Marvel Mayhem: Fantastic Four #4: Power-Up!
Accessing Fantastic Four Database...
Accessing File 61601707...
U.S and Latveria have collaborated in building a spacecraft capable of studying and containing an unknown form of ray, that may be exploited.
Reed Richards has been chosen as the U.S's science representative, though his lack of budgeting skills and possible depression are noted. His recommendation of Ben Grimm as the pilot was sound and files indicate they share a military past. Ben Grimm has been noted to defy orders and has temper problems, but his skills are necessary for the operation.
Sue Storm has been chosen as the diplomatic representative of the U.S. She currently resides with her brother, Jonathan Storm. He was studying engineering at Doomstadt university before the launch. Recent reports suggest he is now a stowaway aboard the craft.
It has come to the attention of Sue Storm, that personnel appeared to go missing. The motive was unknown so an investigation was needed. The security force send was KIA by unknown assailants. She decided to hold a secret meeting between herself and Reed in an empty room. Ben Grimm was invited by Reed Richards for a personal surveillance account. Jonathan Storm interrupted the meeting and claimed to have discovered a cache of weapons possibly belonging to, as he stated: "Terrorists".
It is unsure what caused the artificial gravity and shielding to malfunction, rumours among staff indicate Victor Von Doom may have sabotaged it. What is known however, is that this trapped the attendants of the meeting in the unshielded room, leaving them vulnerable to the incoming rays. Current reports from aboard the ship end from here.
An excited terrier gleefully caught a stick in his mouth as a young Reed looked on. Laughing, Reed took the stick off the dog on his return and proceeded to throw it again. He was suddenly distracted by the sound of his name. He turned to his father who was wearing heavy-duty gloves and a lab coat. Reed soon noticed his glare.
“Shouldn’t you be studying for the Science test, Reed?” Nathan questioned.
“Don’t need to, I already know it.” Reed said as he prepared to throw the stick.
Nathan grabbed the stick, whilst in Reed’s grip as he lowered himself to Reed’s height.
“Son, never waste your potential like that. You must use your talents to get more out of life, not less. I knew from an early age that you were extraordinary, Reed. I knew that one day you’d change the world. The question is, to change the world into what? That is my duty, as your father, to channel your potential into a force for good, to make the world of tomorrow a better place. I may not be able to create a better world, but you can. That is if you never waste your potential. I say “potential” as it needs you, Reed, it needs you to guide it as I am you. Every use of your potential gets us one step closer to the world of tomorrow. This desperate world needs to be tomorrow, Reed, it needs you. I will not be able to guide you forever Reed, so I hope it’ll be enough, for the world’s sake.
Though, It may seem dramatic to quibble over a small thing such as a science test, know that one day you’ll understand why I said these things and be thankful.
Now, go study some science and be a step closer towards the world of tomorrow.”
Nathan stared at Reed as he ran into the house.
Many Years Ago
The soldier’s arms flailed relentlessly against his attacker as his muffled screams tried to alert his comrades of his suffocation. This soon stopped as he became unconscious and slumped to the ground as the attacker released his grip.
“Grimm, here. The last of the known tangos in the area have been eliminated, what’s the next objective?” the burly young adult spoke into his radio.
“Sit tight, Grimm, back-up will be there soon, they’ll evacuate you from the area and rescue the POWs.” a monotone voice replied.
“POWs?” Ben asked curiously.
“Affirmative. Reports indicate that your squad was recently captured in an enemy ambush.” the voice buzzed back.
“That’d mean Richards, right? Where have they been taken to?” Ben asked worriedly
“Few clicks north, to a small camp. They shouldn’t bother your area, but stay alert.” the reply droned.
“Will do!” Ben declared as he checked his compass for north.
“Stay away from the crash site, if possible, in case more enemies come to investigate.” the operative ordered.
“Not a problem.” Ben replied as he readied his gun and proceeded north.
“What’s your current sit rep?”
“Could you repeat that, Grimm?”
“Tell the back-up not to wait up.”
“Grimm, we need you up in the air as soon as possible, I’m ordering you to halt.”
“I’ve all the necessary ground training, sir, don’t worry.”
“Grimm, you’re a single man against an entire camp, think rationally!”
“That’s how heroes are made, is it not?” Ben replied sarcastically.
“Grimm, I’m serious, for your sake, this is a death wish!” the operative shouted.
“Then don’t make a big deal, when I’m gone.” Ben said solemnly as he threw the radio into the flora of the jungle.
Many Years Ago
A young Sue woke to hear the door crashing open down at the kitchen. Fearfully, she grabbed a nearby baseball bat for a weapon. Edging closer to the kitchen she saw a sight she’ll never forget.
