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Old 11-21-2011, 09:51 PM   #51
Carnage27
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"Where are we headed, Lord," Hawkeye asks as the assembled team enters the briefing room. "Hopefully somewhere sunny. I could go for a tan. Maybe a few nice, strong drinks."

"Bialya, Barton," a woman's voice says from in front of what I've been told is a computer. She spins around in a chair and reveals herself to be a black woman in what I assume is her late 30s.

"I didn't say Middle Eastern sunny," Clint mumbles under his breath.

She shakes my hand with conviction. "Captain, I'm Amanda Waller. Black Queen of Checkmate. Good to have you aboard. It is an honor to see you alive and well."

"Yea, yea," Lord says, placing a few folders in front of us on the briefing table. "We don't have all day. The Whites have told us they've pinpointed a Kobra base in Bialya-"

"They better be damn sure this time," Flag says from next to me. "I don't want another Kahndaq mess on our hands again. Bialya's prisons are worse than Black Adam's, if you could believe it."

"Scott swears on his blasted ring the info's good," Lord snaps back at Flag. "And last time I checked it wasn't your job to question orders, Flag."

"Yes, sir," Rick responds, venom dripping from his words.

I clear my throat and interject, "Uh, not to be a pain. But Bialya? Kahndaq? Kobra? You might as well be speaking French to me."

"The world has changed quite a bit since you've been gone, Rogers. We don't have time for a full briefing now," Waller responds. "We'll have the team fill you in on what you need to know on the flight to the Middle East." She presses a few buttons in front of her and the image of a mountain springs up in front of us, "The caverns below this mountain are what we believe a Kobra staging facility. Weapons, training facilities, barracks. All of them are here. If we're lucky, Kobra himself will be inside. Familiarize yourself with the area on the flight over. You leave in 30."

I nod and ponder my predicament for a moment. I've barely been awake for a few hours and already I'm being shuttled off onto another mission. It's like I've never left the war. It's like I'm right back in the foxhole with the Commandos. And I'm not sure how much I really like situation, or what I'm seeing from what is apparently America's top intelligence agency.

If this is what America needs for its defense...what is today's America like?

"I'm going to need my shield," I say to Waller and Lord. "And my gear."

"We have gear for you," Lord says in his usual, uninterested tone. I feel like the man dislikes me as much as I dislike him, but he won't come out and say it. He needs me. He knows that.

"What do you mean?" I ask, trying to hide my annoyance. "I need my shield. It's how I fight."

"It's too recognizable, and things change. You don't use shields on today's enemies," he says, shaking his head looking up at me.

"Yea, because the Nazis were a cake walk," I scoff. Lord doesn't like that. Good.

"We're black ops here, Cap. We don't walk around draped in the flag. We do the ugly work so the country can stay safe. We don't need you broadcasting that Captain America is landing in other countries. Now go change into the gear we've supplied."

I don't respond. Probably because I can't think of anything nice to say. And my mom always told me not to say anything in that situation. Instead, I head back to my quarters and find the clothes they've given me. I change quickly, and join the rest of the team.



"Looking good, Cap," Sasha says as I approach the most advanced looking plane I've ever seen. I guess she notices the look on my face, "Meet the Quinjet. Easily one of the most advanced flight vehicles out there."

"Impressive," I respond. It's amazing what kind of technology America has in this day and age. Lord gave me a quick run down as we toured the facility, but I know it's still going to take me forever to figure it all out.

I enter the plane and take my designated seat, but not before picking up a box that's sitting on it. I open it, and smile at the contents.



Attached to the back is a note in unfamiliar handwriting.

Quote:
Cap-

Figured you'd need this. Screw what Lord says.

-13
"Well look at that," Flag says looking over my shoulder. "Looks like Agent 13 has taken a liking to the Captain."

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Old 11-21-2011, 09:52 PM   #52
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"Luthor, you say? What you have in mind is more for you or old pointy ears Batman? I'm wondering why Luthor would want the Act to pass Congress. If they want any direct results of such an act, all they have to do is ask some of the heroes who have went public. John Stewart and Gardner can't seem to do anything here in the States since they wen't public so they are spending most if not all their time out in space. It actually does me a favor because it keeps the Guardians off my back but they've been busy trying to play peace keeper with all of the different space armies. They've yet to forgive Galactus for eating several homeworlds of our Lanterns."
Oliver says, "Plain and simple my friend it's all about control. Luthor wants to be able to believe that he can control everything including, and in terms of mutants LexCorp has several covert testing facilities all over the world and three guesses who he uses as Lab Rats?"

Hal nods and Oliver says, "That's right and if the Mutant Registration Act passes Lex will be able to use his friends in the Government to keep him well stocked in Mutants from now until Judgement Day, and claim that it's all in the name of National Security or Scientific Advancement. Patrick left a copy of the Bill on his desk once and left me alone with it for about 20 minutes."

Oliver shakes his head and says, "Hal by the time I finished reading it I felt physically ill. It's barbaric and savage it's nothing short of the Holocaust all over again."

Oliver takes a swig of his bottled water and looks over at the LexCorp Towers.

He says, "Towers should be something that gives people a sense of security and hope like the people are being protected. I see those towers and all I wanna do is storm them and take Luthor out in the street and beat him like a dog. Then show the world what kind of monster he is and let mob rule do their job."

