I started this story around a year ago. I was originally going to finish it before I posted it, but I got to a point where I couldn't figure out how to get from where I got to, to where I wanted it to go. I showed a couple of people, but they didn't seem to like it so I just kind of lost interest.
Now, writing another story, and posting chapters when each one is complete, and actually getting a little bit of good reviews, I found this story in an old file and thought I'd show it to everyone here.
It's not complete. I might never complete it. I might rewrite it, or I might finish it. I'm really not sure at this time. Whatever happens however, it's going to be after I finish When Mercy meets Percy, my other story.
Let me know what you think.
And of course, I own none of it. All rights reserved to Marvel Comics (or whoever holds their movie rights) and Rick Riordan.
Nick Fury wasn't happy. It wasn't because he was walking into Stark tower after being rather imperiously summoned by Stark either. If he really didn't want to respond to him, he would have ignored it. Fury also was pretty sure he knew what Stark wanted to talk about. And it was that which was causing Fury's bad mood.
New York had just been hit with a MAJOR storm. One that had blown all the way across the entire country leaving a wake of destruction that was actually worse than when the chits had attacked. Even with over a week to prepare, New York was hammered. There were bodies being turned up all over the place, many of them teens and children. But rather disturbingly, many of them showed signs of violence, and often, that something was trying to eat them. What's more, he couldn't remember what happened last night, but he woke up in the middle of Central Park with several injuries, rapidly healing, covered in GLITTER, and the vague recollection of having been in a major battle. A view confirmed when he called SHEILD headquarters and found out that all the techs who should have been on watch had fallen asleep on the job.
All of them!
If it'd been just one, he'd have been pissed, but with every single one of them falling asleep, there really wasn't much doubt that it wasn't natural sleep. When someone found a couple of pics taken from various security cams showing kids fighting what appeared to monsters, Fury was more than prepared to accept it as reality. One of the things that bothered him was that there weren't a lot more pics. SHEILD, with all of its resources in NYC, had managed to get three pictures of what really happened. And they really didn't show that much information either. In point of fact, the 3 pics where actually simply individual frames from a video surveillance file that was, rather miraculously according to the techs, only mostly corrupt, all the rest of the surveillance systems around the city where completely wiped or corrupted. And that strongly implied that the storm had been a battle zone all the way across the country.
He had somehow let a war be fought from sea to sea without even realizing it was a war. That was profoundly disturbing.
Even worse, there had been witnesses to the actual battle in various places, but those people had been completely ignored by everyone but the cranks. Even with all the crap he'd seen in his long life, even he'd ignored the claims of giant hands trying to pull the storm to a stop. Now, with hindsight, Fury felt like a fool for ignoring those claims and had ordered SHEILD agents in other parts of the country to interview/debrief those people.
When he got the summons from Stark, he'd just heard that several Iron Man suits of armor had been found scattered around Manhattan, and that they'd been destroyed. While the news was saying that Stark had been out trying to save people in the "storm", Fury had a pretty good reason to suspect Iron Man had been involved in a battle as well, so Fury was actually rather relieved to get a call from Pepper asking him to come over (he could hear Stark in the background yelling), after all, it meant he was alive.
When he got to Stark tower, Fury was struck with the realization that Tony Stark had turned the ground floor (and maybe more) into a make shift triage and hospital. Emergency services where bringing in injured to get basic medical attention. Scores of first aid workers and a couple of doctors where there treating everybody. It was then that Fury remembered the 5th floor of the building actually had a major medical clinic in it, and that Stark industries used them as their local medical provider. Probably one of the best supplied clinics in the world. Which explained why the doctors where here instead at the hospitals, they probably had more medicine and equipment here then all the other hospitals in Manhattan put together, that and the fact that Stark Tower still had power, it was after all, the sight of an arc reactor.
When he walked in, a security guard turned orderly came up to him, but was quickly stopped by Jarvis, Starks personal AI servant.
