Title: Red Steel #3: Showdown! Part 1
Rating: T - For strong violence
Summary: Now that Colossus has discovered the true motives of his new friend Jerome, he will soon be in an epic battle that will determine the fate of Earth as Nigel's plans come to light and an alien invasion is threatening the world!
Notes: Please be gentle with the criticisms! :D
Previous "Red Steel" Stories:
The Beginning of Red Steel:
In the last story, Colossus takes on the secret identity “Red Steel” to not only protect the people of New York City from the alien invasions, but to also prevent himself from being seen by the Avengers and the law. Unfortunately, Red Steel will soon discover that there are many aliens that are trying to do harm to the city and one of the aliens that he encounters is called the “Skin-Ripper.” The Skin-Ripper began causing mayhem in New York City when it started ripping off the skins of helpless victims and Colossus then realizes that he must stop this alien menace from killing anymore people. Red Steel then goes and fights the Skin-Ripper, but soon realizes that the Skin-Ripper is too powerful for him and he was having a tough time trying to defeat this alien. However, Jerome comes to Red Steel’s rescue and helps him defeat the Skin-Ripper. But as the Skin-Ripper was lying on the ground dying, he then tells Red Steel and Jerome about the true plans of the alien invasion and that there is a mole that is helping the aliens get to Earth! After the defeat of the Skin-Ripper, there were news reports all over New York City that mentioned about how Jerome and Red Steel both defeated the Skin-Ripper and everyone starts to notice about Red Steel’s existence. When Nigel Faust hears about Red Steel, he is outraged for he believes that Red Steel will ruin his secret plans. After talking with Commander Zoid, a mysterious alien commander from the Planet Gork, Nigel decides to take matters into his own hands in dealing with Red Steel. Meanwhile, the X-Men members at the Jean Grey School for Higher Learning also saw the news reports about Red Steel and when they believed that Red Steel might be Colossus, they decided to go and find Red Steel quickly. Later on, Red Steel starts to become suspicious of Jerome, for he thinks that Jerome is keeping a huge secret from him. So Red Steel decides to confront Jerome in his secret headquarters to make him tell him about the alien invasion and what is the true motive behind it.
Chapter 1: The Big Reveal!
“So, everything that you had told me…was it a lie or was it true?” asked Red Steel.
Jerome looked at Red Steel with a cool gaze on his face and said, “Everything I said about my life as a child was all true. I was responsible for the destruction of my home and killed all of the protesters who had shot my parents. It’s true that I have been on the run from the law for many years. But what I didn’t tell you was what happened to me after that incident.”
Jerome then sat down on a chair near Red Steel and he started to explain the second part of his story:
“After I ran away from the scene, I was trying to figure out what I wanted to do with my life while avoiding the police. I tried to find a place to stay for the next few years since at the time, my closest relatives, who were my grandparents, both lived in North Carolina and I couldn’t travel that far. So, I found this abandoned building near Central Park and for the next ten years, I lived there while getting food from kind strangers and wearing old blankets and discarded clothes to keep me warm.”
Jerome slightly shuddered as he remembered the terrible life that he had lived years ago, in order to steer clear from the police. Jerome sighed quietly and then continued on with his story:
“I was barely surviving in the conditions that I was forced into; but then when I was seventeen years old, my life suddenly changed when this strange man mysteriously came to the abandoned building I was staying in. I was suspicious of this man since I thought that he was sent to the building to alert the police of my whereabouts. However, the man told me that he means me no harm and that he knows that I am a mutant and that I was involved in the murder of the protesters back at my old home. I started wondering to myself about how he even knew that I was a mutant or the fact that I was the one who murdered the protesters. The man told me that he saw the news reports and knew that the policemen were still after me, years after the incident. It turns out that this man worked at the Natural Resources Center and he needed a personal assistant to help him with his duties and he decided to offer me a job. In return, he promised that he would not reveal my true identity to the public and that I would be paid handsomely for my services. Ready to ditch the poor life I was living and stop being afraid about the police coming to arrest me, I agreed and began working for him for the past five years.”
Red Steel looked at Jerome for a few moments as he let this information sink in and then said, “This man…you said that he worked at the natural resources center? He sounds suspiciously like…” Then Red Steel gasped and said, “No, it cannot be!”
“It is,” said Jerome solemnly. “The man I started working for was none other than Nigel Faust. Once I started working for him, I started learning so much about Nigel’s life. It turns out that Nigel had been working for the natural resources center ever since he was nineteen years old and was known as a prodigy in his family for his various accomplishments in the political world. At first, everything was going well as I learned so many things about handling Earth’s natural resources. However, things started to get weird when there were news reports about many mutants disappearing from New York.”
