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Control through Compassion - MCU/Lantern Corps

Discussion in 'Creative Writing' started by JeckJack, May 26, 2020.

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  1. JeckJack

    JeckJack Mask seller

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    She's aware its possible, but it's a function of the ring, and not the staff, so she doesn't want to rely on it.
     
    ParaDXThrowaway and IGotNothing like this.
  2. IGotNothing

    IGotNothing Your first time is always over so quickly, isn't it?

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    Ok, thanks. At least it'll stop nagging at me. I wasn't sure how much functionality the staff held by itself.
     
  3. Threadmarks: Chapter 10 - Time Skip
    JeckJack

    JeckJack Mask seller

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    I chew my lip, nervous, before steeling myself, and lifting the ring up to the staff.

    "Recharge."

    Light flowed from the gem of my staff into the ring, which began to glow brighter and fill up with color again.

    <Current power level: 100%.>

    I put it back in one of my belt pockets, and then I lower myself to the window. "Zola, can you translate?"

    "Of course, Madam."

    I knock on it, and a nurse on the other side looks over, confused, before going wide-eyed. He shoves the window open and begins to demand explanations in something that's not-quite German. I'm in Sokovia.

    "My name is-" damn it, still don't have a name, "-Atika. I heard that some of the people caught in the most recent attack were staying here? I am the healing lady from Minnesota, in America. I would like to speak with a doctor, so that I can help heal these people."

    Zola begins to translate, and answers a few questions before she hurries off.

    I wait for a minute, before an attractive woman with a white coat and a stethoscope comes to the window. She looks me up and down, before looking to Zola, and beginning to question him.

    "She asks if you are really the healing woman. She says she is not sure, because you had a ponytail and a fanny pack in the videos. And you were robbing a bank."

    I elect to ignore that, embarrassed. I was originally going to just keep using the fanny pack, but realized that if I did get into a situation where I'm blocking bullets with my body, it would get destroyed. So, we used a little bit more of the vibranium and made myself a belt with a bunch of bulky vibranium-weave pockets on it. The pockets use the same kind of magnetic seals as my gloves and my socks, basically becoming seamless except when I'm using my vibranium gloves to open them.

    "I would like to offer you the chance to wear this ring." I say, showing the indigo ring, "It will let you heal people like I did in Minnesota. But only for one day. It will alter your mind while you're wearing it, so you can only think compassionately. But the effects will be temporary. I assure you, you will be fine afterwards."

    Zola translates, and then has a short conversation with her.

    Then, she holds out her hand.

    "Ring, designate secondary user."

    <Designation accepted.>

    It flies over to her finger.

    <Valeria Devona of Earth, welcome to the Indigo Tribe. User fortunately does not meet qualifications for control ring requirements. Altering ring protocols. Certain freedoms restored.>

    This was another idea I had, on the way here. While I think that the Warden/Prisoner approach will definitely do good, there's no reason why something like it wouldn't work for non-criminals as well.

    A volunteer, who specifically wants to help people, could do a lot of good. Especially if I served as a guide to try and curb any compassion-craziness and keep her focused.

    "Thank you." she says, ignoring the collar that formed from light around her neck.

    "You're welcome." I say, smiling, "Now, where should we begin?"



    It's... a bit like watching the videos of myself during the first forty hours.

    Doctor Devona darts from one floor to the next, hurriedly creating tools and devices and blazing through procedures and tests that might have taken hours. She reconnects limbs, or rebuilds them. She wipes away bruises, cuts, burns, allergic reactions and bullet wounds.

    I keep busy myself, of course. While she solves everything through her medical knowledge combined with the ring's ability to make any tool, create super-detailed scans, and the indigo light's ability to heal through guilt, I can brute force healing through hope.

    When we're finished with that hospital, we fly to the next one. And the next.

    And then, I turn her towards the damage done to the town itself.

    Hydra aggravated and provided weapons to a local militant hate group into blowing up several buildings a few days back. Mostly government buildings, a food bank, and a synagogue. The surviving victims of the explosions were all brought to the first hospital I visited, and were among the first that Doctor Devona healed.

    Now, we're focusing on restoring the buildings to their previous shape. For this one, we have to work closely together. While the ring can emulate other emotions just like the staff, she doesn't have any idea on how to do it yet. So for now, I'm providing the blue light, channeled from people nearby who want their neighborhood to look like it should, while Doctor Devona and the Ring provide the complex constructs required to rebuild everything they need.

    I found Doctor Devona around noon, and by the time we finished healing everyone and restoring everything damaged in the disaster in the small Sokovian town, it was about eight PM.

    "What next?" she asks, almost excited, "I know that in the next town over-"

    "Now, you give me the ring." I tell her, "And we see how you feel. Get something to eat."

    "But there's so much we can still do. The day isn't over yet!" she said, the ring translating for her.

    "Doctor," I say, "if you want to keep helping tomorrow, I'll give it back after you have some sleep, and we'll keep on healing for another eight hours. Alright?" I tell her, "But first, I need you to give it back. Please."

    She hesitates, but then nods slowly, holding out her hand. I slide the ring off of it, and then slip it into one of my pockets.

    "Valeria? Are you alright?"

    She pulls away from me as the collar and tattoos fade and her eyes stop blazing with light, and then shudders, and swears under her breath, looking away.

    "Ring, un-designate Valeria Devona. And Klaw, if you haven't already." I say, slipping a finger into the pocket.

    <Removing secondary designations. This ring now only has one designated user.>

    Doctor Devona watches me put the ring away, and then begins speaking. Zola turns his camera between us, and then translates once she finishes, "She is saying that she feels like she did drugs." he said, "And that she feels selfish for never wanting to do it again. She is apologizing... and asking you if you would go to the hospital in the city down the road, and help the people there anyway, even if she will not."

    "Tell her that I'm grateful for everything she did already. And that I'll of course go help them tomorrow."

    "She also asks if you would like to get some dinner."

    She's smiling at me.

    "Absolutely!" I say.



    While things didn't exactly go anywhere after dinner, I'd still warrant today a success. Asking for a volunteer to work as a temporary lantern worked out pretty well, and I got to eat my first actual not-stolen-snack-food meal since coming to this universe. I also happened to have that meal with a beautiful woman.

    One who, unfortunately, also mentioned a boyfriend near the end of the meal.

    I mentioned that I needed a place to stay, so she immediately brought me to the town's hotel, and they gave me a room free of charge for helping to rebuild a few of the buildings on the street. Which meant that for the first time since arriving in this world, I would actually get to sleep. In a bed, no less!

    I'm not stupid, though. I keep my staff in my hand the whole night, using my vibranium glove's locked position to hold it in place. Also, of course, there's Zola, who would keep watch on the doors and windows for the whole night.

    Definitely a good day.


    Over the next few days, I kind of fell into a pattern.

    I did go to the hospital that Doctor Devona want me to check out, and healed everybody there, and after that, I went to the next area Zola said had recently been devastated by Hydra, and tried to do the same thing- finding a volunteer to be my Lantern for a few hours, and then I did the same at the next place, and then the next.

    My armor did end up coming in handy as we went from areas that were rebuilding, to areas that were still in the midst of active conflict. And it was there that I began to slow down a bit. In a lot of these situations, Hydra either gave weapons to both sides, or the sides involved... I couldn't really say who was right. Or if there even was a 'right side'. And I wasn't really confident enough to start going around overthrowing governments or putting down resistance movements without actually understanding the situations.

    It's just... hard. And confusing. And stressful.

    So I just focused on helping where I could. Often telling the ring to seek out the most violent people involved in the conflict, so I could make them help to repair things and heal the people caught in the crossfire.

