Disclaimer: The characters mentioned in this story are based on Marvel comics creation. Ms. Marvel, Harold Osborn. Voctoria Hand, Ares, Karla Sofen. Venom, Hawkeye, Spiderman, the Brood and Bullseye are all owned by Marvel. The charater James Corwin Ravenwood is my creation.
From Timeline point of view this series is after Ms. Marvel #46 and before Ms. Marvel #48.
Ms. Marvel Takes on H.A.M.M.E.R.
Ms. Marvel= Part 1: "Giving Cheek to H.A.M.M.E.R."
Norman Osborn stared out the window, contemplating the vagaries of fortune. Not only had they failed to contain or even better kill Carol Danvers, but his termination of Catherine Donovan had actually made the woman more powerful. So powerful she had not only defeated Ms. Marvel but had plucked her Moonstone from her chest. He hadn't thought Danvers could be so cold as Karla Sofen needed that Moonstone to survive. Karla was out there now, trying find where Danvers had left it. Of course that just showed that she was still weak. HE would never have let Karla live.
Still he now faced an even bigger problem than a week ago. Bad enough that Ms.
Marvel, and he had to admit Danvers had pretty well taken back the title from Sofen, had survived but, from all reports was no whole and as powerful as she had ever been. He turned and walked back to his desk and hit the intercom button.
"Ms. Hand, now."
Victoria Hand, his assistant entered. Normally as self assured and ruthless woman in her own right she could never quite deny the trepidation she always felt when she entered Mr Osborn's presence.
"I want a termination order sent out immediately for Carol Danvers aka Ms.
Marvel. The charge is terrorism and attempted murder of civilians. I want photos and film of Danvers throwing civilians to their deaths on the late night news and every bulletin from then on."
"But Um Ms. Marvel? Didn't she ... ur do that?" Ms Hand stumbled trying not to annoy her boss.
"If I wanted the truth I wouldn't have terminated 60 Minutes! Fake it! I want to see Karla saving the civilians and Ms. Marvel trying to kill them." He roared.
"And the actual survivors who know what really happened?"
"Kill them, and any other witnesses." Osborn waved his hand as if swatting an annoying fly. "I am the truth. Facts are unimportant."
"Yes Sir." Ms. Hand nodded.
"Scramble the HAMMER Raptors as soon as Ms. MAr...Danvers is sighted. And I want them armed with AMMM munitions. NOW, Ms. Hand!"
"Yes Sir!" Ms. Hand hurried out of the room. God she hated the man and the way he made her feel so small.
Osborn turned back to the window and contemplated the view. "I wonder if Karla will find her stone before her time runs." He mused. "I better get Ms. Hand to draw up a list of potential replacements as Ms. Marvel."
"God she had forgotten how good it felt to just fly," Carol Danvers thought,
unable to repress the big grin on her face. She loved the way her hair wiped back as she flew at Mach 2. The sensuous way the air seemed to run down her body, over her breasts and between her legs. She giggled girlishly "Carol! You naughty girl! Such thoughts." She put out her arms and went into a series of barrel rolls. It had been so long since she had felt this way. Free alive, HAPPY!"Yes Happy. And certain of who she was. The World my still be under Osborn's thumb but for the first time since since .. she thought back through all that her life had been. All the ups and downs. Before the Drinking before loosing her Binary powers, before the Brood, before even Rogue had stolen her powers, her memories her life. Yes now she knew. Before Marcus had taken her, impregnated her. When she had first joined the Avengers. Been an honoured and respected member of that team. That was the last time she had really, and truly been happy. And she was that again. She could think on all that had gone before and still know that she was now as she once had been, Carol Danvers, Ms Marvel, Avenger. She let out a shout of pure joy and pulled up and performed a perfect inside loop.
And narrowly missed the missile that had been homing in on her.
As she pulled back around and completed the 360-degree loop it was difficult to know who was more startled, Ms. Marvel or the HAMMER F-22 Raptor that suddenly found her on his tail.
"Whoa! she thought, better stop day dreaming and get back to business. Doubtless Osborn was none too happy about my victory over Karla and had sent some bullyboys after him. The Raptor in front of her pulled a Split S to try and shake her but she was a far better flyer than he and easily kept on his tail. Carol started looking around for his wingman and spotted him coming in on her six. "Mmm so you boys are trying to play tag. No problem I can play too." She increased her speed closing with the front Raptor. His wingman went to afterburners and powered forward. The front Raptor jigged and jagged up and down and from side to side.
"Come on, come on. Just a little closer." Carol muttered. "There!" She dropped her left fist and pointed it behind her and released a photonic bolt back toward the trailing Raptor. The bolt missed the warplane but it caused the pilot to react prematurely and launch a missile. Ms. Marvel pulled a hard outside loop, pulling heavy negative Gs as she dived and loop back and up and behind the second Raptor. The First Raptor had little or no chance to avoid the missile, which rushed forward and detonated, vaporising the plane.
"Wow, they re packing some serious ordinance in those missiles, Carol though, and then frowned. Hang, her part Kree metabolism sensed the energy signature of that races ancient enemy. Skrull. Osborn had equipped his fighters with Skrull weapons! The bastard. She shot forward and closed on the second Raptor.
"Control, Control, This is Predator 1. Predator 2 is down. Damn it He got in the way of my missile." called the pilot of the second Raptor. "I've lost track of target. The explosion temporarily blinded my radar. Where is she? Do you have her?"
"Uh negative Predator 1. We have no joy here. Switch to visual locating."
"Shit, visual locating he says, idiot! Of course I'm going to use my eyes, cursed the pilot, Col. John Mckenzie, code named Totenkopf (Death's Head in German). 'Where the hell are you, you blond B!#&."
Beneath the jigging plane Ms. Marvel flew, on her back, looking up at the impressive ordinance the Raptor was carrying. 7 missiles remained under its wings. All had the HAMMER insignia alone the body. The warheads themselves were black with a small golden lightning bolt and the acronym AMMM printed.
"AMMM? What they hell did that stand for? Carol wondered. And why do they all have my insignia on it? Oh wait a minute. It couldn't be. AMMM. Anti-Ms. Marvel Missile! She was dealing with total morons. Suddenly the fighter pulled a Split S and while Ms. Marvel followed she ended up flying next to, rather under the fighter. The pilot stared shock at her and she looked first at him then at his name, Col. J. Mckenzie, and the word Totenkopf printed below. Carol frowned then eyes widened. John Mckenzie1 Disgraced USAF Colonel found guilt of raping and murdering three women with possible links to four others. Osborn had really sunk to new lows!
Mckenzie gawked as Ms. Marvel suddenly appeared by the side of his plane "SHIT! She's here. She's right next to me! he called out then pulled a hard right turn.
So shocked was she at who she was up against, Carol failed to follow Mckenzie and shot forward. Before she could recover he was on her tail. 50mm rounds started wiz by her as she was now dodging and weaving. Guaranteed those rounds are also packed with Skrull munitions. She dived through the clouds and came out over the glittering expanse of the Atlantic Ocean. She swung north and led Mckenzie deeper into the North Atlantic. Mckenzie fired another of his AMMM missiles. but Carol again showed her superior flying skills, out manoeuvring it until it ran out of fuel and dropped into the water below.
"You are going to have to work way harder than that if you want to nail my ass. "Ms. Marvel smiled, strangely enjoying this life and death struggle. Hey it was still flying and now, on top of everything else that had happened to her recently, she found Osborn had built a missile just for her! She would have to find some way to repay Norman. Her smile hardened. More 50mm rounds whizzed by as the Raptor closed on her. She remembered more about McKenzie. He had liked to torture his victims before he killed them. He hated women, especially women who were successful. Small pecker obviously. More 50mm whizzed by. Enough. "Ok McKenzie. You like looking at my butt so much?" Carol growled. "Then kiss my
Ass! "She then initiated Pugachev's Cobra, a manoeuvre that usually results in the
aircraft effectively stopping while the enemy overshoots, leaving the aircraft in
a position for a straightforward missile attack on the enemy aircraft. The way Carol did it she simply pulled up, spread her legs as the nose of the Raptor past beneath. For a microsecond Mckenzie saw Ms. Marvel's luscious bottom zoom toward him. Her behind crashed into the canopy, smashing it and the plane and Ms. Marvel deflected each other. Ms. Marvel was bounced up while the Raptor dove toward the sea.
"Ouch!" Ms. Marvel winced, her hands reaching behind to feel her tender nether cheeks. "Well, that will teach for giving cheek Carol." She glanced down. The Raptor was still falling. Obvious the contact had damaged the plane more than her tender behind. The plane began to go into an uncontrollable spin. Mckenzie obviously activated the ejection seat and She watched as he shot up in to the air away from his plane. As he separated from the seat the parachute deployed.
"Not so fast Colonel Rapist-Murderer." Carol quipped as she dived down. She swooped down under the open parachute and caught the cords in a bunch. She heard Mckenzie cry out in fear as his parachute collapsed and he swung helpless from his cords, a thousand feet above the water.
"I think you need to cool off Colonel. Your flying is way too hot."
We flew on and on until we reached the British Isles. There I handed Mckenzie over to MI13. I remembered that one of the poor women he had murdered had been a British RAF officer. Justice would be served. Picking up some equipment the British were happy to loan me I flew back out into the Atlantic.
On my return I called up Osborn on a videophone. I was surprised that they put me right through.
"Ms Danvers, you are becoming quite an annoyance to me and now you have cost the United States Government two planes and two pilots. They are all capital crimes. Your finished."
"Really. I'd be very careful about getting your facts straight. Technically Your Raptor shot the other one down and then he ran into me."
"The truth is what I say it is Danvers." Osborn sneered. "Or are you that naive."
"No, but obviously you are if you think I wouldn't find the evidence to clear me." I raised a red box so that Osborn could see it and its number." Wonderful things flight recorders. They are very tough. And this one is now in the hands of my friends here in Britain. They re not too happy at the way you failed to lift a finger to help Britain when Dracula and his blood-sucking cronies were threatening them, America's supposed closest Ally. And they have already downloaded the evidence. Very useful if you try and put out any story that doesn't cover what is on this." I smiled sweetly and fluttered my lashes.
"BAH!" Osborn's image disappeared abruptly.
I grinned. Heh, sometime it definitely paid to be cheeky!
Next: Ms. Marvel Vs Ares - Arts of War
Ms. Marvel: The Arts of War
Ms. Marvel - In a brilliant flash of light, former U.S. Airforce Pilot Carol Danvers was transformed by Alien Kree DNA-altering technology, becoming the hard-hitting, high flying Ms. Marvel. She lost her very being to the mutant Rogue. Was betrayed by her friends and sank into the bottom of a bottle only to rise again to lead the Avengers. Now Norman Osborn - the new head of the corrupted Dark Avengers and director of the paramilitary intelligence agency H.A.M.M.E.R. - wants her dead and willing to use any method to achieve that goal.
