It was a cold winter night on the streets of New York.
The cold breeze blew through the night as the city that never sleeps was bathed in moonlight. A thin layer of snow covered the sidewalk of the metropolis as icicles formed in the windows of every building.
The date was February 24 around 12:00 A.M and many things have happened.
Christmas night has long been over, with many kids around the globe either enjoying the gifts that were left under the tree or disappointed because they didn't get what they expected. New year's Eve now felt like a distant memory, and many people were already failing their resolutions. The Chinese New year's parade came in strong alongside multiple other events that may as well affect the course of history.
The tension between the inhumans and the mutants has finally quelled down a little, at least enough that riots and conflicts on the streets finally ceased. The birth of a new hero team, which mission was to unite both sides to show that the two groups could cooperate with one another, a team known as Unity Squad, which members included inhumans, mutants, quirked people, regular people and so on.
On another part of the globe, Toshinori Yagi, also known as Japan's Symbol of Peace All Might was starting to have talks with the principal Nezu of U.A. The reason you may ask? To become a faculty member in hopes of finding a successor to inherit his power and become the next Symbol of Peace.
And then, there was a girl with blue skin and white hair, running through the streets of the city that never sleeps with nothing but old clothes that she found on a dumpster somewhere around. She was cold, hungry and tired. Just so, so tired. Yet, she didn't stop running, despite the fact that she has already passed by a few places that could be considered good enough to rest, she didn't feel like it would be enough. Not if he was chasing her.
She knew of a place called F.E.A.S.T on the other side of the city. I'd she could manage to get there, then maybe, maybe she could finally rest. But for the time being, she couldn't stop moving, no matter what.
"Almost…. Almost there… I'm sure…" – she said, almost out of breath.
She stopped only for a brief moment to recover a bit of energy. She was breathing heavily and with the current weather that couldn't be good for her health. Still, she didn't care, anything could be better than that place. Lifting her head and looking around for a bit, she took notice of an alley close by. Many people may have grown nervous to see a dark alley in the middle of the night, but, for the young girl didn't feel scared for how dark the place was. Instead, she noticed just how small, crammed and closed the place looked. Looking at the place with those thoughts in mind was what terrified the girl. For it reminded her of… so call home.
In a hurry, the girl ran as fast as she could, hoping to try and put as much distance between her and the remainder of the place she was trying to leave behind. After running for around half an hour in the cold streets of the city, the young girl found herself reaching Central Park. Walking to a bench nearby, the girl finally decided to stop to catch her breath yet again. Listening to the silence that filled Central Park, the girl reminisced about herself. About her father and her own origin, about her escape from that place after so many failed attempts and more importantly of all…
About the one thing that helped her going all that time.
Once she reached the F.E.A.S.T shelter the girl could have some proper rest before going to a certain place that she has been dying to go and to meet certain individuals that gave her light in her darkest of times. Even if she could only see them from afar, she just wanted to meet them so bad.
Getting up, the girl started to walk for a bit before starting to run. She was now far enough for her to do that without feeling as if something bad were to happen. Walking through the streets of the city, the girl wrapped her arms around herself, finally starting to feel the cold in the air. The clothes she was currently wearing weren't the warmest of clothes, so it was to be expected that she would eventually start to feel like that.
As she was wandering the empty streets, the girl noticed someone suspicious going to the back of a bar or something similar. Normally, any normal person would just turn away and leave, especially since that person seemed to be wearing a HYDRA uniform. But the girl, against any sense of serve preservation decided to follow the man. Arriving at the back of the bar, she saw through a window close by multiple HYDRA agents all gathered and listening to a man with a black outfit, a mask that had resembled a skull and two bones forming a cross on his chest.
Brock Rumlow, also known as Crossbones.
"What have you gathered?" – he asked the man that just arrived.
"Sir! Rumor has it that August Roman is assembling a large number of masked criminals and is planning an attack on the heroes of the country!" – he replied.
"So, Regent wants to try to take over the nation again."
"So it seems and he apparently is planning to start his assault on the nation around late May at most! Some of the criminals that are apparently willing to work with him so far are some of the members of the Serpent Society, Jack o' Lantern and Iguana!" – informed the soldier.
"That's it? He plans on attacking the likes of the Avengers, the Fantastic Four and every hero in the country with jokesters like that? How the mighty have fallen and to think that he once had the nation under his foot." – said the mercenary.
"Will this pose an issue for HYDRA's glorious return?" – asked another one of the soldiers.
"No, quite the opposite. On one hand, if Regent somehow managed to succeed then he would have cleared the path for us all and with the kind of weaklings at his disposal then disposing of him and his forces will be child's play. On the other hand, even if he fails, there's a possibility that he could weaken the heroes enough for us to take care of them. Either way, HYDRA will emerge from the ashes and take over whatever is left of this country and soon the world." – said Crossbones. – "I will inform this news to the remainder of the HYDRA high council at once… Or at least, until we dispose of the intruder."
As he said that, the mercenary turned towards the window where the girl was. She quickly ducked before he could see her. Unfortunately, it didn't seem to be of any use. She heard the sound of weapons being loaded and a chuckle that most likely belonged to the skull-theme mercenary.
"It's no use to try and hide. I already know you are there." – said Crossbones as he started to walk towards the window. – "Make things easy for you and show yourself. I might make your death quick and painless if you do."
Arriving outside of the bar, Crossbones saw nothing near where the window was, yet he knew that someone was near. Not only because of his highly trained skills, but also because of the footsteps that were on the snow nearby. A few of the HYDRA soldiers were quick to go outside and stand next to their leader, weapons ready.
"Search for the intruder and inform me once you located the meddler that was here. I want to know who sent that spy before killing the fool." – ordered Crossbones to his men.
"Sir, yes sir!" – they all shouted as they all left in search of the girl.
