New Mutants Unlimited 20

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New Mutants Unlimited #20
Post by Alexander "Cadmus" Baptiste on Nov 23, 2006, 11:28pm

New Mutants Unlimited #20
Something Evil This Way Comes

Cover Description: Greg is on the cover twice. The first one is lying on the ground wearing a standard New Mutants uniform. The uniform is shredded, he is bloodied all over - especially his face, which is barely recognizable. The second Greg is standing above the first in dark pants and a slightly longer than waist length leather jacket. His eyes are shimmering blue and his fists are covered in the other Greg's blood. Caption: The death of Gregory Johansson?

Editor's Note: This story takes place somewhere during the week of New Mutants 108 - Muties Take Kentucky.

For confused newbies, you may want to read New Mutants Unlimited #5. What do you know… that still is fun.

***

"Well. I can honestly say I never thought that I would be here again."

Rose Heights. A small and, for the most part, negligible little town. Since they had their little "adventure" there, the five or six businesses that weren't boarded up had dwindled to three or four. He hadn't seen any pedestrians going about their business the first time that he had been there so he wasn't sure if the fact that there weren't any there now meant the population had dwindled further. He assumed so. A dead town on its last legs that couldn't so much as make it on a map. It probably never would have even been so much as a footnote in his memory if it weren't for the terrible things that went down in the only part of the town worth mentioning - which wasn't so much in it as it was under it and off to the side. The underground base. The Sentinel factory. Master Mold. Things could have gone from "wacky misadventure" to full on genocide if he had woken up. But he didn't. Current saw to that. Kept things from getting really ugly. Not that things didn't get really ugly soon after that anyway.

The toasty smell of fried Sentinel had faded over the weeks since Greg had been there last, though it was still a lot stronger than he had expected. He supposed that underground tunnels in underground lairs didn't have the best ventilation. Twelve Sentinels. Twelve dead Sentinels. Their bodies strewn all over the tunnel in awkward positions like fried, three story tall marionettes. Things would not have gone their way if the Sentinels had caught up with them as they made their retreat. But then Current managed to stop that as well. Right here, in this spot. he thought as he stood where the smoking husk of Current's body had fell after he saved them all. Not that there was any shortage of other people who was willing to save them. Current. Lex. Wreck. Tripping over each other to commit suicide. To die in a blaze of glory. Hell, he was probably the only one of them that could have probably done something but chose not to try. It was too important for him to live on. After all, you can't get vengeance from the grave. So he didn't. And Current did. Destroyed twelve Sentinels and died in the process. He could still smell his smoking remains. Then again it may have just been the tunnel.

Current was a bastard. In life, too, but for dying and rocking the team the way he did especially. Greg never really believed that he was being all that altruistic. He probably thought that he could have survived what he did. He was after glory. He wanted to be a hero. He wanted to hold that over all of their heads. And he was, apparently, willing to do anything to reach that goal. He must have been, right? He was willing to die, so there can't have been much else he wouldn't have done. The man had conviction. It didn't matter that little Almond Quimby, fifteen years old, had developed a mutation that gave him vast electrical powers but gave him the body of a nonagenarian. It didn't matter because Current was a man of vast conviction willing to do what had to be done to get what he wanted. Which, whether he died for altruistic goals or not, made him succeed in being a hero in Greg's eyes. If his future meetings with Exodus and his master are anything like his first, he may get to tell that Current personally.

