Authors Note: Takes place before Lady Deathstrike vol 2. Chapter 5 and after Chapter 8
Marvel Iron Age: Damage Control Part 1 of 2
Carol Danvers awaited her diplomatic guests in a Shield conference room. An envoy from the Iron Army sought a review of the truce between New Latveria and Stryfe’s empire. Unlike decades past when both empires were on equal footing with each other, the last year saw major land grabs from Ares establishing his own empire in Iron Army territory and a war in the very heart of North America. New Latveria was in a position of power.
General Kurske who survived the attack on Castle Doom by the remnants of Project Wideawake was the highest ranking officer in the room, flanked by other shield and military officials. “Presenting the Iron Army envoy!” He said as the officials in the room shoot up from their chairs and stood at attention. Carol sat and sneered at the door. The queen had no patience for displays of etiquette for the tyrant that this envoy represented.
“Major Amanda Trask of the San Fransisco Iron Hall!” Kurske announced. Carol was puzzled by the appearance of such a low ranking officer. These meetings were always supervised by a General. Not a relative nobody in the larger empire.
“Lady Kira Shikinami of…” Kurske was interrupted by the almost childlike laughter of the young Japanese giril taking her seat next to Trask.
“I’d prefer Eternal Leader of the Hand, Red Skull.” Kira said, mocking the scarred face of General Kurske caused by the Wideawake incident.
“Be seated.” Carol ordered. “No entourage? I’m surprised.”
Kira performed an exaggerated stretch and yawned, “If you see my `entourage’ coming, it’s because I let you, your majesty.”
“That’s enough!” Trask whispered to Kira. “Your Majesty I apologize. General Helfitta couldn’t make it; I’ve been authorized to take his place.”
“Very well.” Carol said. “I’m not good at negotiation so forgive me for my bluntness, any time I’ve had dialogue with the Iron Army in the last centuries of my life the Supreme Commander has tried to murder me, but let’s please cut right to it.”
Carol cleared her throat and looked at the diplomats as if she saw right through them, “Ares has taken land disputed by both our Empires, along with establishing his own and has no plans on letting either of us have it. Loki and his remaining people are under my protection in their own settlement, known as Asgardia.”
Carol listed these most current events off in one breath, the two women on the other side of the table never even blinked and whispered to each other, “Your majesty Ares’ land grabs were in your name, we also do not officially recognize Asgardia, but the settlement itself maybe an existential threat to the Empire. A threat we are willing to remove at the slightest provocation.”
“Thirty individuals equal an existential threat? So the man in blue that sent Stryfe’s teeth scattering all over New York was a real crisis.” Carol jabbed, getting the desired wide eyed expression from Trask and an annoying chuckle from Kira.
“We have no comment on the unkown being at this time.” Trask said as she projected a hologram into the center of the table showing the areas of dispute. “The last month… year really, has seen our borders repeatedly violated and the previous truce signed by Victor Von Doom hasn’t been honored.”
“New Latveria has denied all responsibility for the Colorado upheaval.” General Kurske interjected.
“As if S.H.I.E.L.D had nothing to do with it at all!” Kira said to Carol’s surprise. It was the first time the girl had seemed serious at all. The hologram then displayed images of the battles with Ares and the Colorado. “Equipment and tactics known to be used by Shield were utilized by rebels in Colorado.”
“That’s all?” Carol said dismissively. “Maybe somebody got smart and realized a tyrannical dystopia was around them. Maybe somebody wanted to burn it down?”
“Like Augustus Holland?” Kira asked as if she were using his name to hurt Carol in some way with information she didn’t have and with the kind of smile a kid who tortures animals for fun Carol imagined would have. “Lots of blood we have on file to be his from previous terrorist plots was found on the scene in Denver. Did he die in pain? The Supreme Commander wants to know.”
Energy whipped around Carol at the mention of Holland’s name. Her temper was boiling, she didn’t care that it gave anything away,” We cannot confirm any details about Agent Holland. His service files are classified.” General Kurske cut in before Carol erupted.
The conversation went on while Carol listened. Old trade agreements were discussed, cease fires were renegotiated and Carol the whole time sat and jeered at the two women on the other side of the table. She had no tolerance for the Iron Army. She could hardly stomach the pandering and diplomacy she had to endure. But it wasn't time yet. For now she would listen and soon bury the empire these two represented. For hours the talks went on. General Kurske finally called the days meeting to a close. Both women left her sight as her advisers briefed her on ways to approach the next days talks.
Carol Danvers' study:
"Welcome back from the dead, Agent Martel." Carol said wearily as she looked at the women who at one time was an Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D who had taken the Infinity Formula with Carol and other agents.
"Ma'am." Kylie Martel said as she looked at the other agents beside here. "This wasn't the home coming I was expecting."
Carol walked over to the woman formerly under her and sighed, "Before I honor you with a parade... tell me how did you escape. It's been two years since we abandoned the Triskellion. You could have lived a normal life. Stayed above ground. Certainly would have been safer."
"I was imprisoned in the Maryland institute." Kylie got right to the point. As Carol remembered she often would. "After months of being tortured by Mister Sinister I escaped after that mess with Thanos' son. It took awhile but I made it here. I wanted to see you ma'am"
Carol raised a finger and closed her eyes, trying to keep calm as her body became more ridged, "Enough! If that bullshit is the best you've got then I want you to put it in your back pocket and save it! I won't listen to you lie to me anymore."
Kylie smiled and broke her restraints. She flexed her arms outward as her finger tips shot from her hands like spikes into the heads of her escorts. Carol in an instant tackled Kylie through the door, through walls and into the thrown room as she tossed her into the marble floor. Carol flew over Kylie as she got up without injury. Kylie discarded a device on her wrist that seemed to digitally alter her appearance. Her skin was pale white and her eyes glowed.
"So I guess you weren't lying about, Sinister. Although I'm surprised. I thought Ngumi blew up the train you both were on." Carol said as she charged energy in her hands. "I guess my detail weren't watching Ngumi hard enough."
"She cut me in half." Kylie grunted. "I blew up the train!"
Carol fired an energy blast at point blank range that Kylie dodged. The former agent jumped and landed a kick that floored Carol.
Kylie raised a hand as the spot beneath Carol glowed. An explosion shot the former Avenger into the air as a series of smaller ones bounced her around and slammed her into a pillar. "You have powers, now?" Carol said as she gasped for air.
Kylie raised her hands and extended her spike like fingers at Carol. The Queen turned and grabbed the pillar and tossed it at agent Martel. Carol flew at Kylie while the former shield agent ran up the flying projectile and met Carol in mid air! Both women grappled each other in the air and through punches. Carol launched straight up through the ceiling and into the sky above the castle. Using all of her strength Carol tossed Martel back to the ground, into the courtyard of her castle.The impact left a crater, a sonic boom shattered all the windows and the impact left the gardens and statues in shambles. Carol hovered back down to earth as she watched the mangled corpse of Kylie Martel return back to normal.
"Healing factor to?" Carol said, disgusted by the sight and sounds of flesh and bone reattaching themselves. Carol heard a popping noise similar to a gunshot in the distance then was met by a net wrapping her up and unleashing a high voltage of electricity. The netting was made up of razor wire that cut into Carols back and arms as she struggle while writhing in pain from the shocks. Enraged she looked toward Kylie Martel as the still healing woman smiled mockingly.
"I didn't come alone, your Majesty!"
To be continued