The U.S and Latveria are working on a joint project to develop a spacecraft to study the incoming cosmic rays. Once in space however, the four discover that personnel were mysteriously going missing. Johnny discovers a secret cache of weapons being used by terrorists on the ship. They hold a secret meeting to discuss the matter. Doom then traps them in the room and disables its shielding from the cosmic rays. The four wake up afterwards and discover that the rays have each given them powers. Reed has a break-down over Ben’s condition and hides himself in a lab so he can attempt to cure Ben. Johnny gets captured, after attempting to stop the terrorists from moving the comatose Ben to an unknown location. Sue confronts the terrorists with her security forces and engaged in a battle. The battle ends when they reveal the terrorists have Johnny as a hostage, Sue promptly surrenders. The terrorists reveal themselves to be Skrull.
Fantastic Four #5
Susan sighed as she leaned against the hard surface of a storage crate. The rough metal felt hard as she rested her head, but it was her only comfort. Surrounding her were the other captured security forces. Each face was filled with hopelessness and weariness, all thoughts of escape gone. The room holding them was insignificant. Empty, scarce for a few metal crates scattered against the wall, which the weary troops were now resting against. There was a lone doorway to the room, flanked by twin Skrull guards on the outside, who were cautiously scanning for any approaching trouble. The metal door slid open occasionally as a guard peered in, confirming that the hostages were secure. It was for routine purposes only, the guards were confident that there was minimum chance of escape.
Regular radio communications in Skrullish could be heard beyond the metal entrance. Though Sue couldn’t understand the chatter, she understood the subject. Their failed questioning of Sue earlier proved that their objective was the whereabouts of Reed. A lone Skrull was now prowling the corridors of the ship in search of the reclusive scientist. They were cocky then though, sure in the knowledge that a mere human couldn’t evade their search. Sue wasn’t so sure now, the muffled voices showed that they were beginning to get agitated. Reed can make himself elusive when he doesn’t want to be disturbed, she thought, trying to reason Reed’s accidental evasiveness. Perhaps this was the only thing keeping him safe, but luck can only go so far. She needed a plan. She wasn’t experienced enough to use her powers as a weapon, but if she remembered correctly, they may have a more defensive use.
Johnny’s vision began to un-blur as he found himself in a badly-lit room. He was about to cry out, but quickly remembered the reason for his unconsciousness. He began to feel his surroundings. He discovered a low metal pole and began to follow it upwards until it reached a sharp metallic corner and felt fabric scraping the corner of his hand. It must have been Ben Grimm’s bed from earlier. He soon heard the tiny rustle of clothing nearby, amplified in the silence. He slowly turned towards the sound and spotted a dark figure began to move gently in the darkness. The figure soon held its new position, as if trying to discern what the noise was. Johnny remained mute as he tried to determine what the mysterious triangular shadows protruding from the figure’s head were. The figure soon moved back to its previous state, its paranoia seemingly eased.
Johnny carefully began to sneak towards the unaware figure, carefully feeling for obstacles that may ruin his stealthy approach as he delicately stepped in the direction of the target. Unfortunately, Johnny was not trained in such matters. The guard, now extremely suspicious about the continuous noises approached Johnny‘s location. Realizing that he had no alternative, Johnny remembered the emotion that ignited his power before: excitement. His hands flared, lighting up the spacious room. He moved quickly to grab the guard’s face, giving little time for a reaction. To Johnny’s surprise he found a reptilian face screaming back at him, his flaming hands lighting up every facial detail of the agonized creature.
Johnny jumped back in surprise as the creature began to shield its face. Reacting quickly, Johnny began to spray flames around the area, using it as a light to survey the room. To his surprise, the room seemed to be near empty. The state of the walls and floors proved the disuse of the area and it appeared to be an abandoned part of the ship.
