- Republic of Gensoha
- Northeast of the island
- December 25, 1963
- 23:46 EST
The heavens exploded as OMACs discharged their beam weaponry in a near-stellar display. Heat radiated and spread forth, scorching the treetops formerly outside the reach of the ground flames. Stones and cliffsides charred in the heat, with soot forming upon them like the ashes of embers, blackening the landscape. And yet, as the light focused and centralized on the single target, it pulsated. Resonating like a living star over the vicinity of the Earth, the energy began to bend around the target, spiraling like whirlpool of light. And as it did, a loud piercing sound echoed forth, like a screech of a phoenix. The energy then began to surge into a sphere, like an orb of light. Ripples like tactile kinetic waves tore through the air like thin white streaks, vibrantly dissipating like the mist of the chilled air.
Suddenly then, the sphere of energy began to regress, compressing smaller and smaller until it was a mere beacon of light. And then, it was as if all sound were eclipsed, and an unnatural silence fell over the island. The energy sphere then splintered into fractured beams and shards of light, firing out in countless rays, engulfing the OMACs. Several beams struck down onto the island, carving through the ground until it struck the oceans. The sheer force of impact sent concussive blows through the ground, causing several weakened trees to violently uproot from the charred ground, and implosions of the sea waters to surge into the crevices like a vacuum sucking them into the shattered earth. And then the skies erupted in a series of explosions that lit up the night in a display unlike any other. In a near-simultaneous event, the some two hundred OMACs were struck by their own attacks, with only a select few reacting fast enough to evade.
"GET THE BOOTS ON THE GROUND!!"
Major Lane tightly gripped his rifle as he ordered his troops to hold the line. This was a suicide mission from the beginning - it always was. This was a test of the OMACs, to see how they'd fare against the infamous terrorist mutant. And S.H.I.E.L.D. sent their own men in as living corpses, knowing it all, knowing what would happen to all of their soldiers should the tactic fail... they did it anyways. And fail it did. Lane stared up with his rifle in hand, glancing up out of the foxhole as he saw the aerial battle overhead between the surviving OMACs and the terrorist. The sky periodically lit up as the OMACs fired their energy weapons - indeed they were beginning to fight more effectively. But it was too late, he knew it... and he was sure Luthor knew it too.
"Major," Luthor said, turning to Lane. He must have known the situation; the OMACs were good as defeated... which meant there would soon be nothing between them and Eisenhardt, but still his tone was calm and serene, "I propose we fall back in a tactical retreat. The OMACs will finish up here and buy us time."
Another two explosions sent concussive waves through the air as two more OMACs were destroyed.
Lane then glared at Luthor. "I don't give a damn who you think you are, but S.H.I.E.L.D. operatives obey their orders to the letter - desertion is not an option!"
"Major Samuel Lane, please try and understand. You are all non-factors. A non-existent variable meant to delay and an inconsequential sacrifice for the purpose of filling a role until the appointed time arrived that the true battle began--"
Without a word, Lane clinched his bloodied hand into a iron fist and planted his knuckles directly into the side of Luthor's face. He felt his bones, already weakened from the battle, crack as he struck Luthor's face. Pain surged through his forearm, but it was suffocated behind the satisfaction he derived from it.
"Say what you will about me, Luthor, but you ever insult S.H.I.E.L.D., my men or what we represent... and I'll shoot you where you stand. And I wouldn't give a rat's ass if your authority came from General Fury, LBJ or the damned ghost of President Kennedy himself."
Luthor spat out as another flare of light from an explosion spread overhead, getting back up to face the major.
"Understood, major. I simply meant to inform you of your role and purpose here. You were never intended to succeed... in fact no one ever truly believed any of this regiment would even survive. This was the first step of Operation: Wideawake, the war between monsters and machines. The OMACs and the mutants. This was never S.H.I.E.L.D.'s war, major. Fall back, now."
Lane sneered at Luthor, summoning all the self control he could to avoid striking Luthor down again. At that, Luthor took off his earphone set and handed it to Lane.
"If you are so tied down in dogma and procedure, you can request the order directly from General Fury. I have a direct communicative line."
Looking at it at a glance, Lane then glared again at Luthor, a standoff lasting mere seconds that felt like hours. Then, in a sudden move, Lane smacked Luthor's hand away, knocking the headset out of Luthor's hand.
"Troops, to me! Fall back to the last strategic position!"
Droves of soldiers began gathering their equipment, moving out in retreat to the fall back position. Luthor and Lane then glared at each other again before they both headed out of the trench. As they ran for several minutes, the dark ground became bright as if the sun were shining down over them. As Lane glanced up, the burning wreckage of an OMAC fell down overhead.
"HIT THE DIRT!"
Lane crashed into Luthor, knocking them both down to the ground as several other soldiers did the same. Shards of heated metal shot out in all directions, searing several troops making their escape as black smoke filled the vicinity. Lane and Luthor both coughed in the thick gloom as Lane stumbled to his feet, attempting to move Luthor along.
"Come on! We have to--"
Lane then became silent. Luthor finally stumbled to his feet, stopping short as he saw two reddish gold eyes through the black fog.
A figure then emerged, seething with anger, with hatred. In his fist was the head of an OMAC robot, shattering and splintering as he crushed it, letting the shard remains fall to the ground.
