Beyond the Horizon (Universes that were considered for insertion #1 MCU)
A man stumbled to his feet, staggering as he looked at the massive army in front of him as he grunted and tightened down the broken shield on his left arm once again before walking towards the aliens that were arrayed before him. His fists clenched he glared at the alien that stood in front of the alien army before his radio crackled.
“Captain d* *ou co*m* *n? Cap, it’s Sam. Can you hear me?” a voice asked as the lone man held a hand up to his ear to reply. “On your left.” A golden portal opened up behind and to the left of the Star Spangled man as he turned around in shock as three figures left the portal. T’Challa and two of his warriors walking in step with each other.
Captain America gasped slightly as he took in the reinforcements that had arrived, a smile appearing on his face as more and more portals appeared, the Wakandans chanting as more and more people came through the portals.
“Avengers!” Captain America yelled as he called Mjolnir back to his hand. “Assemble!”
As the words left his lips, something unusual happened though. In one timeline that had been witnessed by Dr. Strange, this merely signaled the attack for the assembled forces that were arrayed against Thanos and his armies. But in this timeline, something else entirely took place.
“What the fuck just happened to us?!” I asked as I stumbled back up onto my feet.
“No clue sir, but whatever happened, we’ve only got the other two Warships and the Marksman with us,” Admiral Jewel said as she strapped herself into her chair.
“We’re in orbit over Terra,” the sensors officer reported. “But there are some ships that are sitting parked in low orbit over a concentrated area, and they do not look human.”
“Can I take a look at the feed?” I asked.
“Yessir, transferring to your station now,” he replied.
“Fuck,” I muttered as I looked at the ships that I recognized from a long distant past. “Scrambled all of our forces, and get ready for a hot drop, we’re going straight into hell for this one!”
“Are you sure?” Jewel asked.
“Yeah, they’re going to need all of the help that they can get down there,” I replied as I began to move toward the dropship collars. “Get word to the Ducal Guard and the Marksman. All of those alien bastards are hostile and are to be shot on sight. Don’t let them survive.”
“We good to go?” I asked Mathis as we all got into our delivery vehicles.
“Yessir, we’re ready to drop on your command,” Mathis said as he held his helmet in his right hand and mine in his left. “You sure this is the course of action that you want to take though sir?”
“Yeah,” I said with a small smile. “This is how we’re going to do this.”
Climbing into my Warhammer, I powered up the Fusion engine and waved to my wife who was across the drop bay from me.
“You ready to fight some aliens Natasha?” I asked over our private channel.
“Always,” she replied with a chuckle. “Now let us show these aliens why we are some of the best warriors in any universe!”
“Punch it,” I ordered over the command channel as the dropships released all of their drop pods at once, the tanks, Mechs, and infantry all riding to the ground in unison while being escorted by the dropships that would be falling after us.
“Assemble!” Rogers said with finality as what looked like debris fell from the sky and landed in the middle of the enemy army. Groups of two-story robots looked over the battlefield as tanks and infantry drop pods crushed the enemies that they landed on before rolling off of their platforms.
“Sorry to crash this party,” a voice said from one of the robot’s speakers and the radio at the same time. “But it looked like y’all could use a hand.”
Steve just turned and looked at Thor and Stark for a moment, getting a shake of the head from Stark and a shrug from Thor at his inquiring glance. Before turning at the sound of weapons fire from one of the giant machines tearing into a Chitauri Leviathan and sending it crashing to the ground before the rest of the newcomers began tearing into the army with expert precision.
“I do not know who you are,” Thanos roared as he looked at the war machine that the voice had come from. “But you will regret interfering in this!” He ran towards the black and gold painted machine as it tore sections of his army to shreds.
Swinging his double-edged and bladed sword, Thanos began to carve massive chunks of armor off of the feet of the machine that towered above him before it darted out of the way and sprinted towards one of his ships before taking off and flying towards another Leviathan before it killed it with what looked like lightning from one of the massive guns that adorned its arms.
Stark was about to say something when Thor cut him short.
“Let us join in!” Thor roared as he took off with Stormbreaker in hand, lightning surrounding him and assisting him as he launched himself into the air and landed next to a cluster of the newcomer's infantry, swinging his axe as they continued to systematically dismantle any Chitauri that got within range of their weapons.
“Thanks for the assist,” a giant of a man said as he nodded at Thor. “But I think you might want to help out some other teams, we’ve got this handled.” The man said as he turned and fired his shoulder-mounted inferno gel SRMs into a cluster of Chitauri and watched them melt into a puddle of flaming goo.
Thanos could not believe his eyes, his army was being dismantled in front of him as he finally crippled the war machine in front of him. It fell to its knees as he pulled his sword out of the rear of the giant machine and watched as a mere human left the cockpit.
“You!” Thanos roared as he picked up the armoured human and slammed him into his own war machine until his helmet cracked and came off, revealing an older man with gray-streaked throughout his hair and beard. “Do you realize what you have done?!” Thanos asked as the human spat blood into his face. “I was about to fix everything before you intervened!”
“Fix it?” the human laughed as he coughed more blood up. “You’re just a crazy man who doesn’t understand the way that the universe works.”
Then, a red-haired woman trembling with rage emerged from behind the mad titan, her hands glowing red as she launched energy bursts at Thanos, causing him to drop the armoured human and move to evade the energy blasts before trying to carve the redhead into two with his sword.
“You took everything from me!” the woman said as she snapped his sword in half and began to rip the armour off of the mad titan.
“I don’t even know who you are,” the Titan said as he was lifted into the air along with pieces of the Earth around him. “Rain fire!” he ordered one of his subordinates as he struggled to survive Scarlet Witch’s onslaught.