"Director Fury, I'm happy you arrived in such a timely fashion." Oh oh, even Jarvis was sounding strained and overworked.
"Morning Jarvis, how's your boss, do you know what he wants?"
"Yes to the second question sir, and currently being treated to answer your first question. If you would, Captain Rogers just arrived and is currently waiting near the 12th elevator doors. I apologize for the wait, but most of the still working elevators are being used to for the clinic. Number 12 is the only one that goes to the top without a connection to 5 that is currently working."
"What exactly do you mean by 'being treated' exactly?"
"I'm sorry sir, but I'm pretty sure your current location is not a good place to discuss this." Right, he was so tired a computer had to give him reminders on basic spy craft and secret keeping. Well wasn't that a new personal low.
"Rough night sir?" Rogers asked Fury as he walked up to him. The Captain America uniform he noted was ripped and torn in several places with some still obvious injuries in the process of healing. And like Fury, he was covered in glitter.
Before Fury could answer him, a young girl's voice rang out, clear as a bell; "Look mom, Captain America and that man have been playing My Little Unicorn: Tag Team Pixie Dust Pillow Tourney!"
Rogers, of course, dropped to one knee laughing while the little girl's mom, rather quickly, hauled the giggling girl away. This day was NOT shaping up well on any level. "Well, I see you participated in the 'event' last night as well Captain." Fury said as mildly as he could manage to Rogers.
Seeming to take the hint, Rogers reduced his overt laughter to a smirk. "Yes sir, I did sir. I managed to get my pony to the 3rd round of the 'Pop-Idol Dance Off' with his special 'Rainbow Sprinkle Pudding Paddle Battle mode', a truly epic event sir!"
And of course, he wasn't quite either. Yep, yet another new low had just been reached. Fury was pretty sure that several people heard the Captain, he just fervently hoped none of them where recording them.
When Rogers looked like he was going to add something, Fury held up his hand; "Stop, just stop Captain. Please, just stop!"
"Sorry sir, I just couldn't resist."
Before Fury could respond, a voice popped up from behind him; "So was that you who knocked me off in the second round?" Fury turned around to see agent Clint Barton, AKA Hawkeye walking up with 2 police officers in tow, both of whom looked to have minor injuries (probably why they had hospital duty). "I got kicked off going up against a kicking Elvis-pony."
"Not me then," Rogers said with a smirk at Fury, "I was running a Rihanna-pony."
"Really, I'd have pegged you for one of the older stars Captain."
"Why? I was a frozen popsicle through almost all that. To me, there's nothing old about anything that happened after 1945 till a couple of months ago. What's with the backup hawk?" Rogers was looking at the 2 officers, both where very nervous to be in the presence of 2 of the "Mighty Avengers" (they highly likely had no clue who Fury was) and they were equally shocked by the conversation.
"Nat's on her way down with a couple scumbags trying to steal medical equipment from storage on the 12th floor. When I walked in, Jarvis asked me to escort them over. He figured it'd be easier than trying to have them explain it to you since the intercom in this area is evidently down", Barton said with a nod to the older officer. "Some of the Kingpins people have decided to take advantage of the mess."
"Later", Fury quickly broke in, "I'll fill you in later."
Before Captain America could respond, the elevator door popped open, with the 'Black Widow' holding 2 rather haggard looking punks down in a kneeling position with their zip tied hands held up at a very awkward and painful angle. Without saying anything, she shoved the punks out and stepped aside to let the 3 of them in.
"After you Director, Captain." Hawkeye said with a nod, "And just out of curiosity sir, how far did you make it Director?"
"NOT Funny Barton!"
Captain America looked over at him; "Maybe not sir, but if you don't laugh when given the opportunity, you'll end up meaner than a rattlesnake on a lit frying pan."
The Black Widow looked around, "What'd I miss, what are you guys talking about?"
