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The events occurring in the background of this Issue can be read about in Astonishing X-Men Part 3 - forums/fan-fic-8/marvel-mayhem-astonishing-x-men-3 -1467387/#8
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Jester's Klaw's 11 #6 - The Great Vibranium Theft
Klaw - The Loudest Voice
Speed Demon - Running Hot
Volcana - Seismic Shutdown
Oriole - Winged Death
X-Ray - Lead's get ready to Rumble
Drill - One Devil of a Headache
And Staring Klaw's Goons…
Man Ape - Primal Vengeance
Voortrekker - On the Prowl
Tuatara - Pleasantly Reptilian
Hooded Haunt - Spirit from Beyond
Lodestone - A Magnetic Personality
The desk clerk at the Wakandan Consulate in New York groaned as the buzzer at the front gate sounded continuously. With a massive sigh he got up out from behind his desk and walked to the door quietly motioning the doorman dressed in black and green fatigues to ready the Vibranium tipped spear just encase the person on the other side was hostile. Sliding the reinforced slot back his eyes widened as he saw a blond woman dressed in NYPD blues, the words Code Blue emblazoned on her breastplate staring back at him. "What can I do for you officer?" he asked while sliding the slot back and opening the door.
"I need to talk to the Black Panther." The officer announced, "Officer Corkin." she added showing the man her badge. "We have a Priority Red situation developing downtown and we need everyone we can get to help quell the alien invasion."
"I will tell him." the clerk stated. "Stay here Officer."
"Thank you." the officer announced. As the clerk turned away there was a flash of purple light that filled the atrium before fading to reveal Corkin standing over a two ashen silhouettes of the Wakandan personnel on the floor as the remains of the purple energy coalesced into a humanoid shape. Flipping her head back 'Corkin' knocked her wig off and slipped off the uniform she was wearing to reveal a red jumpsuit underneath before finally pulling off the latex mask she wore, her dark skin a stark contrast to the pale flesh of the mask. "This is Tuatara, we're in." She purred as she pointed first at her comrade and then at the console. Trudging over the purple energy humanoid slammed his fist into the computer before retracting it, the lights flickering slightly before staying online. "X-Ray just knocked out the power to the external electronic security."
"Good." Klaw replied as he stood flanked on the adjacent rooftop to the consulate, the flash of explosions and screams creating an apocalyptic backdrop for his heist. "Lodestone move team two into position."
"Roger your last Klaw." the green armoured form of Lodestone replied as she piloted the metal disc to the wall of the embassy, her passengers a golden winged man and a man dressed in military fatigues, a massive shotgun slung on his back gripping onto the sides as if they were not totally confident of her abilities. Staggering to the front the shotgun wielding thug placed a three inch disc on the wall before signalling Lodestone to pull the platform back. Thumbing the trigger he squeezed down hard and the group watched as the brick work and camouflaged titanium plate simply fell apart.
"We're in." Lodestone announced, "Oriole and I will head to the Vault while Voortrekker rendezvous with our agent in the barracks." She added as Voortrekker grunted at her and removed the Stryker Shotgun from his back before prowling away from the others.
"He seems nice." Oriole commented only to see Lodestone shoot him a look. "What your not a fan of humour." he spluttered as his companion knocked him down with a magnetic pulse and walked down the other way. "Jeez and I thought the Jester hired some cranky bitches." he added as he pulled himself up using the wall. "And some absolute jerks but it appears that they are absolute party animals compared to these thugs."
"You know the boss can here you." A voice stated over the team's comm. link.
"I don't care Demon." Oriole replied, "And Klaw doesn't scare me even if he does have a certain B-Movie bad guy look about him."
"And you are a Z-List thug." Klaw hissed, "Speed Demon, Volcana give me a status update on the tunnel." he ordered, his voice causing his followers ears to ring as he spoke.
"Slow progress boss." Speed Demon replied as he ran along clad in a silver fire suit whilst carrying the burning body of Volcana. "ETA is just under a minute. What with this thing cutting my running speed down to one-hundred and eighty mph and Volcana being a wee bit beefy it looks like it might take me a little longer to get the job down."
"I am not beefy." Volcana snapped as she melted the ground in front of them. "Come on Drill back me up here."
"I'd love to but I feel like Ann Darrow being dragged up the side of the Empire State Building by King Kong here." Drill answered as Man Ape climbed up the side of the building. "Why couldn't we have taken a lift in with Lodestone." he whined as Man Ape reached a balcony and clambered up before looking up at the twenty two stories left to climb.
"Because the Vault Control Room is positioned away from the actual Vault." Klaw sighed, "And I would rather not let the Wakandians know that it was I, Ulysses Klaw who stole their beloved Vibranium, at least not until I am ready for them to know."
"So you are going to deny what might be the premier theft of the decade and making my Acrophobia ten times worse just so you can keep playing the super criminal." Drill spat as Man Ape commenced climbing up the second stretch of the consulate building. "Weak Bro."
"Weak? This plan has been masterfully thought out, have we seen any Heros, any cops any guards? No because I chose to strike during an alien invasion. I am a genius unlike that pathetic comedian who thinks he can match wits with mine." Klaw snarled, "Also I am not you're 'bro' if you call me that again I will make your skull explode and feed what comes out to a small dog."