Hal crosses over to Oliver and says,
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"Sorry for that little soap box rant. The main reason I went back to Carol was to get away from that but as you know how well that worked out for me. I have to give it to you, using your own intelligence and normal human abilities plus gadgets to get the job done instead of mutating yourself or searching for some alien or magical artifact. As for your idea, it might be better if I stay on the outside as a lookout since sneaking in isn't my more usual style and I be in the way. It isn't that I've always stayed on this line of the law, just ask a certain colonel now who I punched, but I probably be in the way if I was in there with you. If and more then likely what security Luthor has, that I might help out with when you get over your head. Oh, as for that experimental plane, I'm up for it as long as you don't go asking Carol for her opinion."
Oliver says, "Usually you don't get going on a soapbox rant unless it's worth it. I respect that. In terms of powers and so forth you're a hero that ring does nothing than magnify what's already there. I know that running around LexCorp is gonna be, at best, a million to one shot of being even a moral victory. That being said there's no one else in the Universe I would trust more to watch my back."

The two men raise their bottles and toast.

Oliver says, "Good Hunting, oh and in terms of the job if we pull this off you're gonna be the highest paid test pilot who ever lived."

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Old 11-21-2011, 10:00 PM   #53
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It only takes me a few minutes to change into my uniform, and I waste no time in getting to the Blackbird. The plane is so sleek, so amazingly advanced, and if I can be completely honest, the thing is downright sexy. It amazed me when the Professor told me we were going to get a jet for X-Men missions, but in my wildest dreams I never would have thought this piece of technology would be in our basement.

I see Scott and J'onn speaking, and I leave them be. Their talking about strategy, no doubt. The two of them are always all-business at times like this. And there aren't two people I'd rather have forming ours.

J'onn has always been such a strong influence in my life. When Xavier brought him in, I instantly connected with a new telepath. After learning from only Charles, it was nice to have a new teacher. And he has always been so wise, in ways none of us will probably ever be able to understand.

I head up the ramp to find Kitty already inside, suited up and ready. I take a seat next to her, "Are you ready for this?"

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Old 11-22-2011, 12:34 AM   #54
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"You gotta be kiddin' me."

When Logan saw the ensemble that Hank had managed to piece together for him out of rejected pieces of initial prototype uniforms for the team, Logan had believed the good doctor was either colorblind or intentionally playing a very cruel joke. But looking at himself in the mirror, dressed from neck to toe in a bright yellow and blue sleeveless ensemble with stripes running down the sides and the most flamboyant boots Logan had ever seen, it slowly began to sink in that there was no joke to be had. Not only did they actually make these ridiculous outfits for themselves, they actually expected him to go out on the field in one. Eventually, Logan had to look away from the mirror, becoming disgusted with the sight of it. Beast, on the other hand, was already dressed in his - a similar attire with straps and buckles aligning the front, and no boots, freely displaying his animalistic paws in place of a human pair of feet.

"Designin' clothes ain't never been your field of expertise, huh?"

The blue furball chuckled, patting Logan on the shoulder as he passed.

"Somehow, Logan, I am almost positive that you've looked worse. I'll leave you to it, Charles requires my assistance on the Blackbird."

As the doctor sauntered out of the lab, Logan kept staring back at his own reflection. The thing had already looked tight enough when it was brought out to him, but it felt a thousand times worse. Were it not for the lack of sleeves, he might actually feel like it was impossible to move in. Annoyed that there were no alternatives on the rack behind him that looked any more dignified, he frustratedly rubbed the bridge of his nose, wondering how much worse this could really get.

Should just tell 'em where to shove it, right now. Ain't no poster boy, and sure as hell ain't no circus act.

Convinced that he wasn't leaving the room dressed like this, Logan began to walk back to the other end of the room in order to retrieve his regular clothes. But upon second glance at the rack near him, he stopped, noticing a series of headgear that had been left unmanned. Metallic pieces and optical visors belonging to Summers, mostly, but a piece of yellow and black cloth immediately caught his eye. Grabbing it, he looked at the piece in his hands, realizing that it matched the material of the outfit that he was wearing.

Curious, he walked back up to the mirror and slipped it over his head, locking it into place over his eyes and nose. What then stared back at Logan didn't seem nearly as ridiculous - when by all logic, it should have looked even moreso.

Gotta admit.



Ain't got much reason to be embarrassed now.


Moments later, Logan entered the hangar in full attire.

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Old 11-22-2011, 04:41 AM   #55
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“So, who are you kids again?” Luke Cage asked them an half hour after they’d gotten on the train. He’d spent that time looking out of the widow and at passer-by’s. They had spent it gawking at him. Now, they became excited.

“I’m Tommy Tompkins,” the first kid said, the one Luke had already identified as the leader of the group. “We’re the Newsboy Legion,” he had wanted to continue, but he’d quickly gotten an angry look from the girl among their troupe. “Ah, the Newsperson Legion.”
“My name’s Bobby,” the girl introduced herself.
“We call her Famous,” Tommy added.
Luke Cage looked at the blonde little girl, who had pigtails and wore jeans and a pink sweater a size too big. She was just twelve years old. “Why’s that?”
“Because her uncle’s the Guardian!” the kid with the aviator cap nearly screamed.
“Gabby!” Bobby punched him in the shoulder.
“Who’s the Guardian?” Luke Cage asked, honestly.
Gabby’s mouth fell open. “You don’t know the Guardian?” Immediately, he started a minute-long exposition on why the Guardian was the greatest hero Metropolis had. “He’s got this cool gold helmet… and an awesome shield… he’s the best.”
“You can see why he’s called Gabby,” Tommy concluded.
“And actually, I just really want to be famous,” the girl interjected. “Do you know anybody in Hollywood?”
Luke Cage shook his head and laughed. “Not really, kid,” he replied before asking: “But if this Guardian is so great, why do you need me?”
“The Guardian’s good, but he doesn’t have any powers,” Tommy started to say, but the kid with the big glasses now interrupted.
“We believe, Mr. Cage, that your particular skill set and uhm… well, your experiences in the urban environment, that they make you the ideal person to confront this particular evil.”
“We saw your ad in the paper,” Tommy said as he provided a clipping. It promoted Luke Cage as ‘The Hero for Hire’, promising that ‘no problem was too big’, for ‘reasonable rates’.
“And we couldn’t find Supahman,” the tough kid with the cap added.
Luke ignored this comment. “You still haven’t told me what I’m gonna be facing.”
The kids looked at each other. “Big Words?” Tommy asked his bespectacled friend, who shook his head immediately.
“You’ll see whens we get there,” the stocky boy said.
“And what was your name again?”
The kid raised his fists. “They call me Scrapper.”
“Right.”

