🎨 Creative "O.G./Next Generation" Draft!

Eric the .5b

Hail the Milleni-odel!
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Oh, and because I rarely manage to post a round-up—secret diary entries!

Warm fuzzy secret heart, not so much.

Spoiler: Show

Various Excerpts from Henry P. Gyrich's Journal

* * *

2019

I never liked Banner. Some people genuinely did. Not as many, though, as the people who made excuses for his intelligence. That's the difference between admiration and respect: you can respect something without being uncomfortable with its flaws. Admiration involves loyalty, and I can count the people I've ever admired on my fingers. Banner wasn't one of them; he repelled me. He was no hero. He was just useful, some of the time.

Some people like to imagine what a great man Bruce Banner would have been without the Hulk. How he'd be remembered if his cemetery didn't need an armed guard to keep people from spraying his headstone green or smashing it with sledgehammers. Me, I think about his anger and his shifts between melodramatic guilt and indignant blame-dodging. If his anger didn't have its own green face? He would have been a "great man" with sins everyone hushed up.

He might not have left us with this goddamn mess, though.

* * *

2008

Up until the late nineties, NYC had a quarter of the country's known mutants and a third of its superheroes. I had everything tested, from the groundwater to background radiation to interior air quality. There has to be an environmental cause, but nobody's identified it.

A third of the country's superheroes. But somehow, nobody could or would shut down one serial killer Marine while he was active or alive. Pick the right targets, and people let you get away with anything.

But then, I found that out in the eighties.

* * *

2014

I've recruited two Morlocks my whole career, and neither are in a position of authority or public awareness. It stands to reason: the shunned and hounded want to be left alone. They don't want to be "heroes", "representation", or the targets of bigots. They don't want the company of baselines and passing mutants who don't understand them. I could use to shrug this off because "the public won't accept them", but I'm too old for that bullshit.

Caliban was different. No chance he would have signed up with me, but he did join the X-Men. He's why many people even know what a "Morlock" is.

Poor bastard. Someone once accused me of harassing or punishing non-government supers. Christ, what could I do that would get anywhere near the long, strange nightmare of just being an X-Man?

We need more Calibans. And each one will probably get it as bad as he did.

* * *

2003

Spite's useful. Spite's part of why I take care of myself. Right before my fiftieth, I realized it wasn't all business to me. There are obituaries I want to read and funerals I want to attend. People who've cost me or who've hurt good people, but who get to walk around in public. (Which, yes, is how some people see me. Can't be helped.)

CNN accidentally published a premade obit for Captain Rogers today. I thought I was going to have a coronary.

Thing is, even since the nineties, we've been in each others' faces as often as we've worked together. He does what he thinks is right, I do what I think is right, and that's not always the same thing. And too much of the time, someone above me wants me to do something stupid or contemptible, and sometimes I have to throw them a bone.

I enjoyed being the face of the US government to the Avengers, twenty years ago. I took the gods and monsters down a peg and made them aware how important us little people were. But Rogers never needed reminding. And he could see the people where I just saw "gods and monsters". So, there's not much I enjoy less than being "the government" when he's right and I have to play on the wrong side.

* * *

2019

Dr. Summers has another one for me, and he's a piece of work.

I told her that I admired her and the lengths she goes for her students. Even for the ones who can look at the brands on her face and not realize that she knows what she's talking about. But, I'm too old for this big brother routine. I've never had kids. The last family alive I had was my father, and the most I could do for him was take care of him, his last year.

She said my faculties were still good. That I was probably the best-suited person she knew to reach him. And that it was either me or cutting him loose.

Now, I at least pity the kid.

* * *

1999

Never liked raccoons, and smart-ass, heavily-armed alien ones are only worse.

* * *

2013

I wonder whatever happened to Natasha Romanova. As long as it's been, she could have kids working on giving her grandkids by now, somewhere nice and anonymous.

Probably what she did. She was smarter than I've ever been.

* * *

2018

Goddamn Doombots. They get weirder every year.

It may be useful, if this isn't just one more pathetic attempt to pants Richards and give him a wedgie.

