Author's note: Okay folks this is it, the big finish! And I have to warn you this chapter is huge! A lot bigger than I planned, but I hope you enjoy it nonetheless.
The scene was one of chaos and anguish.
With the exception of Reed Richards, also known as Mr. Fantastic, the Fantastic Four were dead. Also dead was Agent Coulson and for that matter everyone who once lived in the small town of Shaymore Maine. And to make matters worse, an attempt to destroy Chthon and free Carrie White had resulted in granting the dark demon god a corporeal body. He now no longer needed Carrie White as a vessel at all.
His raw power was beyond omnipotent, it would be sheer madness for anyone to challenge him now.
But this meant nothing to Reed Richards, who had just watched his family murdered before his very eyes. Reed prided himself on his logic, on his control of his emotions no matter the circumstances.
But rage makes for a poor tactician.
"MONSTER!" He howled as he hurled himself at Chthon only to be blasted by pure mystical energy that vaporized him in an instant!
As the malevolent force that had once been called the Anti-God reveled in its newly created body and the power that came with it, nearby, Carrie White began to stir.
As she regained consciousness there was only one thought consuming her at the moment as tears streamed from her eyes.
"Phillip, oh God Phillip."
She had watched Chthon kill him with her hands, and she was powerless to stop it.
"Finally awake I see." Chthon observed, looking over his shoulder at her.
Carrie glared at him with unrestrained hatred.
"Your hate fills me with joy little one. It is like a warm embrace that I welcome with open arms."
"You made me kill and destroy." she spat with great venom to which Chthon scoffed in response.
"You were already capable of those things long before I took possession of you child."
"YOU MADE ME KILL PHILLIP!"
"Yes, I suppose I did. I must confess, I enjoyed that immensely." Chthon said as Carrie screamed lashing out with a telekinetic attack, but Chthon effortlessly reflected it back at her as she was mowed down by it.
"What are you?" Carrie asked in a thoroughly disgusted manner as she looked up at him from the ground.
"Something beyond your puny comprehension."
"Very well. Before your species even walked this Earth I was a god supreme. I was part of a race of elder gods, but my power grew, greater than my brethren, and thus they learned to fear me. This fear gave way to desperation, so my fellow elder gods aligned themselves with a powerful archangel and banished me from this universe into my own pocket dimension. They then placed powerful spells and seals in place that prevented me from returning. However, though I was trapped I could still observe all that was transpiring across space and time. Imagine my surprise when I learned that the once righteous angel that had helped banish me had fallen from grace and then attempted to rule in my stead, absurd."
"Archangel? Fallen?" Carrie pondered, "Lucifer?"
"Yes…Lucifer." Chthon confirmed as Carrie suddenly realized that he had read her thoughts.
"Of course, Mephistopheles!" Carrie thought to herself. "He must have battled Chthon back when he was still a faithful servant of God before his fall. No wonder he knew about him!"
"Indeed. That was the reason that he tried to seduce you into giving him your soul. He knew what was coming, what my plan was. He was simply too full of pride to be honest with you. Of course that was always a cardinal sin of his. I needed you on this plane of existence, alive and well for my ages long task to come to fruition."
"What task?" Carrie asked.
"My freedom of course. Though my fury was great, I knew that it was only a matter of time before I would find a way to return. Years, centuries, millennia, eons even. It mattered not to one such as I. What your pitiful race perceives as time is naught but a blink of an eye to one of my lineage.
Though I could not return to Earth in the meantime, I eventually learned through my mastery of the dark arts that it was indeed possible for a small sliver of my essence to slip through, albeit briefly. Rare constellational alignments permitted me brief access to this world, it was then that I began to garner human worshipers who dedicated their lives as well as their souls to me."
"Worshipers? The sacellum of the Darkhold?" she recalled.
"Yes, among others. In time the hapless mortals and their chaotic science granted me a select few opportunities as well. One of those opportunities proved more fruitful than the others. One faithful night…over eighteen years ago...nine months before your birth." He finished with a fiendish smile as the realization struck Carrie like a ton of bricks.
"You remember the story don't you? The one that your mother told you about the night that your father took her against her will? She assumed he was drunk…he wasn't…it was me."
"Y-you?" She stuttered with shock.
"Yes Carrie…I am your father, your true father. Where is it that you think you got your power from child? The spells barring me from Earth prevented me from entering fully through the portal the humans had ripped open during their 'Arrowhead' experiment, but I was able to briefly take possession of a human vessel. Long enough to impregnate your mother before the closure of the portal ripped me back out of him."
"No, no, no, no, no NO!" She denied futilely.
"You can deny it all you want, it does not change what is. Not that it matters. Suffer no delusions lowly earthling, there are no paternal bonds between us. You were merely a means to an end."
"What do you mean?" She asked with disdain.
"For years I waited patiently as you grew, waiting for the day that your powers would start to manifest, for the day that you would start to use them. You were my anchor to this universe, and every time that you used your power the walls between your dimension and mine grew ever weaker. The night you slaughtered your classmates is it when it truly began. And then after that when you were found by S.H.I.E.L.D. Every heroic act, every good deed, every battle you fought, only served to bring me one step at a time closer to returning to this world. It's rather ironic, in your pathetic quest for redemption and salvation, you only succeeded in damning this entire world for all time to come through me. All this time you were serving my will and doing my bidding, even if you didn't realize it."
"I swear to God in Heaven, I will find a way to stop you!" She growled.
"That's the second time today that someone has vowed in the name of your silly Judeo Christian creator to destroy me. Your worthless Uncle. And you will soon be just as dead as he is."
Weak, battered, disoriented and in a state of emotional turmoil, Carrie was unable to accept what she was hearing, and lashed out in blind anger. She uttered a scream that summoned a powerful telekinetic wave, but when it hit Chthon it did absolutely nothing as the elder god allowed himself a hearty laugh.
"Foolish child, your power comes from me, what makes you think you can harm me with it?"
"Not directly perhaps." She responded as she outstretched her arms from her sides and then threw them back together as anything that wasn't nailed down came flying off both sides of the street.
Trash cans, sidewalk benches, bicycles, newspaper boxes and even alley dumpsters. But it was all futile, for everything that hit Chthon seemed to bounce off an invisible barrier that was no doubt a far more powerful version of Carrie's own telekinetic force field. After the endeavor Carrie looked as if she were about to keel over from the exertion on her part, which only served to elicit another cackle of amusement from the entity.
"Such a laughable attempt! Even if you were at your full strength your power would be nothing compared to mine. In your current condition you are beyond pathetic! You possess but a fraction of what I am capable of, you can not stand against me! You are alone, you will always be alone."
But just then there was a crack of thunder as lightning streaked across the sky causing Chthon to stop for a moment and look up to the heavens. Moments later someone not of this world came bolting down out of the sky. Long locks of golden hair flapped in the wind as a powerful Asgardian flew through the air with a flowing red cape and a twirling hammer. He landed nearby as Carrie looked back.
It was Thor.
