The Night Before

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Post by Conleth on Sat Jun 29, 2019 10:28 pm

Loki enjoyed fooling with humans and mutants and manipulating them. He wanted to get the Tesseract back but he wasn’t certain he could accomplish that goal on his own. SHIELD knew of Loki and he was concerned that they’d have set up countermeasures for him if he came alone. He had enlisted the aid of the Hellfire Brotherhood and the SSB to help hism recruit his mutant army. So far it had worked well and he had taken up the guise of Baron Von Strucker, a man long since dead to help bring Magneto and his brotherhood into the fold. The SSB came on board for far less of a price. All they wanted was a woman named Natalya Sokolova. Her identity had been confirmed when they had sent an agent to collect a mutant. Now, on the eve of his plans fruition he sat back in his chair and thought about the Tesseract.

“Well Yeah, he IS the norse god Loki,” Steve said to Natalya’s question. “One Of our honorary members is his brother Thor...did you not know this?” he asked and shot a disapproving glance at Isabella as if to accuse her of not briefing the woman properly.

“I suppose I shouldn’t be surprised, you haven’t met Bruce Banner either,” he said and Natalya would know who he was. The Hulk. “We normally don’t see them, they have their own...agendas,” Steve said.

---------------------------------

Peter waited in Serena’s room as she took a shower. He would have loved to be in there with her but her parents and everyone else were in the tower and he felt Serena might need some time to reflect on what happened. He fingered the scab that had begun to harden on his neck. He wasn;t far from having his throat cut for him. Boldly he removed his clothes and costume and joined her in the shower. She had a look of surprise and concern when he pulled the door open but the moment his lips touched hers the concern was gone and the passion that they had for one another came to the forefront. He made love to her in the shower. An urgent, passionate coupling that spoke volumes about how close they had come to losing one another. Brought together once more another small piece of their innocence had been lost. Little by little they were learning what it means to be an avenger and each time she saw Peter’s neck wound would be a reminder of how close she was to losing him.

Out of the shower and fleshly dressed Peter was in his street clothes. A pair of jeans and a blue t-shirt. He had heard what she said about Gambit and he felt as if there was more to it than what Serena had said. “So this Gambit, when you spoke about him it sounded as if you got to know him...a little. Logan is confident he’ll be ok is that his hat?” He asked. It sat on her desk next to her laptop.

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Post by XslvrstarX on Sat Jun 29, 2019 10:46 pm

Natalya looked rather surprised and interested that Thor and Loki were real. She found that rather fascinating, but right now they had a serious problem on their hands.

"So, we still don't know what he's after."

Kate sighed a little and shook her head. "No, but whatever it is it must be important. Perhaps it is time to call Nick and invite him over for a chat."

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Serena was still processing everything that had happened that day. She had come close to dying...twice and had almost been mind controlled by a Norse God. Then, she had almost watched Peter get killed by a woman that looked like her. Thinking about it all made her head spin. Thinking about losing Peter...well even thinking about it caused her heart to break. Suddenly, she heard the shower door open and was surprised to see Peter. He joined her in the shower and the moment his lips touched her own she practically melted into his arms. They made love right there in the shower standing up with her back up against the shower wall and for a few minutes she forgot about everything that had happened.

Once out of the shower Serena put on her robe and towel dried her hair. She walked out into her bedroom to get some clothes, but stopped and looked at Peter when he mentioned Gambit. "He was once a part of the X-Men team, just like Logan. He risked his life to save mine...more than once." She looked over at the hat. "Yes, that's his hat. He told me to hold onto it for him and that he would be coming to get it."

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Post by Conleth on Sat Jun 29, 2019 11:00 pm

Peter wasn’t stupid and he could see by how Serena talked about the man that she fancied him. It didn’t really bother him though. She was his. A fact that he just reiterated once more a few minutes ago. He did not feel jealousy, only sadness that she did not know about his fate.

“Natalya saved my life today as well,” he began then told that particular story to Serena.

------------------------

It was clear that they were running out of time. Tony went ahead and texted Nick to meet them in a popular bar. Place that would be difficult to bug so spontaneously. Isabella, Kate and Natalya had been chosen to meet him. They were the least likely to be recognized.

The bar was like most pars but it also had poll table and darts throwing games. It was nearly filled to capacity, with the football playoffs going on. Isabella wore blue jeans, a black t-shirt and black leather jacket. Natalya work something similar except her shirt was gray and her jacket was brown. Kate was all designer clothing, her jacket having a bit of fur on the neck and lapels.

Nick wore his usual blue suit and had a black, tweed french coat. He ordered them all beers and they hardly garnered any notice with all of the games going on and the football that appeared on the screens.

