Whether it be the Avengers or Galactus hovering overhead, something that has always confused Daken about Manhattanites is their lemming-like willingness to allow the ‘super-heroes’ to dwell amongst them. One recoils at the potential insurance premiums… Yet the ordinary accept them as a cozy and integral part of New York life, as though they were… family…
At the base of the Baxter Building, home and headquarters of the Fantastic Four, the Thing holds up a damaged piece of the building while the Human Torch and Invisible Woman attempt to repair the damage. Some of the people on the street yell at the heroes that they should be ashamed of themselves. People are dying there. Johnny angrily asks them are they kidding. Do they have eyes? They’re trying to help. It wasn’t them that set off the bomb.
As Sue calmly tells Johnny to stop, others in the crowd exclaim that if they weren’t there this kinda thing wouldn’t happen to people. Others in the crowd tell the hecklers to leave them alone, they’re heroes. Using her force field to block the items being thrown at them, Sue asks Reed if he… From inside his lab, Reed Richards that he’s aware of the situation. The structural integrity of the Baxter Building remains sound, according to his calculations.
Just then, Iron Man radios in and informs Reed that someone just attacked the Fantastic Four and the Avengers. Some passers-by were hurt, possible casualties. The team is currently helping the authorities. No major damage to Avengers Mansion. Bomb was on the exterior wall for some reason. He’s not sure how it got past their security. Reed remarks someone with alpha-level stealth ability and access to world-class espionage tech. Someone who he allowed access to the Baxter Building this week – Daken.
Stark remarks Wolverine without the morals… or the ability, judging by his bomb placement. Reed informs Stark that Daken is dying and they’d be well advised not to underestimate his I.Q. This will be a larger plan of some kind. The bombs must have had cloaking devices. He’s pinned down distinct energy signatures. One there, one at Avengers Mansion, one outside Dr. Strange’s house in Greenwich Village and… Oh, no… When Stark asks what it is, Reed tells him there’s more. Multiple identical energy signatures spread across Manhattan. He’s planted more bombs.
Inside the helicopter, Daken tells his father, Logan, that everyone tries to blow up the super heroes’ bases and, to be frank, ‘father’, it’s boring. So he thought how much more fun it’d be to blow up the people walking past the super heroes’ bases. Outside the box thinking, as it were. As he leaps out of the chopper, Daken tells Logan to try and encourage the locals to show his costumed friends all the disdain they deserve. Start a revolution; the ordinary people, the collateral damage, finally turning on their unelected rulers. Rousseau, he believe, said any society is only three meals away from a revolution. Imagine how quickly it can happen when you start dropping unpiloted stealth helicopters on them.
Aboard the helicopter, the Heat-deranged Logan still sees it as a mechanical dragon, thanks to the Heat drug Daken has given him. He also sees the controls as attacking snakes. Watching from nearby, Daken quips the dangers of meddling with drugs, eh? Watching Logan struggle to get the helicopter under control, Daken remembers that Philip Larkin infamously wrote: “They %@$# you up, your mum and dad. They may not mean to, but they do.” He thinks it’s only fair that he returns the compliment.
As the helicopter veers out of control overhead, Daken derives great joy from the panicked people on the street below. Eventually, Logan manages to crash land the helicopter in the middle of the street. Getting out of the fiery wreckage, Logan tells the people gathered round that there’s no need to panic. Everything’s under… Just then, Logan is shot in the forehead by a sniper (Daken), much to the horror of the people watching. Daken states that you know what they say… you can’t make an omelet… Of course, they’ll all swear blindly that they’re precocious and beautiful, snowflake-like individuals. But it really is remarkably easy to get them all to act like a hero. As he leaves the rooftop, Daken exclaims out loud to all the super heroes that they now have their dastardly evil antagonist. Come and get him.
On the news reports that follow, a reporter states that Mayor J. Jonah Jameson has asked for calm while urging the people of Manhattan to stay in their homes for the time being. At his press conference, Jameson informs the people that the tunnels, bridges, and subways being shut are a temporary measure, temporary. No one gets off Manhattan for now. No need to panic. They just have to make sure they catch this dirtbag and that’s what they’re doing. The Avengers are on top of this, working alongside the Port Authority, and they’ll have things under control quickly and efficiently. You can bet the farm on that. The reporter then states that regardless, many New Yorkers remain scared and angry at having their ability to flee what some commentator are calling a ‘terror attack’ taken away from them.
One such citizen, a lady, angrily says there are death squad teams of snipers shooting from the roofs down at ordinary people and they won’t let them leave Manhattan. Damn right she’s angry! At a roundtable discussion, one of the talking heads says once again, you have to ask yourself, would this type of thing be happening if the super heroes didn’t live amongst them. One of the other talking heads reminds him to look at all the lives they save, all the good they do.
