldn’t. He had already screwed up enough for today, and wasn’t going to mess things up any more. He’d make himself worthy of his blood even if it killed him.
Exodus and Doom glared at each other, Exodus’s hand firmly on his bag.
“We can’t read them Victor! They could destroy us!”
“Maybe not! Their knowledge could save us! Even you have admitted things are near chaotic, those records could prevent that! Give us a warning of what to expect! Besides, she asked that they be opened now, how do we know if she wanted us to open them because of something that happens now!” Doom screamed back at him.
“We can’t!! Knowledge is Power! You know as well as I do what power has done to many people, it corrupts them!Look at what we suspect it’s doing to Lensheer! There could be ultimate knowledge! Ultimate power! Ultimate Corruption!”
Suddenly there was a knock on the door. They glared at it and Doom hit a
button on his desk and they both screamed “WHAT!!!”
The voice of his assistant came stammering through the intercom, “I apologize for interrupting, but we have a seer screaming about blood and fire and death in the lobby.”
Doom and Exodus glared at each other, each thinking that this proved their point, and stormed out of the office, Exodus clutching at the bag he swung onto his shoulder.
They each remained silent as the elevator took them swiftly downwards. The elevator pinged and they walked out into the lobby to see a woman screaming and crying as she fought against a bunch of security guards.
Exodus concentrated and with a small burst of telekinesis sent all the guards flying away from the woman he recognized as Cynthia Dagthers, a confirmed time mutant whose near absolutely uncontrollable gift would occasionally shunt her mind down possible time streams to moments of great concentrated emotions, normally disasters.
She had given them warning many times before of things she had seen, and in result had saved many lives, including several of the new Avengers and some of his X-Men.
Exodus moved cautiously towards the woman and knelt in front of her. “Cynthia, Cynthia?”
She looked at him and more tears fell down her face, her voice was nearly inaudible when she spoke. “Oh, Lord Exodus, it is so horrible. There was so much blood, it was everywhere, over all the bodies, everything, all the buildings were shattered, and there was this crazed sounding laughter, I looked around and in the center of it all it looked like a garden. A beautiful garden. But in it there were even more bodies, some had weird symbols on them. Then piled on these bodies were you and Lord Doom, but you both looked dead too. Standing above you two was a girl, at least I think she was a girl, she seemed so hurt, but so vengeful and full of hatred, she was the one laughing. She looked right at me and smiled, it would have shredded my soul if I had really been here, I’m sure of it. She looked at me and said all humans would pay for hurting her. Then she laughed again and her body changed, it got larger, it looked like Apocalypse’s, then he said only the strong would survive, then he held two books in his hands and tore them to shreds.”
She let out another sob and then cried again, clutching him tightly. He
gently pulled her to her feet and motioned for Doom’s assistant to come
take care of her. The assistant, he really had to learn the woman’s name, gently pulled Cynthia away from Exodus and started leading her to a private lounge down the hall.
Suddenly Cynthia screamed and started pointing at a Wall. Exodus teleported himself to her side and then looked at the wall where she was pointing. On it was a mural of most of the first X-Men standing on a cliff overlooking a barren city, the sun just beginning to rise behind them. Before he could draw his eyes away from the image to ask Cynthia what it was, he had to smile lightly at the carefully crafted depiction of his savior, holding his wife, his love and life, Rouge, tightly, their child Charles held between them. Pietro was sitting with Storm less then a foot away from them.
Exodus glared at the depiction of him and Dazzler however, those memories best left forgotten.
He looked down at Cynthia who was pointing and mumbling in a quiet voice, “that’s her, she was younger but that’s her.”
“Who is who, Cynthia?” He asked.
She looked up at him then at Doom who had come up behind him, “The laughing girl, she has longer hair and her bangs aren’t short, and she looked younger, but that’s her I swear it.” Exodus looked at the mural again, not able to tell who she was pointing to.
Doom moved to the mural and pointed at Storm. “Her?” He asked.
“No, her.” She pushed away from the assistant and Exodus to walk up to
the mural and reached as high as she could, her fingers brushing against
the picture of Rogue…
Then she fainted, and Exodus clasped his bag tightly as the assistant and Doom dropped beside the unconscious woman, trying to revive her.
