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Tonight on Deadliest Fiction, we tackle DFederal's seemingly endless homeless problem by pitting two powerful women, used as weapons and forged by trauma, in an all-out deathmatch! It'll be a vicious fight as Wanda Maximoff, the Sokovian dissident turned Avenger who harnessed powerful Chaos Magic, battles Jack, the powerful biotic and dangerous criminal raised as a killing machine by Cerberus! As these two do battle, we'll test their powers, skills, and abilities all to answer the ultimate question...

WHO...IS...DEADLIEST???

Intro

Wanda Maximoff

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I can't control their fear, only my own.
— Wanda Maximoff

As natives of the war-torn country of Sokovia, the lives of Wanda Maximoff and her brother Pietro were changed forever when a Stark Industries bomb tore through her home, killing her parents, but sparing her and her brother, who survived due to Wanda unknowingly using her ability of harnessing Chaos Magic. The incident radicalized the twins, who grew up vengeful of the United States and Tony Stark in particular, joining HYDRA in hopes of driving Western powers out of their home. HYDRA recognized the potential in both Wanda's magic and Pietro's speed and experimented on them, enhancing their powersets to use them as weapons, but the fall of the organization led to them escaping and allying with the genocidal schemes of Ultron.

Realizing Ultron was a threat to the world, the twins worked with the Avengers to stop him, though Pietro was killed, sacrificing himself to save Hawkeye during the final battle. A grieving Wanda joined the Avengers, becoming a faithful member of the team until an incident in Lagos left countless civilians dead and the international community convinced that superheroes needed to be reigned in. Opposed to the new Sokovian Accords, Wanda allied herself with Captain America, aiding him in his escape from Iron Man before being captured and sent to the Raft, though she was ultimately freed by Cap.

On the run as part of a secret Avengers team, Wanda eventually fell in love with her former teammate, Vision, and they are attacked by minions of Thanos, an intergalactic conqueror hoping to use the Mind Stone as part of a plot to wipe out half of all life.Hoping to protect the wounded Vision, Wanda took part in the battle of Wakanda, even tearfully killing him in a last-ditch effort to destroy the Stone, but was ultimately unable to stop Thanos and was one of countless people wiped out in the Snap. She would return five years later and take part in the final battle with Thanos's forces, nearly killing the Mad Titan on her own.

Left by herself following the disbandment of the Avengers, Wanda went mad with grief, using her powers to recreate Vision and trap the town of Westview in an idealized world based off of her childhood love of sitcoms, even going as far as to create two sons, Billy and Tommy. Unbeknownst to her, a witch named Agatha Harkness attempted to manipulate Wanda in an effort to harness her magic, but Wanda ultimately defeated her and the forces of SWORD before reluctantly dispelling the new reality and retreating into isolation, hoping to expand her newfound understanding of her abilities.

Jack

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Turns out, mess with someone's head enough and you can turn a scared kid into an all-powerful bitch.
— Jack

Jack was born the result of accidental element zero exposure in the womb, gifting her with immense biotic potential. Unfortunately, this brought her to the attention of the human supremacist group Cerberus, who kidnapped her from her parents and made her the subject of horrific tests in the hope of expanding biotic potential among humans. Forcibly equipped with countless enhancements and pitted against lesser children for her own survival, Jack (deemed Subject Zero by the facility staff) was raised isolated and taught to associate killing with pleasure, ultimately slaughtering everyone in her path when a riot enabled her to escape.

Free and left on her own, Jack became a ruthless criminal, embarking on numerous escapades including piracy, crashing a moon into a space station, and even falling in love with a fellow criminal who ended up sacrificing himself for her, deeply confusing her and leaving her with intense survivor's guilt. This crime spree ended when she was captured and imprisoned in the Purgatory prison ship, where the Warden kept her in cryostasis until Commander Shepard, working for Cerberus to recruit a team for a suicide mission into a Collector Base, came to buy her freedom. Hoping to profit off of this opportunity, the Warden of Purgatory attempted to capture Shepard and his team, but they managed to fight their way out of the trap, freeing Jack in the process. Slaughtering her way out of the prison, Jack reluctantly agrees to work with Shepard in return for access to Cerberus files, to which he agrees, glad at any chance to spite Cerberus.

Jack's distaste for authority and hatred of Cerberus leads to her often clashing with other members of the team, but she eventually begins to trust Shepard, who frequently surprises her with his empathy and kindness before agreeing to help her destroy the Cerberus facility from her childhood. This respect blossoms into a full-blown romantic relationship, with them consummating it on the eve of their attack on the Collector ship, and Jack ultimately survives the attack and comes away a softer, more mature person.

Following Shepard's arrest and the dissolution of the team, Jack took a job at Grissom Academy, teaching fellow biotic children how to harness their powers and eventually becoming something of a surrogate mother to them, finding the family she was never able to have. When Cerberus attacks the Academy in an attempt to kidnap students, Jack defends the children and reunites with her old lover when he arrives to help repel the attack. Grateful, Jack commits herself and the kids to the ongoing war effort against the Reapers, with her successfully lobbying Shepard to keep them as support, and she eventually mourns his apparent loss after he uses the Crucible to defeat the Reapers.

