Thanks for all those reviews guys, especially all that reception for Chadwick's tribute and goodbye.
Black Panther is still gonna play a role in this story so you got nothing to worry about on that end. We'll be seeing him soon enough.
Lots to cover as we are officially in the last few chapters of season 2.
Now this chapter is gonna be interesting because you'll find out how different it is in placement and timeline wise.
THIS IS INTENTIONAL.
Jebest4781 and I figured it would be better to have this specific story arc occur in this season due to what we have planned out. So wait and see folks, it's gonna be good.
Rate Read and Review and as Always Have Nice Day.
Avengers Infinite Wars Chapter 45: Biological Warfare
"Wonder if this counts as your Friendly Neighborhood Spider-man."
Peter Parker AKA the Amazing Spiderman was currently web swinging across the large city planet of Coruscant.
This had become a daily occurrence up to this point whenever he wasn't off-world, assisting in the war and looking for the missing heroes from Earth.
The thought itself still boggled Peter's mind.
Earlier in 2015 he was worried about high school and all that jazz.
Then the spider-bite and nine months later, he's in space in what appeared to be another galaxy fighting an intergalactic war with the Avengers.
How in God's name did that even happen?
Last he checked, the biggest concerns on Peter's list was school and…
Landing atop a building, Spiderman sat down and removed his mask with a solemn expression.
Running a hand through his hair, Peter gazed upon the endless city planet watching as multiple ships flew about upon the highways of this place. Or however it was that they dictated highways function on the planet.
'Wonder how Aunt May is doing.' Peter thought with a sullen expression.
He could only imagine the amount of worry his guardian is dealing with right now.
Forget freaking out. Since he had been here for so long, God knows how she's reacting to it. Maybe she went straight to Mr. Stark. He wouldn't put it past her.
His thought process was cut off at the sight of several LAAT gunships flying off towards an area with quite a sizable group of clones.
Eyes narrowed, Spidey quickly slipped his mask back on and leapt forward to pursue after them.
Managing to stick onto a Gunship, he carefully maneuvered around the open panels and stuck his head out for the Clones inside to see.
"Hey Commander Thorn."
The Clones inside all jolted at the sound of his voice, some reaching for their blasters when the aforementioned Commander sagged in relief.
"Kriffing hell, stop doing that, Spidey." Thorn said good naturedly.
Peter only chuckled, jumping into the gunship.
"Hey guys." Spider-man said cheerfully. "Jek, Noland, Merv. Good to see you all."
The Clones all greeted him in turn, Jek patting the web-head on the shoulder.
"Joining us for another wild ride?" Jek asked knowingly.
"Ah come on Jek, where's the fun in sitting at the temple all day twiddling my thumbs." Peter countered with a grin underneath his mask with Jek laughing heartily.
It was funny how it had been only a few weeks, months by now, but ever since Peter began his own patrols across Coruscant he began encountering the Coruscant Guard more and more.
At first, it was a bit of a strange rivalry of sorts that had developed, though it was really more one-sided if anything.
But several Clones vouched for him, citing how he saved a great many people back during the Zillo Beast rampage some of which were Clones.
Though it was slow at first, overtime and interactions, many of the Coruscant Guards began regarding Peter in a friendlier light. Upon learning he was one of the Avengers, heroes who have also been seen throughout Coruscant at several points, their relationship only grew more positive.
Peter had actually on more than one occasion simply left to go hangout with the guards at their station at one point.
They were all great for the most part.
Only one seemed to be a bit of a detractor with that being Commander Fox.
Apparently, to him, the Avengers were wild cards who weren't loyal to anyone but themselves and… to a degree he may be right.
But in the mind of Peter, the Avengers loyalty was the safety of innocent lives.
Something he would take direct action in.
Such as now with Commander Thorn explaining to him about a crew of criminals that were causing a serious ruckus not far from a district where many everyday business folks lived.
"What's going on then?" Peter asked as the Gunships continued flying on their path towards their destination.
"From what our reports have told us, looks like some kind of turf war between local gangs." Thorn explained, helmet with spray painted red wings tucked under his arm.
The black outline around his white lenses narrowed as Peter looked ahead.
He then grabbed some small square-like devices out from his built in utility belt in his suit.
"Here ya go, Thorn." He held up the devices. "Web grenades, courtesy of your friendly neighborhood Spiderman."
Thorn blinked in surprise, taking the "grenades" out from Peter's hand to examine them.
"Just push the center there and toss 'em." Spiderman explained, pointing to the small spider emblem in the center.
Nodding appreciatively, Thorn blinked as he looked up to see the young superhero backing away to the edge.
"Race you there." Spiderman cheerfully said, backflipping out of the gunship and web-swinging with great speeds.
Thorn gaped before scrunching his face up and sliding his helmet on.
"Come on boys, we gotta hurry or else he's getting all the credit again." Thorn encouraged with the Clones yelling aloud in agreement.
Far ahead of the gunship was the web-head who was swinging towards the sound of sirens and blaster fire increasing his speed a moment later.
There, he saw multiple individuals engaged in a small skirmish with a few dozen individuals firing at one another.
Peter also spotted a few individuals in white armor with red tinting, trying to get people to safety while also fighting back against these criminals.
Throwing his arms out wide in the air, two web nets shot out from his elbows, connecting to his lower waste. He glided forward at an angle, gaining speed as he drew closer to the skirmish.
As he drew closer, within his mask was the HUD of his suit which quickly marked multiple individuals in the area.
The Clones were friendlies, the civilians were priority and the criminals shooting up the place where the enemies for obvious reasons.
Once he was within range, Spiderman immediately fired two web-lines and caught two thugs straight away. They were slammed by his webbing, trapping them to the ground or nearby walls.
Many began looking up, with several clones immediately recognizing who it was and began to cheer aloud.
With the Avenger coming in to help, they began moving with renewed vigor, assisting the civilians away with several of them moving in to fight off the criminals that were terrorizing the streets.
No less than a minute later did the cavalry arrive with Commander Thorn leading the charge.
With the combined efforts of the Clone guards and Spiderman, the rival gang members were all rounded up and detained, all being shipped off to the nearby holding facilities for criminals.
Once every civilian was treated and accounted for, Thorn and Peter were speaking to one another.
"Thanks again for help, Spiderman." Thorn said earnestly, the two shaking hands.
"Hey no problem, Thorn." Spidey waved off. "Anything to help."
Peter briefly looked behind him, watching as the Clones were rounding up the gangsters and shoving them into ships that would take them to prison.
"There sure are a lot of these guys lately." Peter muttered in concern.
"No surprise there." Thorn said with his arms crossed. "With the war going on and the loss of Ziro the Hutt, crime is all around the place."
"Ziro the Hutt?" Peter spoke up in confusion.
"You weren't here for that?" Thorn asked in surprise.
"I was elsewhere." Peter said in a vague manner.
"Well… to put it plainly, Ziro the Hutt was basically the main crime lord here that was arrested a while back after his plots against the Republic. Once he was taken away…"
"Power Vacuum." Peter finished with a grimace, Thorn nodding.
This kinda sounds like what happened back on Earth in Manhattan when Matt took down the crime lord known as Wilson Fisk. He remembered reading about it all online and meeting the man who took down Fisk both in and out of costume was crazy awesome.
"We got everything handled here, Spidey." Thorn said, making the young vigilante look up to the Commander. "You head on back and… patrol or whatever it is you were gonna do."
"Probably patrol." Peter admitted with a shrug of his shoulders with Thorn shaking his head in amusement.
"Go on ahead then, Pete."
"See ya Thorn." Spiderman said with a two finger salute to the Commander. "Say hello to Thire for me, will ya?"
Thorn only nodded, waving goodbye to the Queens native hero watching as he swung away.
"Wish I could do that." Thorn said to himself, turning away to focus on the situation at hand and began sending out orders to any Clone nearby that appeared to be free to assist others.
Spiderman began swinging back towards the Jedi Temple, the building being easily recognizable in the distance.
As he was moving through the buildings and cars, something popped up on his HUD.
There was an Avenger nearby.
Blinking in surprise, Peter looked about rapidly until he spotted the identified Avenger.
It was Sam walking out of a building looking rather… flustered.
He was adjusting his wingsuit and checking himself over when…
Wilson jolted, looking up, Sam's eyes widened at the sight of Spiderman swinging down to him.
"Peter." Sam said with a strained voice.
The younger hero landed before him, throwing his arms out.