Back with the blue girl, she was running even faster than she did ago. Why did she do what she did? Was she an idiot? Brave? Naive? All of the above? The only thing she was sure for the time being was that if she was to get caught, she would most likely die. While making turn after turn she couldn't help but to think about what she heard. Not only was Regent free, but he was planning an all-out assault on the nation? That was bad, the first time he appeared he managed to overthrow the country and kept power for somewhere around half a year. That's without mentioning that years later after escaping he defeated and kidnaped multiple heroes in an attempt to seize power yet again. If not for Spider-Man and Hawekeye's leadership of the underground resistance the first time and the aid of Ironman the second time he might as well have succeeded on his quest.
Now, not only was he trying to do it yet again, but HYDRA was preparing to act once the assault was over and both parties are weak enough to take over whatever is left? That was as bad as bad could get, she could no longer go to try and catch her breath in F.E.A.S.T, if she did innocent people could get hurt. Nor could she go to where she wanted to go first, Crossbones wouldn't be intimidated by the people there and yet again innocent people would end up getting hurt.
"The Sanctum Sanctorum? Unity Squad's theater? The Baxter Building? Where do I go?" – she asked herself as she kept on running.
Hearing a few HYDRA men nearby, the girl made another turn to what she believed would be a shortcut to the Baxter building. Unfortunately for her she ended up heading for a dead end. Just as she started to turn back around she saw a HYDRA soldier entering the alley while pointing a rifle at her. As the man started to get in closer he informed his colleagues of their current location. No longer than seven minutes later, the around nine other HYDRA soldiers arrived at the scene with Crossbones himself arriving shortly after that.
"Well, well, well, look at what we have here. You know today is a school night right? Shouldn't a brat like you be on bed or something?" – asked the mercenary, but getting no response from the terrified girl. – "Not much of a talker, huh? Well, that's ok. I just want you to tell me who sent you to spy on us and then I'll kill you, ok?"
"N-no one sent me." – she replied with a low and scared tone.
"You really expect me to believe that? Look, you're going to die either way, the question is,how? That is up to you, if you talk I'll make sure you have a painless one. But if you want me to make you suffer so bad that you'll wish to never be born, then go ahead and keep your secrets." – said the mercenary, cracking his knuckles.
"I don't need your help to wish that."– thought the girl before speaking up once again. – "I swear I'm telling you the truth. No one sent me, I was just being stupid!" – she cried.
"At least we can agree on that. Fine, I'll make you talk one way or another. Just don't say that I didn't warn you." – he said getting closer to the girl.
The blue skinned girl saw this and instantly started to run back into the alley. Crossbones and the rest of the HYDRA soldiers saw this and started to laugh.
"Man, you really are stupid. That's a dead end you're running towards. What exactly do you ho-" – however his words died on his mouth as he saw the blue girl extend one of her arms and channelling some sort of purple-ish energy that seemingly created some sort of portal in front of the girl.
Before anyone could react, the girl jumped to it and disappeared. Then, the group of armed men all heard a weird sound coming from the street alongside the same kind of purple like light from before. They all quickly rushed back to the street, but found nothing as far as the eye could see. That's when Crossbones finally realized what just happened.
"So, she can teleport. That's an ability that is surprisingly rare nowadays." – he said, turning to the men that were with him. – "Change of plans boys. I want that girl captured, if indoctrinated correctly, she could prove herself useful to HYDRA."
"Sir, yes sir!" – they all said in union before going off to search the blue skinned girl once again.
Back on the streets, the mysteriou girl kept trying to find help. Her breathing became sporadic, she had just learned how to create portals large enough to teleport herself only a couple of meters at most and just using said power once drained a lot out of her. The only reason as to why she hasn't passed out just yet is because of the adrenaline of the moment. Still, she won't last that long before she either collapses from exhaustion or gets captured by HYDRA.
"Found her!" – she heard.
Turning back, she saw a HYDRA agent that after removing his mask, showed some semblance of a bloodhound. Was that how they were able to found her so easily? It made sense to be honest, he was either a quirked individual or mutant that decided to work for HYDRA for whatever sick reason he had. She tried to open another portal yet again, but was unable to create one large enough for her to cross. She cursed at her own inability before the portal collapsed. Seeing the rest of the HYDRA agents converging on where she was, the blue girl tried to run yet again. Unfortunately for her, she finally started to show signs of fatigue.
"C-can't… not… yet…!" –she weakenly said before she tripped and fell to the ground.
"Look kid, you're obviously exhausted. Just do yourself a favor and stay put, ok?" – said Crossbones as he started to approach her.
"N-not… like this… I still… haven't… I still… haven't…!" – cried the blue girl, trying to pathetically crawl away from the group of armed men.
Crossbones sighed before turning to one his men. – "Put her to sleep." – he ordered.
The man nodded and started to approach the girl. Electricity crackled from the palm of his hands as he prepared to shock the white-heired girl. Just as he was about to place his hand on her head, a blue blur swapped her away from him before he could even blink.
"What the?!" – said the man, seeing the girl suddenly disappearing.
Turning around, all of the HYDRA soldiers alongside Crossbones saw who was responsible for that. Floating in front of them, was a muscular blonde man whose eyes were hiding behind some sort of black visor. He was wearing a short-sleeved blue leotard, a red cape that was attached to a pair of silvered-color shoulder pieces. in his chest, there was some sort of yellow 'C' logo in the shape of some sort of checkmark with a small red star next to it.
"Now, I don't believe that's how one must treat a young lady such as this one!" – said the hero, with the blue skinned girl in his arms.
"Great, just what I needed. Bad enough that this kid is causing such a ruckus, but now I also have to deal with a glory-hound 'D' lister." – said Crossbones to the caped hero.
"Ok, now that is quite disrespectful. I'll have you know that I am still a top hero even in my worst days." – said the hero, obviously hurted by the villain's comment.