    Afterwards, though, I just had to let those people go. After all, there usually wasn't an authority that wouldn't reward them or kill them. I really had to look into making my own prison at some point. But since I don't have one, I made do with threatening them that if I had to come back, I'd make them do it again, and for longer.

    Other times, I go back to telling the ring to look for people who are already trying to help. Doctors, medics, people who are trying to keep civilians out of the line of fire.



    After a week of day-in, day-out facing these kinds of problems, however, I decided that I needed a break, or I was going to go crazy. At the time, I was still near central Europe, so I decided to look up what kinds of animals were invasive and damaging there and just... decompress for a while. Go fishing.

    Turns out? Catfish are not welcome in Europe. Neither are carp or goldfish. Or these adorable smallish beaver things with rat tails called coypu.

    I spend a good part of a day just catching and usurping as many as I can find, and greatly increasing my overall number of construct-lanterns. Most of them I turn back into rings and store inside Lamprey, but there's a particularly fat coypu I leave out to follow me around.

    I named her Raticate.

    After my little vacation, however, I go back to the healing and war. Looking for volunteer lanterns in some places, and forcing the ring on violent people in others.

    When it gets to be too much, I go back to cleaning up the environment. Turns out Canadian geese and house crows are not supposed to be on this side of the Atlantic either. But after a day to relax and a night to sleep, I always go right back into the action.

    I spend a lot of time in central Europe, and then the Middle East. Aiming mostly for things that Hydra has caused recently, rather than a long time ago. Active war-zones, places where terrorists have attacked, disease outbreaks.

    After the fourth week- it's November now, I start getting recognized faster, and to my surprise, start getting volunteers right away for the ring. Even, occasionally, people willing to put it back on after I decide their shift is done, and they've had time to process things and let it wear off.

    People braver than me.

    I've been keeping a list of them, in case of some future emergency where I need a reliable ring-slinger.

    After the seventh week, sometimes just dropping down from the heavens is enough to stop the fighting. People begin going up to me while I'm working and asking for me to heal them- something I can't really bring myself to refuse, which means that it starts happening more and more often.

    I have more and more volunteers, some the usual doctors, but more often people who want to be seen as heroes. Or people who want to use the ring to heal their families or rebuild their houses first. Or religious people wanting to cause 'miracles'. Or people who want to bring in the terrorists themselves. Or people who have have read or heard the interviews from previous volunteers or conscripts, and just want to know what it feels like.

    As I get more experienced, things go by faster, and stress me less. I'm still appalled by the tragedies but... it stops wearing so hard on me. As I begin to run out of recent-ish actions committed by Hydra, I start branching out. I help out with earthquakes and flood and other natural disasters. I start catching more criminals, going after people from the Ten Rings and after organized crime. I use the blue light of hope to revitalize the edges of deserts, and the soil in areas going through famines. And, of course, I help out in hospitals, working together with volunteer lanterns.

    I continue my tour, through India, and then up to Asia, and then looping back to Africa, and then to South America. I see so much of the world from above, I can barely comprehend it. I fly over mountains, forests, jungles, swamps and grasslands. I finally get to visit Japan again, too, and play tourist for a day rather than my usual invasive species fishing- the Ghibli Museum lets me in without a ticket. And as it turns out, being famous has its perks!

    I don't have to steal to eat- I tend to get recognized wherever I go, now, and just going into any restaurant will usually get me whatever I want on the house. When I want to sleep, I can go to a hotel and usually expect the same treatment. I think I'd start getting fat, if I wasn't constantly moving all the time. More than a few people have propositioned me as well- but knowing that Hydra (among other groups, these days) are still actively trying to assassinate me, I haven't taken anyone up on it.

    I'm beginning to get used to the full-time superhero life. After three months of this kind of existence, I... think I'm a changed woman. Bullets don't scare me anymore, gore doesn't scare me anymore, even the ring- after seeing so many people of so many walks of life using it, I'm... less afraid of it, too. Not that I ever use it, I'm at risk of getting trapped by it, unlike everyone else.

    But it doesn't scare me so much any more.

    And before I know it, Zola informs me that it's New Years day.

    2012.
     
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2020
  4. Jeff Roy

    Jeff Roy Not too Sora, are you?

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    You have done a very good job making it FEEL like a journey. A soul searching kind.

    Hell, that line "But it doesn't scare me so much any more." kinda seemed perfect and made ME feel like something was accomplished.

    Good job, cause that is REALLY fuggin hard to get across in a written format.
     
  5. DadofBoy

    DadofBoy Getting some practice in, huh?

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    That was a nice timeskip. I wonder what Loki, Thanos, or someone like Ego will make of the si(you?)...
    The butterflies you've caused are ginormous. A lot of from movies like, Black Panther, Winter Soldier, Iron Man 3, Dark World, basically most of the phase 1 movies(not including BP), even Avengers 2 probably wont happen. All in all, an amazing story. kudos, dude(ette)!

    P.S: Love the fact that the si(you?) is a lesbian(bi?) in this fic. There are almost no femslash fics in marvel(or dc, barring SuperCorp), so yeah nice to see a great femslash fic...
     
  6. JeckJack

    JeckJack Mask seller

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    Atika isn't an SI, although she basically fulfills the role of one. She has a different personality (and gender, race, orientation, sex, etc.) than me, but a lot of the same interests, which means that she's a great character for wish-fulfillment. It also means I can have her do stuff I think is fun that I would never, ever, do myself. (My overarching goal in life is obviously not brainwashing the universe into being nicer)

    If it were an SI, I think in a situation like that I would either get stuck healing forever, and if I didn't, I would just hand over my future knowledge, ring, and staff to someone more able to use it than I would with a few warnings, maybe Bruce Banner, and then try and live quietly away from any disaster areas and hope for the best.
     
  7. MadMarx420

    MadMarx420 Know what you're doing yet?

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    Another amazing chapter as usual! looking forward to the next chapter. Hopefully soon!
     
  8. DadofBoy

    DadofBoy Getting some practice in, huh?

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    Lol, that's actually the most realistic si story dicription ever. Unless, u know u have unlimited power, and not an object of unlimited power, then the si might proceed to either troll their current universe, or end up like as the most edgy edgelord in edgeland...
     
  9. Threadmarks: Chapter 11 - Dead Line
    JeckJack

    JeckJack Mask seller

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    One Month Ago

    "James Barnes." Fury greets, "I wasn't aware you'd be attending this meeting." he said, narrowing his eye at Rogers.

    "I wouldn't really feel right sitting it out." he said, "I have more bones to pick with Hydra than anyone else here."

    "He's not a double-agent." Rogers said, somewhat annoyed, "I was there when Atika got rid of his brainwashing. Besides that, I've been with him the last two months. He's clean. You have my word."

    "Very well." he said, before turning his glare back at Barnes, "No offense. It's just that you can't be too careful, considering the scale of our operation."

    Rogers nodded, before looking across the table, "Who are they?" he asked, pointing at the others.

    "Some of my top people." Fury said, "Captain Rogers, Barnes, this is Maria Hill, Phil Coulson, Clint Barton, and-"

    "Natalia Romanoff." Barnes interrupted.

    "Natasha, now." she corrected.

    "Sorry." he said, "For the name, and for-"

    "Shooting me?"

    He nodded, "And for that engineer in Odessa." he said, looking pained, "I'm glad you got out okay."

    "I wouldn't call it okay." she replied.

    "Is this going to be a problem? Barnes? Romanoff?" Fury asked, already starting to get annoyed. And the person he really had to worry about wasn't even being brought on yet.

