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  1. Summary: A level headed and principled intern at a think tank, is tasked with researching the so-called “Green Wave,” a new movement sweeping the nation’s male youth tangentially inspired by the superhero alter-ego of the late Dr. Bruce Banner. As this intern falls deeper into the rabbit hole, he finds out more than he expected and finds himself questioning his direction. Loosely inspired by She-Hulk: Attorney at Law (2022) season 1 Disclaimer: The Hulk is a copyright of Marvel. I do not claim ownership. Warning: Political themes, toxic masculinity (?) Thank you to @czechhunter69 for feedback. This is a very plot-heavy story, so if you want a deeper story and not just a cum-and-go story, you’re in the right place. Originally written to be a one-shot, but split into parts for easy reading. THERE WILL BE FOUR PARTS TO THIS! ---------- Author’s Note: I was watching She-Hulk again with a friend, and while it’s not Marvel’s best work, the plotline involving Intelligencia had some potential. I have an idea for a line of stories based on it, starting with this one. Whether they all get written, who knows - but at least we have this one. And I know it takes place 4 decades in the future with all the contemporary slang, websites, and archetypes of today, but bear with me. Also, this is loosely in the MCU, but it doesn’t focus on any superheroes or pre-existing characters too much (other than the Hulk of course), only using it as a backdrop. Be aware that this has some darker implications and explorations of masculinity mixed into the muscle growth, so if you’re not into the parallels I’m drawing to real life, this might not be for you. Maybe consider this a bit of a cautionary tale about looking out for what your friends are looking at online. Please note that this first part does not have ANY muscle growth — but still please read for the story! I promise the next parts will be much more spicy. ---------- Part 1 2064. “Morning Finn. Got a new assignment for you.” Peeking from behind the large monitor, the intern’s brown eyes locked onto the packet of documents dropped onto his desk. Without missing a beat, he picked it up and opened it, reading through the organization’s briefing. Sometimes he felt like he was a CIA agent planning a psyop, not a political science student working at one of the most guarded think tanks in the nation. Each topic and area of research was treated as a “case” — not just a study, but an actual investigative case to close. Case in point, the documents detailed a small, but steadily rising movement among his peers. “Good morning to you, Marty...” Finn’s voice had a deep but raspy tone, almost sounding as if he struggled to keep it at that pitch even at his soft-spoken, almost whispery volume. He swept his dark brown short shaggy hair out of his face as he continued. “What is this? ‘The Green Wave, popular with Gen Gamma males aged 18-25.’ It just reads like another dumb trend for immature guys.” “Read more,” the middle aged man pulled a seat in front of Finn. Finn glanced up before continuing. “‘Idolizing volatile fitness personalities, feeding off a culture that borderline fetishizes strength and power, and inspired by the late legendary superhero Bruce Banner, Gen Gamma swept up by the Green Wave are redefining what masculinity means for them by reinforcing what they know. They’re projected to have a devastating psychological and political impact on the demographic.” Finn paused before recalling some of his friends who’ve been acting different over the past few months, wondering if this had something to do with it. “Interesting,” he ended simply. “Your goal is to study them,” Marty said. He reclined a lil bit in the chair. “I want you to figure out how they appear. How guys your age get pulled in. What methods they use. What makes them tick. What changes in all these guys. We figured since you’re in Gen Gamma it would be easiest for you to understand them in context.” “Just study them?” “We want to see if they’re doing anything different that we could use for our own campaigns. Election season’s coming up and our client wants some data on what’s happening here, and maybe we could even intervene. Think you can do that?” Finn looked through the rest of the packet. Some lists of hashtags, accounts, ideas, and people apart of this movement. It seemed… A little unrefined, but workable. Though Finn thought that ‘intervention’ was not exactly the direction he cared about. “Yeah I can do it,” he said. “What’s the deadline for the first round of info briefs?” “End of week.” Marty sprung out of his chair and headed towards the