|Something Wicked This Way Comes|
|What: Carol sends out a signal to meet with the Avengers|
Orbital re-entry is fun. It feels great to have the heat of friction to absorb. But Carol is in too much of a rush to linger and enjoy it. She bleeds off her speed and drops down to land just outside the HQ, on the terrace. "JARVIS." she says as she lands. "Important briefing. Top clearance. I need all of the Avengers to hear the Intel I have, so please begin recording for the ones who cannot be present." And this is said as she steps in through the doors to the HQ.
Bruce Banner got the transmission and has responded to the briefing room. Other might arrive late if at all but at least he is there. "Hey." he says to Carol once she walks in, "I guess everyone else is busy. What's up?"
"In the immortal words of.. you know, I forget who first said it but.. Something wicked this way comes." remarks Carol as she heads over towards the bar. She stares long and hard at one of Tony's bottles back there... and then closes her eyes and tears herself away from it. "Something.. Someone." she states, reaching for one of the Root Beers she keeps there to have something non-alcoholic to drink. ".. is controlling.. for the most part.. Jean, and by proxy, the Phoenix."
Having met Carol once she sent a transmission wanting to meet with the avengers, Bruce is listening as she explains that something is coming. "That was uttered by a witch in Act IV of William Shakespeare's play Macbeth." he says considering her line offered out. "So Jean aka Phoenix has been possessed?" taking a seat at the table he begins rubbing his forehead. "Any idea on estimated time of arrival? And how did you find out?"
Natasha Romanov not-quite runs into HQ, looking like she threw on some clothes and rushed over here. Denim jeans, red tee-shirt with a Spiderman logo on the front, and running shoes. "Carol, Bruce." she greets, sounding slightly out of breath. She picks up on what Bruce had said, and eyes Carol sharply. "Someone's controlling Jean? How is that even possible, with the Phoenix inside of her?"
"I am not sure. But... I spoke to her. Jean I mean." says Carol as she sips at her soda. "She was on Mars. Looking for something. Or rather, whomever is in control of her was looking for something. She.. broke free briefly, long enough to warn me. She almost got to tell me his name." She pauses again and sighs. "I couldn't bring her home yet. But I'm not done trying. However... I recognized the voice when he spoke to me through her." She pauses and asks, "JARVIS, do you have any records of old Avengers conflicts? Or perhaps Mar-Vell of the Kree? His original big bad.. the man he fought for years, is back. His name is Thanos."
Bruce Banner waits until some information is brought up and reads quietly while a hand rubs at the back of his neck. "What would he be wanting on mars and why use Jean?"
Natasha Romanov walks over and places her hands on the back of a chair, leaning her weight on her arms slightly. "Wonderful." The former Russian spy glances between Bruce and Carol. "As if we didn't have enough to worry about." She sighs heavily. "The Phoenix Force is a cosmic entity - a very powerful one with domain over creation and destruction. And Jean is one of ours. Thanos can't have her." She eyes Carol. "Think you could absorb enough energy to kick his ass across the universe?"
Nodding slowly, Carol remarks, "Yes, she's one of ours. More than that, she's.. as close a friend to me as you are Natasha. She was.. well, let's just say that the person I was suggesting we utilize for stuff... is something of a father figure to her -and- to me. So in essence, she's a sister to me." Carol shakes her head, getting sidetracked. "Either way, he is in control of her and the Phoenix entity. So.. what we need is some method of breaking that control. Believe me, if the control was disrupted, I think Phoenix might have 'words' with him. But.. without knowledge of HOW he is doing it..." she trails off.
Bruce Banner goes into though for a moment over all of this. "Last I recall was Logan and Natasha becoming controlled. I hulk'd and grabbed Natasha but. Jean went Phoenix I think and just took off right? Could it have happened then? We were all trying to break the sentinel code or whatever. Everything went wrong.. Could he been the reason?"
Natasha Romanov grimaces. She hated remembering that night, specifically hated the memory of a bunch of psychics having a mettle in her mind space. "I can't remember anything either. That enemy telepath tripped something in my mind." She glances at Carol, a significant look. "It wouldn't surprise me if this Thanos was after Phoenix for a while, and took advantage of the situation."
Shaking her head, Carol sets down her soda can and sighs, "Honestly, I doubt he is involved with anything as small scale as ... Sentinel Operations in one nation. As I left... he tried to taunt me with.. You planet will be mine in time... making me think he hasn't even been -looking- at us. I think when Jean took off.. he saw an opportunity and took it."
