The Man Out of Time


"Nothing burns like the cold."

- George R.R. Martin

Arctic Circle, Greenland - November 2195

Even in a world full of superpowers, the cold could be deadly. Though there were some exceptions with certain individuals, humanity's aversion to settling in the far north and south only proved the rule that the cold was not to be trifled with.

The wind howled across the dark frozen landscape, carrying a blanket of white with it. The sun was less-and-less noticeable in the skies lately, signaling the beginning of the arctic winter. The merciless ice was starting its yearly campaign to reclaim its lost territory from spring. A seemingly endless cycle of thaw-and-freeze.

This battle was suddenly interrupted by an arctic vehicle driving across the icy surface. It was a heavy-duty, black truck equipped with caterpillar tracks to provide better traction. The headlights on the front and roof shone through the whiteness yet provided limited visibility. The two occupants inside were grateful the GPS was still functioning.

Moments later, the occupants spotted a faint red light peeking out of the driving snow. As they drove closer, they recognized a person holding a long pole with a glowing red beacon on top, waving their arm out to them. The truck slowed down before finally parking a couple of meters in front of the signal-bearer.

The front two doors opened as the occupants stepped out and into the blizzard. To avoid the frigid air's deadly bite, they wore thick arctic jackets, insulated pants, and snow boots. The duo carefully ambled to the equally dressed signal-bearer.

"You the guys from Washington?" the signal-bearer asked.

"You get many other visitors out here?" the driver quipped.

"How long have you been on-site?" the passenger inquired, getting straight to business.

"Since this morning." The trio proceeded to walk together. "An oil crew called it in 18 hours ago."

"How come nobody spotted it before?"

"It's not surprising. This landscape is changing all the time. Hardly anyone comes out here anyway." he answered, still holding the beacon pole. "Any idea what this thing is?"

"No clue. Probably just a weather balloon."

More red beacons could be seen bleeding through the snowstorm. Other people could be seen moving in close proximity to the lights.

"Ha! No way." he quickly dismissed. "Yah know, we don't have the equipment for a job like this."

A dark object was slowly becoming visible amongst the beacons.

"How long before we can start craning it out?" the driver asked.

"I don't think you understand. Unless All Might tagged along with you, you're gonna need one hell of a crane."

Walking closer, the dark object was revealed to be a huge piece of metal protruding out of the ice. A group of people were carefully walking around it and placing beacons around it. A man was atop the large structure, 5 meters in the air, shining a bright flashlight as he examined it.

At first glance, it looked like the tip of an airplane wing.

The Washington men were speechless. Through the blizzard, they could see the marker lights the crew had placed stretched out far into the snowy blanket. Whatever this object was, it was definitely not a weather balloon.

Looked like it was time to get to work.

Half an hour later…

After talking with the onsite crew, the Washington men had a clearer picture of what the structure was. The size and shape were indicative of an aircraft of sorts, given its boomerang shape. As for the when, what, who, why, and how for the unknown craft's presence here that was up to them to find out.

As SHIELD agents, the special training they had received helped prepare them for investigative missions like this.

The truck passenger from earlier was kneeling to the ground. His right glove was taken off, revealing his lighter-skin hand, as brilliant green laser-beams fired from his fingertips. With superb concentration and good control, he was able to cut a clean yet imperfect circle into the aircraft's hull. The hunk of metal finally broke free and fell, making a loud clang sound as it hit the floor beneath.

The agent stopped firing the lasers and grimaced, swiftly putting his glove back on to prevent frostbite.

"Smith, you okay?" The driver asked out of concern.

"Y-yeah… fine." The revealed Agent Smith answered, biting his cheek as he felt the pain slowly reside. "Been a while since I used my quirk like that."

A few crewmembers rolled a small crane into view, carefully positioning it over the hole.

"Still, not bad. I'm curious, with a quirk like that, why didn't you become a Hero?"

He chuckled ruefully. "Heh. It's not much of a heroic quirk. Can only use it for ten minutes out of the day. Anymore and my fingers would be unusable - could even burn them off." He turned to him. "Now that wouldn't be ideal, would it, Williams?"

The driver, Agent Williams, visibly cringed at the imagery. "Oof. Sorry about that."

He shrugged it off in a nonchalant manner. "Eh, don't be. It's fine… Most kids dream of being Heroes, but only a blessed handful can achieve that. Rest of us just gotta make do with what we got, yah know."

Agent Williams nodded in understanding. As a quirkless man, the Hero profession was completely off the table for him. Nevertheless, he was thankful to have this job, seeing it as the next best thing - even if it could get wearisome somedays.

Today was thankfully not one of those days. After all, it's not every day you get to investigate an unknown flying object (UFO)... or at least a former UFO.

'Hopefully there aren't any probes inside.' He internally mused.

The two agents ambled to their vehicle that had been pulled up closer to the extraction zone. Their equipment was stored in freeze-resistant cases in the backbed. They carefully retrieved it and got to work placing it on them.

"Alright, the crane's all set!" One of the researchers shouted. "You guys ready?"

The agents stepped forward with their furred hoods pulled back, wearing fully sealed high-tech helmets with clear visors, breathing apparatus, communication system, LED lights and camera. Strapped on their backs were protected oxygen canisters. It was unclear what was inside the craft, so precautions had to be taken.