A blast suddenly lit up the room as Johnny felt the energy crackle by him. He spun around and discovered the creature readying another shot. He dived away and heard the shot zoom behind him. He began to examine the creature further during his brief break. He noticed its face was partially disfigured. Its face scales were burned, now darkened and flattened. Its eyes struggled to open, making aiming difficult for it, further impaired by the poor lighting of the room
As another shot was readied, Johnny clashed the bottom of his palms and spread his fingers outwards. A gush of flame soon blew onto the warrior and took it aback, sending its shot flying upwards. Johnny grinned and concentrated on emitting more fire. Candle-sized flames soon began to protrude from his palms. C’mon, c’mon he thought angrily, as he attempted to force his powers. He heard an audible growl and peered upwards, as the alien began to aim its sights at Johnny. Its eyes were now healed and full of anger. Johnny heard the gun beginning to charge as the flames spread from his palms. Johnny shouted, both in fear and as a war cry, the Skrull joined in as the two engaged in a loud stare down. The battle was interrupted by the screech of metal as the bed slid rapidly across the room, slamming the unaware creature violently into the wall. “Jeez, can’t a guy get a bit o’ peace around here without dummies shouting?” came a groggy voice from the shadows.
Sue attempted to recreate the feeling when she had previously turned invisible: anxiety. She thought of Reed, a mortal enemy of his own emotions. She feared for Johnny, naïve in a dangerous world. She felt the invisibility effect travelling up her body, much to the dismay of any nearby awake captives. She quickly silenced the startled security with a finger touching the lip. The aforementioned finger became invisible only moments after the motion. She held that feeling; one of worry, pity and even, fear. She held those emotions, thoughts of Johnny rallying the power onwards. Seconds seemed minutes and minutes seemed hours as she struggled to maintain her power. Her patience paid off, as the sleek sound of the door sliding open could be heard. The Skrull uninterestedly peeked in, little realising the invisible figure slipping by. The obstacle of the door passed, she quietly stepped down a corridor and after a few turns, summoned the courage to release her grasp on her power.
She breathed a sigh of relief as she took baring of her surroundings. The monotone metallic grey of the corridor surrounded her and little of interest was in the area. A sudden realisation hit her, she didn’t know the location of Johnny. Her quest seemingly in vain. Distraught, she slumped against the wall. She rested her head against it momentarily to think, the hard metallic surface a familiar sensation. When her eyes opened again, she noticed a cover of shadow over her, in the shape of a dark, menacing figure. She instinctively activated her powers, the necessary emotions kicking in. She quickly examined the sinister figure as she prepared her escape. To her surprise she discovered the familiar metal mask of Doom peering back. “It’s only you, Doom…” she exasperated as she reached for her heart. She coughed softly as she moved onto urgent matters, “We need your help. These emm… terrorists are holding my security hostage and are attempting to kidnap Reed!” she explained urgently.
“Human female voice detected! Visibility of subject altered! Switching to Thermal!” the metal figure roared back.
“Oh…wonderful…a doombot…” Susan mumbled, as she stroked her forehead uncomfortably.
“Subject identified! Susan Storm! U.S diplomatic representative!” Doombot roared in monotone.
“Right…so, can you help me?” Sue asked, irritated, her voice stern and direct.
“Negative! I only answer to Lord Victor Von Doom! Lord and Glorious Ruler of Latveria!” the robot bellowed loudly.
“Yeah, right, but you see-” she continued, to no avail.
“Master of Science! Mastermind of strategy! Saviour of-”
“Enemy detected!” Susan butted in, abruptly.
“ State enemy location immediately!” the doombot declared. A metal swish signified its glove blasters opening and a whirl of engines could be heard as smoke puffed and swirled from its hydraulic feet.
“Err…alert Lord Victor Von Doom.” she spoke softly, hoping the android could understand her.
“Lord and Glorious Ruler of Latveria?! Master of-” it questioned loudly.
“Yeah, him. Anyway, alert him of the presence of enemies onboard the ship.” she interrupted, with a slightly harsher tone.
