New Mutants Unlimited 17

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New Mutants Unlimited #17
Post by Roxanne "Madrock" Madison on Nov 17, 2006, 9:57pm

[Cover Description: A giant version of the 'real' Madrock (soon to be renamed as 'Calamity', unless it occurs to me how dumb that name is), looking down on a much smaller Earth from space. She looks extremely ticked, almost disgusted, at what she sees.]

Title: When The Man Comes Around…

Continuity note: Takes places around the time of Training Mission 2…

And I heard, as it were, the noise of thunder
One of the four beasts saying: "Come and see."
And I saw.
And behold, a white horse.

~~~

I can breath. I can breath.

It's muggy air, hot and humid, but I take it in deep and savor all of it. Stretch every muscle, ball my fist and curl my toes, bend backwards and forwards, just enjoy what it's like to exist and be in control of my own body again. No more sharing, no more listening in the dark. I'm free. I am free.

Free for…what? Where am I?

I open my eyes and notice this green liquid flowing over me, covering me up to the neck; was too wrapped up in my thoughts to feel it before. There's a slight burn, a dull pain where the stuff is touching my body, but it doesn't hurt all that much. Almost refreshing, like a hot bath. Sauna. Whatever.

I'm in a whole pool of the stuff, and as I look around, I see that this pool is just about the most normal thing in the room. It's like I'm inside of some big machine; the walls are metal, lined with circuits and monitors, monitors that show what I guess is supposed to be me. One shows an outline of my body with all this text next to it, strolling. Another's got some clips of Roxanne when she was in control, fighting with her little buddies in that whole Mojo deal. Scans, videos, all sorts of data…weird. Weird and creepy.

I stand, and it's only then I notice a minor detail: I'm bigger than before. My little girly arms are replaced with a solid pair, same with my feet. I feel stronger and faster than the last time I was in control, and even though there's this strange silver material covering my body from neck to toe, I can tell I've got the tone to match. I'm older. I'm improved.

"Finally, the pale rider wakes." I turn around and see him standing there, watching over me from the pool's edge. Arms folded and eyes narrowed, the blue sheen of his suit seems to glow in the pale light. His skin's gray, his lips are a dull shade of blue and they seem to run across his face, passing his red eyes. Huge and imposing, and I can't shake the feeling that he's what a god is supposed to look like. "Are you refreshed, child? Invigorated?"

"I am, yeah, but-" I feel a bit of that old fear come back, that fear of death from the tunnels. If this guy wanted me dead, though, he probably would've already done it, so I let that thought ease me. "Who are you?"

"I? I have had many names." His lips curl into what I'm guessing is a smirk, but its hard to tell. "Across the sands of Persia I was known as Sauru; in the blazing heat of India, they called me Kali-Ma. In Egypt I was mocked and later revered as En Sabar Nur, then as Set, then as Aten. But you…" His smirk disappears, his face lowers, his voice grows deep. "You will know me as APOCALYPSE."

“Apocalypse?” I whisper the name and my body shivers, like it’s remembering something my mind can’t. “How did…” I get enough sense to remember what’s happened to me, and enough courage to ask. “What did you do to me?”

“Your previous form was unsuited to my purposes. Small. Frail. Weak.” He begins to walk around the pool, making tremors with every step. Really big guy. “I advanced it to something more befitting of your purpose.” He makes a rising motion with his hand, his back turned towards me. “The process is complete with your arousing. Rise up, child; stand on equal ground.”

As near as I can figure he’s telling me to get out of the pool, so I do, the green stuff peeling off my body. “Purpose?”

“The purpose you were created for, of course.” He rounds the corner, coming back towards me, the faintest smile reappearing on his lips. “The purpose I created you for.”

He’s got a real roundabout way of talking, no doubt, but I don’t really feel like telling him so; not now, not with a statement like that. Never cared too where I came from, but if a man like him’s behind it, I guess I have to. “You…created me?”