"What're you doing out here, Sam?"
Sam squirmed slightly.
"Er… Well, you see…"
Before the winged Avenger was able to form a proper answer, someone jumped upon him from behind with their arms around his shoulders.
"Sammy." The woman on his shoulders whined. "Why did you leave without saying goodbye? Weren't we meant to go out for breakfast?"
Sam froze, his face cringing as he saw Spidey's white mask irises growing wide. The woman appeared human, but she was clearly not with her hot pink skin and purple hair.
"Sorry Dani." Sam said carefully. "But I gotta go and take care of business with the Avengers right now."
The woman named Dani looked up and saw Spiderman standing before them, the hero waving awkwardly.
"Oh my." Dani removed herself from Sam and stepped forward to take Peter's hand to shake. "It's a pleasure to meet another Avenger like yourself. You must be Spiderman."
"Uh… yeah." Peter said bashfully, rubbing the back of his head.
"I've heard so much about you." Dani said excitedly. "You and your team have been all over the Holo-net and I've seen you swinging around the city helping people all the time."
"You can see me in all this mess?" Peter asked, pointing up to the many flying ships going in all directions.
"You're quite easy to spot." Dani said, moving back to Sam and ensnaring his arm.
"How'd uh… how'd you two meet? Peter asked awkwardly.
"Oh it was so romantic." Dani declared, swooning against the former aviator. "There I was, standing about on a balcony for a dreadful business party when chaos and commotion passed by in the blink of an eye. Suddenly, I was falling and then I was swept up in the air."
Dani then openly jumped with Sam instinctively throwing his arms out to catch her with him stumbling slightly yet he still managed to hold her in his arms. The pink-skinned humanoid threw her head back, back of her hand upon her forehead with one leg up.
"My dashing hero caught me in his muscular arms, like an angel from above." Dani then sat up to place a passionate quick peck on Sam's cheek with the Avenger being unable to deny the small grin.
"That's really awesome." Peter said with a thumbs up of approval with Sam giving him a flat stare.
"It is!" Dani jumped down, throwing her arms around Falcon with a squeal. "I never would have believed I'd be saved by a hero."
She then began showering the Avenger with kisses all over his face with Sam chuckling slightly.
"Alright Dani." Sam said, taking her hands into his own. "I'll give you a heads up when I'm available next time. Promise."
Dani then gave the Avenger a sultry look, leaning in to kiss him passionately, pulling away a few seconds later. From the corner of her eye, she saw Spiderman had turned away taking great interest in the sky above.
"We should do this again soon, Wilson. Real soon." She said with a coy smile. "I'm available all of next week."
With a wink and one last kiss, she sauntered back into the building she and Sam stayed at the night prior with an emphasis on swaying her hips which caught Sam's gaze.
"Lord have mercy." Sam said to himself, turning to Spidey who was whistling innocently with him still looking up. "Alright kid, you could look now."
Peter coughed awkwardly into his hand. "So~... how long has that been-"
"Few times now." Sam remarked. "She's…. She's real passionate."
"I could tell." Peter said cheekily getting Sam to deadpan at him. "What is she, by the way?"
"Says her species is called Zeltron." Sam said, the two beginning to walk. "Apparently very passionate and…" he coughed into his hand. "A bit promiscuous."
Peter snorted. "Yeah, I haven't had much luck with girls back home but even I could tell that much."
Sam huffed good naturedly, lightly nudging the New York superhero.
"She told me that her species emits Pheromones towards people they find attractive." Sam said.
"Oh~" Peter said with intrigue. "So she must really like you then."
Wilson couldn't help but smirk with a fond look in his eyes. "Yeah she's… something special, I could tell ya that much."
"Wait till the others hear of this!" Spiderman declared cheerfully.
"Say any word…"
"Oh and what, you'll kill me?" He quipped. "Come on, I bet Captain Rogers is gonna love this. Maybe you can egg him on to get someone special too."
Sam chuckled to himself, knowing that is easier said than done.
He has seen how he's interacted with a particular Jedi whenever the two of them were at the Jedi temple together.
It may seem innocent and simple with how they really only train together for the most part. But from what Nat told him, there were a few instances where she saw the two just talking and spending time together.
Shaking his head, he activated his wing suit with Peter swinging up into the air.
"Where were you this time?" Sam asked, making conversation as the two went back to the Jedi Temple.
"Oh you know, the usual." Peter said with a shrug. "Web Swinging, crime fighting, helping out the Clone guards, stopping turf wars and such."
"Kinda sad how even in space, that shit's common."
"I know, right?"
Soon enough, the duo of Parker and Wilson returned to the Jedi Temple with them both greeting several familiar faces of the Jedi Order.
They entered the temple together when they heard the sound of chatter not far ahead.
"...re about this Padme?" said the familiar voice of one Anakin Skywalker.
"They wouldn't have contacted me about this matter if they weren't sure." The two heard the concerned tone of the Senator of Naboo, Padme Amidala. "This is serious, Anakin. I have to go check it out."
"I wasn't planning on stopping you." Anakin's voice was expectant. "It's your homeworld."
Sam and Peter eventually reached the doorway from where the chatter was coming from, seeing Anakin and Padme standing in a room with the holo projection of Naboo behind him and R2-D2 standing with C3P0 in the corner of the room.
"Hey guys." Peter said aloud, making both look up at the two Avengers.
"Peter, Sam." Padme greeted warmly. "How are you two?"
"All good here, Padme." Sam said, clasping Anakin's wrist with the Jedi doing the same in turn. "What's going on here? We heard some serious talking tones coming from here."
"Well you walked in on something serious." Anakin remarked, crossing his arms. "Padme here has just heard from Naboo that droids from the Separatists were spotted on the planet."
Sam grimaced, recalling vividly their first run in with the Droids since arriving in this galaxy.
"Is everything alright there?" Peter asked in concern.
"They seem to be… for the most part." Padme said in an unsure manner. "But knowing the Separatists, we can never be too sure."
"I thought after the last time they wouldn't be present on Naboo again." Anakin said, giving Sam a knowing look.
"Seems our presence there didn't deter them from coming back." Sam said with a frown.
"So what're you gonna do?" Peter asked Padme.
"I need to go to Naboo immediately." Padme stated. "But… I can't deny that if there are Separatists there, I would prefer coming with a Republic fleet in tow to help out."
"And unless they're sure, we have to sit here on standby." Anakin adds with a small grumble.
Sam and Peter shared a look with each other.
"So… You need some help?" Peter asked.
"Pardon?" Padme said looking up at the young hero.
"We can go with you to Naboo." Peter said chipperly.
"If it wouldn't be too much trouble." Sam said.
Padme stared in slight surprise at the offer before she was giving them both a beaming smile of appreciation.
"None at all." Padme said, grateful to them both.
"Hey, wait, but what about-"
"Anakin, in case you forgot, we ain't Republic." Sam quickly cut him off. "Freelance in some technical terms."
Realization dawned on Anakin's face with him grinning a moment later. "You guys are a lifesaver."
"I'll tell the others and see who can come along." Peter said, rushing out of the room.
"You know you can… ah forget it." Sam said.
"What?" Anakin inquired.
"He forgot about our comms." Sam said, tapping his ear.
"Ah, right." Skywalker nodded before addressing the Winged Avenger. "Are you going to Naboo, Sam?"
Sam shrugged. "Not sure yet. We'll decide when the others come."
Eventually, the small group of Captain Rogers, Black Widow, Spiderman and War Machine were chosen to go along with Padme to Naboo.
Sam was asked to stay behind to hold down the fort as the temporary leader for the Avengers left behind and in case of anything happening that they can do to help with.
The Avengers have long since agreed to always have at least one away team out and about in the galaxy and one back on Coruscant. They had the numbers for it and they had a track record of finding lost Avengers by happenstance by simply being out and about in the galaxy.
So they'll continue that trend.
That and Sam's suit were going through adjustments courtesy of Scott and Hope.
After some time through hyperspace, they arrived at Naboo.
It was a rather nice day from what the group is seeing so far, but the image was ruined with what troubles were brewing on the planet.
Padme was at the helm of the ship with the four Avengers that had been chosen to accompany her sitting behind her.
Arriving at the Naboo capital of Theed, their ship docked in the main hangar of the palace. The moment it landed; the ramp couldn't open fast enough for the ship's occupants to file out.
When they did, the group was met with Captain Typho and the current ruler of Naboo, Queen Neeyuntnee.
