Marvel Mayhem - Generation X/Thunderbolts - The Seattle Crisis
All characters are owned by Marvel Comics except Richard Cale who is the property of my partner in crime RichGenX
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Last Issue Emma Frost made the potentially risky move to aid the mutant community in Seattle. Of course what she didn't know was that a spy in the school was relaying messages to Emplate who had plans to capture her students for his own nefarious goals
After a long battle the Thunderbolts stopped a deadly terror attack but at a price. With the city now a desolate wasteland a whole new problem is about to arrive hoping to take advantage of the carnage.
"Okay move it to the left." Abe ordered as he looked at the image of the screen, "Okay up three inches and place a sonic weld." he ordered as a pink flash of sound fused the energy emitter onto the rock. "Looks good Mel, Orka. Back off and I'll fire it up and see what happens." he added as the camera feed backed off three foot down the tunnel. With a hiss a field of violet energy erupted from the wall mounted emitters forming a shield in the flooded tunnel. "Good news energy readings are steady, if the test samples in the first collection pool read negative on contaminants then Seattle Internal Security can finally start up that desalinization plant without having to get it through a Mattock checkpoint."
"Do we need to do anything else or can we surface? Despite my sonic shields I can practically feel the chemicals in the water biting into my skin." Melissa asked
"Yep we are good you guys can get out anytime." Abe told them as he printed out a set of figures and readings using the virtually prehistoric PC and printer that Seattle Internal Security had given him. Putting down his headset Abe turned to see Chen walk in clad in his protective hazmat armour carrying a backpack mounted cylinder that glowed green in the mid morning sunlight.
"Armour still grounded?" Chen asked as he removed his hood, a stern look on his face.
"You got it in one." Abe answered. "Until I can convert it to run on another power source then it might as well be a heavy weapon toting paper weight."
"About that." Chen said quietly, "I may have the solution." He added removing the cylinder and putting it down on the floor. "That is pure contamination left behind, in essence if you put enough of this together then you could reconstitute Biohazard as a pure energy creature rather then a mutated human."
"I am not using that to run my armour." Abe snorted.
"Then enjoy your paperweight." Chen answered before smirking at Abe, "At this level he isn't sentient, pollution would be limited and corrosion rate would be at the same level as standard fossil fuels. Also the risk of, how did Meteorite put it, the gunk going Chernobyl on us could be relegated by myself and the majority of the others on the team."
"Sentient fuel I don't like this Chen." Abe sighed, "But if it gets me back in the game then I have no choice. I only hope this doesn't come back to bite me in the butt later."
The police officers making up the centre of the riot shield wall collapsed as chunks of irradiated concrete slammed into them, the makeshift missiles thrown by the swollen and angry crowd of inhabitants as Blizzard and Meteorite pulled a man up the scree embankment to the road. Their prisoner, a Philip Hendry from Oklahoma, had killed and then mutilated his neighbour just for an extra loaf of bread. The cries behind the SIS barricade were not relating to justice but more to the crowd's desire to lynch him.
"Where the hell is that transport?" Donnie spat as he created a wall of ice across the slope. "We were told that one would be on scene within five minutes but it's been at least twenty since we were called in." As he finished the road of a diesel engine sounded and a Mattock Unimog Supply Truck roared towards them, almost knocking the Thunderbolts down as it headed north.
"Well that was rude." Sara stated before picking Hendry up, "Those Mattock guys are real jerks."
Seated in the troop bay one of the Mattock troopers rubbed his exposed hands, waves of excess skin rolling up and down his digits. Next to him sat a pair of troopers their features completely covered although one of them seemed to glow a light pink around her arms and shoulders. "Do you think we should have stopped and helped them?" The skin rubbing soldier asked.
"Nah from what I here the Thunderbolts are state sponsored thugs." A forth soldier answered from her position at the trucks command hatch, her elbow resting on the vehicles machine gun.
"Monet get inside." The driver barked, "We can't risk any kind of exposure. Apart from the various security forces guarding the area there are rumours of armed bandits, ULTIMATUM resistance groups and cannibal death cults operating in the area. And while we can't put to much belief into such tales I would rather not tempt fate." Monet nodded before slipping down the ladder and closing the hatch behind her. "Now from the maps provided the majority of the mutant population chose to move to an area called the Triangle at the north side of the quarantine zone. Population is around five hundred according to records I was able to charm out of the clerk at the registration office."
"Five Hundred?" The soldier sitting in the front seat gasped, "That's a lot of people. I'm trying to get a read on them now but something is wrong."