Bruce Banner pulls the picture up trying to make it look better as much as possible. Canting his head this way and that, "Kind of looks like a mummified gorilla or one in bad need of a face lift." getting up he takes the picture with his hand moving it to the large screen on the wall. Now moving to the bar he pours himself some water and some for Natasha as well. He offers her a glass before drinking his own, "Ok so this large ape thing took over Jean. Right now they are in space and eventually are coming here. We don't know when or where and he has her doing his dirty work. So in my opinion.. Not that I hold much clout here but we should talk to some of the X people. She was part of them a long time before joining us and they might know something that can help."
Has Jean talked about the X-Men to the Avengers? Carol certainly hasn't. She doesn't talk about them directly.. to anyone. Not even to SHIELD. She's -not- going to betray information about a group as secretive as them to folks. Some things are second nature to the former spy... she plays -those- cards close to her chest. "X people?" she asks, in a bland voice. One that to most people would come across as ignorant of the fact. To Natasha however, that voice screams: 'I know who they are. But I can't talk about it with you'. One of those spy game things. Carol's eyes even flicker towards Natasha, and her head gives just the barest hint of a shake.
Natasha Romanov catches both Carol's tone of voice and the incredibly subtle head gesture. Being a trained spy had it's perks. "I don't know much about Jean's old team..." she says uncertainly "Maybe they could help, maybe not." She sips for the water Bruce handed her. "Carol, you know a thing or two about cosmic powers. What would it take to keep a full powered cosmic entity chained?"
Bruce Banner opens his mouth but then closes it a moment. "Uh.. Minoke and I visited the school she worked at. I know Wolverine is also from there I think." is finally told to them. "He seemed to know her well enough. Won't hurt to inquire right?"
There is a pause and Carol shakes her head. "News to me. I thought the two of them seemed a bit familiar with one another." says Carol. She shrugs, "I'll see if I can reach out through some CIA contacts and get a hold of Logan and see if maybe I can get some word to some of her old.. you called them X-People?"
Natasha Romanov sits herself down, looking thoughtful. She stays silent, sipping her water. It's impossible to tell what she's thinking.
Bruce Banner runs a hand through his hair, "I wish I knew how to help. Not like I can leap into space and float until I find him. Not sure how to SMASH things up there." he muses lightly. "Far as I know Stark's suits can't break the atmosphere and continue to work. I guess what I am saying is.. Why wait for him? We can take the fight there."
"While I am all for a forward defensive posture..." says Carol. "We need more Intel before we just leap blindly into battle. If he can control the Phoenix, he has access to powers beyond anything I've ever seen. But that may also be the key here. He may be using so much power to control her, that if we find him, he may be stretched thin."
Natasha Romanov nods slowly. "What we need to do, is do it the spy way. Get him distracted, and then sneak up from behind." she says bluntly. "Which first means we need to know where he is. And then we need to know what he wants, what he wants to see."
Bruce Banner nods his head, "I agree. Meanwhile I'll talk to Tony and work on things in case we have to go the space route."
"Well, I got some of the initial warning of this from some of my.. connections." says Carol as she points skywards. "People I ran with when I went by the name Binary. I think they might be able to help hook us up with some space travel tech. They have a ship called the Starjammer." she shrugs, "I used one of their shuttles to get to Mars."
Natasha Romanov rubs her forehead. "Never a dull moment, huh?" She smiles despite herself. "And to think I felt nostalgic about all the manes we deal with when I was on that mission for Fury." She straightens up in her seat. "Well, we can handle this. Thanos has wronged us by taking one of our own - we'll Avenge any crime against us, am I right?"
Steve Rogers steps into the room, in uniform, his shield slung over his back. "Captain Marvel - you called?" She said it was a priority meeting, so Steve's right in with the code names and the formalities, even if they really aren't necessary with this group.
"More to the point, he's got a hold of one of the more powerful entities in the universe, and from records, an eye towards megalomania." says Carol with a shrug. She nods to Steve. "Yeah, quick recap. I found Jean. She's being controlled by Thanos. When I say she, I mean she -and- her erstwhile companion... the Phoenix Entity." She shrugs, "We're brainstorming ways to fix this."
Bruce Banner nods to Steve as he joins then taking a seat back next to Natasha. A picture of Thanos is on the large screen upon the wall, "We will find a way. That is what we do right? One of us is in trouble we find a way to ix it. He isn't threatening just her, he threatened all of us. We have to protect the Earth from this threat."
Natasha Romanov reaches over and gently squeeze's Bruce's shoulder as he sits down - a friendly gesture. "We will, Bruce. We always do." She sounds very confident. She gives a nod to Steve. "Any ideas, Captain?"
