All Characters are Owned by Marvel Comics
For more Marvel Mayhem follow this link - http://www.comicvine.com/forums/fan-fic-8/marvel-mayhem-library-1459473/#4
Thunderbolts #15A - Sunrise Over the Wasteland
Abe sighed as he removed the keg sized Hydrogen Fuel Cell from the back of his MACH IV armour and placed it into the sonic coating that was floating next to him. Without a backup fuel cell or a recharging station the suit was useless and the fuel cell was better serving to power the new medical centre that was being flown in soon. Watching as Melissa lowered it into an armoured casing Abe wondered how such destruction could exist on American soil without any sort of action taking place to rescue the survivors. So far supplies were limited and unrest was high and while they had saved the city from ULTIMATUM it seemed as if the people had broken, become feral and opportunistic for whatever scraps the world outside the photon shield threw in for them. Rioting had been common and over the last week both the Thunderbolts and Mattock Military Solutions, the PMC hired to protect the perimeter of the quarantined zone, had quelled the uneasy populous albeit only temporarily.
"This isn't good." Blackheath announced from the corner of the prefab hut the team owned, "I can sense vibrations coming this way."
"Just great." Abe spat eyeing his powerless suits. "If this is another riot it will be up to you and Melissa to disperse them, "Until I can convert my armour over to a new fuel source I'm baseline human."
"Sounds more like vehicles then foot traffic." Melissa stated as she removed the flap of fabric from across one of the windows to reveal a National Guard HUMVEE pull up outside followed by a BMP, the later painted ULTIMATUM white with a torn US flag stuck to it's flanks. Almost as soon as the vehicles stopped armed men deployed and formed a perimeter around the hut. Each one was dressed in national guard fatigues with the Washington state flag emblazoned next to the letters SIS, a stark contrast to Mattock's red and brown urban camo prints and spade logo. Reluctantly Abe stepped out of the hut, his arms raised to show he was unarmed followed by Melissa and Sam, the later in his more human form.
"Put your hands down." A female voice called from the HUMVEE as one of the guards helped a middle aged Oriental woman dressed in jeans and a Depeche Mode concert shirt out of the vehicle, her greying hair framing her lined face. "We haven't come to arrest you."
"Then why are you here?" Abe asked lowering his hands.
"Maya Summers, you could consider me the mayor of the city since all the other politicians left." The woman replied, "Before the attack I was an aide but now I'm all that's left of the city council. All the decent members are dead and all the others ran for the border and paid Mattock for passage out of the city at the Camp Falx Registration Office."
Abe frowned before looking across the makeshift town of tents and prefabs to the camp situated on the road to the only checkpoint out of the city, the perimeter of the strong point protected by laser barred fences and automated sentry towers. Despite protests from the populous Mattock had moved in within days of arriving and there were rumours of two new camps being constructed in other locations. "So I guess congratulations are in order Mrs. Summers" Abe said, "You're going to do what exactly."
"As you can see I have set up the Seattle Internal Security from the remains of the police, national guard and even a few SHIELD agents who decided to stay and fight." Mayor Summers replied, "I have already demanded a second medical centre be sent and have set the remaining city engineers to work on restoring power to the city. "
"All noble ideas." Melissa stated in a sarcastic voice, "But what we really need is food and clean water."
"I know and I noticed the garden you have, how it has plants growing in it and I wondered if Mr. Jenkins would hear out my plans for the Thunderbolts." Mayor Summers replied locking eyes on Abe, "You and your tea could be great assets for the reconstruction effort."
"If you think we can magically grow decent food then you'll be disappointed." Abe answered, "Those plants are test subjects to determine if we can grow anything edible. The results so far are bitter and contaminated."
"Never the less their are a few areas that are 'cleaner' then the this hillside." Summers stated, "And I'm not just talking about agriculture, between you the Thunderbolts could aid in logistics, security, health care, construction and general community support."
"Seems like we'd be working for you." Abe answered, "And heroes run by the government and their representatives never works well. As such we have to decline your offer, if you want help why not talk to the goons who run the wall for their support." With a single look from the Mayor the security forces flicked the safeties off their assault rifles and levelled them at the Thunderbolts. Abe didn't have to tell Mel to summon him a sonic buckler or tell Sam to ready some vines ready to pull the weapons away. "Let me give you a counter offer." Abe announced.
"Summers narrowed her eyes before gesturing the guards to lower their guns, "I'm listening." She snarled.
"Instead of working for you we will work with you to ensure that the city is kept in order." Abe suggested. "At least until the quarantine is removed, I have a feeling that civil unrest and opportunistic super villains will be our only problems. Something about Mattock makes me uncomfortable."
