What if... 2

Brief Title:
WI2

Characters:
Mirage, Havok, Uatu (the Watcher) Cable, Sabretooth, Maverick, Arachne, Wildchild, Mr Fantastic, H.E.R.B.I.E., Invisible Woman, The Thing, Iron Fist, Power Man, Mysti Knight, Wonder Man, Domino, Colossus, Cyclops, Beast, Thor, Tigra, Firebird, Daredevil, Spider-Man,

Scene Runner/Watcher:

IC Date:
11/27/12

Location:
New York City

Summary:
What if? Ultron, and his Heavy Metal Horde, had defeated the heroes and won the war?

Social or Plot:

TS:
No

Log:
Months ago Ultron created a nano-virus that infected robots, synthezoids, androids, and artificial intelligences all over the world. Corrupting them and sending them on a plight to bring order to mankind. This /order/ was actually another word for oppression of freedoms, liberties, and civil rights. For Ultron wished to control the world. Luckily for the denizens of Earth, Ultron was defeated by the heroic community.

What if? Ultron, and his Heavy Metal Horde, had defeated the heroes and won the war?

Hello True Believers. I am Uatu; though some call me the Watcher. And I've a story to tell.

Earth, what was once a shining blue green planet is now forever changed. From space, one might note that the blue green is still present, albeit far less blue and more silver. The silver is the hallmark of change and what one may consider progress.

Zooming in a little closer, the observer will see that the silver is metal. New construction that spans outward from every major city reaching over what was once rural zones and taking over the landscape. Reforming, remaking the Earth into a new image. An image designed by the mind of a robot. That robot's name, Ultron.

Drawing in closer, the observer will take note that nearly every human on the planet has been fitted with a control chip and made to work as slave labor under the direction of the One-Net. Essentially a uni or hive mind that interlinks those connected to one another so humanity can work toward a common goal. That connection brings /order/ to what was once individuality and the assumed chaos that went with it. Many connected were metahuman in nature (mutants, altered humans). Those have been given additional tasks to better suit their talent. For example Electro has been linked directly with the power grid to offer additional power. Same with Radioactive Man and many of the other heroes and villains with a generation type power set. Those that could create resources have been tasked to do just that - albeit these resources are now for the common goal. Everyone has a job, a task, and everyone linked must fulfill that role or be recycled.

Yet, not everyone on the planet has been connected to the One-Net. There are small pockets of resistance that act against the machine. Striking out to restore what once was. With the hope of defeating the oppressors and taking back what was theirs. Many of these persons were once the heroes (and even villains) of the world. They have come together against a greater foe and are the last, best chance, for mankind.

Come, True Believer, come and see what I have seen. Come, watch with me the unfolding of the story and see Humanity as I do - something unique to the universe, something that often overcomes the greater foe?

Our story opens with the remaining members of X-Factor huddled together within the subway tunnels beneath the 54th street crossing just north of Chelsea. Havok and Mirage have been fighting all of their lives against oppressors of their kind. Now they fight against the would-be oppressors of all of mankind. The robots.

They, with their rag-tag band of misfits (other former X-Factor members as well as a few other mutants) plan to strike against the seat of Ultron. Once known as X-Factor's Manhattan Base, AKA SHIP - the original X-Factor team base, a Celestial ship that disappeared into space after Apocalypse attacked with his diabolical Horsemen - is the location where Ultron controls all of the One-Net and orchestrates his designs. The SHIP is located in Midtown, Manhattan, and is the tallest structure for all to see. A shining example of progress and development. SHIP itself is no longer the altruistic AI that it once was. It has been reprogrammed by Ultron's nano-virus and now serves Ultron unquestionably. The SHIP is the target. X-Factor, along with Cyclops, Angel, Beast, and Colossus plan to get inside, link with the SHIP and reprogram it with a virus of their own. They hold the hope of hopes to accomplish this. If they are successful, then Ultron will be routed and the other resistance cells will have their chance to strike.

Seated together in the dark recesses of the subway tube, Havok and Mirage wait for the arrival of their friends. Both are starved, exhausted, and morale is at an all time low.

Havok sighs, reaches across and takes Mirage's hand. His eyes meet hers and he says, "We've got this." - stated in a flat tone with the hint of conviction.

The months since Robogeddon have not been kind to anyone and it certainly shows on Mirage. Dark circles, mostly hidden by the red slashes painted beneath, frame tired eyes. She opens them when she is spoken to having been taking the brief respite while waiting for the others for a bit of rest. When everyday is a battle for survival you make every free moment count for something.