    "Just some friendly ribbing, sir." she replied, smiling in a kind of sharp way in Barne's direction.

    "Right." Fury said, "Well. All I can say is that the last two months have kept me busy. While HYDRA still isn't aware that I have access to their network- as far as I know, -they have obviously become aware that Atika has access to it." he was regretting his advice to have her end the conflicts near Hydra sites specifically. It basically screamed at the secret organization that she knew what they had been up to, "As a result, they've been gradually switching over to the methods of the good old days in an effort to hide their digital footprint. Dead drops. Secret messages. Information in code sent along inconspicuous or civilian channels. It's been making our job more difficult."

    He smiled, then, "But not impossible." he hit a button, and an organizational chart appeared, "Cut off one head, and two more shall rise in it's place. It's a catchy saying, but not actually true. If we can take out all the heads simultaneously, the organization loses its overarching power. The body of undercover operatives, mercenaries, and foreign agents will remain, but we have their names and faces. All of them. Without their leadership, they'll have to go to ground. Without their safehouses, they'll have to go on the run. Without their SHIELD or HYDRA weapons caches, they're no more dangerous than your average outlaw." he says, "We won't get everyone. But we'll get enough to kill the organization once and for all."

    He hits a button, and the leaders of each of HYDRA's branches was highlighted, and then separated from the chart.

    Names and locations appeared under each one.

    "All of you are the best of the best, and some of my most trusted agents. I'm going to be relying on all of you to take out the heads as close to simultaneously as possible. You'll receive limited supplies and backup, considering that these operations cannot take place on SHIELD mission logs. None of you can fail, none of you can act too early or too late."

    He shifts his gaze across the gathered men and women.

    "Does anyone have any questions?"

    Coulson leaned forwards, "Should we take this as the first deployment of the initiative?"

    "Negative." Fury replied, "HYDRA is SHIELD's mess. And I don't trust Stark to do anything subtly. No. It's just us."

    "What about Madam Atika?" Barton asked, "Wasn't she the one who told you about HYDRA in the first place?"

    "Same reasons." Fury said with a shrug, "She's a glowing blue force of nature. Subtlety is required, or this isn't going to happen at all. Besides, she'd never agree with this plan."

    Barnes and Rogers stiffened, at that, frowning at him.

    "Why not?" Rogers asked.

    "Simple. We're going to kill these men." Fury said casually, gesturing at the faces on the screen, "That's enough. If she knew, she would try to stop us."



    Now

    "Madam."

    "Hm?" I blink some of the sleep out of my eyes, and then look up blearily at my faithful orange nightlights/bodyguards.

    I hold out my arms, and Raticate floats into them, snuggling into me.

    "Yeah-" I yawn, "Hrm Yeah, Zola?"

    "It is now January 1st on the Pacific Island of Tonga."

    "Oh. Happy New Years. That's thoughtful of you. Um. When will it be New Years here?" 'here' being Rio de Janeiro.

    "At midnight, Madam. In sixteen hours."

    "Oh. Cool." I sat up, and released Raticate again, before rising up all the way out of bed. The staff floats into my open left hand, and I let the aura cover me. I float up out of bed, and then turn around and start making it nice again, "Is this about Fury? I was thinking of calling him at some point in the afternoon tomorrow about Hydra. You know, let him have some time to recover if he had a party or something last night."

    "I do not believe that Fury was at a party last night." he said, "He was too busy with his attack against the heads of HYDRA."

    What!?

    "Bwuh?"

    "Minutes ago, at least four of HYDRA's heads were assassinated." Zola reported dispassionately, "Those I have confirmed with security footage and reports coming from their bodyguards and underlings into the HYDRA netwrok. There are several other HYDRA heads I am less sure about, due to limiting access to the HYDRA network."

    I... he...

    I... guess I should be glad?

    He didn't call me. Or ask me for help. Why not? Did he not need my help? Or did he know that if he asked me to join in, I wouldn't be able to...

    That's almost nice of him.

    "Are any of HYDRA's heads still alive?" I ask, "That you know about for sure?"

    "Alexander Pierce."

    "Why?"

    "Because he is in the Triskelion, talking with Director Fury."

    Fury is talking to him?

    "Now Fury is raising his gun."

    Oh.

    "Call him."

    "He is not answering."

    "Make his phone explode."

    "I have no idea how to do that."

    I fly towards the window, form a cone construct around myself, and shoot straight upwards.

    Zola and Raticate and Lamprey fly after me, but I'm moving... a lot faster than they are, right now. I could wait for them to catch up... but that would take too long. I needed to get to America fast. Faster than I had ever moved before. I need to-

    What am I doing?

    I'm a continent away. Other murders are probably happening right now. Dozens, maybe more in between me and him. Dying people who weren't part of massive evil organizations planning on throwing the world into chaos. People who deserved more help than Pierce did.

    But I wasn't the one who enabled those to happen.

    If I hadn't told Fury, he wouldn't have had those Hydra men killed. My actions led to them dying.

    I felt sick.

    I dismiss the cone, and let myself drop.

    I freefall for a few seconds- I had gotten pretty high up, before reestablishing the flight aura again and catching myself once I pass by my construct-lanterns.

    "Madam!" Zola shouts, flying down to me.

    "Read the police scanners. Is anyone in danger down there right now?"

    "Yes. There is a fire in-"

    "Create a map. Overlay the location of the fire with our current view of the city."

    "A moment, please."

    "...Thank you. Zola. For telling me."

    "I guessed that you would have wanted to know."

    "Yes."

    "Image created."

    I look at the spot, and then at the city below, and create the cone around myself again. I fly down towards it as fast as I can, the shield cracking from the sudden heat and wind resistance, but it still holds. People need my help, after all. So I sustain it.

    As I get close to the raging fire, I reach into my pocket, and pull out the ring.

    "I am Atika!" I shout, "I am looking for a volunteer to help!"

    "Down here!" shouts someone from one of the windows of the burning building, waving his arms. Is he asking for help, or volunteering? Never mind. If he wasn't volunteering, I'll apologize later. Right now, I need someone with the ring.

    "Designate secondary user."

    <Designation accepted.> the ring flies towards the man, and slips over his finger, <Paul Cortez of Earth, welcome to the indigo tribe.> the collar forms around his neck.

    "Use a ring scan to locate every person and pet inside the building, and clearly identify their location." I order.

    "Uh, right." I see a model of the building get projected from his ring, with a half-dozen images of people and animals inside.

    There's plenty of fear in the air right now. I create yellow constructs of skeleton arms, and have them smash through the walls to grab up the nearest person, pull her out, and set her down on the ground away from the building. Then the next. And the next.

    My newest lantern begins to jump in as well, creating a construct fire engine, and... spraying construct-water onto everything. Where it splashes down, the fire is extinguished. Hard. It spreads, too, like suds. Bubbling up and putting out all the fire in the building rather quickly.

    I begin to be a bit more careful about property damage as I pull people to safety.

    Once everyone is safely out of the building, I go down and begin healing all of them, my volunteer-lantern joining me shortly after.

    "Paul?" I ask, "Do you know anyone who could use healing they can't get at a hospital."

    "I- yes."

    "Then lead the way, please."

    "Right!" the man takes off, and I follow, my construct-lanterns following me in turn.

    "Zola?" I ask, as we head for a different part of the city.

    "Yes?"

    "Can you call Fury again as soon as he isn't in a life-or-death situation?"

    "Of course, Madam."

    "So... is Hydra gone, do you think? Just... all of it, just like that? Without me chipping in at all?"

    "You provided the information. Your activities over the last three months caused them to waste resources and bunker down, harming less people."

