Before reading, please read Prime #3.

Prime: A New Twist #4
July, 1998

"Origin Revealed!"

Written and edited by James Pedrick,
Mike Engber and Mike Aragona
Based on plot for Prime Vol. 1 #3
Created by Gerald Jones and Len Strazewski
Property of Malibu Comics

The phone rang.

Mrs. Green staggered towards the sound. "Please..." she silently begged, as she reached for the phone. "Kevin?!" She hoped. But it wasn't. "Oh... Mr. Freitas."

Mr. Green listened to his wife speak from the other room. "No, we haven't heard anything... No, we haven't called the police. My husband... I mean, WE'VE decided... Tested?! What do you mean, `tests'... Oh... Oh, God, no. Kevin CAN'T be on drugs! He's always been such a good... Yes, I understand. Thank you, Mr. Freitas."

Mrs. Green began to sob. Mr. Green walked into the room. Without turning around to look at him, she told him, "That was Kevin's School Counselor. He's been thinking about Kevin's disappearance... And the way he ran out today. He thinks we should have Kevin tested for..."

Mr. Green interrupted her, "NO!" She turned to look at him, tears running down her face. "Just like I told you in the hospital, Kevin is FINE! NO THERAPISTS! NO DOCTORS! NO TESTS!"

Mrs. Green weeping and hysterical asked, "And no police?! He's been out there for hours, Russ! How do you KNOW he's just with friends?!  How do you know he hasn't disappeared?!"

Mr. Green rested his head on his hands, "The police can't help him.  Dear God, NO ONE can help him."

Mrs. Green jumped up. What did he mean no one could help him? What did he know that she didn't?" She began grew furious and grabbed him, "YOU KNOW SOMETHING! TELL ME WHAT YOU KNOW! Russ, this is OUR SON!"

"Our son. Yes, yes... He's our son." He broke away from his wife and ran toward the coat hanger and got his jacket, "But I don't know, ANYTHING! You're paranoid, Ruth, you're just panicking! Kevin's in some Quick-Mart or arcade with his friends, THAT'S ALL!" Mr. Green ran out the door. Mrs. Green cried and silently watched her husband as he walked away and yelled, "I'll go find him MYSELF if you're so worried! Just don't bother the police with this!"

Walking down the sidewalk, Mr. Green began to talk to himself, "Kevin... Kevin, it wasn't supposed to happen. They told me a long time ago... that nothing could go wrong. Looking to the sky with tears streaming down his face, he said, "No one can help you now, son.
You'll have to be strong. BE STRONG."

[Meanwhile, in a lab across town...]

"Doc! I think I saw his eye open!" Duey signaled for his boss.

"Yeah you did... Now how about seeing some PRIMAL RAGE!!"

An evil grin sat on Doctor Gross's face as he watched Prime try to escape the seat he was chained to. He knew Prime could escape, so he flipped a switch, igniting the chair with electricity.

"AAARGH!" Prime's head went back as he struggled to keep himself together. He wasn't sure what was going on. Earlier he had been flying with Kelly. It was great, until he was interrupted by some mutant freak. The creature ended up devouring Prime into his body!  And that was all he remembered until he woke up, shackled, in some kind of laboratory. Doctor Gross walked over to Prime.

"Oh stop whining! The electricity can't possible hurt YOU that much!  You're practically impenetrable... at least for NOW." He began walking around Prime, looking him over. "Of course, ENOUGH electricity can override the electrical impulses from your brain to your muscles... and short out your muscle control." Looking him right in the eye, Prime seemed to become a frightened... well, thirteen year old. "Not that we'll have to worry about THAT very long. How long do your ultra bodies last, Prime?"

"I... I... DON'T KNOW WHAT YOU'RE TALKING ABOUT!" Kevin couldn't believe it. How did this guy know that his "ultra bodies" didn't last forever? That he really wasn't seven feet, five inches and 400 pounds?

"Oh come on!" He held up a vial, "Do you know what this is? It's a piece from you, taken from that drug house you wrecked!" Doctor Gross put away the vial and lightly giggled to himself, "I can't wait to do some more scientific sampling. From your costume for instance... I believe IT'S made of living cells!"

"What do you mean, sampling?!" Kevin was getting worried, his deep voice as Prime began to crack.

"The big question is. Which one of you is in there? One of the little boys... or even a little girl? There were just so many of you little buggers."

"YOU'RE CRAZY!!" Prime's anger began to replace his fear. He tried to break free, but Duey, Doctor Gross's assistant flipped the switch again. Electricity ran through Prime's body.