"MLU TTPDPT." Hawkeye provided helpfully.
"What?" Natasha looked around at the 3 men. Clint was smirking, Fury was scowling and Steve had his hand to his mouth trying to hold back out-right laughter. "Seriously, what are you talking about?"
"I'm pretty sure there is no way that we can answer that question and remain serious Agent Romanov." Fury answered as the elevator doors slid open. "A young child made a silly comment and these 2 won't let it die the death it deserves."
"Who won't let what die deserving deaths?" Fury looked up at the new speaker, one Pepper Potts and sighed.
"We were just talking about the 'My Little Unicorn' game." Steve said with a smirk at Fury.
"We were?!" Natasha blinked.
"You guys are by far the most masculine people I've ever met, yes Nat, this includes you. How do you guys even KNOW about that accursed game?" Potts asked with surprise clearly showing on her face, "And don't mention it to Tony right now. It was a bad decision on both our parts not to buy the game rights and Stane Tech got it instead."
"Well, I can't speak for the Captain, but I have 4 children 11 and under, 3 of them girls. I have everything about those unicorns memorized front and backwards." Clint said, "I can spell their names, backwards, in pig-Latin."
"Me, my neighbor's daughter got me to play a couple of times when I helped them deal with someone breaking into their apartment." Steve said, "I thought Stane was the guy who was Tony's ex-business partner who tried to kill you two?"
"That was Stane SR." Pepper replied, "His son decided to sell all his stock in Stark Ind. to Tony, supposedly in embarrassment at his father, and start a small software company. We're watching the situation, but even if Stane Jr is on the up and up, not everyone who's been attracted to his company are. They've picked up a lot of Hammer's people. And I didn't know you were married Mr. Barton. What about you Nat?"
"No, marriages are like taking a bath, once you're in one for a while, it just doesn't feel hot anymore."
With that they walked into the living area and saw Stark, surrounded by holographic computer screens with almost all of them displaying videos of fighting or showing news broadcasts and another man, tall, blonde and wearing a doctors scrubs standing over him trying to put a cast on him with the assistance of a couple of Tony's robots.
"Wow Tony, you look like a 3 legged dog that's been out chasing cars." Steve said.
"Gee, thanks capsicle. Owww!" Stark hissed at the doctor. He really did look in bad shape. The doctor was placing a cast on his left hand and arm, and his chest was wrapped as well and the entire left side of his face was a massive bruise. "Dr Blake, meet the Avengers, plus 1" with a nod to Fury, "guys, meet the Avengers official new doctor."
With a frown, Fury replied "Since when have you had authorization to make those decisions, much less bring someone new into the staff?"
Without batting his one good eyelash Tony said; "Since I started paying the bills. Once SHEILD dropped funding for the Avengers and I took over, I get too make the decisions. Ouch!"
"You have to hold still." Dr Blake said, "I know you're trying to figure out what happened and you view it has your job to prevent it from happening again. But it's my job to make it so you can. There is still a chance you might lose this arm Mr. Stark, you really need to take it easy. Now, the medication I placed you on will make you a little loopy, but it won't knock you out. You should be out, but I can read you well enough that I'm pretty sure you won't take the medication if it did that, so I'm going to leave it up to your companions to see to it you sleep. A lot! Oh, you also can't drink while taking it. Will that be a problem?"
"What do you mean I can't drink?"
"The medicine reacts poorly with alcohol. You really need to avoid drinking or you may very well suffer brain damage on top of everything else wrong with you right now. Quite frankly, it's a miracle you're still alive. If your robots hadn't been able to reduce the amount of weight on you until War Machine showed up to lift that sign off you, you would be very dead. And if you drink while taking this medication, it's entirely possible that all of our hard work will be reversed. So lay off the sauce for a while."
"Mr. Stark," JARVIS cut in, "I'm activating emergency life preservation protocols in regards to any alcohol. As soon as the remote units are no longer needed to assist Dr Blake, then they shall begin to remove all proscribed drinks from the living and work areas."