Her father was wrecking the kitchen. He furiously swept goods off the counters in tearful anger. He then proceeded to hit his fist continually against the wooden surface until he slumped into tearful anguish, his face planted against the counter’s surface.
He rose, and similar to a werewolf, howled inhumanly towards the sky. He covered his face to muffle the tears as he lowered himself onto the floor, hunched in a ball.
Sue heard a sound from the hallway. “Sue, what’s that noise?” a young Johnny asked, rubbing his eyes tiredly. Sue smiled at the small child and stated “It’s just the wind Johnny, nothing to worry about”. She began to shepherd Johnny towards his room, but took one last look at what was left of her father. A lone tear left her eye, but as she turned to Johnny, it was quickly wiped and exchanged with a friendly smile.
Johnny groaned as beeping and whirling noises seemed to drill directly into his head.
“Oh god, did I drink again…” he moaned as he began to slowly open his eyes.
At first he saw movement, silhouettes, machines and finally a private medical ward. The remembrance of the latest events suddenly appeared to him. He began to hear the doctors talking to each other and rushing to his aid.
“Mr. Storm, are you okay?” a nearby doctor asked.
“Yeah, I just had the most wonderful dream. I was in Switzerland again; having a diplomat sis does have its perks. I was snow-boarding some sweet slopes with a group of hot chicks and then we had a massive party. Accommodation compliments of the government. I also got blitzed, that was the most memorable or least memorable part whichever way you look at it. Then…” he was suddenly interrupted by a thermometer being shoved into his mouth.
“Doctor, we already have more accurate instruments measuring his temperate…” a nurse queried quietly to the doctor.
“That was not the purpose.” The doctor replied as he glanced at Johnny’s muffled attempts to speak.
After a short while, the initial after-effects of the medication wore off and Johnny calmed down enough to talk remotely sensible topics.
“So, doc… I seem to be in one piece, right?” Johnny asked.
“So it would seem, so far, Mr. Storm…” the doctor emotionlessly replied.
“Right, that means I can get up and around and you know… do stuff?” Johnny curiously questioned.
“Not at the moment, until we’re absolutely sure” the doctor replied again, while examining the machine readings.
“And how long would that be?”
“Few days, few weeks at most…”
“What? No way in hell I’m staying here!” as Johnny began to get out of bed.
“Nurse, restrain him…” the doctor replied uninterested, as a 6’ 5 nurse slugged over to Johnny’s bedside.
“Okay…I change my mind” Johnny exclaimed as he quickly scurried back into resting position.
The giant nurse casually walked away. Johnny muttered curses under his breath and began to furiously hit his fist against the bed sheet.
Something lighted up his fist for a second and Johnny stopped. Was that a spark? No, it seemed more like a flame. Was he imaging it? He looked up to see if anyone else had noticed and discovered the stare of the doctor.
He didn’t seem to notice Johnny’s uncomfortable stare back and continued to fixate on him. Johnny looked away, his stare was beginning to disturb him, it seemed almost inhuman.
After much demanding and declaration of her authority and duties, Sue Storm was finally allowed by the doctors to leave her room. Her first thought was for Reed, but the doctor’s remarks about Ben Grimm’s “condition” were worrying. She slowly pushed open the door of her destination and realized that both her questions would be answered. On the side of the room, the doctors were trying to encourage a frustrated Reed to leave the medical equipment alone. On the bed in the centre, however, Sue could see the full extent of Ben’s condition. She gasped.
This caught the attention of the doctors and Reed. Reed promptly shouted:
“Sue, tell them to leave me be! I shouldn’t be their concern, not while Ben is in such a condition!”
“Reed, could you calm down, please. I’m sure you’re worried about Ben, but…” Sue calmly replied.
“Worried? Worried?! I’m more than worried, Sue! It’s my fault he came aboard, my fault he got trapped in that room, my fault that he’s got a possibly lethal condition!” Reed ranted.
“Reed, they‘re not sure it‘s lethal. For all we know, it could be easily cured.” Sue reassured.
“Don’t patronize me!” Reed roared at Sue.
Sue was taken back. She had never seen Reed like this, she knew he was neurotic, just she had never seen it to this extent before.
“No, no, no…! Please, not you as well!” Reed howled as he slumped onto the table, head resting in hands.
Confused, Sue peered down and discovered what was wrong, or rather the lack of it. Her body had appeared to turn invisible, however as she gazed, it slowly returned to visible status.
“I’ve failed! I’ve failed you, Ben, Johnny and my father!” Reed wept.
“Johnny…” Sue thought aloud.
The doctors insisted that they could find nothing wrong, but then again, they repeated the same thing about her. First, Reed needed to be comforted, it was unnerving to see someone in this state it gave her an eerie déjà vu.
