Part 2: http://www.scified.com/topic/48298
Part Three: Verum Finem
Captain Marvel and Thor were traveling through space, looking for a group of warriors willing to challenge Thanos. Searching through the cosmos in the Benatar, Thor spotted a familiar red and yellow ship. “I know that ship.”
The God of Thunder sent out a signal to the ship, opening a line of communication. A voice spoke from the ship. “Hey man, my name’s Korg, and I’m here with my very good friend Miek.”
“Korg, thank goodness. We need you to come to Earth. Follow my ship.”
New York, 2016
Doctor Stephen Strange was meditating within the Sanctum Sanctorum. Having recently defeated Dormammu, he had proved himself worthy of the title Sorcerer Supreme. He looked up to see a strange sight; Steve Rogers and Tony Stark appeared out of a portal. Steve removed his helmet, and Tony’s retracted into his suit. Both of them were in their uniforms instead of the Quantum Realm suits; they could travel between dimensions with the Reality and Space Stones. Stephen looked at them in shock. “What the Hell?”
Tony explained the dilemma to the sorcerer. “We’re from another universe, where a being named Thanos collected all six Infinity Stones and wiped out half the universe. We’re here to undo what he did with stones from this reality.”
Naturally, Strange was very skeptical. “And why should I believe you?”
“Strange,” Tony’s tone changed from firm to desperate. “You called upon me to join the fight against Thanos in my universe.”
Stephen said nothing, so Stark continued. “If we get the stone, not only can we save our universe, but yours will be spared from Thanos.”
Strange paused for a second before making his decision. “Very well.”
He took the Eye of Agamotto and took out the stone, placing it in Tony’s gauntlet. But he gave him a warning. “Don’t let this fall into the wrong hands. This stone in particular could change reality and rewrite history.”
“No shit, Sherlock,” Stark sarcastically responded.
Tony and Steve left using their Quantum Realm suits, reappearing in the Avengers Compound. Like the two leaders of the Avengers, they were also in their normal uniforms. Looking outside a window, the team saw that Thor and Carol were back with reinforcements.
As Korg, Miek, and Valkyrie exited their ship, Carol looked at them with skepticism. “A talking rock is gonna help us defeat a being who killed half the universe?”
Thor sighed. “Yep.”
He led the Asgardians into the compound, where they met the rest of the Avengers. Thor said, “I know you all lost part of yourselves to Thanos...if you’re not up to my offer, I understand. But if you join me, we can stop Thanos. Together.”
All the Asgardians had looks of sheer determination on their faces. They were going to fight Thanos to the death. What more could they lose?
The Armored Avenger said, “We’ve acquired five of the six Infinity Stones. All that’s left is the Soul Stone.”
Suddenly, the Mind Stone glowed. Iron Man squeezed his eyes shut and put his hand to his head. Pepper and Steve rushed over to him. Rogers asked, “What’s wrong?”
Potts put her hand on Stark’s shoulder. “Tony, talk to us.”
Tony looked to both of them. “Something tells me this stone will pose a much greater challenge than the others. And Thanos is coming.”
Steve used his quick thinking to devise a plan. “Carol, Rhodey, and Clint, you three will stay behind to hold Thanos off. The rest of us will secure the Soul Stone. Anyone know where it is?”
Nebula chimed in. “It’s on Vormir. Not only will we have to travel to another dimension, but we need to get there before Thanos does.”
Tony, Steve, Thor, Bruce, Natasha, Pepper, Scott, Rocket, and Nebula left using their Infinity Gauntlet. As they disappeared, a portal appeared in front of the three remaining heroes. Captain Marvel spoke. “Get ready.”
The Avengers appeared on Vormir and scaled the mountain. It was a long and tiring journey. However, their determination was their salvation; nothing could surpass their will to stop Thanos. When they reached the top, Rocket said, “This better be quick.”
A hooded figure appeared before the group of nine. Steve stepped forward to confront the entity. “Who are you?”
