A mix of classic Avengers and my own players here, with a healthy dose of both 616 and 1610 Avengers/Ultimates history and name dropping. Just setting up another player in this world's superhuman community.
Looking at the nine other people arrayed around his office, General Nick Fury sighed and shook his head. Even with the funds and legal power to hire, bribe, or outright gang-press people into the service of the government's new superhuman defense unit, these people… this motley crew… were to be the Earth's mightiest heroes.
God, this was going to be a clusterfuck of epic proportions.
At least he'd gotten the damn Pyms to accept a demotion to support roles, albeit by having common sense literally beaten into one of them. Hank Pym was still wobbling around on crutches and sporting a row of stitches on his face. His arrogance regarding his own serum, which bestowed him with the ability to grow to sixty feet tall, had driven him to push Nick about inclusion on the team despite any actual combat training… right up until they'd injected the serum into one of the program's intended test subjects and said test subject had proceeded to beat him unconscious.
And Janet Pym… she was a fashion designer. Even though her mutant ability to grow and shrink was what Hank's serum were based on, and she could fly, she too lacked the training to actually go out and fight. Just as her husband was best suited for a lab, Janet belonged in her office with Betty Ross, helping figure out how to craft the best possible public image for the team.
Not that he was sexist or anything. He'd seen Betty downstairs putting some of his soldiers to shame on the firing range, and had his ass handed to him in hand-to-hand by a few women. There was nothing wrong with women on the battlefield in his mind; there were three on the team, after all. It was just… well, Janet was Janet. No. Absolutely not.
The recipient of Pym's growth serum, though, was one of Nick's handpicked soldiers and SHIELD's crown jewel for the last few years. Clint Barton, codenamed Hawkeye for work in the field, was the most dangerous man alive with any sort of projectile. For some reason, he preferred to work with a compound bow, but Nick knew he was just as deadly with a gun, stationary weapon emplacement, or aircraft. Now that he could grow to sixty feet tall as well, the man was in a class of his own.
Sadly, the only other American soldier on the team… well, he actually made up for two or three civilians. Steve Rogers, better known to the world as Captain America. Al Gore could bitch all he wanted, but it was global warming that had sent a chunk of ice floating out into the Atlantic. An Icelandic ship had destroyed it to safeguard the local shipping lanes and recovered America's first and best-known super-soldier.
Even now, Steve was standing at stiff attention with his shield on his back. Man never went anywhere without it and his uniform. Nick couldn't complain, though; they'd gotten some hellagood PR when Steve had put down his Big Mac and knocked out the punks trying to rob the McDonalds he was in.
Wanda and Pietro Lehnsherr, on the other hand, cancelled out that good PR and pretty much anything the team would do for the next year short of saving the world from an alien invasion or something. Not only had they fought on the wrong side of the battle in San Francisco, but they were Magneto's children. And to top it off, according to Janet and Betsy, they were a bit… closer… than normal for siblings.
Nick looked Wanda up and down before shaking his head. Damn shame, too. She was one fine piece of ass. They needed to work on codenames, too. Quicksilver was okay, but 'Scarlet Witch' was getting all kinds of shit from the Wiccans out there.
What genius had come up with the idea of 'freedom of religion' when they were writing up the Constitution?
Then again, some of the group's current popularity came from the fact that one of the members literally had a cult following. When he'd hired Tony Stark to join the team, bringing with him the constantly evolving Iron Man armor system and some technology that would put SHIELD light-years ahead of any other fighting force in the world, he hadn't counted on being stuck with Tony's lolita plaything as well.
He also hadn't counted on Tony's lolita plaything being the daughter of a motherfucking Norse god.
The 'Thordotter' in 'Prue Thordotter' should have been a clue, but he'd just sorta shrugged it off. Then Prue had whipped out a giant war hammer, called down lightning, and proceeded to decimate an entire squadron of F-16s before using it to flatten an M1 Abrams into a pancake.
Even now that he knew, it was hard to reconcile the girl sitting in his office with the rather frightening warrior who was called 'Destroyer' in their public statements. Prue was sitting on Tony's lap, gesturing excitedly as she and Janet discussed some designer or another, pausing every few sentences to blow a bubble with her gum. She seemed inordinately amused by the public furor her relationship with Tony created: despite the fact she predated the white man's presence in America, she looked for all the world like an eighteen-year old girl and often dressed to play her age down even further with pigtails and favored schoolgirl-esque outfits, complete with short plaid skirts. Tony didn't seem to mind, though.
A strange thought popped into Nick's head: they should loan her to the NYPD for the upcoming cyber-predator sweep. Between her looks and her powers, she was decoy, security, and taser all in one.
The last member of the new team was a foreigner, and a political appointee rather than someone Nick had selected himself. It was, sadly, the cost of doing business in the superhuman world these days. They would be able to call upon the European Union's superhero team for backup if needed, as well as being allowed to enter Europe without requesting permission should a fight take them that far from home, in exchange for taking on one of the products of the English super-soldier program.
Nick smirked at Kelsey Leigh, who glared back at him. She'd come to them in a catsuit patterned after the Union Jack, a functional ponytail, and the codename Lionheart. But with one able to call lightning and cause epic destruction with her hammer and the other being the incestuous daughter of the world's most dangerous mutant… the team lacked a soft, friendly female face. Betsy had come up with the solution and he'd dropped it on Kelsey: get a makeover or take the first plane back to England and they'd take a replacement while she went back to being Great Britain's fifth most important state-sponsored hero, right behind Captains Alba and Cymru.