As Iron Man flies over the city, Reed, in the Fantasti-Car, is in another section of the city. Reed informs Stark that he has the location and technical schematics of those distinct energy readings. They’re spread across the island. He’s sending them to him now. Stark confirms that he has them and notices that one is at the Baxter Building and one at the mansion. That’s the bombs that have already gone off. He’ll delegate the others to the Avengers and the rest of the FF. They’ll track the individual devices down. Hell of a cloaking device to get past their security. Reed states only possible because he knew the specifics of their systems. Daken’s been an Avenger, even if it was under Norman Osborn. When Stark says he’s insane, Reed reminds him that he’s dying, lashing out in desperation. He needs their help. There’s one much larger reading. That must be the main bomb. He’s currently en route to deactivate it. There’s also one much smaller signal and it’s currently moving. That has to be… Charging towards the signal, Johnny storm determinately tells Reed that he’s got the moving signal.
Reed implores him to wait for backup, but Johnny defiantly asks that he’s kidding, right. He still has the blood of those people outside the Baxter Building on his uniform. Daken was supposed to be his friend. He trusted him. Following the figure into a nearby alley, Johnny yells at him that he gets one warning. And he doesn’t deserve that. He doesn’t want to do this but he will stop him if he has to. He tells Daken that he means it. Stop! This is his last chance. When the figure doesn’t stop, Johnny grits his teeth and says “Damn you for this, Daken. For all of this. Hope your healing factor’s working again.”
With that, Johnny blasts the assailant with his flame. Standing over the burnt assailant, Johnny tells Reed that he’s got him. He’s safe to concentrate on defusing those bombs. Daken’s… taken care of. It’s over. Reed then tells Johnny to bring him to the Baxter Building. He wants to see if he can reverse…
Getting a good luck at the assailant, Johnny says oh… oh my god. It’s not Daken, it’s Wolverine he just burnt up. He’s got some kind of flashing bullet in his head. That must’ve been the signal they were tracking. Logan tells Johnny that the d… drug… gave him a… s…still… still… working… Johnny then exclaims to Reed that Daken’s playing them. He’s still out there.
Reed tells Johnny he knows. Leaning against a column, Daken tells Reed hello. A nighttime meeting at the top of the Empire State Building. Just like the end of “An Affair to Remember,” don’t you think? Albeit with a really big bomb he has to find and disarm. Reed asks Daken why. They took him in, trusted him. Treated him like…
Daken stops him and tells him to please not say the ‘F’ word. It’s just a fluffy toy way of saying ‘necessary support network for an individual.’ Some of them, the weak among us, desire human warmth, encouragement, and affirmation. Someone to pretend to listen while we whine about our day. We are animals, we need sex so we take on partners. And when we get tired in life we take on a life partner. Their siblings being an unwanted complication. We become aware of our mortality so we squeeze out children. We pat ourselves on the back for our ability to ‘give life’ when any drooling biological organism can procreate. An amoeba divides… There’s no “Little House on the Prairie” altruism in this world. Every human interaction is a transaction. We find those who will give us what we need and we cement long-term ties with them as a result. And you call this family.
Placing his hand on Daken’s chest, Reed tells him that it’s not too late. He’s going to have to answer for what he’s done, but… Please let him try and save his life. They can still help him, if he’ll let them. After a brief moment of silence, Daken tells Reed he’s sorry. He… he forgot. When Reed asks what he forgot, Daken proceeds to stab him with his claws and replies that Reed is a super hero and Daken is a super villain. He means, all this talking… Shouldn’t they be fighting?
Letting his body go limp, Reed is able to escape mortal injury from Daken’s claws. As Reed readies himself for a fight, Daken tells him there you go. That’s the spirit. Reed tells him damn you and attempts to punch him with an extended fist. Dodging his assault, Daken tells Reed nice try but he punches like a mathematician. Also, those readings of his he’s been tracking around Manhattan? They’re not bombs. They’re just cloaking devices, cloaking nothing. He wanted to get all his costumed friends spread out across the island chasing ghosts. He had a pretty good idea that he’d be arrogant enough to check out the bigger signal himself. And while he’s oh-so-stretchy and his I.Q. makes Stephen Hawking seem like your average “America’s Got Talent” devotee… you still have to breathe. You’re still human.
When Reed’s body goes limp, he asks what Daken just did to him. Daken tells him that he popped four very quick-dissolving pills in his mouth containing monstrous amounts of the Heat drug. Overdose amounts. Things are going all a little ‘Haight-Ashbury’ for him right now, right? Say hi to Syd Barrett for him, yeah? At that moment, Reed asks Daken “whu… why… me…?” Daken replies ah, the solipsist’s refrain. Amid all the noise, he wants the ultimate truth? He never really liked him. With that, Daken tosses Reed’s limp body over the edge of the Empire State Building. As Reed plummets to the ground, Daken says “now then, time to go out on a high.”