"Not funny JARVIS."
"It wasn't intended to be Sir. I've looked up the medicine Dr Blake has prescribed on the internet and you really do need to avoid alcohol while taking it Sir. Plus, it's going to make concentrating on whatever you're working on difficult on its own, getting drunk on top would be potentially disastrous. I'd like to avoid any more attempts to add hands to the feet of the Iron Man suits Sir."
"That was a joke JARVIS. I never intended for you to actually build it."
"Wait a minute" Natasha broke in, "you said War Machine was here?"
"He just got out of the shower and will be joining you shortly. I'm in control of his suit out helping with rescue efforts, as well as attempting to retrieve all of Mr. Starks drones. Quite apart from the expense of certain systems, there is quite a bit of sensitive data in them as well."
At that Fury stepped back into the conversation, "I assume that some of that data would be all the videos you're watching here?" he said pointing at the holographic images, "How did you manage to get these? We got bubkiss."
"Magic cameras" Tony replied.
On seeing Fury's frown, Pepper spoke up, "He's not joking Director, we really do have, or had now, about a dozen enchanted cameras. At 25 million apiece, I'd kind of like them back or at least paid for by whoever has them now."
"Twenty five million for a camera, really?"
"Sort of, the money just paid for enchanted glass that allows for reality to be viewed unaltered and unfiltered by any means. Unfortunately, I lost two enchanted window panes by trying to alter their forms so has to make multiple cameras and goggles." Tony said. "As soon as General Rhodes gets done in the bathroom, I've got some information for you to view."
"I'm not a General yet Tony, I'm still a Colonel. The 'Storm' hit before my promotion came thru officially so I'm not a general yet." James Rhodes said has he entered the living room, "How you doing?"
"He's doing surprisingly well considering you had to lift nearly a ton of debris off of him." Dr Blake said has he finished up the last of the cast and started to put his equipment away. "You need to take your medicine soon and rest. You CAN walk, but I'd recommend a wheel chair whenever possible. And for obvious reasons, you're going to have to curtail your activities as Iron Man."
"That won't be a problem; all of my suits of armor have been destroyed."
After Dr Blake left, JARVIS turned down the lights and began a showing images of an epic and very strange battle. "The images are very distorted and disjointed; I had some difficulty downloading the footage from the drones before they were destroyed. Evidently, I'm not completely immune to whatever effect put everyone asleep and altered your memories. I'm working up an exact timeline, but the internal clocks on the drones got messed up so it's more difficult than it should be."
"That's OK JARVIS; just show us what you got. By the way, where's Banner?" Rogers asked.
"Any idea who these kids are? Not all of them seem to be fighting the monsters." Natasha asked.
"Actually we know who almost all of these kids are. Or, at least the ones in charge. But even the bit players in the battle have made it onto various government lists." Pepper replied. She motioned and several holographic pictures of individuals and small groups of kids appeared next to her. "Since Tony's medication is starting to kick in, I'll be giving you the briefing. Before I begin however, how about you guys fill us in on what happened and what you know?"
"We really don't know that much." Fury said, "The 'Storm' was clearly unnatural and cover for something else. I've ordered agents to debrief all of the so called cranks who made such outrageous claims about what they saw. Ignoring them was obviously a mistake. As for what happened to me, I'm not really sure, I woke up in central park, healing from injuries and a sort of strange recollection of a battle. One where I was evidently allied with a 100ft long earth worm covered with arms throwing boulders at the enemy."
With a nod to Pepper, Steve added "Like the Director, I have almost no real memory of what happened during the fight, but I do have the strange impression that a group of young children and a giant bull saved me from what can only be described as Minotaur's and Cyclops's."
