When Tony Stark called for mutant registration and waged war on both mutantkind and Wakanda alike, a group of heroes banded together to defeat him. There is a new status quo in the world, a resurgence of the super hero; Carol Danvers now leads S.H.I.E.L.D. She-Hulk, the Avengers. And Hank McCoy emerges as leader of the X-Men.
They thought they'd won the war... but perhaps it was only a battle.
chapter one: resurged
NEW YORK CITY, X-MEN HQ
"Carol Danvers, better known to the world as Ms. Marvel, has assumed the mantle of Director of S.H.I.E.L.D. -- while Jennifer Walters, She-Hulk, leads a government-sanctioned Avengers," news anchor Sally Floyd spoke to her loyal viewers, her face splashed on every television in the New York area.
Surge turned away from the television, looking back to the Beast, who was busy reading a book in the corner. "And leading the newly reformed X-Men is founding member Hank McCoy."
"She knows Trish Tilby," McCoy smiled at her over his glasses. "I didn't expect any word on the matter."
"Who's Trish Tilby?"
McCoy smiled. "Ahh, youth."
"Which makes Trish much too old to be a reporter, then, doesn't it?"
Though he wouldn't admit it, Hank liked that idea.
"Yer tellin' me as many versions of Jamie Madrox that you absorbed," Remy LeBeau smiled at Rogue as they lay in bed together, "you can't muster up at least one more a'you?"
"Ah can't believe," Rogue glared at him, "that after all these years -- ah'm still not enough for you."
"Can't blame a man for tryin', chere," LeBeau grinned.
"And ya can't blame a gal for leavin'," Rogue hopped off of their bed, throwing a pillow at him as he protested. "Ah'm goin' downstairs, swamp rat. You can join me if ya'd like, but ah wouldn't."
Carol Danvers paced the deck of the new Helicarrier. She liked the design. It was simple, elegant -- well, as simple and as elegant as an airship the size of Rhode Island could be.
The ship was still grounded and Danvers was anxious to take her into the air. But protocol was protocol, and a ship is only as strong as her crew… which at present time only consisted of Jennifer's Avengers and a handful of refugees from the previous incarnation's agents.
There were background checks to be held, training sessions to endure, and a complete uniform redesign. No, that could wait. Besides, Carol thought to herself, if she was going to have to get used to dressing head-to-toe, the others could deal with it.
She'd never wanted to touch a man so badly -- and for a few seconds, she pitied Rogue.
McCoy was working on it, he'd said… but if after all these years, after all the effort that had gone behind disabling Rogue's power for Rogue, Carol wasn't hopeful.
Her thoughts were interrupted as Simon Williams turned the corner. She was surprised he'd remained loyal to S.H.I.E.L.D. -- or loyal to Director Danvers, rather.
They hadn't spoken since Wakanda -- since the two last tussled in an all-out war over Tony Stark's greed.
"Carol," Simon looked shocked. "I wasn't told anyone was aboard."
"Just admiring the new ship," Danvers smiled weakly. "Jesus, Carol," she thought to herself. "You sound like an idiot."
"It is nice. Who redesigned her?"
"The specs are similar to the last Helicarrier," she leaned against the wall -- and then rethought the idea, standing tall and firm again. "But it was a joint collaboration… and of course the… oh, nevermind."
"I hate this," Carol took a step closer to him. "Are we going to talk?"
"Talk about what?"
"The months we spent with our fists in each other's faces?"
"Oh," Simon smiled. "That."
"I'd forgotten why they called you Ms. Marvel," Williams grinned. "You pack quite a punch."
Danvers smiled to herself. "Yeah, well, I'd forgotten why they called you Wonder Man."
"They don't," Simon shrugged. "Not anymore."
"Ion?" Marvel arched an eyebrow.
"You know," Simon concentrated, changing into his ionic form. "Ion."
"May I ask why?"
"No," Ion laughed to himself. "I think it's better if it stays between me and my pride."
"Simon," Carol walked closer, placing her hand on his shoulder. "I'm happy you stayed."
"I'm loyal to S.H.I.E.L.D., Carol," Williams pulled back. "No matter who's in charge."
"What's the stor-y, Nor-i?" Rogue smiled as she took a seat next to Surge in front of the television.
Surge looked shocked; hurt.
"Nothing," Nori looked at Rogue. "It's just… Jamie used t'say that to me, that's all."
"…oh," Rogue looked away. "Ah'm sorry. He must still be kickin' around in here," she tapped her head.
Nori shook hers. "I know what he did to us… but I miss him so much."
"Hey," Rogue wrapped her arm around her, "don't worry for a second about how you feel, girl. Ah haven't always had the best choices in men."
