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For a while, the children of fallen heroes started to work in the shadows as the new X-Men. Not all that long ago, the latest incarnation of the X-Men was brought down in flames by Division's efforts. Team members captured, Agents killed, Cosmic fire everywhere... It seems as though the days of the X-Men have come and gone once again. Or have they?
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|KONSTANTINE Z. VON DOOM||
Posted: Apr 27 2017, 08:59 PM
June 15th, 2038
[three months after the 52 incident]
The assembly hall of the United Nations was massive, even to his royal standards. Each nation’s attending delegate sat before generous desks, offering room enough to spread out and not rub elbows with his or her neighbor. Von Doom would have designed the space more efficiently. This was his favourite part of any press assembly, the just before. It was the like the chaos of the musicians in the symphony’s pit tuning instruments, the scuffle of patrons finding the right seats. It was the thousand sets of eyes scanning the new environment and taking measure of its dimensions and splendor. As the dictator of Latveria approached the podium, his audience grew silent organically.
Placing his paperwork down on the podium, his manicured fingers traced over the folder’s cover. It was crafted of soft, handmade leather. The cost of it was something he considered disposable, despite the extravagant. As the ruler of a major Eastern European power house, there was no such thing as skimping when it came to his personal expenditures. After a consult with his PR management, Konstantine also made an investment toward his visage. In the years prior, he had always presented himself as a polished primer of resplendent grooming and wardrobe. Time in prison, made this standard inadequate.
Some of the changes were subtle. He kept the bespoke suit, but forwent the cufflinks. His hair was freshly trimmed and styled, but it was left a few centimeters overlong. The most noticeable refashioning came with the close crop of beard. Subtly it was meant to humanize him, to show that he was a different person now that the ashes had settled and he was exonerated for the crimes committed by his father. Konstantine was advised to try and project benevolence, humility and confidence. This part was a little bit of a challenge. Historically, Von Dooms were not famous for bending the knee.
“Ladies and Gentlemen. Thank you for taking the time to attend this presentation. Just seeing the number of seats that have been filled brings a sense of hope that what I have brought to the United Nations for approval will become a reality.” He took a breath and set his cue cards down. He had his entire speech down cold, but this little affectation was meant to display that for the moment, he was going off the cuff and talking to everyone from the heart. “I realize that it is daunting to listen to the words of a man who was not elected into his position. But I am not coming before you not as a king, or a rival. I am here to extend aid, to a nation that has suffered an incredible tragedy.”
Konstantine let his opening statement sink in as he scanned the various figureheads in the crowd to gauge the general morale. Some were already had in his pocket, others not so much, but if this proposal went as well as he imagined, it would not be long before that slight was corrected. “Mutants.” he said not with disdain, but with a note of compassion. “This topic has been brought up so many times within these sacrosanct walls, that I have dedicated my legacy to finding something that works. Decisions that we have all made, have proven catastrophic. We’ve struggled to find a balance between completely extinguishing the rogue population who refuse to obey the law of the land or dealing with these culpable threats in a more humane way.” With a flick of his wrist Konstantine Von Doom opened his notes. The lighting around the hall dimmed, allowing him to begin his presentation.
“The utopian peace of in my homeland is something that brings a great swell of admiration to my heart.” Konstantine pointed towards a chart that showed very accurate numbers on the crime within his borders. The timeline of the past twenty years showed a crime rate which stood steady at 2% or below. Von Doom prided himself upon this stat. It took his father all his power to get his own country in line. Even then he ruled through fear. Konstanine wanted, and had achieved, something different. “Crime and subversives are at an all-time low; A figure not seen since the days of the old monarchy!” Right on cue, the slide presentation flashed pictures of Latveria’s population in a variety of idyllic settings.
