Marvel Iron Age: Hardy and Creed vol. 2 part 11

Continued from here Part 10

10 miles west of Murun, Mongolia

7 and his group arrived on a hill overlooking Zemo's base. 7 sat and began making adjustments to his equipment as Scalphunter sighed impatiently, "Why didn't we just drop inside?"

7 didn't look up, "He's not in there alone. Zemo has an army of Hydra agents, not to mention his primary crew which includes Callous and the Juggernaut. I'm not particularly suicidal, so I'd prefer to be prepared."

Scalphunter sighed, "Fine, but hurry it up. I don't want to miss Super Chef, Enid is probably getting eliminated tonight."

Walker glared at Scalphunter as she spoke to 7, "He's gonna turn on us the second we aren't useful."

7 kept doing what he was doing, "I know."

Scalphunter looked Walker over, "I know you from somewhere, just can't place it."

She turned sighed a bit and looked away as Scalphunter's eyes lit up, "Spark plug! You're Spark plug, that little girl who used to follow Sable and Ngumi around like a lost puppy. I think I offed your mom."

Walker lunged at the assassin but 7 caught her, "Kill him later, we have things to do."

He then looked down to Raven who had her hands and feet bound, "I still don't see why I needed to come."

Scalphunter hopped up, "He needs to look willing to make a deal."

She turned, "They're gonna kill me either way."

He chuckled, "Sounds more like a you problem. Besides, I'm probably gonna kill you all if you do survive anyway."

She turned to 7, "I really wish I hadn't met you."


7 marched toward the main entrance in full view as Scalphunter and Walker sat on a hill with rifles. Several Hydra agents surrounded them. As they went inside, Scalphunter and Walker made their way to the side. Scalphunter heard a beep as he approached the perimeter scanners. He pulled out a small device that cloaked the two from the sensors.

Walker turned on the goggles 7 had given her and saw an empty room on the other side of a wall. She then charged her knife and cut a hole in the wall and the two stepped in. Scalphunter patted her on the head, "Good girl."

She briefly considered cutting off his head but decided to hold off.


David sat in a room with blood dripping from his face as an annoyed Cutthroat looked on. Murmur entered, "Having trouble?"

She then looked in David's eyes, "Tell me everything you know about Spiders."

David gave a blank stare, "They are predatory arachnids, they have eight legs and most of them spin webs."

Murmur looked confused, "Tell me all you know about the Spider resistance."

David attempted to speak as instructed but his jaw locked. Murmur sighed, "Madam Web gave you a mental block, didn't she?"

He chuckled a bit, "Sorry lady."

She sighed, "Tell me about Shield."

His jaw locked again. She looked back to Cutthroat, "Fine old fashioned way it is."


7 and Raven were marched in front of Zemo and forced to kneel. 7 looked around, "I assumed the Juggernaut was going to crush my skull the second I arrived."

Zemo looked down, "I sent him and Callous to round up the other two you brought. I assume the Shield agent, but who is the other one?"

Claudia shrugged, "Probably another shield agent, or a spider. It shouldn't matter."

Scalphunter heard Zemo over the comm and grabbed Walker, "Oh, he's good."

The two then entered the control room.

As Zemo lifted his sword to behead Raven the place went dark. 7 cut the rope around Raven's wrists and swatted away the Hydra agents guarding them. As the lights returned they were gone.

Scalphunter and Walker looked down from the rafters as Juggernaut and Callous entered the hall. Callous sniffed the air. Scalphunter sighed, "Crap."

Callous leapt up and smashed the rafter they stood on. As they hit the floor Scalphunter grabbed something 7 had made just for the Juggernaut. He tossed the disc that attached to his chest accelerating his momentum taking him toward a wall that shattered as the Juggernaut bounced away through another wall. They turned to see an angry Callous who charged but Juggernaut tore threw a wall and slammed into the monstrous mutant launching them both away. Scalphunter looked stunned, "There's no starking way that should've worked."

Walker chuckled, "7 never fails to impress."

He looked down, "Oh my god, Spark plug has a thing for the cat guy."

She gave a hateful look and walked on, "Oh, come on. That's freaking adorable."

They ran along the hall but were slapped against a wall as Lash found them. His eyes seemed to light up at the sight of Scalphunter, "You're number 3 on my list."

"Is this about that thing in 97?"

Lash charged but Scalphunter jumped over him. He looked back to Walker, "Sorry Spark plug, got better things to do."

He then disappeared down the hall as Lash looked back to Walker, "You need to pick better friends."


As 7 and Raven Arson jumped out to attempt an ambush but 7 tossed a small sphere that exploded into a mass of fire suppressing foam that hardened around him. Shift emerged in a cloud of smoke in order to suffocate them but activated another sphere that sucked him in and trapped him.

