Issue One: In the Beginning
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Rise of the Ultimates Volume 1: Origins
Volume 1, Issue 1
"In the Beginning"
Backroom of "Ethan's"
In a shadowed, candle lit backroom a middle aged man garbed in the traditional robes and accoutrements of a priest of the two-faced Roman god Janus knelt before an altar. His hands were clasped in supplication as he chanted his prayers to his god.
Suddenly the eyes of the bust of Janus on the altar began to glow a lambent green. The man's chanting paused and a dark smirk spread across his features. As the glow began to fade he returned to his chanting.
"Oh holy Janus, Lord of Chaos, work thy will on these peasants. Let your power wash over them and let chaos reign."
As the man's chanting continued the eyes of the bust began to glow brighter as power gathered in answer to his prayers.
Teenage Girl's Bedroom
Cordelia Chase was not happy.
No, that's an understatement.
Cordelia Chase was furious.
Earlier that day she had gone by Party Town to pick up the sexy cat outfit she had reserved for her hot Halloween date-Hot, not smart.
Cordelia reminded herself as she adjusted her clothes.
-only to discover that the asshole store owner had sold HER costume to some rich bitch who had driven up from LA after tracking down that specific costume and offered him ten times the value of the costume for it.
After that there was NO way she was giving the man her money for a second rate nurse outfit, no matter how sexy she would have looked in it, especially not after he so obviously leered at her.
So instead she had been forced to schlepp over to that new store "Ethan's" and pray to the gods of money that all the good sexy costumes weren't already taken.
She had been pleasantly surprised to discover a decent costume still available, all white and very sexy. She even recognized who it was supposed to be.
She would never openly admit it, as it could completely ruin her reputation as the queen of Sunnydale High, but deep down Cordelia Chase was a bit of a geek. As a child she had delighted in reading superhero comics, until an incident with a bully at camp had forced her to give it up. But before she had done so she had a favorite character. Her name was Emma Frost, the White Queen of the Hellfire Club. She was smart, ambitious, strong, cunning, and used her beauty as a weapon. Young Cordelia had idolized Emma, and finding a full and surprisingly good quality costume at the White Queen at "Ethan's" had almost made up for her fury at the owner of Party Town.
As she stood before her full length mirror modeling her form fitting and quite sexy outfit as the White Queen Cordelia smirked.
She was going to blow the stupid sluts at the Bronze out of the water with this costume.
Van in the Alley Behind the Bronze
Daniel "Oz" Osbourne was a fairly quiet person. He loved to play his guitar, but otherwise was a fairly lazy person. His grades at school did not reflect his potentially genius level intellect but rather his lack of interest in the mandatory and way too easy schoolwork. He was in fact extremely intelligent, which his parents had figured contributed to his laziness as school was always too easy.
As he finished adding the finishing touches on his costume he looked in his rear view mirror, checking that everything was in place.
One of the few things besides his guitar that Oz's laziness didn't extend to was Halloween. Since he was a kid Oz had always gone all out on his costumes. This year his band had decided on a joint theme, to perform their Halloween show at the Bronze dressed as members of the X-Men. While his band mates had half assed their own costumes-
His bass player James Winston had just wrapped tinfoil around his arms and called himself Colossus.
-Oz had gone to Ethan's and bought a full Wolverine costume, complete with fake sideburns and extendable claws. It had cost him most of his profits from the gigs his band had played that summer, but was totally worth it in his opinion.
As Oz adjusted his mask slightly he smiled. Tonight was going to be fun.
Picking up his guitar he strummed a few chords of the opening theme of the X-Men Cartoon.
Tonight was going to be very fun.
Sidewalk Out Side the Summers's Residence
Xander was sweating heavily but it was so worth it. His costume was moderately heavy, and didn't breathe very well, but it was so cool. When he had gone to the new costume shop "Ethan's" he had intended to buy a toy pistol and wear a pair of army fatigues his uncle had given him, but when Buffy's mother Joyce overheard his plans yesterday she had insisted on paying so he could get a proper costume.