Weapons, Powers, and Abilities

Wanda Maximoff

You guys know I can move things with my mind, right?
— Wanda Maximoff

Powers and Abilities:

  • Psionic Abilities: As a result of her Mind Stone-based experimentation at the hands of HYDRA, Wanda has access to a wide variety of psionic abilities, which manifest as a red mist from her body in a similar fashion to her natural Chaos Magic abilities. Wanda's abilities are initially shown to be unfocused but extremely powerful, with the only limits often being her own mindset, though with practice she was eventually able to become an incredibly dangerous combatant in her own right. Despite her powerset's versatility, she can be temporarily stopped from using them if an opponent is smart enough to break her focus. These abilities include:
    • Energy Manipulation: Wanda can create and project energy blasts, streams, and bolts to hit or knock away enemies. These bolts have enough force on their own to tear through the armored shell of an Ultron robot, and she can also enhance her attacks using her telekinesis to deal more damage, such as when she forced Vision down through several floors of the Avengers Mansion. At her strongest, this energy could completely disintegrate a horde of Ultron's forces or even toss around Thanos, though these feats required her to be in a very specific mental state.
    • Telekinesis: Wanda can move objects with her mind, to the level where she can toss aside fully grown adults like Captain America or Black Widow with ease and pick up and throw cars as weapons. According to HYDRA's own research, this telekinesis comes from affecting things on a molecular level, which allows her to do impossible feats like tearing through Ultron's vibranium armor and ripping out his central processor or reducing the kinetic energy of a suicide vest and keeping it contained within a small field.
    • Telepathy: Wanda can read the minds and emotions of others, enabling her to often play off of those fears and thoughts to her own advantage, such as when she made Tony Stark live out his worst fear of being able to protect the Earth.
    • Force Field Generation: Wanda can create highly durable barriers that she can shape and reform to her liking. The barriers are strong enough to repel gunfire and strong blows, and with proper training, Wanda could eventually learn to specifically protect herself with the barriers, allowing her to walk off falls from great heights and hits from superhumanly strong enemies with minimal difficulty, such as when Proxima Midnight sent her and Vision falling through a glass roof.
    • Flight: Wanda can use her telekinesis to move through the air. Basically, she uses one hand to propel herself, then uses another to control her momentum, making it closer to a controlled fall, though with practice and concentration she can levitate herself for a certain amount of time.
    • Mental Manipulation: Wanda can use her powers to force others to hypnotize others and make them experience illusions, leaving them in a trancelike state as they either experience their own traumatic memories or follow along with her commands. She was able to use this ability so effectively she nearly crippled the Avengers, trapping each in their own minds, until Hawkeye was able to resist and incapacitate her. The mind abilities are so strong that they can reverse the effects of the Mind Stone on others and even brainwash large crowds of people. While these abilities are powerful, Wanda tended to avoid using them after joining the Avengers, and only returned to them in her creation of the Hex.

Jack

I will destroy you!
— Jack

Weapons and Equipment:

  • M-6 Carnifex: The M-6 Carnifex is a powerful semi-automatic heavy pistol, effective against armored enemies but weak against shields and biotic barriers. It has 6 rounds per clip and 18 rounds overall.
  • M-22 Eviscerator: The M-22 Eviscerator is a shotgun designed for armored foes, thanks to it's rounds being designed as serrated metal edges rather than traditional chips or pellets. It has 3 rounds per clip and 12 rounds overall.
  • Warp Ammo: Jack can create Warp Ammo, basically enhancing her standard ammo with mass effect fields to tear apart foes, especially those currently affected by biotics, apart on a molecular level.
  • Kinetic Barriers: Kinetic Barriers are shielding designed to stop small particles moving at high velocity, protecting the user from gunfire and explosive shrapnel, but are less effective against energy-based attacks or things like blades or blunt-force trauma. Since Jack wears basically nothing, her kinetic barriers are her biggest source of protection.

Powers and Abilities:

  • Biotic Mastery: Years of experimentation off of her natural powers have made Jack one of, if not the most, powerful biotics in the galaxy. She's able to effortlessly tear apart YMIR mechs and punch giant holes through metal walls and toss people with enough force to kill them instantly and form cracks in reinforced glass. It was this skill that made her a high-level recruitment target for Cerberus, and during the Suicide Mission, she put these powers to good use in creating an enormous biotic barrier strong enough to hold back Collector Seeker Swarms while also protecting three other squadmates. Her various, more specific usages of Biotics include:
    • Shockwave: Jack unleashes a string of explosive mass effect fields in a straight path, ignoring any obstacles and knocking any enemies caught in the path aside and potentially into the air.
    • Pull: Jack creates a mass effect field that lifts an enemy into the air, leaving them open to attacks and more vulnerable to certain biotic abilities.
    • Warp: Jack projects a mass effect field that tears enemies apart on a molecular level while also disabling any regeneration abilities and weakening armor.
    • Biotic Barriers: On top of the aforementioned feat, Jack is able to create smaller biotic barriers to protect herself and her allies. These barriers are strong enough to withstand a barrage of gunfire and hold back cannon blasts from an Atlas mech, and she's able to unleash these barriers to knock back anyone too close.