    "Is that actually true, or are you just saying things to make me feel better?"

    "You want me to be honest and helpful more than you want to be lied to."

    "Could we have stopped Hydra without killing them?"

    "Perhaps. Perhaps not. Most HYDRA members' native countries would execute them for the treason they were involved with regardless. The end of the organization would likely always involve some loss of life."

    I sigh.

    "Alright."



    Fury looked down at the man who had done so much for him, supported him through so many of his close calls, stood up for him to the council, to the government, who supported him in creating the helicarrier where so many others wanted to write it off as a waste.

    Alexanader Pierce hadn't suffered. Point-blank shots to the head prevented that kind of thing. He readjusted his jacket, and then felt his phone vibrating again. He holstered his pistol, and then pulled out the phone. An unknown number. "Lady Rainbow." he said completely deadpan, picking it up this time.

    "Fucking- Arrgh. Hey Director Fury. I underestimated how quickly you'd get everything done." she said, her voice a lot more somber than the last time they spoke a few months ago, "Sorry I couldn't help. If any of your people got hurt I can be almost anywhere within an hour or two. Faster if they're in South America."

    "I haven't heard back from the other teams yet. They were successful?"

    "As far as Zola can tell."

    "Good." Fury said, relaxing slightly. He would have to double-check himself as well, of course, but it was still a relief.

    "Yeah." she agreed.

    He frowned, raising a brow, "You approve?"

    "No, not really. I feel hurt, but that's kind of hypocritical of me. I'll get over it. It's good that Hydra is ending, regardless of anything else. Um. Is there anything else I could help with? I doubt the whole organization is done just because you got rid of the people in charge."

    "HYDRA weapons vaults would be our next targets. Now that the leaders are gone, we can start using SHIELD resources a bit more." Fury said, "Any team that you can support and protect while they take them would benefit from having you there. Especially since HYDRA has more than a few more 'exotic' weapons lying around. I figure you can take a shot better than one of my own men."

    "Sure. Where do you want me?"

    "Ask Zola about Von Strucker's fortress. I'll call you again when I have a team in place ready to move in. Might be a few hours. Unless you could carry them to Europe faster?"

    "Is Von Strucker there?"she asks.

    "No, he was in Hong Kong, planning on attending a New Years party later today with some business partners of his. If everything went as planned, he should have come across Rogers a few minutes ago."

    "Okay." she says, "Where do you want me to pick them up?"

    "I'll have a team ready to deploy from the Helicarrier... It's current coordinates are-"

    "In the Atlantic, right? I'll be there."

    "Fine." first thing he'll do once HYDRA is firmly dead will be dismantling their whole parasitic network. He doesn't need anyone who isn't SHIELD to know where their invisible flying fortress is at all times. "Before you go." Fury says, "Why was the start of 2012 the deadline? Did you pick it arbitrarily, or is there some other reason?"

    "...Hey, Fury? Have you ever worried about aliens invading Earth?"

    Cold washed down his spine, in a way that not even killing his own mentor minutes before had done to him. He reached for his back pocket, checking that the pager was there. So many times over the years, he had considered pressing the button. Calling her back- but none of it was so pressing as to pull her away from reestablishing an oppressed alien race.

    None of it had been anything he couldn't handle. That Earth couldn't handle.

    "Why?" he asked, afraid of the answer.

    "You asked me if I was an Asgardian. I'm not, but I know that one of them is somewhat interested in Earth. He sent the Destroyer- the big silver robot in New Mexico? He's planning on coming in person at some point this year, with higher-quality backup."

    "Well shit."
     
  10. Whenever Possible

    Whenever Possible Versed in the lewd.

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    Speaking of Director Fury and Aliens. My favorite thing to come out of the Captain Marvel movie was the retroactive justification for Fury to make the Avenger's Initiative.

    Before that movie came out, Fury was just some spy who wanted a team in spandex. Afterwards? He was a man who had seen proof of hostile, powerful alien life that could come to and leave Earth at their leisure and had no problems being violent to get what he wanted, as well as the system of combat champions that is so prevalent in the marvel universe.

    Perfect incentive to find, or make, a team of champions to represent Earth's interests.
     
    zarion, ClassyCobra, Retric and 27 others like this.
  11. MadMarx420

    MadMarx420 Know what you're doing yet?

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    Great chapter as usual, looking forward to Atika and the rest of the Avengers meeting up. :)
     
  12. Grimmouse197

    Grimmouse197 I trust you know where the happy button is?

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    I wouldn't call them quality backup....more like quantity backup.....they are massed produced soldiers after all
     
  13. Zealous Specter

    Zealous Specter Getting some practice in, huh?

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    Her suit is cool. Until it goes above the neckline and I remember she has a megaman helmet on. Then i start laughing at how ugly that would look. And all atemps to take anything serious goes straight out the window when I start imaginging that outfit and how she has a literal nob on her head.

    How has nobody in this fic died from laughter yet. Or is it one of those situations where everybody is just assuming her bad fashion sence in relation to headwear is an alien thing and just want to be polite about it?
     
  14. Extras: Omake 2: Awesome Cosmic Power
    Breadnaught

    Breadnaught Versed in the lewd.

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    "Maybe it's very fashionable on her planet?"

    "Or it might be an alien aesthetic thing. Maybe her species just see things differently."

    "Hell, they may not have genitalia that look anything like ours, so the penis-head thing just doesn't apply."


    ....

    "Guys, I'm not an alien. Human woman right here."

    "O- oh! Right. Err, don't mind us, just talking crap to pass time, y'know. Looks fine."

    "Really? You're not just saying that?"

    "Yeah, looks really cute on you. Your outfit's fine."

    "Oh, thanks. Bye!"

    ....


    "I think she deserved our honesty. We probably should have told her how bad it looks."

    "Your girlfriend asks what you think, you actually tell her she looks bad?"

    "Well, no."

    "Does your girlfriend have Awesome Cosmic Power?"

    "... no."

    "Exactly."
     
  15. JeckJack

    JeckJack Mask seller

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    It's a reference to the Controller (they share the Sandhurst last name, use mind control by putting a round metal thing on them, are Marvel characters, etc.). He wears something very similar to Mega Man's helmet.

    [​IMG][​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jun 17, 2020
  16. Threadmarks: Chapter 12 - Sharing Knowledge
    JeckJack

    JeckJack Mask seller

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    "Nice to finally meet you in person, Director Fury." I say.

    "Nice helmet, Lady Rainbow." he says, expression completely flat, "So, how did things go in Strucker's fortress?"

    "I- agh! Fine, more-or-less." I say, "When I heard I was going to be sent to deal with 'exotic weapons' I had been envisioning killer robots. Not dudes with laser guns attached to big, bulky backpacks." the only thing that made them more difficult to deal with was that I wasn't confident in using myself as a shield for the people Fury sent with me.

    I had really been hoping for being able to do stuff with more cool robots. Maybe like, a stolen Hammer Drone? I could capture it, and either use my orange light to get my own pet super fighting robot construct-lantern as opposed to my tv-head butler robot, or let Zola try and take it over to use as a body with his head in the chest, or something like that.

    Instead, all I got was people shooting at me with laser cannons. Emulating the green light to make a shield was enough to protect the men I was sent in with, most of the blasts not even scratching it. I put the ring on one of the Hydra people, and had him begin shutting everything down and put him in charge of capturing all his fellows.

    In the middle of it, though, I did something that I felt a little guilty about, considering Shield wanted all of it that they could grab.

    All of those lasers were created by Hydra (designed by Zola, actually, small world) to run off of energy pulled from the Space Stone, the Tesseract.

