Kuwait, years ago:
Injured himself, Weapon X carries the wounded Nick Fury through the desert..
Does he know how he got here? General Thaddeus Ross later asks Fury, lying in the hospital. Weapon X carried him across his back, brought him to them. A filthy mutant killing machine saved him. All that animal is programmed to do is kill. And yet he saved Fury. Now if he was a thinking man, he would have to take pause and reflect on this. The nature of man, war and all that. But he’s not, instead he’s going to focus his thoughts on Fury.
He introduces himself and remarks that the other man is Nick Fury, war hero. Nick Fury, soldier of fortune, turned black ops commando. Nick Fury. And if he digs a little further on him, he bets he would find that up until five years ago Nick Fury did not exist. Sure he did, Fury replies. He’s here, ain’t he?
Yes, sure he is. But where was he before? He needn’t answer, Ross adds. He dug. Yeah, sure, he’s a war hero now. But way back in World War II Nick Fury had kind of a spotty record. He holds up a secret file.
This is him, right? This ain’t his daddy or his grandpappy. This is him. He wouldn’t asks something so plainly silly as to why Fury could be ninety something years old and look as good as he does if not for the fact that he came in here yesterday, holding up his own guts and today it looks like he’s ready to walk the hell out of here. Well, minus the eye, he amends.
Fury’s file… his WW II record says he got tossed in the clink. Says he died there. But it’s a red file and stamped and sealed top secret. Now, he’s no stranger to the dirty shadow their government casts over itself in times of war. And he’s no stranger to the atrocities it has committed in the name of science. Especially to gentlemen of color who found themselves on the wrong end of the law during war time. So tell him the truth of it all: He ever heard of “Project Rebirth?”
Rumor around those who could rumor about those things is that there was one man who got away. The story got covered up and swept under the bed (or the rug) but that was the rumor. Was Fury the one that got away? And if so, why’d he come back to them? Why is he running around the desert, looking to get his head blown off? Why is he using his real name? He call himself Chucky Furystein, this conversation never had to happen.
It’s the name his momma gave him, comes the reply. It’s the only thing they couldn’t take. Or deep down he wanted to be found, Ross figures. But why did he come back to duty?
He got it all right, Fury replies. They took him and made him a super-soldier guinea pig without even asking and didn’t care if he lived or died! And that is some heinous @#%$.
Thing is, he lived. He blamed everyone for what happened. White people, German people, the president, Captain America, Albert Einstein. You name it, he blamed them. And you walk around the world long enough, you suddenly realize things. It occurred to him that maybe… just maybe… he had a little something to do with the situation he found himself in. He let them do this to him. He was the one who was acting the fool and got himself arrested during the war, he was the one who set the wheels a-turning. No one else.
He swore to serve this country and instead he @#$ed it up. He went back on his word as a man! It took him a while to realize it, but all this, it’s a second chance. Almost a do-over. So he said to himself: okay, he’ll do it over. He re-enlisted and he’s doing his best every day to do better than he did before. And yeah, maybe this ain’t the great war but as he recalls that war wasn’t all that great either.
He knows what happens now though, Ross interrupts. Word’s gonna get out. People are going to want to talk to Fury. The president is very interested in re-instating the Supersoldier program. No @#$%, Fury replies. Or a version of it, Ross amends. He believes the next great war will be a genetic war. He’s right and it’ll be against the mutants. And Fury’s going to be the president’s favorite toy in the whole world. .
They’ll see, Fury replies tight-lipped. They’ll see? Ross asks and tells him if Fury is really the first true Captain America, then why doesn’t he be the first true Captain America? He ain’t him, Fury replies simply. And angrily. There’s only one Captain America and he died in the war.
Maybe back the day they thought a black man couldn’t wear the flag, Ross begins. It ain’t about that, Fury stresses. He ain‘t Captain America. He’s the closest thing they got, Ross insists.
He’s not being modest, Fury explains. There’s a certain type of man that can represent an ideal to a nation and a world and he has lived long enough and gained enough wisdom to know he is not that man. He’s the guy who ran away.
That being said, he will be summoned, Ross warns him. And the question will be: is he gonna run away or is he gonna offer them something? What is he gonna offer the world? Fury thinks and then slowly begins to smile.
One year later in Dover, New Jersey. Fury, dressed in a smart black suit, welcomes a group of very special men in a building that’s still not finished. Morning, he wishes them briefly. He met the president last week and he told Fury he wanted a new Captain America. A super-soldier. Then maybe a thousand of them. Fury told him what he needed to do. He told him he needed to get the best brains money could buy and get them working on it exclusively. The president said he did do that. And Fury said, no he didn’t. Clearly. He said, let Fury go headhunting for him and see if he can’t hunt some heads. He told the president he needs to get the guys Fury picks and put them all in a room together. One of those rooms with a lot of expensive stuff. And then get them to work on securing their future as a nation ad a species.
And here they are. Doctor Franklin Storm, meet Richard Parker. Richard Parker, meet Doctor Bruce Banner. Bruce Banner meet… Storm interrupts referring to the last member of the group, a teenage boy dressed in skater clothes rather than a grown man like them. Their intern? he asks.
Intern? the boy scoffs. What’s 3,424,235,235,345 x 2,352,532, he asks. Storm ums. Doesn’t know his gazintas? the boy asks. Then he can get the coffee.
Fury grabs him by the shoulder, introducing him as Hank Pym, who just graduated MIT. For the second time. When Pym is still bitching, Fury orders him to let it go.
