Currently 1

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Currently… #1
Post by Marisol Morales on Oct 27, 2006, 5:05am

Well, there it is again. Only significantly different… and better, I dare say. I still have something of a bad feeling about the quality, but since I don't know where the problem is, I can't fix it either. Of course, the portrayals of Pym and Ultron, and the setting might be pretty loose.
The events with Ultron and some lines of dialogue are lifted straight from West Coast Avengers #90.

Currently… #1
Alternating Current

Cover description: Close-up of Henry Pym, with a sinister-looking Ultron reaching for him from behind. There are prominent arcs of lightning in the background.

Setting: Somewhen during the period of Missions #5 and #6.

A storm was coming. High above the brown and drab desert, dark clouds were gathering. Occasional arcs of lightning flashed across the horizon and occasionally, single raindrops decided to fall. This kind of weather here was somewhat unusual for this time of year, or even generally. Death Valley, California recieved less than two inches of rain every year, and never did it arrive so unexpectedly.

Henry Pym watched the happenings with mild interest through the window of his living room. He was a blonde man in his thirties, and appartently a genius. But above else, he was a tired, tired person. He was slouched, and there were dark circles below his eyes. Supposedly being on a sort of vacation, he nevertheless found himself working harder than ever… well, in some ways, at least. Like so often these days, his thoughts quickly turned from unusual weather to things such as the effect of radioactive decay on RNA, and so forth. He was pulled from his reverie when the noticed that the coffee machine behind him had stopped blubbering.

That meant his coffee was done, and he could return to his precious biochemistry.

He turned around slowly and walked to a table at the back of a room. He slowly pulled out the coffee pot and slowly filled a cup.

Biochemistry was, after all, the very reason he was here in this godforsaken backwater. It was… going back to his roots. Doing simple theoretical thinking instead of trekking the world on rescue missions. He definitely didn't hate doing the latter, but nowadays… well, it was a pleasant change. He found that living in a detached desert, with only Dr. McLain to turn to for companionship, was a perfect balance between loneliness and relative peace of mind - it certainly did wonders for his concentration.

He took a sip of coffee and walked off towards the main lab. How much coffee had he drunk that day already, five or six cups? That's what you get when you pull all-nighters so often. At least Dr. McLain was sensible enough to sleep properly. What time was it, anyway?

He pushed open the door of the lab and entered. Everything seemed to be as it should have been, except that there was a fricking LIGHTNING BOLT sitting on his CHAIR.
Henry dropped the mug and stared at the apparition. By the looks of it, yes, it seemed to be a lightning bolt. It seemed bizarrely arced and contorted into the shape of a human. As far that was possible, at least…

Acting on years of experience, Henry felt the familiar tingling of Pym particles on his hands as one of his ray guns appeared. Without missing a beat, he pointed it at the figure. "All right, who the devil are you and what do you want?" At least, he hoped it was a "who"…

The figure didn't move, not counting the continuous swirl of electricity within it. After a few seconds, it spoke in a sizzling, intermittent and quite hard to understand voice: "My name is Almond Quimby, and I want you to build me a body, Dr. Pym…"
Henry didn't loosen his grip on his weapon.
"…please," it added, "I mean you no harm. I'm not threatening you, I'm… pleading."

It still wasn't moving, but Pym remained cautious.

"What… what do you mean, 'build you a body'?" he asked with a scowl.

"A robot, which I could inhabit. Or try to…"

Before Henry could reply, it cut in further: "You can put away your gun, Doctor. I could annihilate you with or without it. However, I won't…"

Henry lowered his gun slightly. "That doesn't exactly build confidence in your benevolence, does it?" he wondered idly.

"Don't worry, Doctor. I'm- Well, I was an X-Man until recently… until I left the confines of a physical body, so to speak."

"An X-Man? I try to keep up with the hero crowd, but I've never heard the name Almond Quimby…"

"I was a new recruit… Well, a junior member. But then I died."

Henry raised his eyebrows and smiled wryly. "You died, huh? How can you prove this whole thing isn't some kind of trick or a trap?"

"Of course, I can't," replied the energy being, and moved as if he was shrugging, "the only reassurance you have is that I wouldn't NEED to trick you or trap you, and I think you know why. Still, you could at least listen to what I have to say."

Henry considered it for a moment. Finally, he shrunk his gun again. "Well, I'm listening," he said quietly, hoping he hadn't just made a huge mistake.

"Thank you," rasped the figure with a slight bow.

"As I said, my name is Almond Quimby. I was a mutant with electrical powers, but… I had a slight problem. Some kind of defect in my genetic make-up aged to 90 in just a few years. I'm sure you can imagine the problems with that. It wasn't pleasant…"

It hung it's "head" slightly.