X-Factors

Wanda Maximoff X-Factors Jack
70 Experience 90
45 Training 40
70 Mental Health 70
75 Creativity 70
75 Brutality 90

Explanations

  • Wanda is a prominent member of the Avengers, fighting against both Ultron and her own teammates in the Civil War, but those, alongside her field missions with the New Avengers, were limited engagements over a short-term period, and it's still very clear that she's the team kid in a lot of ways. In contrast, Jack has been fighting basically her entire life. From other children at the Cerberus facility to numerous criminals and law enforcement encountered on her crime spree to the Collectors to Cerberus and the forces of the Reapers, the battles have never really stopped from her, and it shows in her violent, headstrong demeanor.
  • Neither has any real traditional training outside of their time as experiments, and while Jack's was more physically and mentally demanding, it didn't really give her a chance to expand her powerset beyond seeing it as a killing tool. Wanda had a similar, if less traumatic, background with HYDRA, but she gets a small edge due to her time with the Avengers, where she's shown becoming a more effective hero under the tutelage of her teammates.
  • Forged by their traumas, Wanda and Jack are both emotional and at times erratic, which makes them dangerous when it affects their abilities, but they've both managed to mellow somewhat thanks to finding a new family and people they can trust, with Wanda having the Avengers and her relationship with Vision to keep her stable while Jack has Shepard and her students.
  • Jack is something of a blunt tool when it comes to her powers, rarely feeling the need to massively push them when she can simply crush anyone in her way, and what limited adaptations of her biotics she has done tend to come from pre-existing ideas (like her biotic attacks or barriers). It's clear Wanda is just at the tip of the iceberg with her abilities, and she frequently pushes herself into finding new ways to utilize them, even if she does tend to stick with telekinetic attacks and energy bursts as her main focus.
  • Wanda generally tries to go non-lethal when dealing with other people, but when sufficiently enraged she's shown to have something of a sadistic side, willing to do things like tearing out Ultron's core and making him watch it's destruction or crushing Thanos inside his own armor. While brutal, these moments are, ultimately, rare and require a traumatic loss to motivate her. Jack, on the other hand, is merciless, deriving a pleasure from killing and fighting that often leads to her charging headfirst into a fight, and the amount of times she's shown a foe mercy are excessively rare.

Notes

  • Voting ends June 11th.
  • The match will be set in an abandoned, rundown city, while Jack will be as she was in Mass Effect 3, while Wanda will be between the events of Captain America: Civil War and Avengers: Infinity War, so she will not have access to her abilities from WandaVision.
  • Scenario: Acting off a tip that it's frequented by Users, Jack begins partaking in an underground fighting ring in an effort to acquire a home, and quickly proves to be a crowd favorite. Meanwhile, the Avengers, suspicious of the ring's mysterious owner and the rumors that it utilizes Battledome technology, go undercover to investigate, with Wanda agreeing to fight Jack as a distraction while her teammates search for answers.

The Battle

The ringing in his ears doing nothing to drown out the excited roars in the crowd, Kintaro retched a mixture of vomit and blood as his opponent’s mace collided with his chest, shattering several ribs with one strike. The mace swung at him again, but he managed to catch it, leaving him open for an uppercut from Battle Beast, who snarled as his fist collided with Kintaro’s jaw. The Shokan staggered back, hoping to create an opening, but Battle Beast simply presses the attack, smashing his mace into Kintaro’s mouth before he can breathe fire. The momentum of the attack carried him forward, and he drove his shoulder into Kintaro’s chest, knocking him to the ground. Before his downed enemy can recover, Battle Beast brings the mace down onto his chest again and again until it caves in completely.

Kintaro groans weakly, in too much pain to even writhe on the ground, as Battle Beast looks over the crowd, most cheering his name while a select few mourn the loss of their money in ill-conceived bets. His eyes fall upon the ringmaster’s box, high above both the fighting ring and the audience and tinted so that it’s occupant can watch anonymously, and he bared his teeth, eyes dark with a mixture of bloodlust and rage. He raises the mace, soaked in Kintaro’s blood, towards the booth and roars.

“IS THIS YOUR BEST? I CAME HERE FOR A FIGHT, AND YET AGAIN, YOU DISSAPPOINT ME! I AM A CHAMPION, AND YOU HAND ME A FOE WHO FAILED TO DRAW BLOOD!”