Can they see the original files of the supersoldier program? the scientists ask. No, Fury tells them curtly. They were destroyed long ago. Why? comes the question. He’ll tell them when he gets to know them better. Then they are starting from scratch? Storm asks. No, Fury replies, there’s this, and he hands them a vial of blood. Is it Captain America’s blood? Pym asks reverently. No, Fury replies. But examine it. Reverse engineer it. Do what you do. Where did it come from? Storm asks. Only Banner sees the band aid under Fury’s sleeve.
Get crackin’ or it’s all their asses, Fury orders. And one thing: no human testing. None. What-so-ever. Well, at some point… Banner ventures. At no point, Fury replies forcefully. How are they supposed to make a supersoldier with no soldiers to make super? Banner complains. They’ll deal with that when they deal with it, Fury replies and leaves. “Super-soldier,” Pym repeats enchanted, holding up the vial of blood.
Project Pegasus. The Fantastic Four and SHIELD commander Carol Danvers just learned that more of the mysterious monoliths have popped up. Reports are coming in from the Baxter Building, the Triskelion, Ultimates’ Mansion..
Are they being invaded? Reed, asks. Who would want to? The Thing asks. Seriously, Reed replies, he thinks Ben was right before. He thinks it is observing them. He thinks it wants to communicate.
Johnny reminds him that five minutes ago they ran out of here, covering their privates in fear of radiation. What happened to that? That was before the others started popping up, Reed replies. This is a thing now. He still feels they should be covering their privates, Johnny suggests. No, they have to find a way to communicate with it, comes the reply. He thinks they should hit it, Ben remarks.
Carol orders non-essential personnel out and for Vaughn to find someone who knows what this thing is!
15 years ago:
The president asks Fury for an update on “Project Rebirth.” It’s coming along, Fury replies. Is that French for “You’re jerking me around?” the president asks annoyed. Fury insists he said what he meant. They seem up. Involved. They’re in the right headspace. Banner in particular. He doesn’t think the man sleeps. Fury adds that letting the army poach Doctor Storm out from under him for the Baxter Building project didn’t help them any..
The president apologizes but he has many fish to fry. If Fury finds someone else who can replace him, he has the money to do it. He suggests Howard Stark and his boy. But Fury doesn’t want that. Now that Parker is back from his leave… Where did he leave to? the present asks. He’s supposed to be working on a top secret….
His wife had a baby, comes the reply. Fury gave him a couple of weeks. The president is still getting impatient, but so far all the results are negative.
Banner suddenly announces he thinks he has it. Parker doesn’t believe it while Pym is eager to see. A moment later, he hesitatingly states it’s interesting. Parker insists he doesn’t have it. Bruce wants to have it. Doesn’t mean he does.
They should get some dogs and cats to do some testing, Pym suggests. Show it to Fury, Parker insists. Or show it to Fury, Pym amends. Banner is against it. If they show it to Fury, he will take it and hand it off to army scientists and they’ll never see the end of this and never get the credit and they’ll never get the….
No he won’t, Pym defends Fury. This is his project. It’s not his only project, comes the reply. The man is working on all kinds of angles on this. Who told him that? Parker asks mockingly, his girlfriend? Betty knows how the military works, Bruce states glumly.
Later, Pym and Banner are alone in the lab, Banner has been drinking. Pym asks him how sure he is on a scale from one to ten that this works. Damn sure. He wants to test it? Pym asks. On him? Calling him “kid,” Banner refuses. Why not? Pym asks. Seriously, he wants it. He’ll do it himself, Banner decides. Pym can spot him. Pym agrees.
Pym makes sure that Parker is out of the building and begins recording. Excited, he adds they can show it when they pick up their nobels.
Outside, Parker greets his wife who has brought their baby Peter. He wanted to see where his daddy works, she jokes. Did he say that? he asks. A mother can tell, she deadpans.
Inside, Pym injects Banner.
Outside, the Parkers discuss getting bikes.
Inside, Pym asks how Banner feels. Banner’s eyes begin to glow green.
The Parkers hear a booming noise. Pym runs outside panicked, babbling. Parker orders his wife to go to the car and lock herself inside. What did you--? he asks horrified, looking at the giant shadow emerging from the building.
Mrs. Parker hears a noise and a scream as the building seems to explode. The walls collapse and she is hit by debris, managing to cover her son.
The transformed Banner, a green Hulk, looks down at the dying woman and the unhurt baby. He looks around, sees the devastation and returns to the form of Bruce Banner. Seeing the dead Mary Parker, he whimpers “no” and runs. He didn’t mean to … he pleads and Nick Fury kicks him in the face. What did you do? he shouts at him several times, until noticing the gurgling baby.
He takes Peter up and gently tells him this wasn’t supposed to happen this way. Peter grins up at him. Things got a little crazy, Fury tells him. He carries Peter away and states the good news is Peter is so young, he won’t remember any of this.
Reed has contacted Tony Stark of the Ultimates, describing the obelisk. Stark replies they have the same thing. Have they tried to make contact with it? Reed asks. Thor hit it -- nothing. He did a full scan, it just bounced back.
Susan looks at the monolith, her eyes beginning to glow red. It watches, she suddenly interrupts Reed. It is a Watcher. It is part of a hive culture that is here to observe and record the significant events that shape our civilization. It is here now to witness the most significant event of this generation. It just told her… it is here to witness the coming devastation.