Command Base Sari, China
Dr. Prince repeatedly orders Thunder to move but the cyborg refuses to budge. Finally a frustrated Prince snatches up a headset and orders his assistant, "Switch it to remote."
Ares looks on his brother trapped in the machine in shock as the battle rages around him. Suddenly it begins to move and a voice comes from the armor, "Surrender now, and I'll make your death quick."
Ares gave it a confused look as Prince's voice blared out. An angry look grows, "I will not."
Thunder then slams his fist into the war gods face sending him back a few feet, Ares then swings his ax but stops just shy of his brother's neck. Prince chuckles and strikes again sending Ares to the ground. Thunder then lifts his mace to deliver a killing blow. Suddenly Thunder is thrown to the ground. Prince turns Thunder's eyes up and sees Vadim standing above him. Thunder leaps to his feet and swings a fist toward the mutant but Vadim catches it. The force of the blow shakes the battlefield as Vadim stares on unfazed.
Ares stood up behind, "If you can get him out of the armor without killing him do it, if not, better a dead god than a live slave."
Vadim nods and Ares leaves to aid the rest of the battle giving his brother one last look before leaving him to the rock skinned mutant. Prince shakes his head and Thunder follows, "If a war god can't beat me, do you really think you can?"
Vadim cracks his knuckles, "Not my brother."
He then slams a fist into Thunder's face sending him flying a few yards. He crashed hard as Vadim ran over. Thunder responded by slamming his shoulder into Vadim's gut launching them both into the air. Prince intended to drop him from a mile up hoping to kill a few of Ares' troops in the process. Vadim noticed thrusters on Thunder's back for stabilization in flight. He slammed his fist into it sending them on an uncontrolled flight.
They crashed a few miles from the battlefield into what seemed to be a patch of dessert in the middle of a forest.
Prince looks around the room, "Why isn't this area on the map?"
Sandpatch inside DMZ
Vadim pulled himself free of the sand and glared at thunder when he noticed some of the sand moving against the wind. Before he had time to consider it he was blind sided by Thunder who punched him in the face then gut and slammed him into the ground. As Thunder approached he noticed a large shadow forming over them and turned to see a massive hand made of sand.
The hand grabbed Thunder and another shot up from the ground gripping Vadim. The two were then lifted into the air as the sand patch began to pull together in the form of a giant man in a black and green stripped shirt. The Sandman then roared, "Leave me alone!"
He then slammed the two into each other and hurled them into the trees. At the command base Prince dropped down in a chair,"What the stark is that?"
A file appeared on the screen. The assistant looked over, "Sir, Thunder just sent us intel."
The room looked on confused as Prince came over,"He's back on line?"
The assistant nodded, "Yes and according to him, that thing is a Flint Marko. AKA Sandman. He used to be one of the original Spiderman's enemies. Last seen around 150 years ago and presumed dead."
Sandman piled tons of sand atop the two and forced it into a more solid state intending to crush them as he ranted, "I told you damned goons to stay the hell away from me. How many do I have to kill to make it clear?"
Vadim cleared his mouth, "I too fight against the Iron army."
Marko glared down, "You one of those Chechyan mutants?"
Vadim shakes his head, "Russian."
Thunder sent a surge of electricity that turned the sand holding him to glass. He then shattered it and pulled himself free. He attempted to fly off on a shaky course back to the battlefield but was slammed back down by Marko. He released Vadim and focused his attention on the cyborg. Vadim started to run off but a thought occurred to him.
Thunder attempted to fight his way out but there seemed to be no end to the sand rushing in on him. Finally he clapped his hands together with as much force as he could muster sending out a shock wave that blew the sand away. He then jetted off in the air.
Sandman glared angrily at the sky until he heard Vadim's voice behind him, "Perhaps, you want to finish that fight?"
He turned and stared down at the rock skinned mutant, "How would you like to join the New Latverian army?"
Marko shook his head, "How bout we just kill some Iron soldiers and see how it goes?"
Vadim nodded, "Either way, many dead Iron soldiers."
Marko put out a hand and Vadim stepped on.
Back at the Battlefield
Ares and his troops squared off against the rest of the Thunderbolts as Vadim and Thunder had their encounter. Ares stood before the one known as Brute with his ax tight in his grasp. He growled out, "I don't know who you once were but I assure you one way or another I'll pull that armor off you."
Nation of the Plains, Arizona
Thrudd stares at Bethany Warhorse laying on her bed bound at the wrists and ankles to prevent her from harming herself as she thrashes around. She looks up to the people in the room trying to figure out what's wrong with the woman, "I can't fix this if I don't know what the problem is. Do you have any telepaths around? Maybe they could look around her mind to find what went wrong."
A man named Edgar sat down beside her, "We tried that, the man had a stroke when he looked in."
She sighed, "Then I just need more power."
Edgar patted her on the shoulder, "No one expects you to fix this, a message has been sent to Daniel hopefully he or the spirit wizard he speaks to will know what to do."
She had stopped listening at this point as she thumbed the black envelope in her pocket, "I know what I have to do."
She stepped outside away from prying eyes and opened the envelope and pulling the page of the Darkhold from it.
(To be continued)