eight months ago:
An older man works on a construction site, controlling the traffic that pass on the street with a stop sign. He coughs, and looks at his hands, blood pooling in the palm of one of his hands, he thinks to himself that the last few months have been hard – the cancer was in his lungs. Later, a bee rests on the palm of his hand, he thinks that it looked like he wasn't going out alone, though – he had to laugh, as the planet is dying, too. He looks up as the dark skies come rumbling in. But not all storm clouds are the same, and later that night, he gripped his bed sheets, he could hear death pounding down his door – as something else as seeping through his window, a strange green energy. That's how he died.
Except that’s not the end, as he was reborn, bursting up through a green gunk that had engulfed his bed. Green gunk tricked down his face, he was attuned to the vibrations of the world around him and he was given amazing gifts. He could hear an entirely new symphony, smiling as he stood over a bouquet of flowers that previously lay wilted at his bedside. He wasn't the only one, though, as he walked out of his room, he heard a voice cry 'Help...' He was saved – he is an Inhuman. 'Help... what's happened?' the voice calls out from within green gunk – the cocoon. 'Something wonderful' the older man declares.
After he emerged from his chrysalis, he migrated around the world for months, and everywhere he went he was greeted by disaster. He appeared at protests for saving dolphins and anti-oil drilling. He knows that this planet is a single living organism – and humanity is making her sick. He lies down in some grass, which writhes over him. He can feel Earth's pain – and as he is completely engulfed by the grass, he decides that he can save her.
'AVENGERS ASSEMBLE!' Wade Wilson a.k.a. Deadpool shouts as rushes down the front steps of the Washington Monument. 'You don't have to keep saying that! We're already assembled!' Peter Parker a.k.a. Spider-Man mutters as he swings above Deadpool. 'Both of you, quiet!' Commander Steve Rogers orders, while Jericho Drumm a.k.a. Doctor Voodoo runs alongside him. Johnny Storm the Human Torch flies overhead, while the Inhuman called Synapse a.k.a. Emily Guerrero rushes behind Deadpool, and Rogue flies near her, 'Here's the plan!' Rogue calls out as they approach the Super-Adaptoid who is throwing cars around. Rogue warns her team not to let the Super-Adaptoid touch them, otherwise it will absorb their powers. She instructs Synapse to see if it has any organic brains for her to sink her claws into. Immediately, Synapse reports that it doesn't have a traditional brain, there is nothing for her to affect. 'Aw, look who's got a cute webbed foot!' Spider-Man jokes as he fires some webbing at the Super-Adaptoid's foot. 'Your resistance only prolongs the inevitable. I will overcome the Avengers' the Super-Adaptoid declares.
'Gimme some elbow room!' the Human Torch calls out as he flies in close to the Super-Adaptoid. Unleashing a fury of fire at the Super-Adaptoid, the Torch hopes he can melt the android's sensors. The Super-Adaptoid warns the Torch that his cosmically gifted abilities now belong to him. 'Wonderful, now it's got your powers!' Rogue calls out as she flies towards the Super-Adaptoid. 'But I never touched!' Johnny protests. Rogue slams into the flaming Super-Adaptoid and declares that robots have been trying to kill her since her mutant ability sparked, but none of them have ever come close!
Rogue forces the Super-Adaptoid to the ground, while the other Avengers Unity members start to gather around, and Doctor Voodoo casts magcial energies at the Super-Adaptoid, reporting to Rogue that there are organic components within the machine. 'Neural net error' the Super-Adaptoid utters, as Doctor Vood announces that he has nudged those organics from his life.
'Nice going, Doctor Voodoo!' Spider-Man remarks, while the Super-Adaptoid repeats the binary code over and over. Doctor Voodoo informs the others that the entire surface of the android is a complex sensor, so they shoud try and obfuscate its ability to see the world. 'This thing may not have a mind for me to hack... but the pigeons are another story!' Synapse exclaims as she raises her hands, and dozens of pigeons flock in and swarm around the Super-Adaptoid. 'One filthy android, coming up!' Synapse exclaims. Deadpool pulls back his sleeve and asks 'You want to give the Stupid-Adaptoid some skin problems, huh?' Spider-Man sees this and urgently tells Deadpool to wait, but it is too late, as Deadpool puts his bare arm against the Super-Adaptoid, whose form changes, taking on a similar scarred appearance. 'I am Deadpool. I am – dead' the Super-Adaptoid utters, as it collapses amongst the flapping birds.
