It all started as a game. Cosmic Entities wanting to create the ultimate show. So they merged the Marvel and DC universes to see who was best. But it didn't quite work out that way and they lived in peace. Until the kabal of Circe, Dormammu, Darkseid and Thanos teamed up. Heroes and villains alike came together to stop them. When they were done the kabal was defeated but over half of NYC was destroyed and the heroes and villains who opposed them were left maimed and/or insane from the war. The rest were simply dead, along with millions. Now the next generation is nearly forced to step up, trying to save the world.
Apocalypse has arrived with his Horsemen and army. Titan Tower, Jean Grey Academy, Central City, Keystone City and more have fallen. Thousands, if not Millions of humans have been killed by the Plague. Human/Mutant relations are at their lowest in 15 years. SHIELD has been crippled by all the attacks and heroes are falling. Help may be coming though! CURRENTLY LOOKING FOR A MODERATOR. PM JJ GRAYSON IF INTERESTED! ALL CREDIT FOR CODING AND SKIN WORK GOES TO CHUCK
Post by James Barnes Jr on May 31, 2016 0:42:42 GMT -6
James looked at the text on his phone. Ginnie had made the offer. Now, it was up to James to speak with Walt and try to bury the hatchet. Hopefully, Walt wouldn't try to bury it in his skull. He sent Walt a text message of his own. Just his address and a time five minutes from now. He knew Walt knew where he lived. He'd come by with Lydia once or twice. Judging by what he knew about the younger man, that meant that he would remember the place. He grabbed a tablet and typed a string of commands.
This meeting was long overdue for both of them. Ginnie was right about that. Even Lydia had remarked on what was going on between the two of them. He set out some snacks on the kitchen island and then picked up his shield off the couch, hanging it by the strap on a wall hanger. Ginnie and James had come to an agreement that they both wanted Flash for the Avengers. He was willing to be decisive where it counted and they both decided that with some training that he would be a good leader. Recent events had shown that he had started to outgrow the Titans and it seemed logical for them to offer up some new challenges.
He sat back down on the couch and looked at his disassembled guns. He had been field stripping and cleaning a couple of his pistols while he waited for the message from Ginnie. He picked up the pieces and resumed the cleaning. He let instinct take over as his mind focused on other things. The current state of affairs with the Titans, Marty and Lydia and whatever it was that was going on there and the potential mess that might come about from it. He sighed and set the pieces down, leaning back into the couch.
"Grant access, Walter West. Gold level clearance. Lower all countermeasures for him."
Post by Walter West on May 31, 2016 6:47:20 GMT -6
From the lower engineering bay at Stark Industries, Walt looked over some of Harold’s most recent schematics. It was long after closing time, and while he doubted Ginnie was gone from her office, the rest of the facility (save for a few janitors, perhaps) was quiet.
This man is gifted, thought Walt as his eyes skimmed over the blue paper, jotting down suggestions and questions as he saw fit. Most of his markings were more for his own clarification as opposed to improvement of the device; while he helped the mechanics and engineers where he could, he focused in most cases on improving his understanding of the company and its goings-on, from the bottom to the top; literally from the “coal-pits”, as the engineers affectionately referred to the lower levels, to Ginnie’s office.
It was then that he received James’s message. Expressionless, he looked down at the concise text, a series of emotions flashing in sequence inside him.
Spare him your ire. He was trying to help.
I don’t care what he was trying. He could’ve gotten Marty killed.
He let you go for Marty! For Lydia!
He couldn’t stop me. It’s not like he didn’t attempt to.
Walt shook the thoughts from his head and flipped his phone onto his desk. Guess that means the workday’s over. In a moment, he was in Titans Tower, his suit and tie hanging in his closet, traded for slacks and a red Henley shirt. The remaining 298 seconds were spent in the kitchen, where he foraged for sustenance. This place is barren, Walt thought with his head in the fridge. In more ways than one.
Straightening up, Walt closed the door, swallowed, and sighed. This was going to be an experience. He took off for the address James sent him, navigating from memory.
Beside James in his living room, Walt admired the shield and the dismantled guns. As a speedster, he fostered a strange appreciation of the weapons, given that he could accomplish what they could in a fraction of the time.