Natasha looked at the Captain and Director strangely, "I slept thru the whole thing. I was in the process of infiltrating one of Kingpins special warehouses when I started to fall asleep. I managed to stay awake long enough to get into hiding, but when I woke up, I found that all of Kingpins people had fallen asleep as well, and the warehouse was on fire. I have no idea what happened, but clearly the sleep was both induced, and NOT the work of one of Kingpins people."
"Me, I was at home with my family when the 'Storm' hit. Woke up and found that the back room had been ripped in half by something, missed Jacob and Melisa by less than a foot." Clint added with an angry tone, "I know it's unprofessional, but I want to put down whatever did that."
James Rhodes looked around at everyone a little nervously, "Me, I've been following this storm all the way across country working damage control. I had no idea it was even unnatural until Iowa when I had a chance encounter with several of the group known as the X-Men. Evidently one of their number can control the weather and had passed out trying to stop the storm, or so they claim."
"When Ms. Potts and Mr. Stark suddenly fell asleep in the middle of the living room, and I then started having problems with my operations, I engaged various emergency protocols, and activated all of the Iron Man suits and remote drones. Unfortunately, the suits where all destroyed before the blast that knocked the ceiling down on Mr. Stark. The suit I left guarding them was destroyed by what appeared to be anthropomorphic otters." With that JARVIS displayed a video of one of the suits, plus several robots fighting some sort of strange creature. "As you can see, whenever any of the creatures that attacked is killed, it explodes into dust and glitter. They are very obviously not normal creatures."
"I find it interesting that aside from Banner, the two of you are the only ones to have retained the ability to act." Pepper said looking at Fury curiously, "We also have video of Spider Man and Daredevil both fighting, unfortunately, the Fantastic Four never made an appearance, and several other super powered individuals are known to have been rendered unconscious, so that doesn't appear to be the key to figuring out things. I don't belief it was a mutant thing either, as apart from Colonel Rhodes encounter, none of the prominent mutants on either side of that issue made an appearance, though Secretary McCoy, AKA the Beast, was in town for a meeting, sources say he was found asleep in the conference hall along with the rest of the attendees and security."
"So if it's not power based, is it training?" Rhodes asked, "And if so, why were Hawkeye and the Black Widow affected. Working on the assumption they've been trained to the same degree, if not more so then Captain America."
"We have been, hell, I've even received training in resisting sleep drugs." Clint said looking at Fury, "There's something else going on here. Banner used a similar formula on himself as the Captain received, I'm pretty sure we're going to get a no comment from the Director, so what do we know of the other two and why aren't they here"
"In both cases, not as much as I'd like," Fury said with a scowl, "especially now. I'm about to reveal something, despite Clint's comment, that I'll never admit to later. It never leaves this room, and JARVIS, you're going to need to self-delete this information. Is everyone agreed?" Fury waited for acknowledgments then continued "I've been treated with the exact same serum as the Captain. Didn't have the same effect on me though, but unlike most of the others, it didn't kill me or drive me insane. As for Spider Man and Daredevil, that makes me wonder if they weren't somehow exposed to the serum as well. Spider Man we do know is a minor however, just how old, we're not sure."
Glancing around at the stunned looks on the faces of the others (and Tony's attempt to catch the butterflies only he could see), Pepper replied "I wish we could add to your knowledge, but every time we've seen them with a remote unit, the two of them have spotted it. Every single time!"
"Let's get back to the immediate concern; you said we actually know who these kids are?" Steve asked.
"There appeared to be two different groups of kids, mostly teenagers, though more than a few who are, or where, younger." Pepper said, "The first group, the ones who appear to be the attackers and the ones who allied with the majority of the monsters are, or again, where led by this guy, Luke Castellan." An image of a young man, late teens early twenties appeared along with another image of a younger version of the same man with two girls. "His mother is not all together there, and his father is unknown, she claims it was the god Hermes, which gets all the laughs you'd expect from people who've never met Thor. He was diagnosed with both ADHD and Dyslexia and ran away when he was eleven. Not much is known about him for the last several years, but he's cropped up in various police reports here and there. San Francisco PD did get an image of him with these two girls. In the image, they seem to be working together, but something seems to have soured their relationship has both girls where working for the other side, and the younger one was seen in direct conflict with him." A video of a group of kids fighting on a bridge where a girl saves the live of the kid that Luke is fighting appears.