"We came as soon as we could, my lady." Said Padme, practically running down the ramp of her private spacecraft. "Have you found any more droids?"
"Only the three. But you can be sure they aren't tourists." Spoke Queen Neeyuntnee. "I need you to convince the Senate or the Jedi Council or whoever is in charge of this terrible war that we are threatened."
"Sorry to inform you, my lady, but the Jedi won't be coming anytime soon." Padme said apologetically. "They'll need proof of active involvement before any of them can come here. But thankfully, some of the Avengers offered their assistance."
"We thank you for such a notion." The Queen of Naboo bowed her head. "Your actions from months ago are still remembered by the people of this Planet."
"We'll do what we can, Ma'am." Steve promised.
"Since just a few battle droids ain't gonna be enough." Said Rhodey, tone dry with Natasha elbowing the armored colonel.
"We won't let you guys down." Peter said with a reassuring smile.
Suddenly, Captain Typho had his wrist communicator go off. "Captain Typho, the battle droid is ready for analysis."
"This way." Typho gestured for them to follow after him.
They eventually arrived at a room with multiple shelves of droid parts, several computers screens and two tables of scrapped Separatist droids.
Two were basic B1 battle droids with the other being a highly advanced Tactical Droid.
"A tactical droid?" Rhodey said straight away. "There's definitely more out there."
"That's what we believe as well." Queen Neeyuntnee declared. "But as the unfortunate news from Senator Amidala has said. No assistance until we find more proof."
"That's what we're here for." Widow said, walking around the table with the others standing at the head of the droid.
"Tap?" Steve spoke up.
"Yes Comrade Steve?" The Avengers personal AI, Tap spoke up through Rhodey's suit. "How can I be of assistance."
"See what you could find in this droid." Steve said.
"As you wish, Comrade Steve." Said the AI before doing his assigned task.
"Have you been able to retrieve any information prior to our arrival?" Nat inquired.
"Unfortunately, the Naboo security who discovered them prefer to shoot first and retrieve data later." Spoke the Naboo queen.
"I'm getting a bad feeling about this. With your permission, Senator Padme, I would like to return back to the ship." 3P0 requested.
"Permission denied." Padme stated.
"Denied?" the protocol droid winced.
"3PO, if Tap can't find anything, you may be able to get some information out of him."
"It is unfortunate to say that this has proven to be true." The downtrodden voice of Tap rang out from the droid, transferring himself back into Rhodey's suit. "It's wires are crossed and corrupted. No doubt from whoever fired upon this droid. All I could do is simply turn it back on to its base functions."
"That'll have to do." Nat shrugged. "Keep it blind, why don't you? Don't want to give away our presence."
As the order was given, the droid sat up with its optics nonfunctioning.
"Cannot see. Where am I?" Spoke the tactical droid, looking all over the place.
"You are in very good hands on board a Separatist ship. Count Dooku himself intends to reward you for your bravery." 3P0 said in a calming voice.
"Laying it a little thick there, 3PO." Nat remarked.
"Bravery?" the droid was confused.
"For your assignment on Naboo." the golden protocol droid stated. "Do try to activate what's left of your memory. We all want to hear your tale of medical heroics."
The tactical droid's voice modulator warbled a little as it spoke. "V-V-Vi-Vir-Virus."
That certainly was not what they were expecting to hear.
"Yes, the virus." 3P0 encouraged. "You do remember. Please continue."
"A s-s-small amount leaked out. Must contain. Naboo cannot know. Lab must remain secret." the droid droned on.
"A secret lab on Naboo? Where? You must-"
"It is a secret." The tactical droid halted from talking any further as if it finally realized something. "This is no Separatist ship."
"Unless you want to become a box of spare parts, you'll tell us where that lab is." Rhodey said, shoulder cannon pointed straight at the droid's head.
"The lab is secret." the tactical droid denied.
"Tap!" Natasha called out.
"On it comrades!"
The droid reached up with its jolting and cracking joints for its head, grabbing it tightly in an attempt to remove its head when there was a crackle of energy that travelled up from its body to the back of its cranium. It halted in its movements and slumped over.
"Tap?" Steve called out.
"Sorry comrades." Tap said. "I'm trying to sift through what I can and piece it together."
The people in the room all slumped in slight defeat when Natasha squinted her eyes at the droid.
"What's with the mud?" She asked.
"What's that?" Typho perked up.
"This thing is covered in mud." Natasha pointed out. "Where'd you shoot this thing down?"
"In the grasslands just outside of the Capital." Typho elaborated.
"The grasslands?" Steve leaned on the table. "That's how they got covered in mud?"
"Add that to our very long list of questions." Said Typho. Before he could continue to speak, he paused.
He moved back in surprise by the sight of a blue bug flying by him.
A bug Peter quickly caught in his hands.
"Well hello there, little guy. Where'd you come from?"
"Huh." The Queen of Naboo moved forward with intrigue. "A blue weevil."
"Weevil? There's Pokémon here?" Peter asked in bewilderment.
The natives of Naboo gave the webslinger a confused look, to which Steve quickly spoke 'Ignore him.'
"What's so special about this bug?" Rhodey asked.
The Queen of Naboo hummed aloud in thought. "Captain Typho said they took these droids in the grasslands. But… a blue Weevil here indicates they may have come from somewhere else."
The others were now drawn in as Neeyuntnee rubbed her chin in thought.
"Where?" Nat asked
"If I have this right, I believe those particular insects thrive in the mud under the perolte tree." Neeyuntnee said after several moments of thinking it over.
"...Like the mud on this droid." Realization soon hit Padme like a speeder. "The eastern swamps."
"I think we just found the location of that lab." Rhodey declared.
"Let's contact the Jedi." Padme said aloud.
The Avengers with the Naboo natives had sent out a transmission to Coruscant with Yoda and Mace Windu answering the call.
"Senator Amidala." Grand Master Yoda greeted. "A message for us, you have?"
"We do, Master Yoda." Padme said. "We've recently discovered droids on Naboo, one of which spoke of a secret laboratory on the planet."
"They're planning an attack on Naboo." Typho said with conviction. "It's the only explanation."
"They didn't learn their lesson the first time, clearly." Steve said with a frown.
Yoda closed his eyes. "Delicate the situation is. A great presence of the Dark Side, I feel."
"Master Yoda?" Padme was now concerned.
"Sending you, several Jedi we will." Yoda said. "Master Luminara, she will come."
"May I recommend General Kenobi and General Skywalker?" Padme then gave her reasons. "Relations with the Gungans are a little tense right now, but they trust General Kenobi like one of their own and both of them have experience dealing with tense situations on Naboo."
"Send them we will." Spoke the grand master before he ended the transmission.
"I want as much information as possible before the Jedi arrive. See if you and 3PO can download any of the other battle droid's memories. I'm going to find that lab."
"Are you sure that's wise to go alone?" Questioned the captain of the palace security team.
"We'll go with her." Steve said. "Widow, Spiderman, you're coming with. Rhodey, stay behind and see what else you can find. Keep an eye out as well. If there is an attack coming, we'll want our walking arsenal to give the Separatists a warm welcome."
"Tap, hop on over to Peter's then." Rhodey instructed. "You could be more useful to them out there."
"Pardon comrade, but why?" Tap spoke up.
"What?" Rhodey was confused as were the other Avengers. "What do you mean "but why?"."
"There is an AI already programmed into young Comrade Peter's suit." Tap said making Peter gape.
"Yes, I am surprised Mr. Stark did not tell you about this." Tap said.
"Look." Black Widow quickly cut in. "Let's talk about this later. We have a job to do right now."
"Agreed." Padme said with a nod. "Come on, let's get going."
"Before we go, mind waking up this AI in my suit?"
"Why of course Comrade Parker."
"Seems you will need a specific means of activating this AI." Tap stated. "So unless Mr. Stark has given you any means…"
Peter only groaned while Steve patted the kid sympathetically. "You'll figure it out, Queens."
Flying out towards the Eastern Swamps, the Avengers were now equipped with hazmat suits for protection from whatever this virus the droid mentioned could be.
As they flew over the plains of Naboo, Padme spotted a rocky structure up ahead and nearby it were several animals that were slumped over and not moving.
She landed the ship nearby with everyone moving to get out.
Departing from the ship, the group eyed the very sick Shaaks lying by the riverbank, who all seemed to be knocking at Death's door at any moment now.
