|Forum Home > ATR CONTEST ENTRIES (May 31, 2011) > Contest Entry: Hard Drive|
This is my entry for the contest... this is just his narrative/origin, the figure pics will come soon.
Date: December 17th, 2009
Location: New York City
“Reed!! Get me Reed. Now!”
“Sir, he’s in a meeting with Dr. Connors right now, and I distinctly remember him telling me he did not want to be distur-”
“I don’t care what you have to do, you get him down here. Now.”
Nurse Jackie decided that it wasn’t worth it to argue, or tell that stupid army man where he could shove his orders, so she turned on her heel and practically ran up the hallway to the doctor’s lounge to collect Dr. Richards. She didn’t know who that guy was - or who he thought he was - or how he knew Dr. Richards, but she didn’t care. She had another 40 minutes and her shift was over. Then it was back to her home, and her cat - and sleep. Pulling these doubles helped pay the credit card bills, but it was hell on her sleep schedule.
“Excuse me, Dr. Richards... there is some arrogant military personnel screaming your name down in the E.R. and he won’t take no for an answer. Can you please come down and see what he wants?”
“Clayton? Is that you? Wow, it’s been a long time... how are you?”
“Sorry Reed, no time for pleasantries. I need you to grab a few of your top men and come with me, now. There is something that you need to see, and something that I could really use your help with.”
“What is it? Is there a medical emergency? Or is it something else?”
As Drs. Richards and Connors climbed into the waiting Hummer outside the hospital, they were both unprepared for what General Clayton Abernathy - otherwise known as “Hawk”, leader of the elite military group G.I.Joe - had in store for them. In fact, Hawk still wasn’t sure he understood what was going on. Or if he believed it yet. But whatever was happening, he knew he needed help.
An LCD screen popped up in front of the doctors, and Hawk’s face appeared, being transmitted from one of the other Hummers that were sitting outside the hospital. As they started to pull away, Reed and Curt listened in stunned silence as Hawk revealed what had been transpiring over the past several months, kept under wraps by the Government so as not to start panic. He showed them Top Secret photos, test results, satellite footage - all the intel that he and his team had gathered.
When he was done, he sat back and asked “So... what do you think?”
Several seconds passed, during which no one moved or spoke. The only sound that could be heard were the buildings wooshing past as the convoy of Hummers sped down the West Side Highway.
Finally, Reed spoke.
“I think we need more help. Let me get in touch with Director Stark.”
As Hawk switched off the camera and the monitor, his personal communicator beeped in his ear.
“Hawk here”, he chirped. “Status report.”
“General, this is Duke. We have a problem. There was another attack, but this time it’s a little closer to home. In fact, it’s right here in our own backyard. One of the analysts from the firm next door was attacked. He’s holding on, but it’s not pretty. He needs help quick, or he’s gonna die.”
“Attacked, here? By who? Or what??”
“We’re still scouring the area, sir, but we haven’t found anything yet.”
“Are you sure it’s our problem and not just some drug deal gone bad?”
“Oh yes, sir. No doubt about it.”
“Is this some kind of joke Reed? I know you’re still sore about Susan and all, but I’ve already apologized several times for that -”
“Tony, this is no joke. This is 100% serious. We are currently in a military escorted Hummer convoy, on our way to... well, they haven’t told us where we’re going exactly. But we’re certainly in a hurry. Can you put a trace on this call and find out where we’re headed?”
“Reed, you should know me better than that. I’ve already been tracking you since the moment my phone rang. In fact, I can’t remember the last phone call I received that wasn’t traced. Let me make a few phone calls and I’ll meet you wherever you end up with a few more brains.”
“What happened to him!!?! Where’s his face??! Oh My GOD what is going on here!!?!?!”
“Ma’am, please take a step back and let the EMT’s handle this. Please, clear the area!!”
“Oh My God, Martin...what happened to Martin!?!”
“Gentlemen, I’m sure that this goes without saying, but I’ll go through the proper procedures if you don’t mind. What you are about to see is highly classified material. We can’t afford to let anyone outside of this room see or hear about what is going on around us. Mass Hysteria would most certainly ensue.”
As the projector hummed to life, and the slideshow started, everyone in the room stared on in silent disbelief as Hawk ran through the events that had led up to the current moment. Director Stark had called in some help with whatever this was. Dr. Banner was seated at one end of the table, while Drs. Pym and McCoy sat in the middle. Dr. Richards sat at the end opposite Banner, while Director Stark stood behind them all. It was a good bet that the most intelligent people in the world were all in this room right now.
“Now that you’ve been brought up to speed on the history - or at least as much as we know - let’s get down to what’s going on right now. This is a picture off the securty cameras of Martin Pidel arriving at work this morning. Married, father of two, an analyst here for one of our ‘front’ companies. We use a lot of civilians with little military training as analysts, it draws less attention and lets us work our magic in secret.”
“And this, gentlemen, is a picture of Martin now. In fact, it’s a live feed coming from down the hall where he’s being monitored.”
“Oh my Go-”
“He was attacked while walking back to the office this afternoon after a quick lunch. He was walking down an alley adjacent to the building, when someone - or something - attacked him. We think it was one of them. We don’t have much to go on, as the surveillance cameras on that alley are sparse, just the one at the end. But as you watch the video, you’ll see Martin here walking, minding his own business. We think he may have been talking to his wife on the phone but we’re not sure. He’s right down here in the corner of the screen, and then he just disappears. If we slow it down, you can see a pair of hands that just reaches out and grabs him and drags him off screen. He stumbled into the building’s lobby a short time later. We immediately brought him up here and stabilized him to the best of our abilities. While we are more than happy with our medical staff, we felt like we needed to get some extra attention from some of the more intelligent people that I know.”
