Almost a year after the Lunar Incident, SHIELD reactivated the Avengers Initiative. There were two new members.
Dailee was assigned to SHIELD on behalf of the Yutani corporation. They had a controlling interest in Wakanda’s vibranium supplies, their claim supported and defended by SHIELD in exchange for samples of vibranium and the services of their top agent, Dailee. As a monk trained in martial arts and zen mind, equipped with vibranium gear and high-tech training, he was sure to be useful.
Sora was a British agent of MI6. She had been a political activist turned terrorist, protesting corporations that were outstripping nations and above the law. She used a bow, and a Robin Hood motif. She was very difficult to capture, so rather than dispose of her, they repurposed her to become 009, with a license to kill and all the gadgets she could use. MI6 wanted to know more about the Lunar Incident than anyone would share, so that was her secondary mission upon being assigned as a SHIELD asset.
The call also went out to Goldfist, Folkvar, and Jade Lotus. They met in a secret briefing room on the Helicarrier, and Captain Williams told them there was a signal, weak but intriguing, coming from the moon. They rebuilt the d-gate, and wanted the Avengers to check it out in the quarantine zone, understanding that if they got infected they could not return. They agreed.
The d-gate dumped them in an abandoned Chinese lunar base that wasn’t supposed to exist. They cautiously checked the location out, and found that someone had been here less than a year ago, SHIELD or the US, and planted the d-gate beacon. Also, the computers had been cleaned out and put on resting mode.
However, certain functions were left minimally active, and one of those picked up a signal Goldfist traced to the dark side of the moon, “It is almost time.” He responded “Time for what?” and there was thunder—on the moon. Tien Mu teleported to the source of the signal. However, she revealed she was not Tien Mu, but the memory of her, imprinted on bioweaponry she absorbed and repurposed to serve her and not the Swarm.
She was picking up a signal from Earth, growing in power, a Swarm intellect coming around to consciousness. She did not want to risk it waking up and scouring the planet, or subsuming her will, so she suggested she could help locate and defeat it.
They smuggled her into Folkvar’s Origamitech, and returned to the Indochina base and reported there wasn’t much to find. Then they headed to Hong Kong and the sensor array there. Tien Mu teleported ahead and accessed the system remotely, scanning for the source of the energy; she found an area, and fed the location to Folkvar and Goldfist. BORIS scanned his databanks and found a likely candidate.
Monster Island 19, one of many small lightly inhabited islands used for experimentation during the World Wars and afterwards. Its location was noted, but invisible to satellites, and SHIELD files indicated the last squatters there had been Hydra. Also Hydra had been active in trying to collect bio samples from the Lunar Incident.
They changed course, heading for the island. Tien Mu got there first and whipped the storm up into a hurricane at sea, lashing the half-visible crooked island in its dimensional shielding.
As they entered through the dimensional crease, they were separated. Folkvar found himself driven from his body into his Origamitech fighter, standing on a tower; he headed for the gamma signature of Jade Lotus he “sensed” on his sensor equipment. There was enough Solericite in the atmosphere to turn his boosters green instead of blue.
Jade Lotus took on her gamma form just to resist the pulling discomfort of the place. She was with Sora and Dailee, who stayed close to her and hoped she wouldn’t freak out.
Tien Mu broke through, and regained her staff, but the end frayed and became an energy flail. She streaked over to find Jade Lotus, just as Goldfist freed himself from a fissure in the rock and joined them. The displacement tried to drive BORIS into Goldfist’s body, and his mind into the machine, but both resisted. Everyone’s energy was tainted by the Solericite, burning green.
A big Hydra mech and a few dreadnoughts closed in, and were summarily dispatched by the Avengers, who closed in on the Blue Pyramid because its dimensions were true in a crooked place. They realized the pyramid projected the dimensional folding that hid and isolated the island. There was a massive vault door, and Tien Mu worked with Jade Lotus to drag it out of position. They went into the pyramid, and down through a central shaft, confronting the mad scientist Doctor Dagon—he was the one that created Jade Lotus, and he dreamed of this fight! In his happy dreams he won. In his nightmares, he lost.
In the center of the room was an armored transparent column that contained the painstakingly rebuilt genetic matrix Hydra was using for monster-making. Tien Mu burned through the armor, and then devoured the matrix, destroying it utterly.
As Jade Lotus romped with the massive power armor, Folkvar cut into it with streams of bullets from his gun, and Sora opened holes with shaped charge arrows. Dailee and Goldfist got on computer stations, trying to figure out what was behind the dimensional folding and thick transparent aluminum shielding. Something was in that space, a psychic source of energy that almost unseated their reason. Doctor Dagon shouted something about how there was enough power there to enslave the minds of the human race.
When they got through the defenses, they saw where the biomatter Hydra harvested had gone. Through the genetic matrix, to create a massive psychic monster. It had stubby wings, and an octopus head, resting on a basalt throne in the darkness of a dimension folded next to this one (for security purposes.) There was a killswitch, but would it work? And what if it didn’t?
Dailee and Goldfist agreed to reestablish the dimensional barriers, as strongly as possible, and leave this thing alone. They realized the dimensional folding of the island might be as much for protection as concealment.
Meanwhile Jade Lotus finished off the power armor, and Tien Mu scooped the evil scientist out of it and devoured him messily. She learned from the fleeting fragments of his mind burning in her genetic furnace that they had built one other kind of bioweapon here.
They cut the biomatter thin, only a few molecules thick, and exposed it to the dream of that thing on the throne. Then they put it on a Hydra volunteer’s face. The patterns that had been created this way had made immortal warriors, with heavy protective hide and weaponized claws and jaws, able to see in the darkness. Several shipments had gone out, creating amphibious warriors without equal. Tien Mu resolved to seek them out and bring them under her control, using her hive mind power.
With the threat basically contained, they retreated outside. The Hydra agents that gathered there had been living on combat drugs to cope with the weird environment, and they sort of worshiped the retreating Avengers, who put the plug back in the pyramid and did calculations so exiting the dimensional distortion did not scatter them.
Folkvar was grateful to push back into his body, unseating whatever alien influence had occupied it in his absence while he inhabited the robot instead of his body.
None of the reports back to various agencies revealed the presence of the psychic bioweapon, or much information about the island. It was shrugged off by the agents. SHIELD did subject them to thorough testing, noting their weird energy patterns, but what could they do? Things settled down and got back to normal, for most.
Tien Mu was dead, of course, but she had a new hobby of hunting bio weapons and re-purposing them to serve her. No one dared stand in her way.
And Folkvar, he started having the most peaceful dreams of flying, except underwater, over ancient and ruined cities…