"Miss Frost." One of the fully masked soldiers gasped, "Is it possible to drop the façade of being soldiers now that we are away from the main settlements."
"Yes Clarice." The driver sighed before watching as the seemingly battle hardened Mattock Troopers morphed into her students. "Now what seems to be the problem Everett?"
"All the mutants appear to be sharing the same primary power with mild deviations for their secondary abilities. It doesn't seem right but I guess it may be a side-effect from the additional radiation in the area, it would be unusual for something like that to develop right?"
"Well it could be a multi-morph mutant or mutants in the area and all you are doing is picking up there additional bodies." Emma suggested.
"No it's not that." Everett answered, "It feels cold and almost hollow, like something was scraped out of them."
"Do you think the security forces could have done something to them?" Monet asked as she examined the box of tear gas grenades rolling around under the truck's troop bench.
"Possible, Mattock and the Thunderbolts wouldn't be the first people to experiment on mutants and sadly they won't be the last." Emma answered, "We will have the answers soon whatever it is and deal with the situation accordingly."
At the back of the truck Yvette hung her head before looking at the others all egger and ready to get out and stretch their legs after the long ride. With the addition of the barley functional road the journey had been a nightmare and every time she closed her eyes the same hideous face came swimming up out of the depths. "Yvette hey." Paige said waving her hand in front of her un-focusing eyes. "You have been mighty quiet this trip."
"I am worried about Emplate." Yvette answered, "What if he is already here in Seattle."
"Nah what are the chances of that." Paige stated in her mid-western drawl, "Besides like Miss Frost said the more folks we warn the less chances that he has at taking them unaware."
"It's not just that." Yvette explained, "What Emma said was right, this place is dangerous and as we saw the people are desperate, it would only take one person to reveal where we are and once that happens we become even more venerable, the only thing we have as an advantage is secrecy and it's only a thin veil not full armour. It wouldn't take much for Emplate to know we were outside the mansion."
"Relax we will be finished before he even realizes." Richard said in a less then reassuring voice, "He won't even now we're here. Last time we checked his lighthouse was back on the East Coast, even with all the talk about cannibals I'm guessing 95% is embellishment and the rest is some nut job taking bites out of people."
"It's like they didn't even know we were there!" Meteorite spat, "And then the crowd decided to pelt us with their missiles instead of the police."
"But yet you survived and we have more pressing matters." Victoria replied slyly before unfolding a map of the site on the table in the temporarily deserted SIS headquaters. "Five days ago the mutant population moved to the Triangle in the North West of the contamination zone. It was partially because they didn't trust us and partially because they feared reprisals by the rest of the population."
"Gee why would they expect that?" Donnie answered sarcastically, "With the way the mob treats murderers any mutant they would get their hands on wouldn't stand a chance."
"Exactly their thoughts," Victoria told him, "As per their agreement with Mattock, the Seattle Internal Security forces requisitioned a supply convoy to go up the very next day and drop of shelter, food and water. The only problem that the convoy went in but it never came back, four APCs, five supply trucks and two helicopters as well as the troops and engineers they were carrying all simply disappeared without a trace."
"And how come we are only just hearing about this now?" Abe asked as he shone a head torch into the back of his armour, "Oh right because it was convenient for them to be forgotten. Seriously I don't understand all this prejudice towards mutants, yes some of them are bad but the majority don't dress up in lycra and capes and jump off of buildings pretending to be giant frogs or whatever."
"The SIS sent in a salvage team to raid Mattock's equipment." Victoria continued, "And they didn't return earlier and as such they want us to find their missing people. I agreed but stated that our first priority was checking the wellbeing of the civilian population in the area."
"Any suspects?" Orka grunted as he rubbed a dried piece of skin off of his arm. Victoria smiled and laid out a series of stills from security cameras, all of them showing a raid on a train in various stages. "As you can see one of our 'friends' from the Masters of Evil has resurfaced. Litterbug attacked a train heading through the cascades two days ago. After it had derailed he rescued another of our familiar faces Sirocco and hit the hills. SHIELD arrived fifteen minutes later but by that time Stag Beetle, Flag Smasher and Headhunter had all escaped and Litterbug's trail had gone cold."
"Looks like a sketchy lead." Melissa said picking up one of the stills.
"It was until Litterbug and Sirocco sunk Mattock's North Dock in the Triangle and sank three automated gunboats. At the time it was unmanned, running on computer power and as such wasn't considered worth telling us about." Victoria answered before shouldering an M16 and picking up a cut down SHIELD combat jumpsuit, the eagle logo replaced by a bolt of lightning. "We can assume that the later of out vandals has replaced the slot vacated by Firebrand."
