|Season 6, Episode 11|
-I am sensitive to your concerns, but they are just remains.- The Inhuman replied. -Your mother’s spirit has passed on. I am the chief Medical Regent of the Inhumans, and I must be allowed to investigate!-
-Don’t let him near her, Dante! Don’t!- Gabriela Pertuz, his sister, exclaimed.
-Don’t worry, Gabby.- Pertuz replied, heating up. -This thing isn’t getting anywhere near mom.-
-You do not frighten me, infant. You can barely control your abilities. I’ve been dealing with children new to Terrigenesis for generations. Now, step aside, or do I have to involve Medusa?-
-Lady Big Hair? I don’t care who you call. Bring all of your monster friends… Won’t make any difference. My sister and I are getting out of here, and we’re taking our mother with us.-
-You dare to disrespect the Queen?-
-All day long. She’s not my queen.-
Vinatos hissed. -You know nothing.-
-Go easy, Vinatos.- A female voice said. -Our new friend has been through a great deal. He has lost a great deal.- Medusa said, walking into the room. Gorgon followed closely after.
-We have all lost much, my Queen.- Vinatos argued. -You must realized the opportunity presented here. If I could just examine this body, I could learn so much about the Terrigen released by the S.H.I.E.L.D. Agent. We know so little… Dangerously little. Perhaps you do not understand…-
-Now who disrespects the Queen, little man?- Gorgon smirked.
-Please, accept my apology. Like many doctors, I am terrible at following my own advice.-
-It is forgotten.- Medusa shrugged it off. -And you are correct… The Inhumans have lost much. The world is changing at a pace that seems too rapid. All the more reason to find allies, not create enemies, no? Do not touch Dante’s mother. We will make arrangements for her proper burial.-
-As you say, my Queen.- Vinatos bowed down.
-Oh, no!- Dante yelled, his body engulfed in flames. -I can’t stop it. It’s happening again!-
-Gorgon. Help him.- The Queen ordered.
-Of course, Medusa.- The Inhuman nodded and walked to the young Inhuman. -Your name is Dante? That’s what I heard?-
-T-That’s right. Help me! Can you put the fire out?-
-We’ll find you a better name. All right, Dante. Close your eyes. Try to be calm. Count to ten. It will help.-
-How will that…?-
-Just do it.-
Gorgon punched Dante hard, putting the fire out. -Three.- He chuckled.
-What did you do?- Gabby asked, crouching besides her brother. -You killed him!-
-Hardly. Inhumans are made of stern stuff. He’ll be fine.- Gorgon assured her. -I’m a trainer. I’ve been helping kids adjust to their T-Gen for years. Ones with flame-based abilities… Well… Sometimes you gotta put ‘em out.-
-What are you going to do with him? When does he go back to normal?-
Medusa approached Gabriela. -Child, let me explain. Everyone in this room is part of an ancient race known as Inhumans. Our genetic code makes us different. When exposed to a substance called Terrigen, we change form, and receive new… Abilities. This is what happened to Dante. And I am sorry, but the change is forever.-
-Oh, God… My baby? Will… Will she be all right, with this stuff out there?-
-We can offer you the best care. Our scientists are experts.-
-Experts?!- Gabriela yelled, pointing at Vinatos. -Like Dr. Frankenstein over there? He doesn’t sound like an expert.-
-That is deeply unfair! I…- The doctor started to defend himself.
-Hush, Vinatos. I promise you, Gabriela, no one knows more about Terrigen and its effects than we do. No one. But there are many advantages… You will see…-
-Are we prisoners? I mean, you just brought us here. It all happened so fast…-
-Of course not. You may leave whenever you wish. But we would welcome the chance to teach you more about who you are. And who we are.-
-Well, okay. Teach my brother how to stop burning himself, and then we’re gone. We need to bury our mother.-
-I’m sorry, human.- Gorgon said, carrying Dante on his shoulder.
-So am I.-
-What the hell is this?- Dante asked Gorgon, waking up inside a water tank.
-I didn’t want to take any chances with you firing up again. This place is banged-up enough as it is.-
-So… You can fix me, right? That’s what’s going on? Like physical therapy or something?-
-Oh… Kid. There’s no fixing. This is who you are, now and forever.-
-Wait… Wait. What?-
-Yeah. But there’s good news, too.-
-I don’t need to fix you… Because you aren’t broken. I’ll just train you up a little bit. Teach you how to use your gifts. Your life has changed, but that doesn’t mean it’s worse.-
-I can’t… I mean, I’ve got… Gigs to play. My sister…-
-Okay. Let’s start there. What were you? Sorry. What are you?-
-I’m a musician. A drummer.-
Gorgon leaned on the tank’s edge. -Yes? What kind of music? Do you play any metal? I love metal. The heavier the better.-
-Sure. When I can. It’s great, but it doesn’t pay the bills. People don’t usually want to hear slayer at their weddings.-
-I can’t believe this.- Dante looked down. -Mom’s dead, house burned down. Yesterday I was… And now… What the hell, man? I mean… What the hell.-
-Let’s get you out of there.- Gorgon said, pulling Dante out of the tank. -Now. Listen. My people, Inhumans, prepare all our lives for the changes you went through. When it happens, we’re ready. We know what to expect. More or less. I’ve seen hundreds of people go through it, with all that prep, and not one in ten handles it as well as you do. You’ll be fine. And now, I’m going to teach you how to set things on fire. Properly.-
-Hmmm… Temperamental. Scared. Broken… He could be just what I needed. And he has a passion. He is driven… I could exploit that.-
Dante and Gabriela walked away from their mother’s grave. Suddenly, she caught a man with the corner of her eye.
