Hello there! Pleased to be reading my first ever fanfic. 3 I had this idea of a crossover between the Marvel U & the Jak & Daxter universe for a very long time. Initially, I had my misgivings about the idea, so that is why it is only now that I'm actually putting pen to paper on the idea (so to speak, ha-ha).
I originally intended for the first portion of this 'aul speal' to be a self contained one-shot, but later thought to add it in as a kind of prequel to the events that take place later in the chapter. So I apologise for the random change in narrative~
Thanks again for taking time out to glance at this. It's all kinds of appreciated. 3
One fire burns out another's burning,
One pain is lessen'd by another's anguish.
Drip drip drip.
Drip drip drip.
It is said that the worst kinds of torture come in the subtlest of forms. There's no need to go gouging out finger nails, cover a person's mouth with a cloth and proceed to water board them, or go the movie clich route and administer a series of painful shocks for each noncompliance. Nope, merely get yourself a leaky tap and a chair in a dark room and you're good. And, if such a room just happened to be located in a massive high security futuristic jail, so be it!
Drip drip drip.
Boy, how someone ought to fix that tap!
Going back to the torture thingie, though. Yup, there's no need for extremes. A leaky tap. A chair. A locked, dark room. That's it. Heck, the only thing missing from this simplistic picture, if you wish to really take it to the higher tiers of endless pain you wild thaaaaing is a blind fold. Why? Total sensory deprivation. Sure, whoever you tag 'n' bag's still got their hearing, smell, taste, touch. But what's the point of them all if you can't see? What good is hearing if you can only record that annoying, constant dripping? What of touch if all you can feel is the metallic shackles immobilizing your arms and legs? Of smell and taste? And let's not forget. No sight.
Robbed of these preternatural factors, these base, innate abilities, one would go insane, come completely unhinged from the world solely because of a tiny, consistent leak.
But it had it's upsides too, at least for the torturer.
Stuck in an endless oblivion of black.
A scuffling of feet, a twist of head and roll of shoulders. A low, prolongued groan.
Ah-hah! There's life yet in the detained!
Welcome back to your skewered slice of Hell in'a Cell, Mr. Prisoner.
Sorry it isn't much to brag about.
Drip drip. Drip drop.
You passed out for a good while there. Got certain people worried. Not that any one in this god forsaken place gave the slightest unsavory damn about you, Mr. Prisoner.
A strain, a twist of fixed hand.
A fruitless effort.
Beneath blinded 'lids, you grimace, a terribly toothy snarl. It's no good, you figure, so you decide to backtrack. Recollect your steps. And try against all the odds to piece together the turn of events that have led to you winding up in this terrible, terrible place. But the events of the past day allude you. You try to roll your head in annoyance, but a sharp, throbbing pain darts along one side of your face, and you assume you've been bludgeoned, at some point, which resulted in short term memory loss. But thankfully, everything beyond yesterday you can recall. You can remember who you are, the adventures you've had, your friends, allies, and enemies.
When it hits you.
You've been here before.
How hauntingly familiar it must be to you, Mr. Prisoner. Not the the robbed sight or faulty water appliances.
But the restraints.
The shackles, hindering your arms and legs.
Merely the thought of being imprisoned once more is almost enough to set your blood a boil. It's a thought you never guessed, never even reconsidered the chances of happening again. Not since proving your worth, countless times.
Yet reality's often a pain in the unmentionables and for all your undaunted skill and prowess, you're locked it again.
Drop drip, drop drip.
Incarcerated on false pretences, no doubt.
Drip drop, drip drop.
Hmm. Sounds familiar.
However, compared to the last time you roughed it after becoming the newest lab rat, this time you've no idea who is calling the shots. Pulling the strings. Ticking you the heck off.
For the love of Chris, that's annoying, bordering on provoking. Someone really needs to-
In your mind's eye, the storm clouds clear and disperse, as you grasp the intent of your unknown jailers.
Of course. Why else would anyone have the faintest of interests in you.
You take a deep breath, smirk nervously. You came to know the meaning of hatred and vendettas in a hell hole such as this, if not in the same place. Barely of teenage years, your first words after remaining tongue-tied for so long were to wish death upon the one who changed you, equipped you with those nasty ivories and instilled within you a fiery rage and penchant for violence to match the hordes of your greatest enemies.
But it'd mean giving into the interests of your unseen foes.