Doing a quick radio test, confirming their communications worked, the agents confirmed they were ready.

Moments later, with the mechanical whirring sounds of the crane in the background, Agent Smith was steadily lowered into the aircraft by a cable and harness, an LED flashlight strapped to his waist. Snow flurries gently fell and accumulated on the floor. Bright light from above shone down from the hole, illuminating the innards of the craft for the first time in a long while.

As soon as Agent Smith's feet touched the grated floor, he unclipped from the harness. Agent Williams was already inside, shining his flashlight around them. The air inside was stale and frigid, with the only circulation coming from the hole in the roof. The metal walls and floors around them were lined with layers of ice. Breaches in the hull were also visible.

"Base, we're in." Agent Williams notified through his com.

"Copy that."

The two agents carefully proceeded down a grated walkway with handrails, shining the light wherever they could. The sounds of their footsteps on the grated path echoed throughout the craft. Untrained normal people would feel uneasy in this situation, but the two agents using their past training steeled themselves.

Closely examining their surroundings, they noticed lining both sides of the path were stacks of dull, gray cylindrical casings with attached fins at the ends, hanging from support carriers to which were attached to the ceiling supports.

There had to have been hundreds.

"What is all this?" Agent Smith wondered.

They came across an intersection connecting to a perpendicular walkway. On it, they spotted one of the casings lying on the grate. Agent Williams carefully approached the object and kneeled by it, shining his flashlight over it.

His eyes widened slightly in recognition. "Bombs."

"If that's the case, don't get too close!" Smith urgently exclaimed. "Could trigger an explosion…"

Williams then noticed something emblazoned on the bomb's shell. "Actually, I don't think these are the exploding type. Look."

He pointed his light at the shell, revealing a biohazard symbol.

"Chemical weapons." Agent Smith turned his light around and noticed the same symbol printed on all the other bombs in view. "Think this could have been from the third war?"

"Maybe. Looks like a 21st century bomber…kind of. " Williams stood up; his eyes catching a glimpse of more bombs lying below the grated pathway on the aircraft's bottom hull. Looked like they fell off during the landing. "Though that begs the question, whose bomber was this? And what the hell is it doing all the way out here?"

"That's two questions, but," Smith looked ahead and saw an open hatch door at the end of the path, "we may find answers in there."

The agents cautiously proceeded forward and stepped through the hatch. The other side was a seemingly large open area with angular support columns. At the far end was a large, grated windshield that would have provided the pilot an excellent view.

The cockpit. An unusually large one at that.

The agents stepped down a small flight of steps onto the floor. The cockpit was in very rough shape. Breaches in the hull were prevalent with the support skeleton bent and broken in various areas. Layers of ice had leaked in and seemingly filled most of the cockpit's empty spaces.

Looking ahead toward the big, broken windshield they spotted what appeared to be smashed control panels and the pilot seat.

"No sign of human remains." Agent Smith noted. "Maybe they ejected before the crash?"


Agent Williams pointed his light around the control area and revealed a sizable chunk of ice around the pilot's chair that extended to the rest of the ice in the room. Not seeing anything that resembled a human body, he was about to look away until catching a faint gleam of something.

'Wait…' Williams squinted his eyes. He focused his attention on the area around the chair. He could've sworn he caught a glimpse of colors aside from the gunmetal gray and icy white that had mostly dominated his vision.

Sauntering forward he kneeled by the ice, whipping away a thin layer of frost.

The agent gasped as his eyes widened. 'No… it can't be…'

"Smith!" he called out.

Agent Smith turned and walked up to his field partner, wondering what he found. Pointing his light at the ice, his own eyes widened in shocked disbelief.

"Are you seeing what I'm seeing?" Williams asked, trying to confirm his vision was correct.

"My God…" Smith activated his com-link. "Base, give me a line straight to the Director."

"Sir, it's 3 AM where he is." the man on the radio responded.

"I don't care what time it is." Smith retorted. "This one's waited long enough…"

The object in question was a 26-inch wide, metal disk with a five-pointed white star at the center in a blue circle. Surrounding that were three concentric circles colored red, white, and red respectively.

A relic from a bygone era.

A/N: Hey everyone! Happy to be back. I wanted to give my thanks for the feedback given on the three stories I suggested.

After taking those responses into consideration and giving it some more thought, I decided to do two stories. This story and Ben 10: What If. I've already made good progress on What If chapter 1 and plan to release it within 1-2 weeks, so stay tuned for that!

I've decided to take this story in a different direction than the concept I initially threw out of it being a full-out origin story. Gave it some and put myself in the seat of a reader, asking myself what I would want to read if this idea was thrown out to me.

I'm pretty excited for this project, and hopefully you'll give it a chance.

Still deciding on a name and design for Midoriya's new Hero identity since he can't exactly reclaim his old one without giving away his secret. Suggestions are always welcome.

The story cover art is temporary, by the way. If anyone has suggestions on the art and design for a permanent one, I'm open to hear them as well.

Next chapter: Old-Fashioned Ideals - Midoriya meets the modern-day Symbol of Peace himself and comes to learn of his condition… and his jaded view of modern heroism. A flash from the past! Does Midoriya have a place in Hero Society? Or are his ideals simply out of date?

Anyways, please leave any comments, critique, or suggestions in the review box below. Thank you for the support!