(Wakanda, the High Ministry of Technology, 1959)
Nick Fury’s Avengers team, along with the mystical Powell McTeague, face Dieter Skul’s Nazis in combat. As well as some of Fritz Kron’s robots, they are Kron and Skul themselves, Doctorangutan, Count Von Blitzkrieg, Leopard Woman and Vunderknight. They are all one-time ubermenschen in the service of the Third Reich.
Sabretooth has been around a long time, but this doesn’t stop him charging at Leopard Woman on instinct, only to be slashed in the throat by her sharpened gloves. He falls and she makes the fatal mistake of turning her back on him. He grabs her by the ankle. “You call that a first date?” he gurgles. He thought they’d come to mean something to one another. He swings her around and smashes her face open against the wall.
Legend has it that Fritz Krone’s robots were introduced too late to aid the Nazi war machine. In truth, however, it was Hitler who completely misunderstood the value of these drone soldiers, choosing instead to sacrifice an entire generation of children in what seemed to be a desperate attempt to save his criminal regime. It was a generational suicide pact dictate by a madman.
To take the robots out of the fight, Powell McTeague teleports right next to Fritz Kron and smacks him on the temple with his umbrella, smashing his controlling equipment and knocking him out.
As the Blonde Phantom uses her fighting skills to gleefully take out Dieter Skul, Count Von Blitzkrieg grabs Namora. He has a thing about women. He rather likes them, but not in a good way. Vunderknight on the other hand isn’t at all fond of women. As Blitzkrieg electrocutes her, Vunderknight steps in and grabs her by the hair, but, they get in each other’s way and Namora gets the better of them. “Ubermenschen my royal butt!” she snarls. The hirsute Doctorangutan, one-time companion of Hermann Goering, grabs Kraven by the throat but Kraven uses a kind of taser on him, shoving it into his assailant’s mouth and pressing the on switch. He falls to the ground and Kraven prepares to follow up only for Namora to grab him and tell him that’s enough for now.
With the villain’s minimal resistance at a swift end, Dominic Fortune blasts the Nazis plane and destroys it. He tells McTeague that he needs to conserve his strength as they have work to do and they need to do it fast. McTeague asks if he can assume he isn’t concerned about his abilities to make their next move? Fury says yeah, and McTeague assures him that his energies may not be limitless, but they will persevere and they will triumph.
(Washington D. C.)
Senator Sanford Harte is with Geoffrey Sydenham who is wearing a long black and red cloak. He tells Sydenham that he’s not entirely comfortable with this but he replies that, like it or not, he’s become a cog in the great engine of history. And when that history is written, Harte will be a hero - a man who helped save the United States in its desperate hour of need. A visionary who dared to challenge the future by conjoining modern technology and ancient magicks in the name of civilization. Harte replies that he’s supported him from word one, but this is getting a little creepy. He hears a noise and asks what the hell it was. Sydenham grins and informs him that it’s the beginning of the end… the end of creeping nihilism, of international Bolshevism and of cosmopolitan despair and the beginning of Icon’s salvation of civilization.
A portal appears in the middle of the room. Harte says Sydenham promised this would be easy and that by making allies of these Nazis would save the world. Sydenham replies that he promised him a new world. He never said anything about easy. He calls him a pathetic coward and so Harte turns, telling him he didn’t sign on to fight his war. “That’s right Harte, run,” sneers Sydenham. He turns to the portal and is shocked to see Nick Fury and his Avengers appear. Fury tells him he was hoping to see Skul, Blitzkrieg and the rest of his Nazi pals coming in for a victory dance. Well, no such luck. Sydenham reckons he must be Nick Fury. It seems that Hill’s faith in him was justified, for a little while at least.
Fury looks across the room and sees some of Sydenham’s cronies: Geist, Baron Blood, Brain Drain, the Spider Queen and the Hollow Men. “Yeah,” replies Fury, “Hill said you talked too damned much. The Spider-Queen is a celebrated film actress and a latecomer to National Socialism with a commitment based more on expediency than politics. Her secret affairs with both Krupp and Speer gave her access to experimental technologies that she’s put to good use in her postwar career as a murderess for hire. She casts her spider web across the room which slashes the Avengers with its sharp tendrils.
