Beyond Blisters and Bullets (AU; Kyp, SHIELD, HYDRA, X-Men, Ysanne Isard, more; completed 8/4

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  1. Onderon1 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 18, 2008
    star 4
    Author's Note: At last ... [face_blush] ... my take on the origin of the Braddockverse version of Kyp Durron.

    This is a direct sequel to On the Clearing of Air:

    http://boards.theforce.net/beyond_the_saga/b10477/30975939/p1/

    And a semi-sequel to Kyp'alor:

    http://boards.theforce.net/beyond_the_saga/b10477/30391403/p1/?8

    NOTE: This'll get dark before the end - Ysanne being Ysanne, HYDRA being HYDRA, etc. Fair warning now. Mods, let me know if any of this needs adjusting, and I'll do so. [face_peace]

    DISCLAIMER: LFL's are LFL's. Marvel's are Marvel's. OCs are their own. Everyone else belongs to their creators and/or owners. This is a work of fiction. No money is being made off of this. Please don't sue.

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    Prologue:
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    The dream begins as it has for the past few nights - safely in the realm of memory.

    He stretches out on the scanning table, wearing pants and socks, as Cilghal rechecks his DNA sequences for the umpteenth time, to be sure the techno-organic virus that nearly turned him into something between a Jedi Master and a droid-like deity has been completly purged from his system.

    The Mon Calamari medic turns to him with a troubled expression and says, "I've found something ... disturbing."

    He laughs, trying to shake off the concern he feels - he nearly became a Celestial, and temporarily wielded enough power to defeat Darth Krayt and accelerate Ossus' restoration from the Cron supernovae from millennia ago. "What could be more disturbing than what I've already been through?" he asks.

    His comrade looks at him and says, seriously, "Your DNA sequences don't match those we have on file for your parents and brother."

    He sits up, his blood chilling. Cilghal hands him the datapad, and he looks it over before asking, "You double-checked this?"

    "And triple-checked it. There's nothing to suggest that Kaler and Yperna Durron didn't raise you - we know they did - but they and Zeth ... were not your blood relations," Cilghal says, sympathy evident in her gurgling tone and through the Force.

    He shakes - then shakes his head and says, "What about the genome databases for most planetary security agencies? Any matches there?'

    Cilghal shakes her head, and his blood chills even more. "Either your genetic matrix record was erased ... or you have no blood family matches in the Alliance or Remnant," she says.

    It sinks in, what she's saying ... and he breathes, "I have to look on Earth."

    And that's when the dream changes.

    The lab fades, and he's standing - on reddish sand, as trees and water and grass flow forth from massive pylons, and Skrulls fight with misshapen, tentacled blobs, and one Skrull woman whispers his name tenderly.

    Another woman - human, dark-skinned, wearing a trenchcoat - calls to him, still curious, not quite human ... offering power he'd abandoned.

    A third, human with auburn hair, green eyes, and wearing a red and pink costume, pleads for help on icy fields as a one-eyed madman with a golden aura struggles with a blue-skinned, red-eyed dead legend wearing silvery armor.

    And then the dreamer finds himself dressed in Mandalorian armor, of all things - as he clashes with dark-robed maniacs and a village burns.

    There are ancient Sith starfighters filling the skies, and Sith armored in what looks like Revan-era armor fighting with Mandalorians. He looks over his shoulder as he hears a hum.

    There's some kind of platform, silvery, with a control panel attached, and a young black-haired human boy standing on it as a brown-haired woman hurriedly types in coordinates. Both are wearing Mandalorian armor.

    She looks over her shoulder at him, in a way she never has in waking life - at least not since she fell for Fel - and Jaina Solo c
  2. CelseteAntola TF.N Books Staff

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    May 18, 2002
    star 3
    :eek:

    Okay. Woah.

    *deep breath*

    This is insanely awesome in so many ways... X-men, Star Wars, HP...

    *wanders off to read everything else*

    ~Celeste
  3. Onderon1 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 18, 2008
    star 4
    Celeste: Thanks. :D

    This has been in the works for a while - SHIELD wasn't originally part of the Marvelverse I was very familiar with - but I think I'm finally ready to tell the story. :D

    What really touched off the central conceit was an eerie resemblance between one of Nick Fury's longtime girlfriends ... and a certain recurring EU villainess. :eek:

    (And contact lenses can explain a LOT away. :p)

    Answers will be forthcoming very shortly. In fact ... [face_mischief]

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    Chapter 2: 4/2008/40.4 ABY: Chiba, Japan: Former HYDRA safehouse:
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    The young-looking doctor - maybe 30 - stepped into her private office from her exam room, her long white hair falling down behind her ill-fitting lab coat, as she started to speak to the mirror on the wall.

    An observer could be forgiven for questioning the doctor's sanity. On any given day, it was more likely she wasn't sane.

    "Report: The subject is a juvenile human male, midi-chlorian count 10,000, fair skin, black hair, blue eyes, height 119 cm, weight 27.2 kg, estimated age, 8 years, standard measure," she said, looking up from her clipboard.

    "Cytoplasmic and genetic analysis indicates extremely few lethal alleles, and longer-than-average lifespan projection ... prime genetic stock. Other than high potential for Force manipulation, the subject's only other outstanding anomalous trait is a high level of residual crosstime vibrational echo energy."

    The doctor's amused lip-quirk became a conspiratorial smile as she finished speaking to the mirror and said, "The subject is in perfect health, other than mild exhaustion and emotional distress."

    The watcher in the dimmed room hidden behind the mirror was known to most as Contessa Valentina Allegra de la Fontaine. She just nodded, maintaining what most Terrans would call a "poker face."

