The first chapter of MARVEL Monarch: Avengers.
Chapter 1 Edit
Lightning streaks across the sky, lighting the clouds. A long line of people wait outside the Asgard Night Club, few making it beyond the gold-lined doors. A woman, no older than twenty-five, looks up at the lightning. She gasps in amazement, "It's him! Oh my god, it's him!" The rest of the people look up to see a silver-armoured man descend from the sky.
"Good evening fellow club goers!" Tony Stark lands on the ground with the clang of metal hitting cement. He hands the bouncer a fifty dollar note and walks in, not even noticing the graffiti on the wall, '#GodMischief'. His helmet splits into several different pieces which fold back and connect to the plates down the spine. His black hair appears golden in the light of the club as he pushes his way through the crowd of sweaty, track suit wearing young adults. "Out of the way, Iron Man coming through. Blah blah blah, you get the idea." The crowd parts giving him an easy passage to the bar.
The bar tender sees him and grabs a bottle of vodka off of the glass shelf. He hands it to Stark and speaks, "Don's in the Valhalla Room, he's got Pym in there with him."
Tony taps his hand on the black marble counter before walking away, "Thanks for the vodka. Send another one in about five minutes." He steps to the side of the bar and opens the wooden door, painted gold to match the colour scheme of the club.
Inside sits Don Blake, a tall, muscled man with short blonde hair. He wears a black suit with white pinstripes that appear much more vibrant in the dimly lit room. "Tony Stark, welcome."
On the opposite couch sits Hank, a man with chestnut brown hair in jeans and a baggy shirt. "Glad you made it five minutes late." He leans over and opens his briefcase, pulling out a blue file with the words 'CLASSIFIED S.H.I.E.L.D FILES'. "It's about the team. Fury's take over funding from General Ross now that Banner's...you know."
Stark sits down next to Hank, grabbing the file and opening it. Inside are two glass screens. He places it back on the table and presses a button in between the two screens. They light up, with pictures shooting out and hovering around. The holograms move around so that Stark can see all of them. The pictures show various different people, including Stark himself, Hank and Don. "Why's the Hulk in here?"
Gulping, Hank answers, "Fury's considered it, and...he wants the Hulk on the team. Banner's signed the contract and..."
"So now we've got a monster on the team? Typical! I knew that the moment it transferred to S.H.I.E.L.D things would get thrown in the trash can. They're just lucky I've already signed a two year contract." He takes a swig of the vodka.
Don laughs, "Two years?" He takes a gulp of beer before continuing, "I've signed on for five years! I wasn't going to originally, but when I worked out the annual salary I was in."
Hank, curious, asks, "I haven't looked at the salary yet, how much?"
Stark leans back and answers nicely, "1.37 million dollars with an addition thousand for every super villain threat we face. On top of my 2.746 billion dollar annual salary at Stark Enterprises, it isn't much. Sorry to break it to you, but you know..."
Hank smiles, "No worries, it's more than I've ever earned, I'm just happy about that." Despite the way it sounded, he was actually happy about it.
Chugging the rest of his beer, Don pulls the holographic screen over to him and looks at a man holding a bow and firing arrows at oncoming soldiers. "Who's this?"
Hank analyses the picture, then realises, "That's Hawkeye. At least I think it is. Agent Clint Barton, he's an expert with a bow and arrow. He grew up in a Buddhist temple. He's always calm, helps him aim." He turns the screens around and takes a closer look at a picture of himself, "Wow. Do I really look like that in the black suit? Maybe I should change back to the dark red one." He creases the left side of his mouth, giving him the appearance of thinking intently.
After a moments thought, Don answers, "I understand what you're getting at. The dark red suit fits the Giant Man legacy."
Stark chuckles, "Legacy? He's only been powered up for barely a year."
"Hank, have you ever considered changing your name to Goliath? It has a catchy tone to it." He presses the button between the screens, turning it off.
"Yeah, I was thinking the same thing. Why call yourself Giant Man? It sounds cliche. But I was thinking along the lines of Wasp. 'Cause it's gonna sting when you hit someone." Stark laughs slightly, realising how stupid he sounds.
"It's my alter ego name, I'm choosing it!"
In hysterics, Don asks, "What next? Gonna shrink yourself and go by Ant Man?" Tony bursts into laughter with him, making Hank feel embarrassed.
Nick Fury stands outside, next to a black jet. He looks down at Manhattan below him, taking in the amazing view. "It's amazing, isn't it? Only three years ago, the Helicarrier was just a sketch on a piece of paper. And yet here we are, standing in one of seven Helicarriers held in the air by four great big turbines." He looks over his shoulder at Bruce Banner, who stumbles off of the jet, dragging a suitcase behind him. Every now and then his neck twitches and his head flicks to the side.
"Huh? Oh, yeah. I guess." He hands his suitcase to a man in a navy, skintight suit. "Are the others here? Or is it just me?"
Fury sighs, "It's just you for now. Clint and Natasha are on a mission in China. Maria is on a mission in Mexico, no idea when she'll be back. Then Don, Hank and Tony aren't coming aboard for another four days. Until then, you're free to roam the research level, experimental level and storage facility. If not, you're room is equipped with the latest in entertainment technology, including a 3D projector which you can bring anything up on. Before you ask, yes. Absolutely ANYTHING."
Banner giggles to himself, "Not sure what you're thinking about. Don't think I want to know either." He looks around, "How big is this thing? Must be a mile long."
"Got that right. Stark and Hank designed it during the Christmas Party couple of years back. Pretty cool, huh? You'll love 'em. They're like two pees in a nuclear powered cryogenic suspension pod. Make fun of Hank though. Understandable though, who willingly calls them self Giant Man? At least the Hulk sounds good. You're lucky Ross has a bad temper. Wait till we tell the public there's a Hulk on the team! There toes'll tingle like their ears at a Michael Jackson concert."
Banner interrupts, "You know he's dead, right?"
Nick laughs, "Yeah, that's unfortunate! Not my favourite mission ever, but a job's a job." He turns around and begins walking to the entrance inside, which looks like an airport terminal towards the side of the helicarrier.
Hurrying after him, Banner asks, "Are you saying that you killed Mi..."
"Say no more Dr Banner. Say no more." He enters the building, with Banner almost running to keep up with him. The double doors shut, and the patterns on the door connect, revealing it to be a big 'A'
"The blade forged in the volcanoes of Muspelheim. The horned helmet moulded on the Isle of Silence. The cape sewn in Nidavellir. The power sourced from Jotunheim. But the destruction, started in Midgard. Earth shall buckle and break under my wrath! After all, what else are they to do in the presence of Loki?"