In the waiting room, Kate was sitting in a chair between Nelson on her left and Blonsky to her right and Ricky laying down in front of her. She pats her knees and begins whistling 'Old Macdonald' mostly to keep herself entertained while also trying to annoy the two mercenaries sitting next to her. They were able to put up with it and were unfazed. The fact that they were unfazed fazed Kate and she was the one who was annoyed at them for not being annoyed. But she still engaged in a conversation with them.
"So, what are your motives?" she asks abruptly. "Leader wants Bruce's power, Gargoyle wants to be cured," Bruce told her his enemies' motives before they arrived here. "What about you two?"
"I need the money, I have starving mouths to feed in my family," Nelson answered.
Blonsky then said, "I just need the money, nothing else at all." He then looks at her and smirks, "What about you? Why are you here? What is your motive?"
"Peer pressure," she joked, "I'm far too sensitive to stand up for myself and Bruce told me to go with him and I did." She thought the joke was funny but it wasn't to the group she was sitting with so she took a more serious turn, "I just wanted to help out."
"You're lucky you're with Banner, otherwise Leader would've tracked you down in a flash and killed you. Or even experimented on you to try and make a She-Hulk or something." Blonsky sighs deeply out of impatience, waiting for Leader to snap off more orders. "I am so envious of the power that Banner has. If Leader was doing experiments, I would be the first to volunteer."
"No thank you," Nelson replied over Kate's head to Blonsky, "I like my human body and I love the fact that I can be free to express my emotions anytime. So no Hulk experiments for me. Plus, I don't want to put that kind of stress on my family."
Kate's look transitioned from one to the other as each person began talking. She was observing their conversation and even Ricky sighed in boredom. She finally asked, "Any word from Leader?"
Nelson checked his walkie talkie to confirm her question. "Nothing. Looks like you still leverage to us."
"Leverage, what the hell do you mean, Nelson?"
"You thought that you were just going to sit here for absolutely no reason at all? You thought wrong."
"You know," Blonsky began, "Leader predicted that you would arrive here and he told us to keep you in our clutches one way or another for the big event tonight."
"What the hell are you talking about?" she snapped at the two and stood up only for Blonsky to physically force her to sit back down.
"You think Banner would change willingly, it's anger that brings out the monster and what is more infuriating than watching someone you care about get hurt in front of you and you're unable to do something about it?"
Kate forced herself to laugh to try and cast it off as a joke but she was getting scared of what she was hearing. "You guys are such amateurs; you think that just because your boss predicted something like this would happen, then it would happen."
"You know," Blonsky challenged her, "It was also Leader who predicted that you would be sitting in this chair right where you are sitting in right now."
She went silent and stared hard at Blonsky, wary of whatever move he was going to make. "If you guys even think about using that M99 on me again-" The slightest twitch in his hand caused her to jump out of her seat mid-sentence. Nelson struck her in the back of the head hard with the butt of his gun and knocked her unconscious. Ricky started barking hysterically at his fallen master but Blonsky already lunged for the dog and tranqed it with an M99 syringe. Both the dog and human laid unconscious side by side.
"I love this tranquilizer," Blonsky cheers for himself, "Not the first time I've used it on this dog as well."
"Shut up about your victory," Nelson berated. He grabbed Kate and picked her up over the shoulder before ordering, "I'll take her to the Gamma Knife lab, you get that dog out of here. But don't kill it."
"Sure." Blonsky picks up the unconscious dog and takes it down the elevator while Nelson transports Kate to the room with the Gamma Knife.
Several minutes later, after Bruce made his 'peaceful' negotiations with Leader, he was taken to a lab with a chair with a dome built around it. He was changed into purple cargo shorts and strapped in to make sure that he would not be escaping anytime soon. Gargoyle, who still makes one last attempt to become human, approaches Banner with desperation.
"Please," Gargoyle begged like a whining child, "I want to be normal. Please, make me normal. How do I cure myself of this hideous form."
"Gargoyle," Leader called out again to his subordinate, "Now is not the time. Wait for my ultimate victory and then you can celebrate your loss."
"So," Bruce spoke dryly and somewhat sarcastically. "What is this machine supposed to do? I'm no expert but it doesn't look like something a chiropractor would use."
The Leader laughed in pity at how weak jokes before sitting down in a chair surrounded by a dome on the opposite side of Bruce. "Joke all you want and don't be alarmed by anything that comes next." Leader rolls down his orange sleeves to reveal bullet-shaped holes drilled into his wrists and he begins plugging an orange wire into each wrist before explaining what this was all about. "You see those wires connected to your capsule? Those wires were designed by me for the sole purpose of siphoning gamma radiation specifically from the Hulk and redirected to a target, namely me, granting me all of your strength and with my brains and brawns matched together, I become a god and you become nothing but a lifeless husk."