    She'd never played the game, but she understood its basics and would have bankrupted most of the professional poker circuit, had she ever sat down at a table. But the Contessa didn't like playing felinx and rodus like she had in her youth - in the life almost no Terran knew she led.

    Or rather, she was after a much bigger and more dangerous rodus.

    The Contessa turned to her gathered prospective partners and said, "The point my associate is trying to make is, the boy is still carrying high levels of alternate-timeline vibrational energy. Properly - and harmlessly - channeled, the energy could be analyzed, replicated, and used to open portals to at least his home timeline, possibly others."

    Matsu'o Tsurayaba - formerly the jonin of the ancient ninja cult known as the Hand, until his massive loss of face for botching an attempt to subvert the Force-sensitive mutant telepath Betsy Braddock into an obedient assassin - raised an eyebrow. "And you propose to salvage otherdimensional technologies to assist in your proposal?" the young-looking Japanese man asked.

    "That, and avoid security blockades within our own timeline. Practically any competent organization with advanced technology has anti-teleportational and anti-phasing shielding these days, what with the number of mutants and other superbeings on Earth. A cross-time teleportation, however, is rarer, and thus less likely to be shielded against," the Contessa said, turning to the other visitors in the room.

    The blond, blue-eyed brother and sister were, mercifully, not wearing those hideously garish orange, green, and black costumes they had started their "supervillain" careers. Instead, they were wearing much less blatantly obvious blue jeans and leather jackets - still obviously gaijin on the streets of Chiba, but dangerous enough to dissuade local gangs from threatening them for money.

    The sister of the pair - Andrea von Strucker - tilted her head and asked, with an accent somewhere between German and Afrikaans, "You said 'harmlessly.' An interesti
  4. whateveritis12 Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 29, 2008
    star 3
    I really want to see how this progresses.

    Already knew that Isard was Kyp's mom from one of your previous stories, but didn't think of the possibility that Kyp would have an Earth parent, even when it came out that Kyp didn't match anyone in the database (just presumed Isard erased him from the database). Nick Fury as Kyp's dad is pretty BA though. Definitely looking forward to that teary eyed reunion.

    My guess on the shadowed man would be either Palpatine, Vader, Tarkin, or Thrawn with the outside possibility of it being Pestage. Whoever it is definitely either has a grudge against Armand, or has just seen his usefulness at an end. It definitely has to be someone who has at least some power over Isanne, which really are only the most powerful men in the Empire. Though it could end up being Daala in a kind of female solidarity with Armand blocking Daala's ascension in the Imperial Navy.

    On what Ysanne has been doing on Earth, I think she's been prepping them to be brought into the Empire's fold. Only instead of peacefully, it's going to be forceful and not in the best interests of a great many of Earth's people. Probably has to do with uniting Earth under one banner, but that banner's going to be what Ysanne wants it to be which'll end up being something similar to Palpatine's Empire.
  5. Onderon1 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 18, 2008
    star 4
    You're right about the database - as the head of the ISB, Ysanne had both the means and opportunity to cover Kyp's genetic lineage up.

    As to the motive - partially, it was to protect her own political position, and partially, to protect Kyp. Ysanne is a self-serving, dangerously unstable individual ... but she has her moments. :)

    They just happen to be self-serving, dangerously unstable moments ... :oops:

    It's Palpatine. More about this is forthcoming, especially an answer to the question, "If Kyp is THAT Force-strong, why didn't the Inquisitorius get him, either when he was born or when his adoptive family were captured on Deyer?" [face_thinking]

    Ysanne was involved in both points, but Palps might have had his own reasons for discouraging Tremayne and Co. from recruiting Kyp ... [face_whistling]

    You're close - Ysanne is establishing a power base. But it's less bringing Earth into the Remnant ... than bringing the Remnant, and the GA, into her new Empire. [face_worried]

    Earth is, as most things (and people) are to Ysanne, a means to an end. And any planet that worries even Thrawn enough for the Chiss to leave it alone, and for the Empire to be told "hands off" by Palpatine, must be packing some serious resources that Ysanne seeks to draw upon. :eek:

    A quick update:

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    Interlude: 4/2008: Former HYDRA safehouse, Chiba, Japan:
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    The clock had a light-up face, but Zeth couldn't read the numbers - he couldn't read anything here, since none of the words were in Aurabesh. At least most of the people spoke Basic, and he knew that from home.

    I don't know it as good as Mando'a, but Mom taught me both, Zeth thought, rolling over in bed as he tried to get to sleep. It was big, and softer than he was used to - he'd had a cot back home on Mandalore, functional but not too soft. The bed he'd been given here was ...

    Aruetyc? Or just weak. This is a soft planet. Not bad, but Babuir Ysanne is right. They need to be tougher, Zeth thought, frowning a little.

    Everyone'd been nice enough, and Zeth didn't mind the scanning or helping power the "portal machines," like Babuir Ysanne called them.

    She and her troops - she didn't really call them Imperial, even if that was what stormtroopers were - were busy going and getting stuff to bring back to help their plan.

    Whatever it is ... Zeth worried a little.

    He wasn't dumb. He was 8, but he was smart, and his mom and dad had taugh
  6. CelseteAntola TF.N Books Staff

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    Member Since:
    May 18, 2002
    star 3
    Smart boy, Zeth!

    Great update!! =D=

    ~Celeste
  7. Onderon1 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 18, 2008
    star 4
    Thanks, Celeste. :)

    And now ... at last :p ... Nick Fury. :D

    And the actual HYDRA ... [face_worried]

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    Chapter 3: 4/2008: The Crown pub, London, England:
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    One of the more exclusive clubs in London, with a "dress code" enforced more by the regulars than the staff, the Crown was little-known.

    What its regulars and other clientele did for a living was supposed to be even less-known, so it all made sense. After all, the espionage community was, by its very nature, not prone to flashy behavior.