“Are you referring to M-Day when Scarlett Witch decimated the mutant race?” asked Red Steel.
“No, this was happening a year before M-Day. I tried asking Nigel about whether or not he knew anything about the disappearance of the mutants, but he acted like he didn’t know what was going on and told me to forget about the disappearances. For awhile, I did indeed forget about the disappearances of the mutants until M-Day came and I started remembering about the mutants that disappeared earlier. I started running towards Nigel’s office again, wanting to see if he remembered about the mutants’ disappearances, but the moment I reached his office, I saw this strange blue guy talking to Nigel. I was curious about this mysterious person that Nigel was talking too and I tried to stay out of sight, but I accidentally tripped by the door and that’s when Nigel and the blue guy saw me.”
“Sounds like my first attempt at sneaking up on Nigel also,” commented Red Steel.
“You tried to sneak up on Nigel?” asked Jerome.
“Da, and it was not as successful as I thought it would have been,” said Red Steel.
“Join the club,” said Jerome and then he continued his story:
“I tried to get away as fast as I could, but then Nigel quickly caught me by the neck and dragged me away from his office. He then slammed me against the wall and he started threatening me, saying that if I revealed what I had just saw, he would make sure that my job with him is “terminated.” It didn’t take a genius to figure out the “double” meaning of that sentence and after I agreed with him, he let me go and went back to his office. It was then that I knew that Nigel was up to no good and if I kept on working with him, I would either be killed or be caught up in something that I don’t want to be involved in. I could have taken him down with my mutant powers, but I didn’t want to cause a scene, especially after he hadn’t revealed my identity to the public yet. So, I told him that I was going to quit the job to find another job and let me tell you, it did not go over too well. Nigel threatened that if he ever see me again, he was going to kill me on the spot, especially since he believes that I was going to be a threat to his “plans” after I saw him meeting with the blue guy.”
“So, what did you do after that?” asked Red Steel.
“Luckily, I had a lot of money left over from my job, so I was able to set up a secret headquarters in this abandoned building and bought a computer mainframe to help me check out everything going on in New York City,” said Jerome.
“So that is why you always ran off somewhere without warning,” commented Red Steel.
“Yeah, I had little tracking device on my beeper that alerts me on alien activity so that way, I could go across New York and defeat the aliens. I also started using the computer mainframe to keep tabs on Nigel Faust’s activities over the past few years. Ever since he went ballistic on me when I saw him talking with the blue guy, I decided to spy on him a bit to see what his true plans were and what it would mean for the citizens of New York City.”
“Did you ever found out anything about his plans?” asked Red Steel.
“Only that he was still communicating with the blue aliens. About what, I’m still in the dark about that,” said Jerome.
Red Steel looked down at the floor for a few moments and then asked, “But, why did you not tell me about all this before?”
“Well, you are a fugitive, right? Not only are the police after you, but the Avengers are too and I had to keep everything I did a secret so that way Nigel wouldn’t find out about me spying on him. Even if that meant keeping this secret from you in the process,” said Jerome.
“Oh, I understand now. So, what made you decide to tell me all this?” asked Red Steel.
“Well, apart from you coming into my headquarters like Darth Vader, I figure I could trust you. You seem like a really good person and we are both in a situation where we did bad things in the past, but are trying to make up for it,” said Jerome in a reassured tone.
Red Steel looked at Jerome with appreciation and said quietly, “Thank you, Jerome.”
“No problem,” said Jerome.
Suddenly, there were sounds of explosions outside of the headquarters and Jerome and Red Steel looked at each other worriedly.
“More aliens?” asked Red Steel.
“Seems like it, but it sounds…different than before…” said Jerome quietly.
“What do you mean?” asked Red Steel.
“It sounds like there are people trying to fight the aliens,” said Jerome.
“Could it be the Avengers?” asked Red Steel worriedly.
“I don’t know, but we got to check it out! Just stay low behind me until we can see who it is,” said Jerome.
So Jerome and Red Steel sneaked quietly out of Jerome’s headquarters to see what was going on. What they saw was a tragedy beyond anything they could have ever imagined.
The aliens were not only torturing the civilians, but the city was in shatters as the buildings were being destroyed and bombs were going off everywhere.
“Oh my god! The aliens are really tearing this city apart!” yelled Jerome.
“We must stop them right now!” yelled Red Steel as he started running towards the aliens. But just as he got close enough, he saw several figures fighting off the aliens and he immediately recognized them.
“Oh no…it cannot be!” said Red Steel breathlessly.
“What! What is it?” asked Jerome.
Red Steel just pointed at the figures fighting the aliens and said with a pained expression on his face, “It is the X-Men! They are here!”