I've been buzzing with a lot of ideas about Baron Blade fanfiction ever since I started listening to The Letters Page podcast and while I sit here suffering, here's a little cute fanfiction that's probably not anywhere close to canon? But it's still nice to think about, haha.
Featuring Legacy and Baron Blade, post Vengence War, pre OblivAeon.
(I always assumed that Ivan never told Legacy his name until after the Postive Energy Force was a thing.)
It was hard to lose contact with a sovereign leader of a foreign, technologically advanced nation.
Mordengrad was practically a utopia. It was a bit dim, being in the north – today, in particular, it looked like it could snow – but it wasn’t anything that Paul Parsons VIII would be bothered by. If it snowed, he’d just bundle up, go home and have some soup, but he wouldn’t do that until he was absolutely sure a certain someone was alright.
It wasn’t even worth dancing around the subject and he wasn’t remotely surprised when people actually parted to let him go through, untouched, through the streets. The Blade Battalion soldiers jumped into line and mumbled to one another, and a few actually waved delicately to Legacy and double-took when Legacy gave friendly waves and smiles back. Finally, a few approached him, shoving someone forward who could speak English, not Latvian.
“Uh...” the soldier was shaking in his boots, not prepared to face the Finest Legacy. “Wh-What do you need, sir?”
Legacy tried his best to look ‘dumb’ and pointed around. “Where can I find Mister Baron Blade?”
The crowd – not just the soldiers – pointed to the docked Mobile Defense Platform that nested on top of the base on the hill.
“Ivan! You lo-!”
The door slammed shut in Legacy’s face but was caught on his foot, allowing the superhero to quickly and awkwardly make his way into Baron Blade’s lab. The very tired scientist looked like he hadn’t slept in a week, though knowing the Baron’s habits he likely hadn’t. Once Legacy wiggled in, the Baron glared and pressed a button to shut the door again.
“-ok awful, and your mood isn’t much to write home either,” Legacy finished. “Are you feeling alright?” The Baron sipped from his mug and moved past Legacy, back to a table that had some kind of metal arm on it. He sat down and Legacy peered over his shoulder, watching as his old nemesis awkwardly checked over his shoulder, then got back to work on... whatever he was doing.
“Working on a new kind of amputation, eh? That’ll do wonders for the world! You could even sell a profit off it,” Legacy said. Ivan continued to pretend that Legacy wasn’t there, and Legacy soon sat down in an empty chair after bringing it up close, watching Ivan work. The outside of the arm was being coated in a flexible metal that was responding to low voltage electricity, and...
Baron Blade huffed and shot the superhero a regression serum-laced glare through his red goggles. “Ko jūs gribat?” Legacy innocently stared at Ivan before the Latvian rolled his eyes and restated the question in English with, “What do you want, Mister Parsons?”
“I just thought I’d see how you were doing. I got concerned because you stopped, you know... being a thorn? And when your biggest nemesis drops off the face of the earth, aren’t you allowed to worry? I can’t be heartless, Ivan.”
Baron Blade was still, then he yanked his goggles off. They flopped around his neck, per usual, and it reminded Legacy of all the times they fought. It was still weird to see that this man, once blind on one side, was now perfectly unscarred. Two brown eyes, and no reminders of that fateful day everything became much, much worse under the sea. “I am fine, Mister Parsons. But heartless or not, I don’t know why you came all this way to see me.”
“Won’t ask how, though?”
“... You are literally the strongest man in America and I have failed for years to kill you. Why do you think I’d be worried as to why you’re in my own house?”
Legacy smacked his lips and looked away briefly. “You look like you haven’t slept for a while, though.”
“...I...” Baron Blade awkwardly tapped the table. “I actually haven’t.”
“That’s... not good. What have you been up to?”
“... Thinking.” Baron Blade pulled his goggles back on, the light briefly bouncing off them irritating Legacy’s eyes.
“Thinking?” There was nothing ever good about a mad scientist just being left alone to ‘think’. Ivan was focused on the arm again. It was a shiny left arm, and almost looked like it was nothing but a cast.
“About...” The scientist was either thinking some more, or just distracted. “I’m... I’m in my 50s, Mister Parsons. Maybe less now, I don’t... I do not know how many years that Positive Energy Field gave back of my life. My hair was greying, now it’s not... Don’t have any children, not that I was interested, mind you... When I met you, I had been without a family for 36 years, and as time’s gone on, it’s only been longer.”
Ivan held the arm up to the light and then turned in his hair, taking it and some weird hand held device with him. For a moment Legacy prepared himself for some kind of bomb or another, but he watched instead as Baron Blade, in a docile manner, just jolted electricity through the arm. He then watched and kept the arm balanced as it opened some kind of menu, reminding Legacy briefly of things the Scholar would know of.