Not looking away, he crouches down and lifts Kintaro above his head, the defeated enemy lying limp in his hands, then roars again as he tears him in two, letting the blood and gore soak his snow-white fur. As the crowd goes utterly wild, Battle Beast’s fury only grows as the silhouette in the booth raises a glass to him. He pays no mind to the crowd as he stomps towards the exit, pushing past a handful of masked attendants as they go to collect Kintaro’s remains.

One spectator, Clint Barton, crinkles his nose at the gory display and turns back towards his drink at the bar. After taking a sip, he puts a finger to his ear and mumbles, “Sure you’re up for this, kid? Ain’t too late to back out.”

Waiting in a special waiting room off to the side for combatants, Wanda Maximoff rolls her eyes.

“I’m a big girl, I can take care of myself. Besides,” she replies as she digs at the collar around her neck, “I think it’s a little late to get cold feet.”

The collar, a supposed reverse-engineer created by the Wolves to force compliance, was entirely for show, but that didn’t make it any less irritating. Ignoring how it dug into her neck, she looked around the room, hoping to spot who exactly this “Jack” was. She could see a somewhat beat-up blonde man in a red leather jacket, who raised his cigarette respectfully, while a young man in a karate gi with a red headband meditated in the corner. She doubted either was her opponent for the night.

She sighed, sitting back in her chair to collect her thoughts, as in the corner of the room, an electronic screen with a list of matches put Battle Beast’s name in bold before erasing the match-up and moving the next one, simply titled “Wanda Maximoff vs Jack”, into its place.


Clint drummed his fingers anxiously on the bar and his eyes glanced towards his watch, stolen from Tony so he could properly fulfill his “high-roller” schtick. Apparently, being the organizer of one of DFederal’s biggest underground attractions didn’t require being punctual. His thoughts wandered to Wanda, the poor kid waiting God knows where for a fight against one of the ring’s reigning winners. The debate to bring her into an undercover operation had been contentious, but ultimately, she’d won out, partly because of his own lobbying in her favor.

As if to assuage his anxiety, he could see a recognizable motion of red through the glut of onlookers, and he turned to see Natasha, ignoring the lecherous glances cast her way, working through the crowd. She sat by him, declining any service when the bartender came her way, and Clint took another sip of his drink.

“So, late because you stopped to dig the cocktail dress out of storage?”

“Well, one of us had to get dolled up, and no offense, but-.”

“-I don’t got the hips for it? Yeah, it’s a real shame.”

He nodded towards the fighting pit, where the masked men worked to hose off the blood and leftover battle damage, and asked, “You liking her chances?”

Natasha shrugged and replied, “Whether she wins or loses isn’t our job. It’s just the cover story, remember?”

Clint started to speak, still uncertain, but dropped the issue in favor of nudging Natasha to draw her attention to their contact working his way towards them. She nodded and pulled two wolf masks from her purse, and the duo swiftly donned them as the muscular man with a beard and a distinct red glowing eye came to a stop. Leaning against the bar, Kano leered, letting his eyes travel up and down Natasha’s back before clearing his throat and speaking.

“Well, g’day, sheila. Don’t suppose you’re a natural redhead all the way down, yeah?”

Her mask hiding her disgust, Natasha ignored him, while Clint clapped him on the shoulder slightly harder than necessary and interjected, voice dripping with faux-joviality.

“Kano, right? I won thirty bucks off you getting your ass kicked by Little Mac. Heck of a loss. They retire you after that?”

Shoving Clint’s hand off of him, Kano scowled and let his hand rest on his knife, only for another (older) hand to firmly grip his shoulder, accompanied by a calmer voice ordering, “Calm yourself, Kano. I’m certain our guest was simply joking.”

Kano, still grumbling, stood aside as Shang Tsung smiled serenely and politely bowed his head, a gesture both Clint and Natasha returned. Stroking his beard, he looked them over, then said, “I do hope the conditions of the club were to your liking. My master welcomes any subordinate of Doom’s with opens arms, especially when you’ve brought us a fighter with such potential as this.”

He nodded towards the elevator that led deeper into the club and added, “Come, you must tell me how you pulled off such a feat as capturing an Avenger.”

Taking on her natural Russian accent, Natasha followed close behind as she replied, “It was no trouble. The girl, she has power, but she was easy enough to ambush. Lord Doom hopes that she proves sufficient for your master.” As they walked, Kano stopped to glare at Clint, a look the other man calmly returned, before trailing them closely.

Shang came to a stop by the elevator and pressed a button. The doors opened and he chuckled.

“Well, I’m certain he’ll be delighted to tell you himself.”

With that, the group stepped into the elevator, Clint and Natasha exchanging cautious glances as the doors slid shut behind them.


As her match is set into stand-by, Jack tosses back the rest of her drink and checks her phone warily, still waiting for the text that told her tonight would be the night she wouldn’t have to keep fighting in this shithole, that one of the assholes that ran this city would be in attendance. When it was clear there was no such text, she sighed and stuffed the phone into her jacket.