As they approached the room where David was held Murmur and the Tinkerer stepped out. 7 shot Murmur in the mouth a hardening gel to keep her from speaking as Raven punched her hard in the face knocking her out. Tinkerer then tossed a small disc into the air. It shot a gust of wind that knocked 7 off his feet as Raven seemed to disappear.

As 7 pulled himself to his feet a suit of armor assembled around the Tinkerer, "You may be smart for an animal, but I'm out of your league."


Scalphunter followed his tracker but was distracted when Zemo and Claudia happened by. Zemo gave a wary look, "I wasn't expecting you."

Scalphunter drew his sword with a grin, "No one expects the Spanish Inquisition."

The two gave the assassin a blank look, "Nobody remembers the classics anymore."

Claudia drew her sword, "Let me dispatch this cretin, no need to sully your blade."

She charged at Scalphunter who knocked away her blade and tripped her. She gave an angry grunt as she hit the floor. He then swatted her on the ass with his sword, "Do you know how to use that thing?"

She jumped to her feet and tried to grab him with her clawed hand. He sidestepped and sliced down the claw. She was enraged as it fell to the floor, "That has been in my family for generations."

He raised his sword to finish her but was forced away as Zemo shot at him. He turned and threw a knife into the gun barrel causing a back fire. Zemo dropped the gun but drew his sword. Scalphunter looked the two of them swords ready, "Is this like a couple's thing? Kind of feel like a third wheel here."

He then took a sword hanging from the wall, "Come on, I got s**t to do."


Raven slipped in to where David was being held. She believed she'd gone unnoticed but Cutthroat looked her way, "Camo, isn't gonna work with me."

(To be continued)


Marvel Iron Age: Cage, The Fist part 9

Continued from here part 8

(Note: This is set a couple months before the current events in the Iron Age)

St. Louis M.O.

A large creature seemingly made of swamp mess walks through the streets of the city. Iron soldiers had demanded an I-Dent but it seemed unconcerned. They continuously fired on it but it barely noticed as it marched on. They finally relented as he crossed out of city limits. One claimed, "We chased it out."

"Are you kidding, the starking thing didn't even look at us."


Curtis, Tiffany and Dennis were hurried into a large shelter along with all but Ed, his sons and around 30 of the oldest boys. They were concerned about the massive steel doors blocked by several steel beams. Tiffany looked to the little girl next to her, "What's going on?"

She looked up from her doll and nonchalantly replied, "Its a full moon tonight."

Outside the shelter Ed was stretching his legs as General Balain came over the hill along with a dozen Hunter class soldiers. She gave a curious look to the group of shirtless men standing in the snow, "Don't suppose you boys have proper I-Dents?"

Ed laughed, "You have bad timing lady."

She then noticed many of the boys beginning to twitch and convulse as Ed spoke, "See a few of the older boys decided to help protect this place, so they went ahead and officially joined the Russel family."

"Where have I heard that name before?"

The Grey screamed and fell. Balain looked back,"What is it?"

She looked up shaking,"Rage, ancient and aggressive."

Ed held his gut and grunted, "Bet none of you brought silver."

Tiffany and Dennis were shocked by the sounds of animalistic roars and repulser fire as Curtis took a nap on a cot undisturbed. Tiffany shook him awake, "What?"

"Go find out what's going on out there."

He grumbled, "Fine."

He jumped up to a beam along the ceiling and looked out a window, "Awesome!"

Dennis looked up, "What?"

"A freaking werewolf army is fighting the tin goons."


The soldiers began to panic as the werewolves charged through repulser blasts. The Grey, overcome by the primal rage she felt all around ran not noticing the Krangs wandering about. Balain turned at her screams and watched as the massive reptiles ripped the mutant clone apart. She ordered a full retreat but only managed to save herself. She stopped in the air and looked down on the sight of Krangs fighting the werewolves over the remains of her soldiers.

She then hit her comm, "Marcum, we have a huge problem at Lake Tahoe."

"What now?"


The entirety of the Sacramento Iron Hall arrived early the next day but the village had completely cleared out.


Tunnels beneath Lake Tahoe, Nevada.

Curtis and the others marched with the orphans toward a Spider camp with hopes of a more permanent relocation. As they went Curtis stepped up to Ed, "So, do you remember what happens when you're all fangs and fur?"

Ed shrugs, "Bits and pieces. Mostly just a red haze."


Dodge City, Kansas

The Man-Thing marches past a band of Goblins who had taken up residence in the abandoned city. He ignored their threats and taunts as he walked to the center of the city and sat down.


Beneath Carson City, Nevada.

The tunnels let out in the ruined city. Several men from the Spider camp met them and loaded them into trucks. Curtis and Tiffany bid farewell to them as they hopped into a truck provided for them and headed east.

(To be continued.)


Marvel Iron Age: Hardy and Creed vol. 2 part 10

Continued from here part 9

Ferrum R&D New York

Scalphunter entered a small lab were a scientist in his early 30s approached, "Do you know why we still use cars and trains and all those other modes of transport way less efficient than teleportation?"

