After creating some modification, I looked at the crystal clear liquid in front of me with a slightly green hue. This was the modified perfected hulk serum I had developed.
I found my most loyal subject Mr Rat feasting on the potatoes I had sacrificed to it.
'Survival of the fittest at its best. Only those with usefulness survive. Mr Rat was more useful that potatoes hence they became food for Mr Rat.' I shook my head at the lame joke.
I grabbed the rat and placed him on a container. I collected some data before injecting the serum in order to see the changes in it.
After gathering enough results, I released the gaseous hulk serum.
Unlike Bruce, the rat didn't turn green instead just got really muscular, strong, fast and smart very quickly.
I had to quickly release the knock out gas before the rat escaped and caused dangerous havoc in the city.
I collected another blood sample to examine later before reversing the effect from the rat and gathering a 3rd blood sample.
Comparing the 2 blood samples(the deeply coded genes without the hulk serum), I noticed that there was no difference or side effects. This proved there would be no side effects after the serum was removed from the system.
I smiled as the gathered data about the blood sample with the hulk serum was in front of me.
"Oh, potatoes!" I took a deep breath seeing the results I had wanted in the blood sample.
I removed the Extremis from my system. Right now, God knows what kind of disastrous effects would happen if I combined both Extremis and hulk serum in me without researching it. I was no fool for hoping for a lucky mutation by combining them.
I felt no different as the Extremis was removed from my system.
Finding there were no problems I got ready to inject the hulk serum.
As the hulk serum was injected there was no pain, bulging of muscles or anything. I just felt very clear and light as a feather. Suddenly I felt the speed at which the books were being comprehended was increasing at an insane speed.
Earlier I could only comprehend about 1 and a half book per hour for just one rooted potato. However, right now I felt that number more than double. I could now easily comprehend about 1000 books in a month with just 1 rooted potato and counting both of my abilities that were 2000 books a month.
Not just that the whole world seems to slow down in front of me. I took a test tube and threw it in the air. I watched as it slowly came back down. I waited so long before I got bored and grabbed it out of the air and placed it back down in the rack.
I had found from my rooted potato that the gamma radiation in itself was the problem that caused: the maddening state of Emil Blonsky, superior inferiority in Samuel Sterns and the rampage mode of the hulk.
So, I solved that problem by making sure to modify the serum to only absorb and used limited gamma radiation. This gamma radiation will only be used to fuel my increased perception of the mind and boosting my mental capabilities. This meant my mind was always enhanced 24/7 and wasn't overloaded with gamma and became corrupted.
The rest of the strength for hulk serum came from the normal energy source of all humans… calories.
Similar to the Extremis using the abilities gained from the hulk serum(except for my boosted mind) consumed a massive amount of energy like the hulk who just absorbed and used the gamma radiation stored in him as a source of energy for his strength.
While the hulk was just enhanced physically and his healing capabilities, I was enhanced physically in all aspects including speed and regeneration along with mentally. I had engineered it as so.
But the biggest boon that I developed was my ability to store energy had increased. Meaning I could store about 2 hours' worth of energy to use the hulk serum and keep going all out with the hulk's power for 2 hours straight, unlike the measly 20 minutes Extremis provided. This was why I decided to keep using Hulk serum from now on instead of Extremis.
However, I planned something different for the hulk serum. I planned to combine it with the Extremis. Right now, if someone managed to disintegrate me instantly or only leave behind just 1 cell of mine in an attack I would seriously die as Extremis isn't capable of restoring my whole body from just 1 cell as it doesn't have enough energy to do that.
However, by fusing together both hulk and Extremis serum I can achieve that goal of being an unkillable cockroach who can survive as long as just a cell of mine is left.
At that time each and every single cell in my body will store enough energy to allow me to regenerate at least once and most likely regenerate my whole body from just one cell.