    That they could still fire after all these years meant that the batteries were intact. I had Raticate 'eat' several of the laser cannons, backpacks and all, and store them inside her belly, nice and safe, during the raid. Hopefully, when I get the chance to let the ring analyze them, it'll give me a hint how to make wormholes using the staff.

    But back to the conversation at hand... "I'm sorry that a life-saving mission to prevent a HYDRA revival wasn't exciting enough for you." Fury says, putting a hand on his hip.

    "You can make it up to me by giving a tour of your flying fortress." I say, giving a good look around at the docking bay of the Helicarrier. It was, like most things about the massive machine, utterly gigantic, and filled with heavily armed smaller aircraft.

    "That can be arranged. So, what have you brought back for me?" he asked, before going over to one of the boxes being unloaded from the jet I had flown back in on with the team. He put his hand against a scanner, and it opened up, letting him have a look at the laser cannon. He lifted it up, testing the weight, and then aimed along its sight, keeping it pointed at the bay doors rather than at anything or anyone important.

    "Lasers with backpacks attached." I say again.

    "Hm. And how would you rate them?" he asked.

    "What do you mean?"

    "Against our potential visitors later this year." he says, "Is this kind of stuff what they'll be packing?"

    I blink, surprised, as my staff flares yellow. He looks at it too, and frowns to himself. He stands a little straighter, and it shifts to green.

    "You're really worried, huh?" I say, "Okay. Let's talk about it somewhere private, alright?"

    "Private-private, or-"

    "You can tell people you trust, but I think it wouldn't really help if the general public were aware of it." I clarify.

    "Hm." he places the gun carefully back in its container and locks it, before he jerks his head towards a staircase on the far side of the room, and starts walking. I follow after him.


    "Lady Atika, this is Agent Coulson and Agent Hill. Two of my finest. They've just got back from their own missions, similar to the one I sent Rogers on." Fury says as we head into a sealed room. He puts a device down, and it gives a few beeps and a crackle before a light turns green, "Anything we say from now on won't be recorded anywhere." he informs us.

    Right.

    "Are you both alright? I could heal you both if you were hurt in any way. It must have been-" hard to kill them? I don't know. Maybe it was easy for both of them. And if it was difficult, whether emotionally or physically I don't think I want to know the details either. "-a long flight."

    "We're fine, Lady Atika." Phil Coulson says with a mild grin. I always found him kind of off-putting in the movies. Like in Iron Man 2, he had a 'weirdly pleasant and mild inhuman men-in-black' vibe that felt like an intentional facade to intimidate Tony. But then when Avengers rolled around, they decided that, no, he was actually just weirdly nice.

    But in-person, he just seems kind of stiff. You'd be amazed how much the lack of movie-lighting and actually being forced to see people move around and adjust their chairs and other things like that that make people feel a lot more real. I think this was the first time I've thought of someone as being fictional in the last two months. But then, most people I meet during my travels don't really play a part in the movies.

    "But thank you for the offer." Maria Hill says.

    "So. Alien invasion. Some time in 2012." Director Fury says, "In order of importance: What do you know? How do you know, and what are your plans regarding it?"

    Well. On the spot.

    I've considered lying, and I've considered telling the truth, but in the end, I've decided to just continue using half-truths. Well. Closer to 80% truths. I still don't want to tell anyone that this universe is fictional, or that my only source of information was a movie and some related but not accurate comic books. But I think trying to hide things from people to preserve the stations of canon are dumb.

    "The invaders are called the Chitauri." I begin, "They're a race that has integrated themselves with advanced technology, but in galactic terms, they're not that big of a deal by themselves. Unfortunately, they're not usually by themselves. They belong to an army led by the Mad Titan Thanos, an interstellar conqueror and mass-murderer, who leads a mishmash horde of different alien races."

    All three pale a bit, "Is this 'Thanos' the Asgardian you mentioned who would be leading them to Earth?"

    "No, that would be Thor's brother, Loki." I say, "Most of the myths about him aren't actually true. The only thing that ancient humans actually got right was that he has an antagonistic relationship with Thor, a connection to Odin, calls himself the God of Mischief, and that he's a dick."

    I look around, and nobody seems to find that funny. Right.

    "In reality, he's a son of Odin, but isn't the heir to throne. His brother, Thor, was the heir, and in fact, was about to be crowned King of Asgard last year. Loki didn't like that, so he decided to make Thor ineligible by orchestrating an incursion into the palace by a group from a race that Asgard conquered, and then manipulating Thor into starting a new war with them. Thor fell for it, Odin banished Thor to Earth without his powers and hammer until he 'earned' the right to use them and come back, and he dropped into New Mexico."

    "It's interesting, knowing what happened to him on his side of things." Coulson said, "Where does the giant fire-breathing robot come in, or the other Asgardians?"

    "Thor's friends, Sif and the Warriors Three, decided to go against Loki and try to help him out, so Loki decided to send the Destroyer down to kill Thor before he could earn his way back into Asgard." I continue, "Actually... do you still have the metal the Destroyer was made out of? I'd be very interested in getting a hold of it. Asgardians can make really cool magical weapons out of that stuff."

    "Magic?" Hill asks, flatly.

    "Magic is real. That's just an accepted fact in the greater galaxy. It's not common, but it's not super-rare." I say, looking her right in the eyes, "There's magicians on Earth, too, they just like to keep it on the down-low."

    "Huh." Fury says, "I'll want to hear more about that, too. But invasion first. Why is Loki interested in Earth?"

    "After Thor got back to Asgard, they fought, and their teleportation network was damaged in the process. Loki fell into a wormhole before it could go completely down, however, and vowed vengeance on his brother. He found Thanos, asked him for an army to conquer Earth with as a personal insult to his brother. Thor came to love Earth while he was here, and Loki knew that. Thanos agreed, on the provision that Loki give the Tesseract to Thanos."

    Fury's eye widened, "How does he know about the Tesseract? For that matter, how do you know about the Tesseract?"

    "It's an incredibly powerful energy source, and has the ability to create wormholes." I say, "It's... kind of a legendary artifact in the greater galaxy at large? Besides, the Asgardians used to have it, but... either left it hidden here on Earth or lost it here on Earth. Red Skull was using Norse myths to track it down during World War II. The reason that Thanos wants it is to help him commit even more genocide than before." no need to bring in the 'ability to do anything' right now and make stuff even more confusing.

    The three members of Shield shared a look, and Fury sighs, leaning back in chair, "Fine. So. Thanos is loaning the Chitauri to Loki, but only a loan?"

    "I don't know. I wasn't there for the deal. I just know that Loki is getting a Chitauri army from Thanos, in exchange for the Tesseract." I say.

    "So Thanos isn't invading." he said, "Just Loki?"

    "Yes." I say, "And I know how he can do it, and... sort of have an idea on how I can prevent it."

    "Alright. How?"

    "He's going to use dark magic to open a doorway from the Tesseract. Loki only has enough magic to send himself through. He'll need to build a specialized machine, combined with the Tesseract, to create a doorway big enough for the Chitauri to actually come through."

    Coulson smiles a bit, "That's good. Then all we need to do is take out Loki before he can build it."

    "The Tesseract is already under maximum security, but I'll increase it all the same." Fury said, glancing at Hill. She nodded.

    "Right." I say, breathing out, "Here's my plan: I could bring the Tesseract into empty space. When he comes through- vacuum."

    Fury narrows his eye, "I thought you had a problem with killing."

    "Loki tried to start a genocidal war already, and then when he failed, went to probably the worst person in the galaxy for help." I say, crossing my arms, "If he died- I wouldn't feel that bad about it. But it doesn't really matter, a vacuum won't kill him. He's a god, remember? He can breathe in space."