He had tried to decline, but she had simply reminded him that Summers women were not to be denied.
So now he stood outside the Summers's home, wrapped in a formfitting black spandex bodysuit covered by molded plastic. Wires ran under the plastic connecting the battery pack concealed in the chest to various electronics scattered throughout the costume. Lights and sounds abounded, as well as several mechanisms to move or open parts of the armor, and the mask contained a voice changer that gave his voice a slightly mechanized sound.
That morning he had awoken as Alexander "Xander" Lavelle Harris, poor son of alcoholics Tony and Jessica Harris and poor academic performer. But for tonight at least he could pretend he was someone else, someone who was everything he wasn't. Rich, handsome, suave, a playboy and a genius and a hero all rolled into one. And for a geek like Xander, no one fit the bill better than Tony Stark.
With a slight clanking sound Iron Man walked up to the Summers' house and rang the doorbell, smiling behind his molded gold mask.
When Buffy opened her front door she discovered a large red and gold metal man hiding three large pizza boxes from her favorite pizza joint.
"Someone order three large pizzas, meat lovers with extra cheese, special delivery by your friendly neighborhood Iron Man?"
The voice was still clearly Xander's despite the distortion, and his usual sarcastic wit shown through.
"Xander, if you weren't being such a geek with that costume I would kiss you." Buffy said as she rescued the pizzas from Xander's hands and retreated back into the house.
Xander chuckled as he remembered that Buffy had kissed a reanimated corpse with those lips.This costume is so much better than a kiss from the corpse's bride.
Laughing to himself Xander stepped inside the Summers's house and closed the door behind him.
Spike was grinning as he stood on top of a chair and watched as various demons and his vampire minions gathered around him. His love Drusilla had had a vision, a particularly delectable one, the night before and he had spent the last twenty four hours gathering this group together. Drusilla had seen that tonight the Slayer would be weak as a newborn kitten and ripe for the drinking. Tonight he would kill his third slayer, drink of her blood and further his fearsome reputation.
"Demons, minions, Vorlocks." This last he directed towards a pair of particularly loathsome demons in one corner of the room who were dressed like corporate lawyers. "Tonight is a great night. For too long the Slayer has hunted us here on the Hellmouth, slaying our kin and interfering with our plans. But no longer! For it has been foretold that on this night her strength shall wane and she shall be vulnerable. Tonight, we shall feast upon her blood, her flesh, and her bones!"
Around him the group, numbering over forty 'beings' of various persuasions both alive and dead, began cheering at his announcement. As he listened to his minions cheer and basked in their adoration of his leadership he tried to bury the worries niggling at the back of his mind.
Yes, Drusilla had said that the Slayer would be vulnerable that night, which was completely true. But that wasn't all she had foreseen. She had warned him that "the Avengers would ride tonight, and their vengeance upon harmed allies would be the death of all who paid them harm." Dru was worried that if he went out after the Slayer tonight he would end up dead.
Spike snorted. He was just going to kill the Slayer. Whoever these Avengers were he highly doubted he would end up doing anything to incite their wrath. They sounded like some hard ass demons after all, and as bad as Spike thought himself even he wasn't stupid enough to deal with an entire group of demons worthy of such a moniker, not without accurate intelligence and a serious advantage on his side at any rate.
As he continued to listen to the cheering of the minions Spike the Bloody Horrible Poet tried his best to ignore the unnatural chill that thinking of Drusilla's full prediction left down his spine.
Mayor Richard Wilkins the Third smiled genially as his guest and his pet disappeared into a swirl of red light.
"He is always such a polite young man, always so willing to make a deal. Don't you think so Finch?" Mayor Wilkins said as he turned towards his desk and grabbed a sanitary wet wipe to clean his hand.
"Indeed sir." Deputy Mayor Finch said, his voice as flat and even as ten years working as the Mayor's right hand could make it. "He is at that."
