Marvel Mayhem: The 5th Column #2 – Deniable Assets
All Characters are owned by Marvel Comics except the Overvallen (Cape Crusher, Drakensburg and Razorwire). Once again I am offering them to the group to use and abuse as they see fit.
Last Issue Earth’s Newest Heroes, the 5th Column, leapt into action as a madman named the Phoenix attempted to burn America’s largest oil well. While Phoenix was captured a dark truth was revealed, the man behind these new pillars of justice was none other then Baron Helmut Zemo and that the ‘heroes’ were not what they seemed. But who are they? We rejoin the action shortly after an attack on the Pentagon by the insidious Tracer and Mad Hacker.
The short man with a cybernetic headset and a top hat sprinted out of the atrium only to trip as a luminous strand of light spread across the floor sending him slamming into the doors, his hat flying off across the room as five pairs of boots swam into view of his watery eyes.
“Mad Hacker your days of trying to undermine national security are over.” The man draped in the US flag and brandishing a saber announced. “Tracer can’t help him, as we speak the FBI have him locked down in the Raft. Surrender and we will make sure you get proper legal support.”
“I…I…I give up.” Mad Hacker wheezed as the tall woman dressed in red and black bent down and handcuffed the stunted villain.
“Another victory for the 5th Column.” A second woman dressed in blue sighed sarcastically, “Huzzah.”
“No need to be bitter Blizz.” A second man stated in an Australian accent. “Struth these guys were so close to getting away with it. Hey here comes the press, I hope they get my good side this time.”
”Enough Outback we will show them proof that we captured this ruffian.” Citizen V stated. “And then we will leave. There are matters else where that require our attention.” He added as swarms of reporters and photographers milled around the group. Looking through the crowd Citizen V picked out a familiar face and beckoned for the Asian woman to step forward. “Ms Tsuruta so nice to see you again.” He announced warmly.
“Citizen you just defeated a pair of super criminals in the Pentagon. How do you feel?” Holly asked.
“Invigorated. This battle was one of great national nay international importance.” Citizen V stated, “But enough SHIELD must get these rouges behind bars and we have other places to be. As do you Ms Tsuruta, you have done our cause justice. As such I want you to report all our actions exclusively.”
“Wow that’s amazing Citizen.” Holly sighed before turning to the woman standing next to her. “Huh take that Liddle, you may have that monster story but I’m getting an exclusive.” She spat as a V-Wing parked on the roof jetted down, its jets scattering the crowd as the 5th Column boarded it with Citizen V holding out a hand to help Holly get on-board. With a wry smile the Citizen waved to the crowd before the V-Wing climbed into the cloud layer. Back in the crowd the majority of the reporters sighed and groaned at the loss of a story, most but not all, hidden in the crowd a blonde woman dressed in blue jeans and a T-shirt double tapped the ear piece she was wearing.
“Fury this is Morse Mad Hacker and Tracer managed to plant a tracking device on the V-Wing. Activating now.” The woman stated. “Our contact in the Raft will keep the villains quiet. I’ll pursue and keep watch for now Mockingbird out.”
Holly gasped in amazement as the V-Wing docked with the large black jet heading South East out of Washington DC. As the team boarded she caught a glimpse of a second V-Wing locked onto the other wing as Telemetry opened the bomb bay doors and created a solid light tube for the others to climb up through into the relative safety of the plane.
“Welcome Ms. Tsuruta to the Valiant.” Vantage stated, “A high tech Vulcan Bomber gifted to Blizzard by the Royal Air Force and upgraded so that it can get anywhere in the world within a few hours and stay aloft for days.”
“I thought you would be going back to your base after that mission.” Holly gasped as she looked at all the high tech equipment on the wall.
“I’m afraid not.” Citizen V sighed, “We were heading to South Africa when we intercepted news about the Mad Hacker and Tracer. There is a problem almost as pressing as what we just dealt with brewing in the shanty towns of Pretoria.”
“What kind of problem?” Holly asked as Telemetry turned on a computer screen that showed hundreds of faces displayed in rows across the monitor. “Who are these people?”
“They are all the people who have been abducted by a group of thugs called the Overvallen in the last few days.” Outback told her. “We heard rumors so sent a Cloud Eye UAV to spy on the area they were last seen in. Seems the rumors were true, they are taking men, women and children from their homes and destroying the homes of those they leave. The South African government doesn't seem to give a toss when we told them so we decided we were needed there.”
“Overvallen translated to Raiding Party from Afrikaans.” Blizzard hissed, “We have seen four operatives working in the worst hit area. Their leader is a man called the Cape Crusher; a massive former white supremacist, who managed to get his hands on a Stark Engineering Dynamic Hammer. The others are little better then their leader and in any other part of the world would have been taken off the streets by now.”
But we are going to do that and make sure that they pay for their crimes.” Citizen V replied, “SHIELD has no power in South Africa since the government is part of the E9 International Security Act but we have assurances from the Minister of Justice that when we catch them he’ll keep them off the streets. And if he doesn't we have evidence that he may be involved in the Overvallen’s activates that will act as a suitable fulcrum to get him to cooperate.”
