According to historian Ejiri Shinsui in his newest book War and Art in the First Age of Quirks, Captain Kamino was "a man full of mysteries. No one knows where he came from, who he was or how he disappeared. All we know about him is through the posters and banners people made of him during the dawn of Quirks. It makes it hard to study him from an objective standpoint, as you can't really separate what is fact from fiction."
Blood trickled down his forehead. In a flash he wiped it away, eyes laser-focused on the task at hand. His gloved fingertips moved across the computer, trying to find a USB port to plug in his thumb drive. Careful, his mind warned. Guilt gripped his stomach. He couldn’t believe he actually did it. No, actually he could. It wasn’t the first time he had rushed into danger, nor, he suspected, would it be his last.
He couldn’t help his hands from trembling. Why couldn’t he calm down? He recalled the old English adage of Murphy’s Law and how conveniently it would apply to this situation. What a mess. Most teenagers didn’t sneak onto military jets in the middle of the Arctic to foil an anti-meta supremacist plot.
However, Izuku Midoriya wasn’t most teenagers.
And the next few seconds proved that point.
“Oi,” a guard barked, stumbling into the room. His boots echoed across the metal flooring. “Intruder! Someone call for backup. What the hell are you—”
He didn’t give the soldier a chance to finish his sentence, shield already smacking against the other’s head with a sickening thump. The Vibranium hummed in turn, his weapon bouncing back to his awaiting arms. As predicted, the guard fell sideways, joining his compatriots who tried to intrude upon Izuku’s last-ditch effort to save his home.
Seconds felt like hours as he waited for another. Hearing none, he continued his work. The controls should be right under—there!
He released a sigh of relief as the program downloaded into their system. One by one each computer screen was taken over, the virus spreading across every portion of the facility’s like . . .well, like a virus. His shoulders sagged. Metaphors were not his forte. That or he was exhausted. Probably the latter, since he really needed a break. Sadly, the work of Japan’s number one terrorist did not come with vacation days.
He flexed his fingers, breathing in and out to regulate his heartbeat. He was nervous, terrified even, but they were one step closer to their goal. He felt a sense of satisfaction, knowing someone like him could be of use for a noble goal.
His earpiece buzzed, shaking him from his line of thought.
“I can’t believe you did it,” a familiar voice rasped. He could hear a plethora of tapping noises, as the man used all four hands to continue working on hacking into the facility’s main system. “Cameras are down. You should be able to head to the engine room now without much interference.”
Izuku laughed. “I know, right? I mean, I always knew Tachi-san’s Techno Quirk would be good for electronic sabotage, but the way Honda-san was able to merge his tech with her Hacker Quirk was a brilliant strategy!"
"I'm sorry, but Quirk?"
"Oh, that's what mom used to call meta abilities. Anyways, where was I? Right, the Techno and Hacker Quirks. Both are really versatile in use. If only we could combine it with someone with some sort of radio wave Quirk then perhaps—”
“I thought I told you to stay at their base,” a deeper voice than the last remarked.
Ah oh. Izuku’s shoulders rose at his father’s ire. “There wasn’t any time to escape. I did what was necessary,” he explained.
“I am the one who determines what is necessary. Not you.”
His head ducked. Okay, so he was really angry then. “But—”
“However,” his father’s tone changed; the fiery anger replaced with a cold calculating one. “I understand when circumstances change. Focus on the primary mission. We cannot afford to lose here. Use any means necessary to achieve the objective.”
“Understood, sir.” His mouth clicked shut. Sweat beaded his brow. R-r-right. He was almost there. Couldn’t get overconfident, could he? He shook his head. No, of course not.
As he remembered his past training, his back straightened, adrenaline starting to pump through his veins. This was a matter of life and death. The cause was above all else. His father had drilled that into him since birth. He couldn’t fail them now.
Hooking his shield back in place, he hurried down the small corridor. Cold recycled air hit his cheeks. He could feel the plane take a sharp turn, strong winds throttling the exterior. The turbulence would have shaken a normal man off-balance, but not him.
Two guards shouted in alarm at his approach. Before they could reach for their guns Izuku reacted. He ran forward, body spinning around to launch his shield like a discus, releasing it with deadly force at the incoming enemies. The shield knocked the first one in the chest before vaulting to the opposite side of the small hall, giving Izuku just enough time to catch the second off-guard.