Meanwhile, the Hollow Men attack Sabretooth and Namora under Sydenham’s control, but they fight them off and target Sydenham. Nick Fury sees McTeague about to use some of his magic but he advises him against it. The last thing they need is his magic wand. He wants his guys to have this fight. If they need his hocus pocus, he’s sure he’ll be there.
Brain Drain and Baron Blood have been down this road before, recovered from defeat by Sydenham and his otherworldly witchcraft. Brain Drain’s pistol is of little effect against Sabretooth. Namora takes Kraven and Fortune and throws them both into the air. Fortune shoots using liberated armor piercing Icon ordnance and one of the bullets smashes Brain Drain’s glass helmet. Creed takes down Baron Blood with a wooden shaft to the chest and then catches his two colleagues before they hit the ground. Meanwhile, the Blonde Phantom manages to reach the Spider-Queen and punch her out. Fury smiles and tells McTeague that he can now see what he was talking about.
McTeague decides it’s time to step up to the plate. He holds out his umbrella and casts a spell, trapping Geoffrey Sydenham in mystical chains. Sydenham calls him a treacherous bastard, but Fury says it sounds like the pot calling the kettle black. He’s been selling out his country for years. Sydenham replies that he’s been saving it from the likes of him, warning him that he can’t kill a dream whose time has come. Fury says maybe not, but he sure plans to cripple the living hell out of it.
(Washington D. C., Union Station, two weeks later)
Nick Fury meets his team again and thanks them for a job well done. They all seem happy to hear it, but what they really want is some confirmation from Fury. He obliges them, stating that the three that needed them have their full pardons courtesy of Uncle Sam. Namora and Kraven then head off, bound for Key West. Fortune, Creed and the Blonde Phantom head off for Chicago leaving Fury alone. As he walks off, Powell McTeague appears and reckons it’s difficult for him to give up one’s command. Fury asks if he’s following him, but McTeague replies that his supernatural gifts may not be the latest in witchcraft, but keeping tabs on him is a breeze.
McTeague explains that although his sanctioned team of operatives are scattered, their work continues. Fury asks what he’s talking about. As far as he can tell they’ve done what they set out to do… wreck an ubermenschen upsurge and make certain their friends in high places don’t find a cozy new home for any Nazis that slipped through the cracks.
General Hill tells Senator Harte that he has a lot to answer for. “Everyone makes mistakes,” he replies. Hill asks if he calls dragging your country to the brink of destruction a mistake! Harte is adamant he did nothing wrong, whilst claiming Hill ran a rogue operation in direct violation of orders from all three branches of the federal government. In order to avoid any further scandal, his subcommittee has opted to prosecute neither Hill nor undersecretary Sydenham. Fury, overhearing their conversation, can’t believe it. He gets away with treason?
McTeague presumes there’s more to this quid pro quo than meets the eye. He’s heard from their friend Koenig in Latveria. Besides sweeping these Nazi miscreants aside into the dustbin of history, it would also seem the U.S. State Department has managed to rescue Prince T’Chaka of Wakanda. This, he adds, gives the west a serious leg up when it comes to Wakandan technology.
(La Guardia Field, New York, later)
Nick Fury and Powell McTeague meet with General Hill. Hill knows that Fury and Minister K’Tela hit it off in Wakanda, so he needs him to establish a channel between them and the scientific community. Fury understands. The less Uncle Sam knows about what they’re getting from their new Wakandan friends the better.
(meanwhile, in Greenwich Village)
The village has been a haven for outsiders and malcontents for over a century. No street in the deceptively quaint part of Lower Manhattan has a nastier reputation for sedition that MacDougal Alley. It’s a narrow thoroughfare between sagging tenements that’s been the home of anarchists, bomb throwers and radicals since the birth of the republic. Of course, those days are long gone and with them the troublemakers who gave the neighborhood its gamy reputation. They were replaced by advertising men, young executives and Midwestern girls looking for a little danger in their lives. But, every now and then someone, namely Geoffrey Sydenham, moves into MacDougal Alley who justifies the street’s dangerous reputation. New secrets are born to join the old, because evil never dies… it slumbers.