“Yes. Behold.” He reaches out and a console juts out from the wall, it’s keyboard meeting with his hand. A few strokes later and the screens begin to switch, all showing some fighting shots of this big guy, almost as big as Apocalypse. A guy who’s fighting the Fantastic Four and some other team that only has one guy I recognize, Nova. “Terrax the Tamer, master of all that is rock and earth. It was from the frame of his blood that I molded you, in his image that you were created, and while you lack the Power Cosmic that befits a herald of Galactus, you are nonetheless well-suited to the goal I seek.”

I watch the screens with a gaped jaw, just watching Terrax in action. There are some differences, but there’s no denying the power and the passing resemblance. Dad? Is that what I should call him? Or would that title go to Apocalypse… “Wow.” I rub my eyes, like I can scrape the images away. “But, why? I was alone all that time, for what? You just made me and dumped me?”

“Nothing of the sort, child. If I so chose, I could have kept you in my thrall from the moment of your inception. You would have served me with unquestioning loyalty and infinite esteem. But, in your case and a few others, I followed a different method. An experiment.” He shakes his head and brings his hands to the console again, changing to images of the entire world. Earthquakes, storms, riots, Magneto; death and destruction all around. “This is the world as it is today, as it has been for some time and how it shall be for longer still if my ideals are not followed. Weak. Struggling. It’s inhabitants unfit to walk upon its soil. It was by my design that you experienced this feeble planet firsthand, lived in its dredges and proved yourself worthy by enduring its woes. By surviving.”

“Surviving for what?”

A final touch and all the screens fade to black, putting on darkness between us. “My aim is, eternally, to sift the weak from the strong, to create a world were those who live and breathe are worthy of these honors. Make no mistake; as great and powerful as you sense me to be, I am much more.” He lies on a hand on my shoulder and the trembling stops; my body rests at ease. “But yours is the power to remake all that is. Properly modified, you will exert my will throughout the Earth; cities will fall, kingdoms and empires will be washed away by mighty waves, the weak will be expunged under the cleansing flame of molten rock; the very earth will howl as it is reshaped in my image and my namesake is fulfilled.” His fist closes in a slow crunch, as if he’s got the whole world in his hand. “And then, upon the ashes of this fallen world, a new order will be established and a new age will begin. My age.”

He talks of so many things, and I’m not even sure I understand them all. I know he wants to use me. I know he made me so he could use me. I know that he expects me to do what he wants, when he wants. I know that I don’t like that idea. “No.” I step back, leave him in the shadows. “I appreciate being created, or whatever, but what you’re asking me to do…no. I’ve been in the dark too long to be somebody’s pawn. I just want to go out and live, you understand?” He’s unmoving, cold and silent. “Just live. All I want.”

He doesn’t yell, he doesn’t frown, he doesn’t even blink; not the slightest hint of anger over being defied. “I see. I am aware of your recent trials; I had designed your mind with the intention of you creating an earthen army to aid in the world’s resurrection, but the lose of your faculties to such a whimsical child was an unforeseen and unfortunate result. After such an ordeal, your desires are reasonable.” He walks my way and steps past, hands grasped behind his back. “But what quality of life could you enjoy in such a world? Even assuming that you could live on your own, you will be constantly hunted and hated. The X-Men will always seek to reinstate your weaker personality's control, to restore their wayward companion.”

I’m not sure how he knows what he knows, but it’s the sort of thing I’ve had plenty of time to consider. “I won’t let them. As soon as I get out of here, I’m going down to that mansion and taking it apart piece by-”

His roaring laughter interrupts me, shaking his head at some joke I can’t pick up. “Child, you speak of imprudence and folly. As strong as you are, the X-Men are legion, their powers vast and various. You will be defeated within minutes of your attack, if not seconds. Is that what you wish?”

I think back to what Gerald said, about all the telepaths who could easily take me out and put Roxanne back in control. “I will never go back into that darkness again. I can’t.” Just thinking about the numbness makes me start to feel it, that overwhelming nothing; only hearing a world and never seeing it, never smelling it, never feeling it. “Never.”

“Then join me, child.” He holds out his hand, offering it to me. “Take the name of Calamity and be the sword with which I shall smite our enemies and the tool with which I shall perfect the globe, giving all whole reside in it precisely – no more, no less – what they deserve.”