"No." Melissa whispered, "Look at his face, Sirocco looks terrified when Litterbug rips open the carriage, "This wasn't a rescue it was an abduction and look there appears to be deformities on Litterbug's hands."
"Whatever they are we can get them checked out when we catch him." Abe stated as he stepped into his MACH IV armour, the lights glowing a cool blue, "Right now we have a monster to hunt."
"Yvette, Yvette wait." Richard bellowed as the woman in question headed towards the ocean. "What did you say to her?" he snarled, turning to face Monet.
"Nothing." Monet answered, "She suddenly just snapped and told me she wanted to be on her own."
"Follow her." Emma ordered, "While I am confident she can handle whatever is lurking in this wasteland I think it's better for everyone if we stay together."
"Got it." Richard answered before heading off after Yvette. Turning to face the others Emma saw that they were looking around anxiously, waiting for the inhabitants to respond to their arrival.
"This place is a Ghost Town." Jonathan stated, "But it looks like something happened here." he added before pointing to the helicopter buried in the remains of a block of flats. "Hey how come this part of the camp still has buildings?" he asked.
"It's part of the periphery." Paige said punching his arm, "This area is only mildly contaminated although there are hot spots centred around an armoured car depot on the docks and the wreck of a container ship just up the cost. Mostly ULTIMATUM shelled the place with artillery which you would have known if you had paid attention to Miss Frost's briefing."
"So sue me that I didn't read Seattle Wasteland for Dummies before we left." He hissed back at her as the group moved over to a run down building, the sign reading Allen and Pierce Ecology Consultancy hanging at an angle across one of the broken windows. At the front Emma inspected the door before steadying a hand to stop Everett from entering. Reaching out with her powers she found what she was looking for and telekinetically snapped the wire connected to the door before pushing it open and entering and checking the concealed flash-bangs were disarmed. She was about to signal for the students to enter when she saw the two dead engineers in Mattock fatigues slumped against the back wall, each of them supporting a gunshot through the skull although the lack of bullet holes suggested that they hadn't died in a firefight, the pistol lying in front of them supported her theory as she stepped back out.
"What did you find?" Clarice asked as she walked over and attempted to peer inside only to be psychically forced back.
"Everett do we have anything else about the homogenous power network that the local mutants are using?" Emma asked as she glanced over to the truck parked in the middle of the burnt out crossroads.
"Nothing but whatever it is the side effects I felt are a lot stronger then they were before we arrived." Everett informed her. "But I guess that was to be expected."
"Hmm interesting," Emma sighed before looking out to the coast and spotting the approaching rain-storm heading towards the shore, "Clarice can you find Yvette and Richard and bring them back here. I would rather be together when that storm hits, the rain could change the topography of the area and make the way back seem disorientating. I will keep the truck running so you can lock onto the headlights on the way back"
"I won't be long." Clarice answered as she sprinted off in the direction Richard had ran in. Telekinetically Emma probed the surrounding buildings before selecting a café with a second story and a working generator connected to the neon sign. "Everyone else get the rations from the tuck and head into the bistro across the street. Once we are all inside we will remain quietly until Clarice returns with the others."
"Miss Frost are we in danger?" Monet asked as the rest of the group headed for the supply truck.
Emma smiled a forced smile. "I hope not but whatever the case we will need shelter from the elements as well as attackers and that café has the most potential of being our stronghold until we can locate the local's encampment."
"Well are you afraid?" Monet asked, "I mean all the rumours we heard…"
"Are just rumours." Emma finished, "There is nothing to be afraid of." she added as the pair of them walked briskly towards the café. The real truth was far from different, what made this situation worrying was that the trap set by the engineers had been for someone or something. She just preyed she and her students wouldn't find out what.
MACH IV and Meteorite landed almost silently followed by a quiet whoosh as Songbird dropped down behind them dragging the sonic platform and the others into a gentle landing onto the main plaza of the area known as the Triangle. Despite the reasonably short distance to the area they had been forced to file a flight plan at the Camp Falx registry office, as it turned out Mattock was very territorial of it's air space and had the hardware to keep it free of trespassers. "Great it's raining again." Meteorite complained, "Is there some rule that says super heroics can only be done in bad weather."
"It's early April what do you expect?" Victoria asked before switching the safety off, "You're a big girl Sara deal with it."
"How do we know it's natural?" Orka asked, "For all we know Sirocco could have whipped this up."