Ares the God of War! His relentless brutality and his bloodthirsty drive to attain victory at any cost earned him only scorn from his fellow gods in the Greek pantheon, and exile from Olympus. Now Norman Osborn the new head of the corrupted Dark Avengers and director of the paramilitary intelligence agency H.A.M.M.E.R. wants the finest fighting force the God of War can provide. He charges Ares with hand-picking an elite squad of soldiers and beating them into the hardest, sharpest warriors ever to wield an M-60 in each hand.
Covert Operations 101
When you aim to break into a high security location you first conduct a Plan Build Run exercise. Define your Needs, define the requirements that will meet those Needs. Design your attack based on those requirements. Develop the plan. Test the development and finally carry out your plan. Through all the stages verify that your plan meets your plan meets your need and validate that the plan will achieve what you originally intended
I needed to break into a highly secret base and learn what it is for. Therefore the requirements to meet that need were:
1. acquire a layout of the base. Fortunately Ares training camp was an old Army base and obtaining the old plans were not a problem. The trick was, what had been changed?
2. scout out the area noting all the salient defensive details: How may guards, their schedules, alertness, what technical back up security there is - cameras, sensors and the like. This can take a few days.
3. acquire inside information. This can be done in a number of ways: bribery, informant, plant or in this case, seduction. The troops often went into town for a good time and it soon became known that the boys were free with their money attracting all sorts of camp followers. Namely women of loose virtue. Hookers, named, rather appropriately, after a Civil War Union General who liked to bring such women on campaign with him. Now I may not be too comfortable dressing up (or down) and acting like a working woman (I'd rather go in like Iron Man and smash my way to the information) but subtlety was necessary.
I had learnt that the men were released every Friday for a nights "relaxation so, after spending the next few days scouting out the area I then prepared myself for the night frivolities.
I acquired a red wig, a short skirt that barely covered anything and a boob tube. I am not one for low cut tops that show off my cleavage like some of the other girls which, it turned out, made it the best disguise of all. I kept my boots. For some reason men love women in thigh high boots. I then took a deep breath and went in search of a mark.
As I entered the local bar it was obviously I was a hit as everyone stopped to look. It through me for a moment. Despite all my training and experience I'm not that good with the relationship thing and I frankly hate being treated like a sex object. Which, I reminded myself, was what I was tonight. I looked coolly around the room then sashayed over the bar, making certain to walk by the sergeant.
"Well, hi ya Red. Care to show a combat vet how appreciative you are?" He growled.
"Ooo," I simpered bending down giving him a full view of my front while the rest of the room got a clear view of my behind. "Did you really fight them towel heads?"
"Ah ... ah ....ah." His eyes stared at my cleavage and I heard a collective gasp from behind me.
"Oh I so like a man who is Ahrticulate and all, I gushed (and wanting knock some respect into every soldier here. Steady Carol, remember the mission.) "Care to buy a lady a drink or maybe we could, you know, take this somewhere private?" My voice became lower and huskier.
"Private? Oh sure sure. Barkeep room? An a bottle of whisky." He stood up so fast he winced as he caught himself on the table. Men! With the right size breasts and ass women could rule the world. The rest of his men began to hoot and make rude suggestions as we walked up the stairs to the private rooms. God I felt I was suddenly transported back to the Wild West. "So you important like?" I snuggled close to the brawny skin head.
"Have you seen much fightin?"
"Important! Lady I run the place." He enthused as we reached the room. "And you bet. I have seen more action than even you. He leered grabbing a hand full of breast "Holy Crap their real!"
"Ofcourse their real! Um er and so is the rest of me sugah. Let me pour you a drink so you can....relax a bit." I took the bottle and went to the table where a couple of glasses sat. I bent forward intentionally so I could intentionally cover the fact that as I poured the liquor I slipped the drug I had palmed in as well. I needn't have worried as when I turned his eyes had obviously been focusing on my but the whole time. "Here you are sugar." His eyes refocused on my chest and he gulped down the whisky at one swig.
" Enough of the prelimaries," he growled, throwing the glass away. "It's time for some hand to hand combat." He lung at me.
"Sergeant..ATTENTION!" The soldier caught himself in mid lung and snapped to attention. Damn, that mind control drug is fast on the weak minded! "These aren't the breasts your looking for."
"These aren't the breasts I'm looking for," he droned. I giggled. Hey, a girl's got to have a little fun right? And maybe hanging around Spider-man was starting to rub off.
Over the next two hours I pulled every bit of information out of the sergeant, duplicated his security passkey and then implanted a vague memory of having a wild and exhausting time before getting him to drink the rest of the bottle of whiskey and sending back out to his squad. I listened to the hoots and other typically male chauvinist comments I usually found so offensive and quickly got out of degrading cloths and into my costume which I then covered in black overalls, jacket and ski mask. While I did not intend to reveal that Ms. Marvel had been here one likes to be prepared for anything and I couldn't help hoping I had the chance to teach Ares a lesson in loyalty. I paused. Why the hell had I adopted a southern accent? Shaking my head to get rid of some really weird thoughts I opened the window and flew into the night.
Ares "COME FOR ME!"
They circled me. Looking for an opening, a sign of weakness. Idiots. How could a God of War have a weakness, I smirked. Private Taylor tried to tackle my right foot. I raised it then brought it down hard on his right arm as he sprawled on the floor. It crunched nicely. Corporal Mulligan came at me from my left but his battle cry turned to a gurgle as I punched him in the throat. Private Fitch leapt at me with a high kick but I grasped his leg with my right hand and swung him into PFC Hendricks. Their head collided and I let Fitch go. 4 down, 4 to go.
"Come on. If this is the best you've got you will all be doing live fire exercises tomorrow." I growled and looked at the four remaining men. "With NO cover."
All four looked at each other then yelled and charged as one. I took PFC Johnson on the stomach with a left, kicked Private Forest in the crotch with my right foot, then spun around, dodging Corporal Richards and knocking him down with a blow to the back of the neck. On Sergeant Washington remained standing. He had rolled under my follow through and had avoided the bodies of the others as they fell.
"Well Sergeant. Just you and me." The Sergeant refused to reply. He tensed and kicked high then, as I raised my hand to grasp it he dropped to the floor, scissoring his legs and sweeping my legs from under me. I fell and took a blow to the head as he kicked out with his right boot. I grunted but recovered quickly, grasping the boot that ground my nose and twisted, hard. The Sergeant cried out in pain as I broke bone. I flipped him over then grabbed his head and pummelled it into the hard floor until he went limp.
I rose up and surveyed the results. Three would be out for a while, four should be fine and the sergeant.... "I want Sergeant Washington buried with full honours. He was a man. You should all learn from his example." I waited as the floor was cleared. "NEXT!"
************************************************************** Ms. Marvel
I took up position in the brush a quater of a mile away from the Camp perimeter. There were three guard towers, a man walking a guard dog and the electronic defences - cameras and sensors to take out. First the electronic defences. Simply knocking out the cameras would alert the guys in security. So, using a neat little gizmo Tong Stark had whipped up months ago I simply changed the angle of the camera using a magnetic beam. Every time the camera panned away fro the section of the wall I planned to breach I nudged it a little out of alignment. It took 30 minutes but both cameras now had a dead zone in the centre of the fence. Next I pulled out a sniper rifle with silencer and infrared targeted and range finder. I promised myself I would not hurt these soldiers, misguided though they were, so my rifle was equipped with fast acting tranquilizing, gelatine, bullets. In quick succession I took out first the guards in each of the three towers then the guard and his dog as they reached the centre of the dead zone. They'd be out for hours. I dismantled the rifle and put it back in the bag all ready for my return. A girl doesn't like to loose her toys - especially now as it was so hard to acquire new ones.
I adjusted my red wig and then dashed forward. I cross the quarter of a mile in seconds then leaped over the wire fence clearing the sensors and landing in between two of the barracks. I crouched, tense, listening for any sign that my entrance had been detected. It stayed quiet. I headed for the command barracks.
"It was a glorious war! I burped then sank another can of Bud down my throat. "I rode into battle on my war chariot, pulled by my gold-bridled horses, Flame and Terror. I fought alongside the Trojans, Hector, Paris and taught the Greeks the true meaning of War. My coming darkened the sky and weak men and women quailed while true heroes shouted my name. Apollo called me the "man-slaughterer and blood bather" and he was speaking the truth. For a God who like poetry he was still a good judge of Gods. And not a bad shot with a bow and arrow."
All around me my Shades cheered.
"And when my father forbade me to fight I entered the body of Hector, bravest and truest warrior of Troy and led a fierce charge into the Greek battle-lines. Hah and they fled before me. And later, I chugged down another beer." I took on the guise of a storm-cloud and bellowed from the walls of Troy to remind the Greeks that it was the God of War himself standing against them."
"But uh sir Troy fell?" I swung my fist and smashed PFC Donovan in the face. He went down, blood flowing from his smashed nose. The rest of the Shades looked down at him then at me. I laughed and they laughed with me. "Troy fell? Yes it fell. But only after I was restrained from aiding them. 10 years I held Troy against the might of all Greece and most of the Gods. It took treacherous Odysseus and his cowardly tricks to finally defeat the Trojans." I glared at my men then tossed my fiftieth beer down. "If Odysseus had been so clever why did it take him 10 years to get the Greeks into Troy hmm? If my Dung heap of a Sister Athena was such an OH so great Goddess of War why didn't the Greeks take Troy sooner?" I looked around at the staring faces.
"Because you were helping the Trojans?" PFC Stewart asked.
"EXACTLY!" I roared happily. "Sergeant Stewart has it. And if you men give yourself wholly to me then you two will go down in history as the Trojans have. Now where is the drink. Beer, get your god a decent amount this time!"
The newly created sergeant staggered off and went to get a keg for his God. *
I could hear typical male carousing coming from the mess quarters. Ares partying with the boys no doubt. I snuck forward, keeping to the shadows until I reached the command barracks. It was actually more of a bunker, concrete and no windows with a telecommunications setup on top. The Camera above the door was going to be a problem.