His fist collided with the other’s chin, the jaw breaking against the force of his knuckles. The man sprawled to the ground, knocked out cold. Izuku sighed. Almost there.
His breathing hitched as his focus returned to the first guard; who had recovered and proceeded to stare him down.
A feral smirk broke out on the man’s face as he growled, “Any last words, freak?”
“Yes.” His eyes flickered to the side. “Duck.”
The man’s face twisted in confusion only to turn around as Izuku’s trusty shield hit him into next week. With cartoon-like theatrics, his body fell over, stiff as a log. His face smacked against the cold steel floor with a hard thump.
Izuku clenched his fist, a rush of confidence following through him. All he had to do know was knock out the pilots and he would have his first successful solo mission.
“What was that about not much interference?” He mumbled into his mouthpiece.
“Get going.” Was all he received in turn.
Carefully stepping over the unconscious guards, he continued forward, trying to focus on the task at hand. If only his hands would stop shaking. It wasn’t the first time someone threatened his life; but looking down the end of a gun left him a tad rattled. What if he really had died? What if he had accidentally killed one of the men? Technically, he was authorized to do so, but the boy had never actually taken a life like his father’s men had. His brows crossed. Would this be the day he did? Would he have to put his morals below the mission? Would he—
He shook his head. This wasn’t the time to get another anxiety attack. His father wouldn’t have given him this role if he couldn’t handle it, Izuku assured himself. Besides, he was built for this sort of work. The serum made sure of that.
The chill of the cockpit sent a shiver down his spine. The advanced nature of the plane spoke of a wealthy patron, and going by the design, it would be an easy guess as to who supported the organization. Governments from around the world had been cracking down on all Quirk-holders with brutal efficiency. Sure, their stand in Kamino had been successful, but the rest of the world wasn’t so lucky. Tokyo, New York, Paris, Hong Kong—His teeth ground together. If only he could be of more help. If only they had more help.
But no one wanted to help the Quirked. Not at the risk of losing their lives or their loved ones.
A soft click drew Izuku’s attention to his left. He barely had enough time to bring his shield up, the bullets grazing off as the metal absorbed the blows. His heartbeat quickened as the man of the hour appeared.
Just his luck.
What once was a normal man in his forties had been deformed by the very thing that brought Izuku back from the brink of death. The hairs on the back of his neck stood up as he examined the skeletal face. Sunken eyes glinted like coal. Though his expression was desperate his movements spoke of military training, which put Izuku at a distinct disadvantage.
He heard someone curse through the commlink before it shut off. He didn’t need their help to figure out who the manmade monster was before him, however.
His mind screamed at him to run. He wasn’t ready for this. As his Uncle would say, it was akin to meeting the final boss in the middle of the game.
“Captain Kamino, is it?” Skull drawled. “You’ve made quite of name for yourself.” He laughed, a mocking sort of sound that left Izuku feeling empty and afraid. “And what sort of mutant are you?”
“T-the kind who’s going to stop you,” Izuku countered. It was almost poetic irony, that the symbol of the Quirked his father so carefully crafted to further their cause was, in reality, a Quirkless teenager.
The man began to cross the room. Izuku tensed up. “The propaganda posters don’t really do you justice all that much, do they? For one, you’re a lot shorter than I expected.”
Panic began to cluster in his abdomen. Keep calm, keep calm, he inwardly chanted. He hadn’t expected to meet the leader of the Anti-Quirk organization so soon. A lump developed in his throat. Between the man’s fierce gaze and heavy presence, it gave little room for the teen to breathe.
But you live with someone even more terrifying, his inner voice reminded. And if you fail . . .
Izuku adjusted his shield, not rising to the man’s comment. “Please, stand down, sir. This doesn’t have to end in a genocide.”
He barked a laugh, raising his gun once more. “Sir! He calls me sir! Oh, you’re a polite one, aren’t you?” His gait shifted. Izuku tensed. “But it will. It always does. History has shown us that. You and the rest of your kind will kill us humans. It is an inevitable process. We are only reacting in kind.”
“That’s not true,” Izuku tried to argue. “We are all humans. Quirk or no Quirk, we all have hopes and dreams.” He stepped forward in spite of his fear. “I won’t let you step on them.”
Three more bullets hit his shield, ricocheting off into the cockpit’s hardware. Lights flickered. Smoke began to overtake the cabin.
