Ben Grimm was not having a good day. Things had started off bad when he woke up at 5 AM to discover that the Red Ghost was smashing up the Baxter Building, looking to stealing some unentangler ray that Reed was working on. After helping smash the Red Ghost and his Super Apes he decided to go get some coffee to wake himself up, only to discover that his favorite coffee shop had hiked up the price of coffee by $10. He wouldn’t even get to enjoy his overpriced coffee because as he leaving the shop the street underneath his feet had collapsed as Mole Man came bursting out looking to conquer the surface world. Ben had dropped his coffee when this happened and he took out his annoyances on Mole Man before deciding to go take a walk in Central Park. This went nicely until some villain named Poison Ivy showed up and made the trees in the park start attacking everyone. Ben had never her before but that hadn’t stopped him from deducing that her weakness was repeated blows to the head with her own tree monsters.
After all this Ben collapsed next to the pond in the south eastern corner of the park and stared up at the sky. “Jeez.” He mumbled to himself. “It’s not 11 AM yet and I’m already exhausted.” He shut his eyes and wondered to himself if he could get away with taking a nap in the middle of the park without anyone complaining. He opened his eyes back up and side eyed the pond to his right. “Course knowing my luck Hydro-Man will come bursting out of there any minute.”
As it turns out he needn’t have worried about the pond as there was suddenly a flash of green energy to his left. Ben rolled his eyes and sat up and looked in the direction of the green energy. Standing there, looking around very confused was a man. He was white and had short blond hair and a neatly trimmed beard and blue eyes that had some grey in them. He had on a dark blue trench coat along with black jeans, black military boats and knee pads along with black shooting gloves. The most notable part of the man’s outfit though was his vest; he had on what appeared to be a heavy bulletproof vest with the design of the British flag covering the entire thing. It stood out in loud contrast to the rest of the man’s ensemble.
The man’s eyes came to rest on Ben and they widened as the man went into a combat stance. “Stay back creature, I’ll use deadly force if I have to.” The man had an English accent unsurprisingly but Ben ignored that as his temper flared at the man’s insult.
“CREATU-“ Ben stopped himself and lowered his voice a bit before continuing. “Listen buddy, I don’t know who you are but I ain’t going to stand here and let you insult me like that.”
The man was apparently taken aback by the fact that Ben could talk and he lowered his guard somewhat as he said. “Oh umm, my apologies I didn’t know that…” He stopped and began looking around again before asked. “Where am I?”
Still somewhat annoyed Ben replied. “Central Park bud.”
The man acquired a look on annoyance of his own as he said. “I know that I meant what Universe is this?”
Ben wasn’t really sure how to answer that question and he pondered on that a bit before saying. “Earth-616.”
The man frowned when he heard that answer and apparently went deep into thought before asked. “I see, and do all residents of this universe look like you?”
Ben grimaced but shook his head before replying. “Nope I’m one of a kind.” He stopped and thought for a second before he added. “Give or take a few others.”
The man still appeared uneasy but he dropped out of his fighting stance as he said. “Right, I see. Sorry about before, my name is Brian Braddock and I’ve come to your universe looking to stop a dangerous threat.”
Ben raised an eyebrow as Brian said all this and his eyes traveled back to Brian’s vest. “The names Ben Grimm, So what’s your gimmick then, you some big Captain Britain fan or something?”
Brian’s eyebrows shot straight up when he heard this and he partially went back into a fighting stance. “How do you know that name?”
Ben shrugged and said. “There’s a man in this universe that goes by that name. Big guy, flies around in a costume covered with the British flag. Why?”
Brain looked down at his vest as Ben told him all this and he was quiet for a while before saying. “That name, Captain Britain, it was my call sign on my old team before…” He trailed off and then looked up at Ben with a questioning look on his face. “What do you mean by superhero?”
Ben raised an eyebrow again as he said. “You know, people that dress up in costumes, have superpowers, fight crime and save the world. You don’t have people like that in your universe?”
Brian looked even more confused than before as he said. “Well sure, in comic books, not out in the streets. You’re saying people do that here?”
Ben smirked and flexed his arm as he said. “What’d ya I am?” lowering his arm he continued. “So you’ve got nothing like this back in your world? No superpowers or anything?”
Brain paused for a moment before saying. “Well I didn’t say we didn’t have super powers it’s just that…” He glanced over to his right and then pointed. “You see that empty soda can there?”
Ben looked where Brian had pointed and said. “Yeah?” As soon as Ben said this Brain made his hand into a cone shape and fired a green energy beam at the can, sending it blasting off into the distance. Ben raised his eyebrows and looked back at Brian who said. “We do have superpowers; we just don’t dress up to use them.”
Ben was about to say something else to Brian but was cut off as Brian himself said. “I’m afraid I don’t have any more time to chat, I’ve got to go track the threat to your world and bring her back home.” With that Brian began to walk off. Ben watched him go for a minute before he rubbed his head in annoyance and shouted after Brian. “Wait pal, you just got to this world do you even know where this threat is?”
Brian stopped and looked back at Ben and frowned. He then looked away and closed his eyes before he pressed his pointer and middle fingers to his temple. Nothing happened for a bit then he dropped his hand and opened his eyes while saying. “Yeah, I have a pretty good idea where she is.” He began walking away again. Ben grimaced and shouted out to him again. “Well do you want help dealing with this threat? Since she’s a big threat to my world and all that.”
Brian stopped and looked over his shoulder again with a frown on his face. “Sorry it’s too dangerous and I work alone.” And with that Brian took off into the park. Ben grimaced again as he rubbed his temples. He considered going home but something inside him nagged at him to chase after Brian and give him a hand in spite of what he said.
“Ah hell.” Ben mumbled to himself “How much worse could this day get?” And with that he took off after Brian.