"Lifeless husk?" Gargoyle panicked. "That was not part of our deal." He points an accusing finger at Leader in his capsule, "You promised Banner would remain alive long enough to change me back to normal." A gun was fired and Gargoyle collapsed to the ground on his knees, clutching his bloody stomach in agony. He presses his lips together and looks up to see Leader aiming a gun he built with a red handle, trigger, and barrel, indicating that he was shot with a gamma-irradiated bullet.
"I lied," Leader laughed as he tucked the gun away.
"You…" Gargoyle wheezed, "...traitor…"
"You're allowed to die, Gargoyle; we are in a hospital after all." He then turns back to Bruce and nods at him. "Now, as I was saying, doctor, rage on."
Before Bruce was going 'rage on', he decided to mock Leader one more time because he was a spoiled brat who deserved to get his ass handed to him. "I'm feeling pretty relaxed and mellow right now; you clowns put on a good show."
And Leader's rage was about to reach its peak, "What the hell? Why aren't you mad? You told me you would give me your power so why aren't you giving me your powers?!"
Bruce's eyes drift off to the room, pretending to study it with interest, "Say, this is a very comfortable place. Did you guys do this yourself?"
"Wow," Leader almost gasped before he realized what Bruce was doing to him, "How droll and characteristically unamusing you are, Banner."
"Thank you, I'm complimented."
"And I'm offended. I think it's time to wake up the beast inside of you. You may have had a good five years with this green creature inside of you, but time for a new moniker to take its place." The Leader grabs a remote from one of his pockets and aims it towards Bruce's capsule. "Say 'ahh'." He presses a button.
Bruce regretted it, but he screamed 'ahh' in agony as electricity shocked him from the chair he was sitting in. It lasted for maybe a second or two before he calmed down and took a deep breath. He was not feeling angry and Hulk did not feel like coming out any time soon. "Damn," he mutters to himself, "He's trying to wake you up, Hulk."
Hulk is not coming out, no matter what.
"What?" The Leader repeated after him, "Shocked that you didn't muscle out? It's okay, I can wait all day if I have to. Why don't I up the shocking?" He presses a different button and sends electric shocks that were more painful than before. Bruce still did not hulk-out because Hulk refused to hulk-out. "Still keeping a tight lid on those emotions, no worries. Just a few more shocks should do the trick." Bruce was shocked several more times with a voltage that was more painful than the last. It felt like his insides melting into liquid and he was crying in agony after each shock.
"Tsk, tsk, still holding onto your emotions? How noble of you."
Bruce breaths deeply and slowly as he could to slow down his beating heart. He was in a mental argument with Hulk over why he should just break free.
Bruce: Hulk, give him ninety percent of the power then leave the remaining ten percent with me. Destroy Leader from the inside out.
Hulk: Hulk is not coming out, no matter what puny human says.
Bruce: Both of our lives depend on it. We could be tortured for the rest of our lives.
Hulk: Hulk can deal with it.
Bruce: Leader will be talking on and on and on over the most ridiculous things, we have to take him down.
Hulk: Hulk doesn't want to fight.
Bruce: Why not?
Hulk: Leader is too annoying to fight. He is no threat, Hulk can beat him any day, but Hulk is tired of his annoying behavior.
Bruce: All the more reason to break us both out of this capsule. If you do nothing, you'll only have to put up with him more.
Hulk: Then he will know Hulk is better than him.
Bruce: You've turned into a real narcissist.
"What are you thinking, Banner?" The Leader abruptly questioned after picking up on Bruce just staring off into space. "You thinking of how much you're going to miss Hulk when he's gone? Don't worry, Bruce; you'll be too dead to miss him."
Leader realizes that Banner was not going to hulk-out from physical pain and considering that he transforms out of emotions, he took a more psychological approach. He spoke into his earpiece, "Nelson, is she ready?" Nelson responded that she was. "Good, turn on the camera." Leader then looks back at Bruce, who snaps out of his mild conversation with Hulk. "I give up. I give up...on shocking you into becoming the Hulk."
"Do you admit defeat, though," Bruce asked in a voice of jokiness and raspiness.
Leader denied this claim before saying, "There's no point in using physical force. I mean, Hulk is based on emotion and not pain. So, I'm going to take a more tactical approach."
Bruce rolled his eyes and smirked at Leader like he knew something that he didn't. "Sure you are."
"Of crouse," the villain 'reassured", "I already planned out a contingency."
Bruce's eyes widened in horror when a sudden thought struck him like lightning, "What the hell did you just do?"
"Look over the monitor." He uses the remote to flip on a screen to Banner's left and there laid Kate in an MRI machine with duct tape around her mouth and a terrified look on her face. "Isn't she a beauty?"
"Kate," Bruce screamed in terror, "You promised not to lay a finger on her!"
