Salem-X

Issue #58 – Scary Waters – Part Three

Bermuda Triangle

Aboard An Abandoned Submarine

"What's wrong with her?" Darklight asked as they saw their blue colored teammate that now looked like a cross between Illyana's demon form and the creatures they just fought.

"Looks like she got infected when she got scratched by one of those things. Her assumption that her demon form was immune was wrong," Longshot said watching SilverFlame closely as he saw the doors were almost open enough for the creatures to come out.

"Guys, the Hex-Hydro is, what Happened to her?" Blink started to say and then gasped at the sight off Illyana when she and Scarlet Arrow appeared next to Darklight in a flash of pink light.

"The scratch infected her and transformed her into one of them," Darklight said as he called on his powers and engulfed SilverFlame in complete darkness.

"Not good," Blink said as the creatures coming out of the doors right by them started to vanish as she went into action with her powers.

Scarlet Arrow quickly sent an arrow at each of the doors next to them causing an explosion that shut the doors. He then followed up with an arrow upon the door handles that exploded causing a substance to seal around it so the doors would not be able to open. This helped them but still had the dozens of blue creatures coming out all the other doors the rest of the way down the room behind them, as well as the infected SilverFlame that was emerging angrily out of the patch of darkness. Longshot and Blink had turned to handle the creatures coming at them from behind while Darklight and Scarlet Arrow met SilverFlame.

"What ever you do, do not let them scratch or bite you," Darklight said he saw Longshot moving as quick as he could throwing his knives while Blink continued to teleport them away as fast as she could.

"I am picking up more of a life sign from Illyana than the others so maybe she isn't fully turned," Scarlet Arrow said as he sent an arrow that plunged deep into her chest and pumped in enough tranquilizers to knock out an elephant.

"Grrr," was all Illyana got out before she paused, swayed and hit the ground.

"Look," Darklight said as SilverFlame shimmered and soon reverted to her human form and looked very uninfected.

"There's too many of them," Blink said as she was growing tired.

"Everyone, let's run back into the room we came from. The minute we're there, Blink you teleport us all into the room directly behind that closed door at the far end. This way they will all be piling away from us and give us a chance to regroup," Scarlet Arrow said as he scooped up Illyana and they all ran like heck.

"What if there is more that way?" Darklight asked.

"I didn't see any reading from that door, but with a little luck we might catch a break," Scarlet Arrow said as he glanced at Longshot.

As they all entered the room, Longshot closed the door behind them as Scarlet Arrow set down Illyana and sent an arrow at the far door causing it to explode open to make it look as if they went that way. Just as they heard the creatures almost upon the closed door behind them, they all gathered close as Blink looked back where they came and with a little luck concentrated on the goal room and called on her powers. They all vanished in a pink flash seconds before the blue creatures shoved the door open and all started moving toward the doorway that had been exploded open. Blink sighed with relief when they all reappeared safely in a new room.

"You did it," Longshot smiled as he put his ear against a door and heard the sound of creatures vanishing as they apparently continued to flow out into the opposite direction of them.

"Looks like we're in the shaft where we can go between levels," Blink said as she created two javelins that gave off enough light that they could see they were in a small room that had a ladder in the middle going up and down and another door across from the one that lead into the creatures sleeping quarters.

"Well, it seems that there are no other survivors on her. I think it's best to get off this thing before we all get infected like Illyana," Darklight said.

"What did Wade say?" Longshot asked.

"Well, that's what I was about to announce when we arrived back into that situation back there," Blink said looking nervously at Scarlet Arrow.

"What's going on?" Darklight asked as they all looked to Scarlet Arrow in grave concern.

"The Hex-Hydro was gone," Scarlet Arrow whispered just loud enough for all to hear.

Aboard The Hex-Hydro – Elsewhere

"What just happened?" Charles asked as he looked at Magnus, Thunderclap, Crimson Bolt and Shadowoman when the light vanished and the humming stopped.

"I don't know," Magus answered as he felt very weak and disoriented from the feed back of the spell.

"I have some bad news and good news," Thunderclap said with a strange tone as he looked at the computer readings.

"Give me the good news," Wade said as he sat down into his chair.

"We don't have to track the energy source anymore. We seem to be right in the middle of it," Thunderclap responded.

"And the bad news?" Shadowoman asked as she looked to Crimson Bolt.