'That was reckless!' Spider-Man shouts. 'Maybe, but you can't argue with the results, right?' Deadpool replies, joking that it spent ten seconds a him and it is deader than the Sentry. Doctor Voodoo points out though that if the android had been able to duplicate Deadpool's regenerative abilities instead of his cancer they would be in serious trouble right now. Rogue suggests to everyone that they calm down, as they won. Commander Rogers agrees and tells the Avengers to put on their happy faces, as there will be reporters here any time.
'I knew adding Deadpool to this team would be both dangerous and distracting' Spider-Man mutters, before telling Rogers that he tried, only every moment he spends away from his bodyguard gig at Parker Industries is time he will never get back. 'Quit dancing around what you're trying to say, Spider-Man' Commander Rogers frowns.
'I wanted to make this work, for you, Steve. But if Deadpool stays... I QUIT!' Spider-Man shouts. 'Hehn' the elderly Steve Rogers scowls, before remarking that he understands Parker is lucky to have Spider-Man, and tells him that if he changes his mind, they will be here.
'Everyone else, your job is only half done. It's time to meet the press' Rogers announces. Spider-Man starts to walk away from the group, as Rogue reminds Steve that they said they would be there for each other, to prevent mistakes. She suggests to him that he go talk Spider-Man off the ledge while she does a song and dance for the media with their very nice Inhuman member, who is totally ready for this job and completely not in over her head. Rogers tells Rogue that Spider-Man made his decision and that they will be fine without him. The Human Torch goes over to Spider-Man and grins as he tells him that he is sorry that just happened to him – but also so happy he was here to see it. 'Maybe... maybe Steve's been replaced by a Skrull. Are they back?' Spider-Man asks. 'Face it, Spidey... the old man trusts Deadpool. End of story' the Torch declares.
Steve Rogers, Rogue, Deadpool, Doctor Voodoo and Synapse make their way onto a podium set up at Washington Monument, where media have gathered nearby. 'Steve, are you sure –' Rogue begins, but Steve tells her that he has vouched for both Deadpool and Synapse, so that should be good enough. He smiles and tells Rogue that this is the most important part of the day, so they need to appear unified in front of the reporters. 'I'm unified' Rogue assures him, while the wide-eyed Synapse admits that Rogue is right about one thing – she isn't ready for the publicity part of the Avengers business. Steve turns to the media, 'Ladies and gentlement... meet the heroes of the day. Humans, mutants and Inhumans, working together to make the world a better place! Important to note because of all the recent troubles' Steve explains, while Deadpool strikes an odd pose for the cameras.
'My question is for Rogue' one of the reporters calls out, he remarks that most of her species has disappeared for parts unknown, and asks her why she is still here. 'Well, maybe it’s because I don't want to give up my home and my job just because the world's been polluted by Inhuman poison!' Rogue retorts defiantly, while Steve and Synapse look at her eyes wide. 'What Rogue means to say is – mutants and Inhumans are a part of our Avengers family. And families sometimes argue' Steve smiles, putting his arms around Rogue, who frowns, and Synapse, who looks at Rogue out of the corner of her eye.
Watching from nearby Spider-Man mumbles, 'Well, that's going great'. 'So I really can't change your mind?' the Torch asks. 'No, I'm sorry, Johnny' Spider-Man tells him, before Johnny jokingly asks Spider-Man if he has ever noticed that the elderly are his Kryptonite, as he gets beat up by old people a lot. 'Doc Ock, Vulture, Jameson – and Old Man Rogers just kicked your ass' Johnny points out, but Spider-Man tells him that he is not in the mood. 'See you at the statue sometime' he remarks as he shoots some webbing up in the air. 'Hey, buddy. With Ben off in space and Reed and Sue... gone, I was hoping we could serve in their memory' Johnny calls out, but as Spider-Man swings upwards, he tells Johnny that they are, only they are doing it separately. Spider-Man then assures Johnny that he won't be lonely for long, now that Deadpool is an Avenger, he is sure a talking chimichanga, a succubus or some dog dressed as Deadpool will show up to keep him company.
Deadpool goes over to the Torch and tells him that he should have let him talk to Spidey, as he could have convinced him to stay. 'You're right. Next time, he's all yours' the Torch frowns.
Commander Rogers and Rogue approach an old theater, with AVENGERS displayed in lights out the front. 'Dammit. This headline ain't what Ah meant it to be' Rogue mutters as she looks at a newspaper with the headline “Inhuman Poison” with the photo of Steve with his arms around Rogue and Synapse. Rogue apologizes to Steve as she puts the newspaper in a trash can. Rogers tells her that he knows, and that as she gets more experience with the press it will get easier. 'You've saved the world many times, but you have little experience taking the credit' Rogers points out. 'Maybe' Rogue replies, adding that the X-Men were never comfortable in the limelight. Rogers opens the door to the theater, while civilians nearby stop and take photos. He tells Rogue that the job of the Unity Squad is to set a visible example for everyone. Rogue pulls back her hood and assures Steve that she is all about unity, but trusting an inexperienced Inhuman with her life is only half her problem. She then announces that she is with Spidey – she is so sick of Deadpool!