“Error!” the Doomboot quickly shouted.
“Error?” sue replied, confused.
“Communication malfunctioning! Beginning diagnosis!” it bellowed, before strange humming sounds should be heard from the android.
“They must have jammed us…” Sue muttered, gritting her teeth.
“Right, err…recommending direct confrontation with enemy.” she said, uncomfortably as she rubbed her neck.
“Affirmative, state enemy location!” came the roaring reply.
Susan pointed down the hall. “Forward that direction and take two rights, then a left. They’re guarding the door to a small storage room and appear to be security officers.” she explained, with the appropriate motions for the directions.
“Error with receiving information!” it roared through its hidden speakers.
Susan groaned, “Hallway 3-17, North storage room. Disguised as friendly U.S security.”
“Information received!” the doombot declared, turning towards the appropriate direction. It then began to rise slowly, the soft crackle of the rockets orchestrating the slow ascension. A sudden boom disturbed the quiet as it rocketed down the corridor, booming “For Doom and Latveria!”, its cries quieting into the distance.
Sue moaned. At least it’ll provide a distraction for the hostages’ escape or even free them, she wasn’t fully sure of how powerful these “Skrulls” truly were. Throughout that conversation she had a plan thought up, she knew the location of the unaware Reed Richards and if she couldn’t protect Johnny, she’ll damn well protect him.
“You! You’re that guy! Ben Grimm” Johnny shouted as he began eagerly pointing, switching quickly between the bed and Ben.
“Very observable, kid. Now keep it down, don’t know how many tangos could be in the area.” Ben spoke gruffly, as he walked towards the door. His eyes quickly scanning the entrance for any sign of movement beyond.
“Tangos?” Johnny replied, confused as he began to tag behind the large figure.
“Military jargon for enemies.” Ben explained as he leaned against the door. His head rested tightly against the surface as he placed his hand for support. He squinted his eyes as he began to concentrate on listening for any nearby enemy chatter.
“Military? Cool… You were a soldier?” Johnny asked excitedly, breaking the silence.
“Nah, I was a barmaid.” Ben replied sarcastically, still unmoving. Johnny blushed as he realized the obviousness of the question.
“Now onto useful questions, did you hear them mention any other goons in the area?” Ben asked, his free hand now moving to begin to slowly open the door, though he continued to lean against it.
“Emm, don’t know. When he talked on the radio, it wasn’t in English.” Johnny remembered, as he eyed the ceiling thoughtfully.
“Russian, Chinese, Latverian …?” Ben questioned, as the light from the continually opening door illuminated his rocky face.
“No none of them, it wasn’t any major language that I know. Possibly some sort of minority or small country annoyed at someone?” Johnny added, eagerly trying to contribute to the conversation as if to atone for his foolish comment.
“Could be, kid, you never know with Doom. How many languages, you know?” Ben asked curiously, as he fully opened in a final tug. Without hesitation, he stepped out. He turned and signalling for Johnny to do likewise.
“Several, travelling around with a diplomat for a sis does teach you a bit.” Johnny explained, scratching his head as he scanned both ends of the corridor for anyone.
“Sis? You a brother to what’s her name…Storm?” Ben declared as he did a quick survey of the corridor, before standing thoughtfully as he began to formulate a direction to travel.
“Yeah… shouldn’t you have checked the corridor before coming out? Not that I’m disagreeing with your soldiering experience or anything. “ Johnny remarked, as he raised his hands to reassure Ben that he meant no insult.
“Kid, if anyone was nearby… They would have heard all the rattle between you and Brave heart a long while ago.” Ben jokingly remarked, as a grin spread across his craggy face.
“Right! So, where are we going?” Johnny exclaimed, rubbing his hands eagerly in anticipation.
“Never mind that!” Ben declared as he peered at his stonelike hands, “What the hell happened to me hands!”. He then proceeded to examine the rest of his body frantically, “What the hell happened to me?!” he cried in horror as he gently stroked his face.