“How do I accomplish this? Simple. Technology.” Konstantine said raising a hand towards two holographic displays of his latest Doombots. One was the size of an ordinary human being. The other was the size of a ten story building. “Not to worry comrades.” Raising a hand to calm the nervous sheep within the room. He knew that they’d be tense after seeing the security force. Especially after seeing what those old outdated clunkers Victor made did to the city. “Ladies and gentlemen, the future.” The dictator of Latveria rounded the podium and walked down the few steps, in front of his holographic creations. “Not only are these sentinels light years head of anything out there in terms of programming on the market, but they come also equipped with the latest tracking software. They are able to process complex decision making scenarios within nanoseconds. Once these guardians are put into place, we will never hear another sad tale of someone losing a father, mother, child, or sibling. These silent protectors have overseen my country for years. Now I offer them to the great city of Chicago, as a sign of the peace that we all want to achieve. Mutant and human alike.”
The hologram showed a vastly different aesthetic to enforcement units of the past. “These guardians have a variety of options, including an armament of non-lethal weaponry.” With a wave of his hand the ruler brought up the various sizes of models. “Here, we have the much taller model, designed for heavy combat.” The image depicted the automaton’s weight clocking in at forty feet. Next to the giant mechanized terror stood a smaller man sized scale. “We also have created smaller units capable of assisting men and women within the workplace. They can provide protection where the much larger units cannot. They are a perfect resource for upgrading Chicago’s police force, or security details. And I believe that if we embrace this project, it will mean a restoration of sanity and serenity within the year.” Konstantine finished up and flicked off the presentation. “My aid will see to it that the complete details are sent to each of your offices. I believe you will find them to be respectful and fair.” The room was silent has the young official left the stage of the world and proceeded to leave the building.
Meeting up with two aids at the entrance, Konstantine rebuttoned his suit. There was bound to be some resistance, but when wasn’t there ever those that challenged his will. His machines were top notch, crafted with the same attention to detail he’d insisted for the Doombots which protected Latveria itself. True he’d built in safeguards that they wouldn’t be used against his own country, but that was his own little secret. If in fact the President of the United State purchased goods from him, that would mean he could use the automatons to begin searching for his misguided niece and her rabble. They were a serious threat, and had to be dealt with soon, the memory of their last encounter sat fresh in his head. Konstantine had yet to figure out a way of dealing with that one mutant who had brushed him aside without even blinking an eye. Sensors on the old relic powersuit had captured some details of what he was dealing with, but it wasn’t enough. Von Doom needed that specimen, needed to see what made him what he was. Just a few hours on the table would be enough.
“Excellent speech your excellency. The brunette with an tablet computer clutched to her bosom notched as he arrived. “We have delivered the packages as instructed. Output is looking good from the factories. We should be able to meet demand,” the woman said as they walked through the double oak doors. The hallway was silent as his fine Italian shoes carved a straight path along the carpet. He was listening, but didn’t respond to his aid’s information. Konstantine was a man that was able to focus on several topics at once. The information about production was all well and fine. He’d known that the factories back home would be able to keep up, he’d seen to it personally. Konstantine Von Doom had his people’s devot loyalty. No one wanted, or dared to disappoint him. That much, he could thank his father for gifting him. Latverians knew the price of failure. Konstantine wasn’t his father, but he’d learned every trick and twist from a master manipulator.
The ride to the banquet hall was free of complication. Konstantine had reserved the entire hotel for purposes of security. Upon entering the hotel and it’s largest banquet halls, he made the first of many rounds. Hands were shook, cheeks were kissed. Short, but polite interactions solidified his relations with key figures who needed to have their egos boosted. Von Doom hated this part of the job. Mixing with the common folk made him feel soiled and yielding. But if history was accurate, this approach was the bread and butter of Tony Stark’s campaign, so he willing to give charm and charisma its time in the sun. Glancing about he took note that most, if not all of the delegates were in attendance. No doubt, there would be moles from rival companies peppered about to try to glean whatever specs or favor they could scrimp from him or one of his employees. Konstantine was confident that neither would come to pass. The level of encryption on his personal data was almost uncrackable. He’d designed it himself. Lifting a glass of scotch from the passing tray, he worked his way through the crowd with a ten million dollar smile on his face. The meet and greet was nigh and the young dictator needed to rub elbows with some of the world’s powerful, and somehow sidestep anyone with a press pass.