And if people are afraid of them…
Walt’s head twitched as he renewed his focus and spoke, grinning tightly.
Post by James Barnes Jr on Jun 4, 2016 13:11:09 GMT -6
He felt the rush of air, before he heard Walt speak. James grabbed the remote and paused the black and white movie. John Wayne was about to tell the Sergeant Major not to tell him it was a beautiful morning. James nodded to Walt and smiled. "It wasn't just the turrets, but yeah. Those measures are for protecting this place from my enemies. I don't want to send the wrong kind of message." It was true. The building was protected by a mass amount of countermeasures. Lydia stayed her sometimes and lately, so did Ginnie. This place was about as safe as he could make it. He looked down at the guns. "Pardon the mess. I have strange habits on those rare moments, when I have down time. The firing pins are in dire need of replacement."
James looked around. "Do you want anything? I put out snacks. Crackers, cheese, pepperoni, fruit. Something to drink? Water? Beer? Soda? Let me know and I'll grab you something." He got up and went to the fridge, grabbing a soda for himself. He cracked the can open and waited to see if Walt wanted anything. Considering the last time they saw each other, things were rather awkward. "Nice job on Green Lantern's rescue by the way. Lydia told me how well you did leading the team."
"You probably know why I wanted to talk to you, so I won't belittle your intelligence. It's not just because of Ginnie's invite, but I figured we should talk. I know we've had our disagreements, but mostly I just want to apologize. You blame me, I get it. And you're not entirely wrong. I'm mostly at fault for the things that occurred. But, there's bad blood between us and I want to try to fix that. I don't know if you're much for forgiveness these days, but I figured we'd try. You can leave any time you'd like."
Post by Walter West on Jun 4, 2016 17:02:32 GMT -6
Walt declined the offer of a beverage with a concise, "No, thank you, James." Then, staring first at the captain, then at the ceiling, Walt struggled to remain stoic as the older man procedurally delivered what seemed to the speedster to be a sequence of increasingly irritating forms of condescension.
"Nice job on Green Lantern's rescue, by the way"? You don't get to compliment me- that was despite you. He can't even summon the investment to sound like he cares! But I bet he thinks he's covered there- he's offering snacks. Really rolling out the welcome wagon- "Sorry I almost got your best friend killed, please enjoy a tortilla chip!" Smug. Contentious. Asshole. But now his girlfriend's got him riled, so now Marty matters-
That's not fair, his mind shot back. You know Ginnie never meant to...
But she did. Even in his defense of his employer, Walt couldn't force away the memory of Ginnie stalling him in the mansion, back when he burst through the doors with Seb, half-dead. Maybe she didn'ttake the bulk of the blame for that call, but she still...
Walt twitched, clearing his thoughts.
He barked a bitter laugh upon James's "offer" to let him leave when we wanted.
"Oh, really? That's something I thought I'd never hear you say."
Post by James Barnes Jr on Jun 4, 2016 17:38:42 GMT -6
James set his coke down and stepped clear of the kitchen into a open space. He could hear the annoyance in Walt's voice. This wasn't going well at all. It was going pretty much like he thought it was going to go, if he was being honest. Walt's body language showed him everything he needed to see. Cap shook his head.
"I mean it, Walt. You did really well despite the odds against you. ...Despite us. You outperformed the Avengers, the League, the Titans." James relaxed. "Look, you just want to hit me a half a dozen or 30 times and get some of the frustration out? Go for it."
James looked Walt in the eyes. "I failed you. I failed all three of you kids. And you went and fixed it. They took Lydia and they took Marty and then I worried that they would take you too. I wasn't thinking clearly and you were. I was fatigued, emotional and screwed up from being shot. I shouldn't have been in command anyway, but you saw how Ginnie was. I get it. I f*cked up. Nobody knows it more than I do." He turned away and looked around.
"Ginnie wants you to be an Avenger. I'd like you to be one too. But if it's not going to work, I'll leave the team, if that makes your choice easier. I'm just tired of fighting my friends." He turned back to Walt, the weight of ages on his shoulders.