Doctor Gross turned around and watched Prime as he tried to once again withstand the electricity going through his prime-body. "Yes, yes, and I thought every one of them was a failure... until I heard about YOU." Doctor Gross got closer to Prime and said,"That's why I can't let you go. I need to educate you, teach you your destiny and your past!"

Prime was confused, "You're crazy!!! I don't know what you're talking about, but I'm going to..."

Doctor Gross showed Prime a videotape, "These are the answers to your past, to how you came to be."

"It was nearly 15 years ago. I had more hair then. I was a fertility researcher. Funds were hard to come by, unless you were with the military."

The video screen showed Doctor Gross at a younger age, bringing in couples to his office, helping them plan out a pregnancy. "Who would have believed a fertility lab would be the site of an astonishing military experiment?" The screen then switched to a video of Doctor Gross discussing his proposal to military officers. "And what an experiment it was! To grow ultra- powered soldiers in the bodies of ordinary women by implanting fast-mutating genes into their babies."  A 3-D animation of exactly how the new ultra-powered soldiers were SUPPOSED to work popped up on the screen. It showed a green goop materializing from a man's chest and covering over the man's body, until it formed into a strong ultra-being.

"You think you know everything! WELL, YOU DON'T! I don't believe you! NO WAY!" Deep inside, though, Kevin knew this was true, and Doctor Gross knew that.

"That's what we all like to think about these things. That maybe what we fear isn't true. But it usually is... My fear was of failure, and losing track of my young projects... That fear came true, after some senators threatened an investigation. I had to destroy my records... But now one of my projects has come home to me and grown lots of big powerful bodies!" Doctor Gross laughed to himself, "You've made up for so many long years of nothing!"

"What are you trying to say?!"

"You just don't get it... I am the mad scientist... and you are my MONSTER!!!"

"NO!!! I'm not a monster! I'm a superhero!"

Doctor Gross raised his arms and laughed, "Is there a difference?"

Doctor Gross walked over to a table next to Prime and picked up a device, "Now, let's take some samples before your body starts to decay..."

Prime's eyes grew wide, "SAMPLES?!"

"Yes... I hope a laser scalpel will be enough." He took the device and activated the laser, "This may sting little, but not for long! A few FINGERS will do for starters."

"I don't think so!!!" Kevin knew if he concentrated hard enough, he could break through those chains before they'd have the chance to stop him.

"Uh-oh. He's getting feisty. Let's give him a little more..." and before Doctor Gross could finish his statement, Prime broke free. He tore the chair in half and ripped the chains off.

"You don't know EVERYTHING, do you? You don't know how fast I can move!" Prime flew toward Doctor Gross and grabbed him by the neck, "You psycho! The government would NEVER do all that stuff!"

Doctor Gross struggled to speak, "Ha! You must be young... no one else could be so naive, so stupid!" Gross then managed to zap Prime in the neck with his laser scalpel.

Prime threw Doctor Gross against the wall, and grabbed at his neck. "YAAAH! You'll pay for that GROSS! I'm NOT STUPID! I'm the strongest hero in the WORLD!"

Doctor Gross, tried to get up from the ground. He wiped the blood coming from his lip, "Hmm... that hurt him! I wonder if his body is getting weak now? I never did solve the duration problem."

Prime overheard him. "Nothing hurts me! But I'm definitely going to jack you up... unless you admit that stuff was a LIE!" Prime marched towards him.

Duey came in the way between his boss and Prime, "NO! LEAVE HIM ALONE!"

"Ha!" Prime grabbed Duey and held him into the air, as green goop began leaking from his neck, "I'll get to you NEXT! How can you even work for such a fool? How much can he PAY you?"

A smirk appeared on Duey's face. "Heh. You don't get it, do you? After all of this, you still don't get that nothing is what it seems." Duey's body began to grow, tearing away at his shirt, "He's not JUST a doctor!"

Prime stood back as Duey transformed in midair. His chest burst open as a goop, similar to that of Prime's, took over his body. But it didn't take form like Prime's. It wasn't perfect. He turned into a creature much more grotesque. With skin a dark grayish brown color, he looked similar to Organism 8, the creature who attacked Prime earlier that night. Arms grew from his side and even one on his head.  His teeth were big and dull. Prime was shocked. This monster transformed right before his eyes! Maybe HE was a monster, like Doctor Gross said.

"Hello, brother!" His several hands waved at Prime.

Kevin didn't want to believe what he'd just seen and heard. He swiftly flew at Duey, trying to charge into him. "NO! You're not my BROTHER! You're some kind of..."

