Thunderbolts #14 - The Cost of Innocence
All Characters are owned by Marvel Comics
The events mentioned in his Issue can be read about in Astonishing X-Men Part 3 - forums/fan-fic-8/marvel-mayhem-astonishing-x-men-3 -1467387/#8
And for more Marvel Mayhem follow this link to the library - forums/fan-fic-8/marvel-mayhem-library-1459473/#22
"And the top story remains the rapidly defusing situation in New York where just moments ago the X-Men were able to remove the alien forces away from the city centre." The TV newscaster announced, "In response SHIELD is mobilizing forces from all over the country to secure the crash site including hard pressed units dealing to the Seattle Crisis which begun with an ULTIMATUM attack six hours ago and has yet to be properly brought under control. The question everyone is asking is why have against some of the most advanced hardware and well trained terrorists this country has ever seen SHIELD decided that an area already pacified need more attention then what people are describing as an active warzone. We are currently…" The TV smashed into hundreds of pieces as Orka was thrown through the door of the harbour office building by Stag Beetle, the listing battleground of the Tears of Anatoly abandoned for the dockyard.
"I have work outs which are more pressing then this." Stag Beetle snarled. "Rumour was that you were a threat, I see now that the tactical planers overestimated your abilities." He added as Orka threw the remains of a desk at him only to see his opponent thrust his wings forward and slice through the projectile before opening fire with his wrist mounted tasers, electricity sparking up the Atlantean's body as Stag Beetle closed on him lifted him up and activated the motorized chain blades in his jaws before they slid forward. "So long Shamu." he announced his voice sounding clear over the roar of the chains. "Huh what?" he asked as Orka flexed his muscles and dislocated the man's arms causing him to fall to the floor and duck under the armours 'jaws'. With a snarl Stag Beetle charged jaws at the ready as Orka stayed down before grabbing the mercenary by the legs and throwing him over his shoulders, the chain blades digging into the wall and embedding themselves into the concrete. With a grunt Orka slammed his hand through the armour's back and removed the squirming pilot before tossing him to the floor.
"Woo this is Orka." he announced, "Stag Beetle is down and ready for transport, the Anatoly was carrying twenty canisters of an unknown Bio-Weapon all of which are deployed."
"Good work; you, Blackheath and Meteorite have orders to rendezvous back at the Space Needle for dust off to New York." Woo ordered, "Local law enforcement and the National Guard will pick up Stag Beetle after they have removed Headhunter and Gamecock from the Museum."
"Can you believe this?" Meteorite announced over the Green's internal network, "They want us to leave the city to ULTIMATUM, let them win. And where are Songbird and Blizzard, apparently SHIELD believes that they have gone AWOL."
"We shouldn't leave." Blackheath stated calmly, "The Green is trembling with fear about what will happen. ULTIMATUM's Bio-Weapon is deadlier then they can imagine and if released will cause an unprecedented amount of damage to the Earth itself."
"Fine then we find the sludge and dispose of it." Orka snorted.
"It's not that easy, we know it's deadly but we don't know what it is or how to contain it." Meteorite told him, "The only person who does is Flag Smasher and he's fortified in the Capitol Building."
"Then that's where we go first." Orka announced bluntly. "Sod what SHIELD wants this is more important."
"Agreed." Blackheath replied, "Come to the museum and we'll hit them together."
"You can't do this." Agent Woo yelled, "SHIELD has ordered that you help secure the crash site in New York."
"Well I have one thing to say to SHIELD." Meteorite spat bitterly, "We quit."
Abe lashed out catching an attractive member of the jury with a flip kick and knocking her and the pistol she had pulled out of her bra back into the witness stand. The majority of the court, even though he wasn't armoured up wouldn't be a problem if their legal council turned potential executioner Jenifer Walters hadn't turned on them. Aside from himself only his former arbiter and current SHIELD liaison Victoria Hand was seemingly unaffected by the malicious control of the villain known simply as the Corrupter. The one question he asked himself, as he dodged a pair of thrown chairs before blocking a punch from a bailiff, was how he had got his sweat into everyone in the court room. Looking to where Victoria was wrestling Judge Collins over the shotgun he had stored behind his desk Abe noticed one of the guards pushing past members of the Jury who were intent on turning their shoes into missiles.
"Victoria over there." Abe yelled as he ducked under a punch from She Hulk, the blow turning the Witness Stand into kindling. "Stop him I'll deal with these guys."
"Sure, sorry your honour but I need to have a recess." Victoria stated as she kneed the Judge in the groin before smashing him round the head with his own shotgun. Vaulting over the desk and clubbing a path through half of a news crew Victoria got to the main doors just as the guard slipped out through them into the corridor leaving Abe alone.