"Magneto," Hank chimed in from the back corner with a cough.
"You're kidding," Nori looked at her.
"Suddenly Gambit don't look so bad, huh?" Rogue smiled.
Nori laughed. "No. I suppose not. Hey… what can you tell me about Trish Tilby?"
Rogue turned, her eyes meeting Hank's. He shrugged. "She came up."
"Ah never spent much time with her," Rogue looked back to Surge. "But she was a bitch in outer space."
"Outer space? I thought she was a reporter."
"Don't we make you newbies read any history?"
"I'm not a newbie," Surge challenged. "I've been doing this for--"
"--longer than you can remember?" McCoy teased.
"Since you had two streaks a'white in your hair?" Rogue joined in.
"Since you didn't clog the sink with blur fur?"
Rogue smiled at Beast. "If you haven't had at least twenty-five costumes," she looked back to Nori, "then you're still a newbie."
"You guys are making me miss Spider-Man," Nori laughed, looking back to the television screen.
Peter Parker flipped through the air, various balls of webbing slamming into any robotic opponents that came his way. He landed on the ground, two solid strands leaving his wrists and wrapping another foe in a cocoon as he webslung onto a nearby building.
She-Hulk leapt onto the scene, her fists slamming hard into the cocoon until it exploded, Walters dodging the explosion with one simple duck-n-roll.
The room went gray, any assailants disappearing with the New York City skyline. "Not bad," Jen smiled.
"Not bad?" Peter landed next to her. "You didn't even do anything until the very end."
"I'm team leader," Jen grinned. "I don't have to do anything until the end."
"I happen to follow by example," Peter quipped, pulling the mask from his face. "It's gonna be a long year."
"Only if you talk as much -- y'know what? Nevermind," Jen cracked her knuckles. "I talk just as much as you do when we're fighting."
"I don't talk that much."
Walters glared at him.
"Okay," Peter shrugged. "So I talk. It passes the time."
"Well," Vance Astrovik called from an observation booth above the two of them, "at least we know the simulation hall is fully-functional. Ready to try something else?"
"What've you got for us, Vance?"
"Just another test or two."
The room shifted into the outskirts of Wakanda, an approaching robot raising its palms to fire on the two.
Jen leapt to the side, narrowly avoiding the blast, while Peter flipped over it. As She-Hulk began running toward it, its faceless exterior began to shift. Its silver finish grew darker, resting on an all-too-familiar red and gold.
Parker landed on the ground behind it.
Jen's fists slammed into Iron Man's armor, the bot falling back onto the ground as Justice ended the scenario.
"What in the hell was that?!" Jen screamed from below him.
"I didn't do that," Astrovik answered. "I swear to God, Jen, I didn't do that."
Spider-Man took a few steps towards Walters. "I don't like that."
"I don't like that at all."
NEW YORK CITY
NEW YORK CITY
"You're sure this is going to work?" Jessica Drew spoke toward the microphone on her collar.
"We've been over this," Mystique replied from her apartment. "We need Spider-Woman inside of S.H.I.E.L.D."
"Why can't you do it? You can look like anyone, remember?"
"I've exhausted my credibility."
"I have no idea what that's like," Drew rolled her eyes. She and Carol Danvers were anything but friends -- and though she'd tried to press that fact with Darkholme, Mystique was more than stubborn.
"I still like the idea of Agent Adler having a sister."
"And I like the idea," Raven replied, "of you sticking to the plan."
Spider-Woman took a sharp turn into The Baxter Building, checked in with the appropriate staff and took a seat in the small café. The area was littered with pictures of The Fantastic Four. Her eye caught Reed and Sue's wedding picture.
Drew couldn't look at it for long -- not even if Carol Danvers hadn't taken a seat across from her.
"The last time we were here together," Danvers looked less-than-enthusiastic, "I told you I'd kill you if you came back."
"It's a crazy world," Jessica smiled weakly. "Thanks for meeting me."
"Don't waste my time, Jessica," Danvers took a drink of her bottled water. "You said you had Intel."
"What if I told you Tony Stark wasn't dead?"
"I'd tell you that I watched the Helicarrier explode with him on it," Carol looked at her. "And I'd tell you that Storm watched him trigger the explosion."
"Don't be naïve," Spider-Woman mirrored Carol's stare. "We aren't talking about Jim Rhodes, Carol. We aren't talking about Forge. We're talking about the man who single-handedly took over the country and killed Captain America."
"He didn't kill Captain America," Marvel glared at her.
Jessica looked away for a moment and then stood. "It doesn't matter. This was obviously a mistake."