"I think I may need to chat with a raccoon with a very big gun," Steve muses, almost thoughtfully. Yes, he did say a raccoon with a very big gun.
"I was thinking I could talk to the Starjammers and maybe.. just maybe, get us some help from an old friend of.. a friend of myself and Jean. An empress actually." suggests Carol with a shrug.
Bruce Banner grins over at Natasha then glances at Steve. "Please tell me you haven't been into Thor's alcohol or even Tony's stash. If you are hallucinating raccoons carrying guns of any size then I think you need to lay off the sauce."
Natasha Romanov chuckles at Bruce. "He's talking about... one of the Guardians of the Galaxy. Strange group of characters, but they seem to be alright, according to the files I've read." She gives a sideways glance at the scientist. "...You might not have clearance that high. I forget if it's restricted or not." She looks over to Carol. "You've got friends in real high places Marvel. I'm a bit envious. The more help we can pull together, the better. Thanos seems to be much like the Red Skull, but on a galactic scale."
"Sadly, I didn't hallucinate him. But he knows space stuff and might be useful, as long as he keeps his paws off of my shield." Steve nods. "Guardians. They might be handy to bring in on this."
"Guardians of the Galaxy. That's quite a mouthful." remarks Carol. She shakes her head, "Might see if I can reach the... Protector of the Universe. Another mouthful." she states with a grin. "Either could come in handy." She looks to Natasha and chuckles, "You have no idea. Seriously."
Bruce Banner nods his head, "Ok. Any help would be useful."
Natasha Romanov leans forward in her seat. "Sadly I'm not much help here. I was raised to be a weapon and a spy on Earth. Not much good when it comes to extraterrestrial threats." She sighs. "But, if there is anything I can do, I will."
"Truthfully, I'm not sure I'm the best for this one either." He glances at Carol. "This is more your bailiwick." Steve's a good man and a good fighter, but he isn't the best space pilot...
"Now, Nat.. when we -get- intel, I can't think of anyone I'd rather have help me analyze it, and Cap, when we get said intel, I can't think of anyone I'd rather have planning our reaction." Carol looks from one to the other. "Seriously, if you guys don't think you're going to be useful.. think again. Also, what might be needed, is people who Jean -cares- about, to give her something to latch onto emotionally."
Bruce Banner goes into thought on what he can even do here. "I only met her maybe once or twice. Not sure there was an emotional care about me thing there." he says looking through the computer a moment. "The problem would be fighting in space with no gravity. He throws his shield and it will just keep going into deep space. Someone gets kicked and they are gone." he nervously chews on a finger.
Natasha Romanov laces her fingers together. "I have the same problem sadly. Jean's a valued teammate, and I'll trust her with my back, as I would any Avenger - but I don't know her that well. Which is my own fault really - I'm so uncomfortable around psychics that I.... kind of avoided her away from missions." Nat shows a bit ashamed.
Steve Rogers nods. "I don't know her well either. Which means somebody is going to have to pay a visit to the X-Men. She was with them for a while..."
Bruce Banner watches as Carol dashes out which he considers she must have something to do. "I Can visit them." he tell them, "I been wanting to speak to Wolverine again anyway. Him and I'd like to meet Xavier."
Natasha Romanov hmms to herself. "Well, if Carol trusts them to know how to help, we should seek them out." she reasons. She glances over at Steve, something on her mind, but she doesn't say anything out loud to him.
"Well. We'll handle this." He's confident - this might not be the best kind of mission for him, but that's why they have a variety of skills on the team. Steve catches that glance from Natasha and returns it, one eyebrow elevating slightly.
Bruce Banner is staring at the computer so misses the shared looked between the others.
Natasha Romanov nods. She gently taps Bruce's arm to get his attention. "Anything useful, Bruce?" she asks, leaning over to get a view of the monitor.
Steve Rogers doesn't crowd Bruce by doing the same thing. Instead, he walks over to the window and looks out, thoughtful.
Bruce Banner glances up towards Natasha, "Not really. I was trying to think that Tony can make suits for space. Better than the astronaut suits from NASA of course. If he and I work together we can figure it out."
Natasha Romanov smiles. "I know you can, Bruce." She stands up, and joins Steve by the window. "...Any news on the HYDRA problem?" she asks quietly, contemplating the view. She's got something on her mind, and she's not sharing.
Steve Rogers shakes his head. "Nothing. But I might have a possible lead. I was about to follow it when Carol called the meeting...and as we seem to be waiting on Intel." Steve smiles at Natasha. "I'll call you if he needs backup," he says before heading out the door.