"Thanks to him we don't have to worry about those meddlesome heroes noticing the actions of our 'friend' Ethan Rayne tonight. Ah, the chaos will do so much good to reinvigorate this town. The Slayer has done much to prevent those pesky apocalypses, but she has put a damper on our population growth."
Mayor Wilkins turned and walked towards his office door, opening it and sticking his head out.
"Marie, will you please have sanitation services come up to my office? There are some dead vermin here who need to be disposed of. Thank you."
Closing the door he turned and smiled at Finch.
"Making deals with devil's are always dangerous, but at least with Clarion the costs aren't so bad."
At that moment the door to his office opened and a pair of short ugly men entered the room.
"Ah, good. Please, clean these vermin up, and please make sure you clean the carpet and walls thoroughly when you are done. Bloodstains are so unsanitary."
Mayor Wilkins smiled as the two ugly men went to work, their faces morphing into something more pig-like as they began to eat the dead bodies of the three men sitting in chairs in front of the Mayor's Desk. All three had looks of fear plastered on their faces and were wearing the orange jumpsuits of Sunnydale's local prison.
Mayor Wilkins stepped over to his office window and opened it, leaning out and taking a deep breath of fresh air as he looked out over his town.
"Tonight is going to be so exciting. I hope the citizens appreciate all the trouble I go to in order to provide them with quality entertainment."
Behind him Deputy Mayor Finch kept his silence, burying his conscience deep inside as he had ever since his father first brought him as a young boy to witness the Mayor's annual Yule sacrifice.
Xander laughed as they walked up towards the entrance of the high school. He could see Larry, dressed as a pilot, leading a group of kids in costumes out the door. But poor Larry was also teamed with Andrew Wells and Johno, both of whom were dressed as Federation Science Officers. He was sure that before the night was through Larry would be driven out of his mind by two geeks. He didn't pity Larry at all, the guy was a bully, but he wouldn't wish to be in his place. Xander may be a geek, but Andrew and Johno took it too far sometimes.
Turning his head back to face his partners as they entered the gates of Snyder's private hell dimension Xander once again assessed their costumes. When they had come downstairs after their pizza banquet he had been surprised by both their costumes…and yet once he reconsidered he realized they both made sense in their own way.
Buffy was dressed as an 18th or 19th century noblewoman. She made mock play at being some nobleman's daughter. When she had admitted she had chosen the costume because she thought Angel would like it everything made sense to him. She was just trying to get the blood flowing in her pulse-impaired beau.
Willow on the other hand was wearing a white sheet with two eye holes cut out of it, her traditional ghost costume. He wasn't surprised that she went as a ghost again per se, but rather because Buffy had told him that she had gotten Willow to buy a really sexy costume. Willow was his best friend though, they shared the yellow crayon bond, so he didn't tease her…much.
As they entered the cafeteria and got in line behind the other student 'volunteers' he sighed quietly behind his mask.
Buffy was great, she really was, but he had realized weeks before that he didn't love her as more than a friend. He'd still be her friend, support her in her Calling, but he really wasn;t going to waste his time pursuing any girl who was willing to use him as a stripper pole to make a CORPSE jealous.
And Willow…his best friend, his yellow crayon buddy. She thought he didn't notice the way she felt about him, but Xander Harris wasn't that dense. If he was he'd never have survived growing up with his abusive alcoholic father and his doormat alcoholic mother. In fact he was quite observant, and more intelligent than he let on. He kept his grades barely acceptable to keep his dad off his back, and he knew Willow took such pride in her intelligence that letting her help him with school work was always a good way to boost her confidence. And he'd seen for a long time, even before Jesse's death, how Willow felt about him. He also knew her to be a tad bit possessive and willing to be manipulative to get what she wanted. He still remembered how she would manipulate her old babysitter into letting her stay up late on her computer, and he hadn't forgotten the conversation he had overheard between her and Buffy shortly after the blonde Summers had arrived. he had heard her clearly stake a claim on him, basically marking him as off limits to Buffy. No wonder he hadn't been able to get Buffy to look at him as anything more than a friend before Angel showed up.Oh well, she's still my friend, and I guess she did do me a favor in keeping me away from Buffy long enough for me to get over my initial infatuation. Things are better as friends.