"Do I look like I care? If you believe that some caped All Might look alike is going to intimidate us then think again. So, drop the kid and stay out of our way if you know what's good for you." – threatened the HYDRA mercenary.
"Man, you really like to insult people don't you? Besides, as much as it pains me to say, I know that you are not intimidated by my presence in the slightest. That's why tonight, I'm just the back-up." – he said, a smirk forming in his face.
Suddenly, the rumble of a motorcycle could be heard near them. Crossbones listened to it carefully before snarling. For while many could write it off as just some random biker, the skull themed criminal recognised the sound of this particular engine quite well. Retrieving one of the grenades on his belt, the villain turned around and threw it at the incoming bike before shooting at it with one of the guns that he had at his disposal. The explosion proved powerful enough to completely decimate the vehicle, but unfortunately for the HYDRA agent, the driver managed to jump away from the vehicle in the nick of time.
Before anyone could do anything, Crossbones was hit in the face by a metallic frisbee-like object crashing into him. Afterwards the object ricocheted into most of the armed men, knocking quite a few of them out cold. The weakened eyes of the mysterious girl quickly turned wide open when she saw just who was the one responsible for such action.
Catching the round shield with one hand, stood a man dressed in a blue suit adorned with red and white stripes in the abdomen part of his costume. A large white star adorned his chest alongside the shield at hand, which was in the center of a blue background surrounded by red and white stripes. A large 'A' was on in his cowl alongside a pair of wings located on the side of his head. Before her eyes, was the sentinel of liberty and symbol of freedom, a member of the mighty Avengers as well as one of the team's most recurrent leaders. A man considered by many as the greatest hero to ever walk the earth. A man, whose strong spirit is admired and respected by even the gods themselves, whom are more than willing to follow him into battle.
Before her eyes, stood Steven Rogers. Before them all, was none other than the living legend known as Captain America.
"Rogers." – said Crossbones, looking at the shield-wielding Avenger. – "While on any day of the week I would have cursed at you even more than usual. Today I'm actually glad to see you. Glad that I'm still consider enough of a threat that they send in someone like you to take on me. Honestly, I was kind of scared that they sent a jokester like the floating idiot over there to try to apprehend me." – he said, pointing at the flying heo.
"Hey! What did I ever do to you?!" – asked the caped-hero.
The winged-head Avenger stared at Crossbones before his gaze turned to the other hero. – "Captain Celebrity, take the girl somewhere safe immediately. I'll deal with Crossbones." – he ordered.
His voice was stern and clear. The orders he gave were simple and clear yet with such a tone that it made you want to follow them. For one knew that said orders came from someone that was more than obviously a reliable leader.
"Understood!" – said Christopher Skyline, before turning to the group of villains. – "If you excuse me." – he told them before starting to fly away.
"How cute. He thinks that things can be that simple." – said the HYDRA mercenary before turning to one of his men. – "Bring them down."
Nodding, the HYDRA soldier started to charge some kind of energy from his right arm. Just as he was about to try and shoot said energy at the fleeing hero, the soldier was hit by the edge of the Proto-Adamantium shield. The blow sent the man flying backwards, hitting the ground hard before losing his conscience. The shielded hero then rushed in, throwing his shield at one soldier before dismantling another soldier that tried to swing at the Avenger.
"Your main priority should be me Crossbones!" – told the hero in such a stern manner that it made everyone but Crossbones flinch.
His shield then bounced off both the heads of many HYDRA agents and the floor before the super soldier caught it, using it to quickly shield himself from a blow from the villain's fist.
"Don't worry Rogers! I wasn't planning on leaving you hanging!" – said the villain before throwing a mighty kick at the hero.
Although the hero protected himself from the attack with his shield once again, the kick still had enough momentum to push him backwards. Still, quick on his feet, Captain America was able to catch his footing once again. Just as he did that, he dodged yet another one of Crossbones punches before responding with a right hook of his own that connected with the villain's jaw. Staggering Crossbones and allowing Captain America to connect a kick with enough force that it sent the villain crashing into a car nearby.
"Give it up Rumlow! For once in your life make things easy for you and give yourself in!" – told Captain America to the somewhat dazed villain.
"Give in? Give in?! I don't know if you haven't noticed Rogers!" – said the villain before snapping his fingers. In a near instant, many other HYDRA soldiers came in, guns loaded and all aiming for the Avenger. – "But I have you outnumbered and outgunned! You are in no position to tell me what to do!"
"You say that every time we cross paths Crossbones and it always ends the same. With me standing my ground and you running away with your tail between your legs!" – replied the hero, prepared to make his stand against such odds as he has done many times before.
"We'll see about that." – said Crossbones, charging at the hero alongside his entire battalion.
Far from where the battle was currently taking place, Christopher Skyline also known as Captain Celebrity was flying the freezing young girl in his arms somewhere safe. As the two were flying above the streets of New York, the caped hero couldn't help but to mutter, still quite salty about his interactions with the mercenary just a few minutes ago.
"'D' lister? Me?! I know I may not be Ironman or Thor or even just an Avenger… yet. But me?! A 'D' lister?! I hope Cap wipes that smug off his dumb face." – said the hero before hearing the girl groan.
"T-that… t-that was… C-cap-..." – the girl tried to say, but by now she was too weak to even finish her sentence.
Her previous escape attempt, the running through the cold streets of the big apple, her being chased by HYDRA and the use of her powers. All of it simply drained way too much out of the white-haired girl, who finally started to feel the fatigue accumulated throughout the night. Before everything faded to black, she somehow managed to hear the worried Captain Celebrity telling her to hang up for just a little bit longer.
Then, she finally fainted.