“Alright, I am still waiting to know why Tony isn’t here and he texted me that something was very urgent,” Nick said on the point of irritation. He was a busy man after all and he had alot of work to do...always. He liked being around women but these 3 were not just women. They were trouble and if Tony sent them to talk to him. There was something pretty serious happening and he knew he wasn't going to like it. Natalya tasted the beer. She had only the limited experience that Logan afforded her as far as beer went. This was a darker variety than what she was used to and she found that she liked it. Kate had a sip of hers as well but Isabella had not touched hers. “Drink some,” Kate said under her breath.

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Post by XslvrstarX on Sun Jun 30, 2019 8:19 am

Serena listened to Peter's story of how Natalya had saved his life as she got dressed. As usual when she was home she put on something comfortable, some black leggings, her father's old MIT sweatshirt, and some socks. She sat down on her bed with her legs crossed under her and looked at Peter. "It sounds like you saved Natalya's life as well." She was quiet a moment before looking at Peter again. "I don't know much about her. My mom says she's dangerous. Does she seem dangerous to you?"

--------------------------------------------

Natalya had not been sure about going with Isabella and Kate. Nick had been the one who had sent Logan to kill her and clearly he had let her live. The tension between Natalya and Nick was thick as Nick watched her like a hawk. Natalya sat farthest away from him and though it didn't seem like it to anyone around them she kept a close eye on what was going on around her. She was always on high alert and never let her guard down. She did take a small sip of the darker colored beer and found it wasn't so bad. She preferred hard liquor, but ordering that here might draw unwanted attention their way.

Isabella was the only one who might possibly be noticed. She and Tony were followed by the press and they did attend many events. They were celebrities in their own right, but Isabella had pulled her hair back into a messy bun, something she only did when she was at home in the lab and she kept her head down upon entering the bar. She sat where she would be seen by the least amount of people and ordered a beer like everyone else. She was not really a beer drinker, but she finally took a sip after Kate said something.

Kate looked over at Nick. Of everyone here she was the closest with him as she still worked for him and was one of his best agents. Her parents had been high ranking SHIELD agents as well and she had basically grown up in SHIELD HQ. When her parents had been killed Phil Coulson had become almost like a surrogate father to her. However, as she and Steve have continued to become closer she had been spending more and more time at the Tower. She was a member of the Avengers team, but had not completely cut her ties to SHIELD. That was proving to be emotionally difficult for her, though she knew Steve wanted her to do it.

"Loki is after something that SHIELD has," Kate finally told him. She then launched into the whole long story, also telling him about what had happened to Serena and Peter. She could tell Nick's interest had been piqued from the very beginning and he listened intently to everything she said. "We aren't sure what he's after, but clearly it is something important and probably very powerful and dangerous. Do you have any idea what it might be?"

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Post by Conleth on Sun Jun 30, 2019 10:52 am

Nick had a suspicion about what the meeting was about. SHIELD had been getting various pieces of intel that pointed toward some kind of gathering of mutants. They had photos of the Baron and Magneto as well as other mutants but just didn’t have a lock on where they were. He tried to keep a neutral face and not let on to that he was inclined to lie to them. But it was clear that they were heavily involved with all of this and a lie could very well kill some of them killed.

“Its an Asgardian energy source called the Tesseract,” he said in a low tone so that those nearby would not hear him. “It was given to us for safekeeping by Thor and we’ve got our best men on it studying its properties. We have been for years. Clearly Loki wants it back and he knows Magneto and his brotherhood can get it for him. I doubt there is any place on the planet that Magneto can be kept out of. But I do have questions for you as well,” he said but didn’t ask them. He waited for them to ask more questions.

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Post by XslvrstarX on Sun Jun 30, 2019 12:08 pm

Kate had known Nick her entire life and knew that he wasn’t always the most honest person. However, she continued to trust him because she knew that sometimes ensuring the safety of the world meant lying. This was something she and Steve argued most about.

“So, what exactly can this Tesseract do and what do you think Loki is giving Magneto in exchange for helping him with this?”

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Post by Conleth on Sun Jun 30, 2019 12:16 pm

Nick thought about that for a moment and took a sip of his lager beer to bide for time before answering. “If he’s stopped then what does it matter what Magneto was offered. Loki can not be trusted and I doubt Magneto knows that the Baron is Loki. If he has alot of mutants allied to attack SHIELD we’ll need help to keep the Tesseract out of their hands. I do have a man, a mutant who could theoretically protect the Tesseract but he’s young and inexperienced. I can’t move it because they’d be looking out for that. Our only choice is to keep them from it,” he said as if thinking outloud.