Danvers reached out, her gloved hand grabbing Jessica's arm. She pulled herself up, Drew's strength stabilizing the two. "I don't trust you."
"Carol, I don't trust me. I just want back on the government's payroll. When you're ready to talk, I'll talk, but I want back into S.H.I.E.L.D."
"How do you know he's alive?"
"Because I know what he did to the Juggernaut and to Vance."
ONE DAY LATER, CAMP HAMMOND
ONE DAY LATER, CAMP HAMMOND
"No one else could come?" Ms. Marvel walked toward Hank McCoy, the mutant grabbing her hand with his large paw with a smile.
"They're training," McCoy nodded. "And as I recall, they weren't invited."
"Not that I don't miss Gambit," Carol grinned. "I'm sure they're ecstatic about training sessions after years of being X-Men."
"They need to learn to work together again," Hank replied. "And it gives me a chance to meet lovely ladies such as yourself."
"Flattery will get you everywhere," Carol began walking, McCoy in tow. "Listen, Hank… have you… there's no easy way to say this."
"I'm working rather diligently on reversing the effects of Rogue's transfusion, Carol. I assure you."
Danvers shook her head. "It isn't that. Not today."
"Then what is it?"
"Have you talked to Storm? About that day?"
"Ororo has little time to talk, I'm afraid," Hank shrugged. It bothered him more than he'd admit. "Wakanda's negotiations with the United States, as you know, have reached a critical level."
"Wakanda's relations with the United States have reached a critical level," Carol corrected him. "I know that. But she hasn't been terribly forthcoming about Tony's final hour… at least not with me. I was wondering…"
"…if she'd discussed it more openly with her former teammate?" McCoy mused. "No, I'm afraid not. The matter seems to be completely closed for discussion."
The pair made their way down a narrow corridor, stopping in front of a room marked MADROX.
"I'm here about Jamie?"
"What's left of him," Carol nodded. "I just wanted your advice. I wanted to see if you could help the medical staff around here, bounce a few ideas off of them… he won't talk, he won't help us at all… and I need to know everything he knows about Iron Man."
"Iron Man is dead, Carol."
Danvers said nothing.
"Carol," Hank grabbed at her shoulder, "Iron Man is dead."
The door whizzed open and McCoy's eyes met Jamie's, huddled in a corner and in desperate need of a shave and shower.
He was bound in a straightjacket -- the sight was, to say the least, unnerving.
"He can't duplicate," Carol spoke lowly. "He won't speak, he's barely eating. Two days ago, on the way for a check-up, he saw a mirror and nearly killed some of the staff… he was convinced his powers had come back."
"What would you have me do, Carol?"
"Just see if he'll talk to you -- see if you can get him to cooperate. I want to know if he can't duplicate because of what Rogue did to him… if it's mental… anything you can tell us."
Beast nodded, Carol left, and the door closed behind him.
"Work together as a team," LeBeau rolled his eyes as the doors to the Simulation Room clicked together. Gambit was flanked by Surge and Rogue, just the way he liked it. "Ain't Gambit's first rodeo."
"Can it," Rogue rolled her eyes. "It's good exercise, anyway… yer not as young as you used t'be, y'know."
"Didn' ask for any commentary," Gambit looked down at her.
"Didn't ask permission for any," Surge smiled at Rogue, who was smiling back. "I can't believe we're in Westchester."
"Carol knows how t'pull de right strings," Gambit shrugged. "Whoever thought de X-Men would receive fundin' from de government, huh?"
"If y'ask me," Rogue splintered from the group, "we need t'go on a recruitin' drive. This buildin's awfully big fer four people."
"You forgot to count Gambit's ego."
"Y'know, chere," LeBeau looked to Surge, "I like you less'n less every single day."
"Funny," Rogue laughed, "I like 'er more'n more."
"Maybe dat's just de Madrox in you, non?"
"Sorry," LeBeau splintered from the two, making his way down another hall. "I'm gonna hit de showers."
Rogue's eyes met Surge's. "Ah'm sorry about him."
"Don't worry about it," Surge smiled coolly. "He doesn't know the electricity on its way to the showers is going to hit him a lot harder than he's going to hit them."
"Like ah said," Rogue threw her arm around Nori, "more'n more."
"I have a question," Peter Parker headed to the table with his bowl of Cap'n Crunch.
"At least something new and exciting's going on around here, then," Vance picked at his muffin.
"Oh, eat something," Peter glared at him. "I know we wear tights and you don't have any spider-metabolism or anything, but come on. You've been tearing that thing apart for fifteen minutes."
"I could tear you apart in under that," Justice glared at him.
"Keep it G-Rated, boys," She-Hulk smiled.