A few seconds after that the earthshaking roar of a jade giant echoed through the town as the Hulk soared in with a tremendous leap from the distance landing next to Thor. Then without warning an explosive arrow detonated upon Chthon's head as Hawkeye repelled off a rooftop. From a house directly across the street Black Widow somersaulted down sticking a perfect landing as suddenly the faint sound of booming music could be heard approaching from far away. With 'Shoot To Thrill' by AC/DC blaring Tony Stark announced his arrival in one of his Iron Man armors as he came in for a landing next to the others.
And last but certainly not least, walking out from an alleyway to join the rest of the group in a star-spangled suit and shield in hand, was Captain America.
"She's not alone. She'll never be alone." Captain Rogers proclaimed.
"Impressive heroes, but it will take more than the likes of you to stand against me." Chthon belittled them.
"Oh gee, wish we'd thought about that." Barton said.
"Oh wait, we did." Stark added as suddenly flying down behind them was the Blackbird as Wolverine, Storm, Iceman, Colossus, Beast and Kitty piled out of the opening ramp way.
Immediately after that Spiderman suddenly swung in landing on the side of a lamppost as Chthon heard the sound of a roaring motorcycle behind him. He turned to see the Ghost Rider roaring down the town's main drag as Blade, the daywalker stepped up next to the demon of vengeance after he came to a stop.
It was an imposing gathering of Earthly defenders. But even their combined might paled in comparison to what Chthon was capable of. There was so many things he could do to them if he chose. However…it had been soooo long since he had his true form back, so long since he killed someone with his bare hands. Yes indeed, he could take great pleasure in doing that. With that he decided to see what these so-called heroes were made of as he purposely lowered his telekinetic field.
As Carrie slowly rose back to her feet, the combined heroes all gathered behind her.
At that point only two words left her lips.
As one they moved, attacking all at once.
Steve Rogers hurled his shield through the air as it slammed hard right into Chthon's face, it gave the other heroes the momentary distraction needed to converge on him before he could react. Hulk, Thor, Beast and Colossus proceeded to pummel Chthon as Spiderman shot web bolts directly into his eyes. At the same time the Ghost Rider wrapped his mystical hellfire chain around the dark one while Iron Man, Storm, Iceman, Hawkeye, Black Widow and Blade opened fire with every manner of beam, bullet and projectile they had at their disposal. The Ghost Rider then added to this with an intense blast of hellfire from his gaping maw as well.
Carrie then unleashed a focused telekinetic strike that caved in Chthon's sternum while Wolverine dove in with his adamantium claws disemboweling him. Kitty then phased through him and then quickly made herself solid again as she passed through getting a firm grip on Chthon's brain as she ripped it clean out of the back of his skull.
Finally he fell…but they all watched in horror as he completely regenerated and rose back up none the worse for wear. As he did so his eyes glowed a blazing fiery red burning the web globs that Spiderman had blinded him with completely away.
"My turn." He snarled.
Instantly a mushroom cloud like wave of pure mystical energy reeled off him leveling every hero on the field of battle. Anyone whose endurance and stamina levels were not superhuman were instantly taken out of the fight. Which meant that Hawkeye, Black Widow, Bobby, Kitty, and Storm were down and out. Tony's armor had protected him, but it was severely damaged and most of his systems were offline. As a result of this he could not move and was trapped within it. Carrie had managed to protect herself with a telekinetic barrier, but it still shattered causing her to take some of the blast but not all. She wasn't out, but at the moment she could not stand up. Those heroes who were superhuman and otherwise enhanced had been weakened but were still in the fight as they tried to charge back into the fray.
The first and quickest to recover was the Hulk who barreled into Chthon as he slammed his massive fists into him again and again. But Chthon revealed his own superhuman strength giving back as good as he got as he drilled the green goliath with powerful punches of his own. It soon became obvious however that the best Chthon could hope for in a physical exchange with the Hulk was a stalemate. As such he decided to call his powers into play once again. His first attack was subtle but still quite terrible as he made the Hulk's brain explode inside of his skull. Instantly the monster fell, but a few seconds later he was back up again as he lunged once more. Next Chthon pulverized every bone in his body into gravel, but in no time the Hulk as back up again. After that he waved his hand and the Hulk's entire epidermis ripped clean off of his body as he fell to his knees screaming in agony with a bestial howl.
But for the Hulk, pain equaled rage…and rage equaled power.
Once again he rose as he slammed his right fist into Chthon's head shattering his skull! But Chthon's regenerative powers were easily on the same level as the Hulk's as his head reformed. The elder god then blasted the Hulk with two concentrated beams of pure mystical energy that burned into his flesh and pinned him down upon the ground. However, slowly but surely, the Hulk rose and began to walk towards Chthon pushing himself against the beams.
Chthon was equal parts surprised as well as angry. Never had he encountered a beast with this kind of raw strength and tenacity. But he had also grown annoyed with this creature who dared to defy him and thus with a simple wave of his hand, he literally launched the Hulk into orbit taking him clean out of the fight. In earth's orbit it would only be a matter of time before the Hulk would revert to Banner and the helpless human would freeze and suffocate in the cold depths of space.
The next to recover was Thor as his hammer Mjolnir flew through the air hitting Chthon squarely in the chest pushing him back a few feet as it then returned to the Odinson's hand. Thor then held it up high summoning lighting as he used the hammer as a conduit to blast the demon deity. But Chthon just started to laugh as he seemingly absorbed the energy. Angered by this the Asgardian charged, leaping and landing in front of Chthon as he drove his mighty hammer into his arcane adversary again and again knocking him this way and that. But at one point Chthon caught one of Thor's swings as he began to crush the arm that was holding Mjolnir causing Thor to wince in pain, but still he refused to release the hammer. Chthon then proceeded to beat the son of Odin senseless with repeated punches to the face. But still Thor refused to yield as he struck back with punches of his own. Once again growing annoyed Chthon brought forth his vast mystical energies as he let Thor have it with blasts from both of his hands that sent Thor flying and smashing through several houses before his body finally rolled to a stop. He did not rise again.
The next to attack were the remaining mutants as Beast landed on Chthon's shoulders pounding away while Colossus charged in grabbing him in a crushing bear hug in an attempt to break his ribs. At the same time Wolverine lunged burying his claws deep into the dark one's chest. Roaring in a combination of pain and anger a pulse of mystical energy surged from him that sent the remaining x-men flying in all directions. But it did far more than merely send them away, it also erased the mutant gene from their bodies. In an instant both Colossus and Beast became human and were also knocked unconscious. Wolverine meanwhile had not been knocked out…though he was wishing that he had. He unfortunately suffered a worse fate as he writhed upon the ground in agony. Without his mutant healing factor the adamantium that was bonded to his skeleton began to kill him in the most painful way imaginable.
Meanwhile Chthon suddenly found himself assailed by copious amounts of webbing from Spiderman as he was practically mummified. Ghost Rider than rammed him head on riding his hellcycle as Chthon went down. The being once known as Zarathos then leaped off of his bike and landed on top of him as he gazed into his eyes.
"Your soul is stained with the blood of the innocent. Look into my eyes…feel their pain." The rider commanded.
Chthon began to scream as he felt the power of the penance stare begin to affect him. But the elder god's power was far greater than any demon or angel. With a horrendous shriek from Chthon the Ghost Rider exploded into a million pieces. However even with the destruction of his physical body, the spiritual essence of what he was remained, an odd amalgamation of what the angel Zarathos once was and the demon that Mephistopheles had merged with him.
