Her jet drops Shuri – in a new armor – at 35,000 feet. Once outside, she unfurls the armor’s wings and flies downward.
Completely unaware of what is coming, King Namor sits on an island, reading a book. Shuri softly lands behind him.
Without turning around, Namor remarks that he can hear a school of fish change direction half an ocean away. When the currents within the deepest part of the ocean alter by a single degree, he knows. Have a reason to invade his island or this moment will end badly for her.
Shuri retorts this is an unclaimed island, in international waters. Not his kingdom. He knows who she is and why she is here. Namor turns around. He knows her brother, T’Challa, he announces, a good and honorable man which is something that has become increasingly difficult to find in this world.
She scoffs that he values honor? Without honor, life is meaningless, he remarks as he gets up. If she wears the crown of Wakanda, she should understand this simple truth. Then how was honor served by ambushing and nearly killing her brother? Shuri demands.
Namor calls her a child. She comes here, dressed for battle and filled with righteous outrage. She is either badly misinformed or delusional. Anger and arrogance are not effective tools of statecraft. T’Challa knew that better than anyone.
And he nearly died because of it, Shuri replies bitterly. He trusted in the honor of others. She doesn’t – trust is earned and can be lost. She has proof. Proof of what? Namor demands. Shuri continues he knows he betrayed T’Challa.
Namor warns her to be cautious. Patience isn’t his strong suit. When he turns his back on her, she grabs his shoulder and demands why he attacked T’Challa. That’s a foolish and impudent question, he scoffs. He’s showed her courtesy and patience for T’Challa’s sake but she’s used up the last drop. Go home and learn manners! To hell with this! Shuri swears and kicks him with all the force of her armor. She didn’t come here to play games. But f he wants to play, let’s play!
Seeing what has happened, her crew worries.
Meanwhile, in Wakanda, anchormen M’toka and N’dega are at it again. The more conservative and nationalist N’dega asks his colleague if he really believes the blight that’s crippled Wakanda’s agriculture is an attack. Their country is highly capable of making their own trouble. What is he suggesting, a vegetable supervillain, Blight Man? The Plaguester?
M’toka points out that, according to the biologists, the blight is more widespread than anything on record. Some of these diseases and pests aren’t even native to Africa. He finds that highly suspicious.
N’dega blames the royal family. They have brought in foreign scientists and specialists. They’ve implemented foreign disaster protocols. M’toka points out that Princess Ororo has been working tirelessly during the crisis. N’dega replies that, instead of their perpetually absent princess regent or their former king taking action, they are given a foreign-born mutant. The people ask for leadership and what do the royals give them? A witch.
On the island, Shuri and Namor trade blows, secretly watched by the Broker, who in turn informs Dr. Doom.
Shuri’s team warns her that her power servos are down 54%. She huffs they may have underestimated Namor and tries another attack.
Angrily, he warns her that he faced Iron Man. Blasting him, Shuri scoffs Iron Man is so last century. Welcome to 21st century combat, Wakandan style! These are desert suns leeching the moisture from his body, she lectures, even as her people warn her about Namor’s strength. One of them warns her not to let Namor reach the water.
Too late, though, as he has already thrown himself into the floods and returns moments later, reinvigorated and furious. He grabs Shuri, shouting he gave her the chance to leave, for her brother’s sake!
In Wakanda, T’Challa addresses the Dora Milaje, warning them of their terrible enemies. They need to be even more terrible! They are about to go to war with the most terrible force on the planet. They face science and magic. They face armies of flesh and of steel. They face a mind that is dark and subtle. If they falter, even for a second, then they fall and Wakanda falls.
There has never been anything like them. They are a new order of warriors. They are secret. Even with his great magicks, the enemy doesn’t know of them. They have their own sorcery. Wakandan sorcery. They have weapons. Wakandan weapons. And they have their hearts. Wakandan hearts. Warrior hearts! The Dora Milaje cheer.
Aneka, an older Dora Milaje, warns them today is the final test. Today they do not train or playact at war. Today some of them may die. They will face robots and automated killing machines. They will face the darkest sorcery. They will try their level best to kill them. Those who survive earn the right to stand with their beloved when he storms the gates of hell. Those who fall will be forgotten. They are the Dora Milaje and do no remember the weak. They cannot pause for tears or regret. Not now, not ever. Not until this war is won.