"I lied," Leader laughed as he looked over to Gargoyle, who was still crawling out of the room and leaving a bloody trail behind. "If you thought this was my only endgame, then you are dumber than my mother, and she's in a coma."
Leader leaned back in his chair with a sigh before he explained the scenario that Bruce was in. "So, this is what's going to happen. You are going to transform into the Hulk or else I'm going to turn on the MRI device with a click of this button and Kate's head will explode. I know, dramatic, but let me explain." He gestures to the MRI device on the screen, "The Gamma Knife room I replaced gamma radiation with microwave emitters. Which means once I press this button, her brain will be microwaved until it blows with brain matter splattering all over the room. So you have a choice of either turning green or turning Kate into a casserole." He holds up the button to the screen to emphasize his point. "Speak now or forever hold your-"
Gargoyle (who snuck up on leader) swung a wooden chair on Leader's arm, causing him to have the remote slip through his fingers and Gargoyle to swing the chair again at his stomach area. The wires fell out of the drilled holes in Leader's wrist as he dives for Gargoyle and takes the dwarf to the ground.
The Leader may have been taller than Gargoyle, but Gargoyle had training from when he was part of the Soviet Army before it disbanded in 1991. He was able to evade the Leader's grasp despite being wounded and jump onto Leader's back and put him in a chokehold. The sight of this would've made Bruce laugh at their bickering but he was too concerned for Kate's safety to laugh.
"Gargoyle, you traitor!" the hypocritical villain shouted at the top of his lungs. He stood up on his feet and slammed his back into the wall, crushing Gargoyle like pastrami between two bread slices. Gargoyle yells in pain as his wound expands like a balloon inflating. On the other hand, the Leader knows how to perfect every single martial arts move of any kind of martial arts known to man and he flipped Gargoyle over his shoulder and broke his arm.
He steps over his treacherous right-hand man to reinsert the wires into his wrists. He did so just in the nick of time because it looked like Bruce's anger was finally about to spike.
Bruce: Hulk, if you're not going to hulk-out for me, do it for Kate.
Hulk: Hulk never hurt Kate, Hulk protect Kate.
Bruce: It's now or never. Give Leader what he wants. Give him power.
Bruce's eyes turn green, all the rage that had slowly been building up within him finally came to a release as he grinds her teeth and stares at Leader with a death stare to pierce his soul. He saw the Leader cheer and it brought a small smirk to his mouth. The skin all over his body turned green and the wires connected to his capsule start to heat up. Bruce roars in anger as his arms expand and muscles grow. He snarls like a dog as he reaches the final stage of his transformation and is now Hulk.
The capsule was siphoning all of Hulk's power and that's when the wires heated up to the point they turned a dark red color. In the other capsule, Leader's eyes widened as he realized that Bruce was now Hulk and that all the power was about to be siphoned. He feels the blood in his wrists heat up like a furnace and he starts burning up but he ignores the pain and cranes his head back. "The power!" His already green skin was turning a darker shade and his body began expanding, muscles very slowly protruding from his limbs, stretching his orange uniform to its limit. The first sign of his uniform ripping caused Leader to cheer once more. He grew in his seat and the seat bent underneath his weight. It was like the first time he saw Bruce banner turn into the Hulk: Beautiful, god-like. "More power than I ever dreamed of!" His shirt ripped down the middle and he jumped out of his seat when he reached ten feet tall and ripped the wires from his wrists which were already beginning to heal and he roared in triumph. The only thing that remained the same as the Leader was his enlarged cranium.
"Beautiful," Leader's voice was deeper than his previous as he looked over in Bruce's capsule. Bruce had returned to normal and was lying motionless in his chair, not a single muscle moving. "Thank you, doctor, for the power." Leader Hulk turned to Gargoyle over to the side and walked over the man now the size of an ant compared to him. Gargoyle refused to cower in fear and glared at Leader Hulk. The villainous hulk-like being leaned over to study Gargoyle and regard him with discontent. "Dead like the gargoyle you are, Yuri Topolov."
Next thing that happens, Leader Hulk smashes a fist through the wall closest to him just to demonstrate his power before he claws the rest of his way through. Nelson ran out from the room with Kate inside to see Leader Hulk jumping out the wall before sprinting towards another wall and jumping through to fall seven stories to the ground. He ran off into the city just to show off his power.
Downstairs, Blonsky, who carried the unconscious Ricky out through the secret passageway that Bruce and Kate entered through earlier, walked down the alley to come across the agent that Bruce was trailing earlier. "You got M99'd, didn't you?" he asks the sleeping agent like he was alive. He was about to throw Ricky into the nearest dumpster before the earth shakes underneath his feet for a brief second and he hears car alarms going off and sounds of heavy objects like cars crashing into one another. He puts the dog down and runs down the alleyway to see Leader Hulk swatting cars away as they drove down the street, picking up two and hitting them together like cymbals.