He turned around and looked at the corpse. No, not Current. They had taken his remains with them when they left this place all those weeks ago. But then, Current was not the only person to die that day. Greg didn't know her name. He wasn't sure if it was because she didn't tell them or he simply didn't think it was worth keeping in mind. The blonde lady in the lab coat, was what he decided to call her. It was an apt description. Though it did not mention the fact that her body was basically broken in half from her fall when Roxanne shook the facility. Sort of an important detail to leave out, but saying it every time you refer to her would sound awkward. She was the real cause for all this. She ran the facility and had all the Sentinels there created. Would have let them loose on mutanity in a matter of months probably, if they hadn't clumsily stumbled across her operation. She held them powerless and would have killed us all with a smile on her face. And now she was dead. And forgotten, considering the fact that her body was still at the bottom of that shaft when Greg arrived there. Her existence must have been lost amongst the shuffle, what with the Sentinel attack and Current dying. He hadn't even thought twice about her until in the latest slew of visions where her body was prominently displayed. Like a good little puppy he followed the image back here. Seeing her body stirred up nothing in him, but he decided to take it along as he visited the site of Current's death on his way out of the underground complex. Motioning over to the corpse, he lifted it off the ground with a simple reversal of gravity. Creating a pull in every direction to keep the body steady he sent it hovering steadily along in front of him as he made his way out of the underground base. The body meant nothing to him. Based on what she was going to do, he should have hated her outright. But he didn't even feel that. He could have been carting around a sack of potatoes for all he cared. He felt that way now and he felt that way when she died. And that was exactly the problem. He never forgot Sam's words to them upon their less than interested reaction to her death.

"Well, you can all feel good about yourselves…she's dead. But one of these days we're going to have a long talk about Professor Xavier's dream and how things like this are actually tragedies…we don't wish death on anyone, regardless of what they do to us. That's not our way."

Should he have felt something? Sam clearly wasn't going to shed any tears about it but the death of The Blonde Lady in The Lab Coat clearly never sat right with him. He regretted that it had to happen. But Greg didn't. He was utterly indifferent towards it. If he could have saved her life with a single word, he didn't honestly feel that saying the word was worth the effort. And that right there was reason he was carting around her corpse as he stepped out into the night as he emerged from the complex. He had always been perplexed about his less noble tendencies. The moment he learned that Magneto let loose the electromagnetic pulse that triggered his powers, which subsequently killed his parents, he made up his mind to kill him, regardless of what it took - even joining the New Mutants to refine his abilities. He had brutally beaten on the clone of him that Mojo had created - Heavily Armed - and afterwards he didn't so much as bother to check if he was still alive. It just didn't matter. He had been legitimately disappointed that Wreck got to Arcade before he had and that Mojo escaped before he could tear into him. Were these the feelings that a hero should have? Not that he ever thought himself to be a hero, but clearly somebody in his position should not have been so… cold at the best times and bloodthirsty at his worst. It was those types of people that they were trying to stop, right? He was capable of recognizing that fact. So why, no matter how long he stared at The Blonde Lady in The Lab Coat, did he not care that she was dead?

He was outside the town limits by now and far from the entrance to the underground complex, following a nagging feeling in the back of his head. He wanted to bury the body, not necessarily out of respect for her but more for respect for the dead in general. Nobody deserved to decompose at the bottom of a shaft in an empty underground lair. At least he wasn't completely abnormal in his thinking, he thought. His next thought, of course, was that he must be more predictable than he thought he was. Right before him was a shovel dug into the earth with a tombstone off to the side with a hammer and chisel on top of it. It must have been a gift from the little bird that had been whispering visions into his head. The same bird that had disturbed his nightmares weeks ago when he left the New Mutants. The Third Voice. The same person, he imagined as he set The Blonde Lady in The Lab Coat's corpse aside and grabbed the shovel, that had been sending him all across the country to different hidden, dark, dank laboratories. When it first started he thought they were mere visions. Eventually he realized that they were something more disturbing. Memories. Whoever the voice belonged to was unlocking suppressed memories, in a seemingly random sequence, to send him to places that he had already been to apparently. Each place had been abandoned, for years most likely. Some had bodies of, often deformed, mutants still in them. He had taken the time bury each body he came across and apparently the Third Voice had decided to provide tools for it this time.

He was tired. He could have created a strong enough pull to rip a mass of earth out of the ground, but he was looking to create a grave here, not a hole. He went to work, losing track of the time that it took dig an adequate home for The Blonde Lady in The Lab Coat to spend the rest of eternity in. As he dug out six feet worth of dirt he came back to the same thought over and over: Why here? Why her? This had been the only place that he actually remembered. The events here had been awful but they were not repressed in the least. So why would his mysterious… benefactor if he could even be called that… have lead him here? Coming up with no answers he stopped thinking all together and focused only on the work. He was unsure of what time it was when he finished, but he felt he probably closer to morning than he was to night - not that he had started out with the benefit of sunshine. He was placing the headstone at the head of the grave and had already put in the body. The easiest part was creating a well of gravity to lead all the dirt he had dug up back into the grave. Intensify the gravitational pull a little to pack the dirt down… and done. He sat down a couple feet away from the grave and admired his work. The headstone crudely read: "Here lies The Blonde Lady in The Lab Coat. May she find the peace in death that eluded her in life."