It had been almost a year since she’d ended up homeless, and while she’d been able to crash with a few people, having to take hand-outs had gotten under her skin awhile ago. So, when this Shang Tsung asshole came to her with some bullshit about an opportunity, she’d gladly taken the chance. And, sure, she liked a chance to crack skulls, but she was starting to get sick of doing it for nothing more than cash.

She turned away from the bar and surveyed the other fighters, who largely ignored her, then perked up at the feeling of her phone vibrating. A cautious glance revealed a text from Faden that read:

I spotted a few Users by the bar. Good luck :)

Jack grinned, making a mental note to invite Faden to her housewarming when this shit was over, and set her phone back in her pocket. If the Users were here, then it was time to put on a good fucking show.


The elevator doors dinged open and Shang Tsung let Clint and Natasha step into a large, ornately decorated office, far enough from the arena that the roar of the crowd was largely muted. Two chairs sat, empty, in front of a desk, while the rest of the office was similarly empty. Natasha noted with some interest that a loudspeaker was connected to one of the corners. As they took their seats, Shang Tsung gave a polite bow, then said, “Please wait here for my master’s arrival. I must go and announce the next fight.”

Kano sneered and mockingly waved at the two as the elevator doors closed, and Clint turned to Natasha, who continued to investigate the room.

“So far, so good, eh?”

“Something’s not right. I don’t trust-“

A slight creak in the room next to them gave them both pause, and they both leapt from their chairs as a large beast resembling a hairless dog, a series of tubes protruding from it’s neck to a metallic tank sewn into it’s back, crashed through the wall and swiped at them. Quickly drawing her handguns from her purse before tossing , Natasha opened fire, the rounds seemingly having no effect, while Clint rolled to avoid an attack from a gargoyle-like creature, half of it’s face resembling a metallic skull, as it smashed through the ceiling and drove it’s spear into the floor.

Narrowly avoiding each attack, Clint pressed a small blue button on his belt and grinned as his bow and quiver quickly enlarged and fella into his waiting hand. He nocked an arrow and fired, piercing the flying creature’s wing. He’d have to thank Scott and Tony for the tech later. Assuming he survived this, anyway.

Before he could fire again, a tail slammed into his gut and sent him tumbling towards Natasha, who deftly leapt over him. He grimaced and stood up as his attacker, a woman with the body of a snake and a drill at the tip of her tail, slithered through the hole in the wall and bared her teeth. The creatures advanced, cornering them, only to pause as the loudspeaker crackled to life and a calm, posh voice said, “You know, I almost admire your recklessness. Did you really think I wouldn’t contact Doom and ask about his supposed subordinates?”

Natasha cursed under her breath and tightened her grip on her pistols, which remained trained on the creatures in front of her. Chuckling quietly, the voice continued gloating.

“What an exciting opportunity you’ve given me! Instead of getting one dead Avenger, I get to experiment with three.”

With that, the loudspeaker went silent, and the creatures charged.


“Do you think the waitress is ignoring us? I swear to god she’s walked by our table three times and my drink is clearly empty.”

Holding his glass, Beast raised his voice to be heard over the crowd, while Cfp, not looking up from his phone, quietly nodded and Skully, through a mouth full of cheese curds, replied, “Nah, I think they’re just busy, man.”

He shrugged, setting the glass back down and resting his chin on his palm as he waited for service. He gave an annoyed glance at Cfp and cleared his throat.

“I thought you got all your work done early. Y’know, because Dudes Night.”

Annoyance hidden by his mask, Cfp sighed and finally set his phone aside.

“Apologies, last minute shit at the office. Some…unforeseen complications.”

Skully shrugged and gave a disarming smile, then said, “No worries. Honestly, it’s just nice to do a Dudes Night after Beast’s vacation,” which caused Beast to angrily throw his hands up in annoyance and snap, “For the last time, it was not a vacation! I was kidnapped!”

“Didn’t it have an open bar?”

“I COULDN’T LEAVE! I HAD NO PERCEPTION OF TI-“

His rant was cut off by one set of doors inside the pit opening, and the crowd hushed slightly as Shang Tsung emerged from the darkness, a confident smirk across his face. He held his hands up, calling their attention to him, then spoke, his voice carrying itself and commanding attention from all corners.

“Now that our reigning heavyweight champion has triumphed, let us move onto the next match! Our first combatant needs no introduction! A three-time winner who shows no signs of stopping! Master of the biotics, Jack!”

The crowd cheered as Jack emerged from one side of the pit, loading her Carnifex and paying them no mind. As she took her spot in the arena, Cfp chuckled and sideyed Beast, who was taking a sip from his finally refilled drink.

“Damn, now I see why Beast wanted to come here tonight.”

Beast, still mid-sip, flipped him off.

Letting the noise die down slightly, Shang Tsung smiled and continued.

“And her challenger is truly special, indeed. Tonight, Wanda Maximoff, an Avenger, fights in our arena!”

Wanda stepped out cautiously amidst a mix of cheers and boos. She had tried contacting Natasha and Clint to check their progress, but had gotten no response, which was very rarely a good sign. Now her objective was simply getting out of this alive. She walked forward, letting energy flow from between her fingers, and came to a stop at a spot designated on the floor. With her in place, Shang Tsung continued.