Scalphunter gave a shrug as the scientist held up a new person teleportation device, "Because these things are a pain in the ass to make and maintain, not to mention expensive. The chairman says if you break another one you have to start paying for them."

"Sometimes the job gets rough on the equipment."

The scientist named Wayne Murphy gave a wary look, "How'd you break it this time?"

He took a dramatic stance, "For science."

"You teleported an elephant into Toomes' apartment. What possible why does that count as science?"

"I don't know, but it was funny as hell."

Wayne sighed, "I also finished your tracker. Basically it just tracks the Titan tech Cain is loaded down with, as long as you stay away from those bugs in the Savage Land he should stick out like a sore thumb."

Scalphunter took the device, "And the healing factor blocker?"

"Won't be an issue, whatever Sinister did to fix you up it held up well."


Arizona dessert

David looked on nervous as he readied for a fight but a tendril caught him. After a flash of electricity David was out. Cutthroat gave a curious look, "He's still breathing."

Lash nodded, "Wouldn't be much use as bait otherwise, not to mention what he knows about Shield and the Spiders. Could be a well spring of info, and I'm betting that suit could fetch a decent price."

Claudia was setting her teleportation device, "Leave a message, make sure he brings the thief."

Cutthroat turns, "What about the cube?"

"Considering where we are, there are good odds the cat left it with the Sorcerer and we aren't prepared for that battle. So I'll just have to settle for killing him and bringing that little thief to my love so he can make an example of her."


7 along with Walker and Raven arrived where they'd left David but they were gone. Walker found David's gun laying by a message from Lash carved in the ground, 'Come find me and bring the thief.'

7 shook with rage. Walker and Raven started to back away as a light flashed in front of 7. Scalphunter looked at a device as he turned to see 7 who roared at the sight of the assassin, "Breath mints."

He then dodged as the angry Creed lunged at him. He then pulled a sword, "Hey, I know you right?"

7 pulled out his adamantium knife and slashed toward Scalphunter who sidestepped, "You damned Creeds have no manners."

He then slammed the butt of his sword into 7's head and drove a knee into his gut then shoved him to the ground. As he raised his sword to take 7's head Walker moved to tackle him but he caught her and flipped her to the ground, "Now, now, wait your turn little lady."

7 was up again with a somewhat clearer head. He fired up a repulser as Scalphunter turned back and blasted the assassin. Scalphunter was hurled back. He looked down at the hole in his chest, "My dry cleaner is gonna be pissed."

As he started to rise 7 was over him. He grabbed his throat and pushed him back down, "How did you find us?"

Scalphunter coughed out, "I wasn't looking for you, I was following Morty."

"Who's Morty?"

"He calls himself Cutthroat."

7 gave a wary look, "You can track him?"

Scalphunter nodded as he pulled a gun and shot him in the knee cap thinking the pain would force the Creed to let go. 7 responded by grunting a bit and knocking the gun away. Scalphunter then pulled a knife and stuck it in 7's neck and broke free.

As he moved to pull himself up Walker kicked him in the face. He grabbed her by the ankle and slammed her to the ground and moved to finish her but 7 had his hand around his throat again, this time with his palm repulser charged, "Move again I'll fire, at this range it'll rip your damn head off. Can you heal from that?"

Scalphunter dropped his knife, "How about we make a deal?"

(To be continued)


Marvel Iron Age: Hardy and Creed vol. 2 part 9

Continued from here part 8

Nation of the Plains.

7 walked up to several armed men, "I need to find Warstar. Is he around?"

Raven turned to David, "Who's Warstar?"

"A wizard or something. Haven't really met him, we were just told he's the guy to talk to when you have something weird to deal with."

One of the guards looked to the group, "We know of Hardy and the Shield agent but who's the blue girl?"

7 looked back, "A thief, if she moves before I get back feel free to shoot her."


7 entered a large room with several artifacts. The spirit form of Warstar appeared, "Sorry I'm a bit busy so I couldn't meet you in person. What can I help you with?"

7 pulled out the Cosmic cube, "I took this from a thief, I was hoping someone like you would know what to do with it."

Warstar looked on the cube, "What is it?"

"Its a cosmic cube. It has the power to make any wish reality, regardless of the consequences. In the wrong hands, its possibly one of the most dangerous items on this planet."

"Where did the thief find it?"

"She stole it from Zemo."

Warstar sighed, "Well thank god for small favors. I don't even want to think what he'd have done with it."

"Can you take it or not?"

Warstar nodded as a lock box flipped open on the table, "It should be safe there for now."

7 put the cube in the box then locked it, "Can I trust you not to use it?"

Warstar looked curious, "Why wouldn't you want it used, we could wipe out the Iron Army with a thought, make it so none of this ever happened if we wanted?"

7 nodded, "And can you be certain it wouldn't cause something worse to happen? No good ever comes from absolute power."