"A job well done." he said to nobody particular. He never really expected "Nobody" to answer him back.

"I would say so. If this whole "hero" thing doesn't pan out I'd suggest that you go into undertaking. I hear they have great hours."

The voice chilled him and he actually found himself incapable of movement for a moment. He had heard it before. Every time he heard it, in fact, it heralded the arrival of a new memory that sent him on a wild goose chase for answers that he never found. Only this was the first time that the voice was actually audible; this was the first time that the person was actually there. He could even feel him from the pull gravity had on him. He was barely six feet away. Greg was almost afraid to turn around. He didn't know what he would find. More than that, he was almost afraid that he would be let down by the revelation. But he wasn't let down. In fact, "almost afraid" was upgraded to "definitely terrified". It wasn't his appearance. No, he had seen far weirder. His journeys had shown him mutants whose bodies were twisted mockeries of the humanity within them - before they died at least. Then he had never been particularly shocked by odd mutant appearances. Roxy had gray skin, gray hair, gold horns and pitch black eyes and frankly Greg had thought she was adorable. The blue armor, the stripped cape, the pale as a sheet skin… even the red eyes. It was all relatively tame compared to some of the things that he had seen before. No, it had nothing to do with how the man before him looked. It was something about his presence. Something dark about him, something that just radiated in every direction that told you that fear was an appropriate response. The worst thing was that there was something familiar about him that he couldn't place no matter how hard he tried.

"Tell me boy… what is my name?"

It seemed like an absurd thing to say. Greg had never seen the man in his life. Or at least he didn't think so. There was a word on the tip of his tongue that seemed to accurately sum up what Greg felt about him, but other than that there was no name he could connect with this man's face. Then it hit him. A flurry of images in his mind. Only they weren't new… it was like they were there all along and he had simply been ignoring their existence. Like ignoring an elephant in your living room. Only he actually had been ignoring the elephant. And now a pissed off elephant was stampeding around his head. It was all fighting its way back to the surface. And it hurt.

"Go ahead, say it. Its on the tip of your tongue, I know it is." the man egged him on as Greg had crumpled to his knees holding on to his head. His mind was reordering itself, his memories putting themselves in chronological order. It was no picnic. But then it began to die down and the answer came back to him in a rush of clarity.

"Sinister." Greg sighed, "Your name is Sinister."

"Excellent. Though I prefer the honorific Mister to preface it. Keep that in mind for the future. So is it safe to assume that your memories are restored?"

"I suppose so." Greg replied as he got to his feet, still rubbing his head with one hand. "Though they're still very jumbled. The entire existence of so many parts of my life hit me simultaneously… it isn't exactly easy to work out the details. What can work out though… is that we aren't exactly old friends…"

"No." mused Sinister, "I can't say that we are. Yet. Give it time."

"I'll give it nothing." Greg raged, "You've been sending me all over the blasted country, and for what? Empty, abandoned labs at the best times, abandoned deformed bodies at the worst. What was the fucking point?"

"Tut tut." said Sinister as sauntered past Greg and pretended to examine the headstone, as if for flaws. "Language. I felt it would be in good taste to reacquaint you with a couple of your old… haunts… before triggering your memory recollection. Lessen the blow a little if you know what I mean."

Greg stared at Mister Sinister with malice in his eyes. "Yeah. I think I know exactly what you mean. You know what else I know? Most of those labs were operated by somebody else… but one of them - just one of them - was operated by you."