The train stopped at a station and Luke Cage looked the kids over again. There was one who hadn’t said anything yet, the black kid wearing scuba goggles and a snorkel.
“What’s your name, kid?” Luke asked, but he got no response.
“His name’s Walter,” Tommy replied, “but we call him Flipper Dipper.”
“For obvious reasons,” Big Words added.
“Of course.”

Luke Cage wanted to return to the subject of his supposed job, when the conductor came by. “Good afternoon,” he said merrily as he came up to the carriage. But when he looked inside, he froze immediately. There was a group of kids, all dressed in various odd ways, but the black man in the centre took the cake. He wore a gold silk shirt and a tiara. The conductor looked him over, the muscles rippling under the shirt, before settling on the tiara.

“There a problem?” Luke asked, as the train started moving again.
“No, no, no, not at all,” the conductor hastily said, as he started to collect their tickets.

“Welcome aboard,” a voice meanwhile crackled over the intercom, “we’ve just left Civic City. Next stop and our final destination, Metropolis!”


Last edited by Harlekin; 11-22-2011 at 06:10 AM. Reason: Added the bit about the ad
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Old 11-23-2011, 06:34 PM   #56
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Even though I can't see the darkness, I can still shroud myself within it. The slight temperature drop as I hide myself from the lights of the city lets me know that I'm hidden from those that still see. And no one without enhanced sense is going to notice me up here.

Which is exactly what I'm counting on.

So I wait on the roof of this large house. I'm not usually one for traveling to the suburbs, but one must go where the criminials are. Especially if they don't look like criminals.

I can hear cars a mile away, but none of them match the sound I'm looking for. The sound I honed in on shortly after the trial. But it's only a matter of time.

And a little over an hour later...the sound is there.

I slow my breathing and concentrate as the engine gets louder and the distinctive roll of tires, one of which needs air, reaches the driveway. The enging shuts off and the door opens and slams closed. The sound of the door seems to light up the entire neighborhood, and I can 'see' everything around me as they reflect the sound back.

And I 'see' the man I'm looking for.

I listen to the crunch of gravel as he walks towards the front of the house. Each step is like a small burst of light under his feet. I tilt me head and wait until I hear the jingle of keys.

The keys fall to the ground as I wrap my billy-club's cable under his arms un pull him up to the roof. I stand over him, virtually invisible in the shadows.

"Hello, Judge..."

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Old 11-23-2011, 10:03 PM   #57
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I place my hand on Scott's shoulder, smiling and nodding, before moving on to join the others in their preparations.

"You should know by now, Scott." I say as I leave.

"I watch out for all of you."
I nod at J'onn and watch him walk away to the lockers. It's odd, really. If not for the fact he's an alien, I'd swear he and Xavier were twins. Similar mental capacities, similar temperaments, both caring and kind, great teachers, both...follically challenged.


Twenty Minutes Later

The Blackbird cuts through the air at a steep incline. The mansion, school, and ground all fade behind us.

"We should be in DC in about an hour and a half," I announce from the co-pilot seat. Hank pilots the jet and levels the plane out at 40,000 feet.

"As we get closer, I want Jean or J'onn to connect with the Professor. He'll be standing by in Cerebro. He'll send the location of the Brotherhood agents to us. Above all else, we need to stop them before they get to Ross."

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Old 11-23-2011, 10:57 PM   #58
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IC: Alfred Pennyworth


The East End
12:21 PM

I have the car parked down the block from an apartment complex. According to the computer read out, this is the residents of one Jefferson Skeevers. He's the Gotham Mafia's point man on all things narcotics related.

I've been here in the car, watching and waiting for over an hour. Wagner's playing soft on the radio. Leaning back in the seat, I begin to think about the last time I actually took part in a stakeout. I guess Master Bruce was right, a skill like this you can never forget. Just being here brings me back to my days in West Berlin.
Fifteen minutes later, the man in the purple suit comes out of the apartment complex and begins walking down the street. I chuckle and get out of my car. With the way mister Skeevers is dressed, a blind man could follow him. I wait a few seconds before following behind him down the sidewalk. Skeevers leads me a few blocks over to a dive bar called Wesley's.

Okay, this is it.

"Pardon me, sir," I call out to Skeevers before he goes in. He turns to look at me as I approach him. I pull out a pocket atlas of the city and hold it up.

"I'm a bit lost, I wonder if you could tell me how to get to the diamond district?"

Skeever sizes me up at the same time I size him up. The way he carries himself makes it obivious he has a pistol on his body. Possibly in a shoulder holster. Maybe a hip holster. Either way, it's on his right side.

"Yeah, man, you in the wrong neighborhood for all that." Skeevers says with a chuckle. "What you need to do is head back to the expressway and take a right about two miles down it. That'll take you downtown. From there, you can find it without no problem."

"Thank you."
I reach into my pocket and pull out a twenty. "Please, take this..."