The last thing that she remembered was the cold winter air hitting her face while being carried away by Captain Celebrity as Captain America stayed behind to face off against HYDRA by himself. Opening her eyes very slowly, the very first thing that the mysterious blue girl saw was a white ceiling. She also noticed that she no longer felt cold, instead she felt rather comfy and warm. Looking around she saw that she was no longer in the streets of New York early in the morning. Instead, it seemed that she was in some sort of infirmary. Looking at a window nearby, she saw the sunlight as well as a few birds passing by.
She then noticed that she was no longer wearing the trashcan clothes she used to have. Instead, she was currently wearing a long sleeved shirt and a new pair of pants, both with a logo that made her eyes open wider than before.
Could it be? Was she taken to the place she wanted to go in, well, not first place since first she wanted to go to F.E.A.S.T to rest for a bit. But she planned to go check the place once that was over. She tried to get up from bed, but she still felt too tired from what happened last night. While she returned to bed, the blue skinned girl noticed a note in the… nightstand? Yeah, let's just go with it for now. She saw a note on the nightstand located on her right. She took the note and started to read what was written there.
"I had to go out to run a few errands. If you woke up before I returned, just try and relax for the time being, ok? There's a controller next to the bed. If you feel hungry (which you probably will be) press the blue button. Breakfast will come shortly after. Just try to go easy for a while."
Signed: Nurse Night.
Just as the note said, there was a controller next to her bed. Hearing her stomach grumble, she pressed the blue button and suddenly a holographic display appeared before her, scaring her a little bit. Recovering from the shock, she read what the display had to say and saw that it was actually a menu with a few dishes that were appropriate for breakfast. After admiring it for a bit, the blue-skinned girl tapped what she wanted before pressing ok.
After around five to eight minutes, a drone came in with a plate on top of it. The plate itself had what she had ordered. Scrambled eggs with bacon, some waffles with maple syrup poured all over them and a glass of orange juice. After taking them, she awkwardly thanked the drone before it flew off. She then started to eat her food and she could have sworn that the food was probably bathed in godly nectar or something because they were by far the best bacon, eggs and waffles she has ever tasted.
Then again, it could just be that for once in her life, she was being fed properly.
After finishing her breakfast and resting for almost an hour, the blue girl decided that if she truly was in Avengers Academy, then there was something that she wanted to see above almost anything else. Placing her plate to the nightstand next to the bed, the girl got up and put on a pair of sport shoes that were placed in front of her bed.
"I should thank them for giving me all of this and for looking after me despite the fact that they don't know who I am." – she thought before getting up and walking to the door. – "If this is really the Avengers Academy, then I must see it with my own eyes." – she said before leaving.
Founded by one of the founding Avengers, Dr. Henry Pym.
The good doctor had gone through many names over the years, some of them ended up being eventually taken by other individuals with powers and abilities similar to him. From the Yellow Jacket, Giant-Man, Goliath. But without a doubt, many to this day still recognize him as the Astonishing Ant-Man.
Together alongside fellow veteran Avengers member Quicksilver, West Coast Avenger Tigra, alongside the once vigilantes Justice and Speedball founded this school to teach the heroes of tomorrow. Hank Pym believed that they were about to enter a new golden age. At first the school was rather critizided, the original staff members were considered something of the black sheeps of the Avengers. Some of the first students were also seen as potential villains in the making. That's without mentioning the constant attacks the school went through, including the kidnaping of some of its students by the hands of nefarious master criminal Arcade. Yet, in spite of all of those events, despite what everyone said, Hank never gave up hope. For he wanted to teach his students that the Avengers were far from an outdated concept.
He wanted to teach them that they all had the potential to become more than just heroes that beated bad guys. They could become symbols, no matter the gender, nationality, race or even species. That they could work together to make the world a better place. That they could inspire people to preserve even when every fiber of their body told them to give up.
So, even after facing such adversity, the school managed to thrive to highs so great that many consider it to be on par and in some cases superior to many other heroes schools from all across the globe. And all thanks to the once controversial Ant-Man.
When word came that the once legendary hero perished at the hands of Ultron, the school mourned their late teacher. Staff members, heroes, vigilantes, scientists, family and most importantly of all, the students, both old and new all attended the funeral of the man that believed in them when no one else did. As his will was read to them all, the late headmaster's final wish was to name one of the people he trusted above anyone else the new headmaster. That someone was his ex-wife, ex-partner and fellow founding Avenger Janet Van Dyne. The Wondrous Wasp.
As well as one final message to his students:
"To teach you all, was my greatest honor and most treasured gift. You educated me as much if not more than I ever did to you. Keep growing up and be as proud of your actions as I am of who you all are and what you've become. You are more than just the heroes of the future, you are all the Avengers of tomorrow."
Even in death, his faith in his students was unquestionable.
And so, today in the headmaster's office, stood the principal of one of the most prestigious schools in the world. In front of her desk, were four individuals, well, more like three and a holographic projection of a fourth one.
The first, was a man of jetblack hair and who had a very well cared for beard, he also wore a business suit which looked worth as much as a large house. Even without his hot red armor adorned with bits of golden, the man was still easy to recognise. He was the C.E.O of Stark Industries, one of the founders of the greatest team to ever exist. He was Anthony Edward Stark, the armored Avenger, the Invincible Ironman.
The other was the holographic projection. He was a man of color dressed in a suit that resembled a panther, which cowl covered his face. He was the current leader of Earth's Mightiest heroes, the Orphan King of Wakanda, king T'Challa, bearer of the mantle of the Black Panther.
Lastly, the other two were the heroes Captain America and Captain Celebrity. The ladder felt radder out of place, for right now, he was in the presence of four of the most well-known leaders of the mighty Avengers. The four Avengers radiated a pressure that could make any other hero shake to his or her core. These four were some of the most renowned heroes of not just a country, but the entire planet as a whole. Even the likes of All Might himself showed their respect and even to a certain point, admiration to these four legendary heroes.
