Avengers #11

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Avengers #11

Post  Paul E. Schultz on Sun Aug 19, 2012 7:42 pm

The Avengers #11
"Avengers Assembled!"
By Paul E. Schultz

The clang of invulnerable flesh meeting nearly indestructible steel rang out across the evening sky as the woman called Nova's fist connected with the silvery dome of the big robot's head. Like a lead weight, the robot collided with the street, obliterating the parked sedan below as if it were made of tinfoil. The impact set off car alarms for three blocks. Pedestrians scattered in a chaotic chorus of confusion and screams.

Overhead, Monica Rambeaux materialized as a being of radiant light before Nova. "Wait!" she called out. "Something doesn't seem right here."

"I got him!" announced Captain Ultra diving towards the recovering robot.

The pavement shook with the impact as Captain Ultra drove the robot through the street, into the subway tunnel below.

Photon face-palmed and groaned, "Mother said there'd be days like this."

Below the streets, thunder erupted, shaking the very pavement, shattering store front windows as the two beings were apparently doing their best to destroy one another.

"Who is that guy?" asked Nova.

"So, there's no Captain Ultra where you...come from?" asked Monica. "He's some clown who thinks he's a superhero. He's incredibly powerful, but incredibly...inept. And that's putting it mildly."

"And that robot?" asked Nova. "One of Reed Richards' creations?"

"You got me there, sister," declared Photon.

As if on cue, the street ruptured in an explosion of blacktop and steel reinforcements. Captain Ultra burst from the hole along with the other debris. Something about his motions lead Monica to believe he was not flying so much as sailing.

"He's out cold!" she gasped, lasering after him.

The robot emerged from the enormous pothole, carried aloft of blasts of rockets from his feet.

"I don't know what's going on!" it shouted, "but Box is no one's punching bag!"

"It...speaks?" gasped Nova as the robot closed in on her, enormous hands outstretched.

Before Nova could move, a star-spangled blur streaked between her and the robot, crashing into its human-like face, careening high into the air after impact. The blow seemed to distract it and it froze in hover mode, glancing about. On a nearby roof, Captain America caught his shield, preparing for a second strike. Battlestar and Frog-Man came up behind him, ready to spring forward.

"Captain America?" gasped the robot, surprised.

"Do I know you?" demanded Captain America. "Are you one of Zemo's flunkies?"

"Who the hell is Zemo?" asked the robot. "My name is Roger Bochs."

"Impossible," retorted Captain America. "According to Avengers files, you're dead."

***

Through the photocellular receptors that passed for his creation's eyes, Roger Bochs took in the grim expressions of each of the unusually-clad individuals standing upon the rooftop. Captain America, Photon, Battlestar, Frog-Man, Captain Ultra and Nova stared back at him.

"Did I...miss something?" asked Bochs.

"I know how you feel, son," said Captain America. "Trust me. But beating each other senseless isn't going to get us anywhere. I think it would be best if we all just took a breath."

"Easy for you to say," said Bochs. "I don't need to breathe. I'm dead, remember?"

"Yes, but through some miracle, you've been given a second chance," said Captain America.

"We all have," said Nova. "In our own way."

In the distance, the sounds of police and fire sirens began to drift their way.

"Uh, guys," announced Frog-Man. "I think we'd better be going. I don't think we need the police in on all this."

"Right," said Captain America. "If the media finds out what we're up to, we've lost."

"I don't understand," said Bochs. "Cap, aren't you with the Avengers? Can't you just--"

"Ain't you heard?" interrupted Battlestar. "There ain't no Avengers anymore."

"Huh?"

Captain America put a gloved hand on Bochs's massive chest and said, "We need to go. The world is at stake. Are you with us?"

Bochs glanced around. If he still had a heart, he was sure it would be racing about now. None of this was making any sense, but if he could not trust Captain America, the United States's answer to the Guardian, who could he trust?

At last, he said, "I'm in."

Captain America smiled. "Let's go."

***

"It's no Stark Tower or Avengers Mansion, but, be it ever so humble," said Captain America as the cargo elevator doors parted, "welcome to my home away from home."

He and his companions stepped into the loft apartment, their footsteps echoing off of the hardwood floors. One wall was nothing but windows overlooking the city. Framed movie posters from the 1930s and 40s lined the opposite brick wall of the long, corridor-like room. The ceiling was twice as high as was needed and, above the heavy, wooden rafters was a criss-crossing of metal bars. Black leather furniture crowded the far end of the loft.

"I come here when I need to get away from everything," said Captain America. "Or to work out if I'm on this end of town. Hence the bars overhead."

"Swanky," said Frog-Man.

"Say, Cap," said Captain Ultra. "Before we left that rooftop, you said something about finding me a suitable outfit."

"Past the living room area," said Captain America. "There's a bedroom. You might find what you need in the closet."

"Awesome."

As Captain Ultra literally floated through the bedroom door, the others took to the furniture, save for Box, who merely stood.