With but a snap of his fingers Chthon tore the angelic and demonic aspects of the rider apart as they both ascended/descended to their places of origin.
Spiderman then swung back into action using his extreme speed and agility to bounce off of everything surrounding Chthon as he landed a succession of quick hit blows. But then Chthon used his power to halt Spidey in mid air.
"What a unique mutation you have child, let us see what happens if we push it…a little further." Chthon smiled as Peter suddenly began to feel strange.
"Wha-what are you doinaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhh!" Peter screamed in misery as Chthon's dark powers transformed him into a hideous multi legged spider beast.
The transformation proved to be too much for Peter's psyche to bear as his mind literally turned to jelly. The monster he had now become took off in a random direction in search of prey to feed upon as Chthon allowed himself another laugh. That laugh was abruptly cut off however by two blades suddenly stabbing out through the front of his eye sockets that had been plunged through the back of his skull by the daywalker.
In a combination of pain and rage Chthon used his powers to alter Blade's vampire biology. Suddenly he burst into flames…he was no longer immune to the sun! Eventually there was nothing left but ash.
It was at about this time that Carrie finally regained the strength to stand as she looked all about her at the carnage that Chthon had wrought.
"Oh my God." she murmured in dismay.
"I am God now child." Chthon retorted.
"There is only one God. And as long as I breathe I shall serve him alone. And as long as I live I will fight you!" She announced.
"Then you shall feel death's embrace little one." Chthon told her as he blasted her with a concentrated beam of energy.
She tried to stand against it with another telekinetic wall, but it was just too strong as she was sent flying and smashing into a nearby building that proceeded to collapse on top of her.
If one were watching what had transpired from the sidelines, it would be easy to assume that Carrie couldn't be anything but dead.
But she wasn't…
A single steel I beam lodged in a precarious position only inches above her was the only thing keeping several tons of wreckage from crashing down upon her. But despite this saving grace Carrie's grip on her mortal coil was tenuous at best. She had received grievous injuries from Chthon's attack and had slipped into a combination of unconsciousness and shock.
Buried beneath the rubble and hovering somewhere between life and death, Carrie suddenly found herself in a strange metaphysical realm.
At first there was nothing but blackness, but eventually the world around her began to come into view as she found herself standing within her former home in Chamberlain, looking as it once did before her powers brought it crashing down. She seemed confused at first, wondering how she had gotten here, until, a familiar voice spoke to her causing her to spin around.
"The devil's got you now child."
There stood her mother glaring at her with unbridled contempt. But she also bore all of the various injuries that Carrie had inflicted upon her leading up to her death.
"Momma?" Carrie replied in a mixture of surprise and bewilderment.
"I was right all along, you were a cancer, and I should have cut you down." Margaret went on.
"Momma, momma you're alive?" Carrie cried as she started to move towards her only to be slapped across the face.
"Witch! I was right then as I am now. If I had done the right thing when you were born none of this would have happened, and I would still be alive!"
"Momma, momma I'm sorry. I didn't mean to…"
"Oh what a load of shit!" Another voice suddenly spoke as Carrie looked over her shoulder.
There was Chris Hargensen of all people, but she looked hideous, misshapen and badly burned. This is how her body looked after it had been salvaged from Billy's car after the explosion.
"You didn't mean to? Like you didn't mean to kill everyone at the prom? You psychotic little bitch!" She began to taunt her with a hateful leer as she proceeded to walk in circles around her, "They're dead Carrie! I'm dead! Billy's dead! Your mother's dead, all BECAUSE OF YOU! I was right, you are a freak. More than that, you're a monster!"
"NO! That's not who I am, that's not what I am, that isn't the real me!"
"Isn't it?" A voice that sounded exactly like hers abruptly cut in.
Carrie turned in the direction of the voice to see a tall mirror and her reflection. But her mirror image was in her prom dress and covered in pig's blood just like from the night of the prom. It then gave her an evil smile as it continued to speak.
"Why not just be honest with yourself? You enjoyed it."
"No! I am a servant of the Lord!"
"And are you stupid enough to think that he still loves you? Still wants you after what you've done?"
"Shut up!" Carrie spat.
"The broken bodies, the burning flesh, the blood, the screams. Face it, surrounded by all that death…you never felt more alive."
"NO! That's not true!" Carrie cried out in protest as her evil visage suddenly stepped out of the mirror and proceeded to walk towards her.
Startled by this Carrie outstretched her hands to use her powers, but for some reason they weren't working.
"When will you accept the fact that this is your true self, your only reason for being. This mask of righteousness that you wear, and the 'S.H.I.E.L.D.' that you hide behind, are all a lie." Her malicious twin went on as she was joined on either side by both Margaret and Chris.
As the trio advanced on her Carrie turned to flee, only to slam face first into something as she fell to the floor. She looked up to see that she was suddenly back in her closet once again. She was trapped!
Coulson's eyes slowly fluttered open. He expected to find himself still lying upon the street in Bridgton but found himself somewhere else instead. He also was no longer lying down but standing and surrounded by an all consuming light that he could not see past. Then suddenly something began to materialize before him. A pair of shiny pearly gates and standing before them was an aged man with a white beard draped in miscellaneous robes that seemed evangelical in nature. Much like the classical renaissance paintings of Michelangelo and Pietro Perugino. Coulson was already having sneaking suspicions about where he had ended up but decided it was best to ask some very important questions.
"Where am I?" Coulson asked.
"Where do you think you are?"
"I don't know. The last thing that I remember is Chthon giving me the pimp hand, that hurt."
"Indeed, he broke your neck."
"For the moment, yes."
"For the moment? What exactly does that mean?"
"I'll get to that, but first, finish your questions, I know you have more."
"Um, okay. Who are you?"
"Saint Peter? So that means that this is…oh." Coulson realized with sudden worry and a funny expression.
"Relax my child, you have nothing to fear."
"You always save your harshest criticism for yourself don't you?"
"So…you're St. Peter?"
"You seem surprised?"
"Where's your keys, your book of names?"
"I'm afraid you've been influenced by Earthly popular culture." he began with a smile, "There are no keys or book, we don't need them."
"So you just…know?"
"Kinda like a God powered supercomputer?"
"For lack of a better understanding on your part, yes." Peter said with a slight laugh.
"So, this is…heaven?"
"Yes. Or more to the point its front gates."
"Am I to be judged?"
"You already have."
"You have earned your way into God's good graces with a life of selfless love and heroism. Same as the last time you were here."
"Last time? On yeah, Loki."
"But I was only dead for like thirty seconds."
"Doesn't matter, time operates differently here."
"But I don't remember being here before."
"You weren't supposed to."
"Guess that makes sense."
"But in any case, you have been deemed worthy of entering his kingdom."
"Oh, well, that's good."
"Yes indeed it is. But there's just one problem."
"Uh, okay, What's that?"
"It is not your time yet."
"Okay, so what do I do? Camp out, out here?" Coulson asked as St. Peter chuckled.
"I like your sense of humor, he does too by the way."
"Oh, that's good. Uh, and about the pimp joke I made earlier?" Coulson said awkwardly.