Maybe Doom was correct. He looked over at the crowd of business people
and then tourists and people from the street who had come to see what
the commotion was about. He let his eyes fall to the bag, two books ripped to pieces in Apocalypses hands, they could be these, it could be they held a secret to destroy him.
He looked over at Doom again, should he risk it? Take the slight chance of letting himself become Apocalypse, in order to stop the egotistical wanna be world leader himself. He didn’t know, but in the end, it boiled down to was Apocalypse really back, who managed to bring him back, how, and why?
Sunday, the Seventeenth of November, Planet Wide Independence Day, Two
Thousand Five Hundred.
Doom paced his room as he again clicked up the feeds from the Avengers
mansion. They appeared instantly even through the mansion was miles away
from his own home. He wanted to scream as he watched the kids prepare. At least they weren’t trying to kill each other.
Ben and Trista were at it again. Damn both their extremist views toward the issues of female combat operatives. He did let a small smile as he noticed Raben and Amelia sneaking glances at each other over cold cereals in the kitchen, young love, oh so sweet. He pondered over some of the arcane things Melissa and Jenna were helping each other do to their hair then shook his head. Who would ever get females? He watched as Ryan and Mule battled all out in the training room, and Rachel who sat sulking in a corner for being left out by her brother. He looked on and mentally noted some of the new variations in the use of radiation in bio-engineering that Canders was pouring over while drinking a cup of coffee. Even Doom hadn’t seen those ones yet, he’d have to berate his aide later. It took him a moment to notice Mule sitting in one of
the gardens with a couple of tamed squirrels bouncing around him, who would have guessed, but then his file mentioned something about animals didn’t it?
“Calm down, Doom. This team might turn out to be something good after all.”
Exodus grabbed him to stop him pacing. “Besides, you are making me very
Doom collapsed onto a chair and groaned. “Exodus, you were right, these are just kids, one of the main reasons you and I have tried to stay in control is so that kids wouldn’t have to fight.”
“Doom, I know, but each one of these, in some cases because of us, have had to grow up rather fast, besides, we’re hundreds of years old, a ninety year old man on his death bed would seem young to us.”
Doom glared at him. “You take up the opposite side just for fun, don’t you.” It wasn’t a question.
“It certainly makes things interesting, and keeps us on our toes as we must be with some of the things that managed to survive along with us. Now let us collect your rugrats and get to their ceremony.”
Doom glared at him. “Bastard.”
Then he stopped, “Do you think this will really work, Exodus?”
Exodus looked down at the black bag. “I don’t know, and I don’t want to, we will try, and that is all we can do. For if I read some book, that said we failed, and then I didn’t try, and we just let the carnage Cynthia saw, a new Apocalypse, then I would never forgive myself.”
“You’re right, let’s go.”
The two Immortal Leaders walked out the door, Exodus again clutching his bag.
She smiled as she watched the proceedings from her lofty view, hidden by the light of the sun as she floated miles up from the ground. She spotted her people moving in. This day would be glorious.
With a deafening calm Doom and Exodus walked onto the raised platform
outside the mansion followed by the new team of Avengers.
Exodus looked over the gathered crowds as Doom stepped up to the microphone.
It was supposed to be his pet project after all. Plus he was better at the motivational speaking thing then Exodus was.
“Ladies and Gentlemen, for years now we have witnessed the resurgence of
crimes of hate against human and mutant alike. Many a life have been lost in this oh so fruitless pursuit, the pursuit of one’s superiority. It is today, on our Independence Day, a day when so many were freed from the clutches of Apocalypse, that we can firmly state that this will no longer be tolerated at all. Hero after hero is appearing to combat these problems facing our world. So it is my great pleasure to bring to you a gathering of heroes, formed into a team that will hopefully finally strike the ending blow to any hatred, fear, animosity, between humans and mutant alike. It is my great pleasure, to bring to you the-”
“DEAD!” With the scream bolts of lightning fell from the sky as the platform was consumed in a hail of fire. Shadows reached out from nowhere to attack the stage, and everything collapsed into one echoed scream.
End Part One
Next Issue-We would tell you, but who wants to spoil this ending? Just read it.