A grim smile crosses her face and she lightly squeezes his hand with her own signaling her agreement "We have to have it. We aren't cut out for martyrdom."

The word Martyrdom brings a reluctant smile. He leans in and kisses her briefly before being interrupted by Cyclops. "You two, on your feet. We've got a job to do."

Havok withdraws and stands pulling Mirage up with him. Then sarcastically states in a low tone, "yes drill sergeant."

Beast and Colossus make an appearance.

Beast states, "The tides of war bring out the soldiers in us all. Though the hearts do not always follow what the mind becomes. - Samuels"

Colossus cracks a few metallic knuckles and says, "Today, comrades, is a good day."

With obvious reluctance Mirage pulls away from the intimate moment when they are interrupted. Taking her bow from its spot on the ground, she gets to her feet with the helpful hand from Havok, which she will continue to hold for the moment.

A brief expression of sadness flashes across her face as her gaze scans those gathered. If she knows (and she most likely does) who will be returning from this mission and who won't be, she hasn't shared that knowledge with anyone and probably wouldn't. "Then what are we waiting for? Let's do this.


----------------------------------------------------------

Meanwhile, in other parts of the city, Wonder Man and Arachne stand side by side within the ruined Dojo that once served as a meeting place for the unnamed team brought together by the Black Panther. The Panther is currently in Wakanda researching new means of defense to repel the robotic onslaught that targets his force domed nation. For he knows that the force dome will not hold for much longer.

Wonder Man is eager to bring the pain to Ultron. He has been fidgeting for hours. Standing up, walking about, anxious. But now, he stands next to Arachne as they peer northward observing the skyline - carefully watching the building for change. Other Avengers are scattered about the city, those that survived the robotic onslaught. They watch and wait for the signal. The plan is simple; when the shield goes down, Wonder Man flies them both inside and they lend to the assault of Ultron, hoping not to let him escape and regroup. The main goal however is to secure the SHIP, from there, with its Celestial level advanced technology, they should be able to jumpstart the resistance and bring about change on a global level.

Wonder Man asks regarding the activities of the X-Men, "You think they'll be able to do it?"

Arachne is very well practiced in staying still for long periods of time, but she has her limits. She moves from on ledge to the other, careful to not be observed from below. She watches out for anyone (person, cyborg or robot) that may be out to stop the plan. She is not aware of any moles in the ranks but that doesn't mean there aren't any.

When Wonder Man finally settles and she joins in him is watching Ship "Honestly?" she turns her masked face upward "I have my doubts, but I would feel that way about any group that went in, even the Avengers." her gaze moves back to Ship "The odds are stacked against them, we can only hope and pray they are successful.

With a nod, Wonder-Man agrees with her sentiment. His words are simple, "I hope so, too.". Then he becomes quiet.

Moments later, the whirling hum of a robotic hover-jet disturbs the evening's peace. From the other side of the building, the hover-jet rises from ground level to take Arachne and Wonder-Man into its sights. Pulse lasers are immediately fired as small bolts that spray the area in a constant barrage akin to that of a mini-gun. Tiny holes are punched in solid stone, metal strikes cause small explosions, and those that hit Wonder-Man only serve to piss him off.

The whirring of the vehicles engine makes Arachne turn and not a moment to soon. As soon as the laser gun starts to fire she springs into action, flipping and leaping about in an effort to avoid the dangerous bolts. There are very few safe places to hide from the barrage of weapon fire and none that don't leave Wonder Man to deal with the jet alone, which he probably capable of doing easily enough. But since they are supposed be together on this she goes to the only safe place available. Leaping from roof to a large antenna anchored to it, she take a half spin to aid her momentum and vaults herself to the hover-jet itself in an attempt to land on top of it.

Wonder-Man is a bit slower and surely less agile than Arachne. Yet, he arrives at the same destination. The hover-jet is about the size of a Chevy Tahoe with small wings on either side. While Arachne is atop the robotic hunter-killer, Wonder-Man smashes into the front, grabbing either side and with significant crushing force, destroys the front end.

However, the duo know from experience that the second they were detected, the hover-jet sent a signal back to the One-Net which triggered other drones to assault the location. Backup will soon arrive.

Wonder-Man says, "We gotta get out of here."

Thankfully Wonder Man saves her the trouble of having to disable the jet herself. Arachne scrambles back as the front end is crushed. She is guessing the only thing that is keeping it in the air now is the strong man's grip on it "Agreed." is her quick reply.

Pushing off the vehicle, she leaps through the air, toward the flying Wonder Man, though she probably doesn't assume that he is going to fly them away, the closest building just happens to be in that direction.