The figure looked up at him, revealing his identity. “Here we are, after a lifetime, Captain Rogers.”
The heroes from Earth were shocked, none more than Rogers himself. “Schmidt?”
He threw his shield at Red Skull, but it deflected off of him. Steve caught it and put it back on his hand.
“A futile gesture,” Red Skull said.
“What are you doing here?” the Captain demanded.
“I’m the guardian of the Soul Stone,” Schmidt continued. “I guide others to a treasure I cannot possess.”
Tony wanted to get out of here as fast as possible. “Tell me what we have to do.”
The former leader of HYDRA led the team to the edge of the cliff. “The stone demands a sacrifice of a loved one. Only then will you be able to take it.”
Steve was shocked. “We have to sacrifice one of ourselves to get the stone?!”
Rocket rolled his eyes. “Never thought we’d have to kill someone just to complete a rock collection.”
The Avengers were distraught over this. They didn’t want to lose any of their companions. Tony told Steve, “Push me off.”
“Tony, I can’t. Sacrifice me.”
“I was spared for a reason. To sacrifice myself to stop Thanos.”
Suddenly, someone ran past Stark and Rogers; it was Pepper taking the leap! Tony couldn’t catch her. “No!”
Steve stood behind him. “I’m sorry, Tony.”
Iron Man sat there on his knees, looking at Pepper’s lifeless body on the ground below. Tears dripped down his face as the whole team gathered behind him. Everything turned white.
Thanos stepped through the portal to face Captain Marvel, War Machine, the Asgardians, and Ronin. As the portal closed, he was immediately attacked by Carol Danvers, who shoved him through the outer wall of the Avengers Compound into the streets of New York City. The Mad Titan stood to his feet as he was attacked by War Machine’s guns and Ronin’s arrows. He fought back, the gauntlet on his left hand glowing.
The Avengers on Vormir woke up, partially submerged in water. Tony muttered, “Pepper…”
Thor walked over and put the Soul Stone in his gauntlet. An orange aura surrounded Tony as the Avengers looked at him in awe. Stark looked at Steve, who simply nodded and said, “You know what to do.”
Tony raised the gauntlet and snapped his fingers, his suit protecting him from the energy wave that was released.
Tony looked at his surroundings. He saw a single being in the distance: Pepper. She turned to him and asked, “Did you do it?”
“What did it cost?”
Thanos drew his sword and struck all three of the Avengers who were facing him. He decimated the Asgardian army with ease, forcing Korg to call off the attack. Civilians ran in all directions as the Mad Titan brutalized the heroes, throwing them around as if they were dolls. Thanos blasted War Machine out of the sky and threw Ronin into a building. Rhodey caught him and flew towards Thanos to allow him to shoot an arrow at the Mad Titan. It did nothing; Thanos raised his gauntlet to protect himself.
Even Captain Marvel couldn’t stop him as he squeezed her head. Thanos kicked her across the street, and she hit the ground. He spoke to them as they struggled to stand. “You fought well.”
Forming a fist, the stones glowed as he continued to speak. “Don’t worry, it will all be over soon.”
Suddenly, a beam of energy hit him, before webbing sealed his eyes shut. He was hit by a barrage of attacks, some slashes, some blasts. The Mad Titan was also bombarded by punches and kicks. Something smacked his head, forcing him to the ground. Pulling the webbing from his eyes, he turned around in shock.
Everyone was there; every hero who was killed by the Decimation, and everyone who survived: Iron Man, Captain America, Thor, Bruce Banner, Black Widow, Ronin, War Machine, Ant-Man, Rocket Raccoon, Nebula, Captain Marvel, Spider-Man, Doctor Strange, Star-Lord, Gamora, Drax the Destroyer, Mantis, Falcon, Scarlet Witch, White Wolf, Black Panther, the Wasp, and Groot.
Tony turned to Steve. “You gonna do the honors?”
