Previously, on Astonishing X-Force:
“Wait, what? It's been so long since the last issue that we need a 'Previously On'? The writer is that lazy?”
Indeed they are.
“Well that's messed up. Well, anyway, I'm Wade Wilson and I'm your recap-man! Last we saw, good ol' Logan gave alternate-reality anti-hero Hank McCoy total permission to create a lethal stealth team and slaughter as many zombified humans as he wanted, which is a concern but that's exactly what Arcade's trying to make an army of.”
“Right. So the good doctor (along with Domino as his right-hand-babe) made a team of Jubilee, Venom, and me, calling us the new 'Astonishing X-Force', only he didn't actually use the adjective because that's really just for comic titles, not actual teams.”
Don't leave out the hot girl-on-girl! That is important!
“Right! There was also hot Domino-on-Jubilee action that I caught on camera as part of a short filler issue! We also saw that Eddie Brock and his symbiote are in a bit of an abusive relationship with each other, and the reader got to see that Arcade is working with Juggernaut. Uh oh!”
You got that right. Arcade is a fruitloop!
Actually, yellow thinking box, I believe Juggernaut is the greater concern here.
Yeah, right. Juggernaut. Wait, didn't he get his ass kicked by Venom already?
Most people consider that to be PIS – we'll ignore that for now.
“So! With that out of the way, have fun with the next issue, where the team sets off on their first ever ACTUAL mission! Sweet, right?”
“An actual mission, then? We are eager.” Venom hissed, his long, slobbering tongue slithering absently through the air uncomfortably close to Jubilee's ear. “Too long have we spent here, waiting for you to plan... your plans should have been prepared before you enlisted us in your team.”
“Patience is a virtue, my dual-minded friend,” Hank said with a small smile, though as usual, his eyes betrayed him, lacking the genuine kindness of the 'real' Beast and containing something... a little different. A sinister intellect, the kind used to harm rather than aid. Hank and the rest of the X-Force were now striding through a thus-far unknown corridor that had been opened by pulling out a first edition of “Of Mice And Men” out of its bookshelf.
“I've never actually seen proof of that,” Jubilee groaned, swatting one hand quickly beside her head as she felt a single droplet of Venom's green saliva whoosh past her ear.
“Proof comes with age, Miss Lee,” Hank continued, his hands folded neatly behind his back as he walked forward confidently. Wade was surprisingly quiet for being, well, Wade – a precaution taken by Domino in the investment of a PSP. Hence, it took the majority of Deadpool's attention to walk and play The Force Unleashed at the same time, which used up some of the energy he frequently exhausted by talking.
“Maybe a great deal of age,” Domino interjected with a wry smirk. “I still have yet to see how it's a virtue.”
“Alright, alright, what are we actually doing? I'm pretty sure the 'mission' isn't inside of our headquarters.” Jubilee snapped, slouching and putting her hands in her pockets as she kept walking. “Also this stupid hallway is really long.”
“We're going to get our ride, kid... the mission isn't what you might call close.” Domino said dryly.
“Oh, alright.” Jubilee shrugged. “Blackbird, then?”
This time, the smile touched Hank's eyes, and he turned his head to face the young vampire as he kept walking. “You still have yet to fully understand your new position, Miss Lee. We are not, nor shall we ever be, the X-Men – we are a deniable asset. We are allotted exactly none of the X-Men's resources, and we are in no way related or connected to the Professor or his goals.” He inhaled deeply. “We're the X-Force. And as such, we use our own resources.”
“Hnyeheh, you said 'position',” Deadpool giggled to himself, not looking up from his game.
“Indeed I did,” Dark Beast said with a nod. “You need not fear, though, Miss Lee – our resources are in no way lacking.” The group of five had finally taken one last turn, hitting a blank wall. Unphased, Hank drew a small device from his vest pocket that resembled a calculator, pressing a few buttons and causing the wall to slide away, revealing an enormous hangar.
Inside was a plane – no.
Not a plane.
The thing was fantastic in nature, obviously of a highly-advanced design. It looked sleek, yet roomy, its wings folded on the sides like those of a bird. A truly amazing machine.
“So, to answer your question more directly, no. We will not be flying in the Blackbird... however, it is my pleasure to introduce you to the Nightingale. She's my own design, spent a few months getting her ready.”
“Prreeeeetty.” Wade whispered, finally looking up from the handheld console without pausing his game.
“I've already shown Miss Thurman how it differs from a normal jet, and she's prepared to be the pilot,” Hank continued with a smug grin. “We should be in Portland within the hour.”
“This aircraft concerns usss,” Venom hissed. “We are not sure how our... other... will react, being trapped in the sky.” The seemingly-infinite chorus of purrs that escaped that fanged maw was difficult to read, hard for even Beast to determine if his statement was a threat, or simply a concern.
“Do not let it trouble you, Mr. Brock,” the black-furred man said softly. “I assure you, I am thoroughly prepared for any such occurrence.”
“This does not make us feel more comfortab--” Venom began, only to be interrupted by Domino, who was already stepping up the small gangway into the cockpit of the ship.
“Try not to misplace your panties and make sure to buckle up,” the white-fleshed woman said smarmily. “I'll try to make sure none of you vomit, but remember this is my first time going cross-country in this ship.”
As the rest of the team filed one-by-one onto the Nightingale, Jubilee stood last, her expression unsure. “I will bite you if you make me vomit,” she grumbled, before finally sifting in behind the black-suited monster. “I really will.”