"This is really bad." Peter said, crouching next to one of the poor creatures.
"What happened to them?" Steve asked with a disturbed look at seeing how blood shot the eyes of the Shaaks were.
"It must be that virus." Padme said in a grim tone. "We're definitely getting close."
As Peter was examining one of the creatures, he felt a tingle from the back of his head.
"Guys!" He whipped around in time to see a Gungan female strike Padme from behind.
A moment later, she was quickly disarmed by Steve with Natasha whipping out her DC-17 blaster pistols in the Gungans face.
"Whosa are you?" Said the attacker.
"We should be asking you the same question." Natasha said, moving her pistol closer. "You attacked us."
"Yousa appearan when meesa Shaakies all sicka." The Gungan rebuked. "Why yousa here?"
"Don't move." Steve ordered sternly. "We're not here to harm you."
"Whassa wis the helmets?"
"Precautions ma'am." Steve answered. "There's a virus going around."
The Gungan woman soon put two and two together before telling the group an important detail.
"Yousa okeyday is not in the air. It's in the water." the Gungan assured. "Meesa apologize for attackin' a you."
Hearing this bit of information, the group took off their helmets.
"Who are you?" Asked Padme.
"Meesa Peppi Bow." Said the identified female Gungan. "Yousa know what a happen?"
"We think the virus that made your animals sick came from the perlote trees."
Peppi nodded in understanding, pointing ahead now.
"Yousa follow thisa river. Yousa finda yousa perlote. Meesa take you."
Padme however stopped her, placing a hand on her shoulder.
"No, Peppi, you stay here. You'll be going home soon, I promise. I'll send some soldiers to pick you up and take you back to Theed. Explain to them about the river and they'll quarantine it off from the rest of the populace until we figure this out."
Nodding in understanding, Peppi went over to check on her sick creatures while the group returned to the ship and flew it upstream.
They eventually reached the eastern swamps, departing on the outskirts as there was no stable ground to be found that they could land the ship on.
"Keep your eyes open. Look for anything out of the ordinary." Padme said as they walked through the muddy ground.
Unbeknownst to the group, a scope popped out of the earth and spotted them all. And in the briefest of moments, it slunk back where it came from.
Peter paused, looking behind them only to find nothing.
"Peter?" Steve called out to him. "You alright?"
"Yeah…" Peter said absentmindedly. "Thought I saw something."
They continued on, looking around the swamp with a growing wariness.
Stopping at a more open area, they took a moment to gather their bearings.
"Where to now, Padme?" Natasha asked with the senator looking around.
"I'm not sure." Padme admitted. "The Eastern Swamp is one of the larger ones of Naboo and goes on for quite a while. It could take a while to search this place entirely."
Steve chose to look around, trying to find anything out of the ordinary when a light briefly got caught in his eye. Blinking, he turned to the ground and squinted at something shiny underneath all the mud.
Walking over to it, Steve narrowed his eyes before stomping his foot on the ground and was greeted with the sound of his boot meeting metal.
With a sweep of his leg, the mud was moved aside to reveal...
"Found something." Steve said aloud, the others standing around him a moment later. "Looks like an entrance hatch of some kind."
Padme only grinned triumphantly, going for her comms. "Captain Typho, I think we're standing right on top of the lab. I need a geo-scan of coordinates of SP127."
As the orders were being delivered, Peter's sixth sense was starting to go nuts.
"No way we're going to open this. We'll have to-"
"Freeze. Hold it right there."
The group whirled around, seeing the various Separatist droids aiming their weapons directly at them.
And they were not alone.
Standing among the droids were several individuals, one of which Natasha and Steve recognized.
"Kadrian Sey." Steve said aloud.
"Ah, you know me, Captain Rogers?" The Zabrak Acolyte of Count Dooku said with a mocking tone, igniting her crimson saber.
"Unfortunately." Steve said. "Aayla Secura spoke of you. Child kidnappers."
Sey's expression morphed into one of fury. "And the Jedi are not?!"
"I don't like it any more than you do." Steve admitted. "But at least they do it for a more noble reason compared to what you Sith are like."
"And how are we Sith like?" said a particularly large individual of the four Acolytes that stood before them. He had greyish skin with pale mint eyes and wore predominantly black garb with a metallic headpiece.
"Selfish, generic and evil." Spider-man listed off, getting into position.
"We do not need to fight." another of the Acolytes spoke up, eyes bandaged. "And if we do…"
He ignited his red lightsaber and pointed it at the Naboo Senator.
"Can you keep her safe?" He threatened.
"She can take care of herself, mind you." Padme declared, pulling out her own silver blaster.
"From these droids…" The bandaged Acolyte said, gesturing to the B1's and B2's. "Yes, perhaps. But from us? And him, I believe that to be false."
A warning screamed in the back of Peter's head before he and Captain Rogers were struck from a force from behind, sending them flying and crashing down to the ground.
Natasha spun round with a heel kick only for her leg to get caught and she was tossed aside.
Padme attempted to fire on the attacker only for her blaster to get swatted away and a moment later, she felt an arm around her body and a blade pressed to her neck.
"Try not to move too much." The man who held her hostage growled from behind his mask that was spray painted with white in a slight skull motif.
Upon getting back to his feet, Steve glared in recognition upon seeing who it was.
"Hey Cap." The former HYDRA agent turned world, now galactic, mercenary. "Fancy seeing you again. Hope you don't mind me being here. Got a job to do."
Steve, Peter and Natasha were now properly surrounded by the battle droids and the Dark Acolytes with Padme in the clutches of Rumlow.
"Give up." Rumlow growled, pressing the knife from his hydraulic gauntlets onto Padme's neck with a small bit of blood trickling down.
They knew they had no choice.
Several moments later, all three Avengers and the Senator were stunned into unconsciousness.
Soon after, they were all taken into the lab below.
Padme was cuffed with her hands behind her back while the Avengers were tied up with electrified "rope".
They were slowly coming too as Padme faced off against a tall humanoid alien wearing a white lab coat with blue-tinted skin, double-eyelids, large purple markings beneath his eyes and a slender face. Behind the droids and humanoid was the Zabrak Acolyte Kadrian Sey and that mercenary Rumlow.
Padme glared at the tall humanoid who approached them with the man pulling out a pair of small glasses and holding them up to his eyes.
"Who are you? Why are you holding us?" Padme question which went ignored by the man.
Peter groaned, slowly sitting up only to have his face abruptly grabbed and held up to the alien forcing him to be wide awake.
The young teen went bug-eyed at how close the humanoid was that examined him so intently.
"Wonderful specimens." The Humanoid spoke in a strangely… German accent. "What's a life-form like you doing in a swamp like this?"
"I was about to ask you the same thing." Padme shot back at the man.
"Can you let go of my face?" Peter asked through his squished cheeks and lips.
The humanoid stepped back, tucking away his glasses.
"Thanks to the support of my compassionate friends in the Separatist alliance, I am creating life." he boasted in a grand manner.
Rumlow huffed in amusement while Kadrian merely rolled her eyes.
Everyone then heard the groan of a waking Captain America who was slowly getting to his knees.
"Is it me? Or did I wake up in Germany?" Steve asked with a dazed tone.
"No, you're not back on Earth, Rogers." Said Rumlow, causing Steve to quickly focus his attention and remember where he currently was right now.
He looked up at the scientist who was gazing down at the Captain with clear intrigue.
"Who are you supposed to be?" Rogers asked.
The tall alien grinned, grabbing the collar of his lab coat and straightening it out.
"Doctor Nuvo Vindi, one of the greatest scientists alive within this galaxy." The now identified mad doctor said in a grandiose fashion.
"Great, one who has a high opinion of himself." Natasha said dryly, also having awakened by now.
"When one such as myself has the capacity to create life, I believe confidence is a natural state of mind." Nuvo boasted.
"And how're you creatin' life?" Inquired the Black Widow.
"I'm so pleased you inquired." Nuvo said excitedly. "A demonstration is in order."
The mad scientist walked over to the nearby wall that was stacked with multiple shelves of vials containing a form of blue liquid.
Taking one of the containers out, he presented it with pride. "Allow me to present the return of the infamous blue shadow virus."
"The blue shadow virus?" Padme repeated in disbelief. "That deadly disease is supposed to be extinct."
"Yes, it was wiped from the galaxy generations ago, but I have given it life once again." Nuvo exclaimed triumphantly.