POTUS turns a cold eye on political activists. Still, I might be able to get the Secretary to sell the value of Goodwrench pissing from inside the tent. I want a head start on human/machine relations, while there are relatively few machines. I want to fix things before we have the eighties and nineties all over again. If things go pear-shaped and I end up sending mutants after robots, the irony might just kill me.

* * *

2019

You can't trust a POTUS. You can only serve him, mollify him, and mitigate him in different proportions. Get that balance wrong, have him notice, and he'll find someone else who'll do your job in a way he likes.

I think POTUS is doing something different. Working around me. Maybe around the entire DHS authority. SHIELD's compartmentalization and hybrid LEO/military nature hides a lot of things from DHS. Still, I've seen indirect references to orders that I've never heard of, but should have had access to.

I've had higher-ups work around me, before. Usually, it's for stupid reasons, not criminal ones. People used to bending the world around themselves. They're just smart enough to find you useful, but they see you as a "naysayer" who'd point out that the idea they've fallen in love with is terrible. And soon, it's time to clean up the mess from that terrible idea.

POTUS isn't stupid, though. If half of what I've heard from the NYC crowd is true, he's as smart and dangerous as any POTUS has been. This makes me think that the mess will be particularly ugly to clean up.

Or maybe he just wants a fall guy.

* * *

2016

The military's problem is that they don't want super-soldiers that they don't build themselves. They'd rather make more Frank Simpsons than welcome mutant patriots.

We'll pay for that, someday. I try to get these people as they leave the services, but I don't get everyone. Who knows who will snap up some very dangerous young people we've trained and then alienated?

* * *

2017

It doesn't matter that this new one's not Thor. I must measure these people by their own merits and actions, not against predecessors who managed to impress me.

Maybe if I write that enough times, I'll get it through my thick skull.

* * *

2013

Every year, I make sure I've got eyes on that dance..

Every damn year, I know in the pit of my stomach that we should just leave the man alone. But he does it in public, so we watch.
 

Troy Swain

Registered User
Validated User
A Very Bad Morning
Part Four | Las Vegas, 2017


OOC: Previously: The Hulk Virus rages throughout the Southwest of the US. Quarantines are quickly enforced, but still the virus spreads. There was recently a case outside of the Southwest. And the military and super-organizations struggle to keep up.
Every year, Ty Johnson, formerly Cloak, dances in a sad ritual from sun up to sun down on March 7th. At the same corner in Koreatown.

The world burns bright and she is blinded. She can still see the burning bright light— even through her tightly shut eyelids— even though her hands cover her eyes. What is going on? Is the world on fire?

She opens her eyes and is shocked. Low in the horizon is a new burning sun that shines through everything, buildings, cars, people. It is brighter than the sun. She looks around. No one seems to notice. Why? Why do they not notice? But they don’t notice her, so maybe this new sun is hers? Maybe this new sun will see her? It is so bright. Anything that bright will see her!

She walks through the crowd, ignored, as always. She walks and stares at the burning sun whose negative lights burns through buildings, people, everything. God, it’s so bright. How do they not see the flame? But they are blind, and she is not. She sees, and they do not.

She dances through the crowd and laughs. She turns up her music and walks up to a cute boy. People don’t see her. They get out of her way without knowing it. She goes to touch the boy’s face but he instinctively moves away until he bumps into someone else. To everyone but her it seems like an accident. The boy apologizes to the people around him. She moves against him until he falls. Just one touch. Just one kiss. For the new sun. The boy slaps onto the floor. He apologizes as others help him to his feet.

Meanwhile, the burning light casts everyone’s shadows far into the distance, covering everything with extended shadow stripes. Stripes that start with people, who are split with light and shadow. These endless shadows that slice the land point away from the new bright burning sun. The ‘real’ sun above is weak compared to her new burning sun. God, it’s so bright. How do they not see the flame? But they are blind, and she is not. She sees, and they do not.

She dances through the crowd, untouched, unseen. She dances towards the burning sun a few blocks away. She goes into a ice cream shop and helps herself to a scoop. It’s fun to watch the workers move around her. She giggles and dances out of the shop.