This came with the price of not having near-unlimited strength like Bruce or losing my mind like him. I predicted hulk himself roughly has about more than 5,000 tons of strength on average, which increased the more he was angry. This was seen when he took down that single Leviathan in the Chitauri invasion with one punch.
I estimated I should have around 100 tons of strength within me which was enough to take care of most of the threats in the coming years but still not enough. In return for this limited strength, I focused on enhancing my mind, durability, speed, regeneration, healing, and energy storage factor.
Call me a fool but raw strength isn't always supreme. Even hulk with his massive strength got wrecked by Thanos. Knowledge is the name of the game not to mention the ability to travel at the speed of sound for 2 hours straight.
'Start to find a way to merge to Hulk serum and Extremis.' I ordered one of my rooted potatoes.
I decided to keep the hulk serum in my body and not remove it. With the Hulk serum, I became a lethal weapon of mass destruction in exchange for the unkillable cockroach that Extremis provided.
But right now, I needed the boost the hulk serum provided my mind, in comprehending things faster. Once the Extremis and hulk serum is merged then I won't have to be afraid of anything on earth.
This just means I have to be more cautious of people attacking me, during this time, lest they suddenly find a sniper bullet not being able to penetrate my eyes let alone me easily able to see a bullet flying to me in slow motion.
I went back to the restaurant after deactivating the hulk serum. The great thing about not having a passive skill was you don't need to fear accidentally using your full strength.
"Hey Ratatouille's, you guys got any burgers here?" I heard a familiar voice asking Bruce, from the kitchen.
I walked out. "Mr Stark, I assure you we got everything that is on the menu," I told him to see the surprised face of Bruce looking at the Tony Stark.
Tony whipped his head as soon as he heard my voice. Both Pepper and Tony stared at me in shock for a few seconds before Tony started laughing.
"Hahaha! Look at the guy who came to my office and threw me a gold plated business card now working in a small restaurant!" He laughed while Pepper explained to Happy who I was.
"You still want to consider working as a bitch for me?" Tony taunted me.
"As I told you, Mr Stark, your wealth is insufficient to hire me as your 'bitch'," I told him with a smile.
"As if!" He pointed at my small shop.
"How about this? I will do the honours of promoting your restaurant in return for you working as my IT technician once a week. I will pay a monthly salary of $10,000 as well if you want to." He smiled as he put forward to me a job offer.
"I am afraid Mr Stark that is barely enough to hire me for a fraction of a nano-second. I have told you; you lack the wealth to hire me so casually." I smiled back as Bruce looked at me in shock.
"Pretentious asshole." Tony cursed.
"Tony, we came here to eat." Pepper reminded him from the side.
"Yeah, oi show off give me the best you got here." He told me to which I nodded as I went back to the kitchen.
After they had eaten and was about to leave, I warned him. "Mr Stark remember our equivalent exchange from a year ago. Remember I am more than capable of divulging everything in your companies database should I find you, Ms Potts or Mr Hogan told someone about me.
I will do it without leaving a shred of evidence behind. And I will know when you tell someone because I have eyes and ears everywhere." I revealed stunning the trio as they realised, I knew who Hogan was when it was my first time meeting him.
"Yeah right, Ratatouille!" Tony casually walked out followed by Pepper and Hogan, who stared at me for a second longer.
"Remember if you need 'any' help just call me. I am a specialist in every single area provided that I am paid." I emphasised on the any.
The day went by calmly.
Natasha came that day during the evening looking not very happy. "What happened between you guys and Tony Stark?" She asked me and Bruce.
We were confused as to how she knew about Tony visiting us. I mean Shield doesn't keep track of every McDonalds he visits.
Nat quickly went upstairs followed by both of us as she turned my laptop on and typed something on the browser.
We soon saw a piece of very trending news. 'Mr Stark hospitalised after eating from a local street shop along with his driver.'
Both Bruce and I were stunned seeing our store described.
"I know someone from the hospital who told me that he is completely fine, and he is just there trying to sabotage you," Natasha explained. Subtly telling me Shield was aware of the real reason why Stark was there, as she didn't want to tell Bruce about herself.