"How is creating a virus that kills people also the same as creating life?!" Peter yelled out in anger now.
Nuvo only chuckled aloud.
"Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yes, yeah, yeah, yeah, yes."
The Avengers and Senator stared in silence at the crazy and eccentric scientist.
"Oh finally you shut up." Peter slumped in relief. "Thought you were a literal broken record there."
Even if Nuvo didn't show it, he was offended. He then carried on. "Unfortunately, the blue shadow virus in its natural form thrives only in water, until I improved upon that weakness."
Walking over to a small pedestal that had several electric rods around it. Nuvo placed the vial on the pedestal and walked over to a computer terminal and flipped a switch.
Electricity began shocking the vial, with the liquid seemingly transforming.
Once the electro-shock session ended, the Senator and Avengers saw the vial's blue liquid turn into a swirling miniature cloud. It didn't take long for them to realize what just occurred.
"Yeah, yeah, yeah, yes. Your eyes do not deceive you. I have perfected an airborne strain of the blue shadow virus." Nuvo proudly stated, holding up the vial of the now gaseous virus.
Coming in from the entrance of the lab was an LEP servant droid with a round device within its grasp.
"This is the last of the bombs, doctor." It said as it approached the scientist.
"I'm well aware this is the last. You think I'd lose count?" Nuvo snapped at the servant droid, snatching the deactivated bomb in the process. He then picked up the airborne vial and inserted it into the bomb. "The virus in its gaseous forms, combined with these bombs, will release the blue shadow virus back into the galaxy, more potent than ever before."
"So… the universe is completely unoriginal then?" Peter couldn't help but remark. "We're in another galaxy and there's a Generically Evil German Scientist who wants to do evil and considers himself misunderstood. I can't tell if that's boring or just plain lazy."
"It takes true genius to accomplish what I did!" Nuvo yelled out, pointing a dramatic finger at the web-head.
"Are you insane?" Padme cried out. "It's a deadly disease. No life-forms are immune to it. That's why it was eradicated."
"I believe that is his case, Padme." Nat said with a glare directed at the mad doctor.
"You mean murdered!" Nuvo exclaimed like a loon before handing the armed bomb to the LEP droid. "Take this away." With it scurrying off, the scientist approached the captives. "Meanwhile, as we speak, thousands and thousands of so-called superior life-forms are spreading their disease of war throughout the galaxy. Perhaps they are the ones who should be eradicated."
"Don't get any ideas, Vindi." Rumlow's gruff voice cut in through the Doctor's rant.
"In case you forgot, My master Dooku wishes to make sure that I bring any Avengers we capture to him." Kadrian added with Vindi quickly bowing.
"Yes, yes, yes, of course." Vindi said. "Anything for my great benefactor."
Rumlow and Steve only locked eyes, Natasha doing the same with Kadrian.
But Peter had his eyes on the wall that contained the vials of the Virus. In his mind, it was going over multiple plans on what they could possibly do to stop this madman from getting the virus out into the galaxy.
When he woke up, he tried finding his Avengers ID card only to not feel it on his person. His best bet was that Brock Rumlow and those Acolytes must have taken it along with Cap's and Widows. And if they were in a secret lab, there's a likelihood of communications being difficult to send out.
His time spent with the Avengers has taught him that he would need to bide his time and wait for the right opportunity at times rather than rushing in.
So for now, he allowed the droids to take him and the others away.
They would find their chance to strike back against this mad man and his hired muscle.
Back with Rhodey who was going over what he had found on the Separatist situation on Naboo with Tap and Typho, he soon got a notification of the arrival of the Republic fleet.
Going to the hangar bay, he watched as several Gunships arrived and landed with Clones of the 212th, 41st and 501st coming out along with five familiar Jedi faces.
"Guys." Rhodey waved at them, he and Typho approaching the Jedi with the Gungan Peppi Bow who had come from the Grasslands being sent by Padme to them.
They walked up to one another with Luminara Unduli and her Padawan bowing in greeting.
"Hey Luminara, Barriss." Rhodey regarded them both. "Good to see you two again."
"It is good to see you as well, Colonel." Luminara greeted kindly with Barriss giving the armored Avenger a kind smile.
"I think we're well past the need for titles, Luminara." Rhodey said with a small smirk.
Typho all the while was speaking with Obi-wan, Anakin and Ahsoka.
"General Kenobi, Anakin, we're so glad-"
"Where's Senator Amidala?" Anakin cut the Captain off with a stern look
"She went to look for the lab that the Tactical droid spoke of." Rhodey answered.
"And you let her go?" Anakin asked in an agitated manner.
"You really think we can stop her?" Rhodey shot back with a raised brow.
"Senator Padme can be very hard to stop once she has made up her mind." C-3P0 chimed in with Anakin sagging a moment later in defeat.
"Yeah, good point. I know what you mean." Anakin relented. He knows how his wife can act sometimes.
Typho then cleared his throat aloud, gaining everyone's attention as he looked behind him to the Gungan female standing with them.
"This is Peppi Bow. She was the last person to see them. Padme sent her here to safety."
"Theysa is looking for the sick-maker." Peppi said straight away. "Meesa sees them near the Marsh lands."
"They?" Obi-wan said.
"She means Peter, Nat and Steve." Rhodey elaborated. "They went with her to investigate."
Hearing that three Avengers were with his secret wife and ones he trusted to a high degree alleviated a great deal of Anakin's concerns.
R2-D2 beeps a moment later with Anakin nodding at the astromech.
"Yeah you're right buddy."
"What shall we be doing now?"
"We gotta be careful." Rhodey advised with a straight-laced tone. "Typho and I got something new recently that has us worried. The others haven't called us back yet but we figure it may have to do with what we found out."
Anakin and Obi-wan exchanged looks with Luminara before turning to their Padawans.
"Ahsoka, Barriss, the two of you go with the Gungan. See if you can find them." Anakin instructed.
"You got it, Master." Ahsoka said, Barriss nodding with the two going off with Peppi not far behind.
"So what was that you mentioned about the others not calling you back just yet?" Luminara asked with Rhodey tilting his head back to the room where the scrapped droids were being held.
"Come on, we'll show you."
Soon after, the three Jedi were standing around a holo-table with Rhodey and Typho with everyone gazing at the head of a B1 battle droid.
"We did a robo-lobotomy on the battle droids and Tap managed to piece together this piece of memory." Informed the colonel Avenger before having the AI bring up what they found.
A moment later, the holo-visage of a tall and slender humanoid with dark marking under his eyes was displayed.
"Who is that?" Asked Kenobi.
"Dr. Nuvo Vindi, the senior medi for the Perma families. He disappeared ten years ago." Said Typho before the holo-visage played out.
"Good news, my soulless automation friends. We now have enough of the blue shadow virus to start filling the bombs."
"He said 'bombs'." 3PO said worriedly as R2-D2 blipped in agreement.
"We will only need to send one bomb to each key star system. Work quickly. I want them ready to deliver-"
Nothing further was played out as the message was clear as rain.
"We're dealing with a generic German scientist." Rhodey stated with his arms crossed and expression grim.
"The blue shadow virus." Luminara said with a dreaded face. "How is this possible?"
"If those bombs get delivered, we'll be facing a galaxy-wide plague." Obi-wan stressed out.
"The war will be the least of our worries." Luminara drearily said.
"There is some good news." Typho said, bringing up a display of a large multi-layered facility. "Senator Amidala found the lab. She sent us the coordinates before she disappeared. We've managed to get a geo-scan of the area."
"It's enormous." Kenobi commented.
"Looks like there are three entry points." Captain Typho then highlighted said three areas on the holo-map before highlighting one more spot. "This appears to be the main lab."
"And the bombs?" Asked Luminara.
"There seems to be an above-average amount of radiation in this area." Typho highlighted another area on the geo-scan, closer to the overall center of the lab. "It's likely where they're being assembled."
"If Padme has alerted them to our presence in any way…" Obi-wan began.
"If Padme's in there and then we go in guns a-blazin', she may get killed." Rhodey pointed out.
"What about the others?" Anakin asked. "You said Steve, Nat and Peter are with her."
"They likely may have been captured." Luminara surmised.
"How can they get captured?" Anakin asked.
"Scott was." Rhodey reminded the Jedi Knight. "And it's likely this Vindi guy has some hired muscle to achieve this. We're gonna be putting all of our friends in danger."
"It's a risk we have to take. Dr. Vindi and those bombs must not leave the lab." Obi-wan said firmly.