He closes his fist as I place my hand in his; his fingers so cold, his grasp so firm, but his words so comforting. For the first time, I feel secure. I like it. “I will.”

And I heard a voice in the midst of the four beasts
And I looked and behold: a pale horse.
And his name, that sat on him, was Death.
And Hell followed with him.


Re: New Mutants Unlimited #17
Post by Chord on Nov 17, 2006, 10:19pm

Awesome issue! Not only was it good to see Roxy's other side some more, but that's got to see the most sensible and reasonable characterization of Apocalypse I've ever seen.


Re: New Mutants Unlimited #17
Post by Roxanne "Madrock" Madison on Nov 18, 2006, 1:35am

Thanks! I was kind of worried about pouring Apocalypse on to thick, but I'm glad to see it worked out.


Re: New Mutants Unlimited #17
Post by Alexander "Cadmus" Baptiste on Nov 18, 2006, 1:55am

I, also, thought that your characterization of Apocalypse was amazing. Can't wait to see what the future holds for "Calamity". Revelations quotes were a really nice touch.


Re: New Mutants Unlimited #17
Post by Roxanne "Madrock" Madison on Nov 18, 2006, 1:59am

It's actually more of a quote from Johnny Cash's 'When the Man Comes Around'. Well, I mean, it's from Revelations, too, but the idea to use it came from the song…yeah…it's a good song. <_<


Re: New Mutants Unlimited #17
Post by Alexander "Cadmus" Baptiste on Nov 18, 2006, 2:34am

Ah. Doesn't make the quote any less badass.

The influx of new fanfics really makes me want to pound out one of the two I've got floating around in my head (one involving Nadia and another continuing Greg's story) but I feel… guilty (for lack of a better word) for working on a fanfic when I know I could be doing something school related (like one of those blasted essays due over the next couple weeks).


Re: New Mutants Unlimited #17
Post by Roxanne "Madrock" Madison on Nov 18, 2006, 2:37am

I know exactly how you feel. Exactly.


Re: New Mutants Unlimited #17
Post by Amelia "Heaven" Chow on Nov 18, 2006, 1:12pm

Um, really well-written…but I'm really dreading where the whole story is going.

And it seems to have oddly dropped between the last time we saw Madrox and now. The woman from that story…is she ever coming back? Because I was curious about her.


Re: New Mutants Unlimited #17
Post by Roxanne "Madrock" Madison on Nov 18, 2006, 1:25pm

Nov 18, 2006, 1:12pm, Amelia "Heaven" Chow wrote:Um, really well-written…but I'm really dreading where the whole story is going.

And it seems to have oddly dropped between the last time we saw Madrox and now. The woman from that story…is she ever coming back? Because I was curious about her.

Well, what's the problem? I'm open to suggestions on how to improve; PM with anything, man.

And I really need to finish up that other story. >_< I will, sorry.


Re: New Mutants Unlimited #17
Post by Marisol Morales on Nov 18, 2006, 1:46pm

Apocalypse was just perfect…


Re: New Mutants Unlimited #17
Post by Amelia "Heaven" Chow on Nov 18, 2006, 2:47pm

The problem isn't the writing. The problem is that I don't want to fight Pooky.


Re: New Mutants Unlimited #17
Post by Marisol Morales on Nov 18, 2006, 2:48pm

Why not? Even if he doesn't job to us, you at least have nothing to be afraid of.


Re: New Mutants Unlimited #17
Post by Chord on Nov 18, 2006, 2:53pm

Nov 18, 2006, 2:48pm, Marisol Morales wrote:Why not? Even if he doesn't job to us, you at least have nothing to be afraid of.

In one of his first apperances didn't he take down all of the X-men in about a minute or so? Knowing our luck, at least two members will die if that happens.


Re: New Mutants Unlimited #17
Post by Roxanne "Madrock" Madison on Nov 18, 2006, 2:55pm

Nov 18, 2006, 2:47pm, Amelia "Heaven" Chow wrote:The problem isn't the writing. The problem is that I don't want to fight Pooky.