"Well, of course, I always hated being stuck in that body. It was an unimaginable torture, and it kept me back. Be that as it may, a few months ago, I was called to the Xavier institute to be a part of a new team being set up. I grudgingly accepted, and I admit I enjoyed my time there… but then I died."

The figure let out a bizarre sound that might have been laughter.

"I went down channeling huge amounts of electricity. I guess that somehow played a role in what I became. When I came to, I was flying over the American mid-west without a body, and I was extremely confused. Very much so, in fact. You don't know how hard it is to think when you don't have a brain… Well, I kept flying around without much understanding what was going on. I don't know how much ground I covered, but it was a lot. Eventually, though… Eventually I understood what had happened, and I regained control of what was left of me."

There was an uncomfortable pause.

"Existing without a definite physical presence has it's advantages. I'm certainly quite powerful, but, er, the weather keeps turning sour around me. And, well, I miss having a body more than I would have thought."

He reached out his "hand" to a nearby table and somehow grabbed a pencil from it, singing a stack of papers in the process. He slowly and shakily held it with his electric appendage until he directed it back.

"So I started thinking, how does one get a body? I thought that maybe I could use the electrical signals of the brain to "possess" things, or something, but that's unlikely. Something like that just wouldn't happen in real life. But I think it might work with an android. I'd settle for a robotic body just fine… And that's where you come in. You're a reknown expert in the field of robotology."

"So that's your plan? That I'm going to build you a nice replica of your original body and you'll walk away just fine? It's just not that simple!" said Henry emphatically.

"No… I'm aware that if you decide to do it, it will take a long while to build a more-or-less human-looking and functional machine. That's acceptable…" There was a sad note in his voice.
Henry pointedly looked at him.

"And that's IF I decide to do it," he said, "I'm not even all too convinced you're telling the truth, but I wouldn't have the materials or tools to work with either."

"Well, I have time…" said Quimby.

Then they were interrupted by a loud SHROOOM that crashed in through the skylights. Quimby remained unfazed, but Henry was hit by some debris, lost his balance and fell to one knee. He gasped when he saw what had landed amongst them: "Ultron - free!"
The fearsome, white body of Ultron now stood before him, red eyes glowing ominously like always. An unconcious superheroine laid in his hands. Henry recognized her.

"Your precious "son" has come to pay you a visit," said the robot in it's echoing, metallic voice.

"What are you doing with Mockingbird?" barked Henry fearlessly, "What do you want?"

"'Want?', replied Ultron, "When I liberated these bits and pieces from the Avengers West, I wanted only to destroy all natural life on Earth."

As it said that, several broken down body parts similar to it's own floated in behind it, among them the unconscious body of Dr McLain.

"Yet, on my way here, I realized that I wanted one thing more - something you could give me better than I could give myself. And that something is-"

"Forget I asked!" cut Henry it off, "If you want it, it's got to be something I'm against."

Once again, he retrieved his gun and aimed it at Ultron.


Ultron closed up to him with the blink of an eye, and swatted away the gun like nothing. Mockingbird had slumped to the ground.

"You will what?" it said mockingly.
Henry stared into the robot's grinning face, thinking of a course of action.


Before he could do anything, an electric torrent struck Ultron from the side, lifted it into the air and sent it crashing through a wall.
Quimby was now more or less standing, and crackling with even more energy.

"Such an interesting phenomenon," stated Ultron matter-of-factly as he climbed back through the wall.

"What are you? One of "father's" creations that achieved unforeseen greatness like me, or perhaps something else?"

"Something else," replied Quimby simply before sending off another blast of electricity. This time, Ultron didn't even budge.

"Your energy attacks will not generate enough power to bypass my adamantium body."

Quimby wasn't going to wait around for what Ultron was going to do, with a flash, he was hovering in the air behind it, and reached out his "hands" into the robot's chest. It seemed to have the effect he was aiming for - scrambling his mechanics. Ultron was quaking wildly and emitting sparks. Then it… stopped. Quimby let go and looked towards Pym. Before he could say anything, Ultron decked him unexpectedly. The large arm simply passed through him, but Ultron wasn't easily swayed. It jumped backwards and fired a red concussion blast, which also passed through him and obliterated a computer console behind him.

Quimby replied with a lightning bolt that shot into Ultron through the broken windows. It had, once again, no effect, but it gave him enough time to move near the robot again, and- casually be evaded by it.

The red glow of Ultron's eyes intensified. "My arsenal is not limited to weaponry." It's emotionless voice somehow seemed to have a measure of arrogance.

