The Peak, Satellite HQ of S.W.O.R.D., Meeting Room XII
Topic: Attilan Surveillance
“No,” the red headed royal declared adamantly. “I’m sorry, but that isn’t acceptable.”
Princess Crystalia Amequelin cast a quick glance to her massive companion, sprawled underneath the meeting room table, still sound asleep. She knew that Lockjaw’s snore had caused more than its fair share of annoyance during these negotiations.
“My people don’t appreciate being spied upon, Agent Brand,” she continued.
“Look,” Agent Brand said, her green hair listless, her verdant shades hiding her haggard face. She gestured out the window, to the vastness of space. “We observe the Moon, we observe Attilan exactly the same way we observe Kree Space or Shi’ar stargates or the odd pod of Acanti that looks like it’s headed our way.”
Crystal pursed her lips. “Can you understand how that might be construed as seeing us as a threat?”
Agent Brand sighed.
“Do you know what S.W.O.R.D stands for? Sentient World Observation Response Department. The Inhumans are sentient, they live on a world, we observe you, we respond to your concerns as we’re doing now. That’s our job.”
“I don’t know if you’ve noticed, Princess. Maybe you were too busy taking over galactic empires and destabilising the power structure of the entire known universe to notice how often we get blown up around here, increasingly so since the Inhumans pulled that stunt. Do you think even if we wanted to, that we’d have the manpower to pull off an attack?”
“Personally, I don’t. But you understand my people’s concerns,” Crystal said. “The Inhumans merely wish to be left alone.”
“Princess Crystalia, I’m going to say this again to make sure you understand. S.W.O.R.D. is no longer affiliated with either S.H.I.E.L.D or the O.N.E. I have absolutely nothing against your people. But if the Inhumans want respect, you’re going to have to stop playing the victims and then getting mad and running off half cocked. Launching intergalactic wars and then waltzing back, floating over Manhattan with an armada on your tail, without going through the proper channels, isn’t helping to keep me off your backs. Neither is resettling on the Blue Area of the Moon without warning.”
“We tried your ways once, Agent,” Crystal replied robustly. “Sometime ago, when my family asked for asylum, Earth left us without a home.”
Brand shrugged in response. “You’re not the only ones, Crystal. But you can either call Attilan a part of Earth, which you’re perfectly entitled to do, or people are going to start asking the Inhumans to get the hell off the front lawn.”
Lockjaw gave a start, and Crystal rose to her feet, reaching across the table to shake Brand’s hand.
“My cousin Maximus would likely espouse the same sentiment in regards to humans,” she said curtly. “Thank you for your time, Agent Brand. I should report back to my sister.”
“It’s not my personal opinion,” Brand replied, echoing Crystal’s earlier words. “But I thought you deserved a warning. To be honest, between the Fantastic Four and the Avengers? You probably have more friends on Earth than I do.”
“But your race, your family, isn’t hated and feared merely for being different, is it?”
Brand’s eyebrows peered out over the top of her shades.
“You’d be surprised.”
“Ummm…I’m sorry to interrupt, Commander,” a S.W.O.R.D. Agent stammered as he entered the room. “But there’s something you need to see.”
Brand frowned and leant over the back of her chair, taking a small tablet from the agent as he nodded awkwardly to Crystal. He backed away nervously as Lockjaw growled. Brand stared silently at the screen for a few moments, before handing it back to the embarrassed agent.
“Agent Michaels, put the station on full alert and contact our space team of X-Men, they should be arriving soon. Princess Crystalia, if you’d care to come with me. ” Brand said calmly, as she took her gun out of her holster. The agent ran from the room.
“What’s happening?” Crystal asked, leaning down and brushing her hands against Lockjaw’s fur in an attempt to calm him down. “Should I have Lockjaw evacuate?”
“No, send him back to Attilan, have him warn your people.” Brand said, as she began moving towards the entrance herself, motioning to Crystal to follow. “As for what’s happening? Someone’s trying to blow my space station to smithereens. Again.”