"What happened between you guys and him?" She asked us once more.
We were silent for a while before I spoke. "He is aware of my skills and talents and had offered me a job before, but I rejected since I didn't want to participate in any aspects of weapon making.
After seeing me here he laughed and tried to humiliate me and offered me a job once more which I once more rejected. I think he didn't expect that and didn't like my attitude." I said with a smile as Natasha looked at me in worry.
"You will probably have a bunch of health inspectors coming in tomorrow. However, that won't be a problem due to how clean you guys keep the restaurant along with the food quality.
The problem is going to be that people won't visit here as often due to Stark's antics which will affect your business." Natasha replied in anger at Tony.
I shrugged my shoulder at that. "Well, the health inspection will give their verdict after inspecting my store. After that, if people still won't trust us then I don't care if they come back." I told her without a worry.
"You are way too calm for this." Natasha and Bruce retorted at the same time.
"Well, our long-time customers never had a problem from here so they will still come after getting the clearance from the food and health department. So, I have nothing to worry about.
Besides, we had made more than enough money after investing in this business. We will just reopen this store elsewhere under another name if people don't come in." I told them.
Not to mention I am gonna make that asshole suffer in that dessert for 3 months. Initially, I had planned on rescuing him if Pepper were to give me the contract, but now I won't until the last moment when he is capable of escaping himself while at the same time taking his money. That should be enough to cover my sufferings.
After that, we just dispersed as Natasha and I went to her home. She could have stayed here, but the time we spent walking to her home hand in hand was something special to us. We just did not want to lose that from staying here.
Few days passed by and as expected we were given the all-clear from and health inspection. Our usual customers still came and asked about Tony. I just dismissed their concern by saying Tony did not like me.
Days went by and so did months and years. Unexpectedly the way to merge Extremis and hulk serum took longer than expected.
I occasionally did all sorts of contracts ranging from online defence, escort missions, rescue missions etc for anyone who could hire me. I made sure I did these when Nat was away.
The fun thing about having a 100% success rate on any task I took was that I became very popular, even amongst foreign nations, syndicates and terrorist organisations.
Seeing as a criminal organisation were beginning to give me consignments, Shield and the UN finally had enough. They decided to shut the entire website down in an attempt to take down my page… only to find they couldn't.
If it was the old me I would have accepted these contracts without care from everyone including the terrorist organisations like Ten rings. But now I was careful when I accepted contracts from people.
Don't get me wrong, I did accept missions from criminals. Just that I investigated really well why they wanted me to accept it. After all, not every person labelled criminal was really a criminal as some were falsely accused etc or not every criminal wanted me to assign me ruthless jobs.
Some criminals still had family and loved ones they wanted to protect as well from their rivals.
If it was a legitimate mission like protecting their loved ones from rivals I took it.
"You Fucking Puta!" I exited my monologue as I sat behind a cover drinking mango juice calmly while the Mexican cartel threw all their firepower inside the house where I was sat next to a little boy cowering in fear.
"Wow, your dad really did piss them off, boy." I smiled as I offered the mango juice to him.
"Th… tha…thanks." He stuttered in fear as he took the mango juice with shivering hands.
"What are you doing?" I asked him seeing he was opening the lid.
"Uhh…" He looked at me in confusion then at the mango juice.
"I gave it to you to hold it, not drink it." I rolled my eyes as I took out a black sphere from my pocket.
"Scan finished. Exterminate or knock down?" A monotonous robotic voice came from the sphere.
"Knock do…" What I was about to say was interrupted.
"You pussy come out and face us like a man!" The leader of the group attacking us called out.
"Are you a retard? You guys have fucking machine guns and a dozen people with automatic rifles and you are asking me to come out and face you like a man?" I shouted back. If I was a normal human I would have died going out hearing their words.