door. “Ping me if you got any questions.” — Finn spent the first half of the day finishing up his last reports before transitioning to working on the Green Wave assignment. And he wished he wasted another hour before jumping in. As expected, the scene was very… Male. It was a bunch of amateur bodybuilder bros drunk on their own manufactured sense of masculinity. They were pretty much exactly what you’d think. A lil dumb, a lil vain, definitely cocky, and one-track-minded on reaching ‘Hulkhood’ — whatever that means. Corny naming aside, it definitely looked like their model and template was this bastardized idea of the Hulk — this toxic, inhuman, ultra strong, gamma green image of being a man without any of the Banner. Finn just shook his head the whole time. If any of the Avengers were still alive to see what people did to his image, they’d all condemn the glorification of the Hulk. But their naming just made it obvious they just didn’t get that. Maybe Finn was just too pretentious to handle the mindless and uneducated droning of these guys. But that was just the surface. Finn barely knew what else laid underneath the surface, given that these were just the most popular creators. As far as he could tell, it really was just another stupid aesthetic latched onto gym bro culture. But there had to be something else. The comments on some of these reposts on Britter alone were enough of an indicator that this had to be a whole other corner of the internet that he just has never interacted with. Not wanting the algorithms to mess with his carefully curated timelines, Finn made a new account on each of the major platforms. He immediately followed different accounts — the big ones listed on the brief he was given, other big accounts that seem only tangentially related to the Green Wave, and a few random guys his age who follow Green Wave guys and seem to be posting a lot. It’s time to research. — The rest of the day was slow. Finn felt like he was losing brain cells every time he scrolled to another Green Wave video on TikKot. They all started the same: some kind of hook focused on the guy trying to gas himself up for being ripped, then some faux-deep talk about “finding your inner Hulk,” then some workout tips, then an edit of their latest workout set to whatever trending song seemed most “hard” at the moment. He just didn’t get it, it seemed like generic gym motivation content. Two months into this internship season, and this might be the most nothingburger case he’s handled. How could this be politically relevant? Going home was his respite. Thankfully his internship paid for his rent for the duration of the internship, letting him live in a nice apartment for the summer. He just has to keep the internship, which should be no problem. He’d never say it outright, but Finn knew he was dedicated and smart. That’s why he was the only intern they recruited for three seasons at a row at this point. Changing the world for the better by understanding, was what he said in his interview. Bridging divides and making connections. Solving the social issues of our time. Creating acceptance and good for the world that would transform the headlines in the news into positive ones. But increasingly discouraged by the lack of change despite his efforts, the news never changed. Even as Finn turned on the TV and switched it to the news channel, he was feeling like it might be a lil futile. What good was this data? He knew where he stood, but he wondered if it was a combination of boredom and frustration that influenced his growing apathy towards change. “We’re coming to you live from the city,” the news anchor announced. “Today we are doing a deep dive on the so-called ‘Green Wave.’ Could it impact the future of Gen Gamma? Or will it end up be—” Finn groaned and shut the TV off. Even at home he couldn’t escape his work. However he knew the news was clearly overreacting as always, sensationalizing something that would turn out to be an unpopular, fringe online community. As he idly thought about what he should get for dinner, he scrolled through Extergram, trying to see if his friends were doing anything. He had a dry feed and instead went to check his own profile, looking over his old memories and pictures with friends. He should check in on a couple of them. Finn took no time in video calling Tyler. He picked up immediately, his face popping up and his voice, a bit deeper and more monotone than Finn remembered, boomed through his phone’s speakers. “Heeeyy, it’s been forever! What’s up, man?” His voice had a weirdly familiar inflection that was definitely different from how he talked before, but Finn wasn’t entirely sure