“We’ll do it together.”
Together, they shouted, “Avengers, assemble!” everyone charged at Thanos as the Mad Titan looked in shock. Iron Man and Captain America led the final battle. Groot’s arms fluctuated as he formed giant vines that wrapped around Thanos’ shoulders. Black Panther slashed him in the face as Doctor Strange created platforms for Rocket to step onto. The raccoon fired at Thanos before Ronin fired a stream of arrows at the Mad Titan, one of which had Ant-Man riding on it. The Wasp was riding another, and as the arrows struck Thanos, they returned to their normal size and kicked him in the face.
Spider-Man swung in and shot webs at Thanos, using them to propel him forward as he kicked the Mad Titan in the chest. Scarlet Witch fired an energy blast at the Titan as Drax and White Wolf charged. Bucky fired at Thanos while Falcon flew overhead, also shooting at the Titan. Drax slashed at Thanos, but he left little more than a scratch on his shoulder pad. Thanos grabbed him by the throat. “Pathetic.”
He threw Drax into Falcon, sending both of them to the ground. War Machine fired a barrage of weapon at Thanos, who formed a shield with the Space Stone. Captain Marvel and Star-Lord blasted him as Groot and Rocket met on the battlefield. Rocket was practically crying. “Hey, bud.”
The two hugged in the middle of the battlefield before Rocket climbed onto his friend’s shoulder, as other heroes reunited with their fallen friends. Nebula and Gamora hugged as the latter said, “We’ll stop our father.”
As Nebula charged towards Thanos, Gamora and Peter Quill met. Quill’s face was flooded with tears. “Gamora, I…”
“It’s alright. We’re together again.”
Steve and Bucky bro-hugged. “Hey, pal.”
Spider-Man’s and Iron Man’s masks dematerialized as they faced each-other. “Hey, Mr. Stark. I’m back.”
“Pete…” a single tear dropped down Tony’s face as they hugged. “Everything I've done, everything I'll do today, everything I'll ever do, I do to protect this world. When I put on this armor, I took on more power than any human was ever intended to have... and maybe more responsibility than my heart can truly bear. But today... I will do my job. I will protect you. No matter what it takes... ”
Thor leaped into the air, electricity circulating around him. He threw Mjolnir at Thanos, which knocked the wind out of him, before raising Stormbreaker above his head. The Mad Titan raised his sword, which shattered when it collided with the Asgardian axe. Black Widow and Nebula struck his leg with their batons, bringing him down to one knee. Spider-Man yanked the remains of Thanos’ sword out of his hand using his webbing, before swinging it and hitting him on the head with it.
Iron Man grabbed Captain America and flew him over to Thanos. The Captain struck Thanos upon the chin with his Vibranium shield as the Armored Avenger flew high, forming a blade on his foot. He drop-kicked Thanos’ face, leaving a bloody gash. Tony sarcastically quipped, “Only that for a drop of blood?”
Thanos was sent into a rage of pure fury. He screamed in anger, unleashing a shockwave with the Power Stone that knocked all the Avengers back. He plowed his way through the heroes, using both his physical strength and the stones. Even Scarlet Witch, Doctor Strange, Thor, and Captain Marvel were defeated by his overwhelming rage.
Gamora jumped towards him, but he caught her sword in his hand. “Don’t make me do this.”
Suddenly, he was hit by Nebula, who shoved her sister back and engaged her adoptive father on her own. She was joined by Clint Barton, who slashed at the Mad Titan with his katanas, failing to faze him. Thanos grabbed Nebula by the head and squeezed it, crushing her skull and cybernetics. She screamed in agony before her body fell limp, and he threw her down. “A pitiful waste of parts.”
Clint thrusted his blade forward, piercing Thanos’ chestplate, but not enough to draw blood. He yanked the katana out of his chest and impaled Barton, forcing him to the ground. The hero formerly known as Hawkeye gasped as he collapsed, blood trickling out of his mouth. Natasha shouted “No!”
