Issue #3 - Making Waves
Act Two: The Strait of Malacca
The Team: Ant-Man, Captain Britain, Nightcrawler, Nova
Scene One: Nova returns to the depths of the ocean after a quick mission in space, seeking to reunite with his team mates. He finds that the battle over Pelugar (and the hidden cache of super-science) rages on.
Captain Britian lures the monstrous Giganto into a stomping charge directly through the ranks of Attuma's warriors, helping to scatter the remaining forces. War Machine amps up his power batteries to near critical levels and then tells Nightcrawler to teleport him into the maw of the dreaded behemoth, detonating inside its blubbery belly. The resulting explosion destroys the beast and sprays gross debris across the ocean floor. Hawkeye fires an arrow ridden by Ant-Man, and the miniature hero nabs the Serpent Crown off of Nagala's head, neutralizing her powers. Ant-Man finishes off the reptilian sorceress with a punch to the jaw.
As the Avengers battle to stop the attack on Pelugar, conch shell horns trumpet the arrival of the Sub-Mariner, Namor, and a cohort of Atlantean warriors. The wing-footed mutant helps the heroes to take down the barbarian horde of Attuma, going toe-to-toe with his old nemesis in the ruins of the underwater village. He is able to defeat the warlord with his own triple-bladed sword, routing the enemy and sending them fleeing from the field.
With Attuma defeated, the team and Namor go deeper into the city and find the ruler, Thakor, mortally wounded. Behind his throne is a vault door which has been forced open, displaying a treasure trove of gadgets collected from the S.H.I.E.L.D. helicarrier. While Ant-Man finds a groovy flying car and a vial full of Kirby dots, the megacells from the helicarrier power plant have been taken. All clues point to AIM being responsible, having used the assault on the gates of Pelugar as a distraction while they stole the megacells. Thakor tells Namor that he was wrong to break from Atlantean tradition, and says he had hoped to use the surface dweller's gear to protect his now destroyed city. The pacifistic ruler succumbs to his wounds as Kurt tries to bandage him.
A mourning Namor demands to know what the Avengers are doing in his domain and what part they had to play in the destruction of Pelugar and its leader. The heroes explain the source of the equipment in Thakor's vaults, then point to AIM as the true foe. Filled with a desire for vengeance, the Sub-Mariner agrees to personally accompany the heroes as they assault the Madripoor base of the Advanced Idea Mechanics.
Scene Two: Hawkeye and War Machine (now wearing a borrowed suit of Guardian armor) head back to the surface to monitor the situation from Stark's stealth yacht. Ant-Man and Nightcrawler use the submersible flying car to drive to the coordinates given to the team by a captured AIM technician. Captain Britian, Nova, and Namor speed through the ocean under their own power, avoiding a Chinese naval exercise going on overhead. Night falls and they easily conceal their approach from the fleet.
At the indicated location they find a peninsula jutting out into the ocean with a lighthouse sweeping the surrounding water with its powerful hologen lamp. They quickly identify AIM sentries in yellow uniforms patrolling the grounds and a mini-sub the organization used to transport the stolen megacells.
Captain Britian flies in at supersonic speeds, shattering the lighthouse lamp and sending the grounds of the base into darkness. While the confused AIM soldiers try to target Braddock, Nightcrawler teleports to a wall and takes down two more goons with his fencing blade and Thakor's sawtooth sword, on loan from Namor. Ant-Man commandeers the AIM mini-sub and adds to the confusion as Nova helps scare off the last defenders outside.
Seeking vengeance on the sinister scientists, the Sub-Mariner smashes through the top of the lighthouse and barrels downward to an underground laboratory. Here the team finds the freakish supervillain MODOK overseeing some sort of seismic tremor device powered by the stolen megacells. The surprised AIM boss starts a countdown for a test of the machine, one which he claims will start a catastrophic tsunami in the Pacific. The resulting destruction caused by the massive wave will destabilize the region and provide AIM with a global conflict they can use to their own benefit.
Nova quickly uses the Worldmind's information on the SHIELD megacells to try and stop the AIM tsunami-machine from activating. While he works on disarming it, the other heroes plow through the stunned AIM thugs, quickly disposing of MODOK's minions. The evil mastermind uses his mental powers to deflect attacks and briefly takes psychic control of Namor. Captain Britian takes a punch from the controlled Atlantean on the chin, but he is able to help Namor re-assert his will and stop MODOK's influence.
Ant-Man arrives in dramatic fashion aboard the hijacked mini-sub, coming through an underwater chamber. MODOK is able to remotely disable the AIM weapons aboard the sub before he can use them on the fleeing science-terrorists. Nova successfully decouples the megacell without setting off a booby-trap planted to prevent tampering, then helps Captain Britian and Namor pummel MODOK. The cosmic superhero ultimately slams the dazed and bloodied headman into a wall, dealing traumatic damage that puts him into a coma.
With the AIM plot foiled, the heroes consider what to do with the tsunami-machine. Analysis indicates that it could be used to counteract earthquakes and tidal waves around the Pacific Ocean, but it clearly could also be used for destructive purposes if it fell into the wrong hands. Namor and Ant-Man agree that it should be destroyed, but Captain Britian trusts that the good it could do outweighs its potential risk. Nova lifts the megacells and says that he'll take care of it, implying to a thankful Namor that he'll destroy them. Unbeknownst to the others, he instead takes them back to S.H.I.E.L.D., delivering them to an appreciative Nick Fury...
Next Issue: Space Phantoms!