Post by Walter West on Jun 4, 2016 18:10:08 GMT -6
Walt struggled to keep his chest from heaving, fought against any representation of his fury. But when he stepped forward to speak candidly with James, his loathing was evident.
"Let me be clear. It's been made obvious to me that I have to speak slowly sometimes for people like you to understand me. We're not friends. I do not care about you. I do not care for any banter from your sycophantic ego. Your presence with the Avengers- James, your existence to me is, as of that night, inconsequential." Walt took a silent breath and relaxed his shoulders, but he didn't bother purging the hostile smile from his face. His speech slowed, but his ire was just as apparent.
This had been a long time coming.
"You know this already, James. If it makes you feel like more of a hero to confess your sins to me, to anyone, then go for it. But any reason I had to listen to you is gone, and it's gone for good. I came here for Ginnie. She still believes you're trying, and what I don't have the heart to argue with her is that I don't even think that's a good thing. But since I owe it to her to be civil, I'll also be honest.
"I couldn't dedicate a single thought to what you do with your professional life, James, and I don't want you thinking otherwise, but I know somebody would." Walt was leveling out, and he could feel it. His bitter emotion was transitioning live into reason. But there were miles left to go.
"I don't think you're a villain, James. I still see the line. That night, you and I were on different sides. And that's not what I want. But you chose against him. You chose to err on the side of caution, I get it." Walt was waning again, regaining composure at the expense of his rapid deliverance. His voice shook with the effort to keep steady.
"If you think I can forgive you for that..." Walt stretched out his arms in a hopeless pose. "Hell, man, I don't even know." Walt collapsed on his feet, reverting back to the stone posture he began with.
"All I know is that it will never happen again. I will not hesitate." To do what? Walt could not answer that question, even privately.
Nearly finished, Walt flipped his hand conclusively.
"I'm no Avenger. You are. But I've been doing things differently lately, and it works. I don't take chances anymore."
Post by James Barnes Jr on Jun 4, 2016 18:43:16 GMT -6
James listened to the tirade from Walt. He admitted that he thought it might go something like this, but he was hopeful that it might turn around. That positive outcome seemed farther and farther away. James looked up at him. "Why are you here? I mean why are you really here? Don't give me the bullshit about being here for Ginnie. You and I both know that as persuasive as she can be, that's not reason enough. You're not here to bury the hatchet. So what did you come here for? Or are you so angry now that you don't even know? You just needed to tell me how angry you were and how little I mattered?"
"Anger, I understand. That emotion, I get. It burns inside, doesn't it? It feels like there's a star in the pit of your stomach, every time you think about the little slights, the betrayals. Any time, someone questions what you know to be the right decision, you just want to hit them. It's a drug that you can't ever get enough of." The super soldier picked up his soda and took a sip. He let the drink coat his throat and vocal cord. "Don't let it burn you up inside. That's all that can come of that."
"There are no sides. I was wrong, you were right. Look, I'm not a hero. And I'm not saying that because I'm being modest or playing a game. I'm closer to what your friend in the red helmet was. I've done a lot of questionable things. I'm a killer, Walter. That's what I am. That's what I do. The shield, the red, white and blue, it's all window dressing. I do it for Lydia, but I'm far from being anything remotely close to a hero." This wasn't going anywhere like he'd planned, but all the cards were on the table now.
"There's only one hero out of the two people in this room and it sure as hell ain't me. You don't want to hesitate? Okay. Fine. But do me one favor, don't lose your soul in the process. Don't compromise your beliefs. Because I did, and you know what? All that's left is what you see here. Be better than me. You don't want to join the Avengers, that's fine. I won't force you." He pulled out a flash drive and held it out to the younger man. "This is everything I've ever done as the Winter Soldier. I'm not showing you this, so you can feel sorry for me. I want you see the worst case scenario. I don't want you to be like me."
Post by Walter West on Jun 4, 2016 19:35:40 GMT -6
Spare me the mid-life crisis, Walt thought. Commiseration is a long way off, and if he thinks this'll change things...
Nanoseconds from departure, Walter West was stopped by one phrase, one name uttered near the end of James's otherwise meaningless defense. As Walt absently took the small device from the other's hand, his ears were ringing with two words.
That was it.