"Naah, man. I'm good. Believe me, I'm good."

I shove it at him and Skeevers pushes me away.

"**** off, man! I don't need your goddamn charity! I make more in a month than you made in your ****** life!"

He scowls at me and walks into the bar. I place the money back into my pocket and walk back to the car. Once behind the wheel, I activate the radio on the passenger seat and listen in.

"****in' guy. Trying to tip me like I'm a goddamn bellhop or something."

Hopefully the listening device on the inside of his jacket sleeve will stay stuck. Skeevers was so busy focusing on the twenty, he neglected to see me slip it on his jacket.

I send a text to Master Bruce and inform him of the successful sleight of hand before I start the car and make my way back downtown to Wayne Tower.



Old Gotham
10:43 PM

Old Gotham is, like the name would suggest, the remnants of the city's early days. Low-level buildings over a hundred fifty years old, cramped spaces, and tiny alleyways define this part of the city.

It's the perfect place to hold a criminal meeting.

Activating Audio Surveillance
Device 7788
Listening to:
J. Skeevers, C. Falcone, et. al



It's an even better place to eavesdrop on said meetings. From across the street of the warehouse owned by a Falcone front, I hunker in the shadows and listen.


"I'm telling ya, Carmine, me and my peoples are out there every night trying to find out who did it. To make matters worse, Anton got ****ed up last night. He won't say who it was, but I know it had to be bad."

"I don't give a goddamn who did what. I want my ****ing H back. I want the ****suckers who stole it from me dead. Put it out on the street: fifty grand for the mother****ers who ripped us off, and a half a mil for the man pulling their strings."


Falcone is mad, but I've seen him madder. The bounty that's currently on my head is a million. Now that I know the mob's response and their plan, it's time to beat them to the punch. Literally.

"Alfred, are you near the computer?"

"I'm in the next room. Give me just a moment...alright, I'm here."

"Forward me the GCPD's list of all mid-level independent drug dealers working within the city. No affiliations to Falcone, Maroni, or Hammerhead."

"Yes, sir...here we go, I have the list and I am sending it now."

The names flash across the HUD on my lens. There are thirty in all.

"I've got it. Thank you."

"You're quite welcome. And, if I may be so bold, good hunting."

"I'll try."

I cut the line and stand up, shooting a grapnel line into the air and zipping through the narrow corridors of the old city.

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Old 11-24-2011, 01:27 AM   #59
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I head up the ramp to find Kitty already inside, suited up and ready. I take a seat next to her, "Are you ready for this?"
I've been asking myself the same thing. Over and over. Be brave I keep telling myself. But this is the big time. This isn't some rinky dink mutant having trouble controlling his powers that we need to help, these are the most prolific mutant terrorists in the world. People who are as good with their abilities as the best of the X-Men are with theirs. It's time to prove myself. I know the looks I got when I got in this room. Yeah, I'm young. But I'm tenacious, J'onn says I'm really good with my powers, and above all? I'm smart. I can do this.

"As ready as any of us, I suppose."
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"As we get closer, I want Jean or J'onn to connect with the Professor. He'll be standing by in Cerebro. He'll send the location of the Brotherhood agents to us. Above all else, we need to stop them before they get to Ross."
"Uh, Mr. Summers sir? I have an idea."

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Old 11-24-2011, 01:32 AM   #60
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"What have you got, Kitty?"

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Old 11-24-2011, 01:39 AM   #61
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I gulp. Hopefully not visibly. Hopefully my idea isn't retarded.

"Well, um. I was thinking. My uh, abilities. Well they could be um. Uniquely suited to getting Mr. Ross out of harm?"

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Old 11-24-2011, 01:50 AM   #62
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I gulp. Hopefully not visibly. Hopefully my idea isn't retarded.

"Well, um. I was thinking. My uh, abilities. Well they could be um. Uniquely suited to getting Mr. Ross out of harm?"
"Excellent idea. That's one of the reasons the Professor and I wanted to bring you in. As soon as we identify the assassins, get the Congressman out of there as fast as you can. Phase through the two of you into the ground if need be."

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Old 11-24-2011, 01:53 AM   #63
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"Excellent idea. That's one of the reasons the Professor and I wanted to bring you in. As soon as we identify the assassins, get the Congressman out of there as fast as you can. Phase through the two of you into the ground if need be."
I have to try immensely hard not to pump my fist at this, but even so I smile a little.

"I'll do my best, sir!"

And now I feel stupid. Why did you say that, Kitty? Why couldn't you have just stayed quiet? Insert size 7 here.

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Old 11-25-2011, 01:14 AM   #64
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Castle Zemo, Germany.

Abandoned since World War II in light of the horrific Nazi experiments conducted by Baron Heinrich Zemo, no one of the Zemo bloodline had walked the castle's halls for many years. Even the most recent Baron Zemo, Helmut, thirteenth in his line, had disappeared many years ago and any theories towards his continuation of his father's villainous legacy had died out long ago. Having been born just before the beginning of the war, Helmut would be an old man now, if indeed he were still alive as a small number of conspiracy theorists believed.

He wouldn't be for much longer.



Slowly getting to his feet, the old man could feel the broken bones in his body begging him to lie back down. His enemy had brought him to his ancestral home, and he couldn't begin to guess why.

"W-whatever your intentions," he began, the straining of his elderly voice more than apparent, "I am a Zemo and I will not fall to the likes of you!" His hand started to reach for the gun of Acid X strapped to his belt, but the weapon was immediately shot out of his grip by an oncoming laser blast.

"I beg to differ."

The enemy who had thrown the aged form of Helmut Zemo through a window and into the site of his father's consistent failures to kill Captain America during the war, had arrived.



