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Children of the Green - #7
The Thunderbolts sat in the lounge as they waited for Abe to return from the lab. The piece of Stimuloid that Orka had retrieve would hopefully reveal where the creature had come from and possibly even give them a clue on who had set it on Sam. It had felt a little like a reunion until Meteorite returned and asked why there was a crazy homeless man sitting in their base. After that everything was unconformable and very few words were shared until Abe returned.
''Okay I have some good news.'' He announced, ''The plant matter had some trace elements of minerals but without a comparison library I have no idea where they could have come from.''
''Oh the Geology lab at the Natural History Museum will have information that might help.'' Sara announced enthusiastically. ''I could get over there and get back in half an hour.''
''Do it.'' Abe ordered. With a whoop of triumph Meteorite ran out the door at top speed.
''Okay everyone get their stuff we've got to move before she comes back. Mel you think you can get us to Lake Washington quietly before she gets back, lake sediment was found in large quantities throughout the Simuloid's tissue.''
''I'll pass on this one.'' Victoria stated, ''I have some research to do, Murdock caught up with Potter but it appears as if his shop was burnt down by Jackhammer and Co a few days before they came to Seattle. I also may have found a dealer with a similar statue to the one we briefly had procession of last week.''
''Err guys what about the high-rise thefts?" Donnie asked, ''Have you seen the Herald recently, there suggesting that we are in league with the High Rollers.''
''Pfft that rag is a subsidiary of the Daily Bugle.'' Abe snapped, ''Still it might be a good idea to leave somebody here. Don take Meteorite and see if you can catch these guys.''
''Wait me?" Donnie squeaked, ''Why me?"
''Because we have confidence in you.'' Melissa told him. ''Also we need somebody to watch Meteorite, see how she operates in combat. Hopefully the mimi-cam that was implanted in you're costume will capture something.''
''Mini camera?" Donnie asked, ''What is SHIELD spying on us?"
''No just taking records so we can be held accountable for our actions.'' Victoria informed him. ''You are all former super criminals.''
''This is a moot point Don.'' Abe told him, ''For the moment we have bigger problems to deal with.''
The Landrover skidded to a stop in a layby overlooking Lake Washington, the water gently lapping at the shore below them as the Melissa climbed out before walking over to the boot and popped it open revealing boxes of sensitive equipment. ''Okay Sam which of these do we need first?" She called to the front seat.
''Spectral Fluoroscope.'' Sam answered, "Simuloid's contain high levels of Fluorine in their genetic makeup. If we can somehow take the device to the bottom of the lake we should be able to get some readings." Melissa nodded and removed the box labeled 'Science Equipment to Complicated for you to understand" and fished out the Fluoroscope. The label must be Abe's attempt at a joke since with Fixer gone he was now the smartest guy on the team. At least he didn't brag to much, she was sure if he did then Orka and some of the others would have left, especially considering the poorly written sign that had greeted her at the airport.
''Abe we are ready to deploy.'' Melissa relayed, ''Are you're processors synched with the scope's elemental tracker?"
''Ready and processing the data.'' Abe answered as he hovered over the lake, "The suit's SONAR has picked up Orka five metres off shore, he can handle this from there.'' Melissa nodded and leapt off the bluff before flaring sonic wings and landing on a sonic raft that rippled on the water's surface. Beside her there was a snort of water and Orka surfaced, a massive grin on his face.
''You look happy.'' Melissa stated.
''I get to relax in my element.'' Orka announced, ''And get some action.''
''No action just recon.'' Melissa ordered, "swim around and listen to Sam's guidance on where to deploy the scope.''
''Got it.'' Orka grunted taking the scope, ''Anything else I should know?"
''Keep an eye out for more Simuloids. There may be more out in the lake.''
''He.'' Orka laughed before submerging, ''Not after I've finished.''
Sara tipped the Taxi driver before slinging her bag over her shoulder and walked down the road towards the Thunderbolts base of operations. While she had acted all naive before she remembered exactly who Samuel Smithers was, and remembered how much she hated him during their brief time in the Thunderbolts together. Hopefully Abe and Melissa had the sense to get rid of him before he put the word green in every sentence just to get on her wick. Arriving at the door she tapped in the twelve digit pass code and heard the door lock disengage before pushing it open.
''So is anybody home?" She yelled her clothes changing from a sun dress to her Meteorite uniform. ''I guess not.''
''In here.'' A voice answered quashing her hopes of being left alone. Those nasal tones belonged to Blizzard and because he was actually trying to reform rather then ride the benefits train that made him boring in her eyes. ''Cool there you are, the others are dealing with the Plantman problem so it's just you and me on the high-rise case.''
''Oh, well it's just that I spent the last two hours analysing sand samples to try and help.'' Sara moaned in the hope that the lie she had told was convincing.
''Well sorry about that.'' Donnie replied, ''If its any consolation I have been reading police reports and looking at the evidence and found squat about our thieves or how they operate. I just can't believe that they get in, subdue the occupants, open the safe and get out without leaving any evidence but a pile of silicon from where they removed the window to gain access.''
''Maybe that is a weakness we can exploit.'' Sara suggested, "Before we emigrated my grandfather was a park ranger in Mumbai. During one particularly dry summer a leopard entered the city, one that not only was a killer but also one with a taste for human flesh. It fell to my grandfather to kill it and he used a simple philosophy. Lure the predator out with an easy target and then load the area with traps to prevent escape. These high rise thieves are no different to that leopard.
''And what can we use as bait? Donnie asked as Victoria walked past carrying a stack of files and folders.
''Oh I have an idea.'' Sara said in a menacing tone as she watched Victoria stumble into the office annexed to the lounge.
Orka adjusted his course as the Fluoroscope beeped to announce a rise in the levels of Fluorine in the water, not that he could sense anything, as far as he was concerned the fish, silt and pondweed all looked normal. He was almost ready to return to the others when something large moved behind him, a stream of green bubbles left in the stalker's wake.
''Huh,'' Orka growled, ''I'm the strongest thing in this lake so you're wasting you're time attacking me.'' He added as the stalker swam close by, sediment clouding the water as Orka shielded his face from the blinding silt. As he waved the silt away he saw a massive pair of jaws swim towards him, causing him to dodge to the left, his attacker swimming within touching distance. Circling back around the attacker swung back around as Orka powered towards him, the pair meeting halfway and causing a massive shockwave that stunned the fish around them. Drifting back Orka realised that he knew his attacker, with a distinctive fin on his head, reinforced jaws and heavily muscled body Tiger Shark shook himself and lashed out with a barbed vine from his mouth.
''Oh that's not right.'' Orka moaned as he grabbed the vine and pulled Tiger Shark towards him. With a roar Tiger Shark swam towards him and clamped on to Orka's arm, his skin turning from grey to green as he sunk his teeth in deeper. With a grunt of anger Orka stabbed the Fluoroscope into Tiger Shark's arm causing the villain to release enough for the Thunderbolt to grab the creatures jaw and pull down, ripping a section of his flesh off. With a hiss Tiger Shark swam off disappearing into the gloom leaving Orka alone holding the piece of flesh, the skin coiling around his arm. ''Guys we are in the right place.'' Orka grunted, ''And you really won't believe me about the one who got away.''