A stream of thoughts nearly barreled Walt over, flashing in sequence across Walt's eyelids.
The meta-drugs. That voice Marty and I heard. And he was hear, the day of the attack...
James himself had reported the presence of the other Winter Soldier, and described the confrontation, culminating in the defeat of the invader, but what had become of him then?
And how many of them are left?
"James," Walt started, his mouth dry.
"James, did you kill him? Did you kill your doppelganger? Because if he's out there..." Walt gathered himself, and struck a hard look at James Barnes. His mind was racing itself, processing theories and conclusions faster than almost anyone could observe them. But he could make James understand.
"Do you know anything else about the ones that came here? Anything at all about the other you, or the other Lyd?" Walt almost spat, thinking of the girl who had replaced his Lydia, who had convinced them all that she was the girl that they loved, that she was their family. But he remained focused.
"James, you tell me right now."
Because if we can find him... Walt shot to the conclusion of all his simultaneous considerations, all the way to the one nagging, harrying thought that had been on his mind since the attack.
Post by James Barnes Jr on Jun 16, 2016 0:20:21 GMT -6
The question caught James off guard. He wanted to know if his doppelganger had been killed. It was a logical question. The truth was that James didn't know and that probably bothered him more than anything. The final battle, he'd managed to injure his counterpart and Aileen sunk an arrow into him, but there was never any body found. "Walter, he was wounded badly. There was an explosion. He's been counted among the dead, but you know how it goes in this business. No body, no proof. I have continued to run a search subroutine to try to find any glimpses of him."
Then Walt asked James what he knew about the doppelgangers. James looked up and said "Why don't I just show you what I know?" He walked over and touched the wall beside a bookcase. It slid to the side, revealing another, larger room and James walked into it, motioning for Walt to follow. The room had training equipment and a computer terminal, as well as some chambers on the walls. Three chambers held different versions of the Winter Soldier uniform, one of his father's, two of his own design. Another held a black model that resembled his Cap uniform. This was the prototype, a test bed for new technologies from before he'd settled on a final outer design.
The final chamber held his current Captain America uniform in all it's red, white and blue glory. James walked over to the terminal and tapped a few keys. "Run program 'peekaboo', on the big screen, please." Various pictures and video feeds appeared on a holographic display next to them. Various pictures of Evil Lyds, Alieen, T'Shan, Blue Bat and others appeared along with files and icons next to them. The whole thing was a giant virtual board of information.
"I've pieced together a lot about many of them. Some more than I'd like. My doppelganger was the hardest as it looked like he tried to stay out of sight and coordinate things with their Lydia. Apparently, he was exposed to a cosmic cube at some point and it left him a little weird. He can see differences in reality. It screwed him up in the brain. More than usual." He tapped a few icons and cycled through some folders. "If he did live... Well, he's going to take some things personally. Much to my horror and discontent, I've discovered that my alternate had a relationship with their Lydia and their Hawkeye. I don't agree with the first and it creeps me out, but I do understand the reasoning from his perspective. That girl could burn him to ash with a thought. It was his way of keeping her controlled." James flipped to some other photos. He took a second to show Flash how the interface worked and gestured for him to give a try.
"Either way, you killed her." He held up a hand. "Yeah, I knew about that one. And Aileen was taken out by someone else. If he's still alive, he's going to be nursing a major grudge. I haven't heard much chatter on him. There have been a few whispers here and there and the drugs are still out there. I was starting to think that maybe someone was just using the whispers to keep the operations running, but every time we crack one of the sites, two more pop up."
Post by Walter West on Jun 16, 2016 10:35:48 GMT -6
His heart beat out a rhythm the speed of a jackhammer, delivering the tone straight up to his eardrums. As James led him to the room behind the bookcase, Walt spared a new thought for every thump against his ribs.
There's no way he's dead. They never die that easy. Never have.
Unperturbed by his new surroundings (but taking note of them regardless,) Walt began utilizing the data terminal the second James stepped away from it. Images sped across the holographic screen, files, monoliths of text. Walt gorged himself on them.
