Tuesday, March 15, 2011

"Worth" Version Two-Short Story Edition

Due to long hours editing my book "Destiny's Fate" for publication on Amazon and eBorders, False Dawn has been pushed back. Instead, please enjoy “Worth.”

When asked on the DC Boards if Dick Grayson will reappear in the pages of Red Robin soon, Fabian Nicieza replied that Dick will later this year, but he doesn’t allow his love for the character to influence his writing. The book is Tim Drake’s, not Dick Grayson’s.

After pondering Mr. Nicieza’s profound words, I’ve decided to limit the writing of Bat fics (though I am currently working on “Scions,” it won’t be released at least until later in the year) and highlight some awesome characters away from the night. So we’re going to cross universes and get a glimpse of Marvel now, and next month, we’ll travel to Central and Keystone to see Barry and Jai.

“Worth” Version Two—Set Captain America: Civil War Part Two: The Drums of War. Fury should have asked permission before taking on a new operative.


Sitting in the middle of his command center, surrounded by monitors that showed almost every major hub and city in the world, Nick Fury crossed his arms but didn’t look away from the “kid” currently fighting cape killers.

Still, he found the humor to snort. “I know you’re there.”

Of course Nick would know the newcomer stood behind him, his gloved hand clenched in a fist ready to fly. Despite how good he was, a spy the guest was not.

“The kid’s better at this spook stuff than you,” Fury laughed.

“I am dead. That makes me better than he.”


Fury turned away from the monitors to see the man cloaked in the shadows and allowed him to stay there.

“You should have consulted me first,” his guest snapped.

“He’s old enough not to need a permission slip.”

“That fact has not escaped me.”

“Then let the boy live on his own.” Fury’s joints creaked as he stood, his trench coat bottom flopping against his boots. “He’s been manipulated enough. He doesn’t need you doin’ it to him, too.”

“And using Aphrodite’s spells to entice him to your service is not manipulating him?”

“He LOVED Gretchen. You can at least understand that.” He paused. “And your ‘death’ had nothin’ ta do wit’ his current predicament, huh?”

The only light cast upon the man, on his dark boots, showed his posture shift. “He chose to stay in the military, to accept the burden of war without the knowledge of its conception, but his time as a solitary warrior has passed.”

Fury snorted. “He’s good, TOO good. He can do what others can’t.”

“What YOU cannot.”

“Exactly, and he feels the need to make up for all the *^&% he did. Working for me does that for his battered soul.”

“He can do that at my side.”

“Yeah, you’re right. That’s exactly what the kid needs, what your OTHER boy needs, right? You don’t even know how to look at the youngster right, and you think you help the one who was an assassin?”

“That is not—”

“Then why are you even here, George, or do you prefer Ares?”

George Barnes staggered forward, an obvious limp in his left leg. Creases cut through his face but not nearly as many as a man his age should have. His hair still held a degree of brown, while his dark but lively eyes focused bitterly upon former head of S.H.I.E.L.D.

Then, his appearance shifted. His muscles grew by stacks of meat, and his height rivaled Thor himself. His skull tank top lent him the appearance of a motorcycle gangster, but his helmet and ax made him the God of War.

“You have tempted Alexander. Leave James to me.”

“I can save him. Let me.”

“He has dishonored enough.”

Fury shrugged. There was no denying it. “No matter how dirty he got or will get, I’ll always see him in red boots standing next to Steve.”

“He fought dishonorably then as well.”

“Arguably dirtier than his time with the Russians. At least then, he didn’t know what he was doin’.”

Ares raised his ax to affront. “THEY should have requested my approval.”

“In case you’ve forgotten, his father had just died, and he needed an outlet. And you sure as hell weren’t going to help the kid.”

“I am the God of War. It was one of the greatest conflicts your people may ever know.”

Fury dissected Ares with his single eye. “Was it worth it, Ares? All the hell that kid went through—the deaths at his hands—it could all have been stopped by one look from you. Was it worth it?”

“Death is inevitable in battle.”

“Yeah, maybe, but killing for a righteous cause is one thing. Being brainwashed to fight against everything and everyone you believe in is another.”

Ares narrowed his deadly eyes but said nothing.

Fury shrugged and looked back at the monitors.

“It’s done, Fury,” Bucky relayed from his comm. unit.

Fury spoke a few quick sentences before grunting, “Don’t even think about it. I told you. Leave Lukin to me. S.H.I.E.L.D.’s satellites aren’t the only things watching him.”

“They better not be, Fury,” Bucky snapped before the connection was broken.

Fury never took his eyes off the monitor. “He’ll be back in a few minutes, and I’ve got to work to do. You know where the door is.”

When Ares refused to leave, Fury let out a growled sigh and turned on his heels. “Look, that kid’s been to Hell and back, figuratively and literally, and if someone didn’t do something to get him on the straight and narrow, then he would’ve be lost for real this time. Steve couldn’t catch him, and you’re dead to him. I’m not going to let it be on my conscience if he self-destructs, not when I can do something.

“Maybe you should do something, but that’s not my place. If nothing else, you should thank me for savin’ his life.”

Ares’s dull eyes suddenly looked elderly and longingly as he watched the Winter Soldier drag the cape-killer suit to his car. “Fine. Keep him as your operative, but know this. If he falls—”

“If he falls, Ares, it will be honorable in combat,” Fury assured.

Ares’s eyes, usually burning with fierceness and anger, dimmed and cooled as he watched his son’s image on the screen.

“Fury, if this caused for Deimos to finally join my side in battle, then yes, it would have been worth it. Anything would have been worth THAT, just as having Alexander at my side is worth anything. If anyone were to take either away, he would feel the wrath of the God of War, and no amount of training, experience, or intelligence in the field of battle would save him. Assume it is worse than what Phobos promises when you look into his eyes.”

Fury nodded. “Always good talking to you, Ares.”

Ares was gone shortly after that.

Fury bowed his head, his eyes still glued to the Winter Soldier’s form and hit on his Bluetooth. “Daisy? Yeah, you’ve got Alex?...Good. Take him home, just for the night. I’ve already poked the God of War enough for one day.”


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