    Which suited the four men sitting in one of the back booths just fine.

    Three of them were fair-skinned, while the fourth was dark-skinned. All of them were dressed casually, although they had their quirks - one, with a red handlebar moustache, wore a derby, and the younger man beside him had crewcut brownish-blond hair and glasses.

    And the one at the back of the booth - sitting where he could take in the entirety of the pub with his one good eye - had an eyepatch over his left eye, brown hair going white at the temples.

    He sipped his beer, then looked at the younger man with the glasses, and said, "So. You finished the analysis, Pierce."

    "Yessir, Colonel Fury," Jasper Sitwell, late of SHIELD - the United Nations' Stragetic Hazard Intervention Espionage Logistics Directorate, and the next step beyond U.N. peacekeeping forces - said, shuffling papers he'd brought with him. He handed out three sheaves of paper to the other men, then glanced at Fury.

    Fury - Nicholas Fury, World War II veteran, leader of the legendary Allies squad known as the Howling Commandoes, and arguably SHIELD's greatest leader - just grunted affirmatively.

    Sitwell nodded and said, "The short version: Yes, someone did systematically sift through SHIELD's records of the past four decades, covering up reports from SWORD of unauthorized extraterrestrial forays onto Earth. It took me this long to sort through the data I was able to - ahem - take with me when I resigned to join Dum Dum and Gabe in their current enterprise, approximately 10 months ago."

    The other two men - Timothy "Dum Dum" Dugan, Fury's longtime executive officer and the wearer of the derby, on leave from SHIELD, and Major Gabriel Jones, Ret. - looked up from their papers, while Fury took another sip of beer. Gabe glanced at Sitwell and asked quietly, "Someone's been stashing xenotech planetside and SWORD didn't know about it?"

    Dum Dum made a contemptuous noise and grumbled, "SWORD's security is like a sieve, between that damn one-sided Treaty of Roswell with the Chiss, and the fact that SHIELD had so many Skrulls infiltrating it. Hell, I was replaced by a Skrull. The word 'embarrassing' doesn't start to cover it."

    "SWORD's better at recordkeeping than global anti-alien defense, that's for sure. But we're sure these foo-fighters weren't Chiss monitoring craft, just off the books?" Gabe asked.

    Sitwell adjusted his glasses and nodded, his lips thinning like he'd gotten a skunky beer. He inhaled, clearly preparing a long-winded explanation, but Fury set his beer down and gave Sitwell a direct look.

    Sitwell cleared his throat and said, softly, "Short version: No, these edited records are not Chiss craft being kept 'off the books.'"

    "Better," Fury said, and Dum Dum and Gabe chuckled as Sitwell gave a long-suffering sigh.

    "So. SWORD's been hoodwinked. Turnabout's fair play, I suppose, since they only let on about the whole 'Star Wars being REAL' thing to the Oval Office's occupants, and their Kremlin and Beijing counterparts, and let the rest of us clean up after the Skrulls, Shi'ar, and other major non-Chiss visitors," Gabe observed, frowning a bit.

    "To be fair, SWORD does do a lot of diplomacy with the aliens in this part of the galaxy - the part the Chiss didn't block off from Earth. But yeah, Brand and her people - and her predecessors - missed this ali
  8. CelseteAntola TF.N Books Staff

    VIP
    Member Since:
    May 18, 2002
    star 3
    Ahhhh... so much information! And the suspense! Oh, the suspense!

    FANTASTIC update! =D=

    ~Celeste

    EDIT: Because I can't spell today... :oops:
  9. Onderon1 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 18, 2008
    star 4
    Author's Note: I once stated something to the effect that Cable wouldn't appear in the Braddockverse ... [face_thinking] ...

    But times change. That said,
    who this Cable is remains to be seen, as does his ultimate mission ... [face_whistling]

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    Chapter 4: Prologue: Mesa Verde, New Mexico:
    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    He sat cross-legged, floating upside down - it aggravated his "students," which was one of the reasons the silver-haired man rather enjoyed the unusual form of meditation.

    He came from a long tradition of annoying mentors, after all.

    He opened his mind to the ebb and flow of reality, specifically attuned to things that few others could perceive, even if they were as gifted as he was. Then again, few people could claim to have gone through what he'd gone through.

    At the same time that the middle-aged man was getting in tune with the universe, he was also getting in tune with the global datanet. Being a cyborg did have some privileges.

    He frowned when he started sifting through a series of exotic energy signatures, and cross-referenced them with police reports of unusual thefts from around the planet.

    Dangerous thefts.

    Cross-referencing: Multiple cross-time displacement event spikes within last 4 standard hours match series of exotic-tech theft reports: his internal AI agent said.

    Cross-time spike - Fort Hayden, Kentucky: Surplus plasma projectors removed from decommissioned Sentinels:

    Cross-time spike - Creston, New Jersey: Polymer-mesh refractive armor confiscated from bankruptcy of Stark Enterprises:

    Cross-time spike - Borgnais, France: Anti-matter storage unit:

    Cross-time spike - Xiaoyin, China: Reputed scale from entity: Fin Fang Foom:

    Cross-time spike - Caracas, Venezuela: Infectious techno-organic mesh in stasis tube:

    "Halt replay. Synopsize other reports and backtrack cross-time spike source if originating from within this timeline," the man said, coming out of his near-trance and righting himself in mid-air as his lip curled at the news of the last theft.

    T-O mesh ... active. Damnit. Whoever stole that filth is either too stupid to know how dangerous it is, or too twisted to NOT know. Either way, that's reason enough to get involved ... the man thought, pulling on a blue armorweave bodysuit over his shorts.