"You know I'm not actually supposed to be out here. Another figment of your culture, normally I stand at the side of God. But you are a special case, and we need you to help another."
"Yes, he has a task for you."
"Yes. You are to be his instrument. To guide her, to show her the way."
"Yes. Now listen closely."
"No! No, no no, someone please let me out!" Carrie shouted as she started pounding upon the closet door.
But just then cracks began to appear in the floor beneath her through which an eerie fiery glow could be seen shining through. The floor itself began to break apart and fall away as both terrible sounds of an indescribable nature and intense heat rose up through the quickly disintegrating floor under her feet.
"Oh merciful heaven…is that Hell?" Carrie thought with horror.
Terror stricken Carrie began pounding away even more furiously at the door as her screams intensified but it seemed to be to no avail.
Suddenly hands began to reach up through the quickly growing pit and latched on to her, trying to pull her down. There was nothing else under her now as she hung precariously from the closet doorknob, with both her grip and the doorknob itself slowly but surely giving way. She looked down and finally got a good look at what was trying to pull her down. Whatever they were they were so hideous that they couldn't be anything else but demons. Further down below them she could see Mephistopheles smiling up at her.
Carrie's terror began to give way to despair.
"Has this truly been my fate all along? Is that what I deserve? Was my hope for salvation just a lie?" She thought.
But then, up above her, a light began to shine down upon her. Another hole was opening in what had been the ceiling of the closet as a beautiful cascading light poured out bathing her in its brilliance. Suddenly she saw a form emerging from the source of the light, one that she couldn't make out at first, but as it drew closer she finally saw who it was.
There before her shrouded by the almost blinding light was what appeared to be Coulson.
"Giving up already?" He asked.
"I was wrong."
"I don't deserve to be saved."
"That's your mother talking…not you."
"I'm a monster."
"No you're not."
"I'm a killer!"
"You're only human."
"After what I've done!"
"I'm a believer in second chances. And your evil double was wrong. God does still love you and want you."
"But do I deserve that love? Perhaps this is my fate." She droned despondently.
"Nonsense! You are a Christian, you don't believe in fate. God gave you free will for a reason. You can choose!"
"Face your fears and overcome them."
"What if I can't?"
"You can. You have all the power you need, if you dare to use it."
"But my power came from an evil place, it came from Chthon!"
"No, that was never your true power. You serve a greater power, and he's waiting for you to call upon him."
There was a faint glimmer of fleeting hope rekindled in Carrie's tear filled eyes as she looked down at the pit beneath her and then back up at Coulson.
"Just reach up my child…and take my hand." He said as Coulson's voice suddenly changed.
Carrie could then feel another presence with her, one that filled her with love, strength and hope as Coulson extended his hand towards her.
This was truly Carrie's defining moment. Despite how powerful she had become, the friends she had made, joining S.H.I.E.L.D. as well as the numerous villains she had defeated. THIS was her real test, her true battle. If she ever wanted to be able to truly atone for her past sins and move on with her life, it would be decided here and now.
Would she rise…or would she fall?
Meanwhile back in the real world only mere seconds had gone by. With time operating differently in the mortal world than it did in the realms of salvation and damnation. Captain America finally came to as his eyes opened. The supersoldier serum flowing through his veins had enabled him to recover far quicker than the average human, but because he was still not quite as strong as the other heroes who had recovered first, it had taken him longer to shake off the effects of Chthon's initial attack.
He picked himself up off of the ground to see that everyone else had apparently already fallen and that he now stood alone against this ultimate evil.
"And then there was one." Chthon taunted as his eyes fell upon the valiant soldier.
Steve knew the odds were hopeless…but he'd be damned if he was going to let that stop him. He then scooped up his shield and began to slowly walk towards Chthon.
"It is pointless to fight against me. Beings possessing far greater strength than you have already fallen before my might. But I can see that you are not deterred by that are you?"
"No. I'm used to being the underdog."
"You are not afraid of me are you?"
"No, I'm not." Steve answered.
"Are you afraid to die? For make no mistake mortal, death is what you face now."
"Wouldn't be the first time, and no, I'm not afraid to die. I took an oath over seventy years ago to fight and if need be die to defend my country and to defend the innocent. Defend them against monsters, both human…and inhuman." Steve swore as Chthon then thrust his hand out grabbing Rogers in a chokehold.
Steve struggled uselessly in his grip as the blasphemous god then lifted him up off of the ground. Chthon glowered at the would be hero with contempt.
"Pitiful insect. You're another believer aren't you? I can smell it on you. Your faith in a worthless carpenter who was nailed to a cross sickens me. Tell me fool…where is your God now?"
Meanwhile just as Carrie started to reach up another figure suddenly lunged up from the pit and grabbed hold of her nearly causing her to loose her grip, it was the evil version of herself.
"And just where do you think you're going? You belong down here with us. To burn for all eternity!" Her malicious doppelganger hissed.
At that moment both her mother Margaret and Chris Hargensen appeared as well, seemingly out of thin air. They looked normal enough at first but they quickly transformed into nightmarish demonic forms of themselves as did her vile double.
"You won't be forgiven, you can't be!" Margaret spat.
"We won't let you!" Chris snapped as she and Billy both grabbed onto her as well.
"No." Carrie said quietly but sternly.
"What?" Her dark twin replied.
"No!" Carrie said, but louder this time.
"You don't have a choice!" her false mother snarled.
"Yes…I…DO!" Carrie shouted as she heaved back and backhanded the demonic trio away causing them to fall screaming back into the pit.
She then reached up towards Coulson as other demons continued pulling at her, trying desperately to keep her from reaching him. And then finally…she grabbed his hand. In an instant a wave of pure light radiated off of her that blasted all of the demons clinging to her back to Hell as they screeched in vain.
Back in the real world beneath Carrie's tomb of rubble and debris an incredible explosion occurred that obliterated the tons of stone and steel lying upon her. Chthon, still in the process of choking the life out of Steve looked over his shoulder back at the source of the disturbance.
Slowly rising up out of the crater, bathed in light and looking seriously pissed…was Carrie White, filled with unimaginable power. Power that could only come from one place, one God above all others, and Steve knew it.
"There is my God." Steve declared breathlessly and painfully, but still full of courage and defiance as Carrie floated across the ground towards the dark elder god.
Both curious and bewildered, Chthon finally drooped Steve as he turned and slowly began walking towards her himself.
"This is not possible, you were dead." He growled as they eventually met face to face, "What is this power? Where does it come from?" He pondered aloud.
"My silly Judeo-Christian creator, you pagan jackass." Carrie said with a voice full of power.
Suddenly her body became incased in a white transparent form of psionic armor, right before clocking Chthon with a punch that sent him flipping head over heels into the base of a three story structure as he smashed hard into it.
"You dare!" Chthon roared with rage as he surged forth from where he had impacted.
He tried to use his dark powers to annihilate her in a manner similar to what he had done to the other heroes. He attempted to attack her mind and her body on a biological and subatomic level, but it wasn't working, something, or someone was protecting her much to Chthon's surprise.
Carrie then outstretched her arms from her sides and them clapped her hands together as two parked vehicles were abruptly wrenched off of the street and smashed together sandwiching Chthon in between them. But still he kept coming.