Thanos’ ship tried to open fire but had to change and defend itself from the group of dropships and fighters that made themselves known, the Sting gunships taking the brunt of the damage while the ASF support that was with them began runs that ripped pieces of armor off of the alien vessel.
“This is how you die,” Wanda said as she clenched her fists together before a needle came through and pierced her arm, the energy leaving her hand and allowing Thanos to move away from the enraged woman as she turned and disintegrated Ebony Maw with a flick of her wrist.
“Here,” the armoured human said as he struggled to stand up. “I’ve got a med kit in the mech, let me get that patched up, you don’t want to bleed out.”
Some of the rage left Wanda’s eyes as she saw the man struggle to climb back into the war machine’s cockpit to remove the medkit.
“Here,” the man said as he wrapped up her arm and secured the bandage. “Now go finish him off, I’m pretty sure I’m done here.”
Wanda just nodded in thanks as she took off into the sky once again to look for Thanos.
“Does anyone have eyes on Duke Hull?” Mathis asked as he dodged an energy blast from one of the alien staff weapons.
“Negative,” came the responses from all of the Ducal Guard and Marksman.
“Then we must find him!” Natasha said as she sped up her Nighstar and began to comb through the battlefield looking for her husband.
Running through the battlefield, Natasha finally saw the ruins of her husband’s Warhammer slumped over on its knees, the massive War machine being crippled and blackened darker than its paint as the distinct signs of weapon damage marred the surface and scarred up pieces of the massive machine.
“No no no,” Natasha muttered as she looked for any signs of an ejection. “Mathis! I need you here, I don’t know if Mark ejected or not!” She commanded into her comms as she turned her Nightstar back and forth so as to see if she could locate Mark.
“I’ve got two platoons en route,” Mathis said as he used his jump jets to move quickly through the battlefield with a couple of groups of the Ducal Guard. “ETA is two mikes.”
“Natasha then looked down at the foot of the Warhammer with enhanced magnification and saw a figure slumped over against it. The figure was painted in the standard colours of the Ducal Guard and didn’t seem to be moving at all.
“If I cannot achieve my goals,” A voice rang out through the battlefield, seeming to draw all of the combat to a close. “Then you will not live to see your victory here.” The titan strode towards the man slumped over against the Warhammer and picked him up by his throat.
“Mathis, I cannot hit him with my lasers without also hitting Mark,” Natasha said as she felt helpless watching her husband be picked up as if he weighed nothing.
“We’re moving as fast as we can,” Mathis gasped out as he pushed the platoons faster.
“What is he doing?” Natasha asked as she saw her husband push a button on the slate mounted to his left wrist. “No, you cannot do that!” She yelled from inside her cockpit as she watched Mark override all of the built-in safeties of his Mithril. “I still need you,” she began to cry as a flash of light erupted from where the two figures were and then vanished, leaving nothing but a charred Warhammer’s foot and a broken helmet behind to show that there was a man there before.
Screaming in rage, Natasha began to push her Nighstar to its limits, breaking apart every single cluster of the aliens that were in sight, and even firing the last of the ammunition for her twin Gauss rifles at the ship that was still hovering over the battlefield, the Sting gunships taking the opportunity that was provided by the mad Titan’s death to finally drive the alien vessel down to the ground as it collapsed and crushed what was left of the alien invaders.
“Well, this is the last thing I expected,” I said as I looked at the white nothingness that surrounded me.
“Why do you never do what I expected you to do?” a disembodied voice asked from the whiteness. “You are always the anomaly among the others that I have plucked from their own lives.”
“I’m not sure what you mean, but if this,” I indicated the wall of white in front of me. “Is all that’s left for me, then just put me into nothingness. I’ve done plenty in life, and in my death, I’ve ensured that more people lived. I’m an old man, and I’ve had a full life. My only concern is that Natasha will do something crazy now that I’m gone. She has a tendency to do drastic things when her loved ones are affected.”
“That is what I am talking about,” the voice said with what felt like a disappointed tone. “You were never supposed to encounter her that early. And by doing so you derailed many of my plans and cost me much in bets with the others. Now, I will send you on to the next life as you desire, but know that the other copies of you survived in their new universes for much longer.”
“Eh,” I shrugged. “I’m not concerned with competing with other versions of myself. Whatever I manage to accomplish I can be satisfied with. Now, can we get on with the next part? I want to see Sapphire again.”
“If you insist on being obstinant,” something that sounded like fingers snapping echoed through the white space.
The white space vanished, leaving me blinking as I took in a massive city shining on a hill.
“Let’s go experience the greatest adventure yet,” I muttered to myself as I began to walk down the narrow path to the gates made of white.
Natasha and Wanda stood in front of the Warhammer that had been turned into a grave site and memorial for all of the people that had died fighting off Thanos' forces.
"I am sorry for your loss," Wanda said as she turned to the older woman. "I understand what it feels like to lose someone that you love."
"I always knew that it was possible," Natasha said as a lone tear trailed down her face while she held Melissa tight to her chest, her silver-streaked red hair concealing part of her face as the blond buried her face into her shoulder. "But we always seemed to be invincible together."
"It was my fault," Mathis said as he knelt in front of the memorial, his normal powered armor having been changed to a black suit with gold trim. "I lost track of where the Duke was on the battlefield," Mathis stood up and made his way over to the group of women. "I am sorry for failing you, Natasha."
"No one failed," Melissa said as she pulled herself free from the hug that she had been trapped in by Natasha. "He chose to go out like that. Uncle Mark has always been like that."
"If he were anyone other than who he was, he would not have been the man that I grew to love and married," Natasha agreed.