Power of the Hulk
|As Brandon flew through air, leaping away from Scott, he ran his hands over his chest. It was still so big, but also so much smaller than just moments before. As he landed four miles away from the university, he placed his hands on his thighs. The thick muscle flexed like springs absorbing the inertia of his mass hitting the ground. Strong, yet so much weaker than what he had -- what he wanted. Brandon leapt again as hard as he could. Maybe he could muster five miles this time. Just minutes ago, he could have jumped across the continent. Now... a tear ran down his face. He made a bicep, feeling it and remembering how big it had been.
Banner had deserted him. Even as the Hulk, he had been the weakest of the four men. When Scott and Blonsky had confronted him, what choice did he have? Brandon should be angry, but he wasn't. Escaping had kept alive the only hope Brandon had of regaining his power. Brandon needed to find Banner. He headed toward the woods.
From the air, Brandon saw a tree rise up as if thrown by an incredible power. He landed nearby, then ran toward the area. As he got closer, he heard something. A fight? Had Scott or Blonsky pursued him? He slowed, taking stock of the situation.
In a clearing, he saw the Hulk. He was stumbling backwards, as if hit by something. He then saw a man walking toward the Hulk. He was shirtless, and incredibly muscular. He had dark black hair, and wore red underpants over blue tights that clung to his massive legs. The man had dark hair, and the width of his lats reminded Brandon of a Mr. Olympia competitor.
Brandon moved to get a better view. On the ground, he saw a red cloth with a large yellow 'S' on it. Next to it was a blue shirt with the same 'S'. Brandon looked back to the man to confirm his suspicion. Yes, it was Superman.
"Hulk has beat you before," said Banner, sending a massive green punch into Superman's chest. The man of Steel was thrown backward, but recovered quickly. Doing a midair somersault, Superman landed perfectly on the ground, yards from where the Hulk had pounded him.
"Maybe," replied Superman, "but I've been working out." Superman flew toward the Hulk, hitting him in the chest with both outstretched fists. Brandon saw the Hulk flex his massive pecs in anticipation of the impact, and watched as Superman's fists broke through the Hulk's titanium muscles.
The Hulk was staggered.
"Hulk stronger than silly Kryptonian," said the Hulk, obviously getting angry and supressing Banner's personality.
Superman landed and raised an arm. He smiled, and flexed it. The peak grew, like a volcano erupting lava to build an evergrowing mountain. Larger and larger the bicep peaked. It looked to be over 30 inches, much larger than any of the pictures of Superman he'd seen before.
"See that?" asked Superman. "I've added six inches to it in anticipation of this fight. I knew the Army would find you eventually, and I knew they would call on me to apprehend you. I've been working out?"
"Superman too strong to get workout," said the Hulk.
"Maybe, but not under a red sun. I equipped a special room in my Fortress to expose me to red solar radiation. There, I was just normally strong. Sure, I started out curling 200 pounds of earth weight. Now, 450 pounds is light under the red sun. And that translates into real super strength under a yellow star. Easily enough to take you!" Superman bragged.
"Hulk still stronger!"
Superman walked up to the Hulk, bouncing his powerful chest and rubbing his large upper arm with his hand. When he got close, he made a fist and slammed it into the Hulk's chin. The Hulk's head flew backward and he stumbled. Superman hit him again, and the Hulk's knees bent.
"You stupid beast! I'm a living battery absorbing solar power and turning it into muscle strength. By growing my muscles, I doubled or tripled my strength. You're nothing compared to me." Superman hit him again.
Brandon knew he needed to do something, but we he even strong enough to take on this new Superman? He had to try. He needed Banner and he couldn't let Superman or the Army get him again.
The Man of Steel was too occupied beating the Hulk, who was faultering fast under the assault. Brandon quietly maneuvered behind him, then quickly jumped at him landing on the Man of Steel's back.
Neither was ready for what happened next.
Brandon's skin turned black as a void, as it had when he had been drained. Suddnenly, Brandon felt the void being filled with something. With power.
Superman hadn't heard the man coming. When the man jumped him, he was caught by surprise. The man was strong, but Superman was stronger. He flexed hard, trying to force the man off of him. As he flexed, he began to feel his muscles weaken and his flex failing. The man's grip was getting stronger.
The Hulk looked up, seeing Brandon flying toward Superman. Suddenly, Brandon being inverted, as if a negative of himself. Then, the negative began to fill out, growing and becoming more defined. At the same time, Superman's large form was shrinking. In the Hulk's brain, he heard Banner's voice exclaim, "Brandon is draining Superman's strength!"
Brandon felt stronger. He flexed his bicep into Superman's neck, and watched it grow and expand. The strength and hardness of Brandon's muscle began to choke the weakening Man of Steel.
Superman tried to fight off Brandon, but Brandon's strength was increasing too fast and Superman was now too weak. Brandon watched as all of Superman's muscular gains were erased, transferred to him. Superman kept shrinking, looking like a fitness model. In seconds, he was thin and all his muscle size was gone. Superman collapsed.
Brandon let the powerless hero go. His skin reverted to normal, but he was massively muscled. Not as large as he had been, but still much stronger.
"What happened?" said Brandon, rubbing his hands over his muscular body and admiring his new strength.
The Hulk reverted to Banner. "I think," said the Hulk, his voice changing from the deep bass of the Hulk to a normal voice of Banner, "I have a hypothesis. The chemicals you took act like a battery fuelling your muscles. When we exposed them to gamma rays, it changed them by charging them with power."
"But Scott weakened me!" Brandon protested.
"By exposing you to the gamma ray generator again, right?" asked Banner.
"That may have stripped away the power of the initial gamma rays burst, but not the effect. It seems like now you have the ability to absorb energy and convert it to muscle. Superman was a huge solar battery. You just drained him."
Brandon looked and thought. "You mean, my body is like a rechargable battery. If I can find a power source..."
"You will turn that energy into muscle," finished Banner.
Brandon smile. "So, I just have to find something with enough power to make me strong enough to take on Scott!"
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