"You have already fallen, old man. You simply haven't realized it yet."

Enraged, Zemo could only raise his fist at his armored assailant. "Why do you do this? Why take me here of all places?! Which of my enemies has sent you?!" Met with only silence as the Titanium Man's glowing hand remained locked on Zemo and ready to fire again, the Baron still demanded an answer to what would be his final question. "WHO ARE YOU?!"

As if amused by the question, Titanium Man lowered his hand and a soft laughter could be heard coming from within his armor. "I would suppose that you of all people deserve a satisfactory answer, "Baron." Please, allow me to provide it." Reaching up and unlocking his headgear, Titanium Man savored the look of shock showing on Zemo's face as the helmet was removed. Even through the mask covering his entire face, Helmut Zemo's surprise was hidden from no one.



"No. It... it can't be..."

"Trust me, old man, your eyes do not deceive you." Titanium Man then took aim at the form of Baron Zemo, and fired. "But you will take that secret to the grave."

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Old 11-25-2011, 12:56 PM   #65
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I have to try immensely hard not to pump my fist at this, but even so I smile a little.

"I'll do my best, sir!"

And now I feel stupid. Why did you say that, Kitty? Why couldn't you have just stayed quiet? Insert size 7 here.
I can't help but let a small chuckle slip through my lips at her excitement.

"Kitty and I are best suited to infiltrate the Senator's people in order to keep him well defended, so I suggest that we do. I will keep in contact with the Professor, and I suggest that Jean does as well, in case either telepath is compromised." I say, acutely aware of how serious I sound and regretting it.

"An extremely prudent notion, my beetle-browed compatriot." says Henry wryly, from the controls of the jet, "But, while I am quite aware of, and very much in awe of, your considerable prowess in the art of polymorph, we have outfitted young Katherine in a rather conspicuous uniform."

"Fear not, my friend. I give Kitty a nod as I speak to reassure her, "They won't see anything more than a well-dressed man accompanied by an equally well-dressed young woman, and will forget our existence as we pass."

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Old 11-25-2011, 01:10 PM   #66
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Lex and the others enjoy their round of golf as the day slowly comes to a close.

Lex and Charles are particularly happy since they won their match, but only by 2 strokes.

Lex says, "So Gentlemen the charity that Charles and I decided upon was the Wounded Warriors fund. What was yours?"

Trump says, "The American Cancer Society."

Lex says, "A nobel cause Charles and I have decided that we would donate 5,000 each to that cause so no charity will lose out on this day."

And they all 4 nod and exchange checks with one another. Just then the paparazzi shows up.

The 4 men look at one another and then they pose for the gathered photogs while also joking around with one another.

Lex's cell phone buzzes and he excuses himself. A text message states that the Mutant Registration Act is going for a vote in the next 48 hours.

Lex smirks and puts his phone away.

Truly a great day! Soon I'll be able to carry on my work without any interference.

He rejoins the group as they begin to leave for dinner.

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Old 11-26-2011, 10:49 AM   #67
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As we close in on Washington, I open my mind and relay back to Professor Xavier.

~Professor, we're nearing the capitol.~

~I can see that Jean, and you're getting there just in time. Cerebro's readings tell my Magneto's agents have already reached the venue. You will need to work fast.~

I look up at Scott, "The Brotherhood is already there. We need to get on the ground ASAP."

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Old 11-26-2011, 06:04 PM   #68
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Flag fills me in on the flight to Bialya. Kobra is some sort of half-cult, half-terrorist organization that worships its leader as if he was a god. And according to Rick, he's been alive for over 100 years, so they might not be far off. They've participated in, funded, and supplied attacks on Americans and other western countries, and have touted doing so. That gives me all the motivation I need. Attacking innocent people is never okay in my book.

"Watch yourself," Hawkeye says from the seat across from me. "Weaponry changes almost monthly this day and age. I can't imagine how different it will be for you."

"HYDRA had some pretty scary stuff back in the day," I respond calmly. "But I'll keep it in mind."

"You better," Sasha says, looking back at me. "There are two entrances to this compound. One is the main, service entrance where they can roll in supplies and ammunition. The second is a back entrance which seems to be an emergency outlet. Cap, Hawkeye, and me will draw their attention to that entrance, while Flag and Widow infiltrate the back."

"Sounds like a solid plan," Romanoff agrees. "I just hope they don't expect it."

"They shouldn't expect us at all," I respond. "This is some secret base of theirs. If they know we're coming, we're in trouble."

"We're over the drop zone," Romanoff says, and the one door at the back of the Quinjet opens. My team straps on parachutes, and with a nod to the other two members of our team, we drop into the open air, and towards our mission.

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Old 11-27-2011, 12:11 AM   #69
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Logan didn't need to overhear the redheaded telepath to know that they were approaching their destination. He could already smell the filth of these "Brotherhood" idiots in the air, and the stench was more than foul. Though he also told himself that it could simply be the odor of Washington itself, which he didn't outright deny the possibility of. Captialists, congressmen, and politicians of every sort - those three terms had only ever meant one to Logan. Mutant haters.

He snorted loudly as they closed in on the rally, still wondering if they should even waste their time. Maybe this Magneto person was right, and the world needed to be shown who had the real lay of the land. It would certainly be no worse than anything humanity could deal out on a regular basis. But just as his skepticism reach it's highest peak, he caught a whiff of something he didn't expect at all. Something, or perhaps even someone, familiar to him. Given the nature of Logan's amnesia when it came to his past, this sort of discovery was extremely rare. Maybe even vital to the answers he sought.