She presses a button and the Dora Milaje are surrounded by robots. Fight or die! they are ordered. And the fighting starts…
Elsewhere, Storm has been called to help with the ailing Wakandan crops. She senses the wrongness in the fields. The scientist Dr. Allenby muses that nothing natural grows this fast. A bacteria in an ultra-rich medium doesn’t grow this fast. The organic matter that’s forming is greater than the component parts of the soil in which it grows. Where is this extra mass coming from?
Storm reports that she’s been across the fields a hundred times. She dropped soft and heavy rains on them. She’s restored the water tables and, as soon as she’s finished, the soil dries out again. She believes this is dark sorcery.
Several vans arrive with men spilling out them who accuse Storm of witchcraft and killing the crops. Dr. Allenby tries to talk reason. Someone tosses a bottle at her head.
Storm glows with electric energy and orders them to stop. “We are here to help you people,” she announces, only to have her words “you people” to be twisted around. One of the men claims she sets herself above hardworking Wakandans. Another vows they need to make Wakanda pure again. He reaches for something in his jacket. Dr. Allenby warns Storm he is reaching for a gun. Storm fires a lightning bolt at him. Angrily, the men shout that he was only reaching for fresh seeds.
In a news studio, anchormen N’Dega and M’toka discuss the event. The nationalist N’Dega criticizes Storm’s overreaction and is of the opinion she should have yielded to the rightful owners of the fields who didn’t want her questionable help and leave.
Elsewhere, the Broker congratulates Dr. Doom for taking out Storm and T’Challa. Only one player left on the field. Doom replies he thinks their old friend on the island has cleared away the last piece. Time now to set everything ablaze…
On the island, Namor orders the beaten Shuri to stay down and be sensible. Shuri coughs and vows she will kill him. Angrily, he goes for her throat, demanding why she is doing this.
Suddenly, he is held back by Mr. Fantastic. What the hell do they want? Namor demands of the Fantastic Four. He has his annoying habit of interfering when two friends are about to kill each other, Richards replies. Especially when they’ve been tricked. They have to talk and they don’t have a lot of time…
The Broker informs Dr. Doom that everything is in place. They have fifty Desturi agents in the government. Thirty action cells are on stand-by. Has he located T’Challa yet? Doom asks. The Broker explains he has gone to ground but he’s no longer a threat. Doom broke him. Whatever he was, whatever he had, he’s nothing now. Doom orders him to keep looking. Underestimating T’Challa has never been a clever move.
The test of the Dora Milaje is over. Twenty-eight still stand. Two have fallen. T’Challa gives orders to give word they died in an industrial accident and to make sure their families receive full compensation. Add their names to the scroll of the fallen. Aneka protests he said they’d forget any who fell. T’Challa lectures her they will always honor the fallen. They are warriors, not savages.
The Fantastic Four and Namor have joined Shuri and her crew in her ship where N’iix informs them they have both been played. He shows them the timecode of the video showing Namor below T’Challa’s quinjet seconds before the attack.
Namor contradicts him. He invited T’Challa to visit him on his island. T’Challa left in peace and friendship.
Shuri demands to know the nature of the visit. It was private and personal, Namor replies. If T’Challa chose not to share its content, he will respect that. But he gives his word he was unharmed when he left the island.
Richards believes him and can prove T’Challa was not ambushed on the island. Shuri protests N’iix ran the video file through their most sophisticated equipment. No offense, Richard replies, but he has better equipment. Richards begins a high tech speech as he shows them his results. The reconstructed file is different. There is a considerable gap between the time T’Challa arrived on the island and the ambush. The video image of Namor was attached to a different time code. He was framed, Shuri realizes.
Richard believes the Broker is behind this. Few others have the know-how to manipulate files like this. They only know about him that he traffics in stolen technology harvested from meta-human battles, then retro-engineers them for sale on the Black Market.
Why attack Wakanda? N’iix wonders. Vibranium, Richards explains. Flea adds their stockpile of Vibranium is protected by the army. There are lots of ways of getting past an army, Johnny Storm jokes. They kinda made a career of it. And is their army completely loyal? the Thing adds. Have they been watching their own news?
Shuri believes everything is under control at home. The most pressing issue is the Broker. Richards points out he has equipment to track him. Shuri asks him to find the Broker. She will tear him apart!
Elsewhere, Dr. Doom informs the Broker that Shuri and her friends should be putting the file together around now. They’ll be coming for him. Surrounded by an army of meta humans, the Broker grins. No problem…