Carrie then brought up pieces and shards of various shattered objects as they levitated off the ground and flew strait at him skewering him right before a larger chunk mowed him down. But Chthon righted himself quickly and effortlessly as he tried a double beam blast but they apparently hit an invisible psionic barrier as it bounced off Carrie's body. He then with a simple hand gesture, launched a bus at her like a javelin but it when it reached her it ripped in two down the middle as the separate pieces flew by her on either side. Chthon next telekinetically tore up a massive section of the street itself to throw but Carrie once again used her powers as she made the pavement bend and contort in until it wrapped around him like a concrete cocoon as she proceeded to make it compress and crush Chthon's insides. But a few moments later Chthon demonstrated his own psionic power as a sudden explosive shockwave of energy reeled off of him obliterating the shell he was incased in and slamming into Carrie who hit the ground hard but was still protected by her psionic armor. The two super beings then charged at each other and lunged striking each other in midair at the exact same time as they both went flying in opposite directions.
In the meantime however, Thor had finally recovered, though he was still weak and battered as he staggered up next to Captain America. Steve then looked to his left to see Tony, who had managed to get enough auxiliary power running through his suit to enable him to move again.
"Sensors are telling me that the energy building between these two is getting downright scary." Tony informed them.
"If they keep fighting here they'll level the entire town and anyone that's still in it!" Steve shouted.
"Then we take them somewhere else." Thor shouted back before raising his voice to the heavens, "Heimdall!" He bellowed as the transportation beam of Asgard's bifrost suddenly came down and enveloped both Carrie and Chthon.
Suddenly they had been transported to the barren wastes of Svartalfheim, realm of the dark elves and former home of their leader the evil Malekith the Accursed.
Carrie turned around just in time to catch a far more focused beam blast to the chest, her body digging a trench through the earth as she was pushed back by the force of it.
Carrie got out of the furrow her body had dug as she unleashed another psionic wave, but Chthon brought up a forcefield to deflect the attack. He then went on the offensive and darted in, tackling Carrie hard as they smashed into the side of a mountain and deep into it. The entire bluff shook as they battled within. For miles, animals and birds fled in all directions as the landscape rocked from the force of the blows being exchanged. It was quiet for a moment, until Chthon suddenly exploded out of the other side of the mountain from a particularly nasty punch as Carrie walked out from the side of what remained of the sierra. Chthon then stood up and seemingly splitting into several copies of itself, surrounded Carrie as she wondered what new trick Chthon was going to pull out of his hat now. The clones opened fire and dozens of beams slammed into Carrie from all sides. But Carrie sent out a massive energy shockwave from her body as she crossed her arms in front of herself and then thrust them outward. The wave wiped out all the false clones, leaving only a single Chthon remaining. Carrie laid into the malevolent entity with a devastating punch combination.
Angered by this, Chthon unloaded more powerful beams from his hands which sent Carrie flying and smashing clean through three mountains in a row. As she tried to clear the cobwebs, Chthon advanced quickly as he then crashed down directly on top of her.
As they both plummeted into the bowels of the Earth, the ground shook as if it were being afflicted by an earthquake. Chthon was blasted up out of the ground, only to land on his head with a sickening splat. Carrie meanwhile bolted up out of the giant hole their bodies had made and fired a blast from her right fist that sent Chthon smashing into the mountain they had been fighting in earlier before his body could come back down from her previous attack. The entire peak came down on top of the eater of souls, but he blew his way out moments later at blinding speed as he backhanded Carrie into another edifice. He then pressed his advantage and shoulder tackled his adversary through the rubble of the peak that had been leveled and pushed her into another with terrible force.
At the base, Chthon stood over Carrie, laying in one punch after another until he was hit with an energy blast that knocked him away. Chthon then fired once more hitting her dead on once again but this time, she planted her feet and fought against the torrent of energy.
Carrie was starting to realize that even with her new power, her and Chthon could potentially go on like this forever. Locked in an eternal stalemate. A different plan of action was called for.
"It seems that I have underestimated you…and your God. But behold! I do not fear your power, or him! For my power is greater!"
"There is no power greater than God's, and I will prove it to you Chthon." Carrie shouted as she flew up to him cutting the beam that was focused against her right down the middle.
When she reached him she slammed her fist hard into his torso burying it deep within him. He reached up trying to pry her arm loose but couldn't budge it.
"Your power comes from the countless souls you have consumed throughout your immortal life, but God has the power to free them!"
"Oh father who art in heaven hallowed be thy name…GIVE ME STRENGTH!" She bellowed as a sudden new surge of power coursed through her arm and literally exploded out of Chthon's back!
And out of that hole began to pour out trillions upon trillions of souls taken from every realm and every corner of the galaxy over billions of years.
"Noooooo!" Chthon wailed in futility as he began to feel his great power leaving him.
"Without the souls to fuel your power you are nothing! Your power comes from pain, misery and torment. Mine comes from the Lord, and it is a power that you cannot begin to understand!" Carrie proclaimed as Chthon began to shrink and whither before her.
Eventually only a dry withered husk remained that eventually crumbled before her and blew away with the wind.
A few minutes later the bifrost beam reappeared as Thor stepped out of it.
"Are you alright?" He asked.
"Yes." she answered, with a voice that still boomed with power, enough to make even Thor take a step back for a moment.
"Let's get you home. Heim-!"
"It's not necessary." She cut him off as with a simple hand gesture they were both suddenly back on Earth in an instant.
Tony and Steve flinched slightly at their sudden reappearance.
"Are you okay?" Steve asked her.
"Looks like we won." Tony said.
"Yes, but at a terrible price." Thor added.
"No…not this day." Carrie boomed defiantly as her eyes began to glow a bright blinding white.
In an instant every hero that had been killed or altered by Chthon rematerialized before them as they were before the battle began. And the human heroes that had been rendered unconscious early on awoke in an instant.
"Whoa." Steve said with a look of shock that all of them shared.
"Wha, what happened?" Johnny Storm asked in confusion.
"Well, uh, you were dead." Tony said rather bluntly.
"What?" Sue said.
"But it's all good, because she just used her scary God power to bring you all back" Tony quickly added.
Reed meanwhile quickly embraced his Susan, Johnny and Ben as he looked back at the others.
"What happened?" He asked.
"Chthon was too powerful, he took us all out. But Carrie stopped him." Steve explained.
"I think you just redefined girl power." Black Widow chimed in.
"I'll second that." Hawkeye spoke up.
"Yeah, in a scary apocalyptic kinda way." Banner started to say as he stepped out of a partly demolished building pulling on a spare set of clothes that Tony had brought with them for just such a scenario, "But whatever it takes to get the job done, right?" He finished walking up to the group.
"You all saw what happened after we left?" She asked with surprise.
"No, but after you were sent to Svartalfheim I returned to Asgard while Heimdall relayed everything that was happening, Heimdall says he has never before seen such a battle. And considering his age that's saying something. It would seem that victory against your nemesis is yours Carrie White. " Thor stated.
"Both the victory and the glory of this battle belongs to God alone, for without him I would never have defeated Chthon." Carrie proclaimed.
"Couldn't have said it better myself." Steve added.
