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[M] The Man in the Box

#1
Marcus pushed himself off the cold metallic medical table thinking about if Terminators could dream or not. Nobody was around and he found himself staring at the monitoring screen ahead of him. It was steadily beeping in waves and showed a decrease and increase then vice versa in the number of readings. The terminator ripped the equipment lightly off of him as the machine made a silent alarm as Marcus pressed a button and it stopped beeping.

"Alright, Alright. I’m done with the healing. That will be all."

The ex-criminal decided to take the stairs today instead of the elevator. One day without technology following his every move would be nice. Luckily for Marcus, there was a long winding staircase just for walking up and down. Echoing of his own voice and the clank of shoes on the floor was all the terminator needed to hear to calm down for the day.

Though, the staircase felt endless as he felt safe and calm gripping the sides as he walked up and down several times as it felt like a new adventure every step.

However, the sound of silence didn’t last long as his mind began to assault the terminator from all sides. Darkness overcame the terminator’s vision as both past and present crowded him, haunting his every turn.

His brother's voice beckoned out from his grave and into Marcus' ears. “You should be dead, brother. You killed me." Like a shotgun, the voice of his brother tore through him.  “You’re no hero, you are scum. You have no place living like another person.”

The illusion danced like flames lapping at Marcus and he was living inside his own Dante’s Inferno. Hands seemed to assault from every side pulling and pushing from the staircase walls. “Come join us, Marcus. You don’t belong here, In Hell.”

Marcus grasped both sides of his head, trying to make the voices stop. He could feel the psychological pain involved with everything he felt.  Even though he could technically not feel the pain involved with the flames licking his skin, his pain receptors were flaring up anyway making him feel like he was practically on fire. His skin felt a fresh rush of pain and began producing blue and black marks, akin to first and second-degree burns.

If a terminator could literally feel his skin boiling at a point, this was it. Even though his skin kept coming back over those bruises, this felt like a punishment for all the shit he felt he did to hold things on his shoulders.

He felt the irritating urge to scratch his back and his skin in general.  “Get OUT of MY HEAD!”

Meaningless laugher crawled into his head “You try to escape your own flesh and blood yet you come here for more. That’s what I call a “ masochist.”  

Marcus raised a eyebrow “What the hell are you talking about? I don’t take pleasure in my suffering.”

Every enemy he’d ever faced here in the Omniverse and at home stood by Skynet as dirt was raised out of a makeshift gravesite he remembered back at home “You’re dead, Marcus. Look at you. You aren’t a real man, you aren’t meant to be here.”

The box opened up as a dead version of himself, half ripped apart pointed at him “Fuckin look what you did to ME!”

This was the true “man in the box” after all.

Marcus stared himself, his dead self in his dream down “Come on, bastard. Let’s fight.”

“Oh, foolish self, I have everyone you hate here with me. The second you come to fight against me, they’ll surround me.

It was truly a “final battle” inside his head.

2 vs 1- Himself and his brother vs the real self.
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#2
Salvation. What does it mean to you of all people? Sure, it’s coming from a wretched person such as me, a man confined to his own prison walls inside a clay staircase hidden inside the Avengers mansion. Who am I to provide salvation to others when I cannot even save myself? I’ve literally counted every breath I’ve taken in this luxurious mansion stocked with the best things known to the Omniverse Avengers so far. But does each breath count and does salvation even matter when you are staring down a version of yourself and your dead brother in the mirror every day of your life?

I take a nervous gulp, feeling the lump form among my stomach as I’m at a loss for words. If I don’t do this now, It will bother me for the rest of my life.”

I bent down to dig the heavyweight of dirt of my open corpse as what was left of the corpse they called myself stared back. A zombie staring back with green eyes just as green as certain as parts of the Tangled greens.

It popped up and screamed, pulling up at me. It appeared to be wearing a ragged old jumpsuit that smelled like old socks and had passed its expiry date. Marcus held the old version of him, with hollowed out eyes staring back at him. So this is what Dr. Serena meant by cutting him apart and putting him back together the wrong way. Reminded him of Frankenstein’s monster. The bones rattled, standing up from the grave “This is you, Marcus. This is you now.”

Feeling absolutely disgusted at my actions, I grabbed my blade from my leather coat biting back any sting of regret and hurt. The dead version of me smirked, bones rattling as I placed my blade on his neck and taunted me “Go ahead, do it! Add another to your death list.”

“Are you afraid? Has the Marcus you once knew gone soft on me? What happened to you when you snapped and ripped people apart? Is it only on command?”

Welcome to my fucking life where one thing happens and another problem replaces that one, usually more annoying than the last one that happened.

It’s really not surprising me anymore considering how much life seems to flush me down the metrophorical toliet. Was it before I came to the Omniverse or was it now? I need to start writing down positive thoughts for once.