San Francisco

Lash held a frightened balck market fence from the roof of his shop with a tendril as Claudia stood on the street asking questions, "We know she called you, did she make the sale or not?"

The man was crying as he answered, "She never showed, I swear. I didn't even know she was in town yet."

Cutthroat looked the man over, "Seems to be telling the truth."

He then grabbed the man's hair and pulled him over, "Happen to know her real name?"

"Raven, her real name is Raven. Shes some kind of mutant or something, can camouflage herself."

Claudia looked up to Lash who was listening to a comm as he held the man, "We're done here."

Lash dropped the man on the pavement as Cutthroat shot him. He then jumped down beside them, "Tinkerer says she made one other call, not sure who it was but the phone she called is currently in Arizona."


Nation of the Plains

7 walked past the group, "The cube is secure, we're done here."

He cast a glare on Raven then looked to David, "We're leaving."

As they walked Raven grabbed 7 to turn, "That's it, what's your problem? I know I've caused you problems but what gives you the right to look down on me like that?"

7 looked back, "Stalker unit Raven, they were the most proficient spies Sinister ever created. They never disappointed or disobeyed until one was born defective. She couldn't shape shift like the rest, all she could do was alter her colors. She was ordered to be destroyed but the Ravens decided against it and ran. A whole unit stood up to Sinister and ended up sacrificing themselves, and how did you repay that debt, thief?"

Raven stammered, "How did you know?"

He glared down, "I personally killed the last of them, I regret what I did in the service of that monster but you owed them better."

David and Walker stood quietly staring at their feet as 7 marched on.


Several hours later the group sat by a fire. They'd been mostly quiet for a while until Raven noticed David's book, "You know that's banned right, you could probably get ten years just for reading that."

Walker gave a confused look, "Why would a travel book be banned?"

Raven and David gave an incredulous look as David asked, "What are you talking about?"

"Its called a Hitchhiker's guide right?"

He tossed her the worn copy, "You need this more than I do."

She looked down on the full title, "So is this like sci fi or something?"

David shook his head, "We live in such a sad world."

7 hopped up at a familiar scent, "Grab your gear we need to move."

David was about to ask why but was interrupted. Claudia walked up, "I've been hoping to skin this cat for some time now."

Lash stepped beside her, "Stand in line lady."

Raven moved to escape but Cutthroat stood in her way, "Ahh, don't leave. We just got here."

7 quickly yelled, "Body slide by 4."

Cutthroat launched a spike that hit David's armband just before they vanished.

7, Walker and Raven found themselves back at their most recent teleportation site.

David found himself alone with Lash, Cutthroat and Claudia as he looked down on the smashed armband, "Ah damnit."

(To be continued)


Hardy and Creed Vol. 2 part 8

Continued from here clark/Iron Age the gateway part 4

Shield transport over Upstate New York.

Queen Danvers calls in to the Shield agents on board, "I'm assigning one of you to stay with them. It seems like every damn time we loose track of them for a second all hell breaks loose."

Agent Quartermain sits up, "Doesn't it seem a bit wasteful to make a Shield liaison post for two guys?"

She gave a blank stare as Quartermain sighed. Agent Walker raised her hand, "I'll do it."

They gave her a curious look but Fry shrugged, "Good luck with that."


David Hardy and Creed 7 exited the transport with Walker a few minutes later. David gave her a wary look, "So we need a baby sitter now?"

Walker shrugged as she picked up her bag, "Guess so."

"So how'd you get the gig?"

"Drew the short straw."

7 then walked past, "Looks like snow, better find some shelter."

David noticed Walker pick up her pace a bit to keep by 7 and muttered to himself, "That's weird."


The three had found a cave and sat around a fire. Walker felt a bit awkward as they sat quietly, David reading a beat up copy of some ancient book. Walker wondered why Hardy would be so amused by a travel guide for Hitchhikers. And seven sat tinkering with a gadget, "So this is what you two do when the world isn't ending?"

David looked over, "This is the first time I've got to relax in like a month, don't jinx it."

Suddenly they heard an odd jingle coming from David's pocket. He pulled out his holo phone and moved to block the view of the other two, "How the stark did you get this number?"

"Just listen, I need help."

7 turned at the sound of her voice, "Hell no."

David sighed, "Damn it."

He then turned as 7 stood, "Hang it up."

Raven looked to 7, "They're gonna kill me."



7 sighed as he pulled up a hard light keyboard, "What's the number for that phone?"

He typed in the number that she gave before tossing arm bands to Walker and David and looking to the phone, "If this is a trap or a con, I will snap you neck."

Walker looked at the band, "Something I borrowed from fake Doom."

He then put a band on his arm, "Body slide by 3."

Down Town San Francisco

The three suddenly found themselves standing behind Raven as 7 asked, "Why is Zemo trying to kill you?"

She shrugged, "Who knows, he's crazy."