Walt ignored the other man in the room for the duration of his brief dissection of the information before him. Flipping through parcels, probably gigabytes of information in the span of seconds, Walt stared intently at the blurring images, brimming with focus. When Barnes acknowledged Walt's action toward Lydia's doppelganger, Walt didn't react. His eyes never left the platform.
After about a minute of full silence, the projections halted abruptly on a hazy image of the Winter Soldier. This version was marred by something Walt understood. Something sinister, and dangerous. It was as though all of Walt's greatest victories- his attacks on the metadrug trade, his rescues of Marty and Lydia- had each placed a scar on this man, and Walt could nearly feel how much he must hate the speedster, and everyone he knew. But still, he wasn't the goal.
Walt spoke in little more than a whisper, breaking the silence, adding to the blistering static of the room.
Post by James Barnes Jr on Aug 5, 2016 20:13:03 GMT -6
James watched as Walt digested the mass amount of data he collected. He was glad to be putting it to use. It was easier to gather all the information, once he knew what to look for. He just wished he hadn't gathered it after the fact. The emotional approach hadn't worked on Walt. He didn't really seem interested. At the question about the Winter Soldier, James' face turned stoic and he slipped back into work mode. "I don't know have anything solid. I have rumors and hearsay to go on. For the most part, he's been considered missing and presumed dead. But you know how that goes in this business: If we don't have a body, then we don't really have proof."
He tapped another holographic screen and it brought up displays of chemical compounds. "The thing I don't get about these power drugs... there are certain elements in them that were being brought in from space and that other universe. You and Green Lantern got us the complete chemical make up and quite a few samples. I had a guy who was pretty decent with chemicals and a rather breath taking anger problem look at it and run the make up on the samples. He confirmed that there is an element present in the drugs from another universe. Something about vibrational frequencies. Admittedly, I'm not so good with quantum chemistry." James turned and looked at Walt. "We know the portals are closed, which means that he either had a pretty big stockpile, or he's figured out how to make it in this universe."
A few more taps against the keyboard and a map popped up, displaying a remote location in the Balkans. "I don't know his location yet, but there's a floating black market that pops up every so often. I just got the location of it two hours ago. You can buy most anything there. I'm willing to bet someone there might have the information we need."
"You feel like going on an undercover mission for a few hours?"
"I don't feel like waiting for you to grab your trenchcoat, if that's what you mean." Walt wasn't pleased that James was insistent on tagging along, but knew the soldier had information that he might need while hunting the doppelgangers.
Walt turned away from the older man and crossed his arms tightly. "Gear up, then. Let's not waste any time pretending that this changes anything, yeah?"
'A few hours.' Still facing the wall, Walt scoffed silently. But then the furious machine in his mind generated a few hundred images, memories, in the span of a second.
The meta-drugs. James's doppelganger. And the symbol in the prison cell from the invaders' dimension.
Marty didn't know anything about whoever was held in that cell, so we have absolutely zero leads. For all you know, whoever made that symbol was on our side, just like Marty.
But Walt couldn't believe it. A hostile Winter Soldier was one thing. A man with a gun. Walt was impatient at the thought of such an adversary.
But a Reverse-Flash was out there. Walt was sure of it, and for the first time since losing the Green Lantern, he was terrified.
Post by James Barnes Jr on Aug 14, 2016 13:47:35 GMT -6
James shrugged and smiled as he grabbed his gear bag. "I'll suit up on the way." He pulled a couple of wrist watches off the table and tossed one to Walt. "Image inducers. They'll cloak us with a holographic disguise." He said as if that explained everything. "Normally, I'd go in there guns blazing and capture the whole lot of them, except they've been good for getting intel lately and I'd rather not dry up the sources. How's your Russian?"
While grabbing the last few things, James made a decision to show Walt the thing he'd been hiding. "West... There's something you need to know about where that intel on the doppelgangers came from. Computer: ultraviolet clearance. File: illumination."
An image appeared on one large holoscreen. It looked like Martin Jordan in a chair, sitting in a high security cell somewhere. His hands and feet were shackled, but he looked nonplussed. James stood near the door.
"Why are you giving me this information?" The super soldier asked.
"Oh, come on. I don't really care about the rest of them. Besides, most of them are dead anyway. I mean their plan was okay for a bit, but it wasn't really my style."