“Reed, listen. If there is anyone in the world capable of curing Ben, it’s you. You know what we’re dealing with, you’ve studied it and frankly, you’re brilliant. Moping won’t sort it and you’re disturbing the doctors’ work, so c’mon, let’s go get a cup of coffee…decaf or tea.” Sue encouraged.
“Use my talents to help Ben? Yes… Forget tea and coffee, I’m going to get this sorted. I’ll find somewhere quiet for my studies. Neither I nor anyone else will be disturbed until this is sorted.” Reed spoke aloud.
“Good idea.” Sue spoke while smiling; she then turned to the doctors: “Relax, I’ll make sure he stays away from Ben and he’ll hopefully calm down.” she spoke quietly before following Reed out of the room.
A doctor turned towards the other and was met with the reply of a nod. He then proceeded to glance towards Ben.
Johnny thumbed through an old copy of a car magazine, wishing he was driving one of the illustrations, instead of being trapped in a bed.
His attention was caught by a medical bed being wheeled past the door. As far as he knew, the four who were in that ill-fated room during the blast were the only ones hospitalized, could it be Sue or Reed? Another thing grabbed his attention, what was that orange thing he glimpsed passing by?
Determined to answer these questions, Johnny snuck quietly out of the bed and past the distracted doctor to investigate.
The doctors leading the bed walked swiftly, making it difficult for Johnny to keep up. He decided it was easier to just question them. He already knew the consequences of sneaking around.
“Hey, where’s the bed going?” Johnny curiously asked.
The doctors turned startled, something was amiss.
“Johnny Storm right? Shouldn’t you be in your ward?” a doctor questioned.
“Never mind that, answer my question, first.” Johnny demanded.
“It is confidential, please proceed back to bed.” The doctor spoke, almost in a monotone.
Johnny examined the sign at the end of the bed: Ben Grimm. He was then taken back as he partially saw the subject himself.
“Whoa! Is he going to be okay? That’s Reed’s friend, right? Does Reed know about this?”
“Yes, Reed is currently attempting to cure his condition.”
“Then you won’t mind me popping by and asking, right?”
The doctors were suddenly alarmed at the response.
“Halt! Do not disturb his work!”
“Halt? That’s something you don’t hear doctors say everyday. Anyway, I’ve enough of this charade; I’m getting Reed and Sue.”
“I said halt!” the doctor roared as he charged at Johnny.
Johnny instinctively raised his hand in defense. It instantly lit up and a fireball shot towards the doctor. The doctors begin to step back cautiously.
Johnny looked at his hand and smiled. He tried to replicate the feeling and soon covered both arms in flames. He raised one arm menacingly, which startled one of the doctors and smirked.
“Heh! I’m not such a pushover, now eh? I’ve got some pretty sweet firepower, and you know what they say, don‘t play with fire!” Johnny bragged.
“The rays have mutated him as well, seize him!” the lead doctor ordered.
“Not the reaction, I was hoping for, but what the heck. FLAME ON!!!” Johnny roared as he charged towards the doctors.
As he ran, his whole body became brighter and brighter, until it was engulfed with flame. Flames began to spit and twirl as he ran towards his destination, fist raised. The reflection of the flames could be seen in the lead doctor’s eyes as Johnny was almost directly in front of him. He was soon stopped as a stun ray hit his torso. He harmlessly slumped to the foot of the lead doctor. The flames died out as the lead doctor glanced curiously to his comrades who looked just as bemused as him. They then bundled the unconscious body onto the bed.
Reed returned to normal state after a while. Sue couldn’t blame his outburst, seeing his best friend in that condition could do that to a man. Sue knew that well.
As he began to eagerly calculate and examine variables on the machines, an incoming message went through to Sue’s headset.
“Ma’am, we have a situation. We have reports from some of the staff of doctors acting violently. There are claims of weaponry involved. We are unsure of their motives at the present moment.” the speaker buzzed.
Sue nodded to this information, “What is the current situation?”
“They appear to transporting a bed; labels identify it as belonging to the pilot, Ben Grimm. They are currently acting non-violently and do not appear to know they are under surveillance. What are your orders, Ma’am?”
“Contain them until I reach the area. Use firearms and lethal force, if necessary.” Sue spoke, faced away from Reed, who was busy examining various computer screens.
“Affirmative, ma’am” the reply squawked before the headset cut out.
“Reed, I’m just going to check if everything’s okay out there, you alright?” she asked innocently.
“Yeah…” Reed muttered transfixed by figures and diagrams.
Sue traveled up the corridors, pistol at the ready as she found the doctors arguing with her security staff.
“Ms. Storm! What is the meaning of this? We are being harassed by your security staff for simply doing our job!” a doctor argued.
“You know, you really shouldn’t talk to your superior like that? As far as I know, I didn’t give any orders for the movement of Ben Grimm….”