“And, in addition to our new challenger, this match is going to be a very special one, indeed. Our combatants will fight…in our Battledome!”

At the mention of their friend’s pet project, both Cfp and Skully turned to look at Beast, who sheepishly rubbed the back of his head.

“Yeahhhh. The owner of this place did some contract work for me when I was putting Phoenix together, and I might’ve…let him borrow a Battledome prototype.”

Confident in the approval of onlookers, Shang Tsung raised his hands above his head and shouted, “Now, I must simply tell our fighters this: prepare yourselves!”

He brought his hands down, and the ensuing bright flash of light forced Wanda to squeeze her eyes shut…


…and when she opened them, she found herself standing in the ruins of a city. Raising her hands cautiously, Wanda looked around her new surroundings, trying to ignore the voice in the back of her head that felt reminded of her final day in Sokovia, of the chaos and violence all around her.

And, of course, of Pietro, his bullet-riddled corpse sprawled across the ground, a small, cocky smile still-

She shook her head. She couldn’t dwell on that, not when her life was on the line like this. Gathering herself, she walked forward, keeping a wary eye out for her opponent, this “Jack”, who had somehow vanished.

For her part, Jack, Eviscerator pointed forward, stalked through the rubble in front of her. This was her first match in the Battledome, or whatever this knockoff one was called, and she really was not appreciating having her head fucked with. She knew everything around her was fake, but at the same time it all felt very, very real.

‘’Let’s just hope it doesn’t fuck me up when it really counts.’’

The familiar sound of shoes on gravel sends her behind cover, and she peeks out to see Wanda, instantly recognizable thanks to her whole “doe-eyed newbie” look, walking towards her. Jack grinned and readied her gun, mildly disappointed in the apparent easy win, then leapt from cover and opened fire. Crying out in surprise at the attack, Wanda reflexively raises her hands, forming a shield that stops the spray of metal just inches from her face, and she flinches as Jack moves forward, firing shot after shot into the shield. She drops the shield just long enough to telekinetically grab a nearby piece of rubble and throw it forward, and Jack laughs as she tosses it aside with her biotics.

The two circle each other, each glowing with the contrasting colors of energy radiating off their bodies. As Wanda defensively raised her hands, keeping an eye on potential weapons in the environment, Jack sneered and called out, “So, you’re special too, huh? Good. I was worried my last fight was gonna be fucking boring.”

Before Wanda can attack, Jack casts Warp, and she lifts herself into the air to avoid the approaching shockwave, only to yell in surprise as Jack follows up with Lift, leaving her floating helplessly through the air. She grits her teeth and manages to force her powers to overwhelm the biotic hold on her body just enough for her to raise an arm in time to block another shot. As the Lift fades, Wanda rights herself in mid-air, then telekinetically grabs Jack by the leg and throws her down the street, the bald woman cursing as she flew through the air.

In times, she wished she had asked Faden, or even Samara, for lessons on how exactly you could float with your powers. Not that she would ever willingly ask for help, anyway.

She grunts as she hits the ground, rolling to a stop, then staggers to her feet, stopping only to pop her shoulder back into place. As Wanda floated towards her, eyes glowing red, Jack grimaced, realizing she’d dropped her gun, then formed a biotic barrier to block a hail of rubble being thrown her way. Digging her heels into the ground as the barrage pushed her back, Jack scowled. If this kid wanted to have a superpowered fight, fuck it. Jack could play that game any day.

Wanda slows her attack as it seemingly buries Jack’s barrier in rubble and she slowly floats to the ground, stopping as it starts to shake. She can barely throw up a shield in time as the barrier bursts, and the young Avenger cries out in pain as a barrage of biotic energy and debris overwhelms her, tearing at her arms, legs, and face as she’s thrown back. Jack charges from the rubble with a roar, then throws her hands forward as she casts Warp. Wanda falls to her knees, screaming as hundreds of miniature mass effect fields tear through her body, and she’s too in pain to defend herself as Jack slams a piece of debris into her, the rock piercing her side.

After several agonizing seconds, the warp fades and Wanda sucks in air, still shaking from the lingering pain, only to find herself lifted again as Jack closes in on her. She struggles to move, feeling the biotic pressure on her throat, and Jack grins sadistically.

“Alright, enough of this shit. It’s time for me to tear you apart, bitch.”

As her vision faded, Wanda’s eyes glowed a faint red, and she weakly lifted a hand, Jack too focused to notice as the wreckage of a nearby car begins to shake. Just as the biotic prepared to finish her foe off, the vehicle, engulfed in red energy, hurtled towards her, and Jack yelled a surprised swear as she dropped Wanda and focused on catching it. She managed to redirect the car, only to catch an energy bolt to the side of the head, staggering her. Wanda uses the distraction to her advantage and levitates away, still clutching her side, leaving Jack standing by herself, and she chuckles slightly.

