CHAPTER 37: “Brainwash, Rinse and Defeat!” Part 2
Guile remained looking at Nash’s dog tag swinging side to side. If one didn’t know better they’d think the object was hypnotizing him. When in fact, the dog tag was having the reverse effect on him. Helping to wake him up from all the meddling Shadowloo and Apocalypse performed on his mind.
Captain America stood up and was about seven feet away from the confused Street Fighter.
“Guile. This may be difficult to hear, but Nash didn’t perish when he defeated Apocalypse. Apocalypse and Shadowloo managed to save him but they turned him into a brainwashed Cyborg named Agent Shadow to do their bidding. Ultimately, he was able to awake from his brainwashing and save my life along with Chun-Li’s. He sacrificed his life once more to destroy Vega. This time… for good.”
“Nash… My friend… My partner…”
“I had a partner, Bucky Barnes who was also a soldier. He too sacrificed himself to save my life. And for the greater good as well.”
Towards the end of World War II, the Avenger remembered falling in the night sky and seeing his partner Bucky riding on the back of a small booby trapped plane which eventually exploded. The imagery almost looked exactly like what happened to Nash, riding on Vega’s back and destroying both of them and the Island Smasher with the self-destruct mechanism embedded in his body.
Guile thought back to when he first met Nash.
One night in a dense jungle in Asia, Guile was captured behind enemy lines. He was strung up on a pole and being tortured for information. Nash showed up and made short work of the thugs. He managed to free Guile.
“You okay,” questioned Nash. “Yeah, I’ll live. That was unbelievable! Where’d you learn to fight like that?” Nash put the beaten Guile’s arm around his shoulder to help him walk. “Stick with me kid and I’ll show you a thing or two.” (From the story “Charlie’s Black Op.” Featured in the TPB Street Fighter Bonus Stage Vol. 4)
Captain America had a similar memory of when Bucky saved his life.
During World War II, two robots who looked like they were assembled out of pots and boilers and had big swastikas on their chests held Captain America down on his knees one night in a deep forest. The Red Skull pointed a gun at him and said, “Since the dawn of the Reich have we sparred, herr Captain… and at last we have reached the final round. How long have I waited for this moment? Ten years? Fifteen?”
“What’s the difference. You can’t count to either,” joked the captive Captain. Bucky Barnes appeared and took the Red Skull out with a mighty shoulder thrust to his chest! “Oh, funny. Somebody’s been watching a little Jack Benny.” Bucky followed this up by knocking the head off one of the robot’s heads with one punch. Freeing his partner to do the same to the other robot. “You’re just jealous. Why should you always get the good lines?” “Because it’s not ‘Costello and Costello,’ that’s why.” The two continued to quip while they easily defeated any remaining Nazi soldiers. Complementing his sidekick, Steve said “Nice K.O., by the way.” “I had a good teacher.” (From the story ‘American Dream’ featured in the TPB Captain America Red, White & Blue released in 2002).
There was no way both Captain America and Guile could share thoughts on how similar their lost friends were and witness all of the parallels in their experiences. However, they felt it on a subconscious level. Even the brainwashed Guile could feel it, evidenced by the tears that steamed down his face.
Back to Psylocke and Cyclops, while her Psychic Knife was within Cyclops’ mind she started to remember how not too long ago she was in love with Cyclops. In fact, even though she was dating Archangel now there was still a part of her that hasn’t moved on yet.
After the events of Executioner’s song a few months back, the X-Men Wolverine, Colossus, Ice Man and Jubilee were on the X-Men jet, the Blackbird. They were headed to the U.S.S.R. to visit Colossus’ finally. Psylocke was piloting with Cyclops as the co-pilot.
“Cyclops, after everything you’ve been through… was it really necessary for you to come on this journey? Perhaps you’re pushing yourself too hard.” Psylocke touched Cyclops’ left hand while she spoke these words.
“Maybe I just needed to get away from the mansion for a few days Betsy… I think I needed some space. Some time to think.”