"Possible." Abe answered before walking over to a pool of light shining from the centre of the plaza. Scanning the truck he ran the datum through his armour processers. "One Supply Truck, engine is still running suggesting it's been here for a few minutes." Walking forward he swiviled his head, the cameras mounted on his helmet creating a 3D image of the square."
"Wait stop." Blackheath yelled, "You almost crushed them." he added as he ran over and felt the ground, "Plant spores," he murmured, "living plant spores."
"And this helps us how?" Blizzard asked sarcastically.
"Some of the spores come from plants indigenous to the Eastern Seaboard, and the fact that they are alive suggests that they came here after the quarantine."
"Someone got in." Melissa stated before placing her hand down on the ground, "She was running, she was looking for someone. Abe she's just a kid and she is alone out here."
"Go find her and take her back to Seattle Internal Security Headquarters, Summers can get medics to check her over and keep her out of Mattock's focus until we know what's going on." Abe told her Melissa nodded and took to the air heading West towards the coastline. "Okay everyone else spread out but keep close and don't leave the square, by the look of things we are going to have to check everything one step at a time. If we find anyone living or dead mark it with the isotope dye that Chen created for us and remember we are here to save civilians first and fight bad guys second."
"They are splitting up." Angelo whispered to Monet as the eight lights headed in different directions in the square below them. "Do you think they are security or someone else."
"It doesn't matter either way." Monet answered as Emma walked over and peered into the darkness. "Miss Frost what should we do?"
"It's the Thunderbolts, not the worst people out here but I'd rather not get caught by them." Emma answered, "There is a door to the roof, if we are silent then maybe we can slip out and move to a new base. Hmm yes there is a building, the ArnanKoralFinanceTower; it is run on a hydroelectric system using rain water running down the building to power the generators."
"How far is it?" Jonathan asked as one of the lights reached the door of the café.
"Just over four hundred meters." Emma answered as she silently opened the door onto the roof, "We will go in pairs every thirty seconds; Everett and Monet will go fast, Jonathan and Angelo after them and Paige and I will bring up the rear." The students nodded before Monet and Everett got ready to leave. "Okay go and don't stop until you reach the tower."
Victoria walked out of Allen and Pierce Consultants across the square to the base of Peyton's Café and sat on one of the blackened chairs. Already the Thunderbolts had found multiple bodies in the buildings. Some had gone down fighting, others running. The last two had committed suicide but judging from analysis they had lasted two days longer then the others and in addition had what appeared to be bite marks to the arms. That last part made her feel sick and she looked up in the hopes of seeing the sun breaking through the cloud but all she saw was a pair of dark shadows leap across the rooftops. Instantly she tensed up and followed them with her rifle, the night scope illuminating the pair as they fled the scene. The attack came from behind, and it was unexpected as a figure wearing a raincoat pounced on her knocking the rifle away as it scrabbled at her. With a grunt she removed a combat knife from her leg and plunged the blade into the attacker's arm causing it to recoil back enough for her to see it's face; a solid knobbly grey with no visible eyes and a bladed tongue protruding out of it's mouth but that wasn't the worst thing, as it threw it's hands up to block out the light she saw that it's palms had tiny mouths complete with team. "Oh shit guys we have trouble." she yelled as howling, screaming figures leapt and crawled out of the buildings.
"Chen I need a count." Abe ordered, "How many of these 'creeps' are there?" he yelled as a grey skinned man spun towards him, his rotation reflecting the mercy rounds he fired at him.
"I count twelve X-Rays." Chen yelled back as he slammed a glowing fist into a normal looking man save the crown of horns protruding from his head. "They seem to be mutants."
"Maybe but something about them in weird." Abe replied as he fired a Taser dart at the revolving mutant, the electricity sparking up his body only for him to reply with a magnetic blast that knocked Abe backwards into the charred remains of a Pruis, his attacker and another freak, his face covered in a gas mask running towards him, the former firing magnetic pulses while the later glowed blue in the rain.
"Anyone know what these things are?" Meteorite hissed as she decked a scantily clad Hispanic women with butterfly wings, the force causing a shower of dust to bite into Sara's exposed mouth and chin, each scale cutting into her flesh before fading to reveal a ring of burn marks where they had struck. "Because my two have bitey hands." she added as a four armed man swung a lamp post at her, the makeshift bat being quickly cut down to size as she fired a photon blast at her attacker.
"Same here." Blizzard answered as he blocked a shower of ice shards with a frozen wall only to see them chew a hole in his defences, the tips exploding in a white halo as they hit his body. "Hey Abe how come I can't do that?"