"And if they or we detonate one during the attack?" Anakin countered.
Bits of dread were soon heard in Kenobi's voice. "Better to have one planet infected than the entire galaxy."
"That's not gonna happen." Rhodey said with a sharp tone. "We're gonna get them all out of there no matter what. So get your head in the game Kenobi."
This was a rather startling proclamation that threw off the Jedi Master though he knows that Rhodey was right.
The thought of an entire planet suffering and perishing to a virus that had such a deadly reputation and effect was not something that he'd have on his conscious, Jedi Code or not.
Peppi bow rode atop one of her Shaaks with Barriss and Ahsoka in tow, approaching a ship within the Eastern Swamps as the sun started to set in the horizon.
"Dis da ship belonging to them." Addressed the Shaak herder.
"So where are they?" Ahsoka inquired.
"Hopefully not very far." Barriss jotted in.
The trio hopped off the beast of burden, looking around.
Barriss kneeled down, hands grazing over footprints.
"Their tracks end here."
The two Padawans then heard a strange whirring sound with both looking at Peppi who was suddenly being elevated.
The girls looked down in time to see something with a lens rise up from the ground with Peppi standing atop it.
Immediately, they moved out of sight from the lens, careful to keep themselves out of sight.
"Peppi, it's a scope. Don't let them see you." Ahsoka said in a whisper in case the scope had audio recording.
"Wah!" Cried out the Gungan woman, flailing about in order to remain on top of the rotating object.
It became too much for the Gungan as she was about to fall. This caused Barriss to use the Force and had her land behind a large tree branch protruding out of the ground right next to them. Once this occurred, both padawans followed suit right before the scope did another rotation pass. The trio hid in their spot, keeping an eye on the scope that was in the direction of their mount.
Exchanging looks, Ahsoka held up her wrist comms and contacted Anakin.
"Master, are you there?"
"Did you find them?" Questioned Skywalker.
"Negative. I'm pretty sure they're inside the lab. The whole area is wired with pressure sensors. There's no way to get in without being detected. But I'm more than happy to-"
"Do not attempt to get inside." Obi-wan warned before a holo image of the geo-scan appeared before them. And one particular area was highlighted. "I need you to detonate a bunker bomb at the south end of the facility. It should cause a nice distraction and seal off the bomb area while we come in through the hatches."
"You can count on us."
"Rex and his men will be right behind you, Snips." Spoke Anakin. "They'll have your back."
"The two of you must stay out of sight and infiltrate the base." Luminara added. "Focus on securing the lab. The others I feel can take care of themselves."
Back with the three Jedi and Avenger, they went to their respective gunships.
"The Dark Side of the Force…" Luminara said warily. "I sense its presence here."
"Someone like those Acolytes could be here?" Rhodey asked in concern.
"That may be the case." Luminara said.
Rhodey hummed in thought. "Maybe they did capture them."
As dusk settled upon the land, it was time to initiate the plan. And hopefully it will be prior to whatever has happened to their captured comrades.
A few minutes earlier…
Nuvo Vindi was studying a particularly fascinating object.
"This shield is amazing." Nuvo remarked. "I have never seen something as strong as this material. Rumlow. You said you are aware of what this metal is."
"Vibranium." The Merc said gruffly. "And don't get comfortable with it. I'll be taking it with me."
"And what makes you think you shall so easily take it?" Bil Valen, one of the Dark Acolytes asked challengingly. "I am certain that our Master Dooku would find it very useful."
"Please." Rumlow scoffed. "You dumbasses wouldn't know the first thing to do with it."
"Is that a fact?" Bil said getting into Rumlow's face with the mercenary not backing down when Kadrian got in between them both.
"Enough you two." Kadrian said in annoyance.
Both had their eyes locked on one another's until Valen relented.
The entire facility shook with the sound of a sudden explosion rocking the lab.
"We have a breach!" Vindi yelled out. "All droids to hatch number one."
The doctor looked to his prisoners, grabbing a helmet and placing it on.
"Friends of yours, I assume." Nuvo remarked. "They arrived quicker than I would've thought."
Seeing the doctor place a helmet on, Rumlow's eyes narrowed, walking right up to the doctor.
"What is i-GAK."
The former HYDRA agent gabbed the top of the helmet and pulled him down to his level.
"You're not planning on unleashing that virus now, are ya?" he threatened.
"What is the point of having a virus if you do not use it?" Vindi asked in a rhetorical manner.
"Where's the cure?" Rumlow tightened his grasp upon the doctors shoulder making him wince.
"I-I didn't make one."
Rumlow scoffed disbelievingly. "The hell you didn't. You no doubt would've made one in case this shit got loose by pure accident. Something like when the virus got leaked into the water system earlier."
The Merc looked to the acolytes. "You'd really be comfortable without knowing there's a cure? We're gonna be dealing with a lot of bullshit real soon. You don't want to be taking any chances."
The acolytes looked between one another; a silent conversation being conducted until they all nodded in agreement.
"The mercenary is no doubt holding a compelling argument." Rodri, the mint-eyed, grey-skinned acolyte pointed out.
"The cure, Doctor Vindi." Prosset Dibs said with an expectant posture. "Where. Is. It?"
Vindi wanted to argue but the telltale sounds of blaster fire meant that now wasn't the time to be prideful or stubborn.
"I'm going with the good doctor here." Crossbones said to the others. "Someone wanna come with for some added protection?"
Kadrian and Rodri opted to go with the mercenary whilst Prosset and Valen stayed to watch over the Avengers and Senator.
On their way out of the room, Rumlow made sure to take Cap's shield with him.
Outside, Ahsoka and Barriss saw several gunships fly by, floating above specific sections of the lab.
Both moved in as the gunship with Captain Rex, Domino squad and several other clones arrived.
"Meesa come too?" Peppi asked.
"No. Stay here and make sure no one escapes." Ahsoka told the Shaak herder.
Peppi thought for a brief moment before complying with the order. "Okeyday."
The two Padawan's ran forward, igniting their lightsabers and jumping into the hole they had made with the clones joining them a moment later.
They had their lightsabers on, deflecting blaster bolts from the oncoming droids with the clones of the 501st backing them up.
Over with the other gunships, they were in position above their designated markers.
The bombs have been dropped and the Jedi, Clones and lone Avengers enter into the facility.
Anakin has been on edge for most of the day ever since hearing Padme went off to find the lab. There's a good chance they're about to destroy all life on this planet, including theirs and the Senator's. Not to mention Padme losing her life as a result of their raid.
For said raid, he and Luminara needed to focus on finding the good doctor while Obi-wan takes care of the bombs.
He knows what is at stake here, more than anyone.
Standing in a corridor, Luminara and Anakin gazed down in both directions as they saw it was clear with the Clones dropping in after them.
"It's quiet in here." Anakin noted.
"It appears our Padawans' distraction is working." Luminara said.
"Let's not let it go to waste."
Back with Barriss and Ahsoka, they were quickly blocking the incoming blaster fire from the various battle droids opposing them.
"Forward! Come on!"
Though, this order came a moment too late as Droidekas rolled in from behind the droids and stood between them now, shields up.
"Fall back!" Barriss ordered as they were starting to get overwhelmed with the new arrivals.
Reaching the main lab, the two Jedi were quick in piercing the locked door with their lightsabers. Pushing with all their might, they did their best to cut through it and make an opening for them and the clones to enter through. After what felt like forever, the door clattered on the ground, granting the Republic forces entry into the main lab.
"Padme!" Anakin cried out, seeing his secret-wife bound with the others.
"And us! Don't forget about us!" Peter yelled out.
"Ah, Jedi." Prosset ignited his saber and held it out at the neck of Captain Rogers with Valen doing the same for Padme. "Take another step and your friends die."
Luminara blinked, with her eyes widening. "Master Dibs?"
The blind master regarded the Mirialan with a cold look. "Ah yes, Master Unduli. I hope you are doing well."
The droids within the room all held up their blasters with the clones doing the same and they were now in a standoff.
Anakin gazed upon his secret wife and then the other Avengers with him stopping momentarily at Steve who gave a side-eyed look to Peter who was tied behind the group.
He looked back at the Jedi with a knowing look with Anakin understanding.
He put on the facade of defeat.
"Do as he says." Anakin said to the others, momentarily surprising his allies.
As soon as he deactivated his lightsaber, Spiderman roared aloud in pain as the electrical binds that held him resisted his strength until he broke through.