7 gave a wary look as he eyed her bag, "What's in the bag?"

"Just clothes and stuff."

David yanked it away and looked in, "Crap."

Walker looked to him, "What is it?"

"Glowing brick thing."

She sighed, "A glowing brick thing?"

"Glowing always means bad for us."

7 took the bag and looked in it, "Goddamn it."

Raven attempted to take it back but 7 held her back, "No, you don't need to be anywhere near this thing."

"I don't want to be near it I want to sell it....what is it?"

7 snatched her up by the throat, "Where did you get a starking Cosmic cube?"

He then sighed, "You stole it from Zemo."


Claudia von Strucker stands over the now headless corpses of the men who were meant to deliver the cube. She looked to Lash and Cutthroat, "You two are coming with me. What did they say this thief called herself?"

Cutthroat watched her wiping the blood from her blade and fought the urge to comment, "Jennifer Banner, but odds are its fake. Luckily she nabbed corpse number 2's phone. Tinkerer placed it in San Francisco."


Raven looked annoyed as 7 crushed her phone, "Was that necessary?"

"Where'd you get it?"

She seemed to have a moment of realization, "I panicked a bit, I've never pissed off a legit super villain before."

Walker chimed in, "So, what's the plan?"

7 looked to the bag, "First we need to get rid of this. Any ideas?"

David shrugged, "Do we know how to get a hold of anyone who would even know what to do with it?"

7 sighed, "I have one option."

He started typing in coordinates as Raven asked, "What about me? Just gonna leave me to the wolves?"

David looked to 7, "We can't just let hydra kill her."

7 didn't look up, "Why not, she'd do it to you."

"We're the good guys, its the job description."

7 sighed, "Fine, but when she stabs us in the back, and she will, I'm blaming you."

Raven tried to keep up her game face but hearing these two, who were probably the closest thing she had to friends talk about her as if she were an albatross around their necks, stung a bit.

7 tossed her an armband, "Body slide by 4."

(to be continued)


Malignant part 5

Continued from here part 4

A field near the Illinois/Wisconsin border

A small horde of zombies shambles toward a dozen bored looking men standing behind a line of Gatling guns. They open fire leveling the horde then turn to two large dull looking men and one shouts, "Bill, Tom, head check."

Bill lifts a large hammer as Tom grabs an equally large ax and they march into the mass of rotting flesh. Teeth clamp on Tom's ankle but shatter against granite like skin. He then slammed down the ax head crushing the undead skull.

A car pulls up and Jared, along with Jessie and Aaron step out. Jared's eyes go wide as he sees the writhing dead. Aaron gives a shrug, "Looks like we're late."

Jared stammers a bit, "Are those zombies?"

Aaron nods, "Yup, they pop up a few times a year."

"Should we be worried about that?"

"Nah, its usually taken care of by local wild life before they even make it to people. We just like to nip it in the bud before it gets out of hand."

Jared gives a nod, "Yea, a zombie apocalypse would probably suck."

Aaron chuckles, "We're more worried about the trolls they draw."

Jarred then noticed the two men smashing skulls, "Are they worried about getting bit?"

Aaron shakes his head, "Bill and Tom are indestructible, it'd take a nuke to knock the wind out of them. A zombie bite doesn't even tickle."

"What are they?"

Aaron shrugged, "No one knows, Ezra found them fist fighting trolls a few centuries ago. Said they were arguing over whether or not the moon was made of cheese. They aren't terribly bright."

"So why am I here?"

"Because you need to meet the troupes."

Jared looked to the men, "Are they human?"

"At least three of them used to be. They're wolves, like me. The Grigorri have been using us as foot soldiers since the crusades ended. These men were all trained by Grimmr the Dane to fight walking nightmares and now they work for you."

One of the men walked passed Aaron, intentionally avoiding eye contact and introduced himself to Jared, "Name's Hank, I'm the leader of this pack."

Jared noticed an air of tension between Aaron and the others but tried to ignore it as he shook Hank's hand.


Grigorri main house

Ezra sits across a table from a scruffy looking man, "So, I'm gonna need a name to put on the checks."

The man shrugged, "You can call me John Smith for all I care. Why am I here?"

Ezra grins, "I want you to be part of a team I'm building to help the new hunter."

Mr. Smith looks at the files of the other two Ezra had recruited, "You have a half demon, the hunter and a damned Nephilim, what could I possibly have to add."

Ezra rolled his eyes, "I'm more interested in your ability than you, to be honest. Though you already know that. The True Sight is a very rare gift. I like having a man who can't be lied to on my side."

Smith chuckled, "Its a pain in the ass a lot of the time but you always know where you stand."


The Home of Jared and Bob Maxwell

Bob sits watching sports when suddenly the door explodes inward sending wood splinters flying around as Bob ducked. The demon lord Asmodeous enters but stops at the entrance to the living room, "The wards are impressive. Have you passed the craft on to the boy?"