Oh, phew. I was worried whether you were dreading from a character standpoint or an overall standpoint.

Character: Yay, be afraid!
Overall: I messed up, no! ;_;

In all seriousness, though, I think we could take Pooky in a straight up fight, and I wouldn't even call it jobbing, per se. I mean, there's what, ten of us now? Not even counting Rouge and Cannonball. Gerald's at the top of telepathic game thanks to the virus, Wreck's entropy attack could screw him up, Marisol can at least match him in the morphing department, Nadia can copy whatever uber material his suit's made out of…I don't claim to be a Pooky master, but I think we've got a serious shot. :]


Re: New Mutants Unlimited #17
Post by Amelia "Heaven" Chow on Nov 18, 2006, 2:56pm

Born was pointing out that it's in some ways academic whether Stryker gets Pooky'D or Legacy Virus'D.

It's just kind of personal preference. That's the best way to say it. I have a certain image of how Pooky should be (and this story is basically on those lines), and once it gets to fisticuffs, that image almost always shatters.


Re: New Mutants Unlimited #17
Post by Roxanne "Madrock" Madison on Nov 18, 2006, 2:57pm

Nov 18, 2006, 2:53pm, Chord wrote:
Nov 18, 2006, 2:48pm, Marisol Morales wrote:Why not? Even if he doesn't job to us, you at least have nothing to be afraid of.

In one of his first apperances didn't he take down all of the X-men in about a minute or so? Knowing our luck, at least two members will die if that happens.

I remember his first appearances, being…less than impressive, but I have a horrible memory, so I most likely am wrong. His jobbing aura is well known, though…

Which is why I'm imagining him more as his awesome animated version. <_<;


Re: New Mutants Unlimited #17
Post by Marisol Morales on Nov 18, 2006, 3:10pm

"I am the rocks of the eternal shore: Crash against me and be broken!"


Re: New Mutants Unlimited #17
Post by Alexander "Cadmus" Baptiste on Nov 18, 2006, 9:56pm

Quote:Nadia can copy whatever uber material his suit's made out of…

Nadia as a walking piece of Celestial tech… I'm not opposed to the idea

On a slightly more serious note, I'd actually prefer that if we fought Apocalypse that it was an uphill battle for a technical victory (along the lines of "winning the battle and not the war"). I have an image of Apocalypse in my head that he rarely lives up to due to jobbing… (case in point, I was annoyed - incredulous even - when he has his Horseman of War [I forget the name] help him take down a Sentinel in the Blood of Apocalypse arc. Then again that story was badly done in general.)


Re: New Mutants Unlimited #17
Post by Chord on Nov 18, 2006, 10:09pm

Nov 18, 2006, 2:55pm, Roxanne "Madrock" Madison wrote:

In all seriousness, though, I think we could take Pooky in a straight up fight, and I wouldn't even call it jobbing, per se. I mean, there's what, ten of us now? Not even counting Rouge and Cannonball. Gerald's at the top of telepathic game thanks to the virus, Wreck's entropy attack could screw him up, Marisol can at least match him in the morphing department, Nadia can copy whatever uber material his suit's made out of…I don't claim to be a Pooky master, but I think we've got a serious shot. :]

Eh. Are chances decrease by a lot if he actually manages to sway some of the New Mutants with his line of thinking.

Not that Dillan would join up with Pooky…

<_<


Re: New Mutants Unlimited #17
Post by Roxanne "Madrock" Madison on Nov 18, 2006, 10:11pm

He needed help with a Sentinal? Sheesh. Haven't read that story, but that must've been some seriously messed up writing.

I completely agree, though. With any luck it'll be me versus you guys, then after I get whipped bad, Pooky steps in and lays down the hurt.


Re: New Mutants Unlimited #17
Post by K'lar on Nov 20, 2006, 12:06pm

«This will be tying into to our next mission (109). And no, the New Mutants will not be fighting Apocalypse directly. That has never made sense to me. Apocalypse should be a behind the scenes type. That doesn't mean NM won't die »

Nice work, lasthero. I do agree that this is a great version of Apocalypse.


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