Suddenly, he had an entirely new agenda in mind.

"You heard the lady, Summers. Bring 'er down."

With a smirk, he hit the button attached to his seat's safety straps and stood up as soon as they relented from his body. Gravity had never been an issue for him before, and it sure wasn't about to become one now.

"Hell, just open the hatch. I can make the jump."

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Old 11-27-2011, 12:21 AM   #70
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"You heard the lady, Summers. Bring 'er down."

With a smirk, he hit the button attached to his seat's safety straps and stood up as soon as they relented from his body. Gravity had never been an issue for him before, and it sure wasn't about to become one now.

"Hell, just open the hatch. I can make the jump."
I swivel in my chair and scowl from behind my visor.

"Logan, sit down right now."

"I would highly suggest you heed his warning, Logan"

The Blackbird bucks as we hit an airpocket on the descent. Logan falls backwards and I do my best to hide my smile.


Five Minutes Later

The Blackbird is cloaked and parked on the outskirts of the National Mall and the five of us march towards the Capitol. The press conference is taking place on he Capitol steps. There's already a crowd of people and journalist gathered.

"Let's spread out. Jean, Logan, and I will try to blend in with the crowd. Kitty and J'onn, get as close to Representative Ross as you can."

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Old 11-27-2011, 02:02 PM   #71
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Moments after Professor Ivo leaves the car, a tall, handsome man with a hint of a gut steps in. Wearing an ill-fitting suit better than most would, he looks up at Tony.

"What?"

"You know, I'm starting to wonder if you understand the concept of 'personal security'."
Tony shakes his head, taking a sip from his second glass of scotch.

The man raises an eyebrow.

"A disgruntled former employee of Stark Industries was waiting for me in the car."

"Who was it?"

"Ivo."

The man waves a hand at the name. "Pff. You could take Ivo. Besides, I was getting a hot dog."

"You're fired, Happy."

"No I'm not."

Tony shrugs, downing the remainder of the glass. "No, you're not."

"So, what has Pepper got planned for you today?"

Setting his glass aside, Tony looks out the window at New York City passing him by. "Some interview, but where's the fun in that?"

Looking up at the sky, Tony smiles. "I've got other plans."

Recognizing the look, Happy Hogan shakes his head. "Ever wonder how much good you could do if you used Iron Man to do other things than joyride?"

"Please, Happy. Superman and those other guys can catch purse-snatchers just fine without me."


-----

This is where Tony Stark feels at home. No luxurious penthouse apartment, no one-of-a-kind sports car, no number of supermodels come close to replicating this feeling.



After his abduction at the hands of Ra's Al Ghul and his League of Assassins, and his subsequent escape, Tony perfected the armor he created during his captivity. Now it shines as beacon of what mankind can accomplish. The perfect machine.

In the months following his return home, Tony became hellbent on finding, and eradicating, the League of Assassins. Wearing his armor, he traveled back to Kahndaq, scouring the country and clashing with countless terrorist groups. It wasn't long before this 'Iron Man' made the news.

Some accused him of being an American Weapon of Mass Destruction, which led to Tony revealing his identity to the world, in hopes of avoiding war. The American government didn't think twice before trying to take the armor away from him, but Tony fought tooth and nail. Tony was officially banned from using his armor in other countries, and the government continued to keep a close eye on his activities, just waiting for him to slip up.

Thus, Tony Stark, as much as it pained him, made an effort to stay out of trouble. That's not to say that trouble....

WARNING: INCOMING PROJECTILE

KRAKA-BOOOOOOOOM



...didn't have a way of finding him.



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Old 11-28-2011, 11:46 AM   #72
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Oliver hears a knock at the door and answers seeing a middle-aged gentleman dressed like a Blues Brother who says, "On a mission from God care to join up?"

Oliver shakes his head and says, "Get in here you nutball."

The gentleman enters morphing back into Plastic Man and says to Hal, "Hey Jordan how's life?"

Oliver asks, "What do ya got for me Plas?"

Plastic man says, "I got a little this a little that and..." pulling out a folder says, "The security schematics for LexCorp, their patrol patterns, the security sensor locations including the hidden ones, and their passcode systems for this evening only."

Oliver says, "Give it here let's see it."

Plas looks somewhat heistant and says, "In all seriousness Ollie I'm not sure about this."

Oliver asks, "What's up?"

Plas replies, "Ollie don't get me wrong I can't stand Luthor anymore than you, and what he's doing he needs to answer for. However, and keep in mind I like seeing guys like you who think they're the smartest and toughest of us all fall on your face from time to time giving those of us who aren't as intense a lot of hope and a good laugh, this is illegal in every sense of the word."

Oliver says, "And what he's doing is okay then?"

Plas says, "That's not what I'm saying! If you get caught you and I both know Lex will use every resource and dirty trick in the book to take everything from you. Your livelihood, your foundation, your secret identity will be exposed, and your company will be toast, and then he'll really let you have it. He'll use those same resources to make sure you're not thrown into Club Fed but a Super-Max and tell me there won't be a con or two ready to stick a shiv into you."

Oliver asks, "Why the concern Plas?"

Plas replies, "You've got the brooding intensity thing down, but you treat me as an equal most of the others view me as the wise-cracker and a nut-ball and while you do that as well you also see me as a real colleague. I don't wanna lose that."

Oliver says, "As long as you know who you are and you know that you make a difference then to hell with what anyone else thinks of you. As long as you can look in the mirror and know you did all that you could to hold the line for one more day then that's all that matters."

Plas nods and says, "Thanks Ollie." He hands him the folder and says, "Good luck GA. See ya around Hal."