The smallest of smirks passed across Mister Sinister's face. He positioned his hands as if he were swearing on a bible, using the headstone as the bible. "Guilty as charged. What do you plan to do about it?" Sinister received his answer in the form of Greg flying off the ground and coming towards him fists first. But it clearly wasn't meant to be, as Sinister waved his left hand and let loose a small wave of energy. It wasn't enough to harm Greg but it did knock him backwards and plant him painfully on his ass. "This wont do at all. Clearly your memories haven't quite sorted themselves out yet. Perhaps having sense knocked back into you would do the trick. But I abhor physical violence. Luckily however, I possess nothing if not vast amounts of forethought."

Greg heard the footsteps coming up behind him as he righted himself. He could feel them the planet's gravitational field as well. There were two of them. he lamented facing them but knew he couldn't put it off. There were indeed two of them. The one the right was a purple haired woman in a metallic yet form fitting armor like get up that left one of her arms "stylishly" uncovered. The one on the left was a dark haired, mustachioed man that wore a blue jumpsuit with, from what Greg could tell, disassembled pieces of machinery all over. Mostly guns. This is not going to go well. Greg thought.

As if to confirm his beliefs the woman punched the ground and seismic wave rocked the earth underneath Greg's feet. It was as if the planet below disappeared for a moment as he got thrown from the wave. He was making his way back to his feet when he heard the rapid assembly of something metal a foot away. Very rapid. A shotgun was pressed against his temple by the time he was half way up. He paused in an awkward position, not daring to move.

"Scalphunter, at your service. It's a shame though. Never thought it would be this easy."

Bang.


Re: New Mutants Unlimited #20
Post by Alexander "Cadmus" Baptiste on Nov 23, 2006, 11:28pm

"Don't worry. It wont be." The gun had been pointing straight at the ground when it went off, Greg having started making it too heavy for Scalphunter to raise about half way through his sentence. Greg was fairly pleased with the move and was about to make a motion heralding a gravitational attack on his aggressor when his confidence was shaken by noticing that Scalphunter didn't look at all concerned by the fact that his gun weighed more than he could carry and he was about to be curb stomped. He wasn't even really trying to lift the gun. It was as if he was… waiting. Remembering instantly that he was, in fact, fighting two people, Greg leaped forwards over the crouched Scalphunter as his purple haired ally swung a heavy punch through the air that Greg's body had occupied a moment earlier. Hissing his teeth at the failed ruse, Scalphunter abandoned the shotgun he could no longer lift and technomorphed together two handguns that he fired off towards Greg in rapid succession. Expectant of Scalphunter attacking for real once the feint failed, Greg was already putting room between them by flying away in a zagging pattern close to the ground. That Scalphunter still managed to graze Greg's shoulder informed him that the darkness of night was not as impairing his aim as much as Greg hoped it would. The shock of pain caused Greg to drop out of the air, making him suddenly glad that he was staying as low as her was. He examined it - it was flesh wound, nothing too serious. That didn't stop it from hurting like a mother… then it suddenly hit him, Why isn't he still shooting? Simply looking away from his wound was enough to answer that question. The purple haired woman was just feet away from him - and he didn't have time for much of a dodge this time. He managed to get to his feet but that was all he could do before the woman was on him and striking him in the gut. He doubled right back over onto the ground. Being hit so hard strangely brought up memories of his last bout, with Nadia, but he quickly pushed them out of his mind. He could compare ass kickings later on. He fought his way back to a standing position to face the woman who was, apparently waiting for him.

"Arclight by the way." She backhanded him across the face, sending him flying a good ten feet. "I believe you were saying something about this not being easy? You're a filthy fucking liar, you know that?" She hit the ground and a seismic wave followed, breaking up the earth and thrashing Greg about before he could even manage to recover from the last blow. "But that's life, I guess. I suppose I'll just have to make this fun on my own." Things were not going Greg's way. He couldn't remember being beat up this badly and things looked like they could only get worse from here. He spat out a small mouthful of blood as he shakily tried to make it to his feet. Arclight was running towards him again with undoubtedly sadistic intentions. Trying to get his head in the game he increased the gravity beneath her. The effect was visible, but clearly not enough for somebody in her strength class. The obvious answer hit him like a bus: sure he could try to keep intensifying the gravity until she couldn't move, but the easier way is to give her no gravity at all. Unfortunately, hindsight is 20/20. By the time that revelation had hit him she was too close for him to do anything. She had him by the neck and was holding him half a foot off of the ground.