    He started strapping on various weapons - and weapon belts - as early-evening sunlight gleamed off of the silvery metal that made up his left arm. Other than that, the only other evidence that he was cybernetically enhanced were six scar lines, radiating like the spokes of a wheel, from around his right eye.

    His left eye blazed with barely-suppressed golden energy, pulsing with frustration as he heard his AI agent reply, Backtrack report complete: All cross-time spikes originated in Chiba City, Japan, within last six hours. Total of 12 cross-time spikes, consistent with graviton-based wormhole generation; variable frequency cross-time shifts indicate access to cross-time attunement device or recently displaced cross-time entity energized with cross-time vibrational energies.

    "Any evidence of the latter?" the man asked, checking his largest guns - he decided against the pulse-wave rifle or the sonic screamer, and went with the straightforward plasma rifle with the grenade launcher slung underneath.

    Options are always nice, he thought, smiling thinly as he glanced in a mirror and shook his head.

    If only they could see me now ...

    Confirmed: Displacement of preadolescent human confirmed in locus: Chiba City, Japan, 4 standard hours ago: the AI agent replied, and the man cocked an eyebrow as the video of the boy's arrival replayed over his HUD.

    "Mandalorian armor ... ? What the - wait, freeze and enhance image," the man ordered, concentrating.

    He looked at the boy's face, then saw several HY
  10. Onderon1 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 18, 2008
    star 4
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    Chapter 5: 4/2008-40.4 ABY: Former HYDRA safehouse, Chiba City, Japan:
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Before Zeth had ever learned to wear beskar'gam, or to shoot a gun, his mom had taught him how to sneak. "Sometimes stealth is more useful than the biggest blaster," she'd said.

    It helped me sneak cookies. And Ba'buir Ysanne's not telling me everything she and her people are doing, Zeth figured, hiding behind a half-opened door to his grandmother's office.

    She was talking with that creepy doctor lady - who, Zeth noticed now, had six arms - and Ba'buir felt funny in the Force. Happy, but serious, too.

    "... will take some time to reverse-engineer those plasma cannons for infantry use, but that's part of the reason why we set up shop in Chiba, to most easily make use of the AIM presence and the zaibatsus. The refraction armor, on the other hand, will be easy enough to downsize for stormtrooper armor plating," Zeth heard Ba'buir Ysanne say.

    "Or, for incorporation into the armor matrices of the new -" the doctor started to say - but they went quiet, and Zeth gulped when the door swung inward.

    Ba'buir Ysanne looked down at him, frowning, but Zeth tried not to be scared. He stared right back and said, "I wanted to know more about what's going on. I'm ... sorry for spying."

    Ba'buir laughed, then - she thought he was being funny, Zeth guessed - and she ruffled his hair. "Oh, now that is irony. I don't see how filling you in on some of the details can hurt, little one," Ba'buir said, and she let Zeth sit down in one of the empty chairs.

    He looked at the doctor, and she smiled back. "Brave soul, braveheart, but be careful what questions you ask," she said.

    Zeth just nodded, still trying to be brave, until Ba'buir Ysanne frowned at the doctor and said, "Spiral, behave. I already indulged your exotic supply request by having that dragon scale recovered."

    "For which I'm grateful, Madame Director. But pray tell, now you've finished 'downloading' the vibrational energies from your grandspawn there, what'll you do with him?" Spiral asked, and Zeth gulped.

    Ba'buir looked at him and said, almost nice, "Protect and raise him as he should be raised, of course. You were going to be a soldier in the armies of Mandalore, yes, Zeth?"

    "Yes'm," Zeth said, quietly. His buir'ade hadn't wanted him to have to be a soldier, but that was what Mando'ade DID ... or at least, that was what Zeth thought.

    But fighting is kind of scary. I was gonna start learning from Buir - Dad - before ...

    Zeth tried not to cry when he remembered what'd happened to his dad ... and then he heard a voice call, ... Zeth ...

    Mom?! Zeth called back through the Force - she was HERE!

    But Spiral frowned at him and told Ba'buir, "Another timedancer - the whelp's mother. And ... a third -"

    Then Spiral cursed, something really bad-sounding, and spat, "DAYSPRING! Here in Chiba!"

    Ba'buir narrowed her eyes and asked, "Jaina Solo-Durron, here ... and Cable? Things are moving faster than I'd expected. I'll have to accelerate the timetable."

    To Zeth, Ba'buir said, nicer, "We can wait on your training, darling. I understand that you're still grieving for your father - and full, sure vengeance will be exacted for his murder, I promise. Unfortunately, I've got some unexpected visitors to deal with. You'd best return to quarters."

    "But - what about my mom? Can't I just go to her?" Zeth asked, trying not to whine.

    Ba'buir smiled and said, "I'm sure we can arrange that. Now go."

    "Yes'm," Zeth said, turning to go - but he knew, knew, she was lying.

    And that creepy Spiral lady's not nice ... and there's those other people, the brother and sister and that guy
  11. CelseteAntola TF.N Books Staff

    VIP
    Member Since:
    May 18, 2002
    star 3
    :eek:

    I find myself gasping everytime I read one of your updates, O!

    Really great characterizations, and you're handling all these plotlines effortlessly! And yay! Kyp and Jaina! Should be fun to see them kick Ysanne's arse! :p

    Looking forward to the next update! :D

    Cel
  12. Onderon1 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 18, 2008
    star 4
    Celeste - Thanks. :D

    I'm trying to keep this going fast, and to that end, a short update, focusing on fathers and sons ... [face_thinking]

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    Chapter 6: 4/2008: Akihiro Corp. zaibatsu, Chiba City, Japan:
    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    "I'm sorry, ah - Herr von Strucker? - but the president isn't in at the moment ..." the frightened receptionist said in English, while Wolfgang stood over her desk with his arms crossed behind his back.

