Posts Tagged ‘What If’

X-Cell – An X-Men What If Story

April 28, 2021

(This is a companion piece to my Avengers story two weeks ago. It can be found here. TL;DR this world is in a bad way.)

“So where we at, mon freres,” Gambit said, leaning against a wall. “Things are looking pretty grim, non?” They were taking refuge in an estate in the country north of New York City. Westchester County was just far enough out of the way to dodge the heavier patrols in the city but close enough that they could still take action if they needed to. Besides, the place belonged to a man a few of them had met once. Charles Xavier, a mutant just like them who had brought them together for a purpose. To counter the threat of Magneto and the US Government.

“You ain’t lyin’,” Rogue said. “We’re in a fine mess.”

“Agreed,” Colossus said. “The government’s forces are closing in. They keep capturing our people and brainwashing them against us. Magneto, Logan, my sister, and so many more. And now they have started to kill us.”

“Sam,” Rogue said, her voice wavering a bit. “I can’t believe he’s dead. He was the best of us.”

“At least you took his power before he went, chere,” Gambit said. “I know it’s not a lot of comfort.”

“I shouldn’t have done it,” Rogue said. “They weren’t mine to take.” Magneto had somehow hurled a piece of rebar right through Sam Guthrie. He was bleeding out when he called out for help, barely conscious. Rogue had been the first one to get to him and the last one to see him alive.

“I disagree,” Colossus said. “It was smart thinking. Sam would have wanted his powers to continue to be used for justice. The legacy of Cannonball lives on through you.” Sam had been young and experienced but his power level was huge.

“I’m so tired of carrying these legacies,” Rogue said. “I already had M’s and Banshee’s powers.” She could see their faces still when she closed her eyes. She had traces of their memories and knew their pain. It was a lot.

“Are you having difficulty holding in that much power?” Colossus asked as gently as he could. He cared for his teammates and wanted the best for them. He had never asked to be their leader but their options were fewer and fewer. Charles was in a mysterious coma in the basement after a confrontation with Magneto’s forces. Many of their former friends were imprisoned or brainwashed. He badly wanted to hand over the position of team leader to anybody who would take it.

“I’m having difficulty holding the grief in,” Rogue said. Gambit reached out for her but she waved him off. There was time enough for comfort later. “I’ll be fine, though. We have to be fine, don’t we?”

“We must,” Colossus said, nodding with a grim look on his face. “For now there is the three of us and Pyro. Madrox, Kurt, and Raven are still on their mission. I can only hope that Morph is still undercover somewhere but out of touch. Betsy and Jean are spending all of their energy shielding us from the government. The Avengers are missing.”

“They have to still be out there somewhere,” Rogue said. “Otherwise, they would have been plastered all over the news. They would be crowing about it.”

“Chere’s got a point,” Gambit said. “They are probably hiding just like we are. Except we can’t stay hidden forever.” They were all getting restless and hope was dwindling. Remy kept joking and flirting to keep the dread away but it only did so much.

“Agreed,” Colossus said. “We have to make a move and soon.”

“I’m ready for it,” Rogue said, her eyes suddenly fierce. “I’ve got all this power and I’m ready to rain down hell on them. You have to turn me loose.”

“Soon enough, Anna Marie,” Colossus said. “The first opening we get, we strike. We will win our friends and loved ones back to our side.”

Longing to Avenge – An Avengers What If Story

April 14, 2021

The slightest change in a moment can alter history forever. These changes create infinite timelines and in one of those timelines, the Red Skull succeeded in eliminating his nemesis, Steve Rogers aka the first Captain America. The Invaders struggled against the Red Skull until they rescued a young Erik Lehnsherr as his magnetic powers were awakened. He joined the Allies as their secret weapon known as Magneto. Luckily, Dr. Abraham Erskine had not died and was able to continue to develop the Super Soldier Serum which led to a dynasty of government-sponsored Captain Americas. However, a later attack by forces led by Baron Zemo and the second Red Skull made the USA into a prolonged battleground.

The US government joined forces with scientists Arno Stark, Darren Cross, Reed Richards, and an AI-generated copy of Hank Pym. Along with Magneto and a team of powerful mutants, the US turned the tide and expelled Hydra from their borders. They then were able to use that collective genius to turn the United States into an authoritarian state with the excuse that it would protect its citizens from further Hydra incursions. However, there were of course those who rebelled against the US Government’s strict laws. They suffered greatly but they would be avenged.

“Are you sure that we’re safe down here?” Jessica Jones asked. “It would be a shame to set up a base in the stink of the sewers and then get caught.”

“My dear Captain,” Otto Octavius said with a charming smile. “I assure you that even the Vision could not detect us down here. As for the smell, my drones are even now installing air purifiers which should eventually remove the smell and make breathing a healthier endeavor.”

Jessica hung her shield on the wall. She and her friend Patsy had signed up for the Super Soldier program out of the Army but Patsy had not survived. When Jessica became the latest Captain America, her eyes were opened to what America had become and she had defected. She had quickly been replaced but the Resistance welcomed her with open arms.

“Relax, Jessica,” Bill Foster said. “If Otto says it’s safe, it’s safe.”

“I have put together the finest technology outside of the government for our use,” Otto said. “Besides my brilliance, I used the files of the deceased Anthony Stark and Justin Hammer, the assistance of the enigmatic Tinkerer, and even Norman Osborn.”

A soft red glow filled the room and then receded. “Of course, you had my help as well,” Wanda Maximoff said softly.

“I would never downplay the efforts of the Sorceress Supreme,” Otto said. “Wanda, you are as radiant as ever.”

“Cool it, will you?” Eric Masterson said. “It’s kind of creepy when you flirt.”

“Shall we not begin the meeting?” Wanda asked.

“We’re not all here,” Bill said. “We can’t have a full meeting without our whole team.”

“Monica, Shang-Chi, Luke, and Dane are on a mission,” Jessica said. She took off her mask and shook out her hair. “This will have to do. Thank you for coming.”

“Wouldn’t miss it,” Eric Masterson said with a smile. “I owe you guys.”

Jessica smiled and shook her head but then looked deadly serious. “I know that we’ve suffered losses recently. Bruce, Delroy, and Thor will be missed and they will be avenged and honored when our mission succeeds. Now, Bill, you asked for this meeting. Tell us what’s on your mind. The floor is yours.”

“My reasons are two-fold,” Bill said. “I wanted to formally welcome Eric to the team and do a quick status update. Eric, you now possess Mjolnir and the power of Thor.”

“For now,” Eric said as he hefted Mjolnir with ease. “I have to believe that Thor will be coming back for it. Gods don’t really die, do they?”

“Maybe not,” Jessica said, cutting off Otto who she sensed was going to launch into a lecture. “but for now we need you to step up and be one of our heavy hitters.”

“I’ll do my best,” Eric said with a solemn nod. “If it weren’t for Thor and your team, I would be dead and you have a noble cause. I’m in.”

“Great,” Bill said. “Of course, we have the real Captain America, Captain Marvel, Powerman, the Scarlet Witch, and a lot more to back you up. I can even go with the help of some Pym particles in a pinch.”

“We need you more because of your former partnership with Pym,” Jessica said. “You have insight into how he might think.”

“That’s not Hank,” Bill said gruffly. “but I take your meaning. I wish I had unplugged that faker before they installed him into the Vision.”

“We all do,” Jessica said. “We’ll get our chance. We’ll return to the land of the free and we’ll make them pay for the hurt they’ve caused.”


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