Fold (Marvel: Ultimate Alliance)
The Fold are a machine cybernetic race that feature in Marvel: Ultimate Alliance 2.
Sometime after the defeat of Doctor Doom, the nation of Latveria came upon a new leader in the form of Lucia Von Bardia who was formerly a Latverian teacher living in the United States. Through the aid of the US government, she was appointed as Prime Minister of Latveria and was given financial aid in helping her country. However, secretly, she began enlisting supervillains to help develop her nation into a military power and one of these individuals was the mechanical genius known as the Tinkerer. The Tinkerer began secret experiments in creating advanced cyborg supersoldiers through the use of nanites to enhance them. Whilst this was occuring, Director of S.H.I.E.L.D. Nick Fury brought together teams of superheroes to infiltrate the Latverian capital of Doomstadh and destroy Castle Doom. In the resultant aftermath, S.H.I.E.L.D. gained access to the nanotechnology developed by the Tinkerer which was being studied by Reed Richards.
During the resultant Civil War amongst the superhero community over the matter of the Superhuman Registration Act, Reed Richards contacted Tony Stark about the possibilities offered by the nanites on combating world hunger, disease and similar problems. However, Stark was more concerned about combating the resistance movement against registration that had been formed by Captain America and told Richards to find a use for the nanites in aiding in the Pro-Registration forces against their resistance. Through study of the nanites, they discovered a means of infecting supervillains with the microscopic devices which entered the brain and allowed complete control of the subject through Nanite Control Officers stationed at S.H.I.E.L.D. outposts that remotely operated the supervillain. This allowed the Pro-Registration forces to gain an army of supervillains to aid them in combating Captain America's forces. The nanites contained safeguards known as nano-chains which were capable of disabling their target or removing speech patterns.
The nanite controlled supervillains proved to be an asset to Tony Stark initially though they were only released in small numbers. Amongst the first to be infected were Bullseye, Green Goblin and Venom At the time, there was some concern over mysterious data transmission spikes from the nanite network.
At the time of a battle between Pro and Anti Registration forces at a chemical plant, a LMD of Nick Fury discovered two nanite controlled supervillains attacking S.H.I.E.L.D. soldiers and taking their explosives. Seemingly under the control of another party, Fury managed to convince a team of superheroes to aid him in stopping the nanite controlled supervillains who were apparently arming explosives at the chemical plant in order to destroy it. Though partially successful, they were unable to stop all the bombs from exploding. The team of superheroes managed to survive with the aid of Nick Fury who took them to his secret base and forced them to help him uncover this new threat that had emerged during the Civil War. With the aid of the Tinkerer, they believed that some unknown supervillain genius had managed to subvert control of the nanite network and take remote control of the supervillains. With the aid of the Tinkerer, Nick Fury dispatched the team of heroes into Prison 42 where the nanite control grid was located and upload the data contents from the facility.
However, instead of gaining an answer, the Tinkerer discovered something that was even more shocking. Though he had developed the nanite technology initially, the modifications by S.H.I.E.L.D. meant that it was far different to what he had originally created. He had also discovered that there was no secret mastermind controlling the super criminals but that instead the nanite network had become large as well as complex enough that it had become its own intelligent entity. It was determined that the reason the entity had not emerged fully was because S.H.I.E.L.D. only allowed a few super criminals out of their base at Prison 42 in the Negative Zone at a time. The Tinkerer concluded that if the entire group was allowed to escape than they would begin a campaign of infecting the entire world. In order to combat this deadly threat before it was unleashed, the Tinkerer determined that they needed a pure sample of the nanite material which was only located at the Prison 42 facility. Thus, Fury dispatched his team of heroes into the portal facility at Ryker's Island at a time when Captain America's forces were staging a prison break in order to free their captured allies.
The threat of the nanites was first demonstrated at the portal on the prison facility where Penance unleashed his powers to stop Fury's team of heroes. This had the unintended side effect of freeing a number of normal nanite controlled criminals from their restraints who attacked Penance and defeated him. Despite this victory, they themselves were defeated by Nick Fury's team who entered the Prison 42 in the Negative Zone through the portal. They were ultimately able to gain the pure nanite sample but during the prison fight, Captain America intentionally severed the control lines that kept the nanite controlled supervillains in stasis - unaware of the threat posed by the nanites. With the super criminals freed, they entered the battlefield and attacked both Pro and Anti-Registration forces which forced them to work together to combat the menace of the enemy. Quickly, the nanite intelligence began to overrun the facility and began taking super powered beings to be used as new hosts. They also demonstrated the ability of powersharing where super powers were amongst collective forces allowing normal human hosts to use abilities from a leader who possessed such powers. Ultimately, the heroes managed to escape into the portal though Fury and a number of others were stranded behind when he destroyed the portal in an attempt to prevent the nanites from infecting Earth.