You adjust your posture, best as possible.
You feel that dark, sinister eco build within you, you draw on it...
In a single, frenzied burst of arcing energy and crackling lightning, the chair gives way, your shackles and restraints break off like shattered glass as power oozes from every inch of your terrifying being, bouncing off the walls, striking the ceiling, leaving no corner of the dark room untouched. Including the sink. The dark eco coiled around that infernal sink and faulty tap, a tentative snake smothering its quarry, until it exploded in a shower of sparks.
In the silence of the dark room, your blindfold slips off.
The tap is finished, the torture no more.
Yet in the pits of your blank, soulless eyes, left by your submission to power over shrewdness, not a flicker of recognition regarding who you are, who you were, remained.
And somewhere beyond the confines of the dark room, down the varying corridors and turns lingered the malicious sound of cruel, triumphant laughter.
Ordered Logan as he steeled himself for battle, bravely leading the charge as he boldly faced the regiment of Purifier soldiers wielding various types of firearms and weapons on open ground. They commenced their attack in response to his command, quickly laying down a biting salvo of lead and pain. The bullets, of course, didn't harm someone with his incredible knack for healing even the most grievous of wounds. This didn't apply to the rest of his team, however, a rag-tag group of assassins, mercenaries and plain old killers, originally brought together to deal with threats of global and personal scope before they went on to become a major problem in future years.
Holding off to wait for the enemy to come hankering towards him, Logan mentally struck each member in turn off the roster:
There was Deadpool, the merc with a hell of a mouth, who could as much talk his targets to death as well as neatly slice their heads off.
Archangel, the man who rained hell from above with flechettes of cruel steel and agony from wings of gleaming, techno-organic steel.
The beautiful Psylocke, the team's resident telepath and who had a whole bag of tricks leaped and stepped about briskly, elegantly, a butterfly in the body of a killer.
Completing the motley crew came the mysterious Fantomex, a man whose secrets practically had secrets, his arms jerking and moving with the kickback of each full magazine he unloaded into the bodies of his enemies, eagerly returning their fire in spades.
That left Logan. Wolverine. James Howlett. The mutant who'd seen it all, lived through most of it. The one who waged a constant war with his own instincts let alone his enemies and chequered memories, recollections that even he thought twice to assess their clarity. People had taken pride in screwing with his head before.
And here he is now, fronting the latest incarnation of the mutant wetworks team, X-Force, where killing is compulsive, but not always moral. He'd laugh at any other time. But not now. Not when bullets were zinging past his head, peppering him more than a few times in his legs and legs, and riddled his chest. Growling low, Logan ducked and flashed his claws, skewering the nearest Purifier to him before straightening, turning, and then driving home his other set of claws clean through the meaty shoulder of a second soldier. Hapless cries of men screaming, their macho countenances crumbling under the efficient force of the team's murderous prowess. Dropping the two slain soldiers, Logan side-stepped out of the path of a charging Purifier equipped with a strange looking gun, and slipped behind him. A fast backhand swipe across the back of the neck decked the gun-ho soldier, permanently. Another slash destroyed his weird weapon.
The fight had only been 10 minutes old and already enemies were dropping like flies, an armed contingent 50 strong or more quickly whittled down to single digits. Soon desperation was spreading through the ranks of those left standing. Deadpool hacked away with his katana, harping endlessly on about a ludicrous story involving a peanut jar and a very drunk bear, Archangel dive bombed the few brave enough to make a stand by themselves, away from the frigid safety of the others. Psylocke occasionally stooped to probe the minds of the fallen and barely conscious, searching for information that may prove useful for the team to be aware of.
The combined efforts of the group had reduced the enemy's numbers to a mere four. Snapping his head to the right, Logan roared to Fantomex to fall in beside him and together they engaged the last of the soldiers, taking their lives with slashes and bullets.
The battle won, with the enemy dead at their feat, the remainder of the team filled in around Logan and Fantomex, as a tentative calm besieged the plain of battle.
"And aaaallll the pew-pews went bye-bye~! Heheeee."
"Shut up, Wade."
Logan glared at Deadpool, then eased his gaze and looked around at the others. "The hard part's done. Now for the rescue. Bets, have you found out where they've taken him?"
Elisabeth 'Betsy' Braddock, aka Psylocke, brushed away strands of her simmering dark purple hair, then pressed the tips of her fingers to her temple, shut her eyes, and focused. "In a holding cell at the back of the complex. It's unguarded."