Right as Skull was about to shoot Izuku barreled forward, knocking the gun to the floor. Quick thinking and a sharp kick opened the emergency door, flooding the cabin with freezing winds.
Something in the back of his head itched. This situation was off-somehow. His gaze flickered to the controls. The virus should be in command now, but the plane hadn’t changed altitude. The bombs were still on target.
The man clapped in a mocking manner, backing away all the while. “Such a hero. It’s a shame you’re on the wrong side.”
“What did you do?” Izuku yelled.
The airplane started to elevate. Izuku barely reacted in time to the man’s punch, the knuckles grazing his cheek. Unfortunately, he didn’t see the other hand. A sharp pain flared in his diagram, the sucker-punch to his stomach throwing him against the machinery. He gasped for air and flinched. Broken rib. Maybe two. He really wasn’t prepared for this.
He could feel the hot breath of his attacker above him, trying to find an opening to exploit. It wasn’t hard. Despite Izuku’s months of harsh training Phantom Skull had decades on him and it showed. He grabbed the teen’s arm, flipping him on his back before jamming his shield upwards, cutting off his oxygen supply.
“You think your little party trick could stop us?” The man leered. The place where his nose once was scrunched up in contempt.
“No,” Izuku coughed as he lifted a finger. “But he will.”
It was a big gamble, but the bluff paid off. Phantom Skull would have expected him to bring up backup on something like this, which, technically, was true, if things hadn’t panned out as they did. The split second the other looked behind gave Izuku just enough time to kick his legs from out under him. Air filled his lungs, and not a second too soon. The plane tilted carried them further upwards, wires and everything not bolted to the floor getting sucked out of the open door, including the man. Izuku jumped into action. Stretching out his arm as far as it could go he reached out for the other.
The man might be despicable, but no one deserved to die. His mother taught him that.
“Grab on,” he shouted above the howling wind. “I’ll pull you up.”
For a moment, he thought the man’s eyes widened, but the expression smoothed over, replaced with a cold glare and a frosty smile to match.
“Alas,” he began, loosening his hold. “You can’t save everyone, Captain.”
Time seemed to move in slow motion as he let go, despite Izuku’s protests, vanishing into the white frost. Izuku could feel his heart thumping wildly inside his chest, the only source of warmth in this frigid place.
That man . . . if only Izuku had reached out further . . . but no, he didn’t want to be saved. Izuku blinked. Focus, he told himself. The plane wasn’t slowing down, which meant the missiles were still on target.
His blood ran cold. Which meant their original plan had failed.
Izuku dragged himself to what he presumed was the control panel. It took a few minutes to strap himself into the chair, his fingers too shaky to buckle in properly, but once settled he tried to reconnect with home base once more.
“Come on, come on.” He played with the comm piece until he finally got that familiar buzz, breaking through the interference. “Yes! Come in. This is Izuku Midoriya, codename Captain Kamino, Do you hear me? Hello?”
He held his breath as he awaited the reply. As the seconds dragged on, he felt a deep weight grow in his chest. What if they couldn’t reach him? He almost kissed the floor when he finally received something.
“What did I tell you about that ridiculous nickname?” His father chided. “I never should have allowed your Uncle to give you those comics. Honestly.”
It was hard to read his father’s voice at times, but Izuku could detect the concern beneath the annoyance. His bottom lip trembled. It made this all the hardest.
“If he hadn’t I wouldn’t be who I am today,” Izuku answered as cheerfully as he could. He licked his lips, trying to find the words. He didn’t have much time. “Dad . . . I’m sorry. I know after losing m-mom it was really difficult for you and that’s why you got angry so much and—”
“What are your coordinates, Izuku?” His father interrupted. “And why isn’t the plane turning around?” He could hear his father chastise their resident hacker.
He laughed nervously, hands drumming across the control wheel. “That’s kind of the reason I’m calling you right now.”
His father sighed across the line. “You never make things simple do you?”
His teeth clicked together, though out of nerves or the cold he wasn’t sure. Disabling the autopilot feature was pretty easy to figure out at least. Landing was another matter, however.
He wanted to laugh. All his life he’d thought he would be done in by a cough. Now look at him.
“Do you remember when you asked me what Quirk I wanted when I grew up?” He asked.