"I had no idea you felt that way, Vance," Peter winked at him.
Jen finally gave in. "What's your question, Peter?"
"Are we really considered Avengers if there are only three of us?"
"Yes," She-Hulk looked hurt. "We're Avengers."
"Besides," Vance telekinetically lifted a piece of his muffin into the air and tossed it into his mouth, "Carol's coming with the new recruits today."
"Now you're just showing off," Peter arched an eyebrow. "New recruits? I thought this was Jen's team."
"As sponsored by S.H.I.E.L.D. Carol's technically an Avenger… I'm more of a field leader."
"Don't you miss your solo work?" Jen glared at him.
"I wish we had the kind with crunch berries."
"…took a few samples, though I don't feel good about it," McCoy took his glasses off and sat them on the lab coat he'd already folded. "He's barely cognoscente. It just doesn't feel right."
"At least you'll be able to tell us if Rogue's attack on him had anything to do with this."
"What else would it be, my dear Director?"
"I have a few ideas," Danvers looked away.
"Care to elaborate?"
"Not right now," Carol shook her head. "No."
"In that case," McCoy made his way toward the door, "I have a team to piece together."
The Beast turned.
"I have -- S.H.I.E.L.D. has -- a job. For the X-Men."
"That seems… sudden."
"Something's coming up," Carol looked uneasy. "Something sudden."
"What is it?"
HOURS LATER, AVENGERS HQ
HOURS LATER, AVENGERS HQ
"Should I wear my mask?" Spider-Man took a seat next to She-Hulk and Justice. "I mean, I don't know who she's going to bring waltzing through that door, do you?"
"I already told you, Peter," Jen turned, "no. I don't know who she's bringing. I don't know who's joining."
Parker shook his head. "I really do think you're gettin' the raw end of the deal, Jen."
"We're going to end up killing each other," Vance said under his breath as the door opened, Carol walking in and taking a seat at the head of the table.
"The three of you have been working together for months," she began, "and I have absolute faith in Jen leading a squad of Avengers."
"But let's face it," she continued, "three hours and a part-timer aren't going to be enough."
The door opened again, Machine Man and Simon Williams walking in and taking two respective seats. "That's why I've asked Aaron and Simon here to join us."
Spider-Man pulled his mask to his neckline.
"Wonder Man?" Justice crept back in his seat.
"It's Ion now," Simon nodded.
"Ion? Are you serious?"
She-Hulk stepped on Peter's foot beneath the table. "Good to have you on board, Simon… we belong on the same side of the fence."
"You too, Aaron," Jen smiled at Machine Man, who was near expressionless. "…okay… well, if you're happy, I'm happy…"
"I apologize," Machine Man looked to Walters. "I was recording our first meeting as a team. For reference."
"Not a very exciting video," Peter quipped.
"No," Aaron replied, "I suppose not. But I would gather it's about to get more interesting."
The doors slid apart a final time, She-Hulk standing instantly and Carol pushing her back into her seat.
"She's going to work with us," Danvers pleaded. "On something big."
"Are you kidding me?" Spider-Man stood.
"Absolutely not," Jennifer's eyes went wide. "Absolutely not."
Spider-Woman hadn't felt welcome in a long time.
"Gotta admit," Gambit strapped himself in beside Rogue, "I'm surprised Carol gave de X-Men a mission before de Avengers got one."
"This is under the radar," McCoy activated the auto pilot of the X-Men's quinjet. It hummed to life.
"Typical," LeBeau replied. "Let de Avengers have all de glory, de X-Men can be S.H.I.E.L.D.'s personal ops team."
"It won't be that way," Hank argued. "We're just doing something that the Avengers… well, can't…"
"And when're you gonna fill us in on what that is, exactly?" Rogue added from the back.
"Really," Surge added. "It's our first mission and I don't even know if I'm dressed appropriately."
"We'll get new uniforms soon, Nori," Beast smiled. "You'll be up to twenty-five in no time."
"Where we goin', Hank?"
McCoy's brow lowered. "We're going after The Juggernaut."
XMEN: EMERGENCE, to be honest, has spun out of the great feedback from XMEN: RESURGENCE.
I really felt like RESURGENCE had run its course... and now the characters have evolved. They're resurged, now it's time to emerge and build a new era together. I want to take the time to thank everyone for their reviews -- I hope you enjoy its sequel as much as you did its predecessor.
Let me know how you like it -- your feedback keeps me going!
NEXT: The last time we saw Cain Marko he left our heroes high and dry against Tony Stark -- and now S.H.I.E.L.D. and the X-Men want to know why! Spider-Woman: Avenger?! And what's up with Mystique??