I wish I could just shake my hand and nod politely and tell my other self to “Fuck off” nicely but I can’t do that when my dead brother wants to kiss my other asscheck.
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#3
The whole thing faded from Marcus’s own view in the staircase when he grumbled under his breath “Why me?”. The half terminator opened the bottom door staircase as he heard a loud thud coming from the mansion’s main entrance.

That seemed a little unusual for this time of day as he mentally counted off the Avengers in his head that wasn’t inside already and would create sounds like this. The Terminator knew instantly something was wrong when he stared at the crimson splatter marks trailing from outside the door to inside the mansion. He carefully followed it all the way to the elevator where it then stopped.

“Fuck, it’s like a murder was committed in here.” Awfully ironic of an ex-criminal to say something like that. Marcus bent down, eying the trail of blood and followed it instantly pulling out his distress signal. He eyed the “A” symbol, taking another quiet breath to consider what he was doing before pressing the button.

The Avenger symbol was already showing to every Avenger within miles.

“Guys, we have a situation. I noticed the door kicked in and a long trail of blood leading from the door to the eleva- Is everyone okay?”

The half terminator was already pacing, itching to do something- to help fix the situation. He was already following the trail towards the lift. He noted mentally how fresh it looked based on the smell, and the crisp reflection as it still rippled with his heavy steps.

He was cautious as he stepped into the elevator, the scent was nauseating at this point. The Terminator mumbled about how he’d have to clean the blood off his boots now as he grabbed onto the siding of the elevator, so he didn’t slip and create a fresh hole in the walls.

As he gained his footing, he went back to the living quarters. Not much to speak about yet except for the trail that carved a path close to the living quarters - which made him anxious - particularly because it seemed to lead straight to Moon Knight’s room. The door was slightly ajar as Marcus stopped in front of it. He considered the amount he’s seen so far, and he wondered what could be the cause of it.

Moon Knight usually kept his chamber neat and tidy but as Marcus used his bloody boot to open the door he was greeted with a disturbing scene. Everything that hadn’t been nailed down, and some things that had, are thrown madly about. Curtains ripped off the rods, memorabilia and trinkets shattered against the ground. Also, blood. Scarlet liquid was all over the floors, bed, and walls of his fearless leader’s abode. He even thought he saw the madness of scribblings in the corner.

“Must have been some damn fight in here.” The terminator bent down to pick up what was the remains of a chair broken and raised an eyebrow “Reminds me of my bad days.” he mused, lowering the chair and looking at it again. “That still doesn’t explain the line of blood and the door being busted down.”

His eyes finally adjusting to the dark land on Marc Spector. His body was faced down the biggest pool of blood yet, the pure sheets of white that made up his costume were now carmine red. In a panic for his leader’s well being, the robotic man knocks the damaged chair out of his way and rushes to the side of the Moon Knight.

The Terminator fell down to his knees beside his fellow Avenger and rolled Marc over. He easily lifted the other man into his terminator arms and laid his head down against his boss’s chest. He could barely hear a heartbeat!! He needed medical attention, and fast.

There is ripping noise of bed sheets as Mr. Wright did what he could to immediately treat his friend. He tied off the bleeding with a firm knot and calm application of pressure. He glanced back down at the communicator, the distress signal still blinking even as it laid in the pool of body fluids. He hoped his comrades would get here soon, but he feared it wouldn’t be soon enough. He had to make a decision. He had to get the man who he owed so much to the medical bay.

The terminator ran with Moon Knight cradled in his arms, toward the medical wing! He’d taken the stairs three at a time just to get down faster. Now he burst through the door and sat their leader down on the metal slab. He then threw himself towards the medical bot, pushing the buttons he needed for its new commands.

“Its Moon Knight! Help him! Help him, dammit!” Marcus growled, shaking the droid.

After a small delay to collect the proper information, the medical bot scanned the body that lay prone on its bed. On the computer screen a display of a humanoid showed up, numbers dialed up and down to catalog important and vital readings. On the image, large red marks showed the damage done to his body. The screen then showed a rising loading bar as it calculated.

Marcus frowned, frustration grew inside him! “Are you fucking kidding me! He’s bleeding out! I can see as much. Stop it! STOP IT!!” Tears fell from Marcus’ eyes as he tried not to think about his past. How he wasn’t able to save so many… “Please stop it…”

But the screen just kept going… Mocking him. If it took any longer, he’d be the terminator who couldn’t even save a dying man!!

“Screw this!” Marcus screamed, bulldozing through all places he’s not supposed to go. “Get me some damn gauze, I’ll do it myself!!” he threatened the medical bot. He didn’t know what he was doing, but he couldn’t just wait around while some stupid program analyzed him! He’d be dead before the results got back.

Then he heard a groan. “...cus…”

Marcus stared at Moon Knight as he heard Marc groan “Cus? What’s that supposed to mean?!”

The man sighed as he bent down again to hold in place the double layers of gauze he was able to get in the broken medicine cabinets.

He stands, trying everything he could to keep Spector from bleeding out.

He refused to sit down until the others made it in.
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