Within the theater's entrance, there is a store selling Deadpool merchandise. Rogers reminds Rogue that Deadpool is using his increased celebrity to help fund the Unity Squad. He informs Rogue that he has been down this road before with Logan, and declares that Wade has earned his trust. 'Fine. But isn't there some other way to pay for an Avengers team?' Rogue asks as they pass the public area and enter a cordoned off part of the theater. 'Sure. But I won't see us compromised with bottom lines' Rogers tells Rogue, adding that the government isn't kicking in a dime because they know their secret. 'Pfft. Which one?' Rogue asks as Steve puts his hand to a control panel by a door. 'That we would save the world whether they paid for it or not' Steve smiles.
They enter a large, old, run-down theater and Steve reminds Rogue that people are capable of changing. 'Please. No more about Deadpool right now' Rogue asks. 'I was referring to you' Rogers remarks, reminding Rogue that when they first met, she tried to kill him with the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants. 'Ah I remember that urge is returning' Rogue mutters, as Rogers pulls on a rope hanging from the theater stage. A brick wall at the rear of the stage slides open and Rogers asks Rogue to give Deadpool a real shot. 'If you decide he doesn't belong – then he’ll go' Rogers assures her, and Rogue tells Rogers that she is going to hold him to that. 'Coming?' Rogers asks as he descends the steps at the opening of the wall. Rogue tells Steve that she's not, and explains that she has a headache, and isn't sure whether it is from today, or the T-Mist in the air. 'I know I don't have to say it, but I will anyway. I admire the way you've soldiered on during this crisis' Rogers tells Rogue, who thanks him, then takes flight, 'We mutants have had a lot of practice holding the crappy end of the stick!' Rogue calls back as she flies through the theater.
Rogue arrives in an office, and stands near a desk with some monitors and other strange equipment. Rogue removes a glove from her left hand – her hand is red and blistered. She puts her hand against a scanner which reports that her Terrigen levels are high. 'Dammit' Rogue exclaims, as a recorded message recommends immediate anti-Terrigen solution. Rogue drinks a liquid from a small vial, before sitting down in a chair. 'Way ahead of you' she sighs.
Back within the theater, Doctor Voodoo looks at a black and white photo taken of the theater many years ago. A short fat man in a suit stands next to him, who remarks that the Schaefer Theater was crazy back in the day – with good times upstairs and better ones down here in the bar, the Speakeasy. The short man adds that he can't talk about the stuff that happened down here after after hours. 'You can tell me anything... you are dead, after all' Doctor Voodoo grins. 'That don't free me from the code of omerta!' the spirit exclaims, to which Doctor Voodoo tells him that he thinks he does want to talk. 'Shaddup!' the spirit snaps while Doctor Voodoo sips some wine. He then asks the spirit why his lingers, to which the short fat man reveals that he was killed here. 'And... you killed here' Doctor Voodoo points out. 'Shut up, you hear! Not another word! You're here uninvited!' the short fat spirit shouts.
Suddenly: 'Hello, Jericho. Want some company?' Commander Rogers asks as he enters the bar. Jericho replies that, truthfully, he is usually in search of solitude. Rogers pours himself a beer and tells Jericho that it's no sweat, he can take it upstairs. Jericho explains that he only meant he would not have chosen this building for their new headquarters. Rogers listens as he drinks his beer and Jericho reports that theaters always have ghosts, but this hidden Speakeasy will prove especially challenging for him. Rogers leans on the bar and asks Jericho what he thinks of the team. Jericho replies that they have obviously had a lot of turnover recently, and he will miss Wanda, and Spider-Man's departure will be hard to overcome. He then asks wherever Quicksilver was today. 'He's not leaving too, is he?' Jericho enquires. Rogers reports that Quicksilver took a personal day, but that he will be there when they need him. Rogers adds that he thinks Quicksilver is enjoying the new lease on life that comes with discovering Magneto is not your father.
'Nothing as lovely as the sunset in Paris' Pietro Maximoff a.k.a. Quicksilver remarks as he and a woman clink their wine glasses together on the rooftop of a bar in Paris. Pietro is wearing a suit – the same suit he is wearing when he appears at a small bar in London, a woman sits across from him, wine glass in hand, as Pietro remarks that London is never prettier than when the sun is setting. And again, the same suit, only the jacket is on the chair he sits on, while Synapse sits across from him, wine glass in hand, she is not wearing the mask over her face. 'New York is never more beautiful than in the golden hour at dusk, right, Synapse?' he asks. 'Can you just call me Emily? And please also tell me that we're not on a date?' Emily asks. Emily reveals that Captain Rogers asking her not to date anyone on the team might have been the most awkward moment of her life, and she doesn't want to disappoint him.
