Thursday, June 16, 2016

“Bring him in.”

“Bring him in.”

Two massive doors of boron carbide, each weighing about as much as a small town, ground open. General Moissan hated those blasted things, but considering the state of the world, he figured he should be thankful for them. They reminded him of how trapped he was behind those doors, and if he had to be honest, how ultimately helpless he really was.

It was not a thought that he liked thinking. It was not a thought that he would ever admit to thinking, either. Regardless of what he would—or would not—admit to himself or to anyone else, those titanic black doors reminded the General of the reason he was here at this specific moment as well. Today would hopefully begin project MAVEN. As those light-less slabs of the second hardest material on the planet receded into the living rock of Devil’s Peak, revealing the series of reinforced steel blast doors beyond, the General tugged at his collar.

“Everything ok?” the physicist next to him asked, his words nearly as oily and slick as his black comb over.

That was another thing that General Moissan didn’t like about this whole situation. Of all the men on the planet that he had to be cooped up, three miles underground, with, it was Dr. Jonas Gray. Moissan hated the man…

“Fine,” the General spat.

“I think this will be a day long remembered” the physicist said, practically bursting with pride.

“I don’t much care who remembers it, so long as it works” Moissan snapped back. “I hope you and your people have not been wasting the last nine months, Doctor. There’s a world out there, dying. There’s a world out there in need of MAVEN.”

Dr. Gray’s pride balloon popped, replaced by a flaccid, flabby shell of spite and resentment. “As you have said, so…many…times, General.” He did not even try to hide the petulance and disrespect in his voice this time.

The General tugged on his collar again. So apparently, he was not the only one feeling the pressure…

The final door clanged open and there stood the culmination of project MAVEN. Moissan knew that at its core, this was real only Captain Gregory Kopp standing before him, but the man looked drastically different from the last time he’d lain eyes on him. Now, he looked equal parts machine to man, his left arm encased in their prototype Power Gauntlet and the winged ICARUS flight pack on his back. The General knew that there was much more to that pack than some technological widget: the ICARUS was inexorably fused to the man’s spine and brain stem.

And that was only the beginning of the upgrades…

The General let out a low whistle and was uncharacteristically silent for several heartbeats. Finally, he asked, “Well, Doctor, it looks impressive and it looks like he’s ready to take on the threat. But does it work? Is MAVEN online and under our control?”

This was the moment that Dr. Gray had been waiting for…finally, he would show the General what he was really made of. “Absolutely, General, let me demonstrate…” The Doctor grinned maliciously and spoke into the wireless mike he held in his bony hand. “MAVEN!” he called.

The Man-Turned-Machine’s head snapped towards the Doctor.

“Kill the General."

Art Source: "Client Design sample 1" (c)/by witchking08
Story and Characters: (c)/by Brannon Hollingsworth

#MMWW, #Makes, #Me, #Wanna, #Write, #BrannonHollingsworth, #superhero, #endoftheworld, #ProjectMAVEN, #MAVEN, #GeneralMoissan, #GregoryKopp, #DrGray #ICARUS


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