"So, what Bobby, Spidey and Bucky said was true. The villains are all planning to strike us all." – said the school headmaster to the other heroes present.
"Not like we hadn't seen signs of it. This simply confirms our fears." – said Captain America to his fellow Avengers (and the out of place Captain Celebrity).
"Did you manage to get some extra intel Cap?" – asked the C.E.O to the war hero.
"Only what i've already said. That the one responsible seems to be August Roman and that is likely that after the assault on us HYDRA is likely to try their luck in taking over the country before trying to expand to other parts of the world." – said the living legend.
"Any chance that Crossbones could have known something else Captain?" – asked the king.
"Not likely, for what I understand he was apparently just filled in the situation before my arrival."
"Umm..." – said Christopher Skyline in an awkward manner, getting the attention of all four heroes. They somehow looked rather intimidating to the quirked hero. – "Just how bad would it be? For what I heard, that Regent guy seemed to have only 'D' listers on his payroll. Besides, didn't most of you go through something similar many years ago?" – he asked.
The four heroes all stared at the caped hero before Janet turned to Stark. – "Tony, besides Clint and Spider-Man, you probably are the most familiar with Regent. What do you think?" – she asked.
"Well, the guy has an advanced suit that replicates powers linked to him through some kind of connection made with whatever individual's powers he wants to use. The first time he appeared, he took all of us by surprise and did what many had tried and failed to accomplish. He beat us all." – he started to explain. – "If not for webs and Clint, he could have succeeded. The second time he appeared, webs, his wife and myself took on him and even though he was not as powerful as he once was, he still did a number on many top heroes before we managed to stop him. He did this almost by himself, so you can all imagine what he could do with help." – said Tony with most of them nodding.
"Besides, the only reason we managed to overcome the first time that villains tried to make a complete assault on us all was because of a few aspects that they all ignored. Besides, we did have a little bit of luck back then." – said Captain America.
"There's also this to take into consideration." – said Janet, pulling a USB drive.
"What is that?" – asked Skyline.
"Yesterday, Natasha came by to drop this. It contains what she, Spider-Man, Daredevil and many others have gathered in some of the villains recent odd behavior." – she said, inserting it into a panel on her desk. – "F.R.I.D.A.Y, if you could be so kindly?" – she asked the school's A.I.
"At once." – it replied, generating a holographic display that showed what was inside of the drive.
The heroes' eyes widened when they saw what it was.
A list, most likely of the individuals that were believed to be part of the assault that was going to happen in just a couple of months. While there were many that could be considered basic lakies, there were more than a handful of names that truly worried the heroes present. Part of the Serpent Society, M.O.D.O.K alongside A.I.M, Absorbing Man, the Wrecking Crew, Bullseye, the Zodiac, even the likes of Trask and Mr. Sinister were there.
"That… doesn't look like some 'D' listers…" – said Captain Celebrity.
"I believe the words you are looking for are; catastrophe in the making." – said the golden Avenger.
"We cannot take this situation lightly. If even half of these individuals are to take part in the incoming attack…"
"Then no doubt many innocents could lose their lives." – finished Captain America.
"We should try to go after some of these villains before they get the chance to strike!" – said Christopher to the leading Avengers.
"While the sentiment is the right one, I do not believe that to be the course of action that we should take." – said Black Panther.
"Why not?" – asked the caped hero.
"Imagine that you are Regent. If a group of heroes suddenly tracked down one of your possible recruits, you might grow wary. Once could be considered coincidence, but what if it happened again, and again. Then, you would know that something is happening, you might even try to do something drastic while you still have allies with you. That is something that we cannot allow to happen." – said the king of Wakanda.
"Perhaps if we manage to find some sort of meeting point where he and many of his forces could converge. Then maybe we could organize some strike assault of our own." – suggested the super soldier to the rest of his companions.
"I'm sure that even if they did that, then they would only do so around the day of their strike." – informed Tony. – "Besides, what about Crossbones? What if he spills the beans to Regent."
"That is a possibility, but Crossbones is a bit prideful. That's without mentioning that HYDRA also considers Regent as a threat as far as I'm aware." – said the Wasp.
"Perhaps the best course of action should be to keep an eye on these individuals. Then, if Regent does have a meeting with his forces at some point, we could intervene and apprehend them." – said T'Challa.
"Even if that doesn't happen, we should still prepare for the incoming assault." – said Ironman with everyone in the room nodding.
Then, Captain Celebrity noticed the thoughtful expression that the Avengers Academy had on her face. – "Umm, is something wrong Ms. Van Dyne?" – he asked the founding Avenger.
"Eh? Sorry, it's just that… I was thinking about the kids. Most of my students are not prepared for this kind of assault and I'm sure that the other schools will have a similar train of thought." – she explained.
I agree with you. This is something that could even cripple us if not careful. Any suggestions?" – asked Black Panther.
"I was thinking about giving Brian a call. Maybe I can send a few students aboard to keep them safe." – she said.
"I believe I can see what you're trying to accomplish. If that's the case then perhaps I, alongside all of Wakanda could be of assistance." – said T'Challa.
"Wait, is that really necessary?"
"I know that it could look a bit paranoid and extreme Christopher. But this is a delicate situation. The days leading up to the assault and even the aftermath could be dangerous times. I even started to consider reducing the amount of students from singing in next school year." v she said, shocking the caped hero.
"The press aren't going to like that idea."
"True, but then again, public images should be the last thing Janet considers." – said Tony.
Skyline heard this and started to try and think of a way to help them. The, an idea came to mind. – "What about sending the kids to U.A?" – he said, taking them by surprise.
"U.A, you're joking right?" – said the armored Avenger. – "Look, I know that the place is on average safer than the States, but I'm sure that Janet and the rest of the faculty members want to teach these kids to be heroes, not self-absorb pricks that only care about their appearance on T.V."
"Pardon what I'm about to say, but isn't that a little hypocritical coming from you?" – asked T'Challa.