Bob stood and finished his beer," Always drama with your kind."

Asmodeous sits on the stairs as Bob turns a chair to face him, "When I discovered that the new hunter was the last son of the Maxwell clan I simply had to see him myself."

Bob grinned, "He doesn't know a damn thing as far as I know. I promised his mother I'd keep him away from all this s**t."

The demon lord laughed as he stood, "I was planning to kill you tonight, send your skin to your son as a message. Wasn't expecting the angel's seal, I didn't even know humans still knew how to make them. So I guess I'll just have to wait."

The demon left in a puff of brimstone as Bob finally allowed his fear to show.


The Grigorri main house

As Jared entered Smith was walking past. He stopped in his tracks and stared hard for a moment, "Damn sorcerers love holding back."

Jared looked to him, "What?"

"Just talking to myself kid."

He then looked to Jessie, "Do I have something on my face?"

She shrugged. Jared gave a sigh. As they walked down the hall Jared asked, "Any idea why the guys today wouldn't even look at Aaron? I asked him but he didn't seem to want to talk about it."

"I was told we don't discuss it."

(To be continued)


Clark/Iron Age The Gateway part 4

Continued from here Part 3

Sky over New York City.

As the transport neared the New York Iron Hall everything suddenly stopped around Clark. He stood as the Traveler appeared, "So, how's it going Clark?"

He turned to face him, "What's going on?"

The Traveler looked around, "Just figured we could have a moment alone."

Clark suddenly found himself on a roof top over looking Times Square, he noticed another being sitting on the ledge behind the Traveler, "This is my friend, he's called the Beyonder. He's here to send you home, but I'd like to ask a favor."

He and Clark looked down to the street below as the Supreme Commander appeared in front of the hologram in his image. Clark looked down,"So you want me to stop him?"

The Traveler shook his head, "They don't need another hero, they have more than enough of those here. The final victory of this regime needs to be their's. But they need to know he can be beaten, they need hope."

He then poked Clark in the chest, "That's what that S is for, right?"

Clark had a moment of realization, "If you brought me here, why were you acting shocked and angry in Latveria?"

He shrugged, "I get bored sometimes. Also its good for them to be wary of that damned gate."


As time restarted Stryfe was confused as he found himself on the street. He looked up to see Clark floating above him. As he rose to meet him, Clark spoke." So you're the Supreme Commander?"

Stryfe nodded, "And you are?"

"Just a guy passing through."

Stryfe attempted to attack his mind but was cut off. He saw the Traveler in his mind, "Sorry, can't be having that."

Stryfe's eyes widened as Clark moved toward him. He barely managed to put up a telekenetic shield before Clark struck sending him crashing to the ground. As he landed Stryfe fired a repulser blast that Clark easily dodged. Before the Supreme Commander could get to his feet Clark appeared before him and snatched him up by the arm hurling him into the air.

Stryfe managed to regain some composure but Clark was simply to fast to keep up with. As the Kryptonian resumed his assault Stryfe could do nothing as he was hit more times than he could count. His armor lit up with system failure warnings.

In an act of utter desperation he caught Clark in a telekenetic grip and hurled him away as he attempted to flee. Clark managed to catch up but back up had arrived. Dozens of Iron soldiers of various types surrounded him in the air. They attempted to subdue him but he smashed through the line.

As Stryfe flew an Iron soldier crashed into him sending them both to the ground. As he shoved the frightened soldier off Clark landed and grabbed him up again. He ripped off the helmet and hurled it away. He then slapped Stryfe across the face, breaking several teeth.

Clark stared into Stryfe's eyes, "This is what it feels like to be helpless, little man."

He then swatted him again knocking the Supreme Commander unconscious. He then noticed himself on the large monitors in Times Square. He turned Stryfe's bloodied face to the camera and spoke, "He's nothing but a man in a fancy suit."

Monitors across the world showed the scene from New York. Darius Stain watched with a twisted grin from his New Latverian home. 7, David and the Shield agents watched from their transport. The Avengers cheered in their headquarters and people throughout the Earth watched as Clark dropped the man who ruled the world to the ground and walked away.


Another world, Metropolis.

Clark found himself back in the sky over his city. He had an odd sensation, he had the feeling he'd just done something important but he couldn't quite remember what it was. Before he could think on it he noticed a plane falling toward the city. He gave a shrug and went to stop the crash.

The end.


Bruce part 7

Continued from here

League prison 1996

Bruce was roused near dawn by two men yanking him to his feet. He looked up to see an angry Ra's al Ghul and a man no older than Bruce named Ubu standing just behind him holding a bamboo cane. As Bruce was dragged out he saw Kirigi and the rest of the prisoners and League members gathered.

Bruce was taken between two pillars and was tied facing the crowd. Ra's stood before him addressing them, "This boy has violated the law of the League. I have made it clear on many occasions that no man may touch my daughters without my permission, nor are you allowed to leave a cell unbidden."