where to place it. But Finn’s attention was directed elsewhere. Absent in the frame of the video feed was Tyler’s shoulders, which were pushed out of sight but framed his newly slightly muscled frame, covered only by a loose shirt with its sleeves and sides cut out, showcasing the edges of his lats and pecs. Finn couldn’t believe it — Tyler had gone through a crazy transformation, looking less like the scrawny nerd he left him and more like the athlete his father wished he’d been. What happened to him since Finn had left for the internship just two months ago? “Helllooo. Shit, am I lagging or something?” Finn shook his head as he pulled himself out of his thoughts. “I’m here! I’m here,” Finn said, trying to take in the sight. He could barely articulate, being distracted at what his friend had become. “Hi. Sorry I’ve been so busy; I was bored since I finally had some time to kill and thought I’d call. I’d ask how you are, but you look like you’ve been doing… good. Real good.” Cutting through Finn’s awkward chuckle, a grin stretched across Tyler’s face. “Oh man, you mean this?” The camera got tilted to the right as Tyler’s arm flung up into a flexing pose, a prominent bicep peak straining against his skin as veins bulged around. His face came back into view as he relaxed his arm, an irritating cocky expression on his face. “Phew. Yeah, I kinda started hitting the gym while you were doing your thing in the big city.” His words carried an uncharacteristically brash energy. Finn’s jaw almost dropped at the sight. Where the hell did this come from? Despite the weird shift in his attitude, Finn had to admit Tyler was looking good. “Damn. Did your dad finally get to you?” Tyler laughed. “Not exactly. I just decided to stop being a bitch and start getting tough.” The expression on Finn’s face shifted a little, his brow slowly raising with his smile not as strong. “You know you could’ve just said you wanted to get stronger.” Finn was not amused. “Hey, it’s just a joke,” Tyler said playfully. “No yeah, that’s the one. I mean, there were like a bunch of reasons though, like I got a job at the gym and I kinda got swept up in…” “...The ‘Green Wave’?” Tyler’s eyes widened before he brought the camera closer to his face, looking around before speaking again, as if he wasn’t home alone at this time of day. “Yooo…” His voice was lower, like he was trying not to let anyone else hear. “You’re in that too? You gonna go full Gamma, bro?” He was talking like Finn knew what he was talking about. The look in Tyler’s eyes made it look like he was begging for validation, hoping that Finn was one of “them.” Who “them” was exactly was still unknown to Finn, but his catch-up call was turning out more relevant than he realized it would be. “I… I just heard about it a couple days ago,” Finn lied, trying to maintain a cool tone and contain his immediate urge to go on with a barrage of questions. “I think I wanna look more into it but don’t know much… But it sounds like you know more than me.” “Nah, I don’t know much,” Tyler said, relaxing a little bit. “I just got into it a few months ago. I’m just hyped I finally met someone else who can understand my Hulkhood journey, bro.” “A few months ago?” Ignoring the weird terminology popping up again, Finn tried to chart out the timeline. This meant that he must’ve gotten hooked… “Like a little before you left, I started getting Green Wave stuff on my TikKot and Britter feeds. I thought it was a bunch of bullshit, so I used to just scroll past it as soon as I could recognize what it was…” Tyler shook his head and grinned, as if he was recalling naivete. “Just a few days after you left for the big city, my feeds were completely swamped with the Green Wave. I tried avoiding social media for a couple days but I decided I should just check some of these people out. Understand what they’re saying so I knew what I was up against.” Finn interjected. “But it didn’t turn out that way.” “Nah, bro. I finally sat down and scrolled through. At first it was just dumb, filler shit. Then I started seeing more and I started understanding… Even though I hated them at the beginning, I just realized I didn’t fully disagree with them. Then I realized they kinda opened my eyes in a different way. Like fuck, they’re right, there’s a Hulk inside me waiting to be unleashed…” Finn shifted uncomfortably as he saw Tyler stare off into the distance, biting his lip, his arm moving in a way that suggested him adjusting a half-hard dick. (Or was that just Finn’s imagination?) “Remember how I got hired at the gym and they never gave me a schedule? I guess I was a seasonal hire and didn’t realize it, ‘cause the