    Poor dear. Unfairly frightened - but I fear I've little time for subtlety, von Strucker thought, regretting the necessity of the ... exuberance of his entrance.

    The Gorgon had nonlethally taken care of two of the security guards, but the potted plants in the fake bamboo forest decorating the foyer had been turned to stone when the mutant ronin's blindfold had slipped. Between that and the shattered glass from von Strucker breaking the front door with his Satan Claw, they likely had little time to waste.

    "Viper is delayed. Yoshida is apparently in an emergency meeting with his cousin," the Gorgon whispered in von Strucker's ear, and the baron nodded, frowning a bit. He'd hoped that having the Silver Samurai - cousin to Japan's first mutant prime minister, Shiro Yoshida - tied to HYDRA through the Samurai's lover Viper would have expedited getting the intelligence HYDRA needed.

    But of course, nothing's easy ... Wolfgang complained silently, until the receptionist gasped and looked behind her, saying, "Mr. Akihiro - !"

    "Stand down on calling the defense forces, Ms. Mahitsu. I'm the one who should apologize to our unexpected guests - whom, I hope, will do us the courtesy of paying for the damages and the hospital bills for the guards?" the president of Akihiro Corp. asked, striding out of his office like a jungle cat.

    "We'll be sure to recompense you for your troubles, Daken-san," von Strucker said - in flawless Japanese, as a way to smooth over this entire unfortunate affair.

    The younger man nodded, smiling in bemusement as he replied in Japanese, "Baron, Gorgon. Please join me in this rather humble conference room?"

    "Hmph," Gorgon muttered, elbowing his way past Daken in a deliberate snub that von Strucker rolled his eyes at. Fortunately, Daken just shrugged with a magnanimous smile, and let von Strucker and the Gorgon find seats before waiting for Ms. Mahitsu to pour drinks.

    "Thank you, Ms. Mahitsu. Have Toyo and Shiga's injuries seen to at once, please. The visitors and I are not to be disturbed except in the most dire circumstances," Daken said, and the receptionist closed the door behind her as Daken sat.

    Von Strucker looked at the seemingly 20-something president of Akihiro Corp. with a wary eye. To the average observer, Daken would likely appear to be a rather ... punk ... member of Japan's up and coming nouveau riche, maybe the spoiled son of a zaibatsu dynasty. He was half-Asian and half-Caucasian, with his hair shaved into a warrior stripe, and he wore Italian slacks and a polo shirt.

    But the average observer hadn't seen Daken take out a HYDRA cell single-handed several months ago, either.

    In English, Daken said, "I wasn't trying to snub you, Herr Baron. Getting the kind of information you requested takes time. Akihiro Corp. specializes in problem solving and information gathering, but as the Gorgon's reaction proves, I still face some ... roadblocks ... in certain spheres of influence here in Chiba."

    "The half-blood son of Wolverine is not liked by the yakuza he has brought to heel during his rise to power, in other words," the Gorgon rumbled, and von Strucker gave the ronin a warning look before glancing back at Daken.

    Daken just shrugged, popping a claw from the inside of his right wrist - instead of between his third and fourth fingers, as his father's middle claws extend
  13. Onderon1 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 18, 2008
    star 4

    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Chapter 7: 4/2008: Apartment of Yukio, Chiba, Japan:
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    "Let's make this clear: You so much as twitch in a way I don't like -" Fury growled at von Strucker as they and the rest of the rescue team sat back down.

    "Ja, you'll shoot me. Or I'll poison you with the Death Spore. Or our healing abilities will neutralize both injuries and we'll try to strangle each other like the last half-dozen times we fought. We've no time for the old song and dance, Fury. After we deal with our mutual traitor, then we can fight," von Strucker snarked back.

    Fury bit his tongue, then glanced at Kyp, who nodded. "Not sure if I should assume you two know who I am - I'm Kyp Durron, one of the Jedi. More importantly, I'm in this for one specific reason: Isard has a prisoner, a young boy. Rescuing him takes priority," Kyp said, meeting von Strucker's gaze (the Gorgon, fortunately, had his blindfold on).

    Von Strucker glanced at Jaina, who'd sat beside Kyp and was watching the HYDRA leaders cautiously. "Ja, the child from Ms. Solo's alternate timeline. I'm assuming the lad has some connection to the Contessa's - Isard's? - misbehaviors regarding dimensional travel ... interesting, that you'd be so concerned about a boy from another dimension?" von Strucker asked.

    Don't let on more than you have to, Jaina warned through the Force, and Kyp silently agreed with her.

    Kyp narrowed his eyes and held von Strucker's gaze. "Our reasons are our own. Since you're being civil, I'll extend you the same courtesy and phrase this next statement in civil terms. We would be exceedingly displeased were anything to happen to the boy, physically or mentally ... including another kidnapping attempt. He's been through quite enough, according to our intelligence sources," Kyp said, glancing at Cable.

    The Gorgon straightened, frowning a bit - the man was like ice in the Force, and Kyp recoiled from more than a cautious, passive sweep of the warrior's presence - while von Strucker followed Kyp's glance and raised an eyebrow at the collected crowd of mutants, intelligence agents, and others. "Agreed. My priority is getting answers out of de la Fontaine. And despite Nicholas' understandable biases, I am not entirely a monster. I pledge that no HYDRA agent will harm the boy," von Strucker said, nodding.

    I don't trust him, but we have little time to secure promises, Kyp sent to Jaina, and she nodded subtly.

    "Then we'll proceed to the heart of the matter. You understandably need to know the situation on the ground here in Chiba. The woman you know as Contessa Valentina de la Fontaine is, we strongly suspect, actually Ysanne Isard, the former director of the Imperial Security Bureau during the reign of Palpatine," Kyp said, proceeding.