"Ha, ha. Very funny T'Challa, but even I know that there are times to smile for the camera and times to actually do my job." – he retorted.
"I'm sure not everyone is like that Tony. Surely, there are many exemplary heroes there. The best example is Toshinori, remember?" – said Captain America to his fellow Avenger.
"One good apple doesn't redeem a basket full of rotten ones." – replied Tony. – "Besides, the main issue is not how they act, but getting them there. Do you honestly believe they would be willing to take the students of this country?"
"I have some contacts, maybe I can help out." – he replied.
"I would really appreciate it if you could Christopher." – said Janet. – "But, speaking of kids, what about the one you and Steve found?"
"As far as we both know, she was running away from HYDRA, although she seemed rather tired. That's without taking into account what she was wearing." – informed Rogers.
"I noticed, those clothes looked like they came from a dumpster." – she said.
"I saw the kid before coming here. She didn't look good so I ran a few scans on her." – informed Tony to the rest of the heroes.
"Of course you did, anything that you would like to share?"
"Well, for starters, my scanners confirmed that she is half human." – he said, surprising them all.
"What does that mean Tony?" – asked Janet.
"This kid, she's half alien." – he informed, surprising everyone.
"Alien? As in outer space alien?"
"I believe that's what he meant Mr. Skyline." – said T'Chall before turning to Ironman. – "Any idea what the other half is? Kree perhaps?"
"That could explain the blue skin." – said Steve, but Tony however shook his head.
"No, my scanners are still trying to figure that part out. But they did find something that you all should know." – he said, gaining the full attention of everyone in the room. – "She has signs that suggest genetic interference. My bet is on the High Evolutionary, my tech definitely seems to find a match to his work."
The heroes were rather stunned to hear this. Could that be why HYDRA was chasing after her? They didn't share that much information about her on the interrogation. Then, Janet asked the million dollar question.
"Should we be worried?"
"I don't know. She seemed to have a bad dream when I saw her. And… her brain patterns seem to match the brain pattern of kids that have suffered trauma and abuse." – he said.
Everyone in the room remained silent at that revelation. This was not the first time any of them have encountered anything like this, with the possible exception of Captain Celebrity. Still, that didn't make it any less distasteful to them. They have encountered and worked with and against individuals like this. Some of the Avengers like Hawkeye, Black Widow, Ant-Man and many more all had a similar background. Janet in particular seemed to be thinking about the situation even more so than the rest of her comrades.
"You guys should work on your end of things, I'll look after her." – she said, snapping everyone back to reality.
"Are you sure Janet? A child is quite the responsibility." – said T'Challa.
"Come on guys, I'm a school's principal. Taking care of kids is basically what I do for a living."
"You know that that is a completely separate thing Jan." – said Steve to his friend. – "Besides, you are already looking after Nadia."
"Because I already have Nadia under my care is why I'm saying this. Just a few months ago she escaped the red room. They probably need the company of someone similar to them." – she said, before taking a seat on her desk. – "For the time being we should prepare for whatever Regent is planning. I'll call the headmasters of as many schools as I can to inform them of the situation. In the meantime, one of you should go to Clint to inform him of this, maybe start planning on ways to try and reduce as much damage as possible."
The rest of the heroes all nodded. The next couple of months are sure to be pretty chaotic.
The mysterious blue girl wandered through the halls of the school, still processing what happened.
Just a couple of hours ago, she was running for her life and now, she was at Avengers Academy. Once, Avengers Mansion, home of not just some hero team, but the hero team. When Dr. Pym decided to start a school here, he modified it to be able to house many children. These halls that she was walking once housed some of the greatest of heroes, now they teach the heroes of tomorrow.
As she marveled at the interior of the school, the sound of what seemed to be a bell snapped her out of her thoughts. At first, she jumped a little bit, scared of the sudden sound. But after realizing what happened, she felt embarrassed, did she seriously get scared by a school bell? Good thing nobody saw her.
"Hey there!" – she heard.
"Ahhh!" – she screamed, jumping once again.
Turning back, she saw a kid around her age, probably around a year older than her. The boy was about the same height as her, had black hair and blue eyes. He seemed rather puzzled by her reaction, which she kind of understood. before another word could be utter, other kids started to exit the rest of the classrooms. She then saw a dark skinned boy walking towards them.
"Hey Sam, I heard a scream. Did you seriously decide to try and scare girls or something?" – he asked the boy named Sam.
"I literally just said hello, in what world is that supposed to be scary!" – Sam complained.
"It is if you are the one doing it." – said a girl that passed them by, annoying Sam.
"Oh, very funny Lana! In fact, it was so funny that I forgot to laugh!" – he complained to the girl with brown hair that passed them by.
"You do tend to do that." – said the other boy.
"You are not helping Miles!" – replied Sam.
"Hey, dipshit, you're scaring the new girl over here!" – said the girl named Lana, pointing at the confused and wary looking blue skinned girl.
"Me?! You're the one calling people dipshit!" – he replied.
"Oh, stop bitching!" – she said before turning to the mysterious girl while offering her a smile. – "Sorry if Samuel bothered you, he can be a bit of an asshole. My name is Lana Baumgartner, are you new here?"
"Umm, it's ok. I was a little nervous that's all. He didn't do anything wrong to be honest." – she said, a little shy. This was the first time she was having a… friendly? Yeah, this was the first time she was having a friendly conversation with someone her own age… or anyone in particular.
"See!" – said Sam.
"Fuck off Samuel. What are you waiting for? Fucking introduce yourself!" – she told him.
"Fine, I was going to do that without you shouting in my ear!" – he replied before turning to the girl. – "Sorry about that. Like the girl with the trucker's mouth said, my name is Samuel Alexander, but you can just call me Sam." – he introduced himself before the boy named Miles stepped in.