But above all else there was the fact that he considered her a sister, and not in the joking flirty kind of way, but in the "she's blood related so not attracted to her" kind of way. He'd never said anything because she'd never brought it up, but he knew he could never feel for her the same way she felt for him.
As they reached the front of the line and that sneering toad Snyder assigned them a group of ankle biters-Great, they're all dressed as demons and monsters of various kinds. Why can't kids in Sunnydale just dress up like Superman or Batman?
-he sighed again. He was stuck between a rock and a hard place, and he could only pray that when either situation hit a head that it wouldn't lead to his own mini-apocalypse.
Better swing by the library and let Giles know the route we are going to take, just in case there are any problems tonight.
The Bronze, Cordelia's POV
The Bronze was already pumping by the time Cordelia arrived. About three quarters of the party goers were wearing costumes that could politely be called "limited", and the remaining quarter were only fully covered by virtue of their choice of costume. If the activities of a slutty catholic school girl in one corner grinding herself on a fully dressed Darth Vader were any indication, many of those who were fully clothed would be losing at least part of their costumes before the night was over.
Yup, this was Halloween at its finest.
The band, a local group named Dingos Ate My Baby, were still setting up for their gig. The speakers were blaring house music and teens and college students were already enjoying the dance floor.
With a single deep breath she adopted a confident smirk, adopting the attitude and confidence that always characterized Emma Frost, and strode through the crowd. Her confidence almost seemed to split the crowd before her as she made her way over to the bar and ordered a fruity drink. She spent a minute observing the crowd, noticing a particularly good Chewbacca costume (even though she'd never in a million years have admitted to even knowing who Chewbacca was), before her drink was ready. Once she had it she headed over to a table to wait for her date.
Half an hour later she was still waiting for her date, who was nearly twenty minutes late, when the band finally began their set. She couldn't help but smile as she realized that their first song was a version of the X-Men theme from the cartoon she'd watched as a kid before status and reputation took over her life. She allowed herself to just BE Emma for a little bit and relaxed into the song. It was just as the final chords were fading out that she realized that the hot guy in the Darth Vader outfit making out with that slutty catholic school girl she'd noticed upon arrival was her DATE, the captain of the UC Sunnydale football team.
She stood in anger and was just about to stalk over and give the bastard a piece of her mind when everything went black.
The Bronze, Oz's POV
Oz smiled as he and his band worked to set up their instruments and equipment for their set. The Bronze was already a happening place when they arrived, house music blaring from the overhead speakers and the dance floor half filled with half-naked teens and college students. Oz paused for a few moments to admire the various scantily clad women, taking note of a slutty catholic school girl who was apparently trying to get Darth Vader's 'lightsaber' to turn on in one corner and a particularly well done Emma Frost.Man, whoever that chick is she really has Emma down. She's even got the personality and attitude right it seems.
He thought as he returned to setting up his amp and microphone before assisting his drummer with setting up his drums.
It took them nearly half an hour but finally they were ready to play. Getting ready he gave his band mates the count and they began to play the X-Men theme. The dancers immediately got more energized due to the live music, and whether they recognized the song or not they all seemed to love it. He and his band mates played their five minute rendition and just as he strummed the final chords and released the strings to let the chords fade out he saw the chick dressed as Emma Frost stand with a look of cold fury on her face. He followed her gaze and saw that she was glaring at where that slutty catholic school girl was now making out with Darth Vader. However before he had a chance to wonder just what was going on everything went black.
Sunnydale High School
Giles and Jenny Calendar sat in his office chatting and sipping from cups of proper tea that he had brewed. As they discussed the random events of their lives and got to know each other better he couldn't help wondering why the mark of Eyghon on his arm kept itching randomly. Whatever it indicated, he was sure it would be nothing good.
