Clash Of The Titans

March 01, 2014:

Thor and Superman take on a beast of mythic proportions.

West Virginia

Appalachian Mountainsides

Characters

NPCs: None.

Mentions:

Mood Music: None.


Fade In…

THE PENTAGON, WASHINGTON D.C.

"You know, I wish I could tell you General." Superman folds his hands across his chest and gives a nonplussed look. "I'm just not sure."

It's clear this is some top secret shindig. The lights are low, there are no windows, and there are uniforms from every military branch, enough metal stars to make a ninja clan drool, and enough suits from intelligence organizations to fill a red carpet.

"Superman," says General Ross as he shifts in his seat. The old general with the straight edged white mustache seems to be losing his patience, though his words are still calm. "What we need to know is can you take him? Or are we going to need to make some alternative measures here?"

"Sir, I have no idea how strong this creature is. I wish I could tell you but I c-" Superman is cut off as a staffer bursts into the room through a door one wouldn't have realized was there.

"Sir! We found him!"

"Found who?" asks Ross, raised eyebrow and all.

"The Hulk!"

Thor stands with his thick arms folded across his chest, scowling minutely. The call for aid had gone out to his personal communication lines, and using the magic-cum-science of Asgard, he'd arrived with a clap of thunder inside the Pentagon's central park. After being escorted down to the situation room, he'd recieved much the same briefing alongside Superman.

"Aye. Rumors abound of this beast," Thor says, nodding in agreement with Superman. He strokes his short beard, considering. "They say it cannot be killed and cannot be harmed. Of those, I have felled many, but never have I seen the like of this mad creature. Sooth, Superman," he says, turning to the man in tights. "By thy assessment, could the two of us strike this being down?"

The Appalachian mountains can be a refuge. Hidden away, protected, the hill folk who call the high crags and forests of West Virginia their home see little of the outside world. Their traditions and ways are the same as they've been for years, and their distrust of government (and outsiders generally) makes it both a good place to hide and a hard place to fit in.

Bruce hadn't intended to stay long. He'd been thinking about New York, maybe trying some old colleagues. Not that he expected much out of them, but he was running out of options. Unfortunately, as he pushed his way through the thick forest, he found himself coming into a line of dense wired fencing, electrified. It didn't take long to find the familiar signs. "Keep Out". "No Trespassing". "Authorized Personnel Only". A top secret research facility of some sort, hidden here in hillbilly country. Hell, it practically came out of the same box as his old lab, from the layout of the place. Lost in memory, though, he doesn't notice the guards until they shout. By then it's too late. One of them's raising his gun.

BANG BANG BANG

He shouldn't have done that.

Superman hits overdrive and the funnel cloud behind him expands. He's not sure how fast Thor flies, he hasn't gotten to know the Asgardian very well, but the quality time will have to wait. And in reality, Superman has no idea what he's getting himself into.

As he flies over the mountains and uses his telescopic vision to search out the Hulk, as well as his immense hearing abilities, he hones in on the location with ease. "General? Thor? I'm heading in."

You know what they say about those who rush in.

Superman pulls his cape out of the way as he turns the corner, "Let these men go."

Cute, he's trying to reason with him.

Thor is hard on Superman's heels, off and flying with a flick of his hammer. "I am with thee, Superman," Thor declares, his voice carrying effortlessly over the storm. "I shall stand off some distance and wait 'til I spy a signal from ye," the God of Thunder declares, stopping and hovering in place in a tightly whirling vortex of air, his spinning hammer holding him aloft.

Hulk is hunched forward, breathing heavily as the two heroes arrive. There's a massive rift torn through the middle of the building, the ceiling and walls shattered. A litter of soldiers lay in the cracked ground in front of the labs, the shattered earth bespeaking the strikes to the ground Hulk unleashed to shatter them. As the puny humans began to flee as they should, though, Hulk hears Superman's voice. Demanding. Telling him what to do. Puny humans always telling Hulk what to do.