"Then why go along with it?"
"Because it put fear into your points of light. Your Titans, your Avengers, even your Justice League. They all tasted fear. Even you, the vaunted Captain America felt what it was like to be afraid. And that was glorious."
"Enough of the preaching. I don't want to hear it."
"You should be nicer to me, Captain. That's not how you treat guests. Especially one whose given you so much." The doppelganger said.
"Guest doesn't apply. A guest is someone who can come and go as he pleases. Voluntarily."
"Yes. Yes, that would be right." A smile crept over the other Marty's face.
James looked disconcerted and banged on the door. "We're done here. You'll be staying here a long time. Everyone's convinced you're dead anyway. Green Lantern killed you as far as they know. So, I can throw away the key."
As the door opened and James started to leave, the other Marty spoke up. "Ask yourself something, Captain. Was my death at his hands for their benefit or for mine? Come back when you figure that much out." The door slammed as the doppelganger laughed.
James closed the window and looked at Walt. "What do you think?" He tapped a few buttons on the key pad, setting the teleporter coordinates. "I'm ready when you are. Figure we'll beam into the nearby town and grab a car. That way we don't attract attention when we show up."
Post by Walter West on Sept 2, 2016 22:08:13 GMT -6
"I'll pick it up when I get there." Walt knew he'd be speaking fluent Russian after overhearing a few conversations in the language. He continued standing with aloof patience until James started the video. Then his demeanor hardened as he watched- particularly, when he saw Marty's figure.
He watched intently, never taking his eyes off the screen until a second after it ended. Then his eyes dipped downwards imperceptibly, and he looked back to the soldier.
"I think he'd be a hell of a lot more forthcoming if you gave him to me. And you know I hate cars." Absurd, that this is how people 'rush'. With that, he turned tightly towards the door to the warp pad, opened it, and exited.
His mission with James was crucial, for reasons belonging to each of them. But his trust in the older man was no stronger than it was when he had first sworn James off. From here, it was a matter of finding the doppelgangers. Perhaps after that, Walt thought vaguely, they could begin to make amends.
As if I'm here to make nice, Walt shrugged the thought of reconciliation off angrily.
He returned his attention to the image of the alternate Marty frozen in his mind.
What would he think of this? What is this, even? Revenge? Partly. Mainly, it's a manhunt. Same as when we lost him.
Walt grinned savagely, the scar striking across his mouth for only a millisecond before he regained outward control.
Post by James Barnes Jr on Sept 27, 2016 13:52:33 GMT -6
The Super Soldier nodded, knowing that Walt would become fluent very quickly. He had no doubt about the speedsters skills to pick up a language. That was mostly why he decided to bring Walt along. He looked up at the Scarlet Speedster. "I have no doubt that he would be more forthcoming. The thing is, I don't know that it isn't a trap. He seems all too comfortable in the black site. I'm concerned that this is according to some unknown design."
He nodded to Walt. "I know that you don't like cars, but I don't want to burn this particular source of information just yet. The whole reason we leave the black market running is because it's been useful for getting us information on different of terrorists."
He tapped the controls of the pad and stepped on it. Another second and James' disguise activated, followed by Walt's. The cloak turned him into a tall, muscular Slavic looking man with a large beard. "My name is Sergei. You will be Ivan. When we get there, learn the language quickly. We will converse solely in Russian after that."
The pad energized and they rematerialized in a town in western Russia. James mumbled a few words in Russian, letting it slip out of his mouth. It had been awhile since he'd spoken his mother's native tongue. It felt very comfortable speaking it again. It made him feel like home. He turned to Walt and pointed to the car rental place. He spoke in Russian to the Flash.
"Ivan, I am going to rent a car now. We are only a few miles from the market. We will be there in minutes." He nodded knowing that they'd been there a whole 30 seconds and, unless the Flash was slowing down, he'd have the language down already. James went in and rented the car. A small Landrover. It made sense to show up looking like you had money. Criminals liked that.
He gestured to have Walt get in the car and then he started taking them towards the black market. This was going to be an interesting journey. Either they'd get the information or they'd kill each other in the process. It would be one or the other.