"Because you are not radioactive." Chen answered calmly as he fired a blast of energy at a woman spraying water jets from her hand. "Those ice shards are some kind of frozen isotope, a mixture of your powers and mine after a fashion."
"Got it." Donnie answered as he sprayed the isotope throwing mutant with a jet of ice, his opponent's skin cooling from white to grey before being knocked to the floor by a thrown dustbin as Blackheath dodged the missiles thrown by his own foe, this one with oversized canines and glowing eyes. "Orka watch your back." Sam yelled as the fanged mutant picked up a piece of asphalt, "You got a heavy charging in." he added as a vine snaked around his enemy and pinned him to the floor.
"What?" Orka asked as Litterbug slammed into him from behind and started pummelling his face. His former opponent, a blonde woman whose lower body was the bell and tentacles of a jellyfish swung away and headed towards Meteorite as she knocked the four armed mutant into the base of the consultancy building. Turning she fired a photon blast at the new attacker only to see it pass straight through her and slam into Chen as he continued the fight with the devil horned attacker, the later levitating rocks at the Thunderbolt and pelting him with them.
"Okay so you can't be affected by my photon attacks." Meteorite announced, "Let's see you shrug this off." She added charging in before phasing through her attacker into the bell only to get trapped inside. As soon as she stopped she realised that she had made a mistake as her hands became see through, almost as if she was becoming part of the creature. Angrily she fired off a few photon blasts and watched as they ripped their way through the bell allowing her to escape as the Jellyfish Girl drifted away, looking down at her hands she breathed a sigh of relief as the colour returned to them. Across the square Orka had finally managed to shake Litterbug and the two were involved in round two of their fight from back in Century Field. With a grunt of triumph Orka head butted Litterbug away only to see his own arms were covered in tiny bite marks.
"Oh man that is wrong." Blizzard commented as he froze the jets of water erupting from his attackers hands before turning to freeze a giant rolling ball of tar summoned up by the devil horned man. "And oh look Sirocco has them too." He added as the mutant in questioned threw streams of electricity at Blackheath, the plant like Thunderbolt wilting from the blows before meekly throwing a shower of plant seed his enemy, the projectiles exploding in a haze of acrid smoke that sent the mutant falling to the floor chocking.
"A little help here." Victoria called out as she wrestled with her first attacker, his hand mouths drilling into her bone. With a roar of anger Orka surged past, smashing through the fanged mutant as it chewed its way out of its vine cage before hitting the blind creature like a freight train sending him rolling down the road.
"Yeah we're bad." He yelled as the mutants regrouped before looking down the street and screeching in one voice and heading down the street away from the Thunderbolts. The last to leave was the one clad in a gas mask, unlike the others he walked away, a sense of purpose and malice emanating from his body as Abe moved stiffly forward to meet up with the others. "Well looks like we showed them." Orka snorted as he threw a piece of concrete at the last of the mutants to retreat.
"No I don't think it would be that easy." Abe stated his voice running through his armour's computer systems. "They were organized, powerful and could take hits better then us. They wouldn't just quit."
"You sound like you admire them?" Victoria asked, "And what happened to your voice."
"Vocal modulator got knocked by the spinning mutant."
"Try rerouting the self repair function through the back up hydrogen fuel cell." Chen suggested.
"Yes that would work. Rerouting…umph." He flew backwards as Chen fired a radioactive blast at him. "Why did you do that?" Abe asked as his armour sparked and the other Thunderbolts stared at Abe in disbelief.
"Because you are not my friend." Chen snarled, "We put a radioactive fuel cell into the suit, I figured that the real Abe wouldn't have the problems with operating his suit and wouldn't be running it remotely by a bio-radio signal. Now tell me who you are and what you have done to my real friend"
"I am Emplate and I am the end that's all you need to know. Fear not your friend the pilot is alive and unharmed but his armour is now under my control. Unlike him you are of no use to me so I will dispose of you." Emplate told them as the devil horned mutant emerged from the ground, his hands glowing green as the road split open sending the Thunderbolts falling into the chamber below as the earth sealing above them.
"Okay so let's do a horror film check list." Meteorite yammered as the Thunderbolts got to their feet. "Bad Weather - Check, Desolate Environment - Check, A Mad Man controlling your friend - Check. Now did I miss anything?"
"Maybe the army of monsters trying to kill us." Blizzard gulped as all around them the sound of creatures moving across the walls and floor could be heard. "Check."
"Not Check…" Meteorite's last words were drowned out as the creatures screamed and began their attack.