Hulk turns slowly, shrugging shoulders the size of pommel horses and flexing massive hands. The green eyes meet blue and there's nothing but rage and hate there, the lips pulled back from the teeth in a snarl as Hulk roars his defiance quite literally, a raucous bellow that echoes through the hills, a bellow that can mean only one thing.

Come at me, bro.

Superman exhales, taking in the sights of the strewn men left and right. His eyes close momentarily as he searches; searches for heartbeats. His eyes open once more and peer at Hulk; two pale blue marks of determination.

The bellow does not seem to startle Superman, not at all. The Kryptonian firmly believes the Asgardian will be the ace in the hole.

A red boot digs down into the pavement just a bit before Superman launches himself, full speed, at the Hulk!

Thor is no stranger to combat, especially paired with another hero. Superman's celerity, however, leaves even the God of Thunder slightly agog- perfect flight, instant acceleration, strength that is just on another level entirely.

What Superman /lacks/, however, is Mjolnir, and the centuries of combat experience Thor has developed over the course of his immortal life. There is strength, and there is power… and power, well, Thor has in spades.

So he comes winging in low and fast, at a steep angle and from behind the monstrous creature snarling and bellowing across the forestscape. It's masterfully timed- Superman's blow to the Hulk's chest, and all the power and might of Mjolnir aimed at the side of Hulk's knee, a weak point in any bipedal humanoid.

"FOR ASGARD!" Thor bellows, coming to a dead halt as he transfers all of his momentum into the Hulk with that blow. He immediately darts back, avoiding an inevitable counterattack.

Hulk takes Superman straight to the chest, not nearly fast enough to fend off the assault as it strikes him dead center in the chest. The hammer, too, finds its mark, making a sick crack as it impacts against Hulk's knee, a howl of pain echoing from the monster. For such a fearsome creature, it seems the two heroes already have him on the ropes.

Or not.

Close as he is, Superman is in range of Hulk's fists and he drives both of them down into the hero at his chest as the Kryptonian's impact drive him back, massive heels dragging furrows in the Earth, intending to pound Superman into the Earth as he braces himself and stops…as the kneecap just shattered starts to wriggle back into place, bone and muscle renewing in a matter of seconds.

SMASH! SMASH!

Superman was concerned that this might happen. And almost immediately he's found himself under Hulk's mighty fists being slammed down over and over again. His back burrows downward into the flooring, concrete splatters out in chips.

Thor roars back into the fight, flicking his hammer forward and dashing at The Hulk's back, flying across the space between them. He aims his passing blow for the occiptal lobe at the base of The Hulk's skull, aiming the blunt-faced Mjolnir where it can do the most catastrophic damage, then, landing, spins his hammer in a viscious, tight arc, and aims to uppercut the green monster with an upward strike.

"Avaunte, monster! Feel the wrath of Thor, Prince of Asgard!" he calls in controlled fury, trying to interdict himself between Hulk and Superman.

Hulk slams a hand down to grasp at Superman's body, Hulk's hand easily palming the Kryptonian's skull, starting to squeeze, creating a quick shock of pain through Superman that's broken by Thor's savage assault. Hulk stumbles forward a tthe blow to his skull, then takes the uppercut hard, sending sprays of green blood up into the air as his lip is split by the mythic hammer.

Hulk lowers his head from the uppercut, blood smeared from his nose and lips as he spits a tooth at Thor and attempts a straight punch to the Asgardian's face. "PUNY PRINCE!" the monster roars.

Pain isn't something Superman feels very often, so it always comes as quite a shock. Despite his stupor he gets to his feet when Thor brings in the Mjolonir attack and uses the opportunity to get his legs underneath a large uppercut aimed right under Hulk's chin!

Thor takes the hit like the prince he is, flying backwards like a loosed arrow, and coming to a skimming, tumbling halt, rolling several times. He whirls his hammer in slow, gradually acceleration circles, balanced and low. The clouds start to gather overhead, rolling into great, gnashing, angry dark swirls.

"Puny /MONSTER!/" Thor rebutts. "Feel the righteous wrath of the GOD OF THE STORM!"