“Blackmail?” Holly gasped. “But you’re meant to be heroes?”
“We are.” Outback stated, “But we also promised to fight injustice even if that means having to do dirty deeds to get clean results. Relax the files are a last resort, I’m sure the block will cooperate long before we have to go down that route.”
“I hope your right.” Holly whispered as she turned off the recorder hidden in her bag. “I really do.”
“Got another one boss.” The brown and green scaled monstrosity hissed as he threw a fifteen year old boy into a cage. “How many does that make now?”
“Eighty captured today. Two Hundred and Fifty Six in total.” A bald man dressed in military fatigues grunted as he slung a massive seven foot long hammer over his shoulder. “We would have more Caiman if Razorwire would stop cutting the test subjects in half.”
“I can’t stand the smell of this place.” A man clad in white armor announced from behind the ballistic mask he wore before lashing out with a strand of wire from his wrist and cutting a shack in two, the occupants inside running outside only to run into a nine foot figure carved from granite, veins of magma running along his entire body. “Besides ‘Burg over there burnt a whole load more of these squatters then any of us care to admit.”
“The names Drakensburg you washed up punk.” The stone figure snarled as he kicked the family of three to the floor, “You’d better remember that or you’ll be supporting third degree burns for the rest of your life.”
“Big talk from a pile of slag.” Razorwire snorted as Caiman stuffed the captives into the same cage as the last prisoner he caught, the bodies cramped in so tight that they seemed to merge into one being. “Let’s see what happens when I cut you down to size.”
“Gentlemen we have a quota to make.” Crusher growled. “Now shut the f^[k up before I do it for you!.” He roared before slamming his hammer into the nearest shack, the shock-waves produced flattening it and everything else around it in a fifteen meter radius. “You got me!”
“No but it’s only a matter of time.” A voice came from above as a V-Wing descended through the crowd. “Overvallen your rain of terror ends here and now.” Vantage stated before leaping off the platform and slamming her staff into Cape Crusher, the electrical discharge sending the man reeling as her teammates followed suit.
“Holly stay where you are until the area is safe.” Citizen V ordered as he ducked under a swipe from Razorwire, the titanium cords attached to his wrists slicing through a corrugated iron plate. “The cameras on the V-Wing should be able to get the footage you require.” He added as he lunged at Razorwire only for his foe to grab his sword and wrench it from his hands. “Of all the indignant things to do!” He spat as the thug broke the blade off before receiving a punch to the face.
“I don’t know who you are but you’ll pay for messing with us” Razorwire answered as he snaked his tendrils around Citizen V and threw him into the wall of a partially destroyed hut. “Crusher the pompous git is down.”
“Don’t give me orders Razorwire!” Crusher yelled as he backhanded Vantage away before slamming his hammer into the ground, a shock-wave streaking across the ground before slamming into a row of shacks, the force sending them toppling one after the other until the last in the row collapsed directly on-top of where Citizen V had landed.
”Citizen!” Telemetry screeched as she threw a hard light orb at Drakensburg as he made a clumsy grab for her. “My god Citizen V is down.”
“He ain't the only one.” Drakensburg snarled as he grabbed her by the neck. “Your next girl.” He added as his back ignited into flame that spread across the magma channels in his arms.
“Hey you blighter.” Outback sneered as he released a pair of boomerangs, the projectiles embedding in the stone giants arms before detonating, the force shattering them into sand and causing Telemetry to drop to the floor. “That ain't any way to treat a lady.”
“You’d best worry about yourself.” Drakensburg gurgled as magma erupted from the stumps of his arms before cooling into new hands and elbows. “Who are you meant to be anyway? Some kind of bad Steve Irwin impersonator?” He added as Caiman came barreling in and tackled Outback to the floor.
“Blizzard help Outback deal with Caiman before we lose another team member.” Vantage ordered as she blocked a blow from Cape Crusher with her staff, the sheer pressure of the shock-waves produced causing the weapon to splinter into two.
“I don’t take orders from you Vantage. I do what I want.” Blizzard purred as she threw a hail of icicles down at Razorwire, the projectiles bouncing off his armor as the thug lashed out and sliced through the ice trail she was sliding on sending her plummeting into a pile of scrap iron that had been a house only a few minutes before.
“You think we get a bonus for bringing in these wannabes?” Caiman snarled as he squeezed Outback’s neck causing the man to choke and wheeze.
“I’m sure the Bio Fanatic will be most interested in a more comprehensive line up of test subjects.” Crusher grunted as part of the collapsed row of sheds shifted before Citizen V hefted the debris off him, his costume torn to reveal shards of cold blue skin underneath. “Ha so you’re back for more you patriotic son of a gun.”
“You can’t kill the American Dream.” Citizen V growled.