Blonsky was entranced by what he saw, unable to take his eyes off of the power that was being displayed in front of him. "Beautiful…"
Back in the room with the capsules, Gargoyle slowly bled out on the ground as he listened to the destruction echoing outside. Bruce still laid there in the chair, motionless for what seemed like forever. Gargoyle watched Bruce as his eyelids became too heavy to keep open but the sound of Bruce's slight coughing peeled his eyes open immediately. "Dr. Banner?"
Bruce lifted his head, eyes still closed, and ground his teeth down together. When he shot his eyes open, they were still green and his heavy breathing indicated that there was still anger present within him. Those green eyes were drawn over to Gargoyle as the little dwarf crawls to his knees and scoots over to the remote that Leader dropped. He pressed the green button and the restraints around Bruce's wrist released. Bruce jumped out of his seat as fast as a jaguar and lifted Gargoyle high above his head with only one head.
"What?" Gargoyle gasped at the strength that Bruce was displaying, "How is it that Hulk is still within you?"
"Gargoyle," a deep voice with anger said softly, "You thought that Hulk was just a force? He is an individual."
Gargoyle was not a dummy; he was able to put two and two together in a matter of seconds. "You let Hulk break out of you to give to Leader? Why?"
"I don't think Leader is going to like the real Hulk when he meets him." Bruce slowly puts the dwarf back down on the ground before rushing out of the room. He punched the door off of its hinges. Ninety percent of Hulk left him and was transferred into Leader but ten percent of Hulk remained with him. Even with most of Hulk separated from him, he was still able to telepathy connect to Hulk even from a long-distance away.
Bruce: Hulk, can you hear me?
Hulk: Hulk can hear me?
Bruce: It worked, thank you.
Hulk: Bighead has a lot of junk in his brain.
Bruce: Not surprised. I need you to bring the Leader back here so we can reverse the process and take him out.
Hulk: Hulk is confused, why not just let Hulk hulk-out earlier and then take him down?
Bruce: The only way to throw Leader off our tails for good was to get him to not want the power anymore. Show him what it's like to have your power and then bring him back here.
Hulk: Hulk will have fun with bighead.
Bruce: I'm sure you will.
Bruce smashed his way through the door leading to the Gamma Knife room. Nelson was standing in front of him and he quickly grabbed the mercenary by the collars of his jacket and threw him across the room. He screamed as he collided with a glass cabinet of medicine on the other side of the room. He looked at the MRI device behind the glass and saw Kate's with her hands tied. "Kate," he almost gasped.
He moves in to help her but Nelson grabs Bruce from the side. Bruce grabs both of Nelson's hands and uses his super strength to swing him like a baton into the wall and left him tossing and turning on the ground in pain.
Bruce then tweaks with a few buttons at the controls to remove Kate from the MRI device. Once she is rolled out, he runs in to discover that she was restrained to a gurney and her mouth was still taped shut. He rips the tape off her mouth and her yelps in pain. "Why did you have to rip it off?" She notices that he's stripped down to a pair of purple shorts. "What happened to you? Did you hulk-out again and I miss it?"
"Not exactly," Bruce denies as he rips the restraints off of her wrists with his bare hands, shocking her. "Leader got what he wanted."
Kate was even more shocked as she rubbed her bruised wrists. She was about to say something else before she saw Nelson sneak up on Bruce with a fire extinguisher. "Look out!"
Nelson hammered the weapon on the back of Bruce's head but like a statue, he stayed standing. He did take out his anger on him by grabbing him by the throat and launching him through the glass EMC window and he crashes through it. He turns back to Kate to reassure her, "Thanks for the heads up."
"What do you mean Leader got what he wanted?" she demanded once more as her feet were freed.
Bruce then explained what happened in the other room with the capsules. "Nothing major, but we have to get ready for when Leader comes back." She questioned him. "I may be separated from the Hulk, but because the Hulk was born out of me, we share telepathy. He's going to give Leader a ride to his hell before driving him back to this hospital where we're going to reverse the process."
"Perhaps I could be of assistance."
Bruce and Kate turn to the voice coming from the shattered window. Gargoyle was there and he was holding a hand over his wounded stomach as he met with Bruce and Kate. "I can help you reverse the process, turn everything back to the way it was. When Leader made the machine, he made it so that it would self-destruct upon completion. I know the schematics and I am excellent with improvising on the spot." He leans against the wall and almost falls before Bruce catches him. Gargoyle looks up into Bruce's green eyes and smiles upon realizing that his theory was correct. "We're gonna get the rest of Hulk back into you."
"Why are you doing this, Gargoyle?" Bruce asked, "I thought we were enemies?"
"The enemy of my enemy is my friend." He looks down at the blood on his hands. "For far too long, Leader has pushed me too far. This time, I get the last laugh."