    "That's impossible-" Hill begins.

    "Magic." I say, interrupting, "Er. Sorry, shouldn't have cut you off. But he'll be fine. He just won't be able to do anything else. He won't have anything to build the machine with." I say, "I can just grab him afterwards and..." make him into a construct-lantern? He probably deserves it as much as Zola did. Or maybe love crystal. It'd be nice for him and his family if he could just admit that he loves them.

    "...We'll consider that plan." Fury says after a moment, "But I consider protecting the Tesseract a personal responsibility. If it's so powerful... how do we know we can trust you with it? You're not a human."

    "I understand." I say, smiling a little sadly, "But this is the safest thing for Earth I can think of." if they outright reject the plan, I might have to take it from them by force, but what else could we do? "Maybe... if it was held somewhere isolated, with barely any technology, besides monitoring equipment? So you would know when he arrives, but not let him have anything or anyone to work with- oh! He can mind control people, nearly forgot. And implant knowledge into their minds. Create illusions and stuff. He'll probably try and find a scientist to build it for him."

    "...I'll look into protective measures for the Tesseract." Fury says, "I assure you. Now- what kinds of weapons will the Chitauri have?"


    Things continued in that vein for a while.

    The three of them pressed me on everything I knew about the Chitauri, about Loki, about Asgardians, about major powers in the galaxy, and about magic. I was vague about the galaxy at large because I didn't actually know as much about it as I was acting like I did, and kept my mouth shut entirely in regards to earthling Masters of the Mystic Arts, mostly because I think the person most easily able to kill me on the planet would be the Ancient One. And I didn't want to start anything with them.

    Hours passed, before they were willing to let me out, and begin to make plans of their own.

    They even offered to give me a tour of the Helicarrier, and after my rumbling stomach interrupted things, brought me to the onboard cafeteria. The food wasn't bad.

    Finally, though, I decided it was time to leave.

    When I flew up into the sky, it was as a free woman. Hydra was more-or-less done. I had warned Shield about the next big threat, and told them everything I could that I thought could help them. Areas that had been devastated by Hydra in the last few years had all been taken care of, and it would probably be five months before Loki showed up. I think Avengers 1 was in May? But I wasn't completely sure.

    The point was, for the first time since I came to this world with the staff and the ring, I didn't have anything immediate to take care of. I was a free woman, with all the power in the world!

    I could just do what I wanted!

    Raticate bumps into my leg, and I look down at her. She opens her mouth slightly, and makes a complaining squeak as the barrel of the laser cannon pokes out.

    And the first thing I wanted to do was see if I could figure out how to teleport.
     
  17. Cambrian

    Cambrian The Pimperor - Inspirational as Fuck

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    Woof, poor Loki. He's certainly a villain in the MCU but the SI's knowledge of his and Thanos' relationship seems questionable. To characterize it as him willingly going to Thanos for an army instead of being tortured and then brainwashed into doing Thanos' bidding... that's rough.

    Looking forward to more all the same! If this story has to be built on the back of Loki's death, I'm still here for it!
     
  18. gustyeagle

    gustyeagle Know what you're doing yet?

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    Yeah and her plan to stop Loki seems really bad. What did Loki do to deserve to be floating though space forever? He's no Kars. That seems like the best case scenario for her plan anyway.
     
  19. JeckJack

    JeckJack Mask seller

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    I don't remember any of that happening, so I checked over the MCU wiki, and it looks like Loki was being "influenced" by the Scepter, but considering I only learned that just now, I'm going to say that Atika doesn't know that either.

    There's no mention of torture or even intentional brainwashing in the wiki though. Not a lot of "doing Thanos' bidding" either. Loki was the one who wanted to conquer Earth, all Thanos wanted out of it was the Tesseract, uninterested in anything else Loki did. Thanos giving Loki the army was payment for the Tesseract. They even argued about it.

    He wouldn't be floating forever, he'd be floating somewhere where he wouldn't be able to fight back while she grabs him.
    Edit: I'd argue that Loki is a worse person than Kars.
     
  20. Cambrian

    Cambrian The Pimperor - Inspirational as Fuck

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    So actually this prompted me to make sure my knowledge about Loki was accurate canon and not just fanon. The answer seems to be a mix of both.

    https://screenrant.com/avengers-loki-theory-mind-stone-thanos/

    This link confirms that Marvel themselves have made it clear Loki was indeed being controlled by the Mind Stone during The Avengers. Which to be fair, there were a million context clues there. Loki's eyes being green in Thor but "mind control" blue in Avengers being the biggest.

    Though, it seems that Thanos torturing Loki into accepting his deal is probably fanon. But based on the state of Loki when he first arrives in Avengers, looking sickly and weak like he just got done being tortured, plus the fact that his plan was so bad it almost seemed like he wanted to fail, and he used almost none of his own magic in actual battle (saving it for showboating instead), it certainly seemed like he was fighting the Mind Stone just like Selvig with the back door to shut down the portal, it feels like there's context clues there to make that fanon feel more solid in my opinion.

    I will say, that link above does also provide a bit of an opinion piece that argues Loki's case a bit better than I probably can. And I think by the end of the MCU's first 10 year arc for lack of a better word, Loki dies a hero, which speaks to him having been not much of a villain all along.

    He's very much an antagonist in multiple MCU movies, but the focus that Marvel has always given him as a character has resulted in his reasons being far more fleshed out and even relatable then most of the other MCU villains.

    That all said, I can 100% appreciate you not knowing about something and thus your SI doesn't know about it too. In the interest of avoiding getting too off topic from the actual story and what not, I'll just say I'm glad that I was at least able to expand your knowledge of Loki a bit more so you could write him more faithfully whenever you do have him dhow up. I'm looking forward to whatever happens next regardless. This has been a super fun story so far =)
     
  21. JeckJack

    JeckJack Mask seller

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    Thanks! This is actually super interesting to know, and makes me appreciate the original Avengers a little more. I think I'm going to keep it so Atika doesn't know about it, but I might change how I handle Loki later on.
     
  22. Cambrian

    Cambrian The Pimperor - Inspirational as Fuck

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    Yeah for sure.

    On an unrelated note, did you have them move your thread from the NSFW forum to the SFW forum? Or did I somehow stumble into the SFW forum at some point and Watch this thread after finding it there? xD

    I'm hoping it was the former because I'll admit I was utterly baffled when I backed out of this thread only to find myself in the SFW creative writing forum instead of NSFW lol
     
    ParaDXThrowaway likes this.
  23. JeckJack

    JeckJack Mask seller

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    It was originally in the NSFW section, but I realized that there wouldn't actually be anything lewd until halfway into the story, if at all, so I asked to have it moved.
     
  24. Cambrian

    Cambrian The Pimperor - Inspirational as Fuck

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    Okay cool, good to know I'm not going crazy :p
     
    DaGeek247 likes this.
  25. Zealous Specter

    Zealous Specter Getting some practice in, huh?

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    pft, lol.
    That is actually even more of a nob look than I was originally imagining. And in turn has become even more funny to me. I, I just can't wait till she meets Stark, and I seriously hope he gives her a number to a outfit designer or something.
     
  26. SystemSearcher

    SystemSearcher "I fought the door and the door won"

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    ...why do people think that Power Rangers look stupid again?
     
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  27. MadMarx420

    MadMarx420 Know what you're doing yet?

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    She should wear stupid shit and see how far she can go with it before people comment on it lol. Imagine if people really don't want to offend her thinking it's part of her alien heritage and its all revealed she's actually human and she was fucking with them all along.
     