“The Tesseract can possibly generate enough power for a good portion of our world as a never-ending clean powersource, maybe all the world if it were harnessed properly. OR it could power a very devastating weapon,” he said.

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Post by XslvrstarX on Sun Jun 30, 2019 12:55 pm

Isabella listened to Nick and a thought came to her. “So, if this Tesseract is as powerful as you say then more people may come looking for it. Why are we keeping it on Earth? That seems like it would be inviting trouble. I would almost rather Loki just have this thing to get it off our planet.”

Kate looked at her. “I don’t think that would be a very good idea. We would be giving a powerful weapon to someone who can’t necessarily be trusted.”

Natalya looked at Kate, Isabella and Nick. “Loki is working for the SSB. The man who was trying to kidnap Peter was SSB. He knew my name and used an SSB tranq dart. When I tried to question him he killed himself with a cyanide pill. I don’t want the SSB to get this Tesseract.”

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Post by Conleth on Sun Jun 30, 2019 4:15 pm

Nick wanted to begin by telling them all to control their dog but what the woman said was of some import. Now they were possibly dealing with this Hellfire Brotherhood and the SSB? AND Loki as well? Well SHIELD was in a pickle and only the avengers to help them...if they did help them. They couldn't move the Tesseract but his ace in the hole. Evan Cullen might be capable of keeping it from them even if they did penetrated SHIELD’s defences. Nick would keep him an absolute secret even if the Tesseract wasn’t. And only he and Phil knew what Evan was and what he could do. Evan was one of the most powerful mutants they had ever seen and yet just a man by all accounts.

“I doubt the SSB would get Loki to give that up. More than likely Loki is giving them something that they want, very badly,” he said and gave Natalya a scrutinizing look. “Magneto will either lure you all to be captured before anything begins or he’ll use you to help them get what they want. More than likely it will be the former if I were to guess,” He said plainly.

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Post by XslvrstarX on Sun Jun 30, 2019 4:56 pm

Natalya looked at Nick. “I can tell you exactly what the SSB wants...me. As you well know I was created by Tatiana to be her ultimate weapon. She poured all of her time and energy into making me what she wanted but then I left them. She wants me back.”

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Post by Conleth on Sun Jun 30, 2019 5:49 pm

Nick eye narrowed at Natalya and he sat back and crossed his arms over his chest and tilted his head slightly. “Well if Logan had done his job, they wouldn’t be involved now would they?” he said coldly.

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Post by XslvrstarX on Sun Jun 30, 2019 6:16 pm

Natalya looked at Nick with mixed emotions in her eyes...pain and anger. She looked down knowing though that he was right. Isabella however glared at Nick and clenched her fists. “How dare you! Natalya saved Peter Parker’s life.”

Kate looked at Nick. “None of us are perfect Nick. She’s done some things, yes, but so have all of us. She deserves the second chance Logan gave her.”

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Post by Conleth on Sun Jun 30, 2019 9:09 pm

“Well now you know what we’re up against. Loki has someone that can...find mutants. Not just mutation but individuals. Now I only know 2 people who could be capable of something like that. Charles Xavior and Jean Gray with the help of Cerebro. So if he gets what he wants you can guess what Loki will do,” he said as he looked at Natalya and it wasn’t a friendly look.

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Post by XslvrstarX on Sun Jun 30, 2019 9:17 pm

Natalya felt Nick’s eyes on her and she looked away from him. With him looking at her the way he was she felt like the monster he believed her to be. She knew what she needed to do.

Isabella sighed and looked at Nick. “So, what do we need to do?”

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Post by Conleth on Sun Jun 30, 2019 9:25 pm

“Well Magneto is the real threat. Without him they can’t get down into the lower levels. All we need to do is subdue him and their efforts are for naught,” he said and then he placed several magazines onto the table. Natalya knew right away what they were. They were SSB tranq darts but these were designed to withstand the power of a rifle.

“Whose your best shot?” he asked and looked back over at Natalya once more.

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Post by XslvrstarX on Sun Jun 30, 2019 9:33 pm

Isabella listened to Nick and nodded. The plan seemed simple enough but a lot could still go wrong with a simple plan. When Nick placed the tranq dart magazines onto the table Kate glanced at Natalya.

“Natalya is the best shot,” she told Nick honestly. Kate was a very good shot herself, but Natalya was better. Natalya sighed and shook her head already knowing what Nick would be thinking. “Kate will do it.”

Natalya then got up from the table and walked away. She left the bar and headed back to the Tower alone. She found Logan in his room and she walked in and closed the door and then looked at him. “I’m going to turn myself in to the SSB.”