“I can imagine. It must be difficult when the woman you love is a telepath.”
“Hmmm what?” For a brief second, Cyclops thought about kissing Psylocke. With her being a telepath just like Jean Grey was who she was just referring to, she could see this vision in his mind.
“Oh… Sorry… I was… just thinking…” “You think too much Scott. You should try doing once in a while.” (X-Men #17, 1992).
Next Psylocke sees another memory which took place a few days later. This vision began with her approaching Cyclops while he was repairing the Blackbird in the hangar of the X-Mansion.
Betsy Braddock was wearing a curve hugging tight blue dress that showed off the top of her ample bosom and long curvaceous legs. unbeknownst to her, Jubilee had dubbed it her ‘I want sex’ outfit. Cyclops was wearing a white tank top, green pants and a red headband tied around his head similar to Ryu’s headband in the Street Fighter II era and beyond. Only the headband Cyclops was wearing housed several black diagonal stripes, almost like a long necktie would.
While working on the Blackbird’s main engine underneath the craft, a bit of machine oil spilled on his left cheek. He got startled and fell off the small latter he was standing on. “Aaagh! Urgh! Mmmrf!” All sound effects he made while falling on top of Psylocke! “Scott,” was all she could express while the two tumbled to the ground.
"Sitting on the floor with her ever lovely accent, the gorgeous Mutant inquired, “Are you hurt?” “Betsy? I… didn’t… know, you um were here… uhm… I slipped… I uhm… I’m sorry…”
With the two still sitting on the floor, Psylocke licked a little bit of machine oil off of his face. “Don’t be sorry, Scott.” Then she gave him an open mouthed kiss on the lips!
Scott pulled away and proclaimed, “Betsy… We shouldn’t…” “Why not, Scott?” “I can’t… I mean I shouldn’t. … This isn’t right Psylocke.” (X-Men #20, 1992)
Here the telepathic Mutant went even deeper into the X-Men leader’s mind and felt his love for Jean Grey. How nervous he felt around her when they first met as teenagers at the X-Men academy. The pain he felt when he believed she died during the Dark Phoenix saga, how happy he was when he found that she didn’t actually perish, and even how he felt a few days after his kiss with Psylocke which was the next memory she saw.
Cyclops had just returned from visiting his grandparents in Alaska. The very first thing he did when he arrived was give Jean Grey a long passionate kiss.
“I’m sorry Jean… For everything. For not having seen how I was hurting you. For leaving…” “Shhh. It’s alright Scott. We don’t have to talk about it.” (X-Men #24, 1992)
Culminating with what was the happiest moment in his life next to his son Nathan (AKA Cable in later years) being born. When Jean Grey agreed to marry him very recently. “Red… I love you. I want to spend the rest of my life with you.” “I do Scott. I do.” (X-Men vs. Street Fighter, Chapter 17)
Since all of these thoughts really only took a few seconds for the telepath to register both were still soaring through the air! Clutching her forearm still, Scott ‘Slim’ Summers spun her around until he held her upside down facing the floor as if he was about to body slam her. From here he shot a gigantic Optic Blast that slammed her to the ground! Similar to one of his throw maneuvers, only he beamed Psylocke all the way down instead of her going straight up.
Once Slim landed on the ground he felt a pain in his stomach. The same pain he felt back when he was fighting Blackheart and Dhalsim with Ryu. Pink dots of energy began to flow inside of him while he held his abdominal area like he suffered from food poisoning.
“My stomach… It’s like it’s gathering energy… Feels like… my desire to awaken Psylocke… manifesting?”
Psylocke stood up and held her head while she screamed in agony! Her mind was conflicted between her brainwashing and the feelings she still had for Cyclops.
Finally she regained some composure, but she went back to being a brainwashed lackey unfortunately. She attacked Scott with a regular “PSY-THRUST!”
“PSYLOCKE! SNAP OUT OF IT!”