"Come on, kid. You're not screaming or yelping or anything. Enhance the experience. Shriek. Give me something I can work with here!" Greg let out a subdued gurgling sound. "Sorry," Arclight smiled, "I didn't quite catch all that."

"I said," Greg said, louder and surprisingly calmly, "ladies first." Arclight suddenly dropped Greg to the ground as she buckled to her knees while grasping her chest. "That," Greg spoke as he got back to his feet, "would be a gravity well - two in fact - in your lungs. Nothing massive. But enough to keep you from being able to… what's that word… oh yes. Breathe." Arclight gasped - or she tried to - for air and found her self utter incapable to. "You were saying something about me being a liar, bitch?" Greg uttered with a look that had gone from calm to decidedly angry in no time at all. "Arclight!' Greg turned as he heard Scalphunter's voice coming from over his shoulder. "You little bastard." he aimed a newly formed rifle towards Greg's head. "Call the attack off now." Greg looked rather nonchalantly between Scalphunter and Arclight whose eyes were rolling back in her head. "No." Scalphunter waiver for a moment before her crashed backwards to the ground and stayed there. "Tip for the future, go a little lighter on the hardware covered suit next time you face a gravity manipulator." He heard a thump as Arclight fainted behind him. He dissolved the gravity wells in her lungs since she was out, though he knew that he didn't really care if she died. It just seemed like the thing that he should have done. Then he looked around for him. He hadn't even moved. Mister Sinister was still standing behind the headstone, apparently enjoying the show. He was clapping. He wont be for long. Leaving the ground he took off towards Sinister, determined not let some wave of energy stop him this time. Fists outstretched and his head down as he poured on the speed, Greg collided with Mister Sinister. That was where things got odd.

His attack didn't have quite the desired effect. In fact, he wasn't sure now if any attack against this man could have the desired effect. Sinister's body liquefied as Greg made contact. It was like flying through a pillar of water… or ooze. He lost all momentum as he slowly emerged through the other side - with Sinister's hand around his throat. Sinister had not apparently turned around. He "simply" morphed his front into his back and his back into his front. He came in very close to Greg's ear and whispered silently, "I told you, Greg. I abhor physical violence. Nowhere in that did I imply that I was not exceptionally good at it." With that he let go of Greg and took a few steps away, not bothering to turn and face Greg again. "Indeed, you did spend time in one of my laboratories. But I'm not your enemy Greg. I wasn't then. I'm not now. When it's all said and done, in fact, you will consider me your best friend. It's just like I said. Give it time. How's your memory coming along?"

The fight had seemed to disappear from Greg. He was back in a talking mood. "It's coming. I guess. But it's still jumbled… I remember… Beast?" Mister Sinister smiled. "No, not that cowardly boob. The man that you ought to be concerned with is a different cowardly boob all together." Greg was trying to sift through his memories but apparently having a couple years of events shunted into your memory at once provided more questions than answers. At least until everything got in order - which they hadn't. "Throw me a bone here man. I still don't know what's going on." Sinister cocked his head to one side. "You will not refer to me as 'man' again. I will lay it out for you. Your mutation - while natural… you do possess an Essex Gene - did not develop naturally. Your sister's either, by the way. You were among the many, many people, usually children, taken and experimented upon to have their mutations modified by a being that you know… yet don't know at all. McCoy… another McCoy. A refugee of a reality that doesn't exist any more. Technically it doesn't exist yet. That however, is neither here nor there. He's here. He's been here for some time. And he's the one who fashioned your powers into the form they've taken. You and countless others, though I must say you and your sister came out significantly better."

Greg took it all in surprisingly well. After all, he knew it already. Sinister's words put his thoughts at ease. "But where exactly do you come in?'

"I," Sinister responded, "was involved from the very beginning, though in a roundabout manner. This other McCoy, this Dark Beast, manipulated you using my work. My work. I know my own genetic signature anywhere. You, your sister and countless others. Perhaps you heard of the Morlocks?"