"Good. Let's go."
Waving the team forward, X-Force climbed the ramp into the building. Desiring not to hang around for too long, they briskly passed through the building, Psylocke lingering near the front of the group to guide the way. After a few twist and turns and stretches of long corridors, X-Force arrived at a heavily fortified door.
Plunging three of his claws into it, Logan sliced it apart, then kicked the door inward, allowing some ambient light from outside to filter in and illuminate the cramped room.
Sat with his legs crossed, gaunt and slightly more emancipated than before, was Gateway, the aged mutant with the ability to teleport others through the use of wormholes. Placed in front of his feet was the special bullroarer he'd often twirl above his head when generating said tunnel to anywhere other than where he was.
"Gateway, old friend. Time to go." Logan's voice was surprisingly soft and reassuring. The old timer took this chance to clamber unsteadily to his feet, stick in hand. His gaze was uniformly distant, glazed, yet almost sympathetic, and directed at Logan. It seemed as if he was sorry for some unknown act.
Logan offered his hand, moved further into the cramped room which now he realised smelled of offal and gone-off from the rest of the team, back to the door, attention for all but Gateway, Logan couldn't have seen what was to happen next, regardless of experience.
"Been a long time, Dad! Sorry this visit's going to be a short one!"
Familiarity kicking in, Logan whirled around, arms raised, and sighted the source of the interving voice.
"Daken! What are you up to now-"
As Logan tried to speak, back in front of him Gateway raised an arm, bullroarer within grasp, and rapidly spun his fingers, causing a fierce gale to erupt in the room, signalling the creation of one of his portals through time and space.
It opened up directly beneath Logan's feet.
"But I'll be seeing you again real soon!"
As Logan's footing began to waiver, while the portal dragged him downwards, the last sounds he could remember hearing was the chiding guffaws of his son's triumphant laughter, the hastened outcries of X-Force reacting too late, and the mental telepathic condolences of a tired old man withered from the world and its forever vexing troubles.
"Alert, alert! Prisoner escaped quarantine! Extremely dangerous!"
Alarms whine at deafening levels, warning lights bathe each corridor in halting red. Soon every vacant passageway became awash with dozens of Krimzon Guards encased in their distinctive red armour and brandishing various types of shock and blaster weapons. They swarmed the level in question with a hurried goose foot march, swiftly sealing off immediate exits to eliminate the escapee prisoner's chances of busting out of the place. Almost at the exact same moment, that same prisoner wedged its way through the remains of what had been the reinforced door to the cell that had imprisoned it, and stepped out into the walkway, thick with guards.
As dark eco sparked and forked outwards in all directions from its lumbering mass, a dehumanised Jak stared straight ahead with eyes of endless black, devoid completely of all sanity, all emotion, except that of rage. Instinctively, the KG took a precautionary step backwards; none of them at this moment in time had ever witnessed such a demonic sight before. Mouth curling into the formations of a muted snarl, significant amounts of electrified dark eco rolled off of the white monster and struck at a few nearby guards, then the beast itself was up and moving, charging straight into the opposition. Fingers curled into nasty claws as they danced across the surface of the KG's pesky armour, the beast easily shaking off their putrid attempts to shock and blast it, capable of ignoring most forms of pain, for what good were they to a monster like him. This temporary resistance to harm afforded him the chance to really rack up a kill count, wildly reaping great swaths of damage through the guard's ranks, brutally tearing apart that resilient armour through a series of repeated strikes, pummelling the few who refused to roll over and die.
In this frenzied state, Jak was a force of unparalleled ferocity, a god, even.
Hoisting the last guard left alive off his feet, Jak's ebony claws dug into his neck, drawing blood and causing a vast amount of untold damage. The guard squirmed once, then went limp.
Dropping the guard, Jak stood on the spot for a while, taking deep, calming breaths. Then suddenly, the sound of a gun being fired erupted from behind, and the next thing Jak felt was something pierce his neck, followed by a zap of strength, and collapsed. Sprawled on the floor, his paroxysm finished, Jak reverted back to normal, yellow-green hair and all. Unable to move, all he could see was a pair of feet pad up next to him, legs bending at the knee as the weapon of his downfall came within sight, coupled by the eerily familiar voice of a man he previously thought dead.