I decided there was nothing forward but to disable it. I slipped underneath it then unleashed a minute photonic discharge to knock out the camera the quickly swiped my copied passkey and entered the command bunker. I quickly ran down the stairs, my silenced HK VP70 pistol drawn. Two guards exited a door and I shot them with my tranquiliser bullets. I stepped into the room they had just exited adn shot the two other guards that were only just reacting to the noise of their comrades falling. I passed down the corridor. Anyone I met I shot. So far the alarm had not been raised. The next step was the tricky bit. I grabbed a fatigue jacket and a cap and walked into the elevator keeping my head down so that the camera couldn't see my face. I swiped my pass key and the elevator went down. When it opened there were no guards awaiting me, although I could here someone shouting inquiries. Then a soldier exited form the room where the shouting was coming from.
"Hey sarge do you know ...Hey you arn't the sarge!"
"Bright boy. Say goodnight Gracie." I replied shooting him in the neck. I dashed forward and entered the room. "Das verdonia comrades."I said trying to put on a Russian accent. The three men turned around startled. I shot all three but as often happens to even the best laid plans one of the men had the bad luck of falling back against the wall, cracking his head against the fire alarm. The claxon's sounded. Swearing I jumped to the central computer, shoved in my usb memory stick then typed in the password the sergeant had told me. Accessing the server I simply selected the entire drive and copied it to the 10 terrabyte stick.
And then prepared to welcome guests.
End of Part 1
******************************************************************Ms. Marvel: The Arts of War
"I told them. There is a line before me that demarcates where you stop being treated as citizens and start being treated as soldiers. It is a line that only I can see and I swear unto all of you -- once you cross it you have declare war. Against your city, against your government...and against me. And make no mistake: I love to fight wars." I threw away the keg and reached for another. "And you have to accepp...axxcep AGREE to that too. All of it."
"Yes Sir!"They all cheered as they also chugged down on their beer.
"By Olympus I love this. Ambrosia is for dung flies like my sissyter. Beer is a true God's drink!"
The fire alarm went off.
"What in Hades is that racket?" I growled. "It annoys my ears."
"Sir, its the fire alarm," The office of the watch rushed into the room, pausing briefly to survey the pile of empty beer cans and kegs and the drunken soldier lolling around their reclining commander. "It was activated in the command bunker."
"What? Call out the camp. Lock it down." I shook off the affects of the beer immediately, my mind working. "I want the bunker surrounded. Get me my war gear." I stomped out og the room, not caring if I stepped on a soldier. "Oh and just in case, get the fire gear ready."
I entered my room and quickly put on my armour selecting both battle axe and sword in case there was indeed trouble. If this turned out to be a false alarm someone would be getting bonus training tomorrow. I exited the room to find my men, even the ones I had been drinking with full equipped and awaiting my orders. Excellent. They were learning.
I stalked to the command bunker. As per my orders it was surrounded. "Anything?" I asked Captain Lee. "Nothing sir. No response. I was waiting your orders beore I sent in the response team."
"Good. Send in the team. Shoot first. Gods'don't ask questions."
A squad of ten heavily armed men entered the bunker.
"Here comes the welcoming committee." I watched the squad reach the elevator. I glanced down at the download. Five more minutes before all the data was downloaded. "This isn't going to be much use," holstering the pistol. The body armour Ares'soldiers were wearing would deflect most normal bullets let alone her gelatine ones. "Plan B." I took of the olive jacket and cap and put on what looked like Black Widow's Widow stingers. The longer Ares didn't know who he was up against the better. She exited the corridor and waited.
I watched via the secuity camera link as the first squad entered the elevator and descended. They setup. three kneeling two standing facing the door. As it opened they opened fire automatically. From their shoulder cameras I looked down the corridor. There was one man lying, dead, in the corridor, Corporal Anderson from what I could see. Then a woman stepped out and fired a series of energy blasts. The shoulder cameras of all the men kicked wildly then were still.
"Show me the footage. Stop." As the camera rewound and stopped on the woman. She was dressed in black, red haired and with some devices strapped to her wrists. He could see her face clearly but he knew this woman. "Black Widow. Listen up. We have an intruder. She is Natasha Romanova, former Russian spy and Avenger. She is on Dirctor Osborn's list to be apprehended or terminated. She is an expert at martial arts and is equipped with two bracelets that can fire energy blasts, as you have just seen, as well as tear gas pellets and grapling hooks. She will make an excellent traing exercise." I looked back at the screen. "Corporal Higgins, you saw what happened to your sergeant and his squad. Don't make the same mistake."
The Corporal did not use the elevator choosing to open the doors and prepared to ab-sail down. Tear gas canisters were called for.
"Ok Carol. They failed with the direct approach what will their next move," I considered as I explored the rest of the floor quickly. No other entrances or exits. "If it was Ares he'd come down himself now and just go at it but he'll give his toy soldiers at least one more go. Gas. They'll try gas next I decided. Probably tear and smoke gas, maybe a couple of flas bangs. As the elevator was stuck open due to the bodies of the men lying across the doors they would probably be preparing to ab-sail down. I glanced back into the room. The download regitered 100% complete. Right, well a girl can't wait for ever. I grabed the stick and rushed out. I blasted the camera in the elevator then fired up at the roof.
My men were ready. They began to ab-sail down the shaft when the Captain gave a shout. The Elevator Camera went out but some of the shoulder cameras on my fallen soldiers showed the Widow ender the Elevator and blast open the roof. I was surprised when she leapt straight up. He heard cries as the soldiers coming down the shaft were blasted.
"Damn the woman. Enough, Ares will accept this no longer." I stormed into the bunker, axe at the ready. "WAR!"
Taking out the second wave I flew up the shaft and onto the ground floor. I blasted the third wave of soldiers who didn't react in time to my sudden appearance.
And that would be Ares. I wondered how long his control would last. I dashed right and ran away from the entrance to the back of the bunker where the independant power plant was. I ripped open the locked gate, found the mains cable and pulled it out. Sparks flew and lights flicker and blew out as I Taking a deep grasped the crackling end.
I arrived at the elevator shaft to find my second team on the ground and incapacitated. Idiots. How could they have let a woman, climbing up a rope get the drop on them? My rage grew. Was I leading children to be defeated so easily? I sent a vicious kicked to head of one of the soldiers. Suddenly the lights flicked and popped and everything went dark. The back up generator kicked in a nd the corridors were bathed in dull red glow. Perfect colour for a God of War. I moved toward the generator room at the back of the bunker.
With the emergency lights coming on I slipped out of the Generator room and ducked into the nearby store room. I closed the door quietly and waited. I heard the cautious tread of the approaching War God clearly (hob-nailed boots are not designed for stealth). I was actually feeling nervous although could be just the power I had absorbed singing through my body. I was invulnerable but I had never been hit by an adamantium forged weapon wielded by a blood lusting Olympian god!
I waited until Ares walked past my door then quietly opened it slipping out as he headed toward the generator room.
The woman must be an idiot to think I would realise she was hiding in the store room like the sneak she was. These people who think intelligence is better than combat experience deserve what the get. I wung around silently and reached out grasping the Black Widow's red hair.
"Know you not that none can escape the clutches of the ...huh?"I was taken by surprise as the Widow's hair seem to part from her head leaving me holding the scap.
"SURPRISE, Tovarich!" I said and unleashed my photonic blasts directly at him. The blasts knocked him off his feat and hurled him into the generator room. I then turned and ran. I heard his roar of anger. Damn he recovered fast that I expected. I bolted for the exit. Up ahead the soldiers saw me coming and opened up.
Bullets pinged off me. Nice, lucky I'm not Natasha or I'd be Swiss Cheese now. I shoulder charged through Ares soldiers, knocking them over like skittles. I broke out into the night and was confronted by a semi circle of soldiers pointing guns at me. Boys and their toys. I didn't stop. Only idiot or morons would shoot at me without risking shooting each other. I smashed my way clear through the circle, hearing cries of pain confirming that yes, these guys were idiots and morons. To hell with it. If they didn't I couldn't let American soldiers, even ones recruited to work for Osborn get killed because of me. I gave into temptation and took off.
I picked myself up. Something was not right. The Black Widow's stings could never hit me that hard. And why wear a red wig over her red hair? That wasn't the Black Widow. I heard gun fire followed by cries of pain. There was only a few women I knew who might be able to fire such a blastand even fewer who would go to such lengths to penetrate my camp in such a way. SHE was here. I jogged down the hallway to the exit when there was a bright flash.
I slammed through one of the barracks and landed up against a second. "Nothing's ever easy." I thought. As I shook off the effects of the blast. The energy felt Skrull based. Obviously another one of Osborn's Skrull acquired technologies being put to military use. I looked around the ruined barracks. Yep, a Bradely equipped with a Skrull AA plasma cannon. Cute. Must thank them properly. I raised my right arm and sent a photonic blast wizzing back at the apc, blasting the cannon to pieces. Damn I was charged up. better be careful. Don't want to go pop like in Tokyo. Lets just keep it to one death experience per year, shall we Carol? I told myself. My out clothes had been virtually been vapourised by the blast leaving me in my Ms. Marvel outfit. Oh well masquerade over, pulling the hair net off releasing my flowing blond locks.
And then rolled quickly to my left as Ares axe buried itself in the place where my head had been.
I rushed up the stairs to see her crash into G Barracks.
"Who told you to bring up the cannon?" I demanded.
"Ur personal initiative sir." The Captain stammered. I shut him up with a right to the chin. "All of you stay back. The woman is mine." I ran around the other side of the barracks I reached it just a she fired one of her energy blasts at the carrier. This would be a challenge now she had tasted some real energy. As she released her gold spun hair I leapt up into the air, and brought my axe down on .... empty space.
"You move quickly, quicker than Ms. Marvel."I observed, pulling the axe out of the earth. I attacked swing my axe first at her midrift then at her head. She sucked in her gut then ducked both blows.
"Listen you poor man's excuse for Thor," Danvers replied, uleashing a series of photonic blasts that momentarily halted my attacks. "I'M Ms. Marvel. Karla Soffen is a sick, twisted woman her murdered the people who trusted her to help them, including her own mother. I should know, I've been inside her .....head." She dived to one side as I nearly took her head off with a back slashed blow. I brought my weapon around and behind me before spining it in a figure eight in front of me.
"You are no longer Ms. Marvel, no longer field leader of the Avengers. All you can hope for, Carol Danvers, is to die nobily by my hand. It is probably a greater honour than you deserve. You have no home. No country."
"Ares, take my love, take my land, take me where I cannot stand," I replied then flew up into the air and released a salvo of photonic blasts. "I don't care, I'm still free, you can't take the sky from me!"That plasma blast had my nerves singing and while I wnated to release it all I needed to wait. Ares was a better fighter if rather two dimensional, stronger and more resilient. He shook of my blasts with relative ease. I swooped down, dodged his axe cut by a mere hairs breath then deftly grasped his horse hair crest and lifted his helmet from his head. However Ares was quicker than I thought and as I flew past he caught my leg.
