Title: Red Steel #2: Alien Mayhem! Part 2
Rating: T - For strong violence
Summary: As Colossus becomes the vigilante "Red Steel," many events start unfolding including more alien attacks, Nigel Faust's plan coming to light and the X-Men soon discovering about the mysterious Red Steel! Notes: Please be gentle with the criticisms! :D
Chapter 2: The Skin – Ripper
Later that night…
Red Steel was running across the top of the buildings in New York City, trying to avoid being noticed on the streets below. After he heard the reports about an alien ripping off the skins of innocent bystanders (which was a gruesome thought indeed), he decided to find the alien himself and take him down before it harms anymore people. As he was jumping from building to building, Red Steel felt an exhilaration that he had never felt before. Being an X-Man in the past, he had always trained his body to control his unimaginable strength in his steel form. Red Steel rarely jumped across buildings before since his steel form was excessively heavy, but over time, he had learn how to move a bit more quickly in his steel form so that he could escape from his enemies or take them down much quicker. At the moment, Red Steel felt as free as a bird leaping from one building to the next, as he felt that he could do anything that he puts his mind to; an activity that he rarely offered to himself ever since the decimation of the mutants first started.
Once Red Steel landed on a small building, he heard a commotion down below and he immediately leapt from the building to the ground. Once Red Steel reached his destination in a few strides, the sight he saw ahead of him had terrified and angered him all at once. He saw an alien grab a young woman by her neck and while the young woman was screaming in terror, the alien then punctured the back of the woman’s neck with its sharp claws. Then, the alien proceeded to tear along the woman’s skin with its sharp claws until it reached the woman’s bottom half and then it ripped her skin off while dropping the bloodied form of the young woman on the ground. The alien was just about to hang the skin on another flagpole nearby a building when it suddenly heard a booming voice from across the streets.
“You have made a grave mistake, Tovarisch! You have taken the life of an innocent person and I will not tolerate that!”
Red Steel then ran at the alien and punched it three feet across the street and into a building, which crumbled at the alien’s impact. Red Steel than looked down at the bloodied body of the woman and said to himself, “This is truly utter madness! How could anyone do this to an innocent bystander?” Suddenly, Red Steel heard the sound of debris, from the building that the alien had crashed into, being thrown around. There standing among the crumbled building stood the alien unscathed.
“What? How are you still standing?” said Red Steel surprised.
“Easy, you bumbling Earth life form! I cannot be hurt no matter what moves you can put on me!” said the alien.
Red Steel was taken aback as the alien spoke, but then he regains himself and spoke, “Who are you? Why have you come here?”
“So many questions, so little time to answer to a puny life form. Very well, since you seem so insistent on knowing who I am, I will tell you. I am known as the Skin-Ripper, the only alien around the galaxy who has the ability to rip the skins off of any opponent that I come across,” said the Skin-Ripper with pride.
“So you are an alien who can rip people’s skins off. What is the pleasure in doing this horrible deed?” said Red Steel with disgust.
“I live to see the terror in my victims’ eyes! And hanging their skins on whatever flagpole I can find is like my own personal display of my trophies! Trophies that I intend to get more of for my collection! It might take a little more time to skin you alive, but it would be worth it!”
The Skin-Ripper then leapt at Red Steel and tackled him to the ground. Red Steel tried to push the malicious alien off of him, but the alien held on tight and started scratching at his steel body. Even though Red Steel can barely feel the pain of his steel skin being scratched at, he knew that if he doesn’t do something quickly, the alien will scratch at him until there is nothing left of his body. Red Steel then raised his legs to reach the alien’s stomach and then with a mighty grunt, pushed his legs against the alien’s stomach and sent it flying up into the sky. Once the alien came back down again, Red Steel then grabs the alien and threw it down into the ground.
“Have enough yet?” asked Red Steel through gritted teeth.
Even though the alien’s head was a few inches into the ground, it responded, “I am not even finished yet!”
The Skin-Ripper than lifted itself from the ground and kicked Red Steel up his chin and then made a 180 – degree turn in the air and kicked Red Steel in the stomach, throwing him three feet across the street. Red Steel then crashed into a building and looked dazedly at the alien who was approaching him.
“Give it up, weakling! You cannot possibly think that you defeat me with your puny---“
Suddenly, a gunshot sounded out in the streets and the Skin-Ripper yelped in pain. A bullet had busted through the alien’s stomach and dark purple blood started shooting out of its body. Once his head started to clear up, Red Steel saw a man standing on a building not too far off and immediately recognized him.
“Hey, slime and ugly! Why don’t you pick on someone your own size?” yelled the man at the alien.
The Skin-Ripper then looked behind itself and saw Jerome Brown jump down from the building and onto the ground with two smoking pistols at his sides.
“Well, it seems that I have another interloper to deal with!” the Skin-Ripper said through gritted teeth. Then, the alien stood up quickly and the bullet wound in its stomach started to heal up. After the wound was completely healed, the alien then started running towards Jerome, who had his pistols at ready. Suddenly, the alien was tackled down by Red Steel once again and as Red Steel held the alien on the ground, the alien screamed, “You again? Don’t you ever give up?!”