Something clicked in Greg's head. "The Massacre… I have heard your name somewhere… you were behind the Mutant Massacre. You had them… killed. You would have had Roxy killed." The urge to fight was quickly returning.

"Little Roxanne?" Sinister mused, "No, she bears somebody else's genetic signature. I don't really see why it matters. She did survive after all. But that's neither here nor there. They were a result of unauthorized use of my work. The Morlocks had to go. So, in fact, did pretty much all of Dark Beast's creations that I have tracked down. You and your sister though… had strange amounts of potential. More than the average Dark Beast creation. That's why you are alive. That's also why you retain some any semblance of humanity. McCoy, you see, is crude. His creations are an embarrassment to my work to be honest. The common link is a physical deformity of some kind - thus the reason the Morlocks stayed underground for the most part. You and your sister are no exception. Where I come in, as you previously inquired, was when I found you during my early search for the plagiarist of my work. I saw through the deformities into your potential power and took you. I healed you. Fixed your deformities. Kept you from being like the Morlocks. I had, however, other priorities at the time. So I used McCoy's records to find your parents. They were a wreck by the way. You were kidnapped at age three… and McCoy, for little else than fun I imagine, went back for your newborn sister two years later. He takes pleasure in such things. I took the liberty of giving all of you false memories of that nasty little period of your life. And to ensure that my little "weapons in waiting" didn't go out of control… I am the one who placed the load of power negating nanites in your bloodstreams. Pity that Magneto's little tantrum ruined them. Are we back up to speed?"

Greg sat down on the ground. Yeah, he was back up to speed all right. Suddenly he could remember that he spent six years of his life being the Dark Beast's guinea pig. He could remember the day when McCoy walked in and asked "Do you think this baby looks like you at all. No? I suppose you have gone through some… changes. Don't worry though. She will." He his happy childhood had been pulled out from under his feet. He hated his now but he could always look back at his past. Now he didn't even have that. Though he had gained something new. Yet another enemy. "So is that what you were here for? Civic duty? Return my memory and saunter off to do God knows what you do?" Sinister stifled a chuckle. "No dear boy. That isn't it all. I'm just claiming what's mine. Namely you. You certainly aren't the perfect mutant I've endeavored to create for last couple centuries… but your powers are a step in the right direction. Yours, your sister's, Nathan's - did you ever meet Nathan when you were at the mansion? Cable, he calls himself - you all have elements that will go into perfection. Though that's a long-term goal. More immediately, you will be working for me. For a goal that will probably interest you - hunting the other McCoy. The Dark Beast. I've decided that I will not be tolerating him any longer. I want him. Alive, though that's the only stipulation."

Greg nearly laughed. "Please," he said as he stood up, "You're behind the Massacre. That you didn't kill one of my friends is a fluke. You probably commit atrocities on a daily basis. Why would you think that I would for you?" Sinister once more cocked his head to one side "First off, I don't believe I ever implied that there is a choice involved here. Second? Because you aren't the hero you wish you could be. I've seen the insides of your mind. You are a man haunted by a deep darkness. The only thing that ever eases it is your dreams of vengeance. Against Magneto. Against Exodus. And now… against McCoy. You'll serve me because I present the best chance at getting your enemies. All of them. I can give you McCoy on a platter when I've finished with him. And I can increase your powers to a level where you can actually stand a fighting chance against Exodus and Magneto. I can give you everything that you want, Greg. Obedience is all I demand in return."

Greg pondered this. The fact the could ponder this, hadn't really shocked him. He had felt a lot of thoughts that had revealed that Sinister was not too far off base on his assessment of him. He felt that he should reject Sinister and run. Try to get back to the safety of the mansion and turn his life around. Forget vengeance. Do the right thing. But… then he thought back to Current. Good old Current. A man of conviction. Who did what he needed to do to get what he wanted to get. No matter the cost. Was that what Greg needed now? Conviction?

He was silent for a long time.

"Fine. I'm in. But my price is my sister. She does not belong to you, regardless of what claim you say you have over me. Go near Nadia… disturb a hair on her body… we're done. We will be done… and you will be crushed into a fucking singularity. She doesn't need those memories back either. Are we clear?"