"Think you to take a trophy of Ares? Bah. You are more foolish than I thought." I pulled the woman to earth and then swung her around, smashing her into H Barracks then onto the ground. "None can defeat Ares, woman. That was why Osborn begged me to join him. Why you and Stark came to me."
"You ...think that?" Carol Danvers, lay on the ground, battered. "There wasn't a time you were on my team I wasn't wishing I had Thor, or Hercules or better still.....Athena!" she raised her hands and unleashed another salvo, breaking my grip.
"NO! I am best not my dung-fly of a sister!"I swung my axe down but she flicked back up and over, barely avoiding being cut in two, and landed on her feet, facing me.
"You will pay for that insult, Danvers. I will not kill you. I will remove some of your limbs. You will lanquish in some prison wishing you had died here and now. You will be left alone, unmourned and scorned by all." *
I tossed the helmet away. "Take me out to the black, tell them I ain't coming back." I sang as I felt the power inside me longing to burst free. "Burn the land and boil the sea, you can't take the sky from me."
"What?" Ares frowned confused. "Are you already mad? Do you understand me? You have no place here. You are nothing."
"There's no place I can be," I continued to sing, feeling the power build, waiting from the inevitable. "Since I found Serenity."
Was the woman playing me for a fool or had she simply gone mad. No matter I was done with this. With a roar I sprung forward", axe raised over my head. "I end this NOW!
Yep, I sighed and raised my hands and unleashed the photonic storm directly at his head. Just like he did against Ultron girl. The guy is nothing if not predictable. Ares crashed to the ground, his leap halted. He shook his head, blinded by the blast as had been my intention. Everything had led to this moment. I needed him to get angry and I had needed to get his helmet off to blind him. Now I needed to humiliate him infront of his troops.
He rose up, swinging his axe blindly, trying to clear his vision. I focussed the rest of the power I had absorbed into my legs. I timed his swings then, as he swung his axe past again, unleashed a kick that would have punctured 5 inches of armour plate directly at his crotch.
"WOOPH!" Ares gasped as air came out of his mouth and my boot drove his balls up into his stomach. The Guy's eyes looked like they were going to pop out of his head. For a moment he was still, then like a building falling over, her dropped his axe and fell to his knees clutching his groin. There was a collective gasp and I realised that the entire camp had surrounded us and had witness the cruelst blow of all being dealt.
I quickly walked around the fallen War god, grasped him by his rear breast plate and lifted him into the air. Even with such a blow Ares recovery powers were incredible. And I was running out of time. I wouldn't be surprised if HAMMER forces were already vectoring in on this location. We rose to about 5 hundred feet and spotted what I had been looking for. Ares gasped beneath me. He was already starting recover. I looped over and dove towards my target. Just as I was about to release him I pulled him close and whispered "Not You nor that piece of slim Osborn will ever take the sky from me!" I then released him and pulled out of the power dive. Ares flew like a missile toward the mud pool obstacle course.
The pain had sunsided and my sight returned. We were in the air. I need but a moment more then I would grab her and show the Danver's woman what it meant to make a fool of the God of War.
"Not You nor that piece of slim Osborn will ever take the sky from me!" I heard Danvers whisper to me and before Icould twist around she released me. As she pulled up I looked down and realised where I was hurtling towards.
I hovered above the mud pool, trying unsuccessfully to completely stifle the desire to laugh as I watched Ares, hob-nailed boots and bare legs kicking comically up in the air, the rest of him buried deep in the mud.
"Ok boys there is your commander. I suspect he might be a mite testy when he gets out so be very careful not to get on his bad side." I turned slowly, surveying the troops below me. "I would think very hard about tonight and what and who you are working for." I flew over to the flag staff where Old Glory waved in the blackness of night. "It maybe night now but I promise you that I and others like me will bring an end to this dark reign and the light will once more shine down. Be careful it doesn't burn you when it comes." I yanked the lanyard and caught the flag as it fluttered down. "You don't deserve to serve under this flag. Prove you serve the light and not the darkness and I will return it to you." I then took off with the flag fluttering behind me.
As I flew off to collect my hidden bag I started humming the tune of a old tv show which had finished way too soon. There was one thing I was now certain "I am to misbehave."
Finally my cretins had been able to pull me out of the mud. I threw up more mud and foul water. I scooped mud from my eyes and blink around me. I could well imagine what sort of sight I made covered from head to thigh in brown sludge. I vowed if I heard one snigger, saw one lip even tremble I would slaughter everyone. The troops looked at the ground. None wished to see their God's discomfort. I stormed off to the showers.
By all the damned souls in Hades, I vowed. I was going to kill Ms. Marvel.
For those who like to know when this happens this follows after Ms. Marvel #46 were Ms. Marvel became one and defeated Moonstone and my previous issue where she fights Ares. It occurs before her date with Spiderman and the New Avengers and the Dark Avengers battle where both teams are taken down by the Power Neutraliser.
Ms. Marvel: The Quest for Tony Stark - New Avengers get a reality check.
[NEW YORK _ The New Avengers secret hideout in Captain America's Apartment]
"WHAT DO YOU MEAN, YOU DON"T KNOW WHERE TONY STARK IS?!" I demanded.
Around me the New Avengers stood looking anywhere between embarrassed and defensive. The last two weeks had been quite hectic for me what with coming back from the dead, fighting the Dark Avengers and being captured, escaping (BY MYSELF) the Avengers Tower, defeating that murderous bitch Karla Soffen, being attacked by H.A.M.M.E.R. fighters and finally penetrating ARES new Training Camp.
I m dead for a few months and everything goes to crap here. I looked at each of my team mates in turn. The new Captain America, Bucky Barnes starred back at me , jaw set but I could see in his eyes that he was troubled. Mockingbird and Spiderwoman looked embarrassed (but I didn t blame them, they had been prisoners of the Skrull and had their own problems). Spiderman was unreadable with that mask of his on and Ronin and Cage starred back defensively.
Listen Lady, We ve had a hard enough time holding our own. We don t have time for a guy who pretty much caused all of this to happen.
Really? My voice became steely soft. So your blaming Stark for the Skrull Invasion are you. For allowing them to kidnap and replace our friends. Both Spiderwoman and Mockingbird frowned and glared at Clint.
ER well no, Clint back peddled fast not wanting to upset the tenuous relationship he was just starting to reforge with his ex-wife. Of course not.
So your blaming him for loosing everything, for him deleting all evidence of every super heroes identity and location details, including this place, and going on the run to forestall Osborn getting his hands on as much Stark Tech as possible?
Listen Carol Luke Cage stepped forward
No YOU RE blaming Tony for doing the right thing and following HIS and YOUR Government s decision to have a register for all Super heroes so that they could be accountable just like the military and the police forces are.
It was wrong. Luke Cage moved forward. It was no different than the way my people were treated by this country two centuries ago.
Luke that s crap, I rounded on him. Absolute crap. And before you get on your high horse Mr Peter Parker and bleat about family, what makes us any different from a policeman s family or a soldiers or an FBI or Secret Service man or woman. What makes you so special? Are you better than them?
That shut them up.
The British Super heroes all operate under the British Government. Are you saying their government is better than ours? There were a few open and shut mouths but nothing came out. You spouted a lot of Liberal crap about liberty and freedom but what you were saying was your liberty to do what you wanted and YOUR freedom to not take responsibility for your actions. You don t pay for the damage done bringing down a criminal. You don t want to stand before a review board to justify that you used necessary force. Your insurance doesn t cover the injuries suffered by bystanders.
That s not fair! Spiderman said defensively. I always think of others. I don t need the Government to tell me what I can and can t do. And I always take responsibility for my actions.
For a second the name Gwen Stacey flashed across my mind and I opened my mouth. Steady Carol, your trying to get them to help you and all you ve done so far is re-open old wounds.
Where is Tony Stark? I tried to get the conversation back on track.
We don t know, Luke Cage visibly tried to get his anger under control. You went after my wife and child.. He started up again.
Where is the Black Widow? Maria Hill? I cut through his accusation.
Uh well we re not sure. Cage stumbled, suddenly feeling guilty.
We have heard rumours that Maria has been captured and that maybe Natasha has been too. Spider woman said.
And I picked up some chatter that maybe Pepper Potts is helping Tony. Mockingbird said, trying to be helpful.
Pepper Potts, Tony s secretary. That Pepper Potts? I asked incredulously. That s who Tony has helping him? I shook my head. And what have you done to try and locate Black Widow and Hill?
Nothing? You ve done nothing to try and find them and if they re prisoners get them out? I felt my anger, and power levels build.
Listen here Carol. We owed Hill and the Widow nothing. They weren t part of the team. As soon as Clint said it I could see he regretted the words.
Right because they both worked for Tony and you blame him for all this. I raised my hands. Shut it. I don t want to hear it. And I suppose the same goes for me when I was captured by Osborn s gang hmm? Now no one was looking at me.
Right. Well where I come from we are trained to not leave a man or woman behind. Now maybe this is not the US Airforce but at least there we took responsibility for our actions and we backed up our team mates, and that included the Army, Navy, Marines or our Allies. Maybe you should think about that while I m away.
I spun around, walked to the open window and flew out into the night. I heard some of them calling me back but frankly I didn t want to be around them for awhile. They still had a lot of issues to work through. They still couldn t bury their feelings from the Civil War. God, they annoyed me. Were they so caught up in their secret identities and their vigilante crime fighting that they still couldn t see why it had been necessary? Did they think all the pro-registration heroes had liked arresting their friends who wouldn t see sense and sign up? Tony and Natasha hadn t wanted to do it. I hadn t wanted to bring in my friends but damn it, it had been the law! And frankly there was a lot of things about the Bill that had been right.
I laughed bitterly and shook my head. And now look at you. On the wrong side of the very Bill you fought to protect! I think that s what you call irony. And Tony, big, bad Tony Stark, was doing more than all the others combined in fighting Osborn s regime. All the underground heroes did was fight small battles. Tony was fighting to win a global war. And trying to protect ingrates who still held a grudge against him.
Poor Tony. He d been the only one who had truly understood and supported me when I was going through my drinking. The only one who hadn t judged me. Cap, the real Cap hadn t. He just got angry, he didn t really understand. My face hardened just like none of the Avengers had not understood when Marcus had raped and impregnated me. But Tony. He had been so understanding, non-judgmental, so gentle. I remember looking into those eyes and I sighed and cleared my mind.
Focus Girl! Tony needs you and it looks like you re the only one who can solve it. Forget the girly stuff and lets put this anger we have building up inside us to some use, huh Carol? Absofragginglutely! I replied to myself. First thing s first, I m going to need some power. I headed off to a Oscorp Factory site feeling, that as I was about to take on his goons, he should supply the power. I concentrated and felt my uniform change. I looked down and smiled. Haven t worn this in a while.
