Sinister’s Lab

Four met three.

“What an interesting proposition,” said Sinister, looking at Quicksilver, Rictor, Magneto, and the Mailman. Behind him stood Sunfire and Gambit, two former horsemen of Apocalypse. “Please, explain it one more time for me.”

“You’ll aid us in freeing the 198,” said Quicksilver. “In return, before they go free, we neutralize the chip and you get DNA, be it saliva or a hair from each of them. Free experiments, but without the bodies.”

“The seven of us would take on the entire Sentinel Squad and Bishop?” asked Sinister. “I’m not sure the odds are good enough for this ‘deal’ to be beneficial.”

“There would be two more,” said Rictor. “I know for sure of two I’m going to get in touch with.”

“That brings the odds up in our favor, then,” said Sinister. “Who would ever have thought that I would work with the likes of you, Quicksilver? But then, is it so believable that these X-Men behind me are also the real thing?”

“I tire of your quips, Sinister,” said Magneto. “I am here for my people, and I have prepared a new Avalon for them with my son’s help. When they are safe, our deal is over.”

“I expected nothing less,” said Sinister. “Thought let’s keep the backstabbing to a minimum, shall we?”

StarkTower

“Into the belly of the beast?” asked Nico. “Are you insane?!”

“It’s the only way,” Patriot said. “Billy, Teddy, Tommy, and the Vision are all in there.”

“Who’s saying that they haven’t had their hands pressed to make squiggles on the registration act already?” asked Karolina.

“It’s a risk we have to take,” Patriot replied. “Look, I’ve seen your files. You guys are a family. Well, so are we. If Molly was up there, what would you do?”

“You had to use the cute one as the example, didn’t you?” Kate whispered, but Eli shushed her.

“We’ll do it,” Nico said. “But if anything happens…” her voice trailed off.

The plan was simple. Victor Mancha would electromagnetically take out the lights for a few minutes, and during that time the others would sneak up to the tower and get the rest of the Young Avengers out of there.

It should have been simple.

As Victor got to work, the electrical systems within the tower failed. Patriot, Hawkeye, Stature, and the Runaways took off into the tower. They took the stairs because the elevator wasn’t working. On the way up to the fourth floor, the lights returned.

“Something’s wrong,” Xavin said. Patriot put it off as alien pessimism.

They continued, and upon reaching the fourth floor, rushed down the hall to the apartment that the Kaplans had been granted when the Super-Skrull destroyed their home.

The door was locked, but Patriot peered through the window to see what was inside. What he saw horrified him. That gag across Wiccan’s mouth and the terrified look in hi eyes gave everything away.

It was a setup. Even before the knockout gas filled the hallway, Nico started yelling like a madwoman at Patriot and he knew she was right.

It was all his fault.

Apartment of Luke Cage and Jessica Jones

“We’ve got word that they’re on their way,” said a uniformed officer, speaking into his wrist. He looked almost gleefully at Iron Fist and Jessica Jones, tied to chairs like prisoners in suspense films. S.H.I.E.L.D. had a real sense of theater.

“Here they come,” came the voice back from the other end of the officer’s wrist.

The door burst in with force few men get to see up close. The man standing behind it was knocked backwards into the man behind him. In the doorway stood Luke Cage.

“I’m here for my wife,” he said. Behind him were the Falcon and Daredevil.

“Get him, let’s go already!” shouted the commanding officer. Tranquilizers bounced off Luke’s hard skin as he walked his way through the officers. Falcon and Daredevil used Luke as a shield from the tranquilizers.

Iron Fist used that distraction to use his powers as his fists broke free of their trappings, breaking the chair in the process. From behind, he struck down the commanding officer. The men turned to tranquilize Danny instead, but Luke dove in front, protecting his wife and baby from the sleep-inducing drugs. Iron Fist’s distraction was enough to allow Daredevil and Falcon to finish the job.

“Are you okay, baby?” asked Luke. Jessica nodded, and as soon as she was free, burst into tears. She held the baby between herself and Luke.

“Area’s secured, Cloak,” said Falcon into his own comm.-link on his wrist. “You can come in now.”