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  28. gustyeagle

    gustyeagle Know what you're doing yet?

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    Yes, the best case scenario is that the plan works the way she thinks perfectly and with no problems. A worse scenario is that Loki contacts any of the beings that can help him trapped in space; the asgard gatekeeper or Thanos, with the tererract. Since most magic users we see in the mcu have sling rings the idea that Loki could pull something like that seems rather likely.

    If the SI is that confident in being able to react to when Loki grabs the teserract, why not just let shield keep it?
     
    Ajlove likes this.
  29. Threadmarks: Chapter 13 - Two Rings
    JeckJack

    JeckJack Mask seller

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    "Okay... let's see what we've got. Zola, you're the resident expert. I didn't want to ask while Shield was around, but I have to know- are these batteries storing energy from the Tesseract, or are they normal batteries that were simply charged up by it?" I ask as we touch down on my favorite deserted island.

    "They are fueled by the unique energy of the Tesseract."

    "Score! Raticate, give em' here."

    "Is what you said to the Director true?" Zola asked.

    "Yeah, why?"

    "The Tesseract can be used to make portals? In all of our studies, it was simply a very potent, if wavering, power source."

    "Making portals is the main thing it does." I say, watching as Raticate grows larger, to the point where spitting out the lasers and packs are easy, rather than something that would require her mouth to get significantly larger. I grab one with my free hand, before making a construct scalpel. "The energy source thing is... more of a side effect? A necessary aspect of making wormholes because they take so much power?"

    "I see..."

    I carefully pry open the first backpack, and smile at the brightly-glowing blue batteries inside. "Zola, could you start working on safely removing the batteries as well?"

    "Of course, Madam."

    I pick up one of them, pulling it free from the backpack, and I can... feel how warm it is, even through the suit...

    Being exposed to energy like this is what gave Captain Marvel her powers. There's a not-small part of me that wants to see if I can make the same thing happen. Being able to fly around under my own power, firing energy blasts, breathing in space- Actually, those are all things I can do with the staff, aren't they?

    Which is why an even larger part of me is saying that it was almost certainly a fluke, and that most likely letting this thing explode next to me will just result in me missing a few chunks of my person.

    Soon, I have a whole pile of Tesseract-energy batteries lying on the sand.

    "Okay." I say, "Now... for the tricky part." I sigh, before pulling the ring free from my pouch. "Ring?"

    <User.>

    I suck in a breath, before letting it go, "Can you perform scans and analysis without me putting you on?"

    <Insufficient Compassion. This ring is capable of some analysis and scans without user input, such as when seeking out potential users, but other uses require the Compassion of a user.>

    "Right. Right." I look down at it, "Can you set an emergency shut-off timer?"

    <Yes. What should signal to this ring that it should reactivate?>

    "Being recharged again." I say, "The next time I need someone to act as a temporary lantern, I'll have them recharge from the staff."

    <Parameter set. What timeframe would you like to use before the shut-off?>

    "Give me thirty minutes." I say, "Actually... make it an hour."

    <Parameter set. Beginning timer. Fifty-nine minutes and fifty seconds remain.>

    I take a breath, and pull away the glove on my right hand, and slide the ring on.

    The change, since I'm waiting and ready for it, isn't... so disturbing this time.

    I look over at the batteries. Being able to teleport through space will be absurdly useful in helping people. It'll let me go to other worlds that are in more or just as much danger as Earth. It will let me get technology I can bring to Earth to help heal people. It will let me get from place to place faster than I could fly, letting me reach people faster.

    And it's one of the core abilities of the indigo light, and I should be able to use it, shouldn't I?

    Analyze the batteries, as much as you possibly can, please.

    <Analyzing.>

    Information begins to pour into my head, and I close my eyes, trying to concentrate on it.

    <Spacial disruptions detected. Updating understanding of this universe's physics.>

    Yes!

    I watch as the ring begins to play a thick beam of indigo light across the batteries, getting a better look. I stand there, holding out my arm towards the batteries, full of excited energy. I'm going to be able to help so many people!

    Please-please-please!

    <Ring-based teleportation is now available.>

    "Can I teleport with just the staff?"

    <Technically possible, but unlikely in practice.>

    "What does that mean?"

    <User is not physically capable of performing the wormhole calculations that the ring performs using only her own mind.>

    I... oh. The math is too complicated?

    "Can you upload the calculations to my mind?" I ask.

    <This will require a significant alteration to the User's mind.>

    That doesn't matter! I just need to- no. NO.

    No.

    "We're not altering my mind." I say, fighting to hold my mind together against the... ebb of compassion. "Okay. I can teleport with the ring, that's... that's fine. Not ideal, but a lot better than before." wait. If it's not physically possible to do the calculations with my mind, how do magicians do it?

    Hm.

    Maybe I can get a hold of a sling-ring, somehow? But I'm still not really willing to go to Kamar-toj. What if the Ancient One decides I'm disturbing the timeline too much and tries to kill me?

    But... if that was true, I should probably know that now. I doubt I'm hurting the universe's chances against Thanos. But if I am hurting the universe's chances, I want to know, so I can stop. Or rather, find some other way to do things.

    Maybe the ring's hold wasn't completely bad for me. Without it, my self-preservation was stronger than my compassion. But now... I'm willing to face the danger for the sake of the greater good. Not that I was being cowardly, exactly. I just wasn't stupid about it. I got armor before going into dangerous areas. If I could find some kind of anti-magic to protect me while talking to the Ancient One, I think I would have gone to see her even without the ring altering me. Making sure that there are ways to protect myself first.

    But... now I see that I can't think of any way to protect against wizards, so all my self-preservation was doing was keeping me from going to them for help.

    I do have five months to kill.

    I should just open a portal right to them and- and that's really stupid! Agh. No, I need to focus. Okay. Need to focus. What if the wizards kill me? That is a possibility. I don't think they will, but they can, and they might have reason to. And they aren't all-knowing. The Ancient One can't see past her own death. Even if she thinks I might make things worse, that doesn't mean I actually will. Going to them is stupid, and I'm not a coward for thinking that!

    I... I will have to see them eventually.

    But not before I can do everything I can first. Alright. So, what can I do?

    ...

    Ring, I want to see Ego's World, please.

    I hold up the ring, and energy pours out of it, creating a churning whirlpool of soft indigo light. The funnel of it begins to widen. On the other side, I know, is space. I step through, Zola and Raticate follow me. The batteries should be safe for now.

    I look down over a world of red and blue.

    [​IMG]


    "Scan the planet for DNA."

    <Scanning.>

    Should I try fighting him right now?

    If I put the ring on him... Ego is filled with guilt. He said he was close to abandoning his plan, and his immortality, for Star Lord's mother. He can't be completely without empathy.

    And a planet-lantern could be cool.

    [​IMG]


    My staff flares orange, and I smile. If making him an indigo-lantern doesn't work... could I usurp him? Get a construct-lantern planet? He's also a god, which means magic might be involved, so any ring ability might be unreliable.

    I think going with my original plan might be safer for now. And even if the ring thing does work, the shut-off will be happening soon, and then I'll have an angry Ego to deal with.

    It also might give me the chance experiment with a few things, too.

    <Scan complete. DNA identified.>

    Right. Take us back home, please.

    A new portal opens up in front of us, leading right back to the island.

    So... "Scan the earth for creatures with the same DNA as Ego."

    <Scanning>



    "Oh my god! Are you Atika?" the woman at the counter says, going wide-eyed as I float in through the doors of a Dairy Queen in Missouri.