'None of us do' Quicksilver assures her as he drinks his wine, adding that this is not a date, a friend of his in New York had to cancel, and he didn't want to let this reservation go to waste. A bird flutters down towards Emily, who tells Pietro that she is sorry, and that didn't come out like she wanted to. 'It's not like you're undatable or anything like that' she assures him. Pietro thanks Emily, telling her that is very kind, while Emily points out that the birds have not stopped bothering her since earlier – suddenly, something comes over her, and she falls backwards in her chair. 'Emily!' Pietro shouts, rushing over, he picks her up before she hits the ground, then speeds down the street, carrying Emily in his arms, he tells her to hang on, and that they are almost at the hospital. 'No, assemble the team. We need to go to Boston' Emily utters'.
One hour later in Boston: 'We now join Pietro Maximoff's little shop of horrors already in progress' Deadpool jokes as he pilots a chopper over part of the city where a strange forest has grown, and green spores float through the air, while large bees fly about. 'I could use some assistance. There are... uh... creatures' Quicksilver calls out over the communicator. 'Do they have red letter b's on their caps? They're called Costonians. Their accent is obnoxious, but they're mostly harmless' Deadpool replies. In the chopper, Rogue announces that she and Johnny will provide air support, and instructs Deadpool to find a safe place to land and meet up with them. Commander Rogers' voice can be heard over the communicator, reporting that he is in the War Room at HQ and if they need him, they can just yell.
Rogue follows Johnny out of the chopper and asks him how Medusa is. 'Don't be like that' Johnny replies, frowning. Rogue tells him that she wasn't busting his chops, before the Torch shouts 'FLAME ON!' and flies forward, as a large bee flies over to Rogue, who screams as the bee latches onto her. The Torch double backs towards Rogue and blasts the bee with flaming energy. Rogue tells Johnny that she is fine, just caught off guard. When she ditches the bee, Rogue tells Johnny that she didn't know he still cared. 'Seriously? It's been, like, months!' the Torch exclaims.
Down below, several civilians find themselves surrounded by what appear to be strange drooling canine creatures. 'Help!' one of them shouts, when suddenly, Quicksilver speeds between them, knocking the creatures backwards, he then tells the civilians to run. Quicksilver calls out to Synapse, telling her that if she is mind-linked with him, the civilians can use more cover down here. The creatures move towards Quicksilver, before a ring of flame surrounds Pietro to keep him safe. 'I didn't need the help' Pietro mutters. 'You're welcome' Johnny tells him. 'We're here to save civilians, not each other' Pietro declares. 'I miss my old team' the Torch mutters.
Rogue punches one of the bees through the flames, and it lands near Pietro and Johnny. Rogue drops down next to them and asks where the creatures are coming from. Quicksilver reports that he has been here almost forty minutes, and that near as he can tell, they start their life as pretty little – somethings, as he holds up a flower, then another one, which has a larger stem, something attached to it, Quicksilver explains that within a couple of hours, this happens. 'Out of which pops this adorable creature' Quicksilver jokes as the plant opens up and the dog-like creature appears in his arms. Rogue slams her fist into the creature's face, 'Okay...' Quicksilver remarks, adding the ones they are fighting are not even mature adults. 'Hey! Lookit. Bahsten! How ah we supposed to find ah cahrs?' Deadpool calls out with a thick accent. 'Speaking of immature, I believe I hear our teammates' Rogue remarks.
'This is ah wicked pissah, huh?' Deadpool asks as he, Synapse and Doctor Voodoo join the others. Synapse puts a hand to one of the creatures and informs the others that she can “feel” them, but their brains don't speak to her. 'Wonderful' Rogue mutters. Doctor Voodoo points out that every animal has a soul – but that these are no ordinary animals.
Elsewhere in the area, a police officer approaches what appears to be a man, surrounded by the strange spores. 'Hey! Did you hear me? I said we're evacuating this area!' the officer calls out. 'Yes' the man replies, standing in darkness. 'You will be evacuating this area forever...' the mysterious man replies. 'Ahh! What the hell?' the officer gasps, as he shines his torch and several large bees surround him. One of the bees suddenly stings the officer's face, he screams and drops his flashlight, which smashes. 'Who – who are you?' the officer asks, as the man turns around – vines covering the area he stands, one of the strange dogs rests on a large vine, as the man, clad in an old cloak introduces himself as the Shredded Man and declares that humanity's day is done!