Two heroes. One has made his name in the cold, while the other has spent a lifetime twisting unseen forces. They want the same thing, but they’re on opposite sides. Can a teleportation accident help them find what they’ve each been missing all along?
Gin got his code name because his namesake liquor lives in the freezer, just like him. He can control ice to an extent never seen before, and he uses that power to help keep the world safe from those who would use their power for evil. He knows he’s got a tremendous ability to destroy, and it’s important to keep himself rigidly under control at all times. His work in Alter Enforcement brings him into direct conflict with vigilante alters, who may want to help people but refuse to be accountable in how they go about it.
Smoke doesn’t trust “authority figures” and he definitely doesn’t trust the government. He didn’t trust them before the terrorist attacks that created Alters in the first place, and he sure doesn’t trust them now. He’s not going to let government Alters stop him from taking out dangerous super-villains in the name of procedure. Sometimes that means he has to fight people who should be on his side, but that’s the way the cookie crumbles.
When Gin’s team and Smoke’s team trip over each other trying to take out a notorious super villain, disaster follows. A teleportation accident strands Gin and Smoke together far away from each of their teams. They have to rely on each other for safety ... and maybe more.
Smoke couldn’t feel his feet. Maybe he’d be doing better if Ice Guy over here hadn’t frozen his feet to the goddamn floor back in that warehouse, but somehow he didn’t think the few moments back in the Bronx were more than small change compared to where they were now. The fact that they were dressed for cool Manhattan weather instead of whatever frozen hellscape this mess was didn’t help matters either.
He shoved his hands into his pockets. It didn’t help. The wind cut right through the denim like he was freaking naked.
Gin -- not Ice Guy, like Smoke needed any help remembering -- struggled painfully to his feet and coughed up what looked like a whole handful of blood. “All right.” He closed his eyes and swayed on his feet for a second. “Let’s see what we can find. “How far do you think you can walk?”
“In this mess? A block or two.” Smoke hunched over. He hadn’t realized Gin was hurt, but if he was hacking up that much blood he couldn’t be in anything like decent shape. “And you don’t exactly look like you can go much farther.”
“I’m fine.” Gin glared at him, just for a second. “At least I’m better off than you.” He shuffled off toward the right, in what looked like a random direction.
“Where the hell are you going?” Smoke jogged after him.
“There’s a break in the ice up this way, not too far. I’m not sure what it is, and if we can’t make it we’ll dig you a snow shelter.”
“A what the what now?” Smoke did a double take, grabbing Gin’s shoulder as he did. This small contact made Gin twist, which caused a visible wince. “I’m fixing to freeze to death and you want to bury me in the snow?”
Gin composed his handsome features back into their typical neutral mask and stared at Smoke for a few seconds. “You’ve never actually been out of New York City, have you?”
“It’s the greatest city in the world. Why would I leave? And let’s get back to the real issue here. Why would you bury me in snow?”
“Because while you and your merry band of miscreants were perfectly happy to set me on actual fire today, I’m not interested in killing you. A snow shelter is a way for people to stay alive in situations like this. That break in the ice could be a better shelter for you, though, so I think we should try to make it.” He raised an eyebrow.
“Let me guess. It’s an old jail.”
“Does it matter, if it gets you out of the wind and we can make a fire in it?” Gin rolled his eyes. “How would I know if it’s an old jail or not? I have no idea where we are either. I can read the ice. Ice doesn’t know anything about human geography. It can’t tell the difference between the Yukon Territory, Siberia, and the top of Mount Fuji. It’s just ... ice. That’s all.” He set off again. “If you want to take your chances out here in the wind, that’s fine.” As he spoke, he coughed again, and blood stained the white snow. He didn’t double over, though, or even acknowledge the pain.