"So, Cap," said Photon. "You said something about Eugene here being the only one who could help us. Care to elaborate?"

"Yeah, this I gotta hear," said Frog-Man, removing his bulky helmet.

"And would someone mind telling me just what the hell's going on?" asked Box. "I mean, I woke up this evening to find out I'm...dead, the Avengers are no more and Nova is a woman!"

"Fair enough questions," said Captain America. "Unfortunately there's no time for a lengthy explanation to all of this, but I'll try to cover the basics. Believe me, it won't be easy. Some of it I don't understand myself. To start with, the Avengers are currently disbanded. Zemo and his so-called Masters of Evil have seen to that. Most of us are still recovering from the onslaught. Those of us you see assembled here are it, but Zemo and his pals are the least of our worries right now. We're trying to discover the whereabouts of a man who could, quite literally, take the world with him when he goes!"

"I don't understand," said Bochs. "I don't--"

"Well, what do you think?" interrupted a voice.

Captain America, Photon, Battlestar, Frog-Man, Box and Nova turned to find Captain Ultra standing in the doorway to the bathroom. He wore Wonderman's gaudy green and red costume, Falcon's original mask and Nomad's golden cape. The grin across his face was that of pure pride in a job well done.

His audience was dumbfound and speechless, until Battlestar managed to say, "I think I'm blind."

"Fortunately," said Box, "my photocellular receivers have an automatic dimmer switch. Otherwise, I'd be right there with you, my friend."

"Why on earth do you have all of these old costumes, Cap?" said Photon.

"The mansion just seemed to fill up with them over the years," said Captain America. "Wasp alone has something like eight hundred outfits. I suppose it's the designer in her. Anyways, Jarvis asked me a long time ago if they could be stored here."

"Lucky for me," said Captain Ultra.

"And I thought I was bright," said Photon.

"So, now that my vision has returned," said Eugene, "explain to me how I'm the key to this whole thing?"

"According to Stark's personnel files, you were working the night Zemo attacked," said Captain America.

Eugene suddenly looked uncomfortable. "Yeah? That's true, but...but, I really wasn't feeling good. I think I was coming down with a cold. I took some Nyquil. I thought it was the non-drowsey kind, but it wasn't. I--"

"Are you kiddin' me?" snapped Battlestar. "One's orange and one's green, for cryin' out loud!"

"It was dark in the monitor room," said Eugene sheepishly. "Anyway, I woke up when the building was coming down around my ears."

"And you didn't see anything?" asked Captain America. "Think hard, son."

"Oh, I don't have to think too hard," said Eugene.

"Good thing," muttered Battlestar.

"What did you see?"

"Four guys," said Eugene. "Big guys. They were making off with this big refrigerator, carrying it like it was nothing. I just figured they were looting the place. You gotta remember I woke up to the world coming down around my ears. I was confused. There was dust and fire everywhere! That's when a piece of the ceiling gave way. Next thing I know, I'm waking up in the hospital. I told the police everything already. I don't see how--"

"The refrigerator was undoubtedly the cryogenic unit holding Beeres' body," said Captain America. "Do you remember anything at all about the four men who took him? Anything at all?"

"Nothing I didn't already tell the cops," said Eugene. "You gotta understand the cops don't like me because of my old man. They were harassing me, see?"

"Think, Eugene," said Captain America.

"Wait a second," said Eugene. "One of them called another by a name. Something like Dick. Or maybe Drake. Or--"

"Or Dirk?" interrupted Captain America.

"Yeah! That was it. How'd you know?"

"All the signs fit," said Captain America. "If it's who I think it is, Dirk is none other than Dirk Garthwaite. Better known as the Wrecker."

"Of the Wrecking Crew?" asked Photon.

"I've heard of them," said Battlestar, smacking his fist into his palm. "I wouldn't mind tangling with the likes of them."

Captain America nodded. "But, if the Wrecking Crew is involved, this little stunt wasn't their planning. They're hired goons."

"So, what now?" asked Roger Bochs.

"I know a bar out on the docks that Dirk and his goons like to hang out in when they get paid," said Captain America. Looking to his companions, he asked, smiling slightly, "Who's in the mood for a cold one?"
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Paul E. Schultz

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Awesome my friend

Post  Mechajared on Mon Aug 20, 2012 12:23 am

That's all I can say, you've really been building up a great story, by the way excellent way to bring in the Wrecking crew.

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Wrecking Crew!

Post  Nik Havert on Wed Dec 26, 2012 12:15 pm

I always thought the Wrecking Crew deserved their own comic.

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Bring on the Bad Guys!

Post  Paul Effin' Schultz on Mon Mar 18, 2013 12:02 am

That's the best part of Marvel's best bad guys, without turning them into heroes, they could hold up their own titles. I always thought writing a series from the perspective of the Wrecking Crew or the Frightful Four would be a lot of fun.

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Re: Avengers #11

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