“Caiman snap this windbag in two!” Crusher ordered as Caiman threw Outback to one side and charged in like a raging bull as Citizen V tensed up before delivering a crushing blow to the face, one that hit so hard it sent the reptilian mutant sprawling.
“Anyone else?” Citizen V asked as the remaining members of the Overvallen looked at each other and then back at Citizen V.
“Berg, Razorwire deal with the others.” Crusher ordered. “Now I’m going to show this guy why I’m called the Cape Crusher, staring by showing him what I’m going to do to his skull!”
“Got it.” Razorwire hissed as he stepped in front of the blazing Drakensberg. “Come on up heroes so I can cut you in two.”
”Thanks but we’ll reject your offer.” Telemetry buzzed as she fired off several hard light arrows only to see Razorwire slash them in half with his whips. “Okay anyone have a plan to deal with these guys?”
“I’ll deal with the big guy.” Vantage purred. “And Blizzard when I tell you to pour on the ice just do it and don’t argue.”
“Wow someone seems bitter.” Blizzard sneered as Drakensberg ignited himself, the flame rolling down his entire body until he resembles a burning bolder. “First we need to remove Razorwire unless you plan to take him down as well?”
”I’ve got just the thing for that guy.” Outback stated as he threw a boomerang directly at the villain. With a hissing snicker Razorwire lashed out only to see his whips magnetize to the boomerang as it arched back round and headed back to its thrower. “Hey Telemetry you want to take it from here?” Outback asked as he shot his teammate a wry smile.
“On it Outback.” Telemetry chirped as she bathed the boomerang in a gleaming light show that accelerated the projectile through a wall and into a dilapidated old generator, the fuel reservoir inside igniting as Razorwire was dragged through the fire and into a second hut. “The way is…uh.” She announced as Drakensburg knocked her aside with a rocky fist. Dashing forward Vantage reached out and intercepted the stone giant’s next blow, the sheer heat of his skin causing her to sweat as she began to buckle.
“Face it lady I’m the big bad here and you are just a bug to be swatted.” Drakensburg snorted before he felt Vantage push back as she began to grow until she stood tall enough to even tower over him.
“Now who’s the bug?” Vantage asked as she aggressively ripped Drakensburg’s arms off, molten magma rising to replace the missing appendages. “Blizzard now freeze his arms before the geo-nuclear fusion can complete the regeneration process.” She called seconds before Blizzard stepped forward and froze the remains of the giant’s arms. Staggering Drakensburg looked up at Vantage, magma spilling from his mouth as his body began to fracture before finally exploding outwards, a hail of sharpened stone showering the 5th Column.
“Is he dead?” Outback asked as Vantage shrank down to her usual size. “Did we just kill him?”
“No, the guy is an extension of the earth.” Vantage explained. “From what I heard he will reform in a few weeks.”
“And we’ll be waiting.” Blizzard stated before turning to where Citizen V was standing, his hands clamped around the handle of Crusher’s hammer in an attempt to keep him from striking the ground. “You think the boss needs help?” She yawned.
“I assure you Blizzard I am fine.” Citizen V stated as he struggled with Crusher. “Your men are down; your position is indefensible CapeCrusher. If you surrender then I promise to show mercy.”
“That makes one of us.” Crusher snorted as he punched Citizen V in the face before dropping the hammer and recoiling. “What the hell is wrong with your skin?!” He bellowed as Citizen V spun the hammer around and forced him to the ground. “Ha ha ha, alright hero you one but ask yourself this me and my boys have killed hundreds, ruined the lives of thousands more besides them. You owe them swift retribution.”
“No.” Citizen V answered coldly as he threw the hammer away. “You will pay for your crimes, live in the squalor you earned because I’m better then you.”
“You really believe that.” Crusher snorted as Citizen V turned to walk away. “You’re a thug and a felon just like me. I know what you hide behind that mask, I ain’t stupid all heroes are time bombs just waiting for the right person to come along at the wrong moment and push them over the edge and I plan to see you take that fall.”
“You need to stop talking now.” Vantage hissed as she walked over and slammed her boot into Crusher’s face knocking him out cold. “The authorities can handle these…people.” She added as Outback opened the cages and let the trapped prisoners out.
“Your right.” Citizen V moaned as the V-Wing descended and his team climbed on. “This time.”
As the V-Wing thundered back to the valiant a lone figure walked out of the debris dressed in a blue SHIELD jumpsuit carrying a bo-staff as she scanned the surroundings with her tactical gauntlets. Bending down near Razorwire she ran her armored gloves down his whipcords and flicked a trace of blue metal into a vial on her belt.
“The time has come Citizen V.” Mockingbird whispered, “To find out what you’re made of.”
What is Mockingbird’s end game and how much does she know about who the 5th Column? Meanwhile Baron Zemo discovers that he may have a traitor in his team and hires the elite assassin Urban Tiger to deal with the mole and any collateral damage they may have caused. How much mayhem can the team take? Find out in Marvel Mayhem: 5th Column #2