He then turned to Ubu, "30 strikes."

Bruce looked on to see Talia with a bruised cheek and a tear in her eye and then back to Ra's. Kirigi took notice as the two locked eyes. They seemed like lions vying for dominance, the old man then noticed something. It was unseen by the others and it was less than a second but Kirigi knew that for a brief instance Ra's was intimidated by the boy.


Bruce returned to his cell after his wounds were treated. Kirigi knelt down beside him when the guards left and showed him the key to the cell, "He's either going to break you or kill you, I'd prefer neither."

Bruce looked up to speak but Kirigi silenced him, "We leave tonight."


After lights out they crept out of the cell. They managed to make their way to the exit but a half dozen guards stood between them and the door. Kirigi looked to Bruce and knew he wouldn't be able to fight his way out in his condition, "When I start, you run."

Bruce looked angry but understood the situation. Kirigi leapt from the shadows and struck a guard hard sending him crashing through the door. The others attacked but were no match for the old man. Bruce made it out as Kirigi finished them.

The two ran as hard as they could but the League was soon behind them. As they were cornered on a small cliff Kirigi noticed a snow drift a few feet below. He turned to Bruce, "You're going to have to go on alone."

He then shoved Bruce over as he confronted his enemies. Bruce landed in the snow bank and struggled to get back to his feet. He tried to run but his injuries were beginning to ache.


He'd managed to put a few miles between himself and the league prison but his wounds were too severe. As he fell in the snow several League members arrived behind him. As he faded out he noticed a man who looked as if he'd just come out of a war walking over the hill.

He looked down on the bloody boy and the assassins coming in to finish him off. The man gave a sigh and stepped between Bruce and his pursuers, "Emoh yawa ylf"

The League members were stunned as they lifted off the ground and shot through the sky to the League prison.

The man the leaned down to Bruce, "Let's get you away from here."


Bruce awoke in a soft bed with fresh bandages. A girl who had been nodding off in a chair noticed him sitting up and ran into the other room. The man who'd rescued him entered a moment later, "I'm pleased to see you moving around."

Bruce looked puzzled by the man wearing an old fashioned tuxedo with tails and a top hat. The man noticed, "Ahh, there wasn't time for proper introduction. I am Giovanni Zatara, master magician and escape artist extraordinaire. Friends call me John. The girl is my daughter, Zatanna. And you?"

"Bruce Wayne, and thank you for your help."

Zatara nodded, "The name rings a bell. What exactly was teenage billionaire doing in the mountains with assassins on his trail?"

"They were holding me for several months, I escaped. What was a magician doing up there?"

Zatara grinned, "Long story."

Zatanna then opened the curtains revealing that they were apparently in India thousands of miles away from the mountains. He looked to Zatara, "How the hell did we get here?"

Zatara chuckled, "Magic."

(To be continued.)


Slag the Orc

In the world of Midearth there lies the kingdom of Dagmor, ruled by the dark wizard, Taruman. As the wizard looks out on a massive horde of orcs and goblins he'd assembled for a great assault on the dwarf mines of Minoria he began a speech, "Today we begin to once and for all wipe the world clean of the dwarves and elves..."

"Excuse me."

The horde went silent as the wizard glared down at an orc, named Slag, near the front row who continued, "Yea sorry to interrupt, just hoping for some clarification."

The wizard was stunned but replied, "What is unclear?"

Slag had a confused look, "Why are we attacking the dwarves again?"

"To begin the downfall of..."

"Yea, yea, age of orcs and all that, but is there a reason we have to start with the heavily fortified fortress full of famous heroes? Seems like we should, y'know, work up to that."

Taruman looked flustered, "Look, we have to take out the strongholds to start the age of orcs, doesn't that sound nice? Its a whole age for you and your kind."

Slag shrugged, "Is it really our age? I assume you'll still be in charge right? Wouldn't that make it the age of, well, you?"

The wizard rubbed his temple with his fingers as he sighed, "You're an orc, its just what you do."

Slag was quiet for a second, "But we only do it because you or people like you say we do."

"The elves, dwarves and men want to wipe you from the world."

"Maybe that's because we keep hording up behind every dark wizard and fire eye that comes along."

Taruman threw up his hands, "Look, just go away. You can sit this battle out, just shut up."

Slag dropped his shoulders and moped off the field as Taruman cried out, "Now, to battle."

There was a chorus of cheers as the orcs marched off.


Several hours later the horde returned missing a large portion of their number and the wizard. Slag looked up to the first orc he saw, "What happened?"

The orc looked back, "We had them all but defeated but a human made a very inspiring speech...."

Slag nodded, "Then, that wizard that Taruman swore was really, for sure dead this time showed up with a giant army of formerly exiled soldiers didn't he?"

The other orc nodded, "Well, yea. How did you know?"