“General... what happened to his face?”
“We’re not positive, but it appears to have been bitten off. At least from his nose down. He also has some nasty bite marks on his arm and chest. We haven’t been able to get the bleeding under control yet.”
“Can we get a better look at him?”
“What happened here?”
Reed motioned to the area where Martin’s right arm used to be.
“There was some flesh that had quickly rotted and become necrotic. We amputated it entirely in hopes that it would stop the spread of the dead flesh. It seems to have slowed it down, but I’m not sure if it stopped it completely.”
Hawk turned towards the group and asked a simple question.
“So gentlemen, do you have any ideas what we can do here? Can we save Martin? I don’t want to sound unsympathetic, but he does have a lot of highly classified information that we need access to. If he doesn’t make it, we stand to lose a ton of intel, not to mention millions of tax payer dollars that have been invested in him and his projects. Martin definitely was working on projects above your pay grade so I can’t tell you any more than that.”
Dr. Banner was the first to speak.
“Well, I have a serum that I’ve been working on that might be able to control the bleeding. It’s a gamma radiation based drug that I’ve been developing to battle cancer, but in the limited tests that I’ve run so far, it’s done a good job at clotting blood as well.”
Dr. Connors was next.
“I’ve been doing some work with reptilian DNA that might be able to help re-generate some of the necrotic flesh. I’m not sure it will grow an entire arm back, but it might be worth a sho-”
Hawk motioned to Dr. Connors to stop.
“Hold on a minute now. We’re talking about a man here. A human being. This isn’t some guinea pig for you brainiacs to test out your newest theories on. This is a man with a family. A wife. Kids. If we start pumping him full of only-God-knows-what and he sprouts a third eye and a tail, we can’t exactly send him back home to his wife, can we?” Hawk looked genuinely concerned as he addressed the room.
“Listen General, you asked us here. We didn’t volunteer for this. YOU asked us for help. I’m not sure what other kind of help you think we can offer. He’s missing half his face for crying out loud. If you want us to keep him alive we’ll do what we can. But this is not just some random car accident victim here. I think it’s safe to say that this man’s ‘family’ life is over, or at least the way he knew it. In fact it might not be too far fetched to say that life as we all know it is over.” Reed looked at Hawk with unflinching seriousness. “Listen, I wouldn’t do anything to Martin that I wouldn’t do to myself, or anyone else in this room. But it’s going to be unconventional medicine at it’s finest. I’m not sure what we can do to help him at this point, but we’ll do what we can.”
Stark took a step closer to Reed, and looked him straight in the eye. “What happens to him now. I mean, to him. Not his arm, not his face. To him. Will he even survive?” He turned towards Hawk and asked, “have there been other attack victims like his?”
Hawk looked down at the table. When he looked back up, he was visibly tired, strained. It looked like he hadn’t slept in days. It was the first time Tony had gotten a good look at the man’s face.
“There have been other attacks, yes. Some were detailed in the footage you’ve seen... some we haven’t shown you. As for Martin? We estimate another few hours he’ll be dead. And then he’ll get back up, just like all the rest. That’s why we called you.”
The men in the room all stood silent, stoically looking at each other and back to Martin. Each of them had ideas on how to best tackle what was going on, but none of them had any idea if it would work. A man’s life hung in the balance. A good man, from the sound of it. Just another innocent victim, a casualty of war.
“General, get him ready to move. I’d like to transport him back to my lab. And I’ll invite each of you to return with me. There’s not much I think we can do for him here. Most of my tools are waiting for me back at StarkTech. I’ll have my driver take each of you wherever you want to go, to get whatever it might be that you need. And then you’ll all return to StarkTech and we’ll get to work.”
Date: January 31st, 2010
Location: StarkTech, New York City
“General Hawk, we’re so glad you could make it. I’d like to take this opportunity to let you know that we - “
“Let’s just get to it Stark. I don’t have all day. Why have you been avoiding my calls? Where is Martin?”
“Martin is no more. Martin Pidel, as the world knows him, is dead. He was already buried. You did attend the funeral, did you not?”
“You know what I mean, Stark. Cut the bullshit.”
“Fine.” Stark reached over and pushed the small blue button on his desk. “Send him in."
"General, I’d like you to meet ‘Hard Drive’. You told us Martin was an analyst with a good amount of secure data that you needed to retrieve, did you not? We upgraded him to become the world’s largest portable storage device.”
“Holy Hell Stark, what have you done to him?!?”
“General, we did what we said we were going to do. We saved your precious information. But we wanted to make sure that he could a) continue to perform his job duties, and perhaps even go above and beyond his current duties, while at the same time b) making sure he doesn’t eat his coworkers. The ExoSkeleton that you see him encased in right now is one of my own design, which I worked extensively with Dr. Reed to develop. I used a small dose of the serum that Dr. Banner gave me to try and control the bleeding. It worked, but it had some... other effect on him. We gave him some nanomites that Dr. Pym was working with and injected them directly in Martin’s brain... they help keep him functional, even though he’s... not. There are some other things that we did, too... but I kind of lost track. I’m sure Reed or Hank or somebody can give you a full rundown, but for now, just take him out of here. I don’t care what you do with him or where you take him, just get him outta my lab.”
“And expect an invoice shortly.”
Great story! Can't wait to see what Hard Drive looks like now.
"O, woe be the day the enemy descends, mourn we will, for the sake of all that's holy in this universe....
... 'cause the Alley Viper Corps is gonna fuck it ALL up!" - NFC
Very cool, I can't wait to see what Hard Drive looks like!