"Sweet dreams, eco freak."
Then Erol reloaded his weapon, stood up, aimed, and fired a second time.
Watching all the commotion occurring in the prison from the safety of his tall palace, Baron Praxis frowned intensely at the flickering screen sat before him. He carefully observed the footage that showed the...creature...easily lay waste to some of his best men. As self proclaimed ruler of Haven, seizing the throne by brute force a short time ago, it had never crossed his mind to delve in any experimentation practices on prisoners such as Jak. Not yet, anyway. For this Praxis was still new in his steed, and the metal head threat had not yet become a spiralling problem he couldn't pay off. And he wasn't dead, either. No, in a strange twist of fate, he had learned all about the dark future in store for him. Plus, the jarring news that he'd be six foot under in a few years time, and how this figure on screen, the warped, ghastly visage of a man turned monster, which he helped create, was partly to blame for his downfall came as a huge wake up call for him.
When the prisoner had finished his massacre, he looked on as he teetered and fell over, then witnessed Erol, his right hand man and commander of the Krimzon Guard, loom into view to lay Jak low even further.
At this, the baron exhaled sharply, and turned on the spot.
"Alright, you have my attention. I'll hear what you have to say."
After a few seconds, a figure sat opposite him stirred with motion, settled the cup he'd been holding on the table, then rose to his feet and strode over to the Baron.
"My dear Baron, I'm humbled to hear that. Although, for all you know, I could still be lying..." A soft chuckle escaped the stranger's lips. He was dressed in a strange attire, abnormal even for this culture; a purple shirt, crimson tie, black slacks and sneakers. The inklings of a large, tribal-like tattoo that covered the left half of his chest, back, and snaked down along his left arm, was scarcely visible under the collar folds of his shirt and rolled up sleeves. A black mohawk lined his skull, and he had the kind of countenance about his face that suggested he had an hidden agenda all of his own. Daken, a bastard dog in name as well as physical conduct. He had a nasty way of worming deep into the minds of others, mostly to toy with their emotions for his own selfish gain.
"Well, I said I'd promised you a glimpse of the deadly enterprise you would pursue years hence, in hopes of initiating a programme to create the ultimate band of soldiers in order to win a one-sided war not in your favour, I believe." Daken paused at that moment as the Baron scowled irritably. He didn't like to entertain thoughts of failure, particularly if they inevitably resulted in his death.
"Cut to the chase! I've got a war to wage!" Urged the Baron.
"And a war you will loose." Reminded Daken. "But I've come to offer you a wild card, a dark house as it were. I can guarantee he'll forge a path of destruction to eclipse even that of this monster." Daken gestured to the screen. By now it showed Jak being hauled off to a new location, unceremoniously dragged along by a pair of Krimzon Guard clutching an arm each, tentatively. Clearly fearful that Jak could stir at a moment's notice and renew his trail of carnage.
"So you say, but I would be a fool not to take you at your word." The baron shot back.
"Of course." Daken agreed. "That's why I have a suggestion - If you're willing to hear it?"
"I was thinking of holding an exhibition match in the prison, between this Jak character and the wild card I have to offer, as a show of faith."
The baron took this into consideration carefully. Jak was difficult enough to keep restrained - a testament to his future self's ability to pick the choicest of crop for experimentation - so what were to happen if he pitted the eco freak against someone of matching, maybe even championing skill? True, he could theoretically obtain a rouge to aid in his warfare campaign, do to him what he would do to a younger Jak, years from now, henceforth changing history, warping the eventual outcome. Win, rather than disastrously loose. Live, rather than fall.
And he always strove to win, by whatever means.
"Then you'll get your match."
"Excellent-" Daken was about to clap when Praxis interrupted him.
"But I want to see this man you speak of beforehand. Today."
"...Yes, that can be arranged..." Strangely, Daken's attitude changed, his expression growing morbid and serious. "I will start making preparations now. If you'd excuse me...?"
With an approving nod from the baron, Daken turned away and headed for the exit. Before he got there though, someone on the other side had opened the door and stepped through. The person had been Erol, and when he took his attention away from the door to look ahead he found that brooding man, that schemer, that ghost. Erol's gaze locked with Daken's momentarily, and one could swear they saw fire erupt in that visual conflict. They were, in their own, cruel way, as bad as the other, deceivers, obsessors wanting all yet having none.