Ms Hand, I m not sure, The OSCORP Eastern Division Munitions Plant Night Manager was on the phone. She came down, said she was here to get something then went straight to the Plant s power station and just drained it. The whole plant is down. The back up generator couldn t handle the Plant s demand and its burnt out. The automated production line has frozen. I suspect from a power feedback when Ms. Marvel entered the power station. What no. It was definitely current Ms. Marvel. You know the red uniform one that works with the Iron Patriot. She said she needed the power to go after someone. I don t know. She didn t say. Just tell Mr Osborn the Plant is down and it was his Ms. Marvel that did it.
Ah Karla, you are going to have a bit of explaining to do, I chuckled as I flew away from the blacked out munitions plant. And that s only going to be the start. Having Catherine in your head gave me full access to all your sick life and also your plans. I don t think Norman would be too happy if he knew what you really thought of him, or what you had been planning.
I flew on enjoying the buzz I felt with all that power I had just absorbed sizzling within me. It occurred to me that I really should have done the whole power up business every time I went on a mission. Never mind, better late than never. And now to put another nail in H.A.M.M.E.R. s coffin.
Ms. Marvel: The Quest for Tony Stark Part 2 - Opening H.A.M.M.E.R.'s Coffin
As Ms. Marvel travels westward towards the Appalachian Mountains and a top-secret base buried beneath an isolated peak known by the rather curious name of Coffin Mountain, two members of Norman Osborn's Avenger Team had just arrived on their own mission.
"Why are we here again?" grumbled Spiderman (actually the one time super villain know as the Scorpion now wearing the Symbiote suit that allows him to be the Dark Avenger's answer to the original web-crawler).
"Listen Duffus. Soffen's off trying to find her moggostone, Ares is busy training and maiming his toy soldiers, the Sentry's off crying somewhere, who cares where Kid Marvel is and the Boss is focusing on capturing Stark. That leaves us to "entertain" our guest." Hawkeye (one-time super villain Bullseye) replied, grinning evilly. "Cheer up Slick, this should be fun."
The two walked through a series of heavy blast doors, past scanners that passed over them, ready to activate their hidden defences at a moments call. In front of them the H.A.M.M.E.R. Commandant of the facility, Edgar Reece, and his scientific advisor, Dr. Inga Reikroff, updated the two on the status of the subjects and the new prisoner. Most of it meant nothing to either Spiderman or Hawkeye but they pretended to understand.
------------------------------------------------------------------------------ Ms. Marvel
I had hoped to make a stealthy entrance. Obviously they had other ideas. Coffin Mountain was one of the many fortified bases A.I.M. had built over they decades. In my hunt to wipe out every last instance of this amoral organisation I had heard only whispers about this base. It was only after decrypting part of the data I had stolen from Ares Training Camp had I discovered the exact location and the fact that this particular base and its A.I.M. (ADVANCED IDEA MECHANICS) Cell had surrendered to Osborn and had effectively started working for him. What this meant was that this base was now defended by both A.I.M. technology but also by H.A.M.M.E.R. equipment.
All of a sudden the air was filled with explosions as Phalanx shells were fired from their Gatling gun weapons systems and Patriot missiles were launched.
The forces against which I was being pitted represented the absolute pinnacle of military achievement. Weapons and tactics of the US armed services, and S.H.I.E.L.D. as well as A.I.M. were now hurled with full vigor against me. I weaved and dodged, firing my photonic energy blasts to defeat each volley of ground to air missiles. I dived toward the ground at high speed, pulling up at the last minute while the trailing smart missiles impacted into the ground.
Then I was flying feet above the ground, down the road to the front entrance, past the startled guards and into the underground garage. A.I.M. had obviously been thinking of Cheyenne Mountain when they built this place I thought as I stared at the massive door. No Guards around but I didn't expect much resistance until I opened the front door. I grasped the massive blast door and heaved. The power I had absorbed sparked and I grunted as I pushed my fingers into the hardened steel and then pulled. With a might metallic tearing noise the door came free, the six, titanium bolts that had locked the door (each a six inches thick) snapped.
"Knock, knock!" I sang out. "I think your door is bro....ungh!!" I grunted as I was hit in the chest by a blast from a thermo-shock cannon. "Mmm thanks for the recharge boys." I chuckled under my breath. "Still, even a lady has to watch her figure." I blasted the two cannons. "And her modesty!" I glanced down to realise my costume had a six inch hole in it right between my breasts. Before I could concentrate to repair the damage hidden 50 cal machine guns appeared and opened up.
"Oh Please this is just silly!" I blasted these as well. "Ok, are you trying to kill me or strip me?" My suit was starting to look like it was trying to replicate Swiss cheese. I stalked down the floor, using a little of the power I had absorbed to repair my suit before it completely fell of me.
Suddenly the floor in front of me exploded into flame.
"Flame Jets? Oh come on. Isn't this taking the whole "Evil hidden base" thing a little too far?" Whoever had rigged this place must have been a James Bond fan.
"What's next?" I called out as I flew through the flames and landed on the other side. "A trap door in the flooOOORS!" The floor beneath me opened up and I dropped maybe a foot before I flew back up. "Well how about that. I was right! And you guys," I called out. "Are really starting to look like 60's has-beens." At the end of the corridor was a door. Guaranteed there was probably a squad or two of H.A.M.M.E.R. goons waiting behind it. So I went through the wall instead.
"Good Evening Gentlemen." I tore through the wall and unleashed a volley of photonic blasts. "Well that explains the stupid traps." I said saw the familiar uniform of A.I.M. soldiers as well as H.A.M.M.E.R. flunkies lined up. Oh look, the scary men in yellow with the dustbins on their heads. Hi boys, miss me!"
I teased as they opened fire with their various weapons. Being A.I.M. and our past history I chose to dodge the incoming rounds rather than let them hit me - you never know. I flew in and began to get close and personal with the men, fist to head personal.
Overconfidence is the bane of every warrior who has the best weapon or the most numbers. It s embarrassing to admit but the U.S. Military fall into this trap. And this also applies to every superhero and villain as well. We get too comfortable in our powers and abilities. So it was with great chagrin that I didn't react quickly enough when I spotted Osborn's Hawkeye. He fired one of his special arrows at me and I dodged out of the way, taking out the last H.A.M.M.E.R. operative as I did so.
"Hey Cowseye." I jeered. "Missed me."
And that's when Venom appeared out of nowhere and sprayed me with black webbing.
"Try and dodge this one, Ms. Bimbo." Bullseye sneered as he fired an arrow directly into my forehead. The arrow itself didn't really hurt but its arrowhead shattered. I didn't understand what it was until my head suddenly began to spin and the room went dark. "Ga....ssss."
I woke up with a hangover. Wait a minute I stopped drinking years ago. I tried to gather my thoughts. Where was I? What had I been doing?
I looked around. I was in a cell. I was suspended above the floor my arms and legs spread out with my feet and hands manacled by energy containment shackles.
Oh like this wasn't familiar. Did these guys not have an original thought in their head?
"Well, well, well, Ms. Bimbo has awoken from her beauty nap. How you feeling?" Bullseye leered up at me. I felt as if I was being covered with slime as he eyes traveled over my body. His hand reached out and ran up my thigh. I couldn't restrain a shudder.
"Hey, look at that. Ms. Bimbette is getting all hot'n excited. You know I've already done our Ms. Marvel. I wouldn't mind a two for."
"You are truly scum," I retorted. "And while I have nothing but contempt for that sociopath Soffen I thought even she wouldn't sink so low."
"Watch it $#*$!%!" Bullseye growled angrily and threw a punch at my exposed stomach. And immediately regretted it. He howled with pain as his fist bounced off my bulletproof abs.
"I see your brains match the level of your brawn." I quipped. Having fully regained my equilibrium I began to test my restraints. A.I.M. restraints like they had used on me once before. My initial efforts achieved nothing. Hmm upgrades.
"Do not bother Danvers, " Said the A.I.M scientist. "This facility was built to study many exotic creatures and this device has been rebuilt specifically to handle your known strength level and a bit more. Director Osborn was personally involved in their construction." I covered my smile and began to seemingly struggle against the bonds even as I began to pour my additional energy into my hands and feet. Yeh you've upgraded the restraints for my normal power level, but what about when I'm almost fully charged Mr Garbagehead, I thought.
"She really can't escape?" Venom moved forward, tongue flowing out lasciviously.
"Not a chance. We had Ms. Marvel test the bonds and she could not break, and she was not happy and tried quite hard," The A.I.M. scientist tittered nervously, remembering that when Ms. Marvel had been released she had killed all the A.I.M. personnel in the room. "Quite a temper, your Ms. Marvel."
The energy levels inside the bonds were growing exponentially. I may no longer be Binary but with all that juice still flowing through me I could still warm things up.
Excellent, Venom hissed in pleasure and his long revolting tongue whipped out. As Hawkeye is indisposed I think I ll try a tassste. He moved to stand directly in front of me and his tongue ran up my body, over my chest to my face.
First Date, I snarled as the restraint holding my right hand exploded from the energy discharge. Venom froze in mid lick. NO TONGUE! I grabbed his tongue and then released a photonic jolt down his tongue. Venom howled in pain. The other restraints exploded and I rose into the air, pulling the struggling villain up with me.
Pandemonium erupted in the lab as the A.I.M scientists and H.A.M.M.E.R. Guards reacted. I added to the confusion by firing photonic bolts at computers, the power transformer that had been powering my restraints and the odd guard. I noted Hawkeye struggling to get to the door. I helped him on his way with quick series of bolts that left him screaming and his costume smoldering. That would teach him for daring to wear Clint s costume. I was reminded that I still held Venom by his tongue as his talon-like hands tried to tear at my body and his symbiote flowed onto my legs.
Trying to take me over huh? I observed. Did you know I fought a whole army of your kind in New York last year? I learnt a few things. Like your kind really can t handle the heat. I then unleashed a massive pulse of photonic energy out from my body. The flash blinded all in the room but it turned the symbiote into a black puddle that sploshed on the floor followed by its host.
Oops poor diddums made a mess. Both were alive but would not be happy campers when they eventually woke up.
Now to get on and find that data centre. I left the room, flying over the groaning Bullseye and headed down the corridor. Obviously this was a containment area as there were a number of cells, most empty. However one contained a man who had been obviously tortured. I tore open the bars, noting that there were UV columns of light between each bar. The man was held up in shiny manacles. His clothes would have been rather fine before he had been tortured. There were burns on his wrists and feet and he was so very pale.