"Why thank you Mr. Jenkins." A New York accented voice snarled as a pair of black Jeeps pulled up, a pair of HMGs mounted on the roof pointed ready to cover the man who stepped out dressed in black and red ballistic armour. "Commander DeVal, I see you are already making friends 'mayor'. I've come to tell you that we picked up a radioactive source outside of quarantine and thought you might want to know."
Abe shook his head something about DeVal was awfully familiar but he couldn't quite place where he had seen him before. "So,'' he snorted, "If it's outside then it's your problem."
"You misunderstand." DeVal hissed, "We intercepted him and he said that he works for you. And FYI we don't like the fact that we have armed men potentially running riot in the city." With a wave of his hand two of his men threw open the back of the Jeep and threw a man dressed in a hazmat suit out the back before a sonic claw carried him up towards the Thunderbolts shelter. "Now y'all have a nice day." DeVal said before whispering as he climbed into the Jeep, "Especially you Jenkins, you don't have many of em left."
"You okay man?" Abe asked as Melissa pulled the hood off to reveal the green glowing face of the Radioactive Man, a stream of blood running down his face. "Listen," he said turning to the mayor and her entourage, "Consider our offer and come back tomorrow. It's not like we can go anywhere."
"And you consider ours." Summers purred as she got back into the HUMVEE followed closely by her troops. "I would hate to be enemies." She added before the door was closed and the vehicles drove off. Retreating inside Melissa and Abe closed the shrouds across the windows.
"Well of all our guests today you are the most welcome." Melissa stated as Chen sat down on a stool. "I thought you were done with us though?"
"The situation changed." Chen answered, "After your liaison Victoria resigned from SHIELD, Director Hill decided to seize all superhuman assets to form a new team loyal to them. I decided to decline her offer and calmly stepped out of the shuttle. I scared the hell out of some Midwestern farmers when I landed in their corn field. From there I walked, hitchhiked and stowed away over the last week to get here."
"And got greeted by the jack booted thugs who work the outside." Sam finished, "I'm curious, as well as emitting radiation can you remove it from an item."
"It's why I'm here." Chen answered, "Despite Hill's orders about the Seattle Crisis the agents at HERD* decided to send a team to start the decontamination process. I didn't have to be told twice and was about to be deployed when I went AWOL.''
"Well you are most welcome Chen to re-join the Thunderbolts." Abe answered happily.
"No." Chen answered, "I am here to serve the people, I won't go gallivanting off to fight some random freak. I will help you, even fight if I'm caught up in an attack but my duty is to the stranded population not to you Abe. I hope you can except that."
"Hey it's just great that your back." Melissa announced as she reached out to touch his hand only for Chen to move away.
"I'm sorry but I can't." Chen told her, "Now can someone show me where the epicentre of the contamination was?"
"I'd love to plus I can help you test soil samples." Sam stated as he morphed into his Blackheath form. "Hopefully I can get back in touch with the Green." He added as Chen stomped out the door.
"Well he's a bundle of fun." Abe commented as Blackheath slipped out the door. "What happened between you two Mel?"
"I wish I knew." Melissa sighed. "I really do."
Maya Summers stood outside the substation before taking a deep breath and heading inside. With little effort she found the tile covering a concealed trap door and opened it before climbing down into a small chamber, the only thing of interest on the uniform concrete walls was a symbol consisting of a skull and tentacles. Gingerly she pressed in the eyes before watching as a door opened behind her to reveal two figures in matte black power armour and a tall gangly crystalline figure. "Tell him I have news." She stated as the figures parted to let her into the antechamber, the walls bleak with only a stone throne inside, a man shaped blot of darkness sitting in the shadows staring out. "Sir the Thunderbolts declined my offer. Summers whimpered.
"Then you have failed." One of the armoured guards hissed before pulling out a pistol. "And the penalty for failure is..."
"Enough." The seated figure announced, "Killing the mayor is a waste of resources both for myself and my allies. Through her I rule Seattle and will make an example of it."
"But if she isn't punished then she may think you less of a leader." The other guard gasped, "If you want I can beat her."
"Ah my children your brutality is admirable but useless we needn't touch her to harm her." The dark leader announced, "Europium are the machines ready yet?"
"They are and I took the liberty of loading the Mayor's offspring as the first test subjects." The crystalline figure answered.
"Good then take our 'friend' to watch the formation of the new Elements of Doom." The leader announced. Brutally Europium grabbed Summers by the arm and dragged her whimpering body into the darkness. "As you can see I have remained strong and installed fear into her." He lectured his children before standing up and stepping forward to reveal his scared face only for a second as he pulled on a purple mask over his gross features.
"It's what keeps Zemo's in power. My plans will save the populous and their gratitude will hand the world to us. This time there will be no Thunderbolts to betray me, no Captain America and his mewling allies to stop me. There will be only the leader a thousand year Utopia ruled by Zemo."
* Hazardous Environment Reconnaissance and Disposal