"Hooraaaay, yay God, yay forces of good, we kick butt and such and such. Um by the way, could I rent you for parties maybe? You would save me a ton on fireworks expenses." Tony joked with a smile causing Carrie to chuckle.
Unfortunately in her currently empowered state her laugh sounded more scary rather than jovial as everyone looked at her rather awkwardly.
"Um, not that you becoming an all powerful evil smasher doesn't kick ninety kinds of ass and all but uh, I hope the Linda Blair voice isn't permanent." Kitty said.
"No, I can already feel the power starting to leave me."
"You can?" Wolverine spoke.
"Yes, no mortal should have this much power. God in his divine wisdom saw fit to grant it to me long enough to defeat Chthon. Now that the danger has passed it is leaving me."
"That's for the best I'm sure." Blade agreed.
"May the Strength of God Pilot us, May the Power of God Preserve us, May the Wisdom of God Instruct us, May the Hand of God Protect us. By the poet Nishan Panwar." Beast quoted as Carrie smiled.
"Gotta say, you put on one Hell of a light show." Spidey claimed.
Suddenly another voice called out from behind the gathered heroes.
"You didn't forget about me did you?" Coulson asked as the heroes parted to allow him through.
With tears of joy Carrie ran up to him and hugged him tightly as he returned the gesture.
"I thought I had lost you forever." She sobbed.
"You almost did, and for that matter I thought the same about you." He responded.
As they hugged Coulson couldn't help but notice the Avengers staring at him.
"You look pretty good for a dead guy?" Tony joked.
"How long have you been alive?" Thor asked.
"It's…a long story, and complicated."
But just then they were all distracted by sudden clapping coming from behind them as they turned in its direction. Standing there with a rather satisfied looking grin, was Mephistopheles.
"Mephistopheles." Carrie hissed.
"Mephistopheles?" Steve asked.
"Yes, as in Lucifer." She confirmed.
"As in the devil himself?" Natasha asked.
"Yes." Carrie answered.
"Bravo, well done my dear." He spoke.
"What are YOU doing here?" Carrie growled contemptuously.
"Oh I am sooo loving that scary voice thing you've got going on there, but anyways, I'm here to congratulate you on stopping Chthon of course."
"A likely story, the only reason you're happy is because he won't be coming after you now."
"True enough, but at the end of the day whether you wanted to or not you served my will."
"Wrong. This day I served God's will alone." She declared.
"Well, let's just say that for once he and I were on the same page." He joked.
"If this guy is really the devil then why don't we just stomp a mudhole in his ass?" Barton asked casually.
"If you think you can William Tell, you are more than welcome to try." The fallen angel challenged.
"I think I know someone who could." Banner threatened.
"True, but you put your angry little green friend back in the box for now, so you are hardly in a position to do anything. Oh by the way please by all means keep the whole evolution argument going, I love you scientist types."
"The feeling isn't mutual." Reed shot back.
"Why does it even matter, you don't even believe in me." Mephistopheles snickered.
"Just because we don't believe in what you are doesn't mean we have a problem with taking you apart." Tony interjected.
"I say less talk more violence." Thor growled brandishing Mjolnir in a threatening fashion."
"Hardly surprising coming from a thickheaded Asgardian, just how your people became one of the most advanced and prosperous in the galaxy I will never understand." Mephistopheles insulted attempting to raise the Odinson's ire.
"Will someone please shoot him already?" Ben suggested.
"Yeeeaahhh, I'm with the majority vote on this one." Wolverine said as he popped his claws once again.
"Anyone got some holy water. Where's Max von Sydow when you really need him?" Spidey quipped.
"Oh please, after the thrashing that all of you just took from Chthon are any of you really in any shape to take me on?" Mephistopheles chastised them arrogantly.
The Ghost Rider started to step through the heroes to get to him when Carrie reached her hand out to stop him.
"I am." She suddenly said as she suddenly bolted over and thrust her right hand around the devil's throat.
He fought and struggled to remove it but was unable to.
"Whoa, Carrie, I thought you said the God given power was leaving you." Coulson said
"It is, but I still have just enough left to squash him if need be."
"What? After all of the fun that we have had?" Mephistopheles guffawed.
"Do it!" The rider snarled.
But just then Captain Rogers stepped next to Carrie.
"Let him go Carrie."
"Because it's God's place to judge him, not ours, remember the book of revelation?"
"And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him." Carrie recalled.
With that she released him as he smugly straightened his slightly ruffled suit collar.
"For the record I really feel like all of that revelation nonsense is just propaganda. I mean I think it should be obvious to anyone with two brain cells to rub together who's going to win that little game and score the winning touchdown in the end, right?" He continued taunting.
"Riiiiggghhht." Carrie smiled…right before she licked him into orbit.
His body flew for thousands of miles and crashed down somewhere in central Asia.
"He can talk about touchdowns all he wants, but it looks like I'm the one who just scored a field goal." She said with a grin.
She then looked over at the various hero teams who were all wearing mixed versions of shock along with jaws agape and funny expressions.
"What? He'll be fine." Carrie said nonchalantly.
Just then sirens could be heard approaching from the distance. It was probably only a matter of time before the military arrived on the scene as well. Seeing how Carrie, Coulson and anyone else formerly affiliated with S.H.I.E.L.D. were still wanted fugitives it was probably the right time to exit stage left. Coulson and Carrie said their goodbyes to the heroes before making their way back to the Jump-Jet that Coulson had flown here in.
Location New Mexico, the Cybertek installation.
Night had fallen by the time that Coulson and Carrie made it back. The last of the Hydra agents were being shoved onto a bus with armed guards as Carrie and Coulson looked on.
Just then several security personnel walked up to them.
"Anyone know where the artifact from Peru ended up?" One of them addressed Coulson.
"Oh, the 0-8-4 plasma cannon, I know where that is, just give me a sec." Coulson said as departed for a moment.
In the distance Carrie looked over to see Deathlok of all people talking with Skye, though she could not hear what they were saying. However Coulson had explained allot of what had happened while Carrie was gone including the fact that Mike Peterson was being used against his will in exchange for the safety of his son.
Suddenly there was the faint sound of a firing beam of some kind coming from inside the complex as Carrie looked back. A few seconds later Coulson reappeared with the cannon in hand as he handed it over to the recovery team.
"You okay?" Carrie asked.
"Sure I am, why?"
"I thought I heard a sound in there, what happened?"
"Nothing I couldn't handle." Coulson answered nonchalantly.
The following morning, onboard 'The Bus' in Coulson's office.
"You want me to start over? Rebuild S.H.I.E.L.D.?" Coulson reasoned.
"From scratch. Take your time. And do it right." Nick Fury stated emphatically as he held his right index finger up in front of himself. He then turned to Agent May, "You'll still have his back?"
"Of course." She replied.
"There's no one else I trust with this." Fury said turning back around to face Phil.
"Thank you, sir. How do you…how should I proceed?"
"That's up to you…Director." Nick said as he outstretched his right hand to him.
Coulson stood dumbfounded for a brief moment, but then smiled as he took Fury's hand in his own.
Fury smiled back as he then turned to walk out of Coulson's office.
"And you, sir? Where are you heading now?" May asked.