    Von Strucker's eyebrows raised for a moment, and Kyp could sense his mind racing. "Ja ... that would make sense. It would fit with the information coverup she carried on, editing the intel she passed along to us from SWORD and SHIELD," he said.

    Fury's frown deepened, and von Strucker smiled grimly at him. "Bitter, Nicholas? Something we share, in this case. I can afford to extend more courtesy - you can interrogate the Contessa first when we capture her. Far be it from me to stand between true lovers," the HYDRA leader offered.

    "You're all heart, Wolfgang," Fury muttered, and von Strucker gave him a mocking bow of the head before turning back to Kyp and Jaina.

    "In the interest of cooperation, I'll share what the Contessa has done to my organization. At least three of her cross-dimensional infiltrations have been raids on HYDRA and AIM facilities - mostly heavy weapons thefts, power systems, vehicles, etc. It's not so much the equipment as it is the gall of the incursions. I cannot abide such impudence," von Strucker said, growling by the end.

    Kyp nod
  14. Onderon1 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 18, 2008
    star 4
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Chapter 8: Warehouse District, Chiba, Japan:
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    How many times has this scene played out? Jedi walks up to the bad guy's fortress ...

    Kyp considered the thought, walking with Fury and von Strucker through crowds of locals - most of whom looked like ordinary people. Most of them probably were ordinary people.

    But every so often Kyp would sense poorly-hidden anger, or some edge of energy that was more than normal for humans, or the flow of electricity that wasn't quite organic. He didn't have an innate affinity for technometry like many of the Skywalkers did, but any well-trained Force user could pick up a difference between normal neural activity and cybernetics. (And, since his experiences with the techno-organic virus, Kyp suspected he could develop technometry with some dedicated study.)

    Still, we're clearly out of towners ... even if von Strucker had a change of clothes hidden in a dimensional pocket, Kyp thought, keeping an eye out among the crowd while glancing back at Fury and von Strucker. The baron had changed into jeans and a light jacket, and with Fury and Kyp's own casual gear, the three of them looked almost average.

    Heh. Except that Fury's still got the eyepatch, von Strucker's still got the monocle, and I'm packing my lightsaber ...

    A strange sense of displacement washed over the area, and the chatter of business in the small informal market lining the street died down. Fury caught up to Kyp and muttered, "Cable warned us, this close to the place, we'd get backwash."

    "Yeah, but that's an awful lot of backwash," Kyp said, hiding his worry. Clearly, Isard was either being arrogant or sloppy about her cross-dimensional jaunts, and either way, that did nothing for Kyp's assessment of the situation.

    Still, Yukio passed along our request to talk, and Isard - Force help me, Mother - agreed. For Zeth's sake, the critical thing is to play along and hope there's no skifters in the deck ... or that the numbers randomize our way, Kyp thought while they arrived at the main entrance to the building.

    The entire wharfside complex was quite long - more than a kilometer, Kyp figured. But most of the warehouses didn't have two very tall guards standing on either side of the door, built like load-lifter droids and holding blunt instruments.

    Fury said something in what Kyp recognized as Japanese - Betsy had sometimes muttered a phrase in her sleep when she and Kyp had been lovers - and one of the guards nodded. The door swung inward, and Kyp, Fury, and von Strucker walked inside.

    "A moment. Weapons," the other guard said in English, and Kyp glanced at the other men before handing over his lightsaber.

    Fury reluctantly parted with a slugthrower revolver ... then another ... then two knives ... and what looked like a primitive hold-out blaster. Von Strucker gave the guards an acid-tinged smirk and said, "Unless you'd like to try and disarm my right forearm, gentlemen, I'd suggest we forego the formality, ja?"

    The guards looked at von Strucker's garishly-nicknamed "Satan Claw," then backed off while Kyp rolled his eyes. Naming a cybernetic limb after a demon ... and I thought the warlord of the week was bad back in the old days?

    The "negotiators" walked into a loud, ozone-smelling main chamber, with sunlight filtering down through large skylights overhead. Kyp arched an eyebrow as two enormous electrodes crackled, opening a white-edged circular portal in mid-air, and a platoon of stormtroopers marched through.

    He looked around, seeing HYDRA agents and Hand ninja, while Fury did the same. Von Strucker looked both annoyed and bored, but Kyp could sense bemusement from the HYDRA leader - then, a spike of indignation, and Kyp turned to look toward its source.

    Isard, Kyp thought warily, watching the seemingly 40-some
  15. whateveritis12 Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 29, 2008
    star 3
    OMG just OMG, really want to see the SkySolo's reactions when they find out everything that's been revealed in this story.
  16. Onderon1 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 18, 2008
    star 4
    whateveritis12: It should be very interesting, true ... [face_mischief] Thanks for reading. :)

    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Chapter 9: 4/2008: Former HYDRA Safehouse (appropriated at auction from Stark Enterprises), Chiba, Japan:
    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Kyp blinked rapidly, still not entirely trusting his ears or his eyes - yet, he could definitely see traces of Ta'a Chume in Ysanne's face.

    She leaned back in her seat and smiled patiently, while Fury asked, "Who's Ta'a Chume, and why did you go more pale than Domino when Val said her name?"

    "Ta'a Chume is a conniving old witch who's in prison for trying to take back control of a matriarchy of 63 planets in the Inner Rim region of the galaxy. She's not above having her own flesh and blood killed if they get in her way," Kyp said, almost automatically, as he tried to figure out how this was remotely possible.

    Even more horribly, it means that Ta'a Chume is my grandmother, Kyp realized.

    ... EWWWW.