Help . me. The man moaned. His lank hair was black and shoulder length and he had a moustache and goatee. There was a nobility about his features and bearing that the torture had not robbed from him and there was something almost sensuous about his full pale lips. But it was his eyes, great, dark pools that seemed to pierce my very brain. I felt a great sadness and a urge to help this poor man.
Don t worry Sir, I am Ms. Marvel. I'm here to rescue you. I said as I tore off first the manacles around his feet, then the ones holding his arms. There was something strange about this shiny manacles and I felt a moment of unease but it was washed away in a pang of concern as he fell forward into my arms.
Oh ah sir ah are you able to walk. I glanced out into the corridor. The alarm hadn t been raised yet but the men I had stunned would eventually recover.
Neeed, The man whispered into my ear. "So young. So strong. Beautiful." I felt myself blushing. It suddenly occurred to me that we were almost embracing and his head was against the nap of my neck, like ..like lovers.
"Um I think I'll put you dowwwOH!" I could feel the caress of his left hand on my neck as it slowly pulled down the collar of my uniform. His breath touched my skin. It was sweet in one sense, like the smell after a rain storm, and it sent a tingling through my body. And yet, like with that smell was an underlying smell of damp earth. For some reason I could not fathom I found my heart begin to race, my skin flush and a burning desire feel those kiss .... Carol!
What the hell are you thinking! And yet I couldn't seem to let him go. I felt warm and safe in his arms, my breasts crushed to his chest, his lips now brushing my throat, his hot breath seeming to encircle me with its warmth. Some small voice from far away was screaming something but I didn't care as I closed my eyes in a languorous ecstasy. I could feel the soft, shivering touch of his lips on my suddenly supersensitive skin and the hard dents of two sharp teeth, just touching and pausing there. Then they sank into me, cleaving my flesh. I cried out in ecstasy. the pain/pleasure burned shifting to bliss in a heart beat. I took a gasping breath, stiffening for a glorious instant. Images flashed before me.
Wonder Man, Michael Rossi, men she had loved and been loved by. I felt my knees begin to buckle and now he was holding me. He began sucking on me hungrily and it just excited me more. I cried out. I was ...I was going to ...
He pulled away leaving me teetering on the brink. I blinked, confused, disappointed, then as realisation hit me angry and enraged.
"You blood-sucking son-of-a-$#*$!%!" I roared, photonic power flashing from my eyes and fists.
"My humble apologies," The man raised his hands in surrender. "I can only say that my captors have been draining my blood for the past few months and instinct does over come good breeding. And you are a tough lady to resist" He gave me a smile. He actually smiled! And I ...I smiled back.
"You're a vampire. And you just bit me. So why am I smiling?" I tried to stay angry and couldn't. "And how the hell did you pene um bite me in the first place. I'm invulnerable!"
He smile grew broader. God he had a nice, sexy smile. "Vampires never kiss and tell."
An alarm went off. "I'd like to discuss this further but if you will take my word that I will not bite you again, well at least without your permission." He smiled again and the place where he penetra..damn bite me, pulsed deliciously. Carol!
"Yeh, Yeh, Enemy of my Enemy is my friend, I turned and dashed out of the cell, trying to control my blushing.
"Ah excuse me, My Lady." I turned around annoyed to see him still standing there. I now noticed that he seemed to glow with life, his hair was now lustrous sable, like it had been newly washed, his body healed and muscular through the torn shirt. I blushed again.
"Would you mind removing the light. he pointed up at the lights that shone down from above. UV Light, Of course! For some reason that made me feel better. I snorted then blasted the lights. "There you are, the nasty lights are off."
"Thank you, My Lady," he bowed deeply and smiled that damnably annoying, sexy smile and walked out of the cell like he was walking into a ball room.
The alarm changed tone and an automated voice spoke.
"All cells unlocked."
"Oh dear, this is going to be a challenge." The vampire frowned and glanced up and down the corridor. "If we don't get a chance later, my name is James Corwin David, Lord Ravenwood, supporter of the blessed martyr King Charles I of England and Ambassador from the High Vampire Court to the United States of America." He bowed deeply and then tore off his shirt and took up a defensive stance.
I stared at his bare torso, then shook my head and refocused. "What do you mean? What else is down ...here?" I suddenly heard scuttling of many insectile like feet and hissing sounds. Sounds I had heard before. "Aw &*$%#! You are kidding me." My fists began to glow. "Osborn and A.I.M. have Brood?!"
Ms. Marvel: The Quest for Tony Stark Part 3 - Nailing H.A.M.M.E.R.'s Coffin
"Osborn and A.I.M. have Brood?! Where the hell did they get Brood from?" I demanded as I unleashed a barrage of photonic blasts at the charging/flying Alien creatures. Brood! I know Osborn is nuts but this!
The vampire rached out and ripped one of the 7ft long bars from his cell and spun it around like a bo stick before crashing it on first one then two then a third Brood coming down the other corridor. He then spun it around his head and struck a pose.
"Will you quit with the Neo impersonation and give me an sitrep!" I demanded blasting two more Brood. Damn, how many were there?
"Besides taking my blood for some sort of Super soldier experimentation. HYAHH!" CRUNCH, SPLAT. "They also used to send me in to fight these little beasties." SWUNG THWAK!
"Yes but how did they get here in the first place?" I could feel my extra power going fast. Too much used fighting my way in and then breaking out. Damn this was not helping me find Tony. "And do you know where Tony Stark is?"
"Stark? As far as I know Stark isn't...grunt...here. Hang on." I turned to see five Brood charge down toward Ravenwood who lept up into the air spinning like a top. The bar he held whirled around smashing into the quintupletes and knocking them back down the corridor.
"I have a better one," I barked, rising up, fists glowing. "DUCK!" I then spun around fast firing energy bolts up both corridors in rapid succession. Brood screech and hissed, exploded, and died. Then I felt it, again. I wasn't Binary any more but the power I had absorbed had given me almost the same rush. And now it was gone. It felt like the whole Universe is suddenly telling me to shut up and sit down, again. And this time I listened. I landed back down and then sat down.
"Now that my Lady was impressive. Ms. Marvel? Are you alright?" Ravenwood knelt beside me, concern on his face.
"Yeh, fine. Little drained. No biggy. Just need to catch my breath." I gasped. Part of me wanted to get up, to keep on. Refuse to be sensible, to push on. To not trust this person in front of me who was proving to be an ally. To do it all myself, like I always did. But I suppressed that urge. It wasn't cowardly to take a rest. It wasn't weak to let someone else do the work for a while. "Now watched the corridors and tell me about Tony Stark."
"As you wish My Lady," He sketched a bow then glanced up and down the corridors. "As far as I understand Stark has never been here. However from what I heard they are using Stark's Technology. See this." He reached down and ripped out something from the head of one of the dead Brood. "This is device which attaches to another that runs down the spin of these creatures controls them. To a certain extent. I met some clown who called himself the Controller who had been sent in but his devices failed to affect minds as alien as these bugs. However combined with cybernetic implants from Stark's own Tech, that was brought in recently, the bugs seem to be now obeying commands. Although..." he looked up and back down the corridor. We could both hear hissing and scratching of more Brood hiding around the corners. "They're not coming."
"Damn. You mean I came here on a wild goose chase?" I swore. "At least I know they haven't yet caught Tony."
"Well you rescued me, for which I am eternally gratefully, which for a vampire is the truth. And you have just thrown a very big spanner in the wheel of Norman Osborn." I grudgingly acknowledged the second. "What is interesting me more at the moment is the lack of reaction from the Brood. I can't see the people in charge of this place allowing us time to rest and recuperate. How are you by the way?"
"Fine," I rose to my feet. "I'm at my normal power levels, which is still enough to take on these sleazoids. I just wish I knew how they had acquired the Brood."
"They have a immature Queen of course." Ravenwood said non-chalantly, still glancing up and down the corridor. The hissing and scabbling was becoming louder.
"WHAT! HOW?" I grabbed him and spun him around to face me.
"Yes, it seems your S.H.I.E.L.D. organisation captured one after your last encounter. Then the Skrull invasion happened. Oh they have a Super Skrull down here as well. Nasty bastard, Almost tore my head off."
"Stop!" My head was whirling. "Brood and a Brood Queen AND a Super Skrull?"
"Mmmhmm. Fortunately I turned to mist and then reformed part of my body inside his head." He lexed his hand in memory. "Painful but effective." The Hissing noise was making it hard to hear. "I think we're about to..."
The was a terrible screech. Damn how many Brood did they have as we both covered our ears. Then.
"FRRRRREEEEEE. FFFFRRRREEEEEEEEE. DEEAATHHHHH TO OUR CAPTORSSSSSSSS!" Suddenly there was a sound the rending of metal followed by the beating of many, many wings.
"Me thinks this establishment is about to reap the whirlwind." Suddenly a klaxon sounded.
"Ok time to be leaving I would say," Ravenwood looked at me expectantly. Suddenly a horde of Brood came around the corner that led deeper into the I unleashed another barrage of photonic energy, this time at the ceiling. It exploded and fell down on the charging Brood, effectively blocking them and any other monstrosities in.
"Uh do you know the way out?" I asked, hoping I had not just sealed us in.
"No, I was sealed in a box when I arrived. But I would presume you have selected the route for us." He pointed to the other way.
"Yeh let's hope so." The Klaxon changed tone and a automated voice was activated.
"CONTAINMENT BREACH. CONTAINMENT BREACH. TERMINAL PROTOCOL ENACTED. YOU HAVE 10 MINUTES TO REACH SAFE DISTANCE..... HAVE A NICE DAY."
"Ok well in that case.." Ravenwood indicated with his head up and down the corridor.
"We Run."I finished and headed back the way I had come. If this was the holding area then the other door I had noticed in the chamber when I had woken up must be the way out. Ahead of us we heard screams quickly silenced and the rending of more metal. We past through a blast door that had been ripped open and then to another door, also destroyed which lead to the room where I had been held. There were dead A.I.M. and H.A.M.M.E.R. staff everywhere but no sign of either Bullseye or Venom. The other door was also torn open and we rushed through it. Gunfire and more screams could be heard up the corridor. The next lab we entered showed the signs of a battle. Dead H.A.M.M.E.R. soldiers, mixed with Brood and more scientists showed the ferocity of the combat. Another door, also torn open showed where the Brood had gone.
"CONTAINMENT BREACH. CONTAINMENT BREACH. TERMINAL PROTOCOL ENACTED. YOU HAVE 5 MINUTES TO REACH SAFE DISTANCE."
"Rats leaving the sinking ship?" Ravenwood asked as we ran on.