"What ever hit us must have moved us. There is no sign or readings of the others or the submarine they're on and wherever we are its too far form them to be able to communicate with them as the Hex-Com fails to pick up their signal," Thunderclap answered as Magnetizer thought of Blink and began to panic.

"Any way to establish which direction we came from and head back that way?" Wade asked.

"Negative, the navigation system is going haywire. I have no idea what direction we are facing," Thunderclap said as they looked at the monitors and all they saw the blue ocean all around them lit up by a strange blue energy.

"I can't feel any darkness out there," Shadowoman said as she felt the blue energy cutting her off from the source of her powers, the Darkforce.

"Are you saying you are completely powerless?" Crimson Bolt asked.

"Yes," Shadowoman lied, as she knew she wasn't ready to tap into and reveal an alternative to using her gifts.

"Look!" Charles suddenly shouted while pointing at the large monitor.

They all turned and looked at the screen that showed everything directly in from of them. Something off in the distance was moving towards them and at a very quick rate. Wade barked orders as they all took their seats and Thunderclap prepared the weapons system. In a few short minutes the translucent, glowing blue creature had come to a dead stop and floated a few feet directly in front of them. It appeared to be the size of a wale, had the body of a jellyfish, while the top half was humanoid with pointed ears and fangs and instead of arms had four tentacles on each side. The creatures glowing white eyes looked right at them and seemed to blink from side to side.

"I think we can take that giant fish," Crimson Bolt said as his hands crackled with electricity.

"Yeah, that's intelligent, unleash a wave of electricity in a body of water," Thunderclap said with grand sarcasm.

"What about him," Crimson Bolt said getting defensive and angry.

"My electricity is a bit different. It is laced with magic, but I agree, we can't take chances like that," Wade said as he studied the creature that, for now, was just floating there watching them.

"Greetings", came a voice from all around them.

"Who are you and why have you brought us here?" Wade asked out loud.

"You reached out to us, so we brought you here to see what held such tasty power," the creature responded.

"Wait, did he say we and tasty?" Charles whispered to Thunderclap.

"Yes, young one, we are all that's left and for years we have managed to feed from this dimension but something happened and pulled us from our dimension stranding us here," the creature said as they noticed six more creatures just like the one in front of them suddenly flew up and surrounded their ship.

"Guess this explains the mysterious vanishing in the Bermuda triangle," Crimson Bolt said as he nervously looked at the monitors noticing the creatures were licking their fangs.

"We need to get out of here and find Blink and the others," Charles said trying to act like the young adult he was, but suddenly feeling he needed the protection of his god mother.

"Don't worry we'll find them," Thunderclap comforted the one who had not too long ago turned eighteen but had the power and maturity of an fully grown man but still possessed the soul of a child deep down.

"If you are referring to the ones on that submarine. I'm afraid if they are not dead they are one of us by now," the creature said raising fear and panic in all of them.

"What are you talking about?" Wade asked as he began to prepare a spell.

"We need to feed, and we leave our hunters to help gather our food. We were about to collect from that location when you disrupted us. Since what we get is always infected, we don't mind that you did as it appears we get a fresh treat this time," the creature said as all the creatures surrounding the Hex-Hydro lashed out with their tentacles shaking and trying to brake the ship apart.


Young Avengers

War Games – Part Three

Unknown Location – Murder World of Arcade & Arcadia

"Access files," A-Machine said as she watched the readout identifying the Sentinel and the three more approaching as large robots that had been designed to hunt and kill mutants.

All her life, Tonya Winters had been treated like she was some dumb bimbo because she was blond and beautiful and her mom was an actress. What no one knew was that her father was Tony Stark. She had figured it out at a very young age but kept it a secret for two reasons. She didn't want her mom to loose her payoff money from Stark's father, but she didn't want people to think she was smart. People thinking she was dumb allowed her to use her gifted intelligence she got from her father to get away with stuff while doing and building amazing things. Like this armor she wore.

For a long time she had been working in secret on a device that could analyze a power or weapon and try to assimilate or duplicate it. It was based on the idea of what she had seen on television by other heroes and villains and she used a strange box she had found in the woods as the power source. When she had gotten kidnapped she thought that some villain had found out about it or the owner of the box was coming for it. Once she had gotten back to the Young Avengers base she knew it was her time to drop the dumb act and finally be like and surpass her dead beat father, which in his defense didn't know about her, but still. So with a little help from A.J. and Kid Vis she built the A-Machine armor and, without their knowledge, infused her alien box into it as well as download the Young Avenger's data files. Now she had a suit of armor that could access almost any data she wanted and a power source to create the weapon of her choice.