His father paused. He must have sensed something was wrong, or perhaps he heard it in the teen’s voice. Hisashi Midoriya always was an expert at reading people. “Izuku, this isn’t the time to—”
“And I said I wasn’t sure,” he continued. “Well, I was sure. I’ve always wanted to fly. Or breath fire. Maybe both. Think of the applications! Ha, ha, ha. I’d probably burn myself actually.”
His vision blurred. It was hard to keep control of the aircraft as it descended from the skies.
All his life he’d wanted a Quirk. A power to call his own. How he wished he could pull things towards himself like his mom had or give and take Quirks like his dad. And there were so many wonderful Quirks out there too. He loved being able to analyze new members’ abilities, how their powers worked with their bodies—part of him had been envious. But he understood now, what he had to do.
“I’ll give you whatever you want, boy. Just. Get. Home,” his father ground out. Izuku could hear his teeth click together on the other side of the comm link.
“I wish there was more time to tell you everything.” Frost clung to the windows, snow pelting against it as the plane headed straight for the sea. A pang of guilt hit him as he remembered the other men on the flight he had knocked out. They were going down with him, weren’t they?
A loud crash on the other line resounded. “There is time, Izuku.”
“No, there isn’t. This plane is moving too fast and it’s heading straight for Japan.” He swallowed the bile in the back of his throat.
“Don’t be foolish.”
“Tell Uncle whenever he gets out of the hospital that I love him a lot and that I really liked those new comics he sent me last time.” They really were good. He’d read them backwards and forwards more times than he could count. It had been his guilty pleasure between missions and training. Freetime under his father was heavily regulated and Izuku savored every moment of it.
“Tell him yourself,” the man growled, no longer upholding the pretense of a calm collected leader. “Don’t be an idiot.”
He bit down on his inner cheek, trying to think of a response. “If I wait any longer, a lot of people will die, Quirk and Quirkless alike. I can’t allow that to happen.”
Well, he technically could, but that wasn’t the kind of person Izuku was.
“I don’t care about—”
“It’s heading straight for your location,” he interjected. Self-preservation above all else: it was something his father taught him since he could crawl. He snorted. Like mother, like son it seemed.
He rubbed at his eyes. Some Captain he was.
“Dad? You still there?” Izuku inquired after a few seconds of silence.
“I am.” The answer was surprisingly subdued for the man.
He hiccupped, voice cracking. “Remember when m-mom made me katsudon on my birthday?”
Another pause. “We’ll have katsudon when you get home,” his father replied softly. “I’ll have one of my subordinates make it fresh, just as she would.”
He tried to imagine it, savoring the image before it disappeared from his mind’s eye.
“I might need a rain check on that katsudon, dad,” he chuckled.
White clouds broke away, revealing black waves that stretched endlessly. The frozen winds seemed to grow fiercer now, cutting into his skin like knives.
“You are not allowed to die. I forbid it,” the man said, as if his words could prevent the outcome.
Once upon a time, he might have believed that. Living in his father’s shadow for so many years lent itself to that. Love and fear were powerful influences after all.
But Izuku wasn’t that sickly little boy who followed his father’s every word anymore. Nor was he the faithful little freedom fighter for the Quirked, hiding as one of them under the shiny veneer of a super-soldier serum.
“You know,” he started. “It’s not really your choice anymore, is it?”
He released a bitter laugh.
He was just a 15-year-old boy about to die.
His thoughts accelerated. There was no coming back from this. Wasn’t his life supposed to flash before his eyes? Shouldn’t he feel relieved? He really didn’t. He wasn’t ready to go. He hadn’t even had his first kiss yet.
“Izuku . . .” There was emotion there now. Real emotion. It dug the knife of guilt deeper into the boy’s chest. “Don’t go. Please.”
The sound of waves crashing against ice cuts through the winds. His fingers are numb with frostbite. His eyes are the only warm thing about him now and that’s because he was crying.
He doesn’t want to die. He really doesn’t want to die.
But he can’t tell his dad that. Not now.
“I’m not going anywhere,” he said, teeth pulling back into a bright (terrified) smile. “I’m going beyond, remember? For all the Quirk and Quirkless. For all our futures: I’m going to make that dream come true. Plus Ultra.”
Comic by Fruitloopchan.
Here's a link to my discord. (Updated Link, let me know if it runs out). I post a lot of my art and rough drafts/snippets from my fics there.
Design Concept for Captain Kamino/Izuku Midoriya in the AU