Plas leaves and begins studying the info and shares some of the findings with Hal.

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Old 11-28-2011, 01:36 PM   #73
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Previously

Spoiler!!! Click to Read!:

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Old Gotham
10:43 PM

Old Gotham is, like the name would suggest, the remnants of the city's early days. Low-level buildings over a hundred fifty years old, cramped spaces, and tiny alleyways define this part of the city.

It's the perfect place to hold a criminal meeting.

Activating Audio Surveillance
Device 7788
Listening to:
J. Skeevers, C. Falcone, et. al



It's an even better place to eavesdrop on said meetings. From across the street of the warehouse owned by a Falcone front, I hunker in the shadows and listen.


"I'm telling ya, Carmine, me and my peoples are out there every night trying to find out who did it. To make matters worse, Anton got ****ed up last night. He won't say who it was, but I know it had to be bad."

"I don't give a goddamn who did what. I want my ****ing H back. I want the ****suckers who stole it from me dead. Put it out on the street: fifty grand for the mother****ers who ripped us off, and a half a mil for the man pulling their strings."


Falcone is mad, but I've seen him madder. The bounty that's currently on my head is a million. Now that I know the mob's response and their plan, it's time to beat them to the punch. Literally.

"Alfred, are you near the computer?"

"I'm in the next room. Give me just a moment...alright, I'm here."

"Forward me the GCPD's list of all mid-level independent drug dealers working within the city. No affiliations to Falcone, Maroni, or Hammerhead."

"Yes, sir...here we go, I have the list and I am sending it now."

The names flash across the HUD on my lens. There are thirty in all.

"I've got it. Thank you."

"You're quite welcome. And, if I may be so bold, good hunting."

"I'll try."

I cut the line and stand up, shooting a grapnel line into the air and zipping through the narrow corridors of the old city.


The East End
1:23 AM

"Please! Lemme go!"

Sam Stephens, an independent drug pusher operating in this part of the city, is blindfolded and dangling in the air while I hold him by the ankles.

"Hear that sound, Sam? That's the sound of traffic on the Breyfogle Expressway. It's twenty stories below us. You lie to me and you go splat. Who's your supply?"

"Some jinky-ass toy factory! I talk to the big guy, Ox. He hooks me up with the package and re-ups! That's all I know."

"What toy factory?"

"Krank or something."

"Thanks for your help, Sammie."

I let Sam go and he screams as he falls a whopping two feet to the rooftop overlooking the Expressway. By the time Sam yanks off his blindfold, I'm long gone.



******



Krank Co. Toy Factory
1:52 AM

I gently lift up the window pane and step lightly inside the factory's assembly line floor.


I creep through the shadows of the factor activating the ultraviolet lenses in my cowl as I approach a set of chemical vats placed on the floor. There's fresh residue all over. I rub my finger through the vat and get residue on my finger tip. That should be more than enough sample for the computers in my suit and the uplink it has with the bunker underneath Wayne Tower. It takes just a few seconds to comb through the database before the results show up on my HUD.

Residue Result:


75% Diacetylmorphine aka Heroin
Street name: "Up, Up, and Away!"

15% Inositol
Primarily use: cutting agent

10% Unknown Substance

No matches with known chemicals in database


The results are interesting to say the least. Three quarters pure heroin is more than enough to kill almost all the junkies in the city and tri-county area who grew up with shots of heroin cut down to ten and five percent. But it's the unknown substance that interest me the most. My databases are connected to the drug and chemical databanks of the DEA, FBI, and ATF. There's no known chemical compound that they don't have.

I can work on that later. For now, I need to keep climbing the ladder. I've taken out most of the street dealers and middlemen, now it's time to take out the source.

The sound of a door opening a few hundred feet away draws my attention. I meld back into the shadows as three men enter the room. One of them towers over the others while one wears a three-piece suit and the third is dressed in a suit with a cowboy hat on his head and a lasso on his hip. I deactivate the UV lenses and boot up the facial recognition software.

"Can we go get some burgers?" The large man asks his two smaller partners.


Identified:
Raymond Bloch aka Ray Block aka Ox
Three arrests for assault & armed robbery
Known associates: Daniel Brito & Jackson Brice
Known method(s) of attack: Brute strength


"We got a job to do, Ox. Stop thinking with your stomach all the time!" The man in the suit says.


Identified:
Daniel Brtio aka Fancy Dan
Arrests for shoplifting, kidnapping, & racketeering

Known associates: Raymond Bloch & Jackson Brice
Known method(s) of attack: Guns, martial arts


"Wish ya'll would pipe the hell down!"The cowboy grumbles. "It's almost two in the goddamn morning!"


Identified:
Jackson Brice aka Montana
Arrests for armed robbery & kidnapping
Known associates: Raymond Bloch & Daniel Brito
Known method of attack(s): Lasso, knives


Three of them to the one of me. The one called Ox might be a problem. Pulling a small pad from my belt, I stick it to my glove and creep through the dark as they continue to talk.

"Willie got pinched last night by the cops."

"Wasn't the cops that did it. It was that freak Batman. The cops were just on clean-up duty.""Damn. Willie didn't know this is where we make the H is it?"

"Naah, we always used Sam as a buffer. He came here to pick the s*** up and then pass it on to Willie and the others."
.
"Well, if the Batman comes...I'll be ready. I don't give a damn what he can do. Nobody can beat the Ox!"Taking the opening, I flick the pad and watch it twirl through the air. My aim is true and it sticks against Ox's neck, sending out a one time burst of 20,000 volts.

"Ggggk!"


The big man crumples to the ground and convulses as his two friends suddenly put their guards up.