Then the door closed, and all was silent once more.
"Somehow, I have a gut feeling that I'm going to regret this." Confessed the baron.
Several hours after the incident in the prison.
Logan was falling. Circling, spiralling, slipping through the meticulous web of reality, time and space, a vortex of converging streams, of flashing lights and portals to other worlds where one alternate decision held a powerful influence over the outcome of certain events. As the poignant mutant fell through that cauldron of chaos, in a flash it was all over, replaced by nothing. How long Logan was out cold for, he couldn't say - heck, he could've been unconscious for five, ten, minutes, even an hour or two for all he knew! But one thing he couldn't mistake was the clicking of guns being loaded in eerie unison, a domino of slight mechanisms that could spur a sluggish and feeble man to action in a handful of seconds.
Hauling himself erect, Logan spread his arms wide, a loud growl rumbling deep at the back of his throat.
Six foot-long blades of brilliant adamantium steel lanced forth into the frosty air with a frightful 'snikt' sound.
"What the hell is going on!" Blasted Logan, glaring over at the opposition.
Standing in a row a few feet away from him were a group of Krimzon Guards arranged in single file. One guard stood a part from the others. If one looked close enough they could see, despite all the armour and the terrifying mask, they'd find his brown hair to be tied back in dreadlocks.
"You're under arrest." Stated the guard, his voice altered and amplified by a device covering his mouth and chin. He hadn't drawn any visible weapons, but the line of fire-power at his back was a comforting thought. It all felt wrong, to call a seemingly innocent man out like this. Yet, orders were orders, so he made like any good little shoulder would in his position and carried them out. He was to assemble a group of KG in an area recently lost to the metal heads. Dubbed 'Dead Town' by the survivors of the incident, only last week had it been a part of the city. Then a battle broke out, and mid-way though it, the baron ordered his forces to retreat, leaving anyone outside the newly constructed barrier to die. The 'Soldier' tried to protest, claiming this to be a foolish tactic when victory was so near at hand. But again, orders were orders, so he played along, despite his better judgement.
The screams of the dying plagued his dreams for five nights.
"You've got to be kidding me, bub!" Logan took a step forward. The corpse of guards shuffled back the same distant, There was something about the enemy's claws that had them all but a bit frightened.
But the 'Soldier' didn't move, failingly to even flinch by the runt's advance.
Instead a cold sweat slithered down his spine. He took a precautionary breathe, voice an octave lower than before.
Logan ignored. Took another step...
And fell down, a neat collection of five stunning darts piercing his neck.
Off to the side, Daken came into view from beneath a large chunk of crumbling mortar and brick. As ever, a demented grin dominated his pseudonym features, tauntingly joined by a satirical bellow.
"You're making this too easy, old man! What happened to all that unparalleled skill, that century's worth of unrivalled experience? All talk, you are! And please, the 'Best There Is'? Ha! Don't kid yourself!"
Paralysed, barely able to move, Logan heard the voice of his son speak up. He motioned to say something, but words failed to roll off his tongue, his jaws instead moving in a looped, noiseless chatter.
Circling his incapacitated father, a predator after his wounded prey, Daken tossed the weapon he'd used to strike down his father away and squared. Sneering, he cupped a hand around the bottom of his father's scruffy chin and turned his face toward his own, attracting the loathing, shameful gaze of the one person he wished to be acknowledge by. Repeatedly being denounced by your only living parent was a hard burden to ensure, especially when others lesser than Daken had an easier time of gaining his father's caring attention.
"This is for all the times you took pity on me." Spat Daken into his father's face. "Take comfort in the fact that you've no allies here, none of your little X-buddies or Avenger pals to hail for help. "
Daken shifted his weight, inhaled deeply, then leaned in close to whisper into Logan's ear.
"So I am going to show the world the true you, put your uncaring black heart on display for the world to see and peel back the layers of falsehood encompassing what you are at the very core."
Drawing away, Daken stood up and said no more other than beckoning the KG over to collect his offer to the baron. The soldier directed three of his men to manhandle the mutant and load him into a nearby prison transport. Daken waited a while, then followed the procession as all the other soldiers dispersed except for 'him,' the one with the deadlocks. The brooding child shared a glance with the voiceless trooper, then walked on.
At that moment, the 'soldier's initial unease resurfaced with a jarring vengeance, as a single thought filled his mind.
This is a mistake.