"Brood are very intelligent despite looking like overgrown bugs. They will find a way out and we have to stop them." I said leaping into the air and flying. "Follow me as quickly as you can."
"Not a problem," I was startled to hear his voice close behind me. I looked back to see a giant bat-like thing flapping furiously behind me. Quite disconcerting really. I then re-focussed on dodging through more broken doors and around the wreckage left in the wake of the remaining Brood's path. Carol,if you are going to team up with a vampire you have to expect this sort of thing. After all you have fought with an Alien who looked like a cross between a hammerhead and an octopus. What's a Giant Vampire bat demon after that?
We finally caught up with the Brood in a large underground carpark. A massive blast door blocking their way. The remnants of the base staff were fighting a last ditched stand against their would-be slaves. I still didn't see Bullseye or Venom. The two of us hit the Brood from the rear and I felt little like Aragorn from 'Return of the King' coming to the rescue of Minas Tirith. The Brood surge forward over the last defenders then turned around to face us. Raven wood and I crashed through their centre. They came back at us. They fought as they always fought, ferociously. I was invulnerable but Ravenwood was not. One clawed swipe turned his chest to a bloody mess while another seemed to have torn half his face off. He went down in a cloud of dust.
"NO!" I roared. I spied a power conduit and without a second thought ripped it off. I screamed as the power surge into me but I controlled it and unleashed a cataclysm of energy. The Brood screamed and they screeched and they hissed but I kept on and then there was silence as I collapsed, releasing the conduit.
"CONTAINMENT BREACH. CONTAINMENT BREACH. TERMINAL PROTOCOL ENACTED. YOU HAVE 2 MINUTES TO REACH SAFE DISTANCE."
I looked up, startled. Ravenwood stood above me. One eye was gone and there was nasty deep gouges on his face, chest and limbs. "You're alive?"
"Technically, no, but I'm here. Even my supernatural healing and your highly charged blood wasn't enough to compensate for the damage they were doing so I was forced to turn to mist. My apologise for worrying you."
"Um I wasn't worried," I said colouring. "We need to get out of here." I turned to the blast door.
"CONTAINMENT BREACH. CONTAINMENT BREACH. TERMINAL PROTOCOL ENACTED. YOU HAVE 1 MINUTE TO REACH SAFE DISTANCE, HAVE A NICE DAY."
"I hope it sin't day out there or this is going to be a very short trip for me." Ravenwood muttered then turned and walked over to look at something.
I ignored him. Taking a deep breath I reached out once more for the sparking power conduit and again felt the power surge into me. "Ravenwood. We are leaving!" I called out to him as I flew to the massive blast door. Squatting down and driving my fingers into the mental I began to lift.
"May I say you have the most magneficient female behinds I have .." I heard Ravenwood say.
"Will you just shut up and get under the door!" I growled. MEN!
He passed me , first slipping a comotose female A.I.M. scientist under the door then followed himself. I grunted pushing the door above my head then waddling forward and around until I was directly underneath the massive lump of metal. I felt two arms circle my waist and they yanked me through. The massive door crashed back down. We fell in a heep, me on top of him.
"CONTAINMENT BREACH. CONTAINMENT BREACH. TERMINAL PROTOCOL ENACTED. YOU HAVE 30 SECONDS TO REACH SAFE DISTANCE."
"Much as I enjoy this position we do need to get a move on." Ravenwood whispered in my ear. "Can you carry both of us?"
"Watch me." I replied glad he couldn't see me blush. I reached across and grabbed the woman and Ravenwood and flew down the tunnel and out into the night sky.
"Well that's a relief." I heard the vampire quip. Behind us there was a rumble from the mountain. "And that's the end of that base."
"Another nail in H.A.M.M.E.R.'s Coffin." I said as I landed us in a forest clearing.
"OH PUNNY. Ms. Marvel stick to what you know best and leave the puns to the professionals." Ravenwood groaned.
"Hey I thought that was good." I pouted then changed the subject. Ok so maybe I'll the comedy to Spiderman. "And whose the woman in the A.I.M. out fit?"
"Allow me to introduce The local ex. A.I.M. Scientist Supreme and current H.A.M.M.E.R. Chief Scientist for this ex-facility. She might be able to help you with your quest to find Mr Stark and if nothing else get ,
Ms. Marvel: The Quest for Tony Stark Part 4 A Christmas Carol.
"Repeating the latest news. One time Billionaire Industrialist, Director of the now defunct S.H.I.E.L.D., and Golden Avenger, Iron Man, the World's Most Wanted, Tony Stark is dead." The female newscaster looked grave.
I starred at the T.V. frozen in shock. No, it couldn't be.
"Or as good as from reports from the medical staff of an exclusive hospital have reported. Mr Stark is in a vegetative state after his battle with the Iron Patriot last week." The newscaster was replaced by the news cast of the combat between two men in armour, one sate-of-the-art suit in the red, white and blue of the Iron Patriot. The other, worn by Tony Stark, in dull steel and obviously far inferior to the one worn by Osborn.
"Currently Mr Stark is on full life-support. He is unable to breath on his own. Just repeating Mr Stark has been diagnosed as brain dead. SMASH!"
The T.V. exploded as I fired at photonic bolt at it.
"Whoa! Hey, do you mind?" The Vampire Ravenwood stalked into the room. "That's my T.V. you just destroyed! Did it do anything to you?"
I glared back at him then slumped back down on the couch. "I'm sorry. It's just that....that." I gritted my teeth and my fists began to glow again.
"STOP IT RIGHT NOW, Ms. Crankypants." Ravenwood stood directly in front of me. "Enough with the self loathing and destruction of other people's household appliances. Let the other thousand plus women Tony Stark has touched do that. Your Ms. Marvel aren't you? You were the team leader of the Mighty Avengers were you not? You want to take your anger out on someone. Do it somewhere where it will do some good. Not in my haven!"
"Didn't you hear?" I stood up and moved right up into his face. "Tony Stark is as good as dead. I failed him. I didn't do any better than the rest of the Avengers. They never really cared but I did. And I should have done more!"
"He's only mostly dead." Ravenwood replied quietly.
"I...what? My anger stumbled as I tried to understand.
"He's only mostly dead. Which means he's still partly alive."
"What are you talking about," I demanded still confused. Somehow this sounded familiar.
"I'll explain," Ravenwood stopped, considered then restarted. "That will take too long. I'll summarise. You see there's a big difference between mostly dead, like being brain dead in the case of your friend Stark, and all dead. All dead: well, with all dead, there's usually only one thing you can do."
"And what's that?" My eyes hardened as I now had a very strong suspicion.
"Go through his clothes and look for loose change, or in Stark's case a million dollars."
"Son of a bitch! You re quoting Princess Bride to me!" I growled swinging and missing and the bugger turned to mist.
"That's right, so put on the tiara, build a bridge and get over it!" Ravenwood reformed. "We can save him, or at least start him back on the road to recovery."
"Talk fast, Fang Features." I was now half annoyed and half hopeful.
"Thou name calling doth wound me sorely, My Lady." Ravenwood declared clutching his chest dramatically then hurried on as my fists and eyes flared.
"This and you can start your friend on the road to recovery." He held up the vial he had picked up in the HAMMER/AIM Base the week before.
"What is it?" I looked at the clear liquid in the vial.
"This is pure essence of vampire blood. This will, when injected make a human be as strong, resilient and be able to repair damage just like a vampire. It has been purified so that the subject cannot be controlled by the vampire donor. It is, in effect, a super soldier serum."
"And the side effects?"
"Well, after having a chat with our friendly AIM Scientist Dr Reikoff, she admitted that while it did work the effect lasted for only three hours and extended usage caused chronic addiction and dependency. The subjects died because they couldn't get enough."
"And this will help Tony how?"
AIM and HAMMER were looking for a Super Soldier Serum. However the other benefits, which they didn't care about still remain." Ravenwood smiled eagerly. "This can heal any and all physical injuries when injected. Physically Tony Stark will be healed."
"But he will still be brain dead."
"True but please. Are you honestly telling me that you believe a man like Tony Stark is going to go to all the trouble of deleting his brain and no way to recover?" He raised an eyebrow and looked at me questioningly.
I opened my mouth then shut it. Of course Tony would have a back up plan. In this case he would have backed up his brain before going on this odyssey around the world. And I bet the back up was close by and as long as Osborn was focussed on where Stark was, not what he might have done, it would be safe. Sort of like sending the One Ring off under the care of two Hobbits while the rest kept Sauron looking everywhere but in his own backyard. Hmm, I didn't think Tony read Tolkein!
"Ok say you are right. What do I have to do with it?"
"The serum can cure any injuries he has sustained, repair the brain and so on. And I am sure his friends are working hard to acquire his backup memory and work out how to give it to him."
"But his life force may also be low. His will to live. That's where you fit in. Ever heard the one about the sleeping prince in the tower?"
He starred meaningfully at me.
Hovering five miles above Washington D.C. is the flying juggernaut that serves as the command base for H.A.M.M.E.R.. It is 1 am and most of the Helicarrier's staff are asleep. Only the night shift are awake, and as another routine night progresses their guard is down.
This is no more true than in its medical centre lies the helicarrier's former commander, Tony Stark. He is comatose, his brain activity virtually nil, kept alive only by the efforts of the many machines around him. Once the most wanted man in the world he is now considered no threat at all.
Outside a single guard stands, bored at the duty he feels is both beneath him and a waste of his time. he much rather be chatting up the pretty nurse who has just entered along with a doctor. He doesn't recognise either but he isn't interested in identities just the nurse. His eyes travel up her shapely, long legs, sheathed in white stockings, a nurse's uniform that isn't short enough in his opinion but still showing a nice bit of thigh. His eyes stop as they reach her chest. Holy ....! Look at the size of those melons, and the cleavage! She bends over to pick up a tray. Nice ass. He barely notices the doctor talking to the other nurse on duty. Good let him keep that surly bitch occupied. She just didn't understand about men. But this one coming toward him obviously did. She had a nice face, brown eyes and a dark hair pull back tightly into a bun. Pity it wasn't free, bet she had nice wild hair he thought before his eyes travelled back down to her breasts.
I approached the solitary guard while Ravenwood transfixed and controlled the night nurse. Men! Look at this Neanderthal. He can't take his eyes off my chest. Norman had apes running my beloved Helicarrier. Fury would never have allowed men who could be so easily distracted on board. I controlled my anger and smiled sweetly at the guard.
"I need to do the 1 o'clock check up for the morning report."
"Uh huh." The guard grunted looking briefly up at my face before his eyes fell back down at my chest. And people wonder why I wear a neck high costume!
I taped in the code we had acquired from Dr Reikoff's. It was very useful have captured the local Scientist Supreme of A.I.M. working for H.A.M.M.E.R.