At that, Luthor's expression turned stern and emotionless. "...Sovereign.."
Twenty two years earlier.....
- Extermination Camp Vernichtungslager
- December 16, 1941
- 03:34 EST
"Get up!! Now! Everyone!"
The whistle blared again, a sharp screeching sound in the tiny hut. The doors flung open revealing the dismal sky and stenched rain, poisoned by the smoke of the furnaces. Max awoke with a gasp, clinching the arm of his mother who wrapped her arms around him.
"Everyone! Up! Now!"
Several Nazis entered the hut, wielding what looked like metal sticks, batons. Many rose quickly, although they all began back stepping near to the back of the hut.
"We said out! Everybody, get out now!"
Several women began screaming, and Max felt tears roll down his eyes. He didn't know what was happening, he had no idea. There was too much screaming, too many Nazis all at once. And it all scared him. Scared him more than anything else he'd been through before, more than anything he'd seen.
"Mother.." Max said, looking up at her. She was crying like he was, tears rolling down her face. But even as she was, her words were anything but fearful.
"Don't be afraid, little Max. Everything's okay, they're just... moving us somewhere."
Max felt his tears stop rolling, "Somewhere? Where?"
"I don't know, little one. Be silent, it's all be... all be okay.."
After that, a man walked into the hut. He had blue eyes, glasses, black hair and a black beard. He wore a suit with many buttons on it, and several badges on his chest.
"All of you, please remove your clothes and follow the guards. We need to keep you all in optimal health, so we are merely taking you all to a shower. We are on a schedule, we need to proceed so that the next groups may have their turn."
Perhaps they were convinced or wanted to believe a lie over the truth, but several other Jews stepped forth, influencing the vast majority to follow in line.
"See? Didn't I tell you? It's only a shower, little one." Max's mother said, hesitantly. Unlike Max however, tears still rolled down her cheeks.
Max's mind shifted to earlier before, to when Benjamin had told him vague tales of what was done to the Jews when they were moved in groups. A gagging feeling overtook him as and he felt like he was marching to his death.
Max yelled out, but between his mother's hand and the pushing of the crowd, Max was forced along the line. Up ahead, Max could hear struggling, screaming and shouting. He saw Benjamin ahead, taken out of the line as several guards beat him.
Without warning, Max's mother covered his mouth, forcefully hushing him. He knew what she meant, what she wanted him to do. Leave him. He was good as dead now. Eventually the line came to an end at a massive metal door. It looked like the door to a vault, with thick metal and locks. Nonetheless, the guards shouted, moving the line into the dark room. As the door closed behind them, leaving them in total darkness, several others began shout out, telling everyone not to worry, and that it was just a shower. In the chaos, Max became separated from his mother and fell from the rush of panicked movement. As he fell to the floor, Max's mother rushed over to him, holding him in her arms.
"Don't be scared, little Max.. don't... don't be afraid."
At that, portions of the ceiling opened up as light shined through. Many inside began quieting in expectation, until they saw them. Men in suits, staring down at them as they placed a large funnel over the openings. Small canisters dropped as the chamber exploded into hysterical screaming. Max watched as the light vanished and the openings closed, saw the last glimpses of light as a strange mist from the canisters spread out. Everyone began trampling each other, banging on the walls, the metal door leading outside, frantically hollering and crying out. However, as the light began to fade Max's sights focused only his mother. The screams echoed in his ears, robbing him of hearing the final words uttered by his mother. Several minutes passed as the chamber became silent. As two of the guards opened the gas chamber door, the first froze in place as the second ran off to Dr. Klaus Schmidt.
"Dr. Schmidt!! Dr. Schmidt!!"
Sitting at his desk in his office, the man glared up at the soldier disturbing him.
"Yes Bismarck, what is it?"
"It's urgent, sir! I think you shout see this. In the chamber, there was--"
Without listening to another word, Schmidt got up from his desk, quickly making his was through the outside rain to the gas chamber, which was flooded with guards watching as spectators. Pushing them out of the way, Schmidt stopped in his tracks as he saw it, a lone small boy sitting amongst the corpses, still clutching his dead mother's hand. Staring at him, Schmidt grinned subtly.
"What is your name, boy?"
Max sat silently. Tears continued to roll down his face even though he no longer was crying. Only a weeping in silence. Slowly, he rose his head, facing Schmidt with a deadened expression, devoid of all feeling and emotion.
Schmidt grinned even wider. "Max Eisenhardt is it? Quite a special boy, aren't we?"
At that, Schmidt walked into the gas chamber and knelt down in front of Max.
"Do you know who I am, Max?"
"Yes.. you are Dr. Schmidt... I know who you are."
At that, Schmidt laughed heartily, closing his eyes in the amusement.
"Ah, Schmidt. Yes, that is a name of mine, but only one of many. These are dangerous times, Max. And I must take proper... precautions. I have great plans for you, Max. Rise, come with me."
At that, 'Schmidt' held out his hand for several seconds. Max merely stared at his hand, not letting go of his mother's.
"...who are you?"
"To the common, I am Schmidt. To the privileged, I am Raschke. But to you, and to those few chosen among us... you may call me Savage.. Baron von Savage."
(Vandal (first name?) Savage's formal entrance. He is an amalgamation of Vandal Savage and Sebastian Shaw for now, but I may blend in another, possibly Baron von Strucker to complete him.)