"Your glowy eyes are very pretty. You must be proud of them?" said an annoyed Quimby.

Ultron switched it's tactic abruptly - it's eyes returning to normal, it raised one of it's metallic arms, which emitted a barely visible blue-ish pulse. Quimby suddenly shot away through a wall with a groan that faded into the distance a few seconds later.

"Alone again, "father"," said Ultron as it turned towards Henry, just in time to be blasted in it's face with a laser beam. It's head budged slightly backwards, then simply recoiled. For a few moments, they stood unmovingly and observed the other. Then, with an anry yell, Henry raised the rifle and began running for the robot. A split second before he could hit, he disappeared in a flurry of Pym particles. Ultron turned it's eyes to the ground in confusion.

"My sensor's can still-"

It was cut off by Henry reappearing underneath it… a much bigger Henry. Ultron was raised into the air and crashed into the roof. Henry grasped the robot in his hand and struck it into the walls a few times, before throwing it out of the window.

Henry returned to his normal size and strode towards the forgotten body of Mockingbird that was still lying on the floor. She seemed to be moving.

"Bobbi… Are you awake?"

"I'm… awake all right…" answered Mockingbird weakly. Henry looked around and saw that Dr. McLain had been pushed into a heap with Ulton's spare parts.

As he was helping her up, he could hear the voice of Ultron behind him: "I see you are getting familiar with what you will be working with."
He slowly turned around. Ultron was floating back in through the window. It was being deliberately slow… That bastard was mocking him.

"You're going to make for me… an adamantium mate," it declared as it landed on the floor.
Just as Henry was about to tell him otherwise, the lights went out. All machinery, throughout the whole building, in fact. But Ultron remained, the sinister glow of it's eyes still shining in the darkened room.

"Even an electro-magnetic pulse will not disable me," it said, "I have long since taken precautions against it."

Quimby entered once again. More precisely, he appeared with a flash in the middle of the room, right between Ultron and the gathered humans. The area lit up with a blue-white glow. Henry could see that he was harder to see somehow, and larger… more spread out.

"Well… There are still a few more things I could try," he said diligently while raising his "arms". The arcs of light extended towards Ultron with lightning-speed. When they hit, Ultron's eyes went dark. Quimby retracted his "limbs" and the energy began circulating again.
For a few seconds, Ultron stood unmoving before the heroes. Then it slumped slightly, and collapsed with a clang. It's adamantium parts had just fallen apart.

"Like selectively free the electrons from the atomic bonds of your body… Heh."

Henry gaped slightly, as Quimby moved towards Ultron's spare parts. "Convenient, isn't it?"

Mockingbird was staring at the energy being, her eyes bulging. Dr. McLain was starting to wake up.

Quimby turned towards Henry.
"Think about my proposal," he said, "I'll return to hear your reply when the commotion has died down."
Then he disappeared, leaving behind a confused and conflicted Henry Pym.

Re: Currently… #1
Post by Protoman on Oct 27, 2006, 9:30am

«Nice read, 9.7/10»

Re: Currently… #1
Post by Marisol Morales on Oct 27, 2006, 9:48am

Tell me why you docked 0.3 points and I'll try to fix it in the future.

Re: Currently… #1
Post by Protoman on Oct 27, 2006, 10:05am

0.2 was for spelling, 0.1 was because you had Pym, but no wife beating or creepy tiny person sex.

Re: Currently… #1
Post by Amelia "Heaven" Chow on Oct 27, 2006, 10:10am

Henry Pym is my favorite character of all time, and I approve this characterization (especially in that time period).

However, and no offense, some of the sentence structure shows that English is not your primary language. The flip side of that is that so much of it is exactly correct that it was only a few phrasings that made me realize that. Excellent job.

Re: Currently… #1
Post by Marisol Morales on Oct 27, 2006, 10:32am

Such as?

Re: Currently… #1
Post by Amelia "Heaven" Chow on Oct 27, 2006, 10:45am

For some reason, I'm not seeing the one I noticed earlier, which was an odd (in English) placement of an adverb. I can try to look through it again later, if you would like.

Re: Currently… #1
Post by Marisol Morales on Oct 27, 2006, 10:48am

No need to bother. It's not like I know what an adverb is anyway…

Re: Currently… #1
Post by Amelia "Heaven" Chow on Oct 27, 2006, 10:55am

An adverb is a part of speech that modifies a verb. For instance, just about anything that ends in "ly" is an adverb.

I picked up the cup.

I picked up the cup slowly.

I slowly picked up the cup.