Sinister smiled from ear to ear. "Your terms are… acceptable. Your first direct order: tend to your teammate."

Greg flexed a mental muscle and freed Scalphunter without really looking anywhere else but at Sinister. A deal with the devil. Was this my destiny all along? Was there anything else out there for me? Time passed in silence and Scalphunter and Arclight came up behind Greg and Sinister. A shimmering tesseract gateway opened off to the side.

"So." Sinister said matter of factly. "I believe it's time to take our leave of this place." Without another word he was through the gate. A clearly bitter Arclight followed. Scalphunter slapped Greg on the back. "So I assume that everything went well then? Welcome to the Marauders, Greg."

Greg looked Scalphunter in his eyes coldly. "Greg? Gregory Johansson had a mother and father. Gregory Johansson had a sister that he cared about more than anything in the world. Gregory Johansson had friends. He went to school. He was popular. Then he found out he was a mutant, killed his parents and sent his sister into a coma. But all that was fine. You see, Gregory Johansson became a New Mutant. Became a hero. Or at least started on the path to being one. Gregory Johansson is even the one who fought you and Arclight. He's the one who beat you and Arclight in fact. But the last vestiges of the person that Gregory Johansson was died when he made a deal with the devil himself. I'm Geforce. And all I have is vengeance."

With that, Geforce walked through the tesseract, leaving a smirking Scalphunter behind him.


Re: New Mutants Unlimited #20
Post by Alexander "Cadmus" Baptiste on Nov 23, 2006, 11:49pm

Well… another biggun. A couple notes:

1)
<_<

I know heat's got his thing going with a story of sinister proportions with Curt, but I'd been planning this long enough (only blackmore can confirm that) that I decided to go ahead with it anyway. I don't think that anything that happens here really conflicts with heat's story so hopefully it's all good.

2) Originally, instead of Scalphunter and Arclight, Greg was going to have a fairly bloody battle with Sabretooth. But then Born got there first with Marisol so I changed it up. The double team may provide a better challenge, I suppose, but I was wary of using characters that I was sort of unfamiliar with. I've only read Scalphunter in Weapon X (which was a brief appearance) and I was completely basing Arclight on bio descriptions.

3)I'm gonna dedicate this story to Born for killing Current because frankly my original plan for Geforce when I created him was for him to die an early and fairly pitiful death fuelled by his being blinded by vengeance. The reason I never went through with it was because Born killed his character first and killing Greg after that just plain wouldn't have had the same impact. Plus in retrospect, I vastly prefer this direction for the character. So yeah. Way to go Born!

4) I find the existence of the number "4" highly dubious.

5) Please point out any spelling/grammar mistakes to me. I ran this one through a spell check first (which you may have noticed, I never did with issue #5) but I'd like to know if any of my many errors managed to slip through the cracks. Yay, edit button.


Re: New Mutants Unlimited #20
Post by Marisol Morales on Nov 24, 2006, 5:51am

Yaaaaaay, go me!

I can't exactly tell you how you handled Scalphunter and Arclight, because not only have I never read anything with them in it, I had never heard of them before this. Whatever the case, they seemed almost a bit weak to be any serious threat to Geforce and his "strange amounts of potential". Not very foresightful of Sinister, is it…

This 'conversion' was handled a bit too much like Anakin in Revenge of the Sith, I'm afraid to say. Not so much in the sense of similarities in the plot of characters, but as in: "Come join me!" "Okay!" Except that here, Sinister doesn't have a decade of manipulation to excuse this bizarre heel-turn.

So this part of the story felt a bit weak to me, but it's generally written very well. And, of course, I always like it when other people write about stuff I did. That makes me feel like I've achieved something…


Re: New Mutants Unlimited #20
Post by Alexander "Cadmus" Baptiste on Nov 24, 2006, 1:39pm

Geforce's strange amounts of potential are, for the most part, still potential (evidenced by his complete inability to do anything to Exodus when they fought) but you will be seeing more of it as his story continues. As for Arclight and Scalphunter being a bit weak - I think they were just weak enough. Sinister's amused state when the fighting was done betrays - or it should have betrayed - that he didn't for a moment expect them to overtake Greg. They were mostly just there to give him somebody to pound on so that he would be a little more subdued by the time Sinister wanted have his little tête à tête.