Slag gave a weary look, "We're orcs, bulls**t like that always happens to us. So did Taruman, die in some easily preventable way that he brought on himself?"

The other orc nodded as Slag stood, "That's it, I'm quitting the horde. I'm done letting some idiot in a robe lead me into arrows to the face."

"Wait, a few of us guys heard about a guy starting a new evil empire."

Slag shook his head, "Another wizard?"

The other gave a stupid grin, "No, its a sorcerer."

Slag turned and walked away,"Morons, the lot of you."

(To be continued. I promise I'll finish this one, its only going to be 3 chapters and the second one is almost done.)


Punisher: Last Call

Frank had been hunting this man for days, the one they called Bullseye. He found him waiting to take down a crew of dealers that had been skimming from Kingpin. Frank was patient, waited for the shooting to stop. Six shots for six men, Frank almost respected the precision. Every bullet was an instant kill.

Everything would have gone off without a hitch if not for the Spider. Frank had a clear shot, all he had to do was pull the trigger but before he had the chance Spider-Man burst through a skylight causing Bullseye to look in Frank's direction.

Bullseye turned his rifle on Frank but a web line jerked it away a second before it did Frank's. Bullseye pulled a pistol and shot for Spider-Man's head. Spider-Man dodged as Bullseye knew he would allowing a bullet to tear through his knee. Spider-Man dropped to the floor in pain as Bullseye put another in his shoulder.

He looked down and noticed a shotgun one of the dealers had dropped and picked it up, "Damn, I must have hit the lotto. Frank moved to stop him but a blast sent Frank back for cover, "I'll get to you in a minute, got a bug to squash."

As Bullseye stepped over to Spider-Man, Frank growled, "Goddamn it, Spider."

He then charged at Bullseye. The assassin turned his gun but Frank was already on him. Frank put his side arm under Bullseye's chin as he shoved the shotgun into Frank's gut. Spider-Man heard two shots as blood splattered across his chest.

Bullseye hit the ground missing a large chunk of skull and brain. Frank then coughed up some blood before dropping to his knees. Spider-Man pulled himself up and attempted to make bandages over the wounds in Frank's chest and back as he sat him down.

He looked down on the Punisher, "I'm gonna get you to a hospital."

Frank gave him a wary look, "You've been around long enough to know better."

Spider-Man looked helpless as Frank pulled himself up a bit, grunting in pain, "I'd be dead by the time you got me to the door, as is I probably only got a few minutes at best."

He looked over and noticed a few bottles of beer sitting on a crate, "Mind grabbing me one of those?"

Spider-Man looked over, "You sure that's a good idea?"

Frank nodded, "Best I've had all day."

Spider-Man grabbed one and carried it over. He opened the bottle and handed it to Frank. He looked up with a smirk, "Thanks, Pete."

Spider-Man was stunned, "You Know?"

Frank spat a bit of blood and replied, "Found out way back when Jackal had me trying to take you out, had a gut feeling I should keep it to myself though, didn't want that aunt of yours getting mixed up in that."

"But you were okay killing me?"

Frank gave a chuckle that ended in another pained grunt, "Plan was to change your clothes so at least she didn't have to think her nephew died a criminal."

Spider-Man shrugged, "I guess that's as nice a gesture as you're capable of."

Frank looked to Bullseye's body, "You know I ain't sorry about that, I know I should be, Hell, I wish I could be.Truth is, I went numb years ago. Don't even care about doing this anymore I just couldn't stop."

Spider-man gritted his teeth and tried not to react to the quiet horror of that statement and the cold way he said it. Frank could tell even with the mask he was uncomfortable. He sighed, "I know I'm every bit the monster he is. Maybe I had a better reason to start but at this point it hardly matters. I can't count the orphans I made."

Peter sighed,"At least you're going to a better place."

Frank burst out laughing but stopped to cough up some more blood. He then wiped his mouth and took a sip of beer, "We both know I'm going to hell, probably got an army just waitin' to give me a proper welcome."

Spider-Man didn't know why he was still sitting there, he knew this man was a cold blooded killer but he just couldn't bring himself to let him die alone. As he was staring off into space Frank patted his shoulder, "You're a good guy Pete, better than me by a long shot. Before I go, there's a van about two blocks over."

He pulled a set of keys from a pouch on his belt and handed them over, "In it there's a box of notebooks I want you to take. My war journals."

Spider-Man nodded, "What am I supposed to do with them?"

"You can burn'em if you want, but I think maybe its better if you gave it to the police, or shield. Bound to be someone in there with a family wanting closure."

Spider-Man gripped the keys,"I'll take care of it."

"See, always the responsible......"

Spider-man's heart sank when he heard the half empty bottle hit the ground. He heard the sirens from the ambulance he'd called in the distance then looked over. He closed the Punisher's eyes with a sigh,"Bye, Frank."

He then stood up and limped toward the door, his shoulder was too sore for web swinging but he felt like walking anyway.

The End.