"Well looks like nobody came to witness your end." She Hulk snarled as the members of the court armed with firearms got ready to fire. With a sigh Abe ripped off the fake skin on his left arm to reveal a control matrix for his MACH IV armour sitting over his actual flesh before pointing at Jenifer. With a rumble his suit fired a grenade at the Green Giantess only for her to intercept it and throw it away into the court before it detonated into a shower of steam. "And what good does that do?" she asked as the MACH IV suit moved behind Abe and opened up to allow him to climb in.
"It steams the toxins out of your body." Abe announced as he fired multiple rounds into the crowd behind her, the steam biting at his attackers causing them to sweat. Those exposed to the first projectile were already looking confused before turning to gawp at the pair of super powered combatants. "I guess I'll have to get up close and personnel for you." he added.
"Just the way I like it." She Hulk stated as she slammed her fist at Abe, the blow knocking the suit into the wall before she came in for a follow up blow as MACH IV opened fire, mercy rounds bouncing off the female hulks hide. "You would be better off with live fire but alas all the civilians make that option a dangerous proposition. Face it Jenkins you lost." She purred as Abe met her blow only to see his arm buckle under the sheer force of the blow. With a lazy slap She Hulk knocked him away through the Judges Podium and into the crowd before she pulled the few metal pieces of shrapnel from MACH IVs damaged arm bracer. "Seriously this is weak."
"What's weak is that you are using others to do you're fighting for you." Abe yelled, "As for your puppet, she's about to wake up."
"My hold on her is absolute." She Hulk yelled as she charged at Abe, the Thunderbolt charging up his Taser and firing, the electricity doing nothing to pacify his defence attorney as she picked him up by the neck and slammed him face first into the floor before repeating the action several times with enough force to short out the shock absorbers. His body aching Abe watched as she stepped onto his suit and let her weight begin to crush his armour.
"Up Close." Abe groaned activating his armour's thrusters directly into She Hulk, the flame enveloping her before with a roar that shook the building she threw him across the room again before advancing, her body smoking as she grabbed him by the neck and begun to pull. "And Personal." Abe wheezed as her grip loosened and she dropped him to the floor.
"That Son of a B!+h." she swore, "I'm going to kill him unless you already have."
"Victoria is working on it," Abe groaned, "You want to say it or shall I?" he asked.
"No Order in the Court." Abe coughed as he was helped to his feet, "Let's get the creep responsible for this I'm feeling like a session of face punching myself."
"Sound's Good." She Hulk purred, "I prefer a place where it hurts a bit more."
"Ouch." Abe deadpanned as they headed out of the Court Room.
Melissa thundered through the storm, never losing sight of Killer Shrike's thrusters, occasionally firing sonic knives at her target, the majority flying past due to her targets elite evasive loops and turns, his flight leading them further into the eye of the storm. As she got closer the sky cracked and a massive tornado descended causing her to stall and spiral down narrowly avoiding the tail of the swirling vortex her evasion sending her straight into Killer Shrike's line of fire, blasts of energy ionizing the air, the few that struck her sonic wings causing painful spasms to run through her back. Looping back on herself Melissa lost her wings and concentrated on using the sound of the wind, explosions and Killer Shrike's thrusters to form a stream of sonic energy to propel herself towards the ariel mercenary before slamming into him, the pair of them spiralling towards the ground.
"Ur well that was unexpected." Shrike coughed as he flared his boosters just as Melissa reformed her wings to slow her descent. "Catch me is you can." he sneered before jetting off towards the newest tornado. With a shriek Melissa followed just as a bullet ripped towards her and erupted into blue smoke, the acrid chemicals within biting at her skin and causing her eyes to water. Looking around she caught a brief glimpse of a skeletal looking barge keeping pace before scything through a forming tornado and catching up with Killer Shrike as an Air Force F22 joined the chase, the pilot flicking the plane through the wind storm as if it was a mere summer breeze.
"Turn back." Melissa yelled, "I have this covered pilot." She added as Killer Shrike targeted the F22 with a laser, red light running over the surface before jetting off again, his two pursuers hot on his tail, with all three parties firing off energy blasts, sonic pulses or canon shots before skimming low over the Capitol Building, the area clear of wind as down below ULTIMATUM troops pumped a sickly green fluid into an armoured mould. "Oh no." Melissa gasped as she summoned up a sonic dome over the landing zone, causing Killer Shrike to bounce off and rocket upwards. "Those idiots what are they doing?" Her last words were drowned out as a tornado spiralled up and engulfed the F22 causing the plane to scatter as the armoured form of Sirocco lifted up and fired a blast of lightning at her, the energy missing by inches. Turning in mid air Melissa saw Killer Shrike barrel towards her and flung up an energy shield a little too late as he slammed into her and continued away from the Capitol Building. Recovering Melissa followed as a wall of wind wrapped around the ULTIMATUM base camp, clouding their actions from view. She was so focused on their actions that she never saw the Gunship and Barge in her path and flew straight between them, the energy discharge causing both craft to spin out of control as she and Shrike looped round and headed back to the newly formed Super Tornado.
