Marvel Mayhem: New Thunderbolts #25 - One Step Forward, Two Steps Back
All Characters are Owned by Marvel Comics
Abe glared through his visor as the man standing at the head of the table, turned on the LCD computer monitor, mounted on the wall. He despised Baron Zemo but right now he owed the man and he paid for his debts.
"These are images taken from the infirmary of the Living Fortress." Zemo stated as he flicked through the images. "The DNA samples from their wounds suggest multiple super human attackers, all of whom have been identified in the national criminal database."
"Anyone worth worrying about?" Songbird asked as she popped a massive bubble of gum, the noise causing Abe's ire to increase.
"Ghost identified Grindhouse, Paralyzer and Ossuary among others." Zemo replied. "They're here for the Seattle Blood Sport Tournament, a brutal festival of blood hosted by a woman known as the Dragoness."
"Great Super Villain tourists." Abe grunted.
"It gets worse." Zemo told him. "They have started mutating civilian captives." He announced bringing up a still of a woman, the left side of her body grafted with cybernetics. "This is Rebecca Ryker, she was abducted two weeks ago by a man known as the Headhunter, and forced to fight in the arena until she ran out of charge."
"The cybernetics look..." Abe hissed.
"They are." Ghost moaned from his chair at the back of the room. "The attachment is based on the Strikeback cybernetics."
"Not good." Orka grumbled from the reinforced chair he sat on. "So when do we go and throw down with these guys?"
"This feels wrong, at least for this operation." Abe told him. "What benefit do you get by taking down the Mardripoorian Cartel?"
"I need to establish a reputation." Zemo answered, "The sponsor, or at least one of them is a man you're familiar with, his name is Flag Smasher."
"Son of a..." Abe swore. "You have a lead of Flag Smasher?"
"I always have had a lead on his whereabouts, ever since ULTIMATUM attacked Seattle." Zemo answered smugly. "He and Dragoness are the only real targets of value."
"F**k you Zemo!" Abe yelled as he got to his feet, the chair flying backwards. "You knew where he was and you did nothing!!"
"Do not speak to father like that!" Songbird hissed as she got to her feet, a pair of sonic daggers materialising in her hands.
"He's not your father Melissa, you're Jewish and he's a god damm son of a Nazi!!" Abe yelled at her. "I'm going for a walk before I do something that I regret." He added before stalking out of the conference room.
"That was unexpected." Zemo sighed as Orka got to his feet and shot Songbird a disproving look.
"What's unexpected is that you don't realise what you did wrong." Orka told him as he followed Abe out the door. "Until you understand that this pod can't function." He finished as he left the room, locking on to the sound of Abe cursing. "So what do you want to do?" He asked as the pair of them emerged from the underground base, into the dim mid afternoon sunshine.
"Right now?" Abe asked. "Right now I want to punch Zemo in the face."
"Will you settle for a mess of bad guys instead?" Orka asked, as Abe's grimace turned into a forced smile.
Abe landed in the fractured car park that the Mardripoorian arena was built in, as Orka crawled over the ridge. Already the pair could hear the screams of terror, pain and bloodlust radiating from the arena.
"So what's the plan?" Orka asked. "Straight up brawling or something covert."
"We don't have enough people to be covert so busting heads is most likely." Abe answered as he walked up to the entrance. "Start climbing I'll seal the doors using the adhesive blasters I stole from the Trapster, and meet you inside."
"Got it." Orka grunted as he started climbing the wall as Abe sealed the doors shut. As he climbed Orka thought of MACH V, while he was glad that Abe was back, something about his alliance with Zemo didn't sit right with him. As he reached the apex he looked down on the cheering crowd, as a massive reptile man threw a punch at a lithe purple haired woman.
"And Caiman is still unable to land a punch on Grindhouse!" The commentator bellowed over the crowd. "The question is...what the hell is that?!" She roared as Abe landed in the centre of the arena.
"We're here to shut down your tournament Dragoness!" Abe yelled as Orka pushed his way to the front of the stands, and lowered himself down to the blood stained floor. "Surrender now and we will see that you get extradited back to Madripoor for the trial."
"I have a better idea." Dragoness hissed.” Caiman, Grindhouse kill them and I refund your entrance fee!" She snarled as the two fighters turned their attention to the newly arrived Thunderbolts.
"Last chance!" Abe yelled as Grindhouse lashed out towards him, her hands covered with a barbed wire knuckle duster.
"Same for you f****r." Grindhouse snarled as Abe caught her fist, before throwing her over his shoulder, her fall terminating in a clumsy handspring. "You'll pay for that you d**k head." She snarled before removing a pair of ten inch saw blades. "Perhaps Dragoness will pay me double if I bring back just the head?"
"I don't care!!" Caiman roared as he slipped round Orka's punch, before slamming clawed hands into the Atlantean's shoulders, and wrapped his tail around the Thunderbolt's chest. "I'm just going to have a little taste." He added as he dislocated his jaw and got ready to bite into Orka's neck.
"Snack bar is closed!" Orka growled as he reversed into the arena wall, the blow sending Caiman reeling backwards. Grabbing the fallen reptilian mutant Orka threw him across the arena and up into the commentators box, the whole tower rocking before listing forwards and depositing Dragoness into the arena. "Looks like your Thunder Dome project is coming apart at the seams." Orka snorted.
"Thunder Dome?" Abe asked as sparks spun off Grindhouse's saw blades as they slashed against the MACH V armour. "Where did that come from?"
"Just a film Donnie and I watched in the good old days." Orka grunted as Caiman came charging in with a makeshift battering ram, formed from a four foot long piece of timber.
"They weren't that good." Abe replied. "Do you forget about how many times the Masters of Evil escaped from us? Or that Emplate stuff." He added as he ripped a pair of spikes from Grindhouse's shoulders. “Oh and that time where the Skrulls invaded.”
"Hey b*****d!!" Grindhouse yelled as Abe held the spikes out like compact daggers. "Keep the f**k off my costume." She snarled as he dropped down and looped the spikes through her wire knuckle-dusters.
"Get him up here now!" Dragoness hissed down the cheek microphone, as Abe pinned Grindhouse to the wall.” Yes him I know he was disqualified but we need him now." She snarled as Orka slammed Caiman in the gut with his own makeshift club.
"Okay so roughhousing done." Orka coughed as concussed Caiman round the head. "What's next?"
"We have a little talk to the Dragoness." Abe told him as he grabbed the hostess by the neck. "Now where are the rest of your fighters?" Dragoness shook her head and felt Abe squeeze harder, before seeing the portcullis behind him creak open.
"They're right behind you." Dragoness hissed as a beam of energy struck Abe, his armour sparking as he dropped the hostess, his MACH IV armour locking down. "Paralyzer get the other one as well!!" She ordered as Orka ran towards the man dressed in red with claw like hands.
"He's locked down already." Paralyzer answered coldly as he fired a beam of energy at Orka, the Atlantean Thunderbolt convulsing as he fell to the ground.
"Perfect." Dragoness hissed. "We can slaughter them in the arena once the repairs are complete. The Death of the Thunderbolts is sure to draw in the crowds like no event before it ever has."