She drew her batons and ran forward, only to be knocked aside by Thanos’ fist. Romanoff hit the ground hard and saw Thanos approaching. Suddenly, Banner charged him, becoming bigger, greener, angrier. He transformed into the Hulk, but this transformation was different--both Hulk and Bruce merged to become Professor Hulk. He began to furiously beat back the Mad Titan using brute force. It was like a boxing match between two juggernauts; each threw jabs and landed punches, before their duel became more brutal.
Thanos began to use the stones to blast Professor Hulk, but he pushed through the pain and squeezed his hands around Thanos’ head. Roaring with anger, he pushed his thumb into his eye socket, gouging out the Titan’s right eye. Suddenly, he was knocked back as Thanos jumped atop his chest and beat his face with his fists. The Infinity Gauntlet collided with Hulk’s face as the Mad Titan simply and literally beat the life out of him. He then punched Rhodey with his gauntlet before grabbing his throat and snapping his neck.
Suddenly, an energy blast knocked Thanos back; it was Tony with his own gauntlet. He pulled his arm back as he flew towards Thanos. Both gauntlets collided, releasing a shockwave throughout the street. “Stark, I can’t let you undo my work. It’s for the greater good of the universe.”
“Why didn’t you just create more resources?”
“Even the stones have their limits. Whenever I create something with them, it’s temporary; it doesn’t last. It would be a waste to simply create more resources with the stones. My way is the only way.”
And with this, the final battle began; an Avenger vs a Titan, a hero vs a villain, a man vs a demigod. Both had Infinity Gauntlets, both had lost what they loved most for the greater good. Iron Man fired a stream of small missiles to distract Thanos before he fired a blast with the Power Stone. Thanos shielded as he charged Stark. Tony froze him in place before throwing him to the ground and leaping into the air. The Armored Avenger formed an energy hammer and smashed it into the Titan’s head, knocking off his helmet. He kicked him in the face as the hammer reformed into a blade. Iron Man looked at his seemingly-defeated opponent. “I hope they remember you.”
He swung his arm down, but it was frozen in place. An expression of shock came over his face, and it turned to one of fear as Thanos smirked and said, “That was a mistake.”
He blasted Stark back from point-blank before slamming his fists into his suit, denting and cracking it. Iron Man was swung around like a doll as pieces of his armor chipped and cracked. It was missing in some places, and a large crack ran across his chestplate. This was worse than the fight on Titan; he couldn’t even get up. Thanos grabbed him by the neck with his gauntleted hand, ripping off what was left of Iron Man’s helmet. “Stark, I did what I had to do for my destiny...What I do now, is to keep my work safe from being undone. And this time, nobody will remember you.”
Suddenly, Thanos was knocked over by something ramming into his head; it was Captain America! He hit Thanos with his shield before being thrown down, landing near Thor, who was bleeding and coughing, too injured to get up. Rogers had hit the ground hard; he gasped for breath and removed his helmet. Thanos was coming; without thinking, Steve picked up Mjolnir, electricity circulating around his ragged and ripped uniform.
Captain America struck Thanos with Mjolnir, but it did nothing. The Mad Titan knocked Thor's old weapon out of his hand with a strike of his gauntlet. He raised his fist as the First Avenger held up his shield in a last-ditch effort to protect himself, Tony, and Thor, who were lying on the floor, bleeding. Thanos' blow shattered his shield as both were knocked back by the resulting shockwave. Thanos was barely phased by it, and he faced the captain with a grin on his face. “Your time is up, soldier.”
Steve, on the other hand, was barely able to stand. His face bloody and cut, his uniform torn, he stood to his feet, breathing heavily. “I could do this all day."
“You fought well, Rogers,” the Mad Titan used the Soul Stone to learn Steve’s identity. “But not enough.”