Honestly, if this weren’t life or death, she’d have been impressed with the car trick.


Rolling to avoid a burst of flame as it burst from the dog creature’s mouth, Clint grinned wearily as he found himself back to back with Natasha, who fired a few shots in the direction of the gargoyle.

“Still glad you wore the cocktail dress?”

“Well, can’t exactly change now, can I?”

He nocked an arrow and fired it over his shoulder, smirking as it pierced the eye of the snake woman, then replied, “I mean, we’ve fought in less.”

Before Natasha could banter any further, the two leapt in opposite directions as a large paw slammed down in between them and the dog creature shoulder charged into her, knocking her into the wall. She groaned in pain and tried to stand, but froze as the creature came closer, smoke wafting through its teeth as it snarled. Before it could fry her, the elevator dinged, drawing its attention seconds before a red, white, and blue shield smashed into its forehead, followed by a knee to its face as Steve Rogers leapt forward, catching his shield as it flew back to him and capping his attack off by driving it into the beast’s jaw.

Surprised by the attack, it whined in pain and retreated slightly, Steve positioning himself between it and Natasha. He gave her a concerned glance over his shoulder and asked, “You alright?”

She nodded, picking up her dropped guns, then answered, “Yeah, and thanks for the assist.”

He tightened his grip on the shield as the creature stalked around him, looking for a weakness in his defenses.

“Would’ve been here a little sooner, but the elevator had a delay.”

The creature screeched and breathed fire, the shield holding back the flames, and Natasha leapt atop Steve’s shoulders, then boosted off him and raised her guns to fire a round directly into the tank atop it’s back. Recognizing the shrill sound of a pierced tank, it cried out in alarm seconds before being engulfed in an explosion, consuming the snake woman with it, and Clint used the momentary distraction to pin the gargoyle to the wall with an arrow. It writhed and struggled for a moment, only to cry out as the arrow gave a loud beep, then blew it to pieces.

The threat gone, Clint nodded gratefully to Steve, who sheathed his shield and surveyed the chaos of the battle around them. He crouched and lifted the smoldering remains of the snake woman, then sighed as he let it fall.

“Just like the ones from the Wolves hideout we cleared. So, we can confirm these things came from here. I just wish I hadn’t had to let you fall into a trap to find that one out.”

Wiping guts off of his sleeve, Clint shrugged.

“I wouldn’t sweat it, Cap. This ain’t Nat and I’s first ambush, probably ain’t gonna be the last either. Personally, I’m a little more worried about Wanda.”

Steve gestured for them to head back to the elevator, explaining as they walked.

“We’re working on an extraction for her. She just needs to hold out another couple minutes.”


Having lost Jack, Wanda floated through the window of a half-destroyed building and sat down, leaning against the wall of the building as she took her blood-covered hand away from her side. She winced as she let her telekinesis close the wound, then breathed a sigh of relief as the bleeding stopped. The fight had been much too close for comfort, and she doubted she’d be so lucky unless she formulated a plan.

As the sound of Jack’s footsteps drew closer to her hiding spot, she closed her eyes and took a deep breath. Her thoughts gathered, she stepped out from behind cover and flung an energy bolt. The attack caught Jack off-guard, slamming into her chest and bringing her to knees. As her kinetic barrier recharged, Jack gritted her teeth and punched the ground, forcing the pain out of her mind and standing back to her feet. Wanda descended from the ruins and onto the street, and the two stood completely still, eyes locked in quiet determination.

Jack broke the silence with a mocking, “You done hiding?”

Wanda said nothing, choosing instead to throw out a rock, followed by another, then another, and Jack stumbled back, using her powers to toss each attack aside as quick as she could. She braced herself as the attack tried to force her back. The kid was smart, trying to force her onto the defensive, but brains wasn’t going to do her much good. She reached out, stopping the newest projectile, then tossed it back, countering Wanda’s volley with her own ammunition. As the girl deflected the counter, it gave Jack an opening to close the distance, coating her fist in biotic energy and driving it into Wanda’s shoulder.

Wanda screamed, feeling the sheer force shatter her clavicle and knocking her against the wall of the ruined building. Eyes watering from pain, she fumbles out, desperately feeling the wall behind her, then concentrates, trying to ignore the agony of using her arm as it shakes to it’s very foundation, then falls forward. As the shadow of the falling building loomed over her, Jack can only let out a frustrated, “Oh you gotta be shi-“ before it collapses on top of her, sending up a massive cloud of dust.

Letting her forcefield fall, Wanda stands shakily, her arm hanging limp at her side, and cautiously creeps towards the rubble. Her eyes widen as the dust begins to clear, revealing the distinct blue of a biotic barrier. Jack unleashes the barrier, the biotic force overwhelming Wanda, then follows up with Warp. As the fields leave Wanda helpless, Jack quickly draws her Carnifex and fires, and the round blows a chunk off Wanda’s head, sending the Avenger to the ground, dead.