"Your friend didn't live up to his promise," I say as I step out of the shadows. "Can you?"



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Old 11-28-2011, 08:26 PM   #74
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As I push through the crowd, I have to intensely focus on the task at hand. I've always had a bit of trouble keeping the thoughts of a large group of people out of my head, morose recently, and tonight is no different. The crowd that has come to see the speech is massive. Finding the Brotherhood in this mess will not be easy at all.

And the thoughts that are having aren't exactly the kind I like to hear. Anti-mutant sentiment has been on the rise since Magneto started his campaign for mutant supremacy, and this registration act is proof of that. Not to say we don't have our supporters, but as things like this always go, the extremely vocal minorities always silence the real people.

I don't even need to read their minds to find out how they feel. They brandish signs and shirts saying how terrible is that we walk among them and that they have the right to know who we are. Nevermind that all we want is to live our lives and be left alone. Nevermind that we were born this way and a lot of us wish we weren't because of the recent public opinion. But there's nothing we can do about that. All we can do is try and survive.

My communicator goes off and Hank's voice comes through, "Five minutes until the speech begins. I've spotted nothing on the roofs so far."

"Copy that," I respond as I see Ross come out an approach the podium. It's now or never. We need to find the Brotherhood in the crowd or risk the ignition of a war the majority of the world's mutants do not want.

I frantically begin scanning the crowd nearest the representative when a thought fragment grabs my attention.

~-cameras on and get this started. I hate waiting.~

Mystique. I know her from anywhere. The two of us have battled a few times before, and she's always been able to slip through my fingers. I find her disguised as one of the military personnel charged with guarding Ross.

~I found Mystique. She's one of the security personnel.~


Not waiting for orders, I begin pushing my way through the crowd towards the podium. People complain and yell at my apparent rudeness, but I don't have time to worry about that. I have a murder to stop.

But before I get close, the cameras turn on, and Ross prepares to begin. In what seems like slow motion, I see the guard that is Mystique smile and begin prepping her weapon to fire. At this point, I have no choice. I need to act.

I summon a mass of telekinetic force and throw it towards the podium area, throwing down the people in front of me, including the security, Mystique, and Ross. The people around me begin panicking, believing that I'm attacking the Congressman, but I know I just saved his life, and I need to get to Mystique quickly.

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Old 11-28-2011, 11:29 PM   #75
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Three of them to the one of me. The one called Ox might be a problem. Pulling a small pad from my belt, I stick it to my glove and creep through the dark as they continue to talk.

"Willie got pinched last night by the cops."

"Wasn't the cops that did it. It was that freak Batman. The cops were just on clean-up duty.""Damn. Willie didn't know this is where we make the H is it?"

"Naah, we always used Sam as a buffer. He came here to pick the s*** up and then pass it on to Willie and the others."
.
"Well, if the Batman comes...I'll be ready. I don't give a damn what he can do. Nobody can beat the Ox!"Taking the opening, I flick the pad and watch it twirl through the air. My aim is true and it sticks against Ox's neck, sending out a one time burst of 20,000 volts.

"Ggggk!"


The big man crumples to the ground and convulses as his two friends suddenly put their guards up.

"Your friend didn't live up to his promise," I say as I step out of the shadows. "Can you?"


Upstairs in the manager's office, the deathly thin man with chalky-white skin looked up from his work. The office looked like a disaster area, the floor littered with discarded papers, each one covered in furiously scrawled notes-- chemical formulas....crudely drawn blueprints and schematics.....rambling streams of consciousness......incredibly tasteless jokes. The one item in any sort of actual order was the enormous chemistry set that covered the entire back side of the office, a fienishly complicated network of glass tubes and flasks and beakers, through which flowed a stream of bright green fluids.

The last batch had been exactly what he hoped for: violent respiratory seizures and facial paralysis, leaving his test subject with a frozen smile on his face after laughing himself to death. It wouldn't be much longer before the police started reporting a wave of happy addicts turning up throughout the city.

And that wasn't even the funny part--the real punchline was still to come.

However, the setup was being interrupted--an intruder downstairs. The clown picked up a revolver from his desk as he stood up and walked out to the catwalk.

"Now then," he said to himself, "Just who in the Samuel Langhorn Hell is trying to butt in on my..........joke....."

Most cynical people do not believe in love at first sight--they say it's something that only happens in the movies, a notion that's outdated and ridiculous. The Joker, however was not most people. And neither was the man who was squaring off with his henchmen.

He'd heard all the rumors of the Batman, the terror of the Gotham Underworld. He was fairly certain he'd met him before, although he couldn't put his finger on exactly when. Hearing stories or half-remembering things that may not have even happened, though, were nothing like seeing the Bat in person.

He was a master-worked instrument, rage and anger and pain all honed to perfection and given direction and purpose. Everything about him had been developed into exactly what the man underneath that pointy-eared cowl wanted it to be. The way he talked, the way he moved, the way he glared at Montana and Fancy Dan, daring them to make the first move.

The way he carried himself, so determined, so focused.....

....so.......serious.........

The Joker's eyes grew wide with excitement and hunger, and a smile spread across his lipstick-smeared mouth. He felt the weight of the pistol in his hand, the assortment of knives hidden in pockets and pouches all over his outfit, the remote detonator in his back pocket. His mind filled with thoughts of shooting the Batman, stabbing him, blowing him sky-high, injecting him with his laughing poison......

....and he quickly realized that it was the one thing he wanted more than anything else in the world.

Still, he contained himself, waited to see what the Batman would do to the Enforcers. Things like this, you really have to wait for to make it worth the while.

"Ohhh, this is going to be good," the Joker said, smiling wider that he ever had before.

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