Thanos raised his fist, and fired a blast with the powers of all the stones. Steve was struck down in an instant. Suddenly, the severely exhausted and wounded Spider-Man jumped on Thanos, using his smaller size and agility to punch and kick the Mad Titan.
Tony and Bucky, who was nearby, crawled over to the First Avenger. “Steve…”
“I told you…” Bucky grabbed one of his best friend’s hands as Rogers weakly spoke. “I’d be with you...to the end...of the...line…”
Steve put his other hand around Tony’s as he uttered, “Finish...the job…”
The Star-Spangled Man With a Plan, the First Avenger, Captain America, Steve Rogers, was gone.
Steve woke up. He looked around, seeing nothing but orange. His wounds were gone, and he was dressed in a suit. He saw a single figure in the distance: Peggy Carter!
He ran over to her and the two embraced, kissing for the first time in over sixty years. “You’re late.”
“Better late than never. I couldn’t leave my best girl.” The two walked off into the sunset together, reunited at long last.
Thanos grabbed Spider-Man by the neck and slammed him down, pulling off his mask. “Your life...it ends here...now.”
Suddenly, Thanos was knocked aside as Tony ran towards him. Both of them prepared their gauntlets, all the stones glowing, before they fired massive, rainbow-colored blasts at each-other. The pure energy was unfathomable, as it created an explosion that destroyed the stones, the gauntlets, and sent both of them flying back in opposite directions. Carol ran over to Thanos, who was barely alive. She grabbed his throat and raised her fist. “Give me one reason I should let you live.”
“As a child, I was cast out into the wild. But I never lost faith in my kind. And then soon after that, our planet was on the brink of collapse. They cast me out again for offering my help. And then I saw my whole kind die in front of my eyes. I realized it that day, that the hardest choices require the strongest wills. I set myself on a path to achieve power, not to conquer, but to protect. In my own regards, I have done that. And maybe you undid my life's work, so I just don't care where I go from here now, so go ahead...do it.”
She punched him in the face, ending the life of the Mad Titan. He didn’t seem to be in pain; he only looked at peace, as if he were happy that he was dead. Carol then went to the others who were still alive, all gathered around Tony Stark. He wasn’t looking much better; his time was running out. Peter held him in his arms, crying far worse than he had when he disintegrated on Titan. “Please don’t go, Mr. Stark…”
Tony looked up at Peter. “I was kept alive...for a reason--I fulfilled that.”
He closed his eyes, having succeeded in protecting his loved ones. The Man in a Can, the Armored Avenger, Iron Man, Tony Stark, was gone.
Tony awoke in some weird orange world. There was nothing but that single color for miles, and a being in the distance: Pepper! The two embraced, smiling as Tony spoke. “We won’t have any more monsters in the closet.”
Pepper smiled back at him and they kissed, walking off as they saw Steve and Peggy.
Everyone remained at the Avengers Compound for the next few days. The Guardians prepared a Ravager-style funeral for Nebula, while the Avengers honored Clint, Rhodey, Bruce, Steve, and Tony. Laura and her children visited Barton, Romanoff mourned over Banner, Barnes and Wilson paid respects to Rogers, and Parker groveled before Stark’s grave. “I’m sorry, Tony…”
Carol put her hand on Peter’s shoulder in an attempt to comfort him. “You did your best, kid.”
Then, everyone parted ways, returning to their homes. Thor settled in Norway with Korg, Miek, and Valkyrie to supervise the rebuilding of Asgard before he left Earth with the Guardians of the Galaxy, leaving Valkyrie in charge. They ventured into deep space, ready for their next adventure. Natasha retired, as did Bucky and Sam. Although the original Avengers were no more, a new team would take their place as Earth’s Mightiest Heroes; Peter Parker, T’Challa, Stephen Strange, Carol Danvers, Scott Lang, and Hope Van Dyne met in the Avengers Facility.
"Part of the journey is the end..."
*Applause* Epic, unbelievable. I hope the actual movie isn't as bleak an ending though xD.
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