The alien then raised itself from the ground and pushed at Red Steel until Jerome ran up and started shooting at the alien again, this time hitting it in the leg. The alien screamed again, but healed itself once more and started running for Jerome.
“This isn’t working! There’s got to be a way to kill this thing!” yelled Jerome.
Red Steel thought for a moment and then said, “If this alien cannot be killed from the outside, then it could be killed from the inside!”
Red Steel then ran quickly towards the alien, who was about to rip Jerome’s skin off, and grabbed the alien by the neck. He then proceeded to lift the alien over his head and ended up snapping the alien’s back on his knee. The alien then screamed and fell to the ground, limping as it slowly felt the sharp pain in its back.
“Nice work!” complimented Jerome.
“Thank you, my friend!” said Red Steel grinning.
“You’re welcome! You’re pretty handy with the fighting moves.” Jerome then leaned close to Red Steel and whispered, “Colossus.”
Red Steel looked at Jerome in shock and said, “How did you know?” Then he looked embarrassed and whispered back, “Oh, the steel body gave it away, did it not?”
“Yeah, pretty much. But, I will admit that this is really clever and don’t worry, I won’t tell anyone about this.” Jerome whispered back.
“Thank you,” said Red Steel
The Skin – Ripper was moving slowly on the ground and then whispered, “Fools! You are both fools! You may have defeated me, but you cannot defeat our master!”
Red Steel and Jerome than looked at the alien in shock and Red Steel said, “Master? What master?”
The alien laughed quietly and said, “Our master has great plans for your pathetic planet. Plans that could easily destroy every life form on this waste of a planet. Our mole has done a brilliant job in making our master’s plans succeed!”
Red Steel then grabbed the alien from the ground and started shaking it as he said, “You have a mole on this planet?! Who is this mole?!”
The alien laughed for one last time and then died in Red Steel’s hands. Red Steel then dropped the alien on the ground and said to himself, “I thought that it was bizarre that aliens have suddenly invaded this planet. But, who is this mole and what do they want with this planet?”
Jerome shrugged his shoulders and said, “I don’t know, but whatever it is, it’s pretty bad. We got to figure this out before it’s too late.”
Suddenly, Jerome’s beeper started beeping once more and he looked at Red Steel and said, “Oh, I got to go. I got something important to do, but it was great fighting alongside you, now that we took down this alien threat. Goodbye!”
Jerome then ran off down the streets and Red Steel just stared after Jerome and said with suspicion laced in his voice, “Yes, although I will be seeing you much sooner than you think.”
Chapter 3: Plans and Consequences
The next morning…
In the large glass building located near a lake, Nigel Faust was looking at the morning news on a widescreen TV, in which Sharon Whittner was stating:
“In today’s news, the alien menace known as the Skin-Ripper, that was responsible for ripping the skins off of innocent people, was found dead in the streets of Brooklyn. According to our sources, there were two men at the scene when the alien was defeated and one of the men was an African-American man named Jerome Brown whose background information is unidentified at this point. The other man, who seems to have a steel body and a red costume, is known as the new mysterious vigilante crime fighter, “Red Steel.” These two men are now hailed as the heroes of New York City as they have defeated one of the constant threats that this city has suffered over the past few weeks. Citizens can now rest easy knowing that the Skin-Ripper is no longer threatening the city. This is Sharon Whittner reporting from the Morning News.”
Suddenly, a remote control flew at the TV, smashing the glass to pieces. Nigel Faust then started panting in rage and then screamed, “HOW?! How is it possible that the plans that I had laid out so carefully are ruined by a vigilante and his partner in crime?!” Nigel banged his fists on his desk in anger and then he said to himself, “And that Jerome Brown, I cannot believe that he’s still alive after all this time. What is he doing with this “Red Steel” character? I must find out more about this “threat” or else my plans will come unwinding before my very eyes.”
Nigel then heard a beeping noise coming from his desk and a secret TV screen started rising up from the top of the desk as an alien face appeared on the screen.
“Nigel Faust,” said the alien on the TV screen.
“Commander Zoid,” said Nigel giving the alien a salute.
“What is happening over there? Why hasn’t the shipment of the Earth’s resources been delivered to the planet Gork yet?” Commander Zoid yelled angrily at Nigel.
Nigel stuttered a bit before saying, “I’m sorry commander. I was planning on shipping the Earth’s resources to your planet, but it seems that we are having some problems on Earth at the moment.”
Commander Zoid stared coldly at Nigel and said, “You better handle this problem right away or you will find yourself as a personal slave to the Gorkian Race! This is your last warning!” The TV screen then went blank and slid back into the desk.
Nigel then sat back down at his desk, looking defeated and then he said to himself, “Well, I may have to deal with this “Red Steel” character sooner than I thought. My plans will come to fruition, at any cost!”