He lifts his hammer to the sky, and a great bolt of lightning strikes at his weapon. Thor roars and aims Mjolnir at The Hulk, and cuts loose with a furious bolt of nature's raw power made manifest, aiming at the Green Meanie.

Hulk takes Superman's blow to the chin, snarling at the impact, his powerful bones cracking and resealing with the same sound, like someone crunching gravel inside his skin. His arms close hard, attempting to wrap Superman in a bearhug as the lightning strikes, sharing the mystick shock with the Man of Steel as he roars, green-black hair standing on end and fists clenched as he howls with the power of the bolt.

The light flickers in the room like a strobe light through Studio 54. The magically enhanced bolt of lightning courses through Superman, who howls in pain. He throws his head back as the lightning reaches out over his skin and moves along to shoot out of his mouth. His head steams and the Man of Steel goes slack within the Hulk's arms, and almost seems to lose consciousness.

Thor blanches. He'd never intended for Superman to take that hit.

"Drop him, beast!" the Prince of Asgard roars. He whips the hammer forward as fast as a bullet leaves a gun, and follows along with it, hands ahead of him. He strikes the Hulk a millisecond behind the hammer and uses his thumbs to dig at the Hulk's eyes, teeth set in a rictus grin as he interposes his body between Superman's and The Hulk's.

Hulk yowls as the hammer strikes him, the Asgardian's thumb gouging at his eye and shoving him down to a knee. With Superman as stunned as he is, Hulk does release, but only to draw Thor into the monstrous embrace, trying to crush both mighty beings against his chest, green blood smeared across his face as he glares, his eye trying to heal and reform unti it pops Thor's thumb out of it with a wet squish. Finally, Hulk just wrenches his arms, trying to throw Thor and Superman alike back over his head in a massive suplex, giving himself some room to breathe. Whatever happens, the heroes are both experienced and battle-tested enough to recognize one thing.

The Hulk is getting -stronger-.

SMASH!

The unmoving body of Superman is flipped back over itself and suplexed into the flooring creating a whole new creater. He lies there, prone and unmoving for a moment or two, but finally his hand is placed upon the rubble and he tries to bring himself upward.

Batter up, then. Thor is relaxed and ready, and manages to roll out of the suplex in a controlled escape move. He wriggles like a snake, moving to wrap his arms and legs around Hulk's wrist in a complex wrestling maneuver, one designed to deal with Frost Giants and immortals alike, and relies on leverage more than strength. To wit, he grabs a thumb, a pinkie, and tries to make the Hulk's wrist do a 180.

Thor stands, then, holding that injured arm, and starts running, then spins into a circle, trying to whirl the Hulk into the air and hurl the beast aloft into the air.

Hulk lets out a vicious snarl as his hand and wrist are manipulated, tendons twisting and snapping, the skin rippling as the broken cells try to lash themselves together anew. His outstretched legs kick and thrash as his massive weight is spun around and around, a wind blowing out from the speed of Thor's movements as the monster looks groggily into Thor's face, "HULK…FEEL…BAD!" he groans and then, at the moment Thor releases and sends him flying through the air and up over the mountain, he unleashes a long, thick, biley torrent of Hulkspew right in Thor's face.

Superman grits his teeth as he sees Thor throw Hulk out over a mountain. He pushes against the floor with all of his power, splintering it as he does so, and shoots himself towards the Hulk in an attempt to catch him and take him higher and highter out above the mountains.

Thor takes a moment to catch his breath and throw up a bit. Eww. He seizes his hammer, and flies skywards, landing on The Hulk's back, striking the beast with repeated, disorienting blows from his hammer that could crack a boulder. "Fly onward with him!" Thor shouts over to Superman. "Perhaps the still of space will calm the beast for a time?" he half guesses, half asks.

Hulk thrashes like wild toddler as the two heroes try to carry him up and up, driving elbows into Thor's gut and pounding his head into Superman's forehead. The drop seems to perturb Hulk not at all, his torso twisting and flailing as he attempts to get himself loose, "GET OFF HULK, ASS MONKEYS!"

