Marvel Mayhem - Thunderbolts #19A - Confessions
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Last Issue the Thunderbolts lost one of their own to the ex-member Smuggler. Blizzard's self sacrifice was not the only startling revelation as Flag Smasher returned and almost unleashed a deadly army of monsters onto the city. His plan was only thwarted by the intervention of Blackheath and the Green's gift to the Thunderbolts, the Living Fortress.
Seven Years Ago, New York City
Joyful carnival music floated down Broadway accompanied by a chorus of screams followed by fleeing New Yorkers as the float rumbled down the road, the forward mounted Gattling guns firing wave after wave of exploding peanuts into the crowd, those caught in the blasts getting stained with the multi coloured paint inside.
"Good Afternoon New York." The figure standing at the helm of the float yelled through the megaphone he held. "Welcome to the Jester's Carnival of Chaos, step right up and give me your money or I will activate my doomsday weapon. And if any of you Heros are watching come on down and take a sample of the delights of Team Carnival."
"Team Carnival that's what you're calling yourselves?" An arrogant voice replied as a jet soared overhead causing the Jester to look up at the three figures standing on the V-Shaped wing and their hovering escorts.
"Ah the Thunderbolts what am I going to do?" The Jester cried in mock panic before flashing an evil smile. "What ever I want. Ladies, Gentlemen and Atlas I present Team Carnival." he cackled before pressing a large button that caused the float to stall and the curtain to open and reveal the Jester's team.
"I always hated the circus." Atlas boomed as he leapt from the V-Wing and grew to full size. "The clowns were just so pathetic." He added reaching for the float only to see a muscular blue figure tackle him in the knees and felling him to the floor before getting a swift punch to the face.
"Behold the powerhouse from Atlantis the Orka." The Jester cackled as Orka rained blow after blow into Atlas's face. Swooping down Meteorite came streaking in only to see something form up on her tail before firing a wave of rockets at her, the warheads following her as she tried to lose them before detonating in a cloud of green gas. "Hobgoblin my own personnel air force." The Jester continued as the Hobgoblin cackled his manic laugh and swung round to face MACH I who was already firing a flurry of mercy rounds at the creep.
"Karla shake it off and help Atlas." Citizen V called as a dark shape accelerated past him before using Atlas as a springboard to sail up to MACH I.
"Black Racer my leading lady can reach MACH I." The Jester announced as he kicked one of the clown robots off the Gattling gun and opened fire on Citizen V just as Songbird soared down and put a sonic shield between him and the paint rounds fired from the float.
"I doubt that." Techno snorted as he reconfigured his tech pack into a handheld mortar and returned fire with half a dozen tear gas shots smashing down around the Jester. With a thud something fell out of the sky and landed at Techno's feet just as Black Racer landed delicately on MACH I's dented breast plate.
"He meant I was closing the gap on your team mate Techno, not that I could run that fast." Black Racer replied as Techno reconfigured his Tech Pack into a pair of seismic feedback gauntlets a wry smile creeping across his face.
"I'm afraid you won't be sticking around." Techno told her.
"Funny you should mention fear." The Jester cackled as he emerged from the cloud that was enveloping his float. "The only thing you have to fear is the freaky monster behind you." He added as the villain known as Monster leapt over the sonic barrier and landed behind Techno as Black Racer sprinted off towards Citizen V and Songbird.
"Ah what do you do?" Techno asked as otherworldly green light radiated from Monster's skin.
"I become the thing you fear the most." Monster told him as he shifted into a massive lap-top. "Bzzt Access Denied, Results of IQ test verified your IQ level is 58 Techno. That is all." The lap-top told Techno as the Thunderbolt looked on in surprise. "Posting information on the World Wide Web along with that photo of the weird looking growth on Meteorite's ass that you took while she slept."
"What?!" Meteorite snarled before receiving a pumpkin bomb to the face from the Hobgoblin.
"Oh god why did you have to bring that up." Techno moaned as MACH I got to his feet and took to the air. "What is your malfunction?"
"Nothing, the only problem is that your intelligence is on par with that of a Labrador." The lap-top answered, "That and your friends are going to die because of it." The evil computer added as a figure soared out of the float and smashed through Songbird's sonic shield before igniting a circle of fire around her and Citizen V.
And finally the hot news." The Jester commented. "Firebrand is here and burning a path through the Thunderbolts."
"Abe what do I do?" Songbird cried as she angled her shield to block the blast of flame only to be caught off guard by Black Racer who slammed her fist into the Thunderbolt's back.