Cyclops released a blast which also released all of the Ki that was gathering in his stomach! The thing about this particular Optic Blast was that it was a red vertical line with six points articulated. Yes, it was exactly like the attack Ryu struck Dhalsim with earlier! Cyclops was able to duplicate the attack!
The line of energy struck Psylocke and once it pushed her back until she stood erect the six points attacked her Chackra points! Her body was immersed in a column of red energy! She yelled out in shear agony!
After the blast Cyclops managed to catch her before she fell down. “Betsy! Are you alright,” he asked the woman who looked as if she was fast asleep.
Guile let go of the dog tag and once it fell it made a few clanking noises on the floor.
Much like we witnessed Psylocke go through moments ago, Guile held his head in pain while his mind was in turmoil. “No… Nash… is an enemy of Apocalypse… and Shadowloo… Captain America… as a Dark Rider it is my mission to destroy you!”
“Guile, Apocalypse and Shadowloo are responsible for the death of your best friend Nash. He overcame his brainwashing and I know you can too. With his final breath he asked me to look after you. If you’re anything like my old partner Bucky, heck if you’ve anything like Nash I know you can beat this. In fact, I’m not even going to fight you anymore.”
The Super Soldier rested his shield on the ground and folded his arms.
The howling, confused and angered Street Fighter ran up to the World War II veteran and was about to deliver a vicious right to his face! Cap remained there, unwilling to block or budge! Guile’s fist moved at sonic speed leaving a trail of white energy! Could even Captain America withstand such an earth shattering blow?
That’s not a question that will get answered today! For at the last second, Guile turned the punch onto himself and struck himself in the face! The impact sent Guile flying back until the back of his head struck the large white metallic rectangular garage style door where Apocalypse resided behind! Guile was knocked out cold and remained sitting on the floor seemingly lifeless!
“Psylocke! Are you okay?” Moving her a bit in his arms, Scott shook the British Mutant. “Ugh… yes. Not my first trip to the mind control rodeo. Hopefully my last.” “You overcame it in the end Betsy. That’s all that matters.”
“Not without your help. Scott, I must confess.” “No Betsy, it’s quite alright.” “No… I… have to admit that I was in love with you for quite a spell. In fact, a part of me still is. I, never understood your love for Jean Grey until now. It’s a love I’ve never felt for anyone, not even Warren. My conflicted emotions along with my obvious identity issues are several of the tools Shadowloo used to bend my mind to their will. Cyclops, I am so sorry…”
Scott smiled and said, “There’s nothing to apologize for. I pulled your Psy-Knife deeper into my mind only because I wanted you to see how great an X-Man you are, one of the best. I suppose we did have a few unresolved issues that we never discussed and that bubbled up to the surface. As you saw, with me and Jean Grey things were never easy. Even so, I’m sure you’ll find that happiness someday,” encouraged Cyclops with a smile.
With an even bigger smile he added, “We’ll always have the X-Mansion’s hangar!” Psylocke smiled and gave him a playful wink. “Quite!” Cyclops helped her onto her feet.
Captain America shook the resting Guile on the floor.
“Ugh… It’s okay Captain America. I’m back to my old self again thanks to you. And Nash…”
Captain America stood up, raised his thumb and said “Thumbs up soldier!”
“Heh. So everything you said about Nash is true?”
The Avenger put away his goofy smile and seriously stated, “Yes. He’s gone. Took down Vega with him.” “I see. So all that’s left is to stop Apocalypse.” “I can always use another partner.” Guile grinned and concurred, “Likewise.”
Steve Rogers handed Guile Nash’s dog tag. Guile placed it around his neck, since he currently didn’t have his own he decided to wear Nash’s. With a strong handshake Captain America helped his newfound ally off the floor.
Next Up: Radioactive Bytes for chapter 37. Not too much to say as these chapters are pretty straight forward and the references for the comics mentioned are detailed in parenthesis. So in a week or so. After that, the next time I update it will be Wolverine vs. Sabretooth and Ken vs. Carnage! Lots and lots of blood lol! Thanks for reading and Happy New Year. Be safe!