I'm not going to refute Greg going along with it too easily except by saying that when you come down to it - Greg was never big on the heroic tendencies. More than half the reason he was with the New Mutants was because he figured they would lead him to Magneto - and he left the moment it was clear that he didn't stand a chance in his current state. As you may recall from NMU #5, he doesn't believe that Xavier's dream is enough of a possibility to be worth fighting for. The prospect of enacting vengeance on his enemies is essentially all he lives for these days, and Sinister provided the possibility for him to actually do it.

Future issues of his story will slowly reveal just how not big on heroic tendencies he is.


Re: New Mutants Unlimited #20
Post by Amelia "Heaven" Chow on Nov 27, 2006, 10:09am

A few things:

Story: Good. I really enjoyed aspects of it, but yes, I too felt that Geforce was a little too quick to take Sinister up at the end. And I'm glad that the Blonde Lady In The Lab Coat has made another appearance. The lasting mark of my couple missions. =) But didn't you think it odd that she didn't decay? (DUN DUN DUNNNNNN)

Arclight/Scalphunter: Fine, if they expected that you would join after losing. Otherwise, Scalphunter never would have "telegraphed" his shots. I'm a huge fan of the Marauders, and had no real issues. Arclight used to toss out a lot of Vietnam War jargon as an "ATTENTION: I have a backstory" thing, but it's not a big deal.

Spelling/grammar: Mostly good. I'll point out the section that was the messiest and correct:

You're mutation - while natural… you do possess an Essex Gene - did not develop naturally. Your sister's either by the way. You were among the many, many people, usually children, taken an experimented upon to have there mutations modified by a being that you know… yet don't know at all. McCoy… an other McCoy.

Your mutation - while natural… you do possess an Essex Gene - did not develop naturally. Your sister's either, by the way. You were among the many, many people, usually children, taken and experimented upon to have their mutations modified by a being that you know… yet don't know at all. McCoy… another McCoy.


Re: New Mutants Unlimited #20
Post by Roxanne "Madrock" Madison on Nov 27, 2006, 10:10am

Wanted to comment on this earlier, but internet problems, you know.

A few things…

You promised me Nadia solo adventures! I was looking forward to them. You bum!

This was fine, though, I thought, and the exposition came out pretty well, too. I wouldn't call it a bizarre heel turn, just a surprise one, and it asks some interesting questions: How far would he be willing to go? What would he do for Sinister? Would he actually fight the New Mutants if he had to, even his own sister? Has some good potential, and Greg's lack of heroism has been bubbling ever since the Current incident.

2) I can't say for Scalpy, but you couldn't have portrayed Arclight any worse than her X-Men 3 version. Bleh.


Re: New Mutants Unlimited #20
Post by Alexander "Cadmus" Baptiste on Nov 27, 2006, 10:45am

Quote:Spelling/grammar: Mostly good. I'll point out the section that was the messiest and correct:

Thanks for the tips. I've picked up this horrible habit lately of making the simplest of errors. Confusing their, they're and there while typing and that's just the beginning of it. You should have seen it before the spell check. It was atrocious. Plus I just misspelled atrocious.

Quote:Fine, if they expected that you would join after losing. Otherwise, Scalphunter never would have "telegraphed" his shots.

Yeah, they went in expecting it. Though I'm planning on playing Arclight as being less than enthused with his addition to the team for obvious reasons.

Quote:You promised me Nadia solo adventures! I was looking forward to them. You bum!

Yikes! Don't break out the pitch forks just yet. I still have plans for Nadia, in addition to a new one cooked up over the weekend, I just haven't gotten around to it yet. Hopefully there will be a smaller gap between NM #20 and my next fanfic than there was between NM #20 and NM #5.


Re: New Mutants Unlimited #20
Post by Marisol Morales on Nov 27, 2006, 10:47am

Proofreading, my friend… Proofreading.


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