She approaches a stuck-up looking fancy woman. The fancy-woman looks like the type who grew up riding horses. She would like to ride a horse. The fancy-woman backs up as the girl approaches. The fancy-woman doesn’t know why she is suddenly backing up. The girl lurches forward, and fancy-woman falls into passerby. Everyone is embarrassed. Fancy-woman apologies over and over as others help her up.

She tires of walking. Tires of the crowds. She walks to one of the nice restaurants.

She walks to one of the nice restaurants. She waits for a nice car to drive up. A nice red car. With nice people inside. A boy and a girl. She takes the boy’s keys out of his hand. He tumbles back and doesn’t notice her take his keys. His girlfriend catches him and asks what’s wrong. What’s wrong, baby, says the girlfriend. She takes their car and drives off. No one notices. She can barely see, the burning sun is so bright. Not the sun above. That sun is normal. No, the burning sun that she is going to meet. God, it’s so bright. How do they not see the flame? But they are blind, and she is not. She sees, and they do not.

____________________

Through traffic, she gradually leaves the city. First she drives through strip malls and apartment complexes, then onto the freeway, and she passes fewer and fewer buildings. Less neon. Less lights. Less people, as the desert takes over.

She drives towards the burning sun. So bright. It nearly blinds her. She almost wrecks many times. Other cars get out of her way.

The burning sun isn’t as close as she thought. She squints and sings and turns up her music. The sun sets, but the burning sun blazes still. Closer now. Closer.

Deeper into the desert. It is cold. She is ready. She has water. Food. She is ready. Warm clothes. The burning sun is so bright. No snake will bother her. No scorpion. No coyote. No person. She shields her eyes. And drives. Ever closer.

She arrives at a military base. The burning sun is so bright. How do they not see? She walks into the complex, unseen by the soldiers. She is not worried about soldiers. She is not worried about super-soldiers. If they see her, that would be nice. So nice. It’s ok if they punched her. Maybe she could dance with them? Kiss them? She would like that. Like to kiss them. She blushes.

The blazing sun is massive. So bright. How do they not see it? It is going to burn the world. It is so beautiful and monstrous. It is closer now. Soldiers run to the car she left. They talk on their coms, confused. Her pretty car is a big deal to them. But she walks to the blazing sun, shielding her eyes. Why care about a car when you are so near the sun? How do the soldiers not see it? God, it’s so bright. How do they not see the flame? But they are blind, and she is not. She sees, and they do not.

Will the sun see her? Will the sun touch her if it does see her? Beautiful sun. Beautiful sun, let me touch you, beautiful sun.

OOC: At one point her name was Shi Min. But now she is beyond names. She is unseen, so she no longer needs a name. When people could see her, some mean boy told her that her family’s name, Shi, means "corpse" or "personator." But he was mean. Daddy said that’s not what shi means. And she is no corpse. But she still like "Personator," even if she doesn't know what it means.

OOC: [ 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 ]
 
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Troy Swain

Registered User
Validated User
Thanks Ravensdance Ravensdance ! As always, your voice is missed.

And yes, Eric, your pieces were really lovely. They were both quiet despite the violence and repartee. And the Psychopomp piece was eerie and sad.
 

Troy Swain

Registered User
Validated User
BTW, regarding Rocket and earth pilots: I always thought that Earth must scare the hell out of the rest of the Marvel universe. It's primitive and backwards, but it has an extreme capacity for ultra-violence (like Rocket!), and an untapped potential for power. Earth has inadvertently produced individuals that are walking Nukes, able to put a serious hurt on their militaries. An Earthling hosted The Phoenix. An Earthling pushed back Galactus. I think Earth would be thought of as the Chinese thought of the Mongols and the other steppe warriors: dangerous people with access to tech they shouldn't have. And terrifying if they are ever organized.
 

Airk

Your resident Norwegian
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OOC: Evelyn and her fellow band of outcasts have moved down into the old Morlock tunnels to escape a steadily harsher New York street scene, and they have brought Caliban with them.