It turned out that while she had joined forces with Osborn she had been hacking into H.A.M.M.E.R.'s network and now we had access to a huge amount of information including many of the security codes for the H.A.M.M.E.R.. So glad there was no honour among villains.
"Excuse me guard," Ravenwood walked up to the guard forcing him to take his eyes off me. For this to work I needed complete privacy. The security cameras had already been taken care of with the running through a loop of the past hour. The guard reluctantly turned to face the vampire and was immediately transfixed in the dark pools of Ravenwood's eyes. He might be a vampire but he definitely had his uses.
I walked across to the bed. Oh God. I stared down at a man who had shown faith in me when everyone else had turned their back. Who had supported me when I had fallen into the depths of alcohol abuse. I had lashed out at him, insulted him but he had never rebuked me and, when I had pulled myself out of the pit he believed in me enough to give me field Command of the Mighty Avengers and then latter my own unit. People might say he was a womaniser but he had always treated me as a person, never crossed the line, never made me feel less than I was. He had been my friend.
"Oh Tony," I murmured running my hand through his dark hair. "Why couldn't you ask me for help?" I looked down at him. Because he had felt I was better placed to help the New Avengers. The others never understood him. They saw only the military industrialist, the playboy, the man who had tried to impose a little bit of order where super heroes could still be a benefit to society, as long as they also obeyed the rules of that society. He didn't cause what followed not any of this. And he had proved it to all the doubters by his current sacrifice. He had lost everything, given away all including his very mind to protect they very men and women who still reviled him as the cause of their trouble now. They were wrong. And what's more we needed men like Tony Stark if we were ever going to defeat Norman Osborn and his ilk. I couldn't do it all but at least I could start the healing process.
I took out the vial and the picked up a syringe. I stuck it into the vial and filled it with the essence vampire blood plasma. I then injected it into the tube feeding into Tony's arm. I held my breath and waited. At first nothing happened then first his heart, and then all his life signs started to improve. I breathed. I then bent over him. I would have preferred to kiss him on the lips but the tube pushing oxygen down his throat made that impossible. I kissed him on both eyes then pressed my lips to his forehead. I closed my eyes and let my mind flow out, and with it a tiny spark of my energy. I felt it pass from me to Tony, guided through his flesh into his brain, felt it flow, merge with his mind. I felt his brain synapse fire, energising the pathways. His mind was still a virtual blank but it was no longer dying, no longer sinking into a vegetative state.
I heard a cough from behind and I reluctantly withdrew. I looked at Ravenwood and felt a tear leak from my eyes.
"I am sorry My Lady, but we are running out of time. If we don't want to leave any trace we were here we need to go."
I nodded, then impulsively bent down and gave Tony one more kiss as a woman then walked quickly out of the ICU.
"Bon Chance Tony Stark. You will never know how much that Lady truly loves you. If you remember her at all it will be only as a Ghost of Christmas Past and Present." I said glancing first at the man lying on the bed then at the retreating figure of a woman I had grown to admire and understand.
We left the Helicarrier as quietly as we had come although this time instead of entering via the last shuttle we jumped out. I felt good but also felt something was missing. We took only an hour to fly back to New York, Ravenwood's bat form was fast but nothing like my own ability if I had wanted to push it. Up ahead lightning flashed and storm clouds brewed.
"Your doing?" I shouted. Ravenwood's bat-like head nodded and he grinned evilly.
"I thought you might like to conduct a blitz on the Avengers tower just to round out the evening."
I grinned. "You are starting to know me too well Sir." At that moment a massive lightning bolt struck the Avengers Tower.
"That should have caused a short or overload through much of the building. If you want to go, now is the time."
"Follow me, we'll hit the sleeping quarters and give'm a surprise." I then swooped forward and smashed straight through the reinforced glass windows into the Dark Avengers Living quarters. As I did three more lighting strikes shook the building. Lights exploded and went out. I could hear shouts and confusion all over the place.
"WHAT THE FUCK IS GOING ON!" demanded Bullseye as he staggered out of his bedroom. "What tha ....OH SHIT!"
"Peace on Earth." I said and then threw a punch that hurled him back into his bedroom and imbedded him in the wall. I kicked down the door to the corridor and immediately spotted the hulking black figure of Venom. He spun, startled at my appearance I actually thought I heard him whimper as I flew forward and grabbed his prehensile tongue. He howled as I released an energy discharge down the disgusting appendage and into both the symbiote and its equally depraved host.
"And bad will to all suck heads!" I quipped as Venom fell to the floor stunned.
I watched Ms. Marvel dive into the Avengers Tower without hesitation. For some I might have worried that they would get carried away but not this lady. She was in control of herself even as she was working herself up into a righteous anger. I summoned down three more bolts which would hopefully overload the elevators effectively sealing all the levels before swooping into and adjoining room.
I was immediately met by a fusillade of energy bolts and I immediately turned to mist to avoid them.
"Whose there?" Demanded an woman. For brief instance I beheld a beautiful, and quite naked blond woman standing by her bed then watched in surprise as suddenly her body was covered in a red and blue uniform. Ah, I seem to have arrived in the bedroom of the Dark Ms. Marvel. What did I know about her? Energy bolts, invulnerability, ability to fly and phase through solid objects if I recall our files. A psychologist with homicidal tendencies. Should be fun.
"I have come for you Karla." I hissed in my best demonic impression. I reformed in my bat form, letting the lightning flash behind me.
"Who are you?" She spun and unleashed another barrage of energy which again passed harmlessly through me as I again turned to mist.
"You don't know? I am so hurt. You have been my servant for so long I would have thought you would know your Master when he appeared." I sensed another enter her dorm and smiled. Perfect.
"Who ....ARE ......YOU?" Karla began to fire off bolt after bolt in random direction, clearly panicking now.
"The Ghost of Christmas Future of course my child. And I have come to give you your just deserts." I reappeared in front of the door to the rest of her dorm. She spun to face me, energy flaring as she built up a massive charge.
"What goes on here?" Ares opened the door and walked in. I immediately turned to mist and Dark Ms. Marvel unleashed her massive blast hitting Ares full in the chest. The shock picked him up and drove him backwards, through the glass walls and out and down 50 floors to the streets below. I added a lightning strike just for affect and to keep Ares down for a while.
Karla stared, shocked. "Ares?" She didn't notice the mist move along the floor and reform behind her.
"You really should look before you blast," I advised then with a snarl enfolded her in my wings and sank my fangs into her neck. She screamed and kept on screaming. Normally I prefer my meals to enjoy the sensation of my feeding and I make an effort to heighten this sensation as I too like the sweet taste of adrenalin that comes from a woman aroused by my touch. But this female was a murderess, cold-hearted and hardly human so in her I caused only terror not pleasure to blossom. She did not enjoy it.
She screamed and struggled but I had too strong a grip. She had poured too much of her energy reserves into that last blast and any remaining energy was being drained as I tore into her throat. As her struggles lessened and her screams reduced to moans of fear and pain I retracted my fangs then swung her around, my clawed hands holding her golden head. How could one so beautiful have such a rotten heart I wondered.. Never mind I had a gift to leave. She looked up at me, her eyes widening in shock at my horrible visage and my own eyes bore down, piercing hers, into her brain. I imbedded images that would live inside her mind, nightmares that would have her waking up screaming. She struggled feebly, moaning plaintively but my will was stronger than hers and I would countenance no resistance. When I released her, she was as a puppet with its strings cut, saliva dribbling down her chin, twitching spasmodically.
"What have you done?" Ms. Marvel stood at the door way, Hawkeye and Spiderman under each arm.
"Just giving this one her Christmas gift." I said as I picked her up and slung her over my shoulder. "What do we do with them now?"
Ms. Marvel frowned, still looking concerned but seeing as her evil copy was still breathing she let it pass.
"I thought we would trim the tree for Osborn." There was a twinkle in her eye.
The Iron Patriot arrived with the rest of his Dark Avengers. He and they had been in Washington pressing the President in person on the needs to resolve both the Asgard question and the new problem of Dr Doom. He had been awakened at 3 am and had hurried back to New York when Ms. Hand had finally been able to restore communications and contacted him on what had happened.
The Dark Avengers entered the darkened 50th floor, the slowly receding rumble of thunder making the otherwise darkened halls more ominous. No contact with the rest of the team had been establish but it was obvious by the mess an attack had been carried out. They moved through the living quarters to the large eating area. Osborn could pick up the heat signatures of four people but there was something strange about where they were. He then picked up a moan, then groans. Cautiously he entered the room. Except for the flashes of lightning in the distance and the glow from other buildings the only light came from the far wall. They were fairy lights, reds, greens, golds and blues arranged in the shape of a Christmas tree. The moans came from there.
He activated his unibeam and the Dark Avenger gasped as they stared at the sight in front of them.
The lights were done in the shape of a Christmas tree. For a trunk Ares sat, wrapped in what looked like red duct tape from neck to feet, completely bound and unable to move. A gag was in his mouth but his eyes glared out at the rest of his team in embarrassed rage. Forming the centre of the tree was Hawkeye and Spiderman, both also duct taped (green duct tape of course) securely to the wall. And finally surmounting the tree was Ms. Marvel, her legs and arms spread out in the shape of a star and held in place by silver duct tap. Her eyes were wide but unfocused, moaning deliriously.
Osborn let out an incoherent roar of rage.
"You know, My Lady. Remind me never to get on your bad side." Ravenwood said as we walked down Fifth Avenue. "No one could ever say again you don't have a sense of humour, wicked though it might be."
"Why thank you Sir," I smiled back at him, then I frowned about something that had been troubling me. "About Karla..."
Ravenwood raised his hand. "Never fear when day breaks she will be the same twisted evil person she was before with but a vague memory of a very nasty nightmare." He made the effort to inhale so he could sigh. "Frankly I think she is not worth it but maybe it will scare a little sense into her. Your effort seems to have failed."
I sighed as well. "MAybe. I don't think I care. You know I once thought I was both a coward and a killer. I think this past few weeks I proved to myself I am neither. I could have killed most of the Dark Avengers, in fact I knew that I could but I chose to take the higher road. I'm better than them. And I don't have to actually keep on proving that. Its just a fact." I smiled. For the first time in a long while I felt really good about myself, my life and who I was. I didn't have to prove that I was the Best of the Best. Not to anyone and especially not to myself. All I had to do was be the best I could be. Nothing more.
As we walked away, leaving the Dark Avengers hanging from the tree I glanced across at Ravenwood. "You were right, it is better to give than receive. Happy Christmas My Lord."
"Happy Christmas, My Lady. And a wonderful New Year."