Max, or rather The Hood, exhaled. Immediately light began to reflect off of his skin and clothing as his visibility returned. The vigilante found himself standing at the backside of an MRD operative, the sound of blasts, shouts and commotion ringing out in the background. It was the Ultimates and the MRD versus a rag tag group of mutants, some of whom were firing out in self defense. Unfair odds, for sure. When in doubt,
he thought, protect the underdog
. While Hood was a capable combatant, he could hardly categorize himself as a heavy hitter when compared to the likes of his super powered counterparts. That in mind, he decided being loud and eye-catching would be bad for his health.
Stealthily holstering his guns, he then sprung out at the operative, employing a choke hold and letting the weight of his own body drag the man down to the ground as the suffocation soon begat unconsciousness. Hurriedly, he pulled the limp body further out of sight behind the cover of the vehicle. As he poked his head out, he took in the scene of the hulking ebon alien sending the young mutant flying through the window of a warehouse.He's going to need help
, Hood concluded silently, though whether or not he was the right guy to provide it was tougher to determine. Venom's brutality and eagerness to kill was more than offputting. As famous and adored as these Ultimates were, Hood was witnessing very little that justified such admiration. There was no doubt in Hood's mind that Venom was a murderous bully. Perhaps all the Ultimates were when the cameras were off...
Regardless, he needed to act now and he really didn't need to get shot in the process. Hood took in a big breath and said farewell to the visible spectrum as he sprinted toward the rumbling warehouse. As he ran, two plasma rifles flew overhead, greatly outpacing his own speed as they floated into the warehouse and began to open fire.Well, maybe he
doesn't need the help
, he thought, slightly elated that the mutant was starting to hold his own a little better. The notion came too soon, however, as the warehouse quickly caved in on the two adversaries. Hood stopped in his tracks and caught his breath. One of the resistance fighters showed up to his left and began firing at the alien as he emerged from the rubble.
"Are you fucking stup-" but before Hood could finish chastising the shooter, he looked on in horror as the young man was pulled in and devoured. Hood's jaw dropped, his entire body paralyzed. The two in front of him continued to focus on eachother, letting loose hell while Hood continued to be frozen in utter shock. How in the fuck could anyone look at this thing and think its a hero?
Hood's mind finally snapped back to the issue at hand once the fight had gone aerial. He looked on from below as the mutant sent venom down like a comet into the street in close proximity to pedestrians.
"Shit! HEY... uh... 'NOT-VENOM'
" he shouted at them as he sprinted towards the site of the collision, trying to get the mutant's attention. "There's people! You're going to hurt som-" Just then, the mutant had used two hover vehicles as weapons in a pincered slam that immediately resulted in an explosion. "FUCK!
Hood dove for the nearest group of onlookers, grabbed the edges of his cloak and extended his hands skyward like a bird stretching their wings. The mystical Norn stone embedded within immediately reacted, imbuing his cloak with rigid durability as rogue metal debris bounced off of it, missing the gathered few that was around him.
"Shit. Are you alright?" Hood's forehead was covered in beads of sweat, panic painted upon his face. The young men and women slowly got out of their protective positions to give Hood somber looks and affirmations that none were seriously injured.
Hood let his cloak fall at ease as he looked around. He saved a group of five onlookers from injury and mutilation. For that, he felt accomplished, but it was a fleeting feeling as he looked around the rest of the street. Scattered along the sidewalks were people on the ground bleeding, cries of shock and woe, desperate calls for help... He saved five, but he failed so many more...
Quickly his opinion was changing. Venom was quick to earn his ire, but Hood was realizing that the mutant was just as reckless, just as violent and haphazardous about the sanctity of innocent life. They both
needed to be stopped.
Hood's fists tightened into balls as he watched the mayhem ensue further down the street. The two idiots barreled into a moving SUV before taking it apart with a family inside. I've got to get there
, he concluded intensely. Weaving through moving traffic was an obstacle that would only cost him time. Time that the family was running out of. He looked down at his boots for just a moment and then put them to work.
As if climbing an invisible staircase, the boots of levitation allowed Hood to ascend thin air just high enough to be over the head of any vehicular roofs. Once elevated enough, he took off in a straight sprint toward the SUV that was now wobbling in recoil from the impact of its collision with the super powered morons. As soon as Hood got within arms reach, he grabbed the arms of two of the occupants, forcefully pulling them out of the untamed vehicle and slinging them over each of his shoulders as he continued to sprint to keep pace. Reaching in once more, he grabbed the remaining occupants and held them up, stopping in his tracks as he stood on open air. The vehicle finally succumbed to gravity and flipped, screeching down the street on its side. Solemnly, Hood carried the four people over to the nearest sidewalk and set them down one-by-one.
His hearing began to muffle as his anger intensified. He couldn't hear the words the man was saying, but surely it was something about dismay for his car. He couldn't really hear the screams of horror and excitement for the people around him, but he knew they were happening. It was like his head was underwater. His eyes moved like lasers as his gaze craned over. Those metaphorical lasers quickly fixated on Venom and the mutant once more.
They were skyward now and then they chaotically collided into an office building. Hood felt something inside him itching to crawl out. Something caged within clawing at the walls. His veins started feeling hot and his eyes began to illuminate...
He dashed out through the sky, his cloak flapping behind him as he ran on an endless supply of invisible platforms until he reached the gaping hole in the office building. More screams... more mayhem... Hood bore witness to the mutant expelling fire wildly, the flames engulfing Venom and the innocent workers alike. One of the workers suddenly, violently, took flight and crashed mercilessly and brutally into a metal bell, serving as its organic gong. That wasn't a power that Venom possessed. That was the mutant using someone's life like a toy.
Just as Hood was about to pull out his guns and intervene, he felt a hand on his shoulder followed by a blood curdling screech. As he turned, he found himself face to face with a woman flailing in the flames that were consuming her. The smell of melted skin filled Hood's nostrils. Her eye sockets were drooping and her scalp was completely charred. Boils rapidly grew and popped in clusters on her cheeks. It was enough to knock Hood's psyche completely off balance. With a swoop of his arm, he brought the woman in under his cloak to extinguish the flame and slowly brought her down to the ground to let her lay. Even though the fire was out, the sickening sizzle remained. She was breathing, thank goodness, but he wasn't sure sure she'd ultimately be happy that he saved her life. She was destined for a lifetime of deformity and pain, physical and psychological.
As he looked up, Hood quickly realized he lost sight of the two homicidal maniacs. It wasn't long after that he could feel the building begin to rumble as if an earthquake had begun. Panic swept the office floor as people began screaming about the building coming down. There were too many of them... he couldn't save them all...
Tears began to well up in his eyes as he ran toward the destructive opening of the office windows, quickly grabbing two people by the waist and slinging them over his shoulders. He then did a low sweep, grabbing the burn victim off the ground and securing her in his grasp. And finally, just as someone was running across him in a disorganized frenzy, he grabbed them by the belt with his last free hand and took them in tow, too. With each step toward the opening, he could feel that the ground was no longer solid. He couldn't afford to look back, but he had to imagine that he was only just ahead of the ever-expanding crumble that would eventually take the entire structure down.
With one last leap, he and his four passengers went airborne. After a small drop, the boots found their footing in the air and Hood's descent was halted. Slowly, begrudgingly, he turned to watch as the rest of the building fell in a cacophony of screams. All those souls lost for the sake of two gods' egos. Hood was disgusted. As he slowly made his way down from the sky, he couldn't help but feel like it was a descent into hell.