    "Hmm. Sounds like my kind of woman - no, wait, I just had a messy break-up with a similar kind of woman. Ach, affairs of the heart are always fraught with peril," von Strucker said, ignoring the dirty looks that Fury, Isard, and Kyp gave him.

    "And, admittedly, my parents didn't have much of a relationship. I'm the result of a political match made by His Excellency before the Clone Wars - I suspect he had a Force vision of the hazards posed by the Hapes Consortium, so he approached Ta'a Chume. But instead of taking her on as a potential empress, he decided to create a quiet treaty that would tie my mother's hands. In short, he convinced Mother to accept my father, Armand Isard, as a suitor," Isard said, half-smiling.

    Kyp glanced at Zeth, who was listening to all of this closely, then glanced at Isard and said, "Keep it clean, please."

    Isard frowned at him - with a glare that Kyp was reasonably sure some of her prisoners aboard the Lusankya had faced - and snapped, "I am capable of being discrete. You forget who I used to be."

    "Oh, I haven't forgotten, 'Mom.' I'm just saying, we can gloss over certain details," Kyp said, while Zeth looked both confused and annoyed.

    "This's stuff I'll understand when I'm older, right?" the boy sighed, and Kyp nodded at his son.

    My son. Holy shavit, I'm a father ... what was he - my other self, Zeth's dad - like? What kind of timeline did Zeth come from, that Jaina and I became Mandalorians? I'm not ready to be someone's dad. I ...

    He looked at Zeth, then just decided, Kark it. Nobody's ever ready to be a dad, Han told me once. I have a son, and I'm going to protect him.

    Zeth smiled back at him and sent, a little sad but a lot more hopeful, You're a lot like he - I mean, you -

    Thanks, kid. I know what you mean. Just follow my lead and stay close. When this all breaks, it'll happen fast, Kyp sent back. Zeth nodded, growing serious in a way that Kyp thought no child should have to be.

    He's seen combat, of some kind or another ... and he's seen death, up close, Kyp remembered, wincing inwardly when he remembered the Force vision he'd had that morning.

    Well, I've died enough for one day ...

    Kyp turned his attention back to Isard, then asked, "OK, so Armand and Ta'a ... we get the point. But none of this explains why Tenel Ka's genetics weren't flagged by Cilghal's genescan of me after I stepped back from being a proto-Celestial."

    Von Strucker and Fury looked at Kyp like he was either insane or about to open the Ninth Corellian Hell, but Isard just raised an eyebrow and smiled. "You're forgetting who you're talking to, darling. If I couldn't scrub your genome records from databases - Imperial
  17. whateveritis12 Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 29, 2008
    star 3
    So are Jaina and Zeth going to be staying in the Betsyverse timeline, or are thy going to go back to their own? Can really see them going both ways, but with what you've described their own verse as being (every member of their family dead, their adoptive people dead) I think it's more likely they're going to be staying. Would be a little creepy if Jaina just suddenly started treating this Kyp like her husband. Probably something you should look out for if it comes to pass.
  18. wbsaw Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Oct 31, 2008
    star 1
    you really are righting all the canon F-ups aren't you.?? praise be!
  19. Onderon1 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 18, 2008
    star 4

    whateveritis: Jaina and Zeth will be staying, but Jaina won't be rushing into a relationship with Kyp. [face_peace] That doesn't mean that something won't happen down the line, but there are a great many things to be faced first, including her grief for her Kyp.

    Plus, Braddockverse!Kyp's (mis)adventures are far from over ... both facing threats to the common good, and his increasingly complicated love life. :p

    wbsaw: Thanks. :D I've been wanting to write a straightforward Kyp versus Caedus fight for a while now ... [face_mischief]

    I'm going to try and finish this piece within the next few days - Monday, I was just I-) ...

    - Thanks for reading, [face_peace]
    Onderon1
  20. CelseteAntola TF.N Books Staff

    VIP
    Member Since:
    May 18, 2002
    star 3
    I don't know what to say except for that I'm loving every bit of this! I'm glad you're so dang prolific O, because I don't think I've the patience to wait very long for more of this awesomeness. :D

    Looking forward to the next post!

    ~Celeste
  21. Onderon1 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 18, 2008
    star 4
    Thanks, Celeste. :D I'm thinking the wrap-up may take more than one chapter ... [face_blush]:D

    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Chapter 10: 4/2008: Kantei, offices of the Prime Minister of Japan, Tokyo:
    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Her birth name had long been buried beneath layers of legend, deceit, and old-style spycraft - but what mattered the most was that the green-haired woman in the sleeveless green bodysuit who walked into the main office could back up her right to visit.

    The Viper - ruler of the island nation of Madripoor, more-than-occasional enemy of the X-Men (especially Storm), and not-so-secret member of the ruling council of HYDRA - had come to meet with Prime Minister Shiro Yoshida about the crisis in Chiba City.

    It didn't hurt that the Viper's lover, Keniuchio Harada, the mutant known as the Silver Samurai for his ability to energize his katana's blade with tachyons and thus make it practically unblockable, was Shiro's cousin. Unlike Viper, however, Keniuchio's efforts to start his life over after being a promiment figure of the Japanese underworld were sincere.

    Despite Keniuchio's disapproval of HYDRA, it didn't stop him from having a full relationship with Viper. She did, after all, have diplomatic immunity as Madripoor's ruler, although she made sure not to abuse the privilege as much as, say, Victor Von Doom did. Subtlety was the Viper's trademark.

    That, and I'm a damn sight easier on the eyes than Von Doom, Viper thought while she was ushered into Shiro's office by one of his security personnel.

    Her plan was simple: Offer Madripoor security forces to assist the Japanese Defense Force in "encouraging" the treacherous de la Fontaine and her followers to leave Japan ... and if that meant that HYDRA gained a few more notches of legitimacy in certain sympathetic sectors of the Japanese government, who was to say that was a bad thing?