next week they finally had me working in the gym. And that’s also when I actually started working out too. By Wednesday I’d woken up to the sound of my Gamma Protein being delivered to my door.” “That’s a fast change.” “That’s what my dad said.” A smirk came across Tyler’s face. “Imagine the look on his face when he saw me walking in and finally noticing the gains. The growth. I told him I was serious about this shit. He sent me some Green Wave videos he didn’t even realize was Green Wave stuff, which just cemented this shit for me even more. We started bonding again, to be honest. Bro, he ordered me a tub of the Gamma Labs protein powder, and it came in yesterday.” “That’s it?” Finn tried to imagine himself witnessing the changes in real time, but it all still seemed a bit too unrealistic. Too drastic. Tyler nodded. “Look, I don’t give a fuck what everyone else says, bro. They’re just haters. They just don’t understand what it feels to finally be free and know it.” Finn grimaced at the wording. “You make it sound almost like a cult.” “It’s not, I swear! It’s just opened my eyes, a little, you know?” “What is it, then? Like what exactly is the Green Wave?” “It’s just…” “Just what?” “I don’t know how to explain it, bro.” “Well try! How can you not explain it after 3 months?” Finn’s neutral, friendly tone broke for a moment, sounding more forceful and irritated. Tyler just chuckled before taking a hard look at Finn, almost studying him. “Look man, if you’re that curious, you gotta check it out yourself. I think you’ll resonate with it, bro.” Finn could’ve sworn Tyler’s brown eyes looked a lil green as the light hit them. He blinked, and the green was gone. After the call, Finn got dinner: some spicy tofu dish and fresh greens from the Chinese place around the corner. The whole time, Finn couldn’t stop thinking about his chat with Tyler. It just seemed a little strange that Tyler had slipped into it and changed so quickly. He didn’t seem like the kind of guy to get sucked in just by watching some random videos online. That’s not to say that Tyler didn’t seem happy or like he was taking care of himself, it’s just… A weird shift. He was missing something. When he went to bed that night, it weighed on his mind. This didn’t seem very interesting at first, but seeing Tyler talk and carry himself the way he did seemed a little sobering. He did want to understand. As he laid there, earbuds in, he decided to do a deep dive once again. He pulled up his burner account on TikKot once again, hoping that maybe a couple more scrolls could illuminate his friend’s motivations now. Instead, Finn was disappointed to find that his new scrolls weren’t bringing up anything new — just the same kind of generic motivation edits and short videos of people trying to show off their progress in the gym. There was nothing new. Nothing interesting. Nothing provocative. And so he eventually slipped into his sleep. It was too boring. With his earbuds still inside, the noise of his feed continued to fill his ears, dumping its cacophony unprocessed. Words whispered into his ears began to sound like Tyler’s voice, echoing what he said before: “a Hulk inside waiting to be unleashed…” — “GET THE FUCK OFF YOUR ASS AND START MOVING, LITTLE BITCH.” The loud, bass-y voice suddenly blared in his ears, startling him out of a deep sleep and back to consciousness. Finn nearly had a heart attack. He immediately pulled his earbuds out and threw them across his bed. Palming and massaging his face with both hands, trying to rouse himself awake, he struggled to reorient himself. He felt well rested yet restless. Looking down, feeling a dampness around his neck and chest, he was shocked to see his shirt was actually drenched, as if he’d run a marathon in his sleep. And at the back of his head, a hazy, tingly sensation as he tried to shake the ‘sleep’ off. Feeling around his bed, he finally picked up his concerningly warm phone, playing a short clip from some podcast on TikKot. Then he looked down at the caption — tagged with #greenwave — and username behind the clip — “Intelligencia Pod”. He didn’t see this account yesterday despite his diligent searching and decided to screenshot it for his later reference. “Geez, I must have left it on auto-scroll all night…” Finn muttered. Then he looked to see his phone’s battery — at an abysmal 11% — and the time, evoking a horrendous horror — “Holy fuck, I’m already 6 minutes late?” Finn rushed to beat the clock. He typically had a whole morning routine and never missed it. Now, he had to skip it, instead rushing to brush his teeth and wash his face, foregoing the shower in favor of cologne and body spray he