"The older girl is named Thalia Grace, father unknown, she ran away at ten when she accused her mother of sacrificing her younger brother to Hera. Her mother most defiantly has a few screws loose. ADHD and Dyslexic and also a slow ager. She should be about the same age as Mr. Castellan but appears to only be about fourteen."
"The younger girl, one Annabeth Chase, actually knows who her father is. In her case, it's her mother that's the unknown. Her father is a professor in California. She was dropped off at her father's doorstep according to him. Blood tests showed he was her father, she ran away when she was six, disappeared for several years, her father remarried and had a couple more kids, then young miss Chase returns two years ago and started living part time with them. Evidently, wherever she was, she was getting schooling as apart from ADHD and Dyslexia, she was above average in all her class work, though lots of behavior issues. There's a lot more to her bio, but it's tied into the last individual"
"Anyone else starting to see a pattern here?" Rhodes asked sarcastically.
"Based on how well they fight," Clint said, "they appear to be very well trained as well as enhanced, maybe the ADHD and Dyslexia is a side effect, like Banner turning into the Hulk. Just a lot less powerful and with less severe side effects."
"The remaining two main individuals are Clarisse La Rue, who as you can see is one hell of fighter." A video showing a girl doing battle with a giant snake is shown. "Yes people, this was all in Manhattan last night. For a city that's seen it all, there's a lot that isn't seen by anyone else. Father mostly an unknown, but he is evidently know to her, I'll get to that part in a bit, ADHD and Dyslexic as well"
"The last kid is the best known, and a local right here. One Perseus Jackson, school records indicate he goes by Percy. Lots of behavior problems, one time blew up part of his school. This year is the first he's ever gone to the same school two years in a row, though that appears to be related to his mother, one Sally Jackson, dating the principle, and there is already issues this year as well. A couple of years ago he and Ms. Chase where the subjects of a nation-wide man-hunt slash amber alert. Apparently, Clarisse's father kidnapped them; they escaped, went on a spree of escapades that included releasing a bunch of abused zoo animals in Las Vegas and getting into a horribly violent fight with their kidnapper. The next couple of years has a whole slew of similar incidents, including, are you ready for this, being accused of setting off a volcano. Like the others, he has ADHD and Dyslexia and today is his sixteenth birthday. He's also one hell of a fighter as witness the various videos, not someone one wants go up against."
"Did you really just say he set off a volcano?" Natasha asked. "Even by the standards of weird we travel in, that's pretty out there."
"It wasn't given much credence at the time either, but considering what sits before us, I thought it best to lay it out."
"I can't help but notice the stylistic similarities in the armor and equipment used by everyone in the videos" Cap said. "It seems like everyone was once part of the same group, then they split. That would be consistent with what we know of the leaders. I also notice that not all the nonhumans are on the same side."
"Correct. There are a large number of what can only be described as satyrs and cyclops as well as a few other things helping defend the city as well as, get this, attempting to chain the storm. Apparently that last part was a success as well. All of the monsters in the video are part of Greek mythology, which fits the weapons and armor used."
"We don't know what happened to everyone, but we do have footage of Mr. Castellan entering the Empire state building, which was evidently the main point of target and defense, and shortly after, Mr. Jackson entering. A little after that, the fighting seems to just end, and young Mr. Jackson exits the building, raises his sword, and all the defenders cheer and the attackers run away. Seems obvious Percy was the winner here."