Fidgeting with the short skirt on her new cheerleader-inspired costume, Kelsey continued to glare. Nick wasn't sure whether or not to be happy about 'Britannia' submitting to his ultimatum. He'd really been hoping to trade her in for one of the Norse 'Valkyries' he'd met while visiting the European Defense Initiative's headquarters, if only to have someone who might be able to feed him more information about Prue. The skimpy chainmail costumes didn't hurt, either. Oh well, if wishes were nickels and all that bullshit…
"So, Nick, not that I mind dropping everything and rushing over here… actually, I do." Tony gestured to the group gathered around him before fixing Nick with a level stare. "What's going on and why is it so important that I had to duck out of tests on the new armor to hear about it?"
…God, how he longed to make the man drop and give him twenty. Instead, Nick just leaned back in his chair and steepled his fingers. "I just got an extremely disturbing report in from my mole inside Xavier's. It seems they have acquired a visitor named Illyria."
It was a test. Xi'an had reported that Illyria referred to herself as a 'God-King'. Nick had a goddess on staff. Prue's reaction would help him gauge the accuracy of Xi'an's threat evaluation skills as well as the actual level of threat the being presented to him, his people, and the country as a whole.
He wasn't disappointed.
"Illyria? Illyria's back?" Prue shot off of Tony's lap, holding her right arm out to the side. Her war hammer Rensaren jumped from its spot against the wall and flew through the air, slapping into her palm. Closing her eyes, she pointed it at the large window that looked out at the Statue of Liberty. Thunder rolled deafeningly in the enclosed space of his office, shattering that window along with all the others, and then a bolt of lightning leapt from the head of her hammer and off into the sky. "FATHER!"
Before Nick could even open his mouth to reprimand her for the destruction, though, a bolt of lightning slammed into the floor near her. After blinking the spots out of his eyes, Nick found himself staring at a massive man with wild red hair, a beard, and a hammer that matched Prue's. "Thor?"
"Thor Odinson, prince of Asgard and God of Thunder." Thor looked him over before turning his attention to Prue. "You called, daughter?"
Prue nodded frantically before pointing her finger at Nick "According to him, Illyria's back and in New York."
And then, to Nick's shock and horror, Thor… paled. "Illyria, God-King of the Primordium? He walks again? This is a most disturbing piece of news." He turned his attention back to Nick. "What have you done to awaken such a beast?"
"Nothing! And it's a she… at least according to our source." Nick fished his tablet computer out of his desk drawer, glad he'd had it put away when Prue's little light show shattered his desktop computer's two monitors just like the windows. Laying it out on the top of his desk, he let the rest of the group crowd around so they could see the video file Xi'an had sent him, skimmed from her hack into the security camera network at Xavier's. He let the footage loop twice, watching as the blue-tinged woman become a teenage girl and copy the powers of a mutant to add to her own abilities. "There's some sort of situation involving a vampire near this school. The US government has an alliance with an international organization to handle such things, and Emma turned to them rather than having the military come in and help. They sent her Illyria."
Thor's brow furrowed at that information. "Interesting. Most interesting. This organization must be made of most powerful and capable warriors if they are capable of binding one such as Illyria to their will." Neither 'powerful' nor 'capable' was a word that Nick Fury was willing to ascribe to Xander Harris, but then again, people often underestimated him as well. It was probably the eye patch. "Still, even the Æsir fear the Old Ones, for they are of the few who have the power to unmake us. You would be foolish to challenge hi… her."
The warning boggled Nick's mind. "Wait a minute. You just told us that this girl could destroy you or Prue, who are GODS, and you think we'd go up against her?"
Thor eyed him. "Your leader has made a great many dubious choices as of late when it comes to the use of your military. No, it would not surprise me if you disregarded common sense and the presented facts."
There was a cough that sounded suspiciously like 'Iraq' from Prue.
"But now, I must be going. Prue has introduced me to a fascinating human invention and I find myself quite addicted." Picking up his hammer, Thor floated up off the ground slowly. "I have many times been called a hero, but never a Hero of Guitars. It has been a most difficult journey, but one that I believe I shall soon complete." Drifting out the window, there was another crack of thunder, a flash of lightning, and he was gone.
There was a moment of silence before Steve cleared his throat, stepping forward. "We can be ready and in the air in half an hour."
Nick let out an incredulous chuckle at the super-soldier's bold but idiotic words. "I know you haven't lost a battle yet, Cap, but when the God of Thunder says that HE wouldn't touch this chick with a ten-foot pole? That's a sign to stop and think." A gust of wind blew through the room, scattering some papers on his desk and causing Nick to glare balefully at Prue. "And get my windows replaced. I just wanted to keep you up to date; until I can figure out what to do with Karma's intel, you're all dismis…"
Suddenly, there was a thunderous explosion and Nick grabbed the arms of his chair as the room shook. Before he could even think to request a status report, his speakerphone activated. "Sir? We have a situation."
Nick glared at the phone. "No shit, Sherlock. The explosion was a bit of a giveaway. What the hell just happened?"
There was a brief pause. "Bruce Banner and Amadeus Cho got into a rather heated debate about the upcoming OSU/Wisconsin game. Amadeus was backing the Badgers, while Bruce supports the Buckeyes. Bruce got a little angry."
"And we don't like him when he's angry." Turning to face the window, Nick winced as he watched a green figure bat a pair of Hummers aside before flattening the security fence and leaving the base. "God damnit. Avengers… you're already assembled. Go stop that moron before he does something we'll regret."