never even knew he had, and quickly throwing on the first clothes he could find before making his way to the office. What he didn’t notice as he rushed in the bathroom, was his phone, still open to TikKot, scrolling on automatic once again, passing a few seemingly ordinary clips. Maybe if Finn had lingered a while longer he would’ve noticed words flashing on the screen, with binaural beats and subliminals pulsating through the speakers. — Today was going to be a long day. “Are you okay, Finn?” He looked up to see Marty, his mentor popping by his desk for the fourth time that day. Finn tried to dust himself off, an attempt to make himself look more presentable in spite of his disheveled experience. “Yeah, yeah, I’m great. Why?” “Just checking,” Marty said. “You just came in late, looking a lil rough this morning. I’d never seen you show up like that.” “Yeah, I’m fine. Just, uh… Just overslept my alarms a little bit. I really am fine, though.” “Really?” It was true. Despite his bad start to the day, Finn was strangely feeling more energetic and eager to seize the day. He hadn’t felt this motivated in months. The only issue was that with the energy seemed to be a lack of focus. He was getting distracted from his work, his mind and fingers always making their way to TikKot on his phone before he stopped himself. Marty gave Finn a long hard look before he sighed. “You know what? Take the afternoon off.” Finn’s head snapped over. “Take the afternoon off?” “You’re one of the best interns this firm has ever had, and the longest one we’ve ever retained. It’s beyond worrying to see a bright star like you so off your game today.” “But I need the hours! Seriously, I’m fine,” Finn protested. “I can clean myself up for the rest of the day. I need to be here.” Marty shook his head. “You can stay til lunch, but I want you to rest. Don’t worry about your hours — consider it a fully paid half day. You deserve a break, kid.” With the rest of his day cleared, Finn was left with nothing to do. It was only at this point he’d started to realize that his life was empty; his weekday cycle was just waking up, working, eating, then sleeping. He hadn’t a clue of what to do til he stepped into the breakroom. He was idly pacing around the room as he contemplated grabbing one of the donuts left out by one of his coworkers when he jumped at the sound of the door creaking open. In a panic, he scrambled to look like he was in the middle of some meaningful action, maybe about to grab a donut, before he saw who was at the door. Walking in was a guy not much older than Finn, standing much taller than him at 6’2”, his dark sandy blond hair cut to a short cropped undercut, his cool gray eyes wandering around the room before settling on Finn. His stoic expression shifted to accommodate a slight grin as he nodded to the intern. His plain office-appropriate shirt and tie did little to conceal the young man’s physique, only sparing spectators the details of the precise angles of his muscle insertions while betraying the shape and density of his muscles. “‘Sup, Finn,” he said plainly. “Hi Brian,” Finn muttered. Brian had been brought on as the firm’s newest junior associate just as the internship season had picked up, hired straight out of college somewhere in South Carolina. Finn hadn’t paid him much mind at all, barely prodding anyone with questions and never questioning how little the two crossed paths, if they’d even see each other. He wasn’t one for stereotypes, but Finn just thought Brian had that look to him that said they wouldn’t quite… align, so to speak. Brian looked like the type of guy that would be on the other side of his issues. Coupled with his apparent lack of enthusiasm for progress and his masculine bravado, Finn just steered away. He wasn’t his kind of crowd. But today, Finn was ogling him. He felt drawn to him. “So, uh… You’re grabbing a donut, huh?” “Nah.” Brian walked past him to the office fridge and opening it. “Just getting some protein in.” He reached in and pulled out a bottle of Gamma Labs Mass Milk, with its unassuming white packaging and a deep green cap. “Right.” Finn sheepishly withdrew his hand, as if not to let his habits offend the gymgoer in the room. A distinct snap sounded through the room as Brian quickly and forcefully opened the bottle. “So you taking an early lunch?” Finn shook his head and lightly chuckled. “No, I… Well, Marty let me take the rest of the day off. I’m just hanging out in here before I go.” He shuffled to the side, allowing a clear path from Brian to the door. “Oh! Sweet,” Brian said simply. Finn was waiting for him to leave, but the tall associate instead pulled a chair beside