Superman tries to bring him upwards, but the smashes from Hulk force him to lose his grip and literally drop the Hulk.

As the Hulk falls a few stories, Superman turns to look at Thor, "Well, you know how the saying is. Bigger they are…."

Superman shoots back downward and uses his speed to attempt to smash Hulk through the ground of the mountains.

"…the harder they fall!" Thor stops falling for a moment as Superman drives the Hulk to the ground, nursing a cracked rib, and then with a roar of warrior's joy, flings his hammer straight downwards with every ounce of speed he can muster. Flames limn him from the friction he creates in the air, and he lines up a double-handed overhead blow with Mjolnir- the haft nearly four feet in length, for maximum leverage- and as Superman smashes Hulk into the ground, Thor is right behind him with Mjolnir, the maul called on one world, 'The Earth Breaker', a tremendous, electrified blow aimed right for the Hulk's face.

Both heroes do their jobs well, all three driving down into the mountain with an ear-shattering crack, the boom heard for a hundred miles in either direction. Part of the mountain caves into the crater the impact creates, earth and trees tumbling down after them, as if the mountain were trying to heal itself. Thor can feel how his hammer is lodged in the Hulk's skull, a dent forming around it as the massive blow has crunched his skull, Superman's body finally slowed as the force final thly stops, the three of them trapped deep and buried. All is quiet. All is dark.

Thirty seconds later, the side of the mountain explodes outwards, expelling the bodies of Thor and Superman alike in a raining avalanche of dust and gravel. The massive tunnel in the wake of that blast is soon filled by the massive, swaying frame of the green monster. Although he's healing, the battle has taken its toll, Hulk's eyes glassy. And he can tell Thor and Superman are only stunned. And so, Hulk does one thing he almost never does. He flees.

"LEAVE HULK ALONE!" Hulk cries, tensing his body and leaping as he tries to escape over the mountains.

Superman steadies himself and bursts out the side of the mountain in much the same way, chasing after the Green Giant. "No one else has to be hurt, Hulk! Turn yourself in! Give it up!"

"Nay! Hold, Superman!" Thor says, grabbing his compatriot's arm in a tight grasp. "The beast is fleeing. When thou hast routed thy quarry, the wise hunter pursues to the cave, not runs it to ground. Dids't thou not sense how it repelled my blows? Should I strike harder, I fear I may crack the very crust of this world. Let us pursue it for a time and see if it wearies- see how he runs? We can spy him as hawks chase the rabbit, while the bilgesnipe crashes through the brush."

While Thor is spouting gobbledygook at Superman, another side effect of the massive superhuman battle goes into effect. Deep within the earth, in these coal laden mountains, massive reserves of natural gas still remain untapped. Or, at the very least, they did, thick, odorless fumes pouring out of both holes the three left in the mountain, one on each side, like air coming out of a balloon. Unfortunately, one of those holes aims the gas right towards the former laboratory, electric wires torn and sparking in the wreck…and, with a great WHOOOOOOOOOMP, acres of forest go aflame in moments, all around and below Thor and Superman. Several different enclosures of inbred rednecks all quail in horror as one, even as the massive monster becomes a dot on the horizon, smaller with every leap…

Superman sees the wisdom in Thor's words, but as he looks over the Asgardian's shoulder, there's something that forces him to act and put the Hulk thing on the backburner.

"Great Scott!"

Superman flies down towards the flames and begins to use his freeze breath to attempt to put as many out as he possibly can.

Thor lets Hulk go as well, summoning his own powers- a great storm, thunderous and as massive a rain as the eastern part of the coutnry ever sees. It's a torrential downpour, more than enough to qualify as a heavy squall or light hurricane, despite being some hundreds of miles inland, and it sweeps across the forest like a wave of soothing balm.

And so the toothless population is saved, but only at the expense of the Hulk's escape. Two hours later, in a small Pennsylvania town, a clothesline comes up short of a pair of jeans, a flannel and a pair of socks…Bruce sighs and squints up at the stars as he starts to walk down the road…gotta be a shoe store up ahead somewhere…better get to practicing his shoplifting…

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