1761Captain Marvel #88
- May 7, 2010Reno, Nevada.
On the street after dark, Marlo Jones screamed as the paramedics rushed to strap Rick Jones into his gurney and put him into the back of the ambulance. He had been torn wide open by the Slashers. (1)
Her thoughts swam, incoherently, as she covered her face with her hands and kept watching him, hoping that somehow he would instantaneously recover as though there was nothing wrong, no gaping wounds in his abdomen.
She went with them to the hospital, not listening to a single word anyone said. Rick remained unconscious, mumbling occasionally, meaningless phrases.
Finally, they arrived at the hospital, and Marlo had to wait. Rick was rushed into an operating room and that was that.
While she sat there, helpless, the Magistrate watched, invisible, the light bending around his body effortlessly. He derived no joy in being here, but it was his duty. Not only because this man had been his father's partner in defending the universe, once upon a time, but because it was necessary in his role as the Magistrate for him to be here today.
This was the day that Rick Jones was to die.
The Magistrate entered the operating room and froze time. The doctors and nurses stood stuck in place, Rick stuck between feeble heart beats, near the end of his song.
Shining with bright light, Genis-Vell gently, quietly removed his golden nega-bands from his wrists, one at a time. He clasped them onto the dying sidekick's wrists, clicking them into place and soldering them, melding them to his genetic sequence.
They were bonded to him now, as they had been before.
The photonic energy illuminated the entire room as the bands changed Rick as much as he changed them, charging his body with an energy that would add to his natural physical healing properties just enough for him to make it through.
He would live, and the timestream was forever altered, irrevocably, in that moment. Genis hoped his father would have approved and would not have condemned him for his foolish act.
In saving Rick Jones's life, he had also damned him.
Half Kree. Half Titan. A bastard child, born in a laboratory. Some even say he's destined for greatness. Destined to become something above the photonic energy manipulating powerhouse he is right now. He is Genis-Vell. He is Captain Marvel.
Captain Marvel #88
Writer: John Flint
Webmaster: Liam Gibbs
"I came as soon as I could," Betty Banner said, hugging Marlo in the waiting room, "how is he?"
"They haven't told me anything yet," Marlo said.
"He will pull through," the Magistrate said, revealing his presence to them, blinding them with his white light which emanated from every cell of his body. It masked him, so that they would not know he was Genis-Vell, the former Captain Marvel.
"Ah no, not again," Marlo said, "more cosmic confusion, please, just leave us alone "
"Richard Millhouse Jones would not survive if I had not interfered," the Magistrate revealed, "I apologize for my intrusion into your personal lives, but I found it necessary this once. I am the Magistrate.
"Your husband will be healed through the molecular process of bonding to the nega-bands; in return, he will heal the mind and soul of another who is quite ill."
"Who is that?"
"Genis-Vell," the Magistrate said, not bothering to explain that the other body the bands were bonded to was an alternate reality version of himself who went by the codename of Captain Photon and whom he had driven crazy with insane visions provided by Entropy. (2) "He is also bonded to the bands."
"Oh no," Marlo said, covering her face in her hand, "Rick told me about this "
"You're going to punish him for being stabbed open by some super-villains?" Betty said, indignant, poking her finger into the blindingly bright man's chest, "I'm going to tell you what you're going to do, you're going to"
"I appreciate your concern," the Magistrate said, "but it has been done. It cannot be undone."
"I'll find some way to undo it," Betty said, "then I'll sic my husband on you."
The Magistrate disappeared in a final flash of light, having run out of words to say to the women.
[The next morning.]
`Morning, sunshine. Ready to eat some eyeballs?'
"Huh?" Rick awoke with a start, and realized immediately he was not in his bed. Before freaking out, he accessed the situation, as Captain America had taught him to do. He realized he was in a hospital room and breathed a sigh of relief as he felt at the blanket covering him.
`Clap those wrists together and let's have some fun '
Rick saw horrifying images in his mind and slammed his eyes shut. The room was still dark and yet the images were as though they were there, right before his eyes, vivid.
"Mar," Rick said, getting out of the bed and shaking her awake.
He went to the door and eventually found the light switch. "What's going on, hon?"
He looked down at his hands and saw the shining nega-bands on his wrists. "Aw, no!"
`That's right, sugarplum. It's just you and me in here. Let me out and I'll tear your woman apart and let you watch. There's nothing I won't do when I get back into your world '
"Then I'll never let you out, monster," Rick promised.
[One week later.]
"Please, help him," Marlo said, "he hasn't shaved, showered, he hasn't slept, his wounds aren't healing right, I don't know what to do "
"I'll have a look at him," Doc Samson promised as Marlo closed the door behind him. "Mind if I have a private session with him?"
"Of course, go ahead," Marlo said, "I'll see if the tea is ready "
Doc Samson stepped into the bedroom. He was now no longer superhuman, his long ponytail brown, his frame chunky rather than beefy. He wore a suit and glasses.
The man he saw before him he hardly recognized as Rick Jones. The man was in his underclothes, stank, and had tied his hands to ropes leading to opposite ends of the room, one tied to the filing cabinet in the corner and the other to his desk.
"Cut it off cut it off cut it off," Rick begged the doctor, "cut off one of my hands either of them then he can't use me can't make me bang them together can't make me bring him back"
"I won't do that," Doc Samson said, "Marlo told me about your situation. I understand he constantly bombards you with violent imagery, mostly of what he'll do to your wife and friends if he trades places with you. But you know that won't happen, don't you?"
"Do you do you do you?" Rick said, panting, sweating, eyes shifting wildly about the room before coming back to Samson and laughing. "You aren't even green anymore! Bruce is dead dead and gone and he thought I'd be strong enough to heal him but I'm not he's too strong constant almost clapped my hands together the first night home almost brought him here almost killed Marlo almost killed everyone killed the world"
"I'm going to give you a tranquilizer, Rick," Doc Samson said, "it'll calm you down and let you get some sleep. I promise, I will see to it that he never sets foot in this world. Whatever it takes. As soon as I leave this room, I'm calling in the Avengers."
"Avengers Defenders Champions X-Men doesn't matter doesn't matter," Rick said and began to laugh again, madly. "We're already dead."
[To be continued ]
1. See issue #82.
2. See Daniel Gordon Presents #77.
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