"Access Avenger Living Lightening," A-Machine said as she felt a surge conducting within her armor.

A-Machine flew at the Sentinel and stopped right in front of it, a few feet from its head. She raised her arms and pointed the palm of her hands at the giant robot and released her power. Two powerful blasts of electricity shot out and hit the robot causing it to shake. Tonya didn't need her scans to know that this Sentinel was nothing like the originals and not as durable. As the Sentinel started to short out, she accessed Hercules to reinforce her armors strength and took the robots head right off. She saw the last three Sentinels almost upon her but held back. She got another reading and decided she had to be carful so no one would suspect how powerful she was and start questioning how her suit really worked.

"Good job A-Machine, but allow us to assist," Thunderstrike said as he and the rest of the Young Avengers came flying out of the pit.

"If you would?" Hulktress asked as Thunderstrike took the woman in his arms and flung her at one of the Sentinels.

Hulktress hit the robot feet first causing it to fall backwards as she pounded its face crushing it completely in by the time it hit the ground. Flame went bright as she flared with fire and engulfed the second Sentinel in fire as Lion of Olympus used the Sword of Ares to slice it off at the leg making it crash to the ground. The last Sentinel fired off a blast at Reaper, which caused him to scream as he absorbed the energy making him stronger. Using that new strength he took flight right at the large robot and used his scythe to rip open the front of the robot's chest. The robot staggered and then exploded backwards as a sonic blast from Thunderstrike's hammer finished it off. The Young Avengers assembled together and turned to face the two monitors showing Arcade and his daughter Arcadia.

"I win!" Arcadia cheered.

"For now, I will not forget this!" Arcade said as he vanished from the screen.

"Arcadia, prepare to," A-Machine began to say when suddenly a blast hit them and they found themselves on the front property of Bishop Manor.

"What happened to guys?" Patriot asked as he and the rest of the Young Avengers came pouring out of the mansion.

"We were in some kind of arena battling for our lives," Arachnida answered as she told them about Arcade and Arcadia.

"Odd," Iron-Lad murmured.

"What do you mean?" Archtress asked as they all looked at the young version of Iron-Man.

"From the files of read, your battle seems less than what I would have expected," Iron Lad answered.

"A.J. is right. It almost sounded like you were all being tested rather than being forced to actually battle for your life," Patriot added.

"I thought it seemed a bit too easy," Panthra said as they all agreed with her.

"If anything, it allowed me to better our security so that won't happen again," Kid Vis said as they all headed back into the mansion.

Epilogue

"Arcadia, I don't understand why you let them go?" Arcade asked as he looked at his daughter.

"Don't worry about it," Arcadia said as she held her iPhone and tapped away.

"Don't worry about it. If you want to be like me you have to," Arcade began to say when his daughter looked up pointed a gun at him.

"We are nothing alike nor will I ever be a loser like you. We may share the same blood and name but the one big difference is while you always get beat, I let them go because I choose for them to live, for now," Arcadia said as she turned, pressed something on her iPhone and she suddenly vanished from the room.

"I can talk now," Arcadia said as she appeared in her bedroom and a holographic image of a man in a mask and hood generated out of her iPhone in front of her.

"Did you gather the intel I requested?" The man asked.

"I was only able to grab some of them but I imagine after that their security will be upgraded," Arcadia responded.

"Not great but it will do. It will at least help," the man said as he had begun to look at the data Arcadia had uploaded to him.

"So, am I in?" Arcadia asked point blank.

"Yes, welcome to the Young Masters," the man said as Arcadia sat back and smiled.

Next: Issue #59 – Scary Waters – Part Four & Young Avengers: City of Angels – Part One

Authors Note: Check out Avengers Inc: The Doominators Issue 1 posted now. Out of the pages of Avengers Inc and introduced in Avengers Inc #7, The Doominators is a mini-series that not only serves as an origin of Dr. Doom's newly created team of villains from heroes but serves as a prologue to my title wide crossover happening next year: THE ACTS OF DOOM. Check it out and enjoy!