Despite his plans, Nick Fury had failed and the Fold began to emerge onto Earth and had even take the former director of S.H.I.E.L.D. as well as the other stranded heroes as host bodies. Through Nick Fury's knowledge of the world and of superheroes, the Fold began systematic attacks around the globe and began to mass infections of Humans to serve its needs - all in the matter of hours. Iceland was one of the first regions in the world to fall before the Fold's attacks and various super powered groups struggled to combat the threat. The Fold also invaded the nation of Wakanda in order to seize its stockpiles of Vibranium as part of their experiments to evolve further. However, Fury's incomplete knowledge of Wakanda meant that the Fold were defeated by a team of superheroes who had discovered the name of the nanite intelligence. In the resultant skirmish, the collective mind of the nanites deployed Green Goblin and Venom to secure the region but they were defeated. Through the use of the pure nanite sample obtained earlier, the two super criminals were freed from the infection and agreed to help the heroes combat the Fold.
Though their attempts at taking Wakanda had failed, the Fold had successfully managed to take Stark Tower and aggressively ramped up its campaign over the course of a few weeks. In their renewed attacks at subjugating humanity under its control, many of the super hero groups had lost contacted with one another and their fates remained unknown at the time. With Nick Fury, the Fold's strategy of targeting superheroes became clear and that they had made serious inroads in expanding their collective power base. With the Fold's defeat at Wakanda, the Royal Palace became the base of operations for the non-infected superheroes who worked to combat the nanites. By analysing Fold technology, it was determined that the nanite stasis signal used to render super villains unconscious in case they went out of control still remained deep within the Fold's programming. As remotely accessing this system was impossible due to the high level of encryption the Fold had introduced itno their network, it was decided that the system needed to be engaged at the newly developed repeater towers that the Fold had created in order to expand its collective across the globe. A team of superheroes were dispatched to infiltrate these highly defended installations whilst the rest of the worlds heroes combated the Fold which began to use its numbers to slowly win the war.
The team of heroes successfully managed to activate the system but before it could be spread across the network, an infected Tinkerer managed to deactivate the signal. This necessitated reaching the top of the Iceland broadcast tower and reactivating the stasis command and whilst apparently successful, the Fold later came back online. This time, it was determined that an infected Nick Fury served as a focal point for the Fold's collective mind. With the aid of the Tinkerer, Fury had been cybernetically augmented as part of the Fold's evolution into "the Next Step". His body gained the powers of various super powered heroes and criminals that had been infected allowing him access to their powers. Regaining control of the Fold, they renewed their attacks and nearly overwhelmed them but the team of heroes managed to defeat Fury thus ending the control of the nanite network. The Fold were deactivated allowing the world to cure the hosts of their nanite based infection which ended the threat posed by the collective. The Civil War that had divided the superhero community as well as the matter over Superhuman Registration had ended in the face of the greater threat posed by the nanites.
The Fold were a nanite based entity which consisted of microscopic machines that size of bloodvessels that were able to enter a body and interact with the nervous system. Infection occured through the use of an injection of nanites into the body of a host which quickly fell under sway of the Fold. Obvious signs included glowing light blue eyes and two bluish short luminous tendrils emerging from the shoulders. Despite some concerns, the nanites were not capable of infecting hosts through body contact, water or by air. Though they largely infected organic host bodies, there were also types of the Fold that remained as their nanite forms. Nanite protoforms were one such type that the Fold took which did not require hosts and instead the race remained in its molecular state. These swarms of protoforms were capable of remarkable levels of construction and were able to build structures within a short amount of time. The broadcast transmitter repeater towers that the Fold created were formed by protoforms and built within a 72 hours timeframe. When infected, a host body was incapable of resisting the collective mind of the Fold. However, the use of a pure sample of the nanites which was not used to infect a host, the heroes of the world were capable of creating a serum that removed the Fold's infection from a human body.
According to the Tinkerer, when the Fold fully emerged from its prison than it would quickly infect host bodies around the Earth like a form of techno-plague. Its complex nature meant that it was also capable of overriding the remote control of its host bodies that S.H.I.E.L.D. had initially developed at part of the network. If not defeated quickly, the nanites were believed to encompass all of Humanity within a projected window of 578 days and with every infection it was expected that the Fold grew stronger.