"I'm trading in my bird's eye view for two solid feet on the ground. This is the last time you'll be seeing me for a stretch." He answered.
"You're gonna disappear. Nowhere to be found." Coulson assumed.
"Nowhere?" Fury began with a chuckle, "You know me better than that Phil." He went on as he took a few steps and then turned back around pulling down his sunglasses, "I'll be everywhere." He finished before turning and walking out the door.
As Fury walked out into the main cabin of the plane he encountered Carrie sitting nearby as she stood up to greet him.
"Director Fury." She addressed him with a slight bow.
"Not anymore, I'm stepping down, gonna go ghost for a while."
"Really? Where will you go, what or who will you be now?"
"Wherever and whatever I damn well please." Nick said with an expression that conveyed both relief and exhaustion all at the same time as Carrie nodded.
"Coulson told me what happened with Cybertek. Sounds like you guys had one heck of a battle."
"That we did. But from what I hear things were insanely more epic on your end. Thanks by the way for bringing all the heroes back. I wasn't crazy about the idea of trying to use Project T.A.H.I.T.I. on all of them."
"If it weren't for me they wouldn't have been killed in the first place." Carrie confessed hanging her head slightly.
"That wasn't your doing Carrie, that was all Chthon, and thanks also for laying the smack down on his candy ass may I add. I'd say that more than makes up for whatever you may feel responsible for."
"Thanks. So, now that it's all over, what will become of S.H.I.E.L.D.? What happens now?"
"Well, you'll have to ask the new Director about that." Fury said as he walked away.
Carrie's jaw dropped as she turned to see Coulson coming out of his office.
"Director? He made you the new Director?" She asked in disbelief.
"So it would seem. I've been tasked with rebuilding S.H.I.E.L.D. from the ground up."
"So you're just going to start over?"
"Pretty much. It's manageable. Before it became S.H.I.E.L.D., the SSR started out as an office full of people who wanted to try and make the world a better place."
"Yeah, but back then you had government funding, now the government is out to get you. You realize that it won't be as easy this time as it was then, right?"
"Yea, but nothing worth doing ever is. I think you of all people would understand that more than any of us." Coulson replied as Carrie smiled back at him, "So what about you?"
"What do you mean?"
"We're heading for another secret base set up by Fury."
"Yea, guess he kinda brings new meaning to the term paranoid. In any case, I was hoping you'd come with us."
"Of course I will."
"I call it the playground. Although technically it doesn't have a name because technically it doesn't exist. It being a secret base and all." A man who looked remarkably just like S.H.I.E.L.D. Agent Eric Koenig suddenly said to Coulson and his team as they found themselves in the hangar of the secret S.H.I.E.L.D. base in question.
"Eric?" Skye asked with an odd look of disbelief upon her face.
"Billy Koenig, Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D. Although I totally understand the confusion. Eric passed away sadly. But it's great to finally have company, finally. And I did not mind minding this place. Billy said as Phil nodded.
"Agent Coulson." Phillip said as he stepped forward.
"I know, I know. And it is an honor to meet you, sir." Billy said with a rather abundant amount of excitement and elation as he rushed forward to shake Coulson's hand, "I'll get you your lanyard shortly." He went on as he turned his attention to the others, "For the rest of you lanyards will be handed out on a case by case basis. Can't be too careful with all those Hydra threats still out there causing trouble. That's why we're here. Get you up and running, and back fighting the good fight which is gonna be cool. I know we don't have much, but what we have is yours, sir." He finished.
"Thank you." Coulson told him with a smile.
"So…where would you like to start?"
Just then Carrie came running up from behind them all.
"Sorry, sorry, didn't mean to fall behind, had to answer a call…of…nature…whoa." She trailed off as she took in the massive hangar of the new base that seemed to be identical to the previous one they had been in when they were in Canada, "What did I miss?"
"The lanyard speech." May responded.
"And that goes for you too little lady." Billy reminded directing his attention at Carrie as he pointed a finger at her.
"Who's that?" She asked innocently as Coulson smiled.
Later in Coulson's office.
"I wanted to show you something." Carrie said as she outstretched her right hand.
Moments later everything on Coulson's desk suddenly lifted up off of it and twirled in the air for a few seconds as he looked on. She then set everything back down exactly where it had been before.
"Okay. But what's the point you're trying to make?"
"My powers, I still have them. After I destroyed Chthon I assumed they would be gone, but they aren't." She revealed with genuine surprise.
"I see, yes, it would make more sense if they were gone I'd wager."
"My power came from him, now that he's gone I'm at a loss to explain this."
"Well, maybe your power is coming from someplace else now." Coulson suggested as he tilted his head skyward with a knowing smile.
"That would be nice if that were the case. If only it were that simple."
"Why not? All you need is a little faith." He told her as she smiled at him, "Maybe when God gave you that amazing power to destroy Chthon, he didn't take all of it back. Maybe he left you a part of it. Not too much."
"Because absolute power corrupts."
"That's right. But he left you just enough…"
"To fight the good fight?"
"Exactly. God may be capable of forgiving anyone of their sins, but just maybe he feels that in your case, doing a little probationary work isn't out of the question? And wow, I just now realized how tacky that sounded." Coulson said with a slight chuckle.
"It's alright, I actually agree with you. Truly the Lord does work in mysterious ways."
"Well, you are welcome to fight alongside us if you choose."
"Thank you, but actually, I'm thinking about striking out on my own."
"I thought you might say that. There's someplace I want you to see."
"What is it?"
"A hidden safe house that wasn't in any of S.H.I.E.L.D.'s records. It has food, medical supplies, ammo, an untraceable line to the net and allot more."
"And you called Nick paranoid?"
"What can I say, I believe in being prepared."
"Thank you Phillip." She said sincerely.
"If you're really going to do this superhero thing, you need a strong foundation to build off of."
"Indeed. It is time I embraced my real destiny."
"Thought Christians didn't believe in destiny?"
"Well, let's just call it, a noble direction. If need be I will spend the rest of my life atoning for my sins. It's all about protecting people, right?"
"Right, it's the principle that S.H.I.E.L.D. was founded on."
"With that in mind, I finally have a name for myself."
"You do, what is it?"
"S.H.I.E.L.D. Maiden." She proclaimed as Coulson smiled at the irony of the name, "My religion taught me how I should live my life, but it was you and S.H.I.E.L.D. that taught me to defend the lives of others. S.H.I.E.L.D. as we know it may be gone for now. But its ideals still live on. I want to represent that…and you."
Coulson felt his eyes water slightly after that statement. He couldn't have been more proud of Carrie if she were his own daughter. Which made what she said next even more ironic.
"Phillip, I want to say something else. I know that we're already family. But I just want to say. That I wouldn't be who I am today if it weren't for you. You are a better father to me than my real one ever was." She professed.
Coulson had no words, there were none that could be said that would top that, so instead he simply opted for a big hug as they embraced each other tightly.
Suddenly a clicking sound went off as both Carrie and Coulson turned to see Skye standing there with her phone in hand, having obviously taken a picture.
"Sorry, couldn't resist." She said with a grin.
"Snapping a Kodak moment were you?" Coulson asked.
"A what?" Skye asked, completely oblivious to the term.