"I'm Miles Morales, nice to meet you…. umm... sorry, I guess we forgot to ask your name." – Miles apologized.
"We probably could have had her name if not for Ms. Trucker's mouth over here." – said Sam, pissing Lana off.
"Samuel, I swear to god, if you don't fucking shut your mouth up, I'm goig to shove your fucking ass into a locker and blowing it up to fucking kingdom come!" – she shouted.
"Stop calling me Samuel, what are you, my mother?!" – replied Sam angrily at Lana.
"What?!" – they're both shouted, turning to Miles.
"You are kind of scaring the new girl." – he said, pointing at the terrified white-haired girl. – "And you are also causing a scene." – he said once again, this time pointing at the rest of the students that were looking at the two screaming teenagers.
"... Oh." – they both said, glaring daggers at each other once more before turning to the mysterious girl with a smile on their faces, as if nothing ever happened. – "So what's your name?" – they asked simultaneously.
"Umm… my name is… Va-" – she said awkwardly before interrupting herself. She didn't want to give her real name, out of fear that maybe some smart kid could probably make some kind connection to him. Maybe she was being paranoid, but she didn't want to risk it. Looking at the waiting kids, she decided to give them her name. – "Valerie." – she said, pleasing the three kids.
"Nice to meet you Valerie, are you looking for the principal's office or something?" – asked Miles. – "We can tell you where it is if you want."
"Although. you're probably going to wait outside a little bit. I heard that Ms. Van Dyne was having a meeting with someone to talk about some important shit or something." – said Lana.
"Oh, that's ok… I was just… this is Avengers Academy, right?" – asked Valerie, even though once she realized what she asked she mentally slapped herself. – "Idiot, why would you ask a question that you already know the answer to?!"
"Well, the place was called Avenger's Mansion, we just had a class with Scott Lang, A.K.A the current Ant-Man, and the logo on your shirt says Avengers Academy." – pointed Lana. – "I'm going to take a leap of logic and say that this ain't Xavier's School for Gifted Youngsters." – she said.
"Please forgive Lana. She's just sore that the mutant powered girl flopped the entrance exam for the mutant specialized school. Don't know how she managed to pull that off, but she did." – said Sam, earning a glare from Lana.
"Fuck off Samuel!" – she said.
"Oh, no. What I was trying to say was that I would appreciate it if you could tell me where the principal's office is. But… I actually want to go see a specific place first and was wondering… would you mind pointing me in the direction of where it is?" – said Valerie.
The three teens looked at each other and smiled before turning to Valerie. – "Sure, where do you want to go?" – asked Miles.
Valerie was now outside of the school, in the gardens of the school. While it was a bit cold out there, she didn't feel the same ruthless cold that she felt before. Instead, it was more relaxing and refreshing, walking through the garden, she couldn't help but to admire the sight that she was looking at. Despite the fact that it was still winter, the garden looked beautiful. The cup of the trees, the top of the bushes, all covered by the snow as if it was a white mantle. After walking for a few extra minutes, she found the place that she wanted to see for as long as she knew it existed.
Before her eyes, were the founding statues of the Avengers.
When the Avengers first came together, people knew that it was the beginning of something special. Just like how many people believed that the birth of the Fantastic Four marked the beginning of the so-called Age of Marvels, the gathering of Earth's Mightiest Heroes worked to solidify that idea. Because of this, a humble artist requested the group of heroes to immortalize the moment in a manner that could capture the magic and wonder of the moment. They agreed and so, the humble artist started to work, he drew sketch after sketch, came up with idea after idea and only after he was satisfied with his final sketch, he immediately started to work on the final part of the project. With his bare hands and through sleepless nights, the man crafted statues of the founding members out of metal. Once he was done, the humble artist presented them to the group of heroes.
While some were quick to criticize him, the Avengers were definitely not among them. To his surprise and joy, each and every single one of them loved and admired the work of art. Claiming that it did not capture the magic of the moment, but elevated it to mythical proportions. The artist shed tears of joy upon hearing that they would be taking it to Avenger's Mansion, so that every time they went outside, they could marvel at the gift and remember that they now had to live up to the expectations of not just the people of New York, but of the world itself. They became a symbol for many, inspirations, bringers of hope, defenders of the innocent, avengers of the fallen, they were indeed, Earth's Mightiest Heroes. They were the Avengers. And those statues represented that idea perfectly to them.
It is said that when Captain America was discovered frozen on the Arctic waters of the north, the Avengers called for that humble artist once more. For they wanted to see if he could do his magic by adding one more statue to his work of art. So, once again, he went to work, after a few days, he presented the final product to the group of heroes and like before, they all liked it. And to his infinite joy, the legendary Captain America told him that it was an honor to be immortalized by someone as passionate as him.
Years later, the once humble artist died of an illness, while tragic to many (including to the Avengers themselves), the man died happy, for according to his family he died having finished his own magnum opus. Just like many years ago, the product was presented to the group of heroes and just like before they all loved it, shedding tears in the name of that humble artist that made them see what they ended up becoming. So, to honor the man, Dr. Henry Pym took it once again to the mansion that he was turning into a school. For just like that work of art inspired them to be the heroes that the people believed that they were, he wanted to inspire his students by showing them what they could and would become.
True heroes and symbols of hope.
Before her eyes, were the original statues of the original five heroes that banded together to fight threats that no hero could face alone. The Invincible Ironman in one of his old armors, the Incredible Hulk looking as strong as he did in real life, the Mighty Thor wielding his mighty hammer Mjölnir, The Astonishing Ant-Man in his giant form and on his finger stood the Wondrous Wasp, standing proud and strong alongside the other heroes. Then, there was the first addition.
In front of the original founding Avengers, was the first reclute to join the team. The living legend that was pulled out of his time to be that figure that the people could rally behind in their darkest moments. The man that held the title of leader of the Avengers longer than anyone else, heroic Captain America, with the iconic shield at hand.