"Contain the fire; I will deal with Black Racer." MACH I answered as he saturated the area around Songbird with spike Caltrops, the barbed tips sticking in Black Racer's shoes and causing her to slow down and stumble away from the mined area straight into Citizen V who knocked her out with a quick blow with his sword.
"Sound work MACH I." Citizen V called as Songbird formed a sonic bottle around Firebrand, flames revolving around him as he desperately tried to free himself before passing out from exhaustion. "Songbird help Atlas, MACH I take over from Meteorite so she can aid Techno. I will deal with the Jester."
"On it Citizen V." Songbird yelled before flying off towards Orka only to see the Atlantean turn around and grab her by the scruff of the neck and redirect her into one of the nearby buildings.
"Melissa." MACH I gasped as he fired a rocket at the Hobgoblin's glider, its rider abandoning the device before the explosive hit his mount.
"Abe watch out." Atlas called out as the Jester lashed out with his Yo-Yo, the bladed tips ripping through the armoured back plates of MACHI. "Songbird can handle herself right now we need you here." He boomed as he drop kicked Orka away from the battle and turned on the Hobgoblin as he threw a trio of pumpkin bombs at the giant Thunderbolt.
"Your right." MACH I sighed as Meteorite slammed into Monster causing him to shift back into his usual hideous form. With one last glance at the building Songbird had crashed into MACH I turned and opened fire on the Hobgoblin unaware of the danger his teammate was really in.
Seattle - The Present
"Come no closer Thunderbolts." The Russian accented voice bellowed. "One false move and I will punish these sinners and send them to their maker."
"Okay." Meteorite stated as she, Orka and Victoria sheltered behind a burnt out APC. "Who is this guy and more importantly can I give him a good beating. Donnie has been dead for a day and already the jerks are trying to interrupt our morning."
"Yeah well that's Super Villains for you." Orka grunted as their foe opened fire, bullets rattling off the APC. "We just don't care about that sort of thing." He added.
"Okay I have an Interpol file." Victoria announced. "Ex KGB agent known as the Confessor. He was dismissed when the organization became the FSB because he was too unstable for the new Russian regime."
"Jesus." Meteorite spat. "Okay so he's got hostages rigged with explosives and is fortified in an old security van, one way in, one way out. Not an easy situation to deal with."
"Why was he dismissed?" Orka asked, "Maybe there is a clue to pacifying him?"
"Ah yes he was obsessed with religious icons and thought he was on a divine quest to punish the wicked." Victoria told them. "No powers but lots of training with deadly weapons."
"I wish Songbird was here." Orka lamented. "With her wings she could convince him that he was an angel."
"Well Melissa is on strike, Abe or Leila or whatever she is calling herself is running diagnostics, Chen is still recovering from taking a carbon rod to the chest and Blackheath is playing with our new home." Meteorite snapped, "But we do have an angel." She added pointing to Victoria, "Blackheath said you have wings now."
"Yes but I don't think that…that it's a sound idea." Victoria answered as massive silver wings spread from her wings. "Still we will try our best." She added as she stepped out into the Confessors line of fire, the villains ceasing fire as he saw her.
"You…you are an angel?" He stated, "What can I do for you oh holy messenger of the king on high."
"Come forth my child." Victoria told him uncomfortably. "Drop your arms I have news of peace." She added as the Confessor trotted out and dropped the modified AK he was holding.
"What news do you have for your prophet?" He asked only to see the liquid silver of the wings creep across the 'angels' body and her beautiful face transform into a fright inducing maw.
"That you're an idiot." Victoria hissed as she slashed out with talons that cut through the Confessor's breast plate and into his skin. With a groan the Confessor tried to escape only to feel the fallen angel pin him to the floor and rip his mask off before elongating her tongue towards him in a mockery of a kiss.
"Victoria that's enough." Orka bellowed as he ripped her off the Confessor while Meteorite dashed past into the security van. "He's beaten; you need not go any further."
"The wicked must be punished." The Confessor yelled before reaching for a knife concealed under his shoulder. Before he could slash his own throat Orka kicked the blade away and slammed the villain's face into the ground.
"He is human." Orka continued as Victoria stirred under the silver skin she wore. "Kill him and you become a monster."
"I am a monster, I the Falcon of Acheron was the killer of many before I was imprisoned." Victoria hissed before the skin convulsed and exploded outwards before retreating to reveal the SHIELD agent beneath gasping for air, her hands clasped around a sonic feedback relay. "I'm sorry she got a little out of control."
"Well there was no harm done." Meteorite announced as she lead the hostages out of the van. "Whoa what on earth is that?" She asked pointing to the Confessor his skin a dark green with long bat ears protruding from his head.
"Trouble." Victoria gasped as she prodded the unconscious body. "A lot of trouble."