The two Acolytes were startled by the display of strength, momentarily caught off guard as Peter immediately jumped and kicked both of them away.
Anakin and Luminara performed a dual Force push to knock the droids away with the clones quickly capitalizing on the opportunity to blast them away.
Peter moved fast, feeling the sting of electricity from each binding but he managed to free Cap, Widow and Padme a moment later until his sixth sense blared in warning.
He tackled Padme forward as a red blade nearly cut his head off.
Peter looked back up in time to see the large Acolyte Rodri get stopped thanks to Anakin jumping forward.
Their blades clashed, entering into a small duel.
Luminara had engaged Prosset Dibs after taking out several droids and Steve and Nat were quick to join into the fight, assisting the clones in eliminating the rest of the droids.
The former Jedi Master was quick to take stock of the situation, and threw Luminara back with a Force push of his own which collided with Anakin, causing both Jedi to crash into Cap.
Both Acolytes made a beeline for getting out of the room, leaving them all behind.
"Well…" Widow rotated her sore shoulders. "What took you guys so long?"
"Why didn't you guys break out sooner?" Anakin shot back, standing close to Padme with her managing to discreetly squeeze his hand in reassurance and thanks.
"We were surrounded." Steve said. "But we need to get going. Brock Rumlow is here and there are two other acolytes with him. They have Vindi with him."
"They said something about having a cure to the virus." Widow added.
"And they took Cap's shield." Peter said in an offended manner.
Over with the two Padawans, they had been able to take out the first set of Droidekas yet several more were quick to replace them.
They were slowly getting pushed back, having lost two Clones in the process.
"I can't hold them." Ahsoka gritted out as she continued assisting Barriss in blocking the enemy fire.
"We need something, anything to-"
Barriss was interrupted when the ground above them gave way, releasing debris on top of the Droidekas, crushing them in one fell swoop. And standing on top of the rubble was Master Kenobi.
"Need some help?"
"Oh, so good to see you, Master Kenobi." Ahsoka said in utter relief.
"It would be very much appreciative." Barriss added in with a smile as reinforcements started dropping in from the newly made hole.
War Machine dropped in, his shoulder gun whirling to life as two droids entered the corridor and were quickly turned into scrap.
"Looks like the fun is getting started. Hope we don't have too much of it while we're here."
Obi-wan only smirked at the Colonel's comment when he looked back to the Padawans.
"Things are going well. The lab is secure, and hopefully Anakin and Luminara have reached Padme and the others by now."
The groups then ran down the hallway in order to reach their next destination. When coming into an intersection, they stopped when they were confronted with the next wave of droids.
And the droids weren't alone.
"Jedi." Rodri growled, igniting his crimson saber.
"Master Kenobi, you go on ahead." Barriss stated, turning on her Lightsaber with Ahsoka doing the same. "Find those bombs."
"Are you certain?" Kenobi asked in concern.
"They won't be alone." Rhodey declared, his suit having multiple pieces pop out with weapons everywhere.
The helmeted mint-eyed acolyte snarled, holding his blade up with the two girls and Avenger getting into positions themselves.
"Now then, new guy, let's dance."
The acolyte merely charged forward as the padawans did the same with their weapons clashing. The droids, however, opened fire as Rhodey returned the gesture.
With Anakin's group, they were already moving out from the room.
"We gotta move fast." Widow said. "Those Acolytes and Rumlow went ahead with Vindi. Something about having a cure to this virus."
"I wouldn't put it past them to have snagged a vial of the shadow virus as well as a precaution." Padme added. "This was made for the Separatists. There's a likely chance Dooku wants at least one vial to be brought to him."
"Then we better hurry and find them fast before losing them."
With Kenobi and his squadron of Clones, they entered the chamber that had been identified to hold the deadly virus.
"Well, it looks like we found the bomb room." A clone commented, looking around at all the hanging bombs.
"Yes, and luckily, they appear inactive."
Moments after this was spoken, every bomb in the room lit up.
"I spoke too soon." Obi-wan muttered before giving out the clones the obvious order. "Get these deactivated now." As they went to do so, he made a call to his former padawan. "Anakin, I'm guessing you didn't capture the doctor."
"We didn't find him." Anakin said as he and the others were running down a hallway. "He wasn't with Padme or the Avengers. He was taken by Brock Rumlow and some of Dooku's Acolytes. Something about a cure to the virus."
"Rumlow is here?" Obi-wan grimaced, recalling the HYDRA agent all too well. "Marvelous. Dr. Vindi has remotely activated the bombs. They're counting down."
"That's great." Anakin sarcastically remarked.
"And on top of that, one of them seems to be missing."
"It's down here somewhere."
"Ahsoka, we've got another situation-"
"Ahsoka is busy at the moment." Obi-wan cut him off. "She and Barriss are with Rhodey fighting one of Dooku's Acolytes."
"How many of those bastards are down here?" Anakin couldn't help but ask.
"Four." Peter answered.
"Never mind." Steve interrupted. "Pete, you know what we're looking for. Go find that small droid, the one Vindi gave the bomb to."
"You got it Cap." Peter shot a web in a random corridor direction and hurtled himself at top speeds.
Elsewhere in the underground facility, Rumlow stood with Vindi and Kadrian with the former holding up a glass vial of a separate substance.
"Behold my greatest shame." Vindi said with a bitter tone. "The cure for the Shadow Virus."
Rumlow deftly snatched the vial out of the doctors hands and examined it momentarily.
"Better not be lying, Doc." Brock's voice was low. "You really don't wanna find out how I can make people sing."
The threat was clear and present, the doctor unable to contain the gulp of fear as he saw the deadly look in the eyes of the mercenary.
"Let's get out of here." Kadrian said.
"Leaving your Acolyte companions behind?" Rumlow asked.
"They either escape, kill, or be killed." Kadrian said dispassionately. "My Master has no use for weaklings."
Rumlow 'hmphed' in amusement as they departed from the room they had got the cure from and made a run to their ship out of here.
There were multiple small battles happening on all ends in the lab by this point, with Ahsoka, Barriss and Rhodey having successfully taken down their Dark Acolyte only to get blindsided by Prosset Dibs and Bil Valen who scooped up their fallen comrade and fled the scene.
Elsewhere, Peter was moving about the corridor when he swung by a room that stood out. Backtracking, he saw it was a room of plants and entered, unsure of what this place was until he saw a pair of stubby robotic legs trying to stay hidden.
Smirking, Peter crouched down to peak under one of the tables to see the droid holding the bomb.
"I'll take that." Spiderman fired a web line and pulled the bomb out of the droid's hands.
It let out a warble of shock and attempted to jump for it only for Peter to easily catch it and hold it up with ease.
He looked at the bomb momentarily to examine it when he frowned which turned into horror.
"Guys!" He spoke into the comms with alarm, tossing the bomb away. "The virus isn't in the bomb!"
"What?!" Was the collective response from many on comms.
Peter looked at the droid in his hand and glared at it.
"Do you have it?" Peter asked in a low voice, intentionally tightening his grip on the droid making it shake its head rapidly.
Gritting his teeth, Peter noticed some scratch marks upon the droid. Scratch marks that he didn't have on him.
"Where'd you get these?" Peter muttered to himself.
Surprisingly, the droid answered. "Mercenary."
Widening his eyes in shock, he dropped the droid and ran off.
"Rumlow has the vial everyone!" Peter shouted into the comms.
"And he's with Vindi." Steve added on his end with his group running towards what looked like a hangar bay.
There, they saw multiple droids and behind them all were the Acolytes, Vindi and Rumlow.
"Jedi!" the droids cried out, firing at them with the Jedi bringing out the lightsabers to deflect the blaster bolts and the clones that were with them firing back.
Natasha brought out her own pistols while Steve utilized a DC-15 rifle that one of the clones gave him.
"Come on." Anakin said, surging ahead to cut through the droids.
Once entering the hangar bay, the three Acolytes that were still conscious brought out their own blades with Rumlow pumping his hydraulic gauntlets.
"I'd like my shield back, Rumlow." Steve said tensely.
"Come and get it." Rumlow challenged.
Anakin however had his attention focused on Vindi.
"Leaving so soon, doctor?"
"You are running out of time, Jedi." Nuvo taunted. "You are fighting the inevitable."
"We tend to do that." Natasha said, the group rushing the Acolytes and Mercenary.