    Viper sensed it, then - not through a superpower, she prided herself on being effective without extranormal abilities. There was an emotional chill in the air, as she returned Shiro's bow and glanced at Keniuchio, who was standing to his cousin's right in full samurai armor.

    Keniuchio looked ... troubled, which worried Viper considerably. Shiro, on the other hand, was as wary as Viper had expected him to be, but he graciously gestured toward a chair and said, "Lady Viper. Please, be welcome."

    "My thanks, Mr. Prime Minister. If you'll forgive my abruptness, I'd like to respectfully address the current crisis unfolding in Chiba. I assume you're aware of the overreaching arrogance of former SHIELD agent Valentina de la Fontaine?" Viper asked while she and Shiro sat.

    Keniuchio looked even more uncomfortable then, and Viper knew something had gone horribly wrong.

    Shiro's thin smile just drove the point home, as he replied, "Yes, we're very aware of the apparent nature of the violation of our sovereignty. Including that HYDRA appears to be involved."

    He pressed a button on his desktop, and Viper bit back a curse as she saw de la Fontaine walking with HYDRA agents in broad daylight.

    Shiro's gaze met Viper's while he smiled and said, "Now of course, we know that recordings can be doctored. But given the urgency of the matter, we felt pursuing a rapid response was wisest. The Japanese Defense Force, including our special operatives, are waiting on standby - we received a generous offer of aid from one of our other allies."

    "Ah." Viper wasn't quite sure what to say; she sensed there was a punchline somewhere in here ... and her eyes slid over to a half-open door l
  22. CelseteAntola TF.N Books Staff

    VIP
    Member Since:
    May 18, 2002
    star 3
    :eek::eek::eek:

    *bites fingernails nervously*

    Please... more soon... [face_praying]

    ~Celeste
  23. Onderon1 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 18, 2008
    star 4
    Author's Note: Thanks to everyone for reading. :D I'd planned on finishing this sooner, but things got rather hectic this week ... :p

    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Conclusion: Somewhere ... else:
    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    So this is what water feels when it goes down a drain ...

    Kyp concentrated on keeping his Force shield up, as he rode the gravitational spiral of the collapsing portal downward - to where, he wasn't exactly sure; the kriffing thing seemed to be generating its own gravity field.

    And I can see why, he realized, as a white light far below him started to grow. It was a glowing lump of machinery, crumpled together with the two electrodes from the portal generator sticking out at odd angles and pulsing.

    Not sure why it's still going like it is, but it's like a collapsing neutron star. This thing could become a small black hole if I don't shut it down ... Kyp figured, running through his mental list of available Force powers.

    He was devoting all his telekinesis to keeping himself alive against the insane gravitational pressures, which were getting worse every second. And pretty much all of his other Force abilities were basic fare or just not effective against inanimate targets ... although he did have Force lightning if he really needed it.

    Or - wait a minute. Duh. The inventor of the shadow bomb can't even plink some out of control gravity generator? Sad, sad, Kyp ... Kyp taunted himself, smirking while he rapidly adjusted his lightsber.

    The weapon started to hum dangerously, and he spared a flicker of telekinesis to start it drifting toward the portal generator.

    Then, as the feedback loop Kyp had created between the 'saber's power cell and its focusing aperture reached critical mass, he pushed off telekinetically back the way he came, just as a mammoth explosion erupted beneath his feet ...

    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Dock district, Chiba City, Japan:
    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    ... and back in the real world, the ruined warehouse's collapse stopped - frozen, seemingly, in time, to the perceptions of the onlookers safely outside the gravity field.

    That lasted for a second.

    Then, the implosion suddenly - violently - reversed, becoming an eerily silent explosion of dust and steel and plaster, while the telekinetics in the crowd threw up protective shields.

    And a streak of brown, blue, and Force blasted upward, shouting a wordless victory cry, his fists above his head.

    "Sonuva ..." Fury chuckled, watching Kyp land safely as Zeth and Jaina ran to him. Kyp returned their hugs, then looked around, counting heads.

    "Hey, wait a minute. Aren't we missing two giant-size critters?" Kyp asked, concentrating -

    and he spun, as the Sith wyrm erupted from the wreckage of the warehouse, roaring in rage while the Martian tripod tried to throttle it with its tentacles.

    "YES, my pet! FEAST! RAMPAGE! Destroy that cybernetic menace and then attack my foes!" the Sith-Jacen cackled.

    The wyrm lunged, its jaws digging into the rear assembly of the tripod, but the war machine's heat ray lanced into the Sithspawn. The crowd held their collective breath, as both monstrous beasts wobbled.

    Finally, the wyrm gave a piteous cry and fell, while the tripod's legs folded, and they collapsed together. The Sith wyrm gave one final, foul, exhalation, seeming to shrink as life left it, and the glow of the tripod's heat ray died to nothingness.

    "FINALLY. It was starting to remind me of that bloody Saturday-night monster movie marathon Pryde's dragon makes us watch," Pete Wisdom snarked, as SHIELD agents carefully approached the defeated giants.

    Kyp concentrated - something didn't quite feel right. The S
  24. CelseteAntola TF.N Books Staff

    VIP
    Member Since:
    May 18, 2002
    star 3
    =D==D==D=

    Fantastic ending to a fantastic fic!!!

    Great job, Onderon! I loved every bit of this!

    ~Celeste
  25. Onderon1 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 18, 2008
    star 4
    Thanks, Celeste. :D At least some of these plot threads will be followed up on in the next long stories in the Braddockverse; others will be addressed in short stories.

    For the short term, however, I have a lot of other 'fic to catch up on ... [face_blush]

    - Thanks again, [face_peace]
    Onderon1
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