"Never mind." He said finally breaking the embrace.
"Was that another one of those references you make that makes you look really old?" Skye jabbed jokingly as the three of them exited Coulson's office and started walking to another part of the base.
"I'm not that old."
"Tell that to the 8-track player sitting in Lola." Skye joked.
"That's not old, that's classic, just like me."
"Oh, is this like that whole you don't sweat, you glisten thing?" She continued prodding.
"Exactly." Coulson said as Carrie followed close behind them laughing all the while.
Coulson's hidden safe house, exact location, unknown. A rural area on the outskirts of an unspecified city.
"It has an entry way on the roof with hidden security cameras that detect various spectrums of light, motion and infrared. And even though I know you hate guns it has a sizeable artillery payload also." Coulson explained to her as he went on at length about the safe house's various amenities.
"Just like the one we were at before."
"Yes, it also has the same defenses that it had, along with it's own water filtration system, and enough food to last for years in the event of oh say economic collapse, plague or a zombie apocalypse.".
"Zombie apocalypse?" Carrie smirked.
"What? It could happen." Coulson said innocently.
"Let's hope not." Carrie laughed.
"This building's primary power comes from one of Stark's arc reactors, so you'll be off the grid, same goes for the backup generator if for some reason the main power goes down. And there's also your computer system." Coulson said as he walked over and placed his face up near a massive wall painting.
A hidden retina scanner then activated after which the painting slid away to reveal a giant monitor much like the one that they had onboard the bus as various control panels slid out of the wall beneath it.
"Wow." Carrie said with her mouth agape.
"It's also been programmed now to react to your retina as well." He told her.
"How long have you been working on this place?"
"Several years actually."
"There's one more thing." He said as he gestured for her to follow him into what would be her bedroom.
Once there he walked up to wall fixture of a holy cross that he then turned slightly upon the wall. Suddenly the sounds of winding and turning gears could be heard. Carrie looked all about the room with befuddlement as she turned to see a hidden compartment suddenly opening inside of her walk in closet.
Inside said compartment, was a spandex bodysuit with slim armor plating that still allowed for flexibility and freedom of movement. And upon the suit's chest…was the emblem of S.H.I.E.L.D. with a holy cross in the center of it.
"The armor is a titanium iridium alloy. If I had my way it would have been made of adamantium or vibranium, but that stuff is hard to come by. But as it is, this suit is actually more durable than anything that Stark even has at the moment."
"Wow…" She said with awe.
"Does that mean you like it?" Coulson asked.
"Is that my-"
It was her superhero costume. She finally had one.
"I love it, thank you so much." She told him as she gave him a quick hug.
"Well, looks like you're all set. Will you let me come and visit once in a while?"
"You better." She smiled as she gave him a playful jab in the arm.
After that, Coulson just stopped and stared at her for a few moments.
"What is it?" she asked.
"It amazes me, how far you've come. When I think back to that terrified young girl that levitated me off the ground in that cemetery all those months ago."
"It seems like a lifetime ago."
"The experiences you endured over those months could make up for a lifetime. But look at you now. You've become a remarkable individual Carrie White." Coulson smiled.
"I had help." She grinned back.
"True, but what you're capable of was always inside you, you just needed a little help bringing it out."
"Thank you, for changing my life."
"Thank you…for being a part of mine." Coulson agreed as they shared yet another hug.
"If I ever need you?" She began to say while they were still holding each other.
"I'll be here." Coulson cut her off.
"I'll be here for you too."
"Thank you." Coulson told her.
A few minutes later Coulson was walking outside to get into Lola, when he stopped and looked up on the roof of the safe house to see Carrie standing there in her superhero costume. Her posture and stance spoke volumes of the strength and confidence that was now within her as her long hair blew in the wind.
She wasn't that scared traumatized teenager from Chamberlain anymore…she was something much more.
She then revealed an interesting new power as she literally dived off the top of the building towards the sidewalk below only to take off like a rocket before she hit the concrete. Her telekinesis was reacting to the ground beneath her and propelling her along over every conceivable surface at amazing speeds in a form of pseudo-flight. It was amazing to behold.
"Go get em kiddo." Coulson spoke with a voice full of admiration and pride.
As Carrie flew along, her past life raced before her eyes. Allot had happened since her days in Chamberlain, and she had come a long way. But redemption is a quest that is never ending. That is why she would never stop fighting, never stop defending the innocent. This is who she was now, not because she was forced to or told to, but because she chose it herself. She was the S.H.I.E.L.D. Maiden, the shield that would protect those who needed it from the evil and corrupt, both natural and unnatural. The only limits she had were that of her courage, her faith and her love.
Which meant that for Carrie White…there were no longer any limitations at all.
Author's note: It's funny how all this took off. This story was never meant to be anything but a oneshot, but by popular demand it became so much more. This is easily my most popular story. I've never gotten reads and reviews like this on anything else I have ever written. But having said that, I still don't consider this my best work. Granted I understand why so many people got behind this. Fans of both Carrie and Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D. Readers who identify with those who are bullied. Readers who liked the religious aspect of Carrie's character. Fans of the Marvel universe in general.
However, if there's anyone here who read this mainly for the quality of the prose, please allow me this opportunity to suggest other stories I have written that I feel are better written than this one IMO.
Firstly, the story that I joined ffnet in the first place to promote, When Aliens Attack. It's a Godzilla, Gamera, multi-kaiju film and show crossover. It's the biggest story I've ever done with 20 chapters and almost 300,000 words. I worked on this off and on for five years, the parts I contributed that is, since it was a multi author collaboration. I consider this to be my grand opus. Or as Justin Hammer said in Iron Man 2, "This is my Eiffel Tower. This is my Rachmaninoff's Third. My Pieta. It's completely elegant, it's bafflingly beautiful" Okay, that sounded a bit conceited. LOL But you get the general idea anyway.
United We Stand. The BIGGEST crossover I have ever wrote, featuring characters from Supernatural, Buffy, Bones, Kick-ass, Let Me In, Constantine, Marvel movies, Hellboy, Evil Dead, Underworld, Blood The Last Vampire, Red vs Blue and many others, along with tons of monsters from various films. Perhaps not my best work, but sooooo much fun, the most fun I ever had writing a story I think in my entire life.
Savage Love. An expanded Let Me In fic. Okay folks, this one ain't for the faint of heart. It's rated M for a reason. If you have any sense of a conscience, morals or a soul. This story will probably deeply offend you. LOL But with that said, I consider this to be some of my finest work.
Child Of Fate and it's various spinoffs. For me this one is a mixed bag, there are parts of these that I feel really shine, others not so much. Should anyone choose to read them I guess you'll just have to judge for yourselves.
In closing I just want to say thank you to everyone who took the time to read and review this, including all of the guests that I could not respond to. I never ever believed that I would ever have a story develop a following like this.
ATTENTION PLEASE! I also want to take this opportunity to point out that another writer is making use of this story universe for a crossover they are writing that crosses over into the popular anime Attack On Titan. The story is called 'Time Traveling Titan' and the writer's username is AwesomeMan327. You can find it in the crossover sections for either Attack On Titan or Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D. Be sure to check it out and show the author and his work some love. :)
Thank you all and take care. :)