After emerging into sentience, the Fold became a powerful intelligent neural net composed of nanites that grew each time it infected a new host body. Ultimately, the intelligence aimed at turning every being on the planet to become part of its collective consciousness. Any trace of individuality was eliminated and whilst infected hosts retained their personalities, it was solely focused on the benefit of the Fold. Those that were separated from the Fold partially, on some level, felt a need to return to it but vehemently opposed its nature and sought its destruction. The nanite collective mind was methodical and well coordinated allowing them to make concentrated attacks against the primary threat to its rule - namely the superheroes, with their defeat the intelligence believed that the rest of the human race would fall easily under its control. It was believed that the Fold's strategy and plans were based on two sources of their advancement; the first being the portal system of Prison 42 allowing it to rapidly move around the Earth and the second was the knowledge of Nick Fury. The sharing of information across the network was an important asset of the Fold and any host body that was torn from the collective had its knowledge of the hive mind removed as well. Though its greatest asset, the network was a potential weakness as well. Whilst it was almost impossible to break into the network externally due to the high level of encryption, it was possible to disrupt it through the use of the nanite stasis signal that S.H.I.E.L.D. had initially developed in the system to knock out the controlled super criminals. It was in fact this system that helped the heroes of the Earth defeat the threat of the Fold.
The Fold typical strategy involved the use of overwhelming force through its nanite controlled host bodies. These forms typically formed collective groups which were stronger in numbers than they were individually. Furthermore, a more dangerous aspect of the Fold was the ability to transmit abilities through their network mind. This allowed leader groups of super powered beings to share their abilities with non-powered host bodies which gave them the capacity to use such attacks against foes. If the leaders were targeted, the rest of the collective was deprived of this asset though it was believed that the Fold was working quickly in increasing the size of its network allowing such power sharing to encompass the entire world. Technologically, they also made use of transporter devices that were dropped onto the field where their Vibrarium coated hulls protected them from impact. These devices allowed the Fold to transport its infected hosts onto the field and attempt to overwhelm any defenders.
Though created through Earth technology and initially making use of it, the Fold was constantly evolving and advancing. At the early stages of emerging onto the world, the Fold had easily managed to make its security systems of its nanite network so robust that it was impossible to penetrate it through hacking. The only way to access such systems were through the internal computer facilities maintained by the Fold. During the latter stages of the infection, they were capable of creating their own structures which was highly advanced and alien in appearance as they were the works of the machine mind of the Fold. Furthermore, they attempted to create a network of broadcast transmitter repeater towers at key locations around the planet in order to extend their network to encompass the entire Earth. The network made by the towers were highly adaptive allowing them to reroute its signals to other towers should one have been destroyed which meant that attack on these structures was an inefficient use of resources by the worlds superheroes. A more insidious and dangerous aspect was also the evolution of its host bodies as the Fold worked to cybernetically upgrade Humans to be more powerful as well as capable of gaining more abilities through its power sharing capabilities. In fact, with the aid of an infected Tinkerer, Nick Fury became the first prototype of "the Next Step" in the evolution of the Fold.
- Nick Fury : abandoned at Prison 42 to stop the Fold from reaching Earth led to Fury being infected by them and become the prototype of the next stage in their evolution and served as the central repository of their intelligence after their control network was shut down until he was defeated as well as freed from the infection.
- Tinkerer :
- She-Hulk :
- Firestar :
- Justice :
- A-Bomb :
- Moonstone :
- Venom : among the villains infected with the nanites to control their actions only to fall under the influence of the Fold who used Mac Gargan in the attack on the refinery that seemingly killed Nick Fury. He was later deployed on Wakanda were an experimental cure freed him of the nanite infection whereupon Venom joined the heroes against the Fold.
- Green Goblin : among the villains infected with the nanites to control their actions only to fall under the influence of the Fold who used Norman Osborn in the attack on the refinery that seemingly killed Nick Fury. The Green Goblin was later deployed to Wakanda where he was defeated and an experimental vaccine was used to cure him of the infection whereupon Osborn agreed to join the heroes to get revenge against the Fold.
- Whilst Marvel Ultimate Alliance 2 follows the storyline of the Civil War story arc, the Fold did not feature within the comics and are an entirely new concept created by the game makers.
- The concept of a machine intelligence that assimilates other organisms into a hive mind is similar to the Phalanx from the Marvel universe though the Fold are an accidental creation of the Earth whilst the Phalanx were an extraterrestrial race.
- Marvel Ultimate Alliance 2