“Actually, I did.”
Sue turned to see who had spoken and to her surprise, found Reed.
“Reed?” Sue questioned, puzzled.
“Yep, needed to move Ben to better equipment. Since he got hit by cosmic rays, why not use instruments designed for cosmic rays?” Reed debated.
“That’s all well and good, but I’ve just been with Reed for the past half an hour or so…” Sue said.
Sue then spoke into her headset: “Reed? You still there in the lab?”
“Yeah?” Came the confused reply.
“Open fire! Use stun rays on the mutate!” the fake Reed roared.
The security force already had their weapons drawn and began the fire fight. A barrage of bullets flew into the doctors, but to no effect as the crumbled projectiles rolled around the doctors’ feet. The ragged remains of their white coats, revealed a type of body armor beneath. A hiss of pain from the fake Reed revealed a part of his ear had been struck.
“Return fire…” the fake Reed hissed angrily.
Sue was defenseless in the open, still in shock at the survival of her opponents at that close range. Her adrenaline pumped and everything appeared to slow down. She watched as the rays began to slice through her compatriots, who futilely were trying to reach cover. She gazed as several rays began to reach for her and instinctively reached her hand futilely. To her surprise, a force field began to eminent from her hand and spread out, absorbing all the rays. She looked up at the surprised doctors and roared. The force field began to rapidly move forward until it furiously pushed the doctors away.
This provided the time that she and her surviving security members needed. She cried the order for cover as the terrorist began to rise. She and her squad hid behind a series of metal crates, cabinets and walls in a nearby room.
The fire fight soon began again. Sue began to fire furiously at the opposition who had now taken cover themselves. Rays sizzled around Sue and the two men beside her.
“Johnson, you still have the assault rifle?” the security leader asked as he peeked out the side now and then, only to be received by ray gun fire.
“I’ve no room to fire effectively, sir.” Johnson quivered.
“Perch it on the crate.” the leader ordered.
“Under this much heat, sir?” Johnson exclaimed.
“Relax; I’ll suppress the main culprits, giving you enough time to set up shop. Ms Storm, you aim for the tango at one o’ clock.” the leader planned.
“Got it” Sue replied.
The suppression succeeds and Johnson manages to set up the assault rifle, providing the much needed firepower for the security forces as it rapidly fires into the enemy’s cover.
“Johnson, suppressing fire at the tango behind the wall at 11 o’clock. He’s wondering whether to switch cover, let’s give him encouragement. Storm, wait till he’s out in the open before firing. Aim for the head, the ammo is useless against their armor.” the leader ordered.
Sue concentrated the gun at the location of the aforementioned enemy, patiently waiting for the right moment. Her eyes down the barrel, she ignored the barrage of bullets ricocheting in her area of concentration and only fixated on the enemy. Finally he budged. Eager to avoid the suppressing fire, he tried to run for cover on the opposite side from the gunfire. Once out in the open, the leader took his shot. The enemy still had his head down and the bullet bounced off his shoulder. The milliseconds lost from the rebound of the gun meant that he wouldn’t get a second chance. However, Sue waited until the right moment. She waited until he raised his head, either to check the distance to his destination or to pick up speed. Either way she fired and hit her target.
The doctor’s facial insides left a strange tint on the wall, but Sue didn’t have time to examine it further as the surviving opposition returned fire furiously.
Her short moment of glory seemed insignificant as Johnson’s head rose to check the spoils of Sue’s patience and was rewarded with his head being fried by an enemy ray.
She heard another security officer yowl his death cry as his shoulder was ripped off. Another nearby roar came from the security leader as a sizzling hole burned in his hand, disarming him. It seems they weren’t the only ones with strategies.
“Sue Storm, surrender the remainder of your forces immediately!” A cry came from behind the crate, whilst Sue hid for cover. Surprised, she could hear him, she realized the noise of gunfire had stopped.
“Why should…” she cut off as she raised her head above the crate.
“We have your brother, Johnny Storm and we are willing to kill him, should you not comply!” the fake Reed shouted as he held a ray gun to the unconscious Johnny’s head.
Sue seemed to ready the gun but instead placed it carefully onto the crate and nodded for her compatriots to do the same. Terrified, they copied her.
“Excellent choice, Ms Storm, now if you’d kindly follow us.” The fake Reed grimaced as he spoke.
”Who are you, though? Are you an enemy of Latveria or U.S? Are you the Russians, Chinese, North Korean…?” she asked bravely.
The fake Reed laughed. “We are none of them, for we are above such things!”.
“Who are you, then?”
All the doctors then melded into green goblin-like shapes as the security forces whimpered and gasped at their appearance. Mutters of desperation could be heard among the ranks and prayers of different religions and languages were spoken.
“We are Skrull!”