The fight finally over, Jack takes a moment to catch her breath. She’d underestimated the kid and whatever the hell her magic shit was, but in the end, she’d pulled through, and now, hopefully, she finally had a goddamned house.

Her celebration is short-lived as the sky seems to shimmer and shake before splitting open entirely, and a red and green humanoid with a fluttering yellow cape slams down in between her and Wanda’s corpse. Jack glared and raised her Carnifex, but the figure simply fired a yellow beam from its head, the energy smashing into Jack’s chest and knocking her to the ground, out cold. The threat neutralized, Vision’s cold expression changed to one of guilt and concern as he looked at Wanda’s corpse. Cradling her body in his arms, he murmured a mournful, “Forgive me, my love. I was too late,” then lifted back into the air, ascending through the holes made in both the Battledome and the roof of the fight club.

As Vision vanished into the sky, Beast, along with much of the crowd, stared, dumbfounded, his notebook left open and his pen hanging limply from his hand.

“Huh,” he mumbled. “Does this mean…Vision…wins?”

Cfp took a sip of his drink and replied, “Fuck if I know, man.”

Epilogue

Shang Tsung swallowed nervously as the elevator doors opened, revealing his master waiting, patiently tapping an ornately decorated boot as he waited for his subordinate. Bowing his head in respect, Shang stepped onto the elevator, standing behind as the pale-skinned man pressed a button labelled “Lab”. Clearing his throat, the master spoke, cutting through the silence.

“Status report, Shang. Give me the bad news.”

“Yes, well, we lost three of our fighting force in the skirmish, but the Forgemaster assures me they can be easily replaced. On top of this, Jack has informed she’s quitting now that she’s secured a home.”

“And the Avengers?”

Shang winced and answered, “Gone. Maximoff’s corpse was taken before I could secure it, and the infiltrators, as you know, escaped. My apologies, master. I will not fa-“

His master held up a gloved hand, silencing him, then said, disdain dripping from his voice, “Don’t make promises you can’t keep, Shang. All in all, it’s not a complete loss. After all, we got to witness these Avengers in action, and that sort of up-close knowledge is hard to come by.”

The elevator came to a stop, and the master went to step off, stopping to turn and calmly give instructions.

“Make sure the arena is repaired within the hour. We wouldn’t want the crowd to wait too long on Durden versus Belasarius, now would we? And on the topic of Battle Beast, I noticed he's getting particularly unruly. See if you can wrangle Zodd into a match with him. I suspect that'll satisfy his tastes.”

“It will be done, master.”

Satisfied, he stepped off the elevator, only to stop as if reminded of something and turn back, black lips curling into an arrogant smile as the doors started to close.

“Oh, and Shang? You can drop the formalities. A simple “Mr. Essex” would suffice.”

The elevator doors closed, and Mister Sinister turned and walked through the lab, stopping to survey his various experiments. Some of the creatures floated quietly in tanks full of a yellow liquid, while others, forcibly restrained on operating tables, screeched in pain as robotic arms grafted mechanical parts to them. He kept walking until he reached the back of the room, where a bald, dark-skinned man gently worked to sew Kintaro’s corpse back together. Surprised to see him still working, Sinister clicked his tongue in annoyance.

“I had assumed you’d be long done with this one, Isaac.”

Not looking up from his work, Isaac replied, “It is remarkably difficult to create a night creature from half a corpse, Essex.”

Sinister shrugged.

“I suppose. Regardless, I came down here to check your progress in rectifying our recent losses. I assume it’s coming along well?”

Isaac finished the last stitch, then turned away from his handiwork to face Sinister, his calm expression betraying no emotion.

“Yes, it is. And I must say, the creatures are growing unruly. Your…experiments are disturbing them. It is a defilement of their nature.”

At this protest, Sinister laughed heartily, catching Isaac off guard.

“Yes, well, they serve you, and you serve me, so they’ll just have to live with it. Now, I expect three new creatures completed by morning. I assume a man of your talents can accomplish that?”

Isaac sighed, then replied, “Yes, Essex. It will be done.”

Sinister grinned, then turned on his heel and headed back to the elevator, leaving Isaac by himself. The Forgemaster frowned, then turned back to his work, stopping as he felt his phone vibrate. Opening it, the text brought the ghost of a smile to his lips.

Isaac-san, would you care to join my friends and I for tea tomorrow? They would love to meet you! :D

Smiling to himself, Isaac set the phone aside, making a note to reply later.

I think I would enjoy that, Haru. But for now-

His smile vanished as he brought his dagger down into Kintaro’s chest, causing the body to vanish in a burst of flame. The newly created Night Creature roared, it’s cries echoing through the lab and being returned by a dozen more.

-I’m afraid I have work to do.

Expert's Opinion

Wanda had more raw power and options at her disposal, but it didn't count for much when Jack was a much more experienced fighter who had a better understanding of her own abilities. Add in her arsenal of weaponry, and she ultimately forced Wanda into a defensive game, leaving her with no way to truly bust out her stronger abilities.

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