"Hey Bro we're out." Speed Demon interrupted as lava leaked out of the newly formed hole in the atrium. Standing in the centre of the fissure was Volcana holding Speed Demon, cooled magma forming underneath her as she rose up to reach the atrium on a volcanic stone plinth to face Tuatara and X-Ray, the pair of villains eyeing the advancing tide anxiously. "So what now?"
"I don't care anymore." Man Ape butted in, "This winging sack of horse c# p is driving me insane. Whatever this does to the Panther's reputation it's not worth carrying Mr. I hate heights up fifty stories of glass and concrete."
"Because my friend." Klaw buzzed, "King T'Challa is in the building. You think I would waste your talents on dragging a thug up a building. The real reason I hired you is to kill the Black Panther and upon his death send Wakanda into chaos, set the people against each other and after they have killed each other I will inherit a land full of technological wonders beyond what the rest of the world can imagine." With a snort Man Ape doubled his pace, the flailing body of Drill strapped to his back, his body convulsing with every stride his massive bearer took.
"You still haven't answered my question." Speed Demon stated as he removed the fire suit. "Where do you want us?"
"You, X-Ray and Volcana will guard the exit hole. I am en-route to the
Vault as we speak." Klaw informed them before switching over to a private channel. "Tuatara go up to the King's chambers, as soon as Man Ape has finished the Panther kill him, I don't trust him not to turn on me once he is the rightful ruler of Wakanda."
""Yes Sir." Tuatara hissed as Volcana threw her an armoured pack. Reaching inside Tuatara removed a pair of FN MAG machine guns before slinging the second over a shoulder strap before heading for the express elevator. Switching off his ear-piece Speed Demon watched as Volcana and X-Ray did the same thing. "You know what the boss expects of us." he stated. "X-Ray and I will head to the Vault as soon as we have the Vibranium we take out Lodestone, Man Ape and the others before dragging Klaw back to the Jester."
"He good let's see how Klaw handles five tons of energized Vibranium." X-Ray sneered.
"Patience." Volcana said cautiously, "We must wait, if we act too soon the others will crucify us, too late and Klaw wins the bet."
"Right for now we wait." Speed Demon hissed, "And watch for the opportune motion."
Voortrekker entered the barracks his Striker shotgun ready for action only to see the Wakandan guards lying on the floor or draped over furniture, pure terror etched on their faces. With a half smile the thug bent down and felt one of the soldier's necks for a pulse before confirming that they were dead, at least in his opinion. Looking around he saw something move and trained his weapon on it as floating out of the darkness came a hooded figure clutching a long handled scythe, his face covered in a mask made from a dead man's skull. What disturbed Voortrekker the most about the creature was its eyes. Behind the mask there were dead sockets almost as if nothing was there yet clearly the creature could still function since it was coming towards him. "Hooded Haunt." Voortrekker announced swallowing his fear. "Have you done as the master instructed?"
"I have." the Haunt answered his voice sounding like nails running across a grave stone mixed with the screams of dying children. "I have stolen the souls of these men and while they live it is only in their minds which have been fractured by terror."
"Then you haven't done as Klaw instructed." Voortrekker snapped, "He wanted you to kill them."
"No that is for you my friend. Your hatred for the Wakandans is well known. This if for you to enjoy." Klaw announced over the radio. "Execute them but do it quickly. Once the men are in their graves head for the control room and help that cretin Drill, I'm certain the fool will make a mistake and end up costing us our prize."
"As you wish boss." Voortrekker answered placing his Striker on the floor and nervously eyeing the Hooded Haunt before pulling out a silenced pistol. "I have waited for this for a long time."
Klaw smiled as he stood in front of the Vault before running his hand over the metal surface, despite all the insulation he could feel the Vibranium inside pulsing. From the energy signature he could feel there was far more stored inside then the five tons he had estimated, this development now meant that the world would shake due to his plans rather then just a few key cities. Looking up he saw the warning lights were still online, obviously Drill hadn't reached the control room yet. "Styne you idiot come in." He yelled over the radio only to get no response, switching channels with a snarl he tried another tactic, "Man Ape have you delivered Drill to the security room?"
"I have boss and I'm only a few floors from the Panther's chambers." Man Ape replied.
"Curious." Klaw buzzed, "I have sent Tuatara up to aid you in your act of regicide."
"M'Baku the Man Ape needs help from no one." Man Ape roared as he pulled himself up onto the final balcony.
"Well she's there if you need her." Klaw stated through gritted teeth. "Speed Demon in five minutes I want you up here to run some of the more pristine pieces back to base."
"And you want us to keep guarding the door?" Volcana asked.
"Yes you and X-Ray keep our escape route open at all costs." Klaw ordered, "Voortrekker take the Hooded Haunt up to the control room and end Drill he has been nothing but a disappointment."
"My pleasure boss." Trekker replied as he executed the last of the Wakandan guards. "I assume you're going to go with the noisy plan instead?"
"Yes it is the only favourable course of action left to us, Lodestone rip the Vault open." Klaw snapped. Focusing her powers Lodestone reached out and ripped the massive metal doors off of the hinges and threw them away to reveal a mound of glowing crystals hidden within. Taking a step forward Klaw instinctively knew when the alarms were going to go off but the loudness surprised even him. He didn't care though, the only thought on his mind was his victory and humiliation of the Jester and the sensation that in a few days the whole world would be his.