Breaching the storm's walls a hail of gunfire immediately opened fire as AA Guns mounted on the armoured mould opened fire, the rounds filling the air but largely missing due to Sirocco's manipulation of the wind to keep Songbird pinned as Killer Shrike got ready to land. "Can't let you get away with this." Melissa grunted releasing three massive sonic buzz-saws into the storm, two of them slicing through the AA platforms and the third heading towards Sirocco only for him to slip out of its path as it headed out of the storm.
"Shrike finish up here and meet up with me at Century Link Field." A voice yelled from the mould causing Melissa to look down to see Flag Smasher sitting on the armoured figure's neck, sickly green light emitting from under the armour. "Sirocco I want close cover so the Air Force doesn't get any ideas." He added as the massive construct begun to move followed by four BMPs that had been aiding the troops on the ground in defending the Capitol. Diving Melissa had one thought, reach Flag Smasher and end the madness, unfortunately Killer Shrike had a different idea and swooped up at her the pair meeting half way and spinning off into the storm as it begun to dissipate.
"I don't have time for this." Melissa growled.
"You have no time left; my weaponry is capable of collapsing your sonic constructs before they hit me. I have won now fly away or hold still so I can kill you." Shrike snarled as the pair spun around.
"You win." Melissa stated as she put her hands up. Shrike smiled and locked on a shot before realising that the grin on his face was reflected on his target's features as well. "What the hell are you smiling about?" he growled as the sonic buzz-saw broke through the cloud behind him. "Tell me." he added.
"I lied." Melissa told him as the buzz-saw morphed into a hammer and flew into Killer Shrike, knocking him to the floor and crushing him into the asphalt far below.
"Songbird." A voice called up from down below causing Melissa to look down once again. "You look like you're doing fine." Meteorite stated, "But we have a big problem."
"I know and it just started walking towards Century Field." Melissa answered as she landed between Orka and Blackheath. "I'll fill you in on the way, for now we need to stop it and stop it fast."
"Stop chasing me." The Guard wheezed as he ran into the atrium, "Help this prisoner is out of control." he yelled at the pair of SHIELD agents guarding the door.
"You down on the ground." One yelled at Victoria as she entered the room clutching the shotgun she had liberated from the court. "Drop the weapon and nobody gets hurt."
"He's not a guard he's the Corrupter." Victoria yelled as the guard reached the door, "He just turned a court room into a bar brawl." she added dropping the shotgun. The agents looked at each other before staring at the guard as he covertly reached for the pistol in his ankle holster. "I am an agent of SHIELD and he's a felon so do your jobs and arrest him."
"Then how come you are the one wearing orange?" The agent asked as the guard spun around opening fire and taking both of them out with a quick flurry of shots.
"You should have listened to her." The Guard told them as he removed an injector and stabbed it into his neck. "Genetic Camouflage." he announced as his body convulsed and his skin turned blue, "SHIELD should be careful who they sell their old tech too. Now you, you would look good in a maid's uniform." he hissed, "One touch and we say goodbye Miss Shield Agent and hello Odette the obedient maid who caters to my every whim."
"You're revolting." Victoria spat as the Corrupter kept the gun levelled on her as he walked out.
"Well look at that SHIELD was kind enough to leave a plane for me to escape in. It was almost as if I planned it like this." he snarled. "Oh wait I did. Farewell Odette I will have my way with you eventually." He added as he stalked down the steps as Victoria looked once at the gun he held and then at the ornamental flower pot before acting faster then she ever had and throwing the makeshift projectile and hoping she had a good aim. With a crack the pot hit the stairs in front of the Corrupter, the damp earth spilling out and causing him to slip down the last few stairs and land on his back, dazed in the street.
"Good aim." Abe commented as he strode out after her. "She Hulk is going to love this." he added as he walked down to the villain as he rolled around in pain on the pavement.
"Who hired you?"
"Moonstone. She was working with the..." The Corrupter yelled before a crack of a rifle sounded ands a neat hole appeared in his head before his body collapsed.
"No Spoilers." Crossfire announced from the adjacent building, "We don't need you revealing the ending before everyone else has even got halfway. Besides if you hadn't diverted that SHIELD transport and made the guards your thralls you would be alive right now" he added. "If I were you I'd let me go and head off home." he added as he sprinted off the building, the sound of a motorbike darting off suggesting how he had made his escape.
"What did he mean by that?" Victoria asked.
"I don't know." Abe replied before opening his long range comms. "Melissa we've finished in Court. Crossfire, Corrupter and Moonstone were behind the whole thing, One is dead the other two are running free. Before he escaped however, Cross said something about trouble in Seattle, tell me he was lying."
"No they found it Abe." Melissa stated, "ULTIMATUM found Bio-Hazard and weaponized him. Add in that SHIELD turned tail and ran then we have a big problem that is vaporizing city blocks as we speak."
"Keep him contained." Abe ordered, "The Cavalry is coming."