"Got a limousine
I want to show it
Future's looking good
I'll probably blow it
Had some parents once
But you'd never know it
Bank roll oversize
So what if they stole it

But who am I foolin'
I'm the king of the ruins
But I'm doin' well tonight
I got dreams to sell tonight
Got to belong
Try to hang on
Got to belong..."

Most of them were asleep - including Tessy, who were lying with her head in Evelyn's lap. The glow she always made had faded a bit, but not died. It never did. She seemed so happy.

Shiv was playing his guitar and singing softly, turning what Evelyn vaguely knew as a hard rock howl into something calm and... soothing. If bitter.

"Ghost in the ruins
I'm runnin' the street scene
Ghost in the ruins
Burnin' like gasoline
Ghost in the ruins
I'm takin' you in deep
East Side West Side playin' for keeps."

Shiv wasn't his real name, of course - it wasn't even his gang name. He'd gotten kicked out or run away - the emotions said kicked out, but Shiv was a hard man to read at the best of times, and shut down completely on his life before the streets - when he spiked at fifteen, hanging with small-time gang that called themselves The Flatscans. A mutant poser gang, of all things. As an actual mutant, he was their hero - despite any actual mutant powers limiting themselves to double-jointed, crazily dextrous fingers and an ability to painlessly pop any joint in his body and slip it back. And he did things with a guitar that was just cheating.

The Flatscans were long gone, most of them grown up and back home, and a few left for dead by the anti-mutant gangs. Shiv had gotten his name from the guy who tried to recruit him to The Brotherhood. Still, Shiv was as good a name as any for someone leaving his past behind. The only other gang in the area that might have taken in a mutie was the NGz, and he was several shades to white for them. Again, had he been superstrong or shot lazer eye beams or something, hell, possibly - but the YGz were street-level, not organized, not run from Rikers'. The organized guys would probably have seen the use of a contortionist, but...

"See the runaway there on the corner
Just a throw away but somebody's daughter
Had a pretty face so somebody bought her
Sellin' her soul away so put in your order

She knows what she's doin'
She's a ghost in the ruins
She's doin' it well tonight
Got dreams to sell tonight
She wants to belong
Knows what to do
She's got to hang on..."

They'd gotten so much done in just a few days. A room for each of them, even if many ended up sleeping here in the main hall. Actual furniture for Caliban... though she'd quietly put the mirror Ish found aside. They'd plundered the old mansion for firewood and stuff - an old, rotted tapestry had provided a simple hanging for four doors. A few things had turned up in old, hidden chambers, ones the lightning hadn't reached. A few other things - like that storm kitchen - that Evelyn would never ask how they had gotten. They had all done what was needed to get by before. Would all do it again. She hoped someone - like Shiv - had just snuck into his old house and picked up some stuff. He'd gotten his guitar from someplace, after all. If whoever had gotten it wanted to share, she'd listen. If not, it was nice not to have to think too closesly on it.

Like Caliban had tried not to think about the hidden drawer in the floor. And the old wedding dress inside it.

"Ghost in the ruins
I'm running the street scene
Ghost in the ruins
Burning like gasoline
Ghost in the ruins
I'm takin' you in deep
East Side West Side
Playin' for keeps

I know
I know you know
I know
I know you know
I know
I know you know
I don't know anymore
I'm tellin' you
I don't know anymore
I'm tellin' you
I don't know anymore"

Evelyn fell asleep herself right there on the floor, in the midst of softly stroking Tessy's shining-white hair and wondering what colour hair the girl had before she spiked, and who the wedding dress had belonged to. Shiv slid to his feet as silent as a snake, nodding to Galán who softly put one of their old sheets around Evelyn's shoulders, and stepped into the darkness, still playing softly...


OOC: Shiv (OC) tried the life of a gang-banger and saw the ugly side up personal, and then spent at least some days in the company of someone wanting him for the Brotherhood. He is a contortionist to even greater degrees than Evelyn thinks, maybe Ragdoll-level - but he doesn't advertise it.

I lay no claim to the Brotherhood. The guy who recruited Shiv might have been from a little Magneto-worshipper gang, or the real thing.


CarpeGuitarrem CarpeGuitarrem is up!

Also, here's the song, if anyone's interested :)

 
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