Iron Fist looked bemusedly at Daredevil. “You know, I pretended I was you for awhile. You the real deal or some cheap imposter?”

“It’s me,” Daredevil said simply.

At that moment, Cloak materialized out of thin air, and the group was teleported away. Seconds later, the building was gassed.

Fishing Cabin, Upstate New York

Explosions of power and knockout gas rocked the clear, cool night. Alex Power had done as Cap had told him. They had gone into hiding. Still, they’d been found.

Using his anti-gravity powers, Alex however over the scene. Already he could see his parents had been knocked unconscious. He saw what he was looking for and dove from the sky.

Katie Power, at twelve years old, was developing a strange sense of humor. “You know, that suit’s ugly,” she said to the man in front of her. It disappeared, absorbed into her body. “Now you don’t have to worry. It’s gone, and I get to use the strength from it on you!” A light explosion pushed the near-naked man backwards and out of the fight.

Jack, on the other hand, was fourteen. In his boxers from the night and intangible, he used some newfound extensions of his powers and solidified a clump of air molecules above a soldier’s head so that a heavy brick of nothing came crashing down on top of him, taking him out.

Alex possessed his deceased sister Julie’s powers as well as his own. Together, they had been Power Pack. That had all changed when his sister had been a part of the team that had died on a pseudo-rescue mission that went wrong. Captain America had asked Alex to watch over the boy responsible. That boy was what had sent Alex swooping from the sky into the darkness.

Banger was trying to fight off a pair of soldiers, but he appeared to be unwilling to use his power. That was understandable, considering it had just killed at least three hundred people or so. Alex came out of the sky and picked Banger up by his armpits, soaring away.

It was a short victory. He felt three pricks in his chest and knew that he’d been hit. His speed slowed, and they began to decline. If it hadn’t been for the tree branches, both Alex and Banger would have died. Instead, their fall was cushioned slightly by pine boughs. Neither one broke a bone, but both were out for the count.

Not ten minutes later, the other two Power siblings were down. “Mission complete,” radioed in the S.H.I.E.L.D. commander.

London, United Kingdom

“Here we go, boys,” said Captain America. “Cable, you’ve got us looking like civvies, right?”

“Yes sir, Cap. Me and G.W. would stick out like sore thumbs in this place,” he said, telepathically masking their appearance from the others around them.

“Where did Nick light off to?” G.W. Bridge asked.

Cap shrugged. “I think he’s hiding again. He’s too crucial to the operation as a whole to get caught somewhere. You all right, Clint?”

Hawkeye shrugged. His appearance, compared to that of the others, was a true shocker. Following the House of M, while taking the powers of mutants, the Scarlet Witch had brought her former lover from the grave. “I’m okay.”

“Good,” Cap said. “This isn’t going to be easy for any of us.”

“The good news is, a fugitive, a mutant, a former S.H.I.E.L.D. agent, and a guy who’s supposed to be dead aren’t going to be found out by a bunch of humans,” said Cable. “These Brits are slow.”

“Hey, was that one blue?” asked Clint out of nowhere. Before the others could find out, she disappeared into the crowd. “Oh well…”

“Where’s she supposed to be?” asked G.W.

Captain America peered through the bush in front of him. There was a table outside a café, and the umbrella sheltered the woman underneath from the harsh rays of the sun.

“Is that who I think it is?” Hawkeye asked, nearly wetting his pants.

“Of course it is,” taunted a voice that was all too familiar to the runaway heroes. They turned to see Iron Man hovering behind them, flanked by Yellowjacket, the Wasp, She-Hulk, Doc Samson, and a horde of other heroes.

“That’s the Scarlet Witch.”

The End…For Now

Author’s Note

There you have it. I so hope this isn’t where Marvel’s Civil War is going. I seriously wanted to deviate here, which is why the arc is entitled “Divergence.” Of course, what helps is the whole mission setup, etc.

We’re gonna find out next issue quite a few things. Where does New Excalibur stand? What’s gonna happen to the captured heroes? How fast does Nick Fury’s base fill up?

You got questions, we got answers. (Please don’t sue me, Radio Shack, but I don’t have my own catch-phrase yet. Still borrowing people’s. You got one for me? Let me know…:P)

Hunter Lambright