"Monster?" Duey caught Prime and threw him toward the ground, "Yes, I don't grow `handsome' bodies like you do! I was one of the FIRST group!"

Doctor Gross stood up, "Yes, Prime, you see, you are the first to truly WORK! Many of the others didn't even live, we think."

Duey lunged into Prime, grabbing him and raking his sharp finger nail across his face, "We need a sample, Prime, even if I have to rip it off you!"

Prime broke away and swung him across the room, "DON'T TOUCH ME!"

Duey crashed through the wall and out the building. He quickly climbed back into the lab. "My body is fresher than yours, isn't it little brother?" Said Duey as he grabbed him.

Prime struggled to get away. "I'm not your brother! I'm not your KIND!" I'm Prime! And Prime is stronger than all!" Trapped in Duey's several arms, Prime pulled his fist back and aimed it at Duey's face. But then he saw something even scarier.

"Maybe so... But your strength isn't everything... when you can rip and TEAR!" From Duey's chest, grew two sharp spider-like legs.

Doctor Gross watched from the side, "Heh-heh! He may not be as pretty as you, but he can grow new limbs... new heads... ANYTHING! You can have this kind of power too... if you allow me to teach you, Prime!"

"AAAAAH!" Duey cut into Prime's ultra-body. Green goop began flowing out of Prime's shoulder and leg where he was stabbed. "No! I'll never join you, Gross!"

Prime tried to get away, but Duey pulled on his cape. "Don't go AWAY, little brother! We're all one big happy family here!"

"GET AWAY! Don't touch me anymore!"

"Don't be scared!!!"

Prime tried to run away while Duey held him back. The two forces tore the cape in two! Half of Prime's cape was now detached... and his CAPE was BLEEDING!

"Oh my GOD! What did you do?!? That was part of my... BODY!" Prime's fear turned to anger. He charged Duey, pounding him with one blow after another. "YOU MADE ME BLEED!" He flung him around the room, damaging the lab even more.

Meanwhile, Doctor Gross watched from a chair, gloating over the power he created through Prime. "He's MAGNIFICENT! A virtual engine of destruction!"

Prime was furious. He through Duey across the lab. "I hate you! I hate this place!"

Duey was flung across the room toward the controls which set off the electrical chairs. Doctor Gross knew what would happen, "NO! Not the-"

But there was nothing he could do. Duey smashed right into the circuits, igniting the chair and sending electricity into Doctor Gross. As Doctor Gross was electrocuted, the laboratory caught fire.

Prime watched Doctor Gross' electrocution. He pointed at him and shouted, "You made me do this! You and your lies!"

Prime flew out of the place as it burnt down around him. "It's not true! I'm not a monster! I'm a hero!"

He flew away, his body bleeding goop. "I have to get out of here. I think I killed them. What do I do? Do I call the police? I can't tell Mom or Dad, I can't let them know what I am! What do I do?"

Then, he saw a sign. It was a picture of Hardcase, showcasing his next movie. "That's it! Hardcase! He'll know what to do! I think he's making a film at Pinnacle Pictures, I'll look for him there!"

Prime flew toward Pinnacle Pictures' studios.

He arrived, but couldn't find Hardcase anywhere. A sound made him turn and he he saw a tank about to crush someone. "My God! That tank is falling! Don't worry, everyone! Prime is here!" He soared toward the tank and caught it in the air. He placed it gently on the ground.

"Hey you! I was supposed to catch that! It took us two hours to set that up!"

Prime looked over to see who was yelling at him but was struck by some type of energy blast. It hit him in the face, blurring his vision so all he could make out was a dim figure.

"Is that you Hardcase?" he asked.

"NO! This is Prototype turf! And you just ruined my take!"

Prime looked up, trying to clear his eyes. He remembered Prototype from TV as being UltraTech's spokesperson. But this guy looked nothing like the Prototype he was familiar with. He had much better costume for one thing. The armor looked much more comfortable than the bulky costume he saw on TV. "Oh wow! You look awesome!"

"Yeah, well that's more than I can say for you! You look like crap!"

Meanwhile, at the lab, a figure could be seen coming out of the fire.  It was a man, naked, hauling someone. "Doc...? Doc! I've got to get you to a hospital!"

The other man was badly injured. With his face torn, burnt and bleeding, he struggled to speak, "No... No time... for hospital... Duey... get me... to the vat..."

"Yes, doctor, hang on. I'll take good care of you. I'll make you a new person again."

"Thank you... son."

Prime vs. Prototype in Prime: A New Twist #5

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