"You said that the Empire State building was the center of the violence?" Fury asked "Clint, Nat, when we're done here, get over there and start snooping, I want to know what that's about. I also want to know how these kids all got so good at fighting. Are they children of Greek gods like Miss Castellan claims, mutants, or are they subjects of super soldier treatments?"
"Pretty low brow to use kids like that when you know that your treatment causes ADHD and Dyslexia" Clint said "I do wonder what their connection was to each other if they aren't the children of gods."
"How come you're assuming the treatment causes the ADHD and Dyslexia?" Tony said joining the conversation with an effort, "Maybe they were chosen because they had it in the first place. My father's notes on the super serum seem to indicate a stressing of mental and physical characteristics that don't match the ones normally sought by the military. They might be experimenting on the kids from medical lists that match their criteria. Or maybe, just maybe they were actually trying to treat the conditions and stumbled onto the serum. Of course that doesn't explain the weapons and training, or the monsters. Maybe they are godlings."
"Much as I hate to admit it, but I'm kind of thinking that last part might be correct" Steve said.
"I hate to interrupt, but I'm monitoring the news, and evidently they managed to find one of our drones and hack the memory, it looks like it might be important." A holographic window of one of the local news shows appears in the middle of the table.
"…..I repeat, the video that you are about to see is incredibly graphic and violent, viewer discretion is advised, Jane."
"Thank you Ed. As you can see, the video we obtained from one of the wrecked drones shows several kids fighting what appear to be Minotaur's. The kids are doing surprisingly well for themselves considering that they seem to all be 10 or 11 years old."
"Those are the kids that saved my life" cap said sitting up straight.
"Now, right about here, where it looks like the kids are about to win, this older kid or young man jumps in and kills them. Sorry for cutting that out people, but even having warned you, we can't show that, suffice it to say, that man cuts the kids down with brutal ease. As we rejoin the video, we see the man cleaning his blade and talking to another young man. The other person has the decency to appear ill and upset at the murder of the kids, but before the murderer can reply, the Hulk enters the picture…. 'SCUM KILL KIDS, HULK SMASH SCUM!' …The Hulk then attempts to make good his threat, but much to the surprise of everyone here at Channel 5, seems unable to. At one point here… yes, the Hulk actually manages to land a direct hit against the individual, but he seems unhurt, merely knocked down, he then gets up and chops the Hulks arm off at the elbow! The video distorts and fusses out for a couple of seconds and we see the Hulk using his arm as a club against someone, then a flash of light and the Hulk is gone. The 2 young men are standing there, with one gasping for breath and the butcher, apparently unfazed and unwinded from the encounter and that's the last of the video we managed to obtain from the drone before it locked up. Ed."
"Thank you Jane. As you can see from the video, the storm that hit New York last night seems to have been cover for several groups of mutants to do battle in our streets. All of the wrecked Iron Man suits, the drones, and now, video of the Hulk trying to do battle with them and failing. Where is Tony Stark? Where are the rest of the Avengers? There have been sightings of Captain America, and the Iron Patriot has been flying around helping people, but where are the rest of them? Where they killed in the fighting? Was the Hulk killed?"
"Turn that crap off!" Pepper said "Was that you JARVIS who locked up the drone? And what are the chances you know where it's at so we can get it back?"
"No to both questions Ma'am. The locking was an automatic protocol, and they shouldn't have been able to get even that, but the drone was attempting to upload to my server when it was knocked out, so several minutes of footage were available outside firewalls."
"We'll get the drone," Fury said, "but this just became a whole lot messier. We're going to need a press conference. Tony's out for the front man role, Pepper, I'd prefer if no one knew how involved you were with this, which leaves you Cap, or maybe you Colonel. I know you're not part of the Avengers, and as long as you're active in the military, we can't afford a conflict of orders, but you are part of the Iron Man family, and you're a known friend of Tony's, you willing to help out?"
"I'll help were I can, but I've got to report up the chain here. As you said, I've got a conflict of orders here, and a superior who doesn't like my promotion to his equal."