him, angling it towards Finn before sitting in it. His legs were spread casually, his left elbow resting on the table looking up at Finn. It felt like Brian was fucking with him honestly, but Finn was feeling confused more than anything. Why is this guy entertaining a conversation with him? Brian took a gulp of milk, a loud ‘glug’ sound unnerving Finn. “So what’s your plan for the rest of the day?” “I don’t know. I don’t really do much since the internship usually takes up so much time…” Finn felt so awkward talking. Even as he did, his eyes were glued to Brian setting the milk bottle down as he tilted his thick neck, stretching it and showing off the striations of his subtle traps — then lifting an arm to scratch the back of his head, as his white shirt slightly tightened around his biceps and shoulders before he relaxed. “Really?” Brian leaned forward, letting Finn take in the broadness and width of his shoulders and the way his shirt hugged his chest. “You look like you’d have a lot of hobbies. I thought a guy like you would be like… a painter or some shit.” The mild stereotyping would’ve ordinarily annoyed Finn, but he had no place to talk since he categorized Brian as one of those entitled jock types. “Well I used to skate, but I…” Finn watched the slight flex of Brian’s bicep as he went to take another gulp of his milk. He hated that he was noticing all of this right now, but with Brian just there in his sight, he just couldn’t help but notice. He ended up wondering if… “I… gotta hit the gym.” “Huh.” Brian’s eyes lit up at Finn’s words, and he stopped himself from taking another sip. He looked Finn up and down, almost studying him. “I never took you for someone who lifts. That sleeper build must be fucking crazy, dude.” It took a moment for Finn to fully process what Brian was implying before he exclaimed, “No, no, no. I mean like... I’m interested in maybe starting to hit the gym. Not that it’s on my schedule. It’s just been on his mind, like maybe I should start going…” Finn’s brown eyes were wide as he talked. He honestly didn’t know what he was talking about himself — what he was saying was a total fabrication just to make himself seem relatable or on the same level. But he’s usually not afraid to say it: that’s not his crowd. “That’s what’s up,” Brian affirmed, his voice taking on a more casual and irritatingly familiar fratty cadence. He kept his eyes locked on Finn, looking him up and down before speaking again. “Hey, uh. I’m gonna be off in a couple hours actually. If you’re down for it, you could come to my gym.” Panic. “No, it’s okay,” Finn said quickly. “I’m heading home after this, I’m down by 87th and 52nd…” “That’s perfect!” Brian’s eyes lit up even more. “I go to Phelps Fitness on 87th and 50th. It’s the one that used to be Energy Gym, but some chain bought it out.” “But for me — I just don’t know if it’s for me. Like I’ve never even touched a weight,” Finn tried to reason. His bashfulness was genuine, and he was quickly realizing he should’ve just admitted that he didn’t give a fuck about the gym. Brian instead took it as a challenge. “That’s just fear, dude. Fear is what keeps men like you and me from reaching our potential.” He stood up as he crushed the rest of the milk. “Come on! You said you were interested. Just tag along, I can show you a couple workouts, then you can decide whether or not it’s for you. Deal?” This was far from anything Finn would seek out for himself. He’s a proud bookworm, armed with political theory and psychology. After all, the pen is mightier than the sword. Plus he has his fill of physical activity in his walks around the city. But in the back of his head, a voice was pushing him to try — plus he had no excuse not to. Finn couldn’t place exactly why he felt uncomfortable feeling the urge, or where the urge had come from. Years of lack of interest suddenly flipped to a cautious interest. Not that there was anything wrong with it. It’s good to want to be stronger after all. Finn looked up to Brian. “Sure,” he said, looking a little confused by his own decision. Something inside told him this was the right choice. “Yeah, I guess it wouldn’t hurt.” Brian grinned. “Hell yeah. Alright, I’ll message you or something. I’ll be out in a couple hours and let you know.” He extended his hand. Finn awkwardly reached forward to shake it, just for his business shake being subverted by Brian dapping him up before he left the room. All alone in the breakroom once again, Finn began to agonize over the idea of scrawny him struggling to bench just 10 pounds. A part of him wanted to be able to bench 10,000.
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