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Post by Conleth on Sun Jun 30, 2019 9:42 pm

Logan was watching a game show when Natalya walked in. it was only moments before she said that she was going to give herself up to the SSB. Logan was indeed surprised. So much so that he wasn't certain that he heard her right. He laughed as if what she had said was the grandest of jokes however as he laughed he noticed that she wasn’t and he appeared to sober up quite quickly.

“You can’t be serious Natalya? What the hell what you do something so stupid?” He asked.

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Post by XslvrstarX on Sun Jun 30, 2019 9:46 pm

Natalya looked at Logan and sighed. “Tatiana wants me back Logan. The only reason the SSB is helping Loki is because he was going to help her get me back. If they have me then they have no further reason to help Loki. I don’t want to do this but I need to.”

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Post by Conleth on Sun Jun 30, 2019 9:54 pm

“No ya dont and no your not!” He growled as he came up to stand right in front of her. “The SSB can HAVE the Tesseract for all I care...or Loki for that matter. But they can’t...have...you! Do you here me lady?!” he said though he was shouting.

Serena and Peter heard him but it wasn’t clear what he was saying. “What’s wrong with him now?” Peter asked.

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Post by XslvrstarX on Sun Jun 30, 2019 10:02 pm

Natalya looked at Logan with surprise in her eyes at how strongly he felt about this. She didn’t know what to say at first. “Why do you care so much about me Logan? Why do you think I’m worth all of this?”

Serena heard Logan yelling as well but couldn’t make out what he was saying. “Who knows. It could be any number of things. How’s your neck?”

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Post by Conleth on Sun Jun 30, 2019 10:09 pm

Logan hadn’t expected what Natalya said and though his mind went for some other response his mouth seemed to go another way all together. “Because you mean alot!...To...me,” he said though his voice had significantly quieted alot at the end of that. He felt like punching some sense into her but his own words had embarrassed him, a little. About as much as he could be embarrassed. “I won’t let you go without a fight Natalya. I know I was right about you, I know it in my bones!” He said in a deep rasp.

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Post by XslvrstarX on Sun Jun 30, 2019 10:15 pm

Natalya hadn’t expected Logan to say what he had and she seemed genuinely surprised. She actually felt a few tears come to her eyes because no one had ever believed in her or cared about her the way Logan did. For Tatiana, Natalya had just been a weapon...a killing machine and nothing more. Logan saw past that and saw something in her that she hadn’t seen herself.

“Ok,” she finally said. “We’ll figure out another way.”

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Post by Conleth on Mon Jul 01, 2019 7:53 am

In truth Logan wanted to put his arms around Natalya. To ‘show’ her how much she really meant to him and to this team. What she had done with Peter Parker. Willing to allow the SSB scumbag to live was a defining step in the right direction for her. He was convinced of that. He truly didn’t understand why he spared her life that day. Nor why he had such strong feelings for her. Feelings he knew he could not express. He could never be certain if Natalya could ever be physically loved. She had only used sex as just another weapon or part of her guile. How did someone see it different when it ‘was’ different? He didn’t know and could not put himself in her shoes. She was probably the most beautiful woman he had ever seen and he could not touch her. And he would not unless she touched him first. She would have to come to him and so he just smiled and nodded to her as he kept his hands to his sides.

Logan’s mutations were many. Heightened strength and agility, heightened sense of smell, heightened healing which allowed him the added benefit of never aging and production of adrenaline. A near immunity to toxins and diseases and claws that came out of his knuckles. He was experimented on by Colonel Striker, an insane Army Commander who wanted to make the ultimate weapon. Having the Adanamtium grafted onto him was like having his insides exposed and then acid poured into him. It was fire and extreme cold all at the same time and they had pumped him so full of drugs he could not pass out from it. It lasted so long it had driven him mad for a time. Charles Xavior and Jean Gray had nursed him and brought him back from the brink of self destruction.

Logan had a voracious appetite for both food and alcohol. He was ill tempered, impatient and rash when he wasn’t right out hostile. Yet when he looked at Natalya he felt as if he could simply melt away in her arms. He turned away from her. “Ya wanna beer?” he asked.

Isabella and Kate had seen Natalya go and they waited for her for a time then guessed that she must have taken a cab back to the tower. Nick supplied them with a break down rifle in an aluminum case. Now one piece of it was metallic and they had 3 magazines of the longer tranq darts that could travel as fast as a rifled bullet and they too had no metallic components. The plan was that they’d provide the distraction...if they could and Tony’s suits made of non-ferrous metals though not the best for this kind of combat would have to do.

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