“My life was nothing but revenge. And until the Realm of Discord, I never stopped to wonder... When we fought... When we fight... what do we even accomplish?” Ivan asked the air. Then he looked up and specifically asked Legacy, “What do you accomplish, saving people?”
Legacy barely missed a beat. “I don’t gain much, and I don’t care about it. All that matters to me is that the world I live in lives another day.”
Ivan nodded and looked back at this arm he was tinkering with. “I am a genius and yet I spent my life, wasting my time doing nothing but faintly hoping that one day I could get revenge on you and your damned clan. The same thing, over and over again... it is the definition of insanity. Device after device, plot after plot... The canons failed, the lasers failed, the bombs failed, everything between low-tech and high-tech failed. Even when I found companions, if you could call them that – failure.”
Legacy noticed that Ivan’s voice was beginning to choke up. In response, he gently reached out and laid a hand on his old nemesis’s shoulder. But the comfort didn’t last long, as Ivan broke away, putting the arm on the table beside him to move to a square window overviewing Mordengrad. Legacy quickly joined him, and they looked over the city.
Ivan removed his goggles and wiped his eyes before saying, softly, “The only thing I ever accomplished that wasn’t revenge against you was fixing this town. And even then your family was to blame for it. Your father left it in ruins, and I was the only one willing to get up and dust the debris. The Soviets, the government – they never thought we’d fix it. But we did, and now... look at it.” Ivan inhaled and put a hand against the glass. “Even you must admit, for as cozy as it can be, there is little crime and little poverty. Unlike Rook City and Megalopolis, the places you call “home”, the land I rule is a paradise.”
Legacy couldn’t help but smile. “If we weren’t usually at each other’s throats, I’d love to take the family here for vacation.”
Ivan choked a laugh and pulled his hand back from the glass. “I barely need the money I make from selling my inventions. I build things myself, and my workers are from my country, trusting me and working for me willingly. Even if something was stolen from me, within a week or a month I could replace it, a day or less if it was a Mobile Defense Platform. I have a lot of things, Mister Parsons.”
There was a heavy silence between them. Legacy knew what Ivan wanted to say next but couldn’t.
“... I really do think you’d make a fine leader.”
Ivan didn’t say anything his bitter expression didn't immediately cover.
“You ever thought about making tourist attractions, Ivan? Like, a theme park? Have someone create a mascot and then just have the nation bring in money and more people through that. Works for the animation companies, you know, and us.”
“And then what?”
Legacy pondered for a second. “Botanical gardens? Water parks. Maybe take advantage of the local mountain ranges and make some trails?”
“And then what?”
Legacy tried to think. “Ever thought of adoption?”
Ivan gave him a very disapproving look.
Ivan shook his head and glared.
Legacy shrugged. “If not, well... you can always, I don’t know... join... us?”
The disapproving look turned quizzical. “Kā?”
“I mean... you’d still be seen as a villain in the eyes of the public... but, you know, Ivan... if you ever wanted to just, you know, come by, be a good guy, and save the day with me and the team... I’d let you.”
“Is this a joke?” Ivan asked.
Legacy shook his head. “Just because you’re done, it doesn’t mean Friction, The Organization, and the others are. Some heroes will always have their wars, so you’ll always have something to do. And maybe with us, you’ll find... something. Maybe a purpose, maybe a new home... not that Mordengrad is bad, mind you, but second homes are always nice... And maybe one day the people of this world, they’ll look at you and, you know, instead of seeing Baron Blade, the nefarious mad scientist, they’d see a luminary hero, worthy of following. And maybe one day, Ivan, you’ll live in a world where you don’t need revenge. Wouldn’t that be nice?”
“... That is the worst Legacy speech I have ever heard, Mister Parsons.”
“Ask Unity if you ever swing by, she knows I’ve given worse.” When Baron Blade didn’t pick the conversation back up again, Legacy gave him a gentle pat on the back. “I just hope that when you find your way, it makes you truly satisfied. I don’t mind if we fight forever, but I do mind if you self-destruct along the way. And if you do, I want to be there to help, Ivan.”
“... Thank you,” was all Ivan could fumble out, his hands around the edges of his goggles.
They parted without farewells, without asking when they’d see the other again, and Legacy didn’t dare to imply that he’d return to check on his old “friend” again. But as the superhero left, he took one final look at Ivan Grigori Ramonat to remember the man he was in that moment of weakness, and saw a sight.
“... You know, look like a hero with your goggles on your forehead.”
Ivan just scratched his head, as if he didn’t hear a word Legacy said.