    "Yep." I say, smiling down at her, "Sorry to disrupt your day, but I just located an unexploded bomb in the forest behind your store."

    "Oh. Uh. Is it dangerous?"

    "It might be." I say, "So I think it would be best if everyone evacuates." I gesture to Zola, "My construct-lanterns will set up a perimeter at a safe distance, please keep going until you have passed the glowing orange animals."

    "Uh. Right away. Did you already call the police?"

    "Yes. Now, why don't you get to you car, and move until you're a safe distance away, please?" luckily, this is a pretty empty stretch of road. A lot of wide-open farming fields nearby. Next to a forest. I've already talked to a few people in the other nearby buildings, convincing them to evacuate too.

    "Right." she says, before going to tell her coworkers.

    I float back outside, and then start heading towards the forest.

    "Ring, tell me please when all the humans have left the outside of the perimeter I have my construct-lanterns setting up."

    <Instruction confirmed.>

    "Thank you."

    I float down, weaving between trees, until I see the seedling. It's... gotten a lot bigger than it was in the 80s. Where before it was the size of a football, now it's grown to the size of a small car. I wonder how long it would take it naturally to cover planet Earth?

    <Over three hundred million years according to current rate of growth.>

    "Ring, is it sentient?"

    <Scanning.>

    I move closer to it, and frown. I raise up the staff, in preparation for the answer.

    <Plant has a one-way telepathic sensory organ. It is able to respond to certain telepathic signals from Ego, and receive life energy, but is not capable of sending them out. It is not currently receiving orders.> a moment later, it chimes up again, <All humans besides the user have left the perimeter.>

    Alright then. I want it to be safe.

    Orange light shines out of the gem, and I unleash the beam at the thing. Where it makes contact... not a lot is happening, but... gradually, orange light is spreading into it. But so slowly.

    I need it to be safe. I need to make it safe. I want to use it to help me and help others.

    Millimeter by millimeter the orange infection grows, but I'm fighting for every bit of it.

    Come on! I need more avarice!

    ..!

    I can get more avarice.

    I reach into my pocket, where Lamprey's ring is kept. Most of my construct-lanterns formed a perimeter around the seedling, to keep away anyone who tries to get too close, in case this thing does suddenly start expanding, so it's not glowing too brightly right now. But it shouldn't have that low of a charge!

    Why emulate a little of the orange light when I can go right to the source and make sure that nobody will get crushed by this thing!

    I touch the ring and feel weird.

    For some reason, I thought that using both at once would put me in a kind of balance, and... it kind of is? I'm not getting pulled so far in either extreme, now. Not that this isn't absurdly stupid and proof that indigo-me is not to be trusted. The orange is clearly more extreme, just... unable to pull me all the way into its madness. I can feel it trying to make my brain go overdrive into my own wants and needs above anything else, but the indigo is keeping me from focusing too much on myself over others. The result is... me but more. ME.

    It hurts my brain a little.

    I probably just should have grabbed it and thrown it into space. But... I do want it. I can use it. In fact, I think it would be very useful. Mortals can't hold Infinity Stones in their hands. I was always going to experiment with having a Construct Lantern hold one, since a being of pure energy given form might be able to deal with holding and using the ultimate energy sources. But a construct-lantern of a Celestial? That's almost guaranteed to work. Gods, even really little-g gods like Asgardians and Frost Giants, can use them without much of a problem. But a little-g god of the level of Ego? I think he could hold one no problem. Might even be able to hold multiple at the same time. And if he can't, I can always find more seedlings! But I'm not sure if I'll have to. I mean, he's more personally powerful than Thanos is, and he didn't have much trouble using them with his hands. Not that I won't grab more seedlings for myself regardless. I could collect them all!

    Since I'm not sure if I can grab Ego himself properly yet, grabbing his seedlings might be the next best thing. And all I need is ALL THE ORANGE LIGHT I CAN MUSTER!

    I practically shove the Lamprey ring into the side of the seedling, digging the ring into it and pressing down, wanting it more and more. The infection that was spreading so slowly accelerates, faster and faster, but still slower than any other thing I've tried to usurp. Magic, or some other kind of stupid resistance. But it's still working. It will be mine and I will use it to help everyone everywhere forever!

    Oh. Wow. That last thought hit me like a splash of cold water. This... this is really dangerous, isn't it? This is really stupid, too.

    I mentally call all my Construct-Lanterns to me. The plant hasn't suddenly expanded or manifested an avatar of Ego or anything yet, so I doubt the perimeter needs to be as big as I set it up.

    "Ring?"

    <User.>

    "What's the timer on your shutdown look like?"

    <There are four minutes and ten seconds until this ring goes into emergency shut down.>

    "Right." I can't be wearing the orange when that happens. The indigo is stopping me from going down the deep-end with it, and I don't really think there's any way to stop myself if I go full Larfleeze.

    The forest around me begins to be colored orange as hundreds of glowing animals float into it. Geese, mosquitofish, crows, lots and lots of carp, sea lampreys, parakeets, goldfish, horses, camels, coypu, bass, muskrats, tanuki (and wasn't that a joy to find out they're invasive in Europe! Adorable.) hairy crabs, squirrels, cane toads, rabbits, pythons, bullfrogs, pigeons, doves, catfish, eels, donkeys, macaques, civets, rats, and guppies.

    And Zola.

    ...

    Honestly a pretty small selection of invasive animals across the world. I haven't even started on insects or invasive plants yet, and even if I've managed to get all of a certain species out of a specific lake or forest, I haven't rid any countries or even whole regions of all of them or anything yet. I have hundreds of construct-lantern animals, not hundreds of thousands.

    I turn the orange ring around my finger back into Lamprey, and then pull the indigo ring off of my finger while I still have most of my common sense in place!

    And I'm free again.

    God.

    I feel like crying.

    But not before I'm done with what I have to do here.

    "Usurp it." I order the swarm, and back off to let the horde of animals descend onto the plant en masse.

    It's a bizarre noise, hearing so many species of animals yowl and scream and growl as they all furiously attack the same thing.

    Within a few minutes, the horde backs off, and I feel... a very strange connection blooming in the back of my mind. The giant seedling is bright orange now, and I can see the way its glowing roots have snaked out across the bottom of the forest, like a huge fungus more than a plant. No wonder it took so long.

    <Shutting down.> the ring informs me from my pocket.

    Right.

    I sigh, wiping my face with my free hand. In the future? Smaller timers. And maybe I should keep the construct-lanterns away when I'm not in my right mind. No need to bring other colors into my personal madness.

    But... not a disaster. Almost one, but not a disaster. The way the two rings interacted was interesting, and even held some promise. But I have a hell of a headache right now. I think literally any other color but orange wouldn't have pulled on my brain so hard.

    "Are you alright, Madam?"

    I look over at where Zola is hovering, as well as a great deal of other concerned animals. I... do want to be comforted right now. "I'll... I'll be fine. For now, I just want to sleep."

    "What was the purpose of getting this... alien plant?"

    "If its creator- the planet we visited, sends the right signal, it would rapidly expand, growing hundreds of feet high and spreading without limit horizontally, until it covers the surface of the planet, crushing and killing anything in its path." I sigh, "He's planted them on inhabited worlds all over the galaxy. He... won't try to activate them for a few more years, but now even if he does, it won't wreak havoc on Earth."

    "I see."

    "And... it should be able to hold the Tesseract and objects as powerful as it without burning up."

    "I see."
     
    Last edited: Jun 20, 2020
  30. Breadnaught

    Breadnaught Versed in the lewd.

    Joined:
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    That typo threw me off. Got a few paragraphs down then had to go back and re-read.
     
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