"Existence such as this idiot should not pass their defective genes on, lest more of humanity become dumber due to him. Exterminate them." I said before throwing the metal ball towards the group.
There was a reason why I didn't bother simply using the hulk serum to fight them head-on and it was because it wasn't my main way of fighting.
Needless to say, the whole group began firing thinking I threw a grenade or something.
However, after a while, they all stopped firing.
"¡Santa Maria! What in the hell is that!?" The leader's fearful voice came out.
"Ahhh!" The sound of bullets piercing and some of their fearful noises could be heard.
The boy beside me looked even more scared as the screams began getting louder. After the screams had stopped I raised my arm and the black sphere floated back to me, after deactivating its extreme magnetic field; which stopped and reverted the bullets back to my enemies when activated.
I placed the sphere back in my blue formal suit only for it to transform and become a simple oblong metal container that can easily bypass airport securities.
"Well, boy. Playtime is over along with the time your dad told me to protect you. Good luck and goodbye." I said as I stood up after I grabbed my mango juice back from the confused boy.
"Call Mr Fernández," I called out as I walked out.
'Calm mind.' No matter how long it is, I still couldn't get used to the sight of guts, blood and brain matter everywhere. So far I simply coped with it, by abusing the heck out of my calm mind. I would use the calm mind to restrain the disgust I would feel down.
This was a bad way to deal with it and I will need to talk to someone soon about this in order to deal with it.
"Mr Dave? Is Nicolás safe? What about Diego and his men?" The man asked in frantic.
"As per our contract Mr Fernández I have protected you, son, for the past 39 hours. Not a second too early and not a second too late. I will send his current coordinates to you, come fetch him when you can.
Remember I expect the sum of $25 million in my account along with a review as soon as you collect your son. Should I not see it in my account in 72 hours I will come back for your son myself." I said as a text message containing the coordinates was send to Mr Fernández.
"No, listen to me. Just wait until I get there, you are meant to protect my son if anyt…" I hung up as I walked out amidst the dead bodies.
I borrowed one of their vehicles as I tapped my face mask to change my face once more and left the country.
If it was something like gathering intel about the army for a terrorist group (like ten rings) I did offer them a price, like 10 billion. I never rejected my customers just made sure people like them were unable to request me for a job.
Of course, should a terrorist group ask me they would somehow find the army monitoring their hidden base the very next day for terrorist activities. If it were the old me I wouldn't have cared if they were terrorist, criminals or not. But a certain person with anger issues and a seducer managed to change me.
I had finally finished through all the books I had memorised which required me to go to a local library to start memorising a bunch of new books. The fun thing about enhanced perception of time and speed is, I can read through and memorise books much faster. To others, it looked like I was just flipping through the pages rapidly, but I was actually just reading them.
Natasha and I just carried on with our relationship like how we always did. We had our fights and arguments over silly things like every normal couple and it was fun. If there was nothing to fight over I made sure there was something silly in order to annoy her. It was cute seeing her annoyed and trying to chase me around the house with a pan.
During the Christmas of 2007, she took me along to meet Clint's family. Everyone in Bart's family was excited to see me as they knew I have been dating Natasha for a long time. I brought along a few self-made toys for their daughter as a present.
We would occasionally visit them every now and then albeit having to make sure I had to change cars, train etc a lot with her which was fun.
My parents and grandparents were a different thing altogether. I made sure to call my grandparents every once in a while. However, I would always call my parents especially my dad every 2 days due to his unusual fear of America.
I went to see my family once in 2007 and 2008 for a few weeks during the summer holidays when Natasha was away for a long mission. My brother Jack was always absolutely delighted to see me whenever I came back.
I did not introduce Nat to my parents as she wasn't exactly comfortable with meeting them due to her job and not wanting to explain herself to my family. I let her be and have her take as long as she needed. I just went to see my family when she informed me she was going away for a long mission.
On 27th December 2008, I had finally got the knowledge to combined both the Extremis and hulk serum along with finishing the necklace I was making for Natasha.