"Slowly" is our adverb here, and there are a few places you can put it in English, depending on general flow and whatnot. Other languages tend to have more hard and fast rules about where it goes, and the thing I was thinking of was early on, when you used "slowly" twice in one sentence (three times in one paragraph). In English, we can sort of pull that out and modify the whole passage, sort of like a mathematical equation. In some languages, we have to modify every verb individually.

I'm a linguist. It'll help me help you more if you tell me your native language, or even language group.

Re: Currently… #1
Post by Marisol Morales on Oct 27, 2006, 11:20am

Estonian, so… Finno-Ugric.

PS, is this the line you noticed but couldn't find: "For a few moments, they stood unmovingly and observed the other."

On another matter, I'm well aware that repeating words or phrases is basically a stylistical error, but I did it on purpose. I was using a… *checks wikipedia* "conduplicatio".

Re: Currently… #1
Post by Amelia "Heaven" Chow on Oct 27, 2006, 11:34am

That could have been it. I've been really low on sleep lately (long story), so my short term memory is very spotty.

Estonian. I'm not very familiar with that group, so I can't help you as much…I'm best with various and sundry Asiatic languages and, of course, Romance languages, which you're pretty much forced into if you're interested in foreign languages in America.

Basically, your English skills are fantastic. It just seems that you occasionally have an issue with sentence structure/stock phrases (expressions and the like), but it took me reading a long passage to realize it. Overcoming native sentence structure and picking up foreign stock phrases is difficult for anyone, even people who have done so for a living. You've done a fine job. If I get free time (big "if"), I can see what I can pick out and suggest.

Re: Currently… #1
Post by Marisol Morales on Oct 27, 2006, 11:37am

I'm gonna go ahead and amaze you further by revealing that I'm only sixteen. Yes, that's right! This level of mastery at such a relatively early age!

Re: Currently… #1
Post by Amelia "Heaven" Chow on Oct 27, 2006, 2:49pm

In a way, you'd be surprised about how it all works…sixteen is not astonishing to me. Largely because of the way the language related areas of the brain develop, the earlier someone learns a foreign language the more it "sticks" and the more fluent they seem to be. Of course, ideally, that would have you learning another language at seven years of age or earlier.

Don't get me started. We'd be here for days. I'm more than twice as old as you, for the record (sigh).

Re: Currently… #1
Post by K'lar on Oct 31, 2006, 11:32am

I like that quite a bit! Especially since I love Ultron. Nice work, born. I am going to toss the 15 EXP bonus into your Solidity account And I will do a profile for Mockingbird.

Re: Currently… #1
Post by Marisol Morales on Oct 31, 2006, 11:36am

Now, that's a bit unfair, since Solidity wasn't part of this in any way. (In fact, she doesn't even have a code-name yet.) But since I'm currently one of the weakest characters, I won't complain!

Re: Currently… #1
Post by K'lar on Oct 31, 2006, 11:48am

I could give them to CUrrent, but since he is dead and not part of the team, seems like it wouldn't help you much

Re: Currently… #1
Post by Marisol Morales on Oct 31, 2006, 12:02pm

It really wouldn't, but mostly because Current is half-way there to being cosmic, and no longer needs no paltry "experience points".

Re: Currently… #1
Post by Curt "Reflex" Camden on Nov 3, 2006, 3:32pm

Very nice Born. I was wondering if we were gonna let Quimby just die and not come back.

Re: Currently… #1
Post by Marisol Morales on Nov 3, 2006, 3:52pm

The implication that this would happen was already written way back in the Mission 4 logs.

Re: Currently… #1
Post by Curt "Reflex" Camden on Nov 3, 2006, 4:00pm

Hey I already confessed to only reading the missions as they happen. So this is news to me.

Re: Currently… #1
Post by Dillon Drummond on Nov 17, 2006, 12:36am

I can't wait to see where this whole things goes, but I'm a bit confused, why'd Quimby go to Pym? When it comes to robots, I wouldn't trust anyone but Stark or Richards, hell even SHIELD. At least an evil LMD won't come back to kick your ass every few years.

Re: Currently… #1
Post by Marisol Morales on Nov 17, 2006, 6:00am

Well, Henry Pym was conveniently living in the middle of a desert, and Current doesn't want to advertise the fact that he was alive. Why? Find out next issue…
And besides, Ultron IS one of the Avengers' greatest foes. Most of it was probably due to his programming though, as well as his own upgrades and such, but Hank must have been doing something right.

Re: Currently… #1
Post by Amelia "Heaven" Chow on Nov 17, 2006, 8:59am

Ultron's thought patterns are based on Pym's, so anything that Ultron did robotically, Pym could do if he didn't have the self-esteem issues.

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