-Hey… Do you know him?- She whispered, pointing slightly at the man in the black suit.
-No. You don’t know him either?-
-Of course not.-
The man walked to them. -Dante Pertuz?- He looked at Dante.
-I’m terribly sorry for your loss. Maxwelle Black.- He shook the Inhuman’s hand. -I know this isn’t probably the time, but I saw you playing at a wedding and I wanted to know if you were interested in signing a record deal. You know, and then playing on the radio and even touring, maybe.-
-Oh my… Dante. This could be… This could be huge!- Gabriela exclaimed.
-You think?- He looked at her.
-Of course! Things could be finally looking up!-
-You don’t have to choose now, of course. We talk it over coffee.-
Dante looked down at Gabby, who nodded.
-Okay… I’ll see you back… Home.- Pertuz replied, and she smiled.
The drummer followed the man inside his limousine.
-Wow, that’s huge.-
-Oh… I know it is.- Maxwelle smiled. Suddenly, Dante’s eyes went blank and the limousine pulled over. -Oh, by the way… You can call me Maximus.- He smirked, walking out of the limousine and revealed an Alpha Primitive on the driver’s seat. The evil Inhuman pulled out a gun and shot at the Primitive’s head. -Dante, please, drive me home.-
-Yes, Maximus.- The other nodded, pulling the dead Alpha Primitive out of the driver’s seat. The Mad sat on the passenger’s side and they drove away.
-We cannot let the Inhumans own our country!- Senator Devi Deol exclaimed as she was being interviewed by WHiH World News outside the Capitol Building. -They are not like us, many of them do not even look like us… They don’t share our DNA. How can we be sure they aren’t going to try and dominate us?! We’ve seen what an alien attack looks like, what if they tried to start infiltrating us?-
-They’ve told us again and again that they have nothing to do with HYDRA anymore, but after this… I am not so sure. It appears S.H.I.E.L.D. really is a criminal organization after all.-
Suddenly, a fire blast hit next to the Senator. A man engulfed in flames was standing right across her, holding his arms out at her.
-That is exactly what I’m talking about! Inhumans, attacking us just because we think differently.-
-I’m afraid this is not only a different opinion… You spew hatred.- Dante shook his head, mimicking Maximus’ words, who was hiding nearby.
-You know, one of my best friends is an Inhuman and I don’t like Senator Deol either, but I can’t let you do this, buddy.- Bobbi shrugged.
Dante turned around, his hands catching fire. -You shouldn’t have messed with me, Avengers.- Slowly, his body was engulfed into a monstrous flame/rock form.
The Hulk ran towards the Inhuman, but he stopped the Gamma giant’s fist with ease. Dante opened his mouth and breathed fire at the Hulk, who resisted it. Banner took a couple steps backwards, shielding himself from the attack with his forearms. Then, Pertuz held his arms out at the Avenger and fired concentrated plasma blasts from his hands.
-Hulk… SMASH!- The Avenger charged against the fired up Inhuman and started delivering blows at him. Letting out all of his anger, the Hulk delivered a final blow at the Inhuman, putting the flames out and making Maximus’ control over him fade away.
-Hey, big guy… I know I just attacked you but it wasn’t really me! I was being mind controlled!-
Hulk grabbed Dante’s leg and smashed him against the ground repeatedly.
-I guess I deserved that…- He muttered to himself. Then, he looked up and spotted Maximus trying to flee. -That’s him!-
Mockingbird reacted quickly and threw one of her staves at him, making him trip. The two Avengers and the Inhumans walked to him.
-Listen, Maximus. I don’t know how you know me, or what you wanted to do with me… But I am my own person. And I won’t let anyone choose for me. Not you, not Medusa.-
Maximus chuckled. -You foolish child. You’ve already done my work. You just put us one step closer to a full on human-Inhuman war. And when that happens, I’ll cleanse the Earth and Inhumans will finally be the dominant species.- He smirked. Then, he pushed a button on his belt and teleported away.
-Where did he go?!- The Hulk asked, holding his fists out.
-Easy, big guy.- Dante put his hand on his shoulder. -He got away.-
Suddenly, Medusa’s hair wrapped itself around Pertuz’s body, stripping Dante of the insulated outfit Attilan had provided him.
-My husband and I were watching the scene. I would like an explanation.- Queen Medusa said sternly.
-I don’t know what happened.- The young man shook his head. -I… A man approached me. He lured me into following him… And then… Then I couldn’t help but obey him.-
-Maximus.- Medusa whispered, and he nodded. Then, she looked at Black Bolt. -Maximus is trying to start a war… This could be what Ulysses warned us about.-
Suddenly, the Inhuman King took a step forward and shook Dante’s hand.
-My husband, King Black Bolt, says he is pleased to meet you… Inferno.-
- The beginning of this episode is based on Inhuman Vol. 1 #2.