Snyder, the little troll of a high school Principal, and Mayor Wilkins' inside man at the High School, sat in his office drinking a glass of scotch as he looked out his window at the groups of student 'volunteers' and their young charges that were beginning to return. Tonight had been a good, if petty, revenge against all the disobedient miscreants at the school. He'd even managed to assign that wretched Slayer Summers the most unruly group of kids to deal with.
Smiling he took a drink of his scotch…and then dropped his glass to the ground staring in shock out the window.
Spike was practically vibrating with excitement. Night had already fallen but there was still no sign of the Slayer weakening. His scouts were tracking the Slayer several blocks away, while he and the bulk of his little hunting force waited patiently in a large sewer for the signs Drusilla had predicted.Green the sky of Chaos is, Chaos will reign upon the land, and the Slayer shall lose her way.
Well the sky was dark and had given no indication that it was going to turn green, and the second part could mean anything.
Spike sighed and lit another cigarette.
Then the screams began.
Xander smiled behind the golden mask of his costume. He, Buffy and Willow had been escorting their squad of little ankle biters for the last hour and a half and they had amassed quite a haul. They had just decided to turn back and take another route back towards the high school (thus allowing them to garner even more loot on the return trip) and had just managed to convince the kids to turn around.
"You know Willow," Xander began. "I always love your ghost costume, but don't you ever want to try something different?"
"Yeah Wills" Buffy added "After all that trouble I went to helping you pick out a sexy costume and you go right back to using that holey sheet."
"I told you, I like being a ghost. It's safe."
Xander snorted as he realized something Buffy had said.
Turning to her he spoke.
"Holy sheet, Buffy? Does that mean that if a vampire attacked Willow it'd get burned by her sheet? The new defensive item from your local church, the Holy Sheet. Available in Twin, King and Queen sizes."
Buffy and several of the kids laughed at Xander's joke while Willow fumed. Then everything went black.
Backroom of "Ethan's"
In the dark candle-lit room the robed priest of Janus continued to chant before the bust of his god set upon the altar. The eyes of the two-faced god were glowing a bright green and a green aura was pulsing around the bust.
"Great Janus, Lord of Chaos, your faithful servant beseeches you. Let thy will be done, change their forms and let Chaos reign."
The energy around the bust pulsed one last time and then for a single endless moment everything in the room stilled. The energy floated in rings around the bust. The flames of the candles stood frozen as if time itself had stopped. The man watched the bust intently, only the tiny shifts of his eyes revealing that time had not in fact stopped.
Then suddenly the energy surrounding the bust collapsed into it and the candles went out bathing the room in darkness. A moment later a massive wave of green energy burst forth from the bust, spreading out and passing through the floor, ceiling and walls of the room. The wave left behind the faintly glowing eyes of the bust on the altar, and had somehow relit each candle with flames the same green color as the glowing eyes.
In the dimly and now green lit back room the priest of Janus through his head back and began to laugh.
Unknown Time, Unknown Place
"It has begun, dear sister. They have been brought forth."
"Indeed, dear brother. Today, it begins."
: Welcome to the start of a new major project, and thank you for reading the first issue. For those that didn't figure it out from the subject matter and the formatting of the title, I am structuring the story thematically and in physical structure based off the comics of my youth and the material upon which it is based. As such, every chapter on this site is to be considered an individual 'issue' of a the comic, and each part of the storyline will be collected into volumes which will be posted as individual stories here on the site. There will likely be one-shot issues published separately here, and will be under a series titles Rise of the Ultimates even though the latter volumes will have different names. For those experienced, you know that this means that when the second story is posted that the series will become visible. I do intend to publish a single one-shot soon, so the series introduction will be accessible as soon as that is finished.
In advance, know that there is a particular incarnation of the DC universe being utilized here, but we are adapting in elements from several other DC sources, so do not be surprised if it seems larger or has inconsistencies with the particular DC universe being used. I will not say anymore though, because I don't wish to ruin the surprise.
-Welcome, to the Rise of the Ultimates. Hang on, cuz it's gonna be a bumpy ride.
A Message from ElvenkingC
: I hope you all enjoyed the first chapter. We will do our best to make the rest as good as this one.