Dropping the crushed craft, Wonder Man will say, "Grab on, I'll get us somewhere safe." and has full intention of flying her to remote locations.

On her way past, Arachne grabs a shoulder with one hand, followed by the other as her forward momentum is suddenly halted. Thanks to the nature of her abilities she doesn't have to hold tight, assuming they work that way. As the two escape she keeps her attention on their surroundings in case they are sighting or followed.


------------------------------------------------------------

In Queens, just across from Roosevelt Island, cloaked by a high tech whatchamacallit, the Fantastic Four, sans The Human Torch (who fell in an earlier battle and is now powering the steam units downtown) waits for the signal. Replacing the Human Torch is a newly reprogrammed H.E.R.B.I.E. that has been sufficiently shielded from the nano-virus.

In Harlem, working their way down, is the team called Heroes for Hire, Misty Knight, Iron Fist, and Power Man. They begin moving into position in hopes of helping with the assault.

Just west of Midtown, in Hell's Kitchen, Daredevil and Spider-Man crouch at the ready. Spidey is nervous and has been making comical quips most of the evening. His latest involved him hoping that Doc Ock is still fighting with his tendrils and how funny - yet dangerous - for them to be in control of him.

Just north, in the park, Thor is found kneeling in the grass before a great oak. He prays to Odin for strength and power such that he and his companions may be victorious against Ultron and his formidable mechanical agents.

Standing at his side is Tigra and Firebird. The girls stand pensively while waiting for the signal.

In other parts of the city, other heroes (great and small) stand at the ready. All anticipating the signal from the X-Men that they have secured the SHIP and the real battle may begin. The battle to take back their lives, their homes, and their planet.


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Underneath the SHIP, the X-Men (X-Factor and X-Men combined) approach the potential access point. However, their approach is interrupted by the appearance of Cable who stands guard in the tunnels. It's a known fact that Cable has been infected by the nano-virus and he's been a thorn in the sides of many heroes. Standing next to him are Sabretooth, WildChild, Maverick, and Domino - they too have been chipped and corrupted by the One-Net.

Without hesitation, Cyclops commands, "X-Men, Attack!"

Colossus rushes into battle, taking blasts from the various weapons.

Beast bounds off walls and dodges attacks to enter melee with WildChild.

Cyclops blasts.

Havok blasts.

Mirage falls back at the appearance of the guard detail. She is not pleased at who is part of it either, heavy hitters with luck on their side. Their chances of surviving this mission are iffy and have dropped down even more by the appearance of Domino. Knowing what she is capable of, Mirage targets Domino with her fear power, hoping to trap her in an illusion for a few minutes at least so she can't turn her powers against them.

Domino's guns were blazing until the psychic attack struck her hard. She sees something from her forgotten past come to life, it terrorizes her and drops her down into a pile of sniveling fear.

Sabretooth and Beast have a feral fur flying fighting fest of ferocity until WildChild interrupts and it becomes bad for Beast.

Cable is struck by both Havok and Cyclops, knocking the cyborg through several walls of concrete.

Maverick becomes entangled by Colossus and Maverick realizes he's outclassed and is taken down nearly as soon as he's grappled.

With Domino down and trapped in her own fears, Mirage quickly lifts her bow, pulling the string back as she psychic arrow springs to life. With Cable out of range thanks to the duo-blasts, she targets Sabretooth. She's had to take him down like this before, so she knows exactly how much power to put into the psyarrow to take him out she doesn't want to overdo it this time in case she has to use the ability again to take out WildChild if the others can't take him out.

In moments, the villains are down and out of the fight. If it weren't for the raw power of the ranged attackers, the battle could have gone differently. Cyclops commands Colossus to bring Cable along, that they're going to need him and within a few minutes, the team is just outside the exposed area of the ship. Cyclops uses Cable's metallic hand and jams it into a hole to open the hatch. Cable is then dropped off outside and the team enters the living ship.

Soon, the team is accessing the SHIP and they come under attack from robotic defenses. They repel the defenses and the Beast is able to install the virus to take SHIP offline and purge it from the Ultron nano-virus.

When the SHIP is taken down, the signal is sent, and the united resistance closes in on their target. Ultron knows when he's not welcome and he flees to his secondary stronghold. But even that will soon fall. SHIP was the key. It was through the combined efforts of heroes and villains alike that turned the tide against their oppressors. The humans will take back their world, rebuild, and one day may even find peace.

This is where our story ends, True Believers. I, Uatu, bid you farewell and hope your universe is as jaw clenching, and exciting as my own.

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