Vindi simply stepped upon the landing platform and activated its ascent.
Rumlow was engaged in hand to hand combat with Steve and saw out of the corner of his eye that the mad doctor was making his escape.
Grunting, he deftly deflected a punch from Rogers and delivered a powerful counter strike. With his hydraulic gauntlet, he managed to bash the Captain away and managed to get on the platform in time.
"Shit." Steve grunted out. "They're getting away."
From the sidelines, a number of clones were firing upon the good doctor. Their shots missed, but at least Vindi wasn't a better shot as he too was missing their mark.
"Don't shoot!" Anakin called out to them, holding back a red blade from Kadrian. "If he drops one of the vials he has, we're finished."
The clones did so only for one of them to get killed from one of the blaster bolts that came from Rumlow, holding up his gauntlets.
"Gotta love upgrades." He gloated. "Don't you?"
The sound of gunfire was suddenly heard and from the door that Anakin's group used to get to the hangar came Rhodey who flew straight up towards the landing platform.
"Shit." Rumlow growled, readying himself for a fight.
The Colonel flew up and straight at the mercenary who dodged multiple swings and retaliated with a dual punch to the chest.
War Machine was in the air now and stabilized himself with his thrusters and raised his palms out, firing repulsor beams at Rumlow who hastily used Captain America's shield to deflect the beams.
"Rhodey." Widow called out to him. "They have the virus on them. If they drop it, we're dead. Capture them."
Hearing this, Nuvo retrieved a few vials of his airborne virus from a storage container on his person and tossed them into the air. Seeing this, Rhodey was forced to disengage from his fight against Crossbones in order to retrieve the falling hazardous material from hitting anything.
Crossbones simply placed Cap's shield on his back when suddenly, a web from below snagged on to it and yanked it off his back.
The mercenary whirled round in time to see the shield fly into the hands of Spider-man.
"I'll be taking that." he said tauntingly, the web-head looking down. "Here you go, Captain America. Special delivery."
He dropped the shield and it fell directly into the hands of Steve Rogers.
"Thanks, Peter. Felt naked without it." He said, slipping his arm through the straps of his shield.
Down below, the three Acolytes that had remained behind knew that if they did not escape now, they would either be killed or taken captive.
"We need to get out of here." Prosset insisted.
"Agreed." Valen said.
"The others?" Kadrian asked.
"Either gonna be dead, captured or already have their own means of escape."
"We'll no doubt find out on either once reporting back to Dooku."
"What of the mercenary?"
The other acolytes were silent, not entirely sure what to do towards said man.
Peter, having chased after Rumlow and Vindi, swung up and hovered above the platform momentarily as he locked eyes with the wall-crawler.
Without missing a beat, he fired two web lines with Rumlow raising his arm to catch them.
Once they latched onto the arm, Peter pulled himself forward to take the mercenary down.
Unfortunately, Rumlow held up the vial he had taken from Vindi's assistant droid.
The one containing the Blue Shadow Virus.
Eyes widening at the sight of the vial, Spiderman faltered in midair with his sixth sense exploding in warning though it was too late as he got the wind knocked out of him thanks to a powerful punch to his gut.
"Just a rookie." Rumlow taunted, going for the ship.
"Hey, what about me?!" Vindi called out only for him to get promptly shoved away from the ship.
"Added weight. Which I don't need now." Rumlow said in his gruff tone, entering the ship.
It powered up with many below looking up in shock.
This was the chance the Acolytes needed, force pushing the Jedi, clone and Avengers away and made a hasty retreat.
"We gotta get up there."
War Machine was already propelling himself up into the air with Anakin jumping up after him.
Spiderman had also joined in the pursuit, getting up onto the platform in time to see the ship Rumlow had taken lift up off the ground.
Instinctively, Peter shot two web lines to snag the ship but it appears that he wasn't going to just be dealing with the ship.
He heard a crazed laugh, looking over to Vindi who was holding another pair of vials.
"For you." Vindi said, tossing them into the air and cackling maniacally.
Gasping under his mask, Spiderman quickly let go of the webs just as the ship was ascending into the air.
He fired off another pair of webs, snagging the vials and pulling them right into his hands.
"Keep giving me heart attacks, why don't ya." Peter muttered, sagging in relief.
He then looked up to see Anakin having flipped over Vindi, holding his lightsaber to his face.
"You're under arrest, Dr. Vindi."
War Machine flew past them all, pursuing the ship that was beginning to get higher.
Just as he got close, the ship was angled up in the air properly and soared off at full speed. Rhodey tried pursuing after it yet the back ramp suddenly opened…
And out came a few thermal detonators showering down at the Colonel who hastily avoided them all. The detonators went off all around him, the shockwaves momentarily stunning him.
This was all the ship needed to properly escape its pursuer who hovered in the air as he saw the ship fly further and further away.
"Son of a bitch." Rhodey muttered in frustration. He could not believe this just happened.
All the while, Anakin and Peter were facing Vindi who was holding another vial in his hands making sure to show that if they tried anything, it would fall and the virus would be unleashed.
"Yeah, yeah, yeah. Ha, yeah, ye-"
From out of nowhere, Peppi tackled the doctor to the ground. In the scuffle, the storage container holding the vials was let loose and landed some feet away. Luckily for everyone present, none of the vials broke. Vindi tried to retrieve it, but was assaulted by the Shaak herder once more, which soon resulted in his defeat once a lightsaber was aimed at his face.
The doctor then heard the beeping from his wrist communicator accelerating. Glancing over, he saw the device connected to all of the bombs down below was reaching the end of the timer.
"Yes, the bomb's going off, and we're all going to die." Dr. Vindi let loose a maniacal laugh. "Yeah, yeah, yeah. Die!" He then saw the device on his arm suddenly turn off. "Oops. What happened?"
Curious with what's going on down below, Anakin called his padawan. "Ahsoka, are you there?"
"I'm here, Master. The bombs have been deactivated with plenty of time to spare. Did you find Vindi?"
"Deactivated as well. Have you seen Padme?"
"She's right next to me. I'm okay too. Thanks for asking." Ahsoka remarked.
Anakin smirked triumphantly, looking down at the now sour doctor.
The day was theirs…
Above the planet, a lone Separatist Shuttle flew away from the planet, several additional Separatist ships that contained the fleeing Acolytes quickly following after it.
Within the shuttle, once seeing that he was in the clear, Rumlow pulled out something from his side pocket.
Flipping the lid off of it, the former HYDRA agent smirked underneath his helmet.
"Enjoy the surprise, Rogers."
With that said, he pressed the button to his detonator.
Back below in the underground facility, we see the main lab where all of the vials containing the blue shadow virus being kept. Several clones were already in there, trying to keep an eye on anything amiss.
From out of nowhere, they heard a faint beeping in the air. They thought it was someone's wrist communicator going off, but it turned out to be something else.
Searching for the source, it didn't take long to find it. For the beeping was coming from the glass containers holding all of the vials.
You see, when the Avengers made their presence in the facility, Rumlow knew this job was going to be a lost cause. So he decided to make a backup plan in order to screw everyone down there when they least expected it.
In discrete actions, the former HYDRA agent planted some bombs where the airborne blue shadow virus vials were being kept. Said bombs were connected to a trigger Rumlow acquired with an experimental reach that can reach from a planet's surface from its atmosphere.
Now… back to the present-
The explosion shook the lab, alarming all those still present inside and those upon the landing platform.
"What was that?" Luminara asked in grave concern.
"It came from inside the lab." Kenobi stated.
After saying that, many began to realize what had just happened.
One of which was none other than Nuvo Vindi who began laughing maniacally.
"It was all for naught!" Vindi exclaimed in maddening glee. "The Virus has been liberated. The death of Naboo is upon us! You are all Doomed."
And there we have it folks.
Yup, that's right, the Blue Shadow Virus arc.
Jebest4781 and I planned this from the start, having a few specific reasons for it which you will see in the coming chapter.
We took advantage of the loose anthology like method in which the Clone Wars was told and decided to place this arc towards the end of Season 2. There's been some other switch arounds here and there in the war overall that will come to be seen in time.
Hopefully, it can come out sooner than later with Cliffhangers being a bitch of a thing to deal with but J and I still got other stories to deal with as well.
One that he and I are really excited to do that's still in development but a clearer picture is being formed as the days go on.
So other than that everyone, hold onto your butts cause the next chapter is gonna be wild.
Rate Read and Review and as Always Have Nice Day.