Everything was quiet at the Jean Grey School for Higher Learning (except for the sounds of the students going to their classes) as all the staff members were recovering from their battle with the Phoenix Five. Even though they won the battle against the Phoenix Five, their spirits were low as they realized that they had to fight their closest friends to prevent the world from being destroyed.
Ororo Munroe, who had left Utopia after the Phoenix Five were defeated and came to the school to teach the students, was standing by a window and seeing the students coming from the field and going inside the school to get ready for their classes. Her thoughts were troubled as she remembered being on Cyclops’ team after the Schism between him and Wolverine in order to prevent Cyclops’ team from going overboard with their plans to protect the world. Little did she know, the Phoenix Force had come to Earth searching for a new host and it had affected her teammates, Colossus, Magik, Emma Frost, Namor and Cyclops. Even though she tried everything to stop the Phoenix Force from overtaking her teammates, she realized that it was a lost cause once they were lost to the destructive forces of the Phoenix Force. Now, her former teammates were on the run from the law while Cyclops was imprisoned, even though it was the Phoenix Force that ultimately took control of the others’ good intentions to make the world a safer place.
Ororo continued looking out the window solemnly, until she heard a light female voice in the background, “Need some company Ororo?”
The voice belonged to Kitty Pryde, who was now the headmistress of the Jean Grey School for Higher Learning. Even though she was at the school when the Avengers were fighting the Phoenix Five, the events that had happened with the Phoenix Five, had hurt her deeply especially since one of the members came to the school and… that was a memory that she did not want to think about.
“Why, hello Kitten! It is nice seeing you here. So, how was your day?” asked Ororo.
“Well, the students are acting up, as usual, and one of the students manages to blow up a tree during their power controlling lessons,” said Kitty.
Ororo laughed quietly, but then she noticed Kitty’s sad smile. She then asked Kitty, “Do you still miss him?”
Kitty looked down and sighed sadly, “It’s so weird Ororo. I know that it was the Phoenix Force that possessed his body, but even then, the Peter I knew had changed so much. It’s like he’s much…darker now and I don’t know if I could ever have that relationship I used to have with him when he was just a sweet and innocent man who would do anything to protect his friends.”
Ororo looked at Kitty with sympathy on her face and said, “I know Kitten, I know. But, even though things are terrible right now, we cannot lose hope for Scott and the others. Let us just hope that they will see the errors of their ways and come back to us.”
Kitty smiled and said, “Yeah, I hope so too.”
Suddenly, Bobby Drake ran into the room and yelled out, “Hey! There’s something on the news you got to see!”
Kitty and Ororo looked at each other and ran to the main room with the other X-Men members Logan and Hank.
“What’s going on?” asked Kitty.
“There seems to be an alien invasion in downtown New York that occurred a few days ago. But, a new Representative of the Natural Resources Division named Nigel Faust, was actually taking care of the problem for the past few days,” said Hank.
“How come we didn’t know about this?” asked Bobby.
“Maybe the military whackos didn’t want us mutants to interfere with their so-called alien problems,” said Logan sipping on some beer.
Then, the news announcer came onscreen and stated:
“Hello ladies and gentlemen! This is Ronald Quest reporting live from the Morning News! In today’s news, there are some rumors circulating around New York about a mysterious red costumed vigilante named Red Steel along with his partner, Jerome Brown, protecting New York City from the alien invasion. Last night, the two men were responsible for the death of one of the greatest alien threats that New York City has ever faced, the Skin-Ripper, and now, they have been hailed as true heroes for dealing with such a threat. We are now trying to find more information regarding these two men and how they came into the picture in the first place. This is Ronald Quest, reporting from the Morning News.”
The X-Men then looked at each other in shock until Bobby said, “Red Steel? Is that who I think it is?”
The X-Men were speechless for a moment while Kitty looked at the television with a shocked expression on her face.
“Only one way to find out,” growled Logan and then said, “Alright, we gonna go check this “Red Steel” guy out and see if he’s all he’s cracked up to be.”
While Nigel Faust was busy plotting for Red Steel’s demise and the X-Men were making preparations to locate Red Steel, Jerome was going back to his secret headquarters that was located in one of the abandoned buildings. Once he reached inside the den and was about to go to the large computer mainframe, a deep voice echoed across the room.
“Why hello, Jerome. It is a pleasure seeing you here.”
Jerome looked around the room in shock as two knives came out of his hands and he was ready to throw the knives at the intruder when he saw the figure in his chair and recognized him immediately.
Red Steel was sitting in the large chair in front of the computer mainframe and as he turned the chair around, he started looking at Jerome with narrow silver eyes that were deeply unsettling.
“How…how did you find this place?” asked Jerome nervously.
“Simple, I just followed you across town after our fight with the Skin-Ripper.” Red Steel then got up from the chair and started walking towards Jerome slowly while saying, “But, what I want to know is what do you know about Nigel and these aliens?”
Jerome stood his ground, but then he hung his head down and said, “I guess I got some explaining to do.”
Previous Story: Part 1