Lastly, the final addition.
Unlike the previous statues that were made out of either bronze or steel, the new additions were made out of gold with bits of platinum decorating small details. The statues were no longer in front of the founding heroes, but rather behind them, alongside being slightly larger in terms of scaling. There were statues of police officers, firefighters, doctors among other professions. They represented the idea that not all heroes wore flashy costumes. Behind them, there were statues of many heroes. Some did become members of the legendary team, there were also a few heroes that while didn't become members of the team, were considered great allies of them.
The new statues included heroes such as the Scarlet Witch, Quicksilver, Hercules, Hawkeye, the Vision, Falcon, Black Knight, the Black Panther, among other notorious members. Then, there were heroes that while being members of other teams or organizations, prove themselves to be equals to the Avengers.
From Wolverine, Rogue, Beast, Storm, Cyclops, Dr. Strange, Dr. Voodoo, Namor the Sub-mariner, the Human Torch, Mr. Fantastic, The Thing, The Invisible Woman, Captain Britain, etc…
Then, there were the ones that were considered Avengers level heroes, or rather, heroes that even the Avengers themselves admired. While not as numerous, the statues that conformed this group were the original Captain Marvel, the Man Without Fear Daredevil, wielding his trusty billi clubs on each hand, Japan's very own Symbol of Peace All Might, with even his statue capable of telling you that everything would be ok with just his smile. Why you ask? Because they were there. And lastly, the one that at first was a bit controversial, the Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man, shooting a web into the sky as if preparing to swing to whatever danger was in front of him.
Seeing the humble statues of the iconic six heroes that started it all next to the large and imposing statues of what came after them was the best summary to the history of the group. The once small gathering of different heroes evolving into something as timeless and as grandiose as what they are now. It was everything that Valerie ever hoped for and even more. This was by far the happiest moment of her whole life. On her face, the biggest and brightest smile in her entire life.
"Come on Jarvis, hurry up!" – Valerie heard.
Turning backwards, she saw a girl, probably just a few years younger than her rushing in excitement while accompanied by a man dressed in a black smoking. She had short brown hair and was a bit on the pale side of the spectrum.
"Ms. Nadia, while your excitement is quite admirable, most I remind you that we are going to see a couple of statues? It's not like they are suddenly going to come to life and leave… at least I hope not." – said the man named Jarvis, remembering the last time something like that happened.
"It's not just some statues, it's the statues! Besides, my dad's statue is there and I want to see it!" – said the girl named Nadia. She then turned to the statues and saw Valerie standing there awkwardly.
The girl grew even more excited than before and waved at Valerie. Not really knowing what to do, but also not wanting to be rude Valerie looked at the girl and waved awkwardly. Nadia's smile grew even wider than before as she started to run towards the blue girl with Jarvis sighing.
"Hi! I'm Nadia, did you also come to see the statues of the founding Avengers?!" – she happily asked while extending her hand out to her.
"Umm… yeah… I'm Valerie, nice to meet you Nadia." – she said, accepting the handshake.
"I see you are already making friends, that's a good sign." – said Jarvis, approaching the two girls.
Valerie's eyes widened when she saw just who he was. – "Y-Y-Y-Y-you… are you Jarvis? Like, the Jarvis?!" – she asked.
"Well, last time I check I do believe I was." – he said, making a bow to the girl. – "Edwin Jarvis at your service, and who do I owe the pleasure?" – he asked politely.
"I'm Va-... Valerie and… could I please have your autograph?!" – she asked nervously and shocking the butler.
"I… sorry, I beg your pardon?" – asked Jarvis, not expecting such a request.
"Sorry, it's just that… many people sometimes focus too much on Ironman or Thor or Captain Marvel, but everyone that calls themselves a true admirer of the Avengers would know that you are also an indispensable and irreplaceable member of the Avengers, so could I please have your autograph?!" – she asked once more.
While at first a bit shocked, Jarvis simply chuckled for a bit before answering to the girl. – "Very well. Maybe after we're done here I could get you the autographs of a few Avengers as well." – he said, making the blue girl smile.
"Y-you mean it?!"
"Why of course, but before that, I promised this young lady that I would show her the statues of the founding members." – he said while looking at Nadia.
Nadia nodded and then proceeded to point at the statue of a particular member. – "Did you know that that's my dad?" – she asked, shocking Valerie as she saw who she was pointing at.
"Wait, you're telling me that Henry Pym was your father?!" – she asked in disbelief.
Nadia nodded before explaining a bit of her story. – "It's a bit complicated and hard to believe, but yep, that's my dad. Isn't it awesome?!"
"I… yeah I guess it is." – she answered, shocked to learn that the original Ant-Man had a daughter.
Before she could process what she heard, Jarvis stepped between the two girls and looked at the statues. – "Could it be that you also came to see the statues yourself Ms. Valerie?" – he asked.
"Y-yeah… I've always wanted to see them in person." – she replied, once again marveling at the statues before her.
"Tell me, would you like to hear a few stories about the individuals before you?" – he asked, making Valerie happy.
"More than you think Mr. Jarvis."
"Well then, which one should I start with?" – he asked himself, looking at the statues alongside the two young girls.
As Valerie stood there, contemplating the statues while also hearing the heroic butler, she could confirm something. She made the right choice in running away. For now, standing in front of the statues of the heroes that brought light to her darkest times, alongside the young Nadia and the wise Jarvis, she could say with 100% accuracy what she wanted to be.
"To be… an Avenger. That is my one true desire." – she thought, looking at the statues of heroes and imagining herself among them all.
On that day, the young mysterious girl reaffirmed her desire to become a hero and to inspire people to be the better version of themselves.
Just like how the Avengers inspired her to be the better version of herself.
Voyager will return...
In My Hero Academia: Legacy