Disclaimer: All characters belong to Marvel Comics. Michael "Mike" Nagrite/Omega belongs to Descendant.
Author's Note: This one-shot is set after Chapter 73 of The Brotherhood Chronicles.
Steve Rogers was a super-soldier. He was Captain America. He was an Avenger. And right now...he was also conflicted. He was thinking about some orders Nick Fury was told to give to him and the Avengers...
"Steve, I'm about to ask you and your team and do one of those things that will make me seem like an evil man. But it needs to be done."
"General?" A confused Captain America blinked.
"Tomorrow afternoon, the Brotherhood of Mutants will be burying one of their own at an undisclosed location in England." Fury explained.
"Sir?" Captain America frowned in confusion.
"Sat-Com and the wetworks team got the information on the location. The Avengers are needed to bring them in...and it needs to be public. In their mourning, they won't be at their best, and we'll stand the best chance of taking them down and into custody. The Acolytes and Magneto won't be there due to the public nature of the funeral. We've run this by MI-6, and Britain's given full approval for the op."
"Which member of the Brotherhood passed on, sir?" Steve asked, looking at the back of General Nick Fury.
"Elizabeth Braddock-Nagrite. Psylocke." Fury answered, turning to look at Steve. His face had a hard-etched look to it, and his one good eye showed weariness, as if the weight of the world on his shoulders, and he was growing tired.
A sigh escaped the walking super-soldier's lips as he recalled the order. He didn't blame Nick for this one. He had people to answer to as well, and this order was clearly from his own superiors. However, the WWII veteran had a lot of discomfort and doubts about the mission. One was obvious...
Captain America was shocked. He was certain he didn't hear that right.
"The Avengers are ordered to apprehend the Brotherhood at Psylocke's funeral?" The super-soldier gaped, completely stunned. "Sir, I understand that there's a lot of concern about them, but this will be a disaster! She was Omega's wife! This is completely inappropriate!"
"I know, Steve." Fury sighed. "But you have to look at it like this. Omega was one of Apocalypse's Horsemen. He's still got the power of War in him. Avalanche can literally shape the face of the Earth with a thought! Look at the damage he caused when he killed the Monolith! And the Scarlet Witch? That girl can warp reality any way she wants. Those three alone can easily overthrow small countries, and even give America the worst disaster it's endured since 9/11. We can't afford to leave them alone. We have no other choice: Take them in, or take them out." Fury sighed heavily. "This is probably the best attempt to take them down and send a message to Magneto. These orders aren't from me, Steve. They're from the top. I know it seems horrible, but it has to be done." His expression hardened. "For the safety of the country, if not the whole world, the Brotherhood can't be aligned with Magneto anymore. They need to brought down."
Another sigh escaped the legendary hero. He didn't blame Fury for this mess. After all, as he himself said, these were from the top. Cap could tell that the Director of SHIELD was not too fond of the orders himself. The Brotherhood worked for the government for a while, so it was understandable that the super-spy would be reluctant to tell Cap to do this. 1
Cap did accept the orders with a brave front, he had to admit, when he heard Fury's reminder of what just Omega, Scarlet Witch, and Avalanche alone could do...a chill went down his spine. He was well aware of the destruction across the planet that Avalanche caused when he killed the Living Monolith, seeking revenge on him for the death of his children. He also couldn't help but remember the last time the Brotherhood and the Avengers faced off. The Avengers won that fight, but it was not an easy one. Some time has passed since that fight, but Cap knew that the Brotherhood's powers would've grown and they would've become more refined. 2
When he announced to the Avengers their new mission, the reactions were what he expected. Jan, still holding a grudge against Toad, wanted to kick the frog-like mutant's butt, but after the funeral. Thor, Iron Man, and Hank Pym were against it. So was Banner. Hawkeye and Widow felt that if that was what it took to take the Brotherhood down, they were all for it. The Avengers trusted Cap, so they'd follow him.
It was why he was looking for Nick Fury. He had to talk to the fellow veteran about this mission. Cap was very concerned, if not outright terrified, and he needed to speak to Fury about this. The super-soldier walked up to the front door of Fury's office.
"Come in, Steve." He heard Fury order. Cap walked inside, and found Fury sitting at his desk in a laid-back position, reading from a file and chomping a cigar. "The Avengers ready to go?"
"They are, sir." Cap nodded. "But many of them have a lot of understandable reluctance."
"It is understandable." Fury agreed. "Did you tell them that these orders didn't come from me?" Cap nodded.
"Yes I did, sir. It did help in one way...the other Avengers aren't angry at you."
"That helps." Fury nodded. "What're you here for, Steve?"
"Well..." Cap sighed. "To be honest..." He eyed the chair that was opposite the desk. "May I?"
"Take a seat, Steve." Fury nodded. Cap did so. "The mission bothering ya, huh?"
"Yes...it is." Cap admitted. "I understand why the Brotherhood need to be captured. Yes, they have caused havoc. But it's just the time. And the public nature of it."
"I hear ya, Steve." Fury agreed with a sigh. "But that's the way the higher-ups want it. The Brotherhood will not be at their best. They won't be able to bring their A-game, and we'll be able to corral them. And as for the public thing..." Fury changed his position. "You know the obsession with terrorism these days. We bring the Brotherhood in public, and it sends a message to terrorists everywhere: We can get you, no matter what yer packin'. Advanced weapons, mutant powers, no matter. You'll be caught, and you'll pay for your crimes."
"I know I'll sound like Hawkeye when I say this, but this sounds like your bosses want to make themselves look good in the eyes of the public." Cap argued.
"Politics, Steve." Fury grunted. "Never had much use for them myself."
"I also have concerns regarding the mission's safety." Cap added. "Sir...Nick, we both know about the immense destruction that Lance Alvers caused when he killed the Monolith. Now, that damage was unintentional. Alvers did not mean to cause all that havoc or get all those people killed. Now imagine if all that power was focused. Focused on a certain group of people who were trying to arrest him and his friends while they are at the funeral of the wife of his best friend. He could very easily kill all of us, send us on a one-way trip down to the center of the Earth. Or the Scarlet Witch. You said it herself, she can alter reality to her whim. If she could..." Cap winced visibly. "She could literally wipe us all from existence with a wave of her hand."
"I know what you're going to say, Steve." Fury got up and blew some smoke. "You fear that if the Avengers attempt to arrest the Brotherhood...they'll get massacred."
"Based on my understanding of the Brotherhood, yes." Cap nodded. "Emotions will be running high for the Brotherhood here. Our presence will just make things worse. They're not stupid, Nick. They'll know why we'll appear at the funeral. And I will not lead the Avengers into something that could get them all certainly killed."
"Believe me, Cap." Fury sighed. "I wish I could let them go, but I can't. Look at it like this, Steve." The head of SHIELD shot the Sentinel of Liberty. "You and I both know what Magneto's goals are. You know what he wants. And with the Brotherhood as his allies, he's closer to achieving his dream of a mutant-ruled world than ever. He himself isn't stupid. He knows what kind of power that he has with the Brotherhood, and you can bet he will use it. We have to get them away from Magneto, and the only way to do that is to take them in." Cap sighed.
"I understand, but...in public? Nick, it's too risky."
"I know." Fury puffed his cigar. "That's what I said to the higher-ups. But they still insisted the Brotherhood be taken down in public at the funeral. And I have to admit, they have a point. The sooner they're out of Magneto's association, the better. And this may be our only shot."
"So we have no choice, huh?" Cap sighed. Fury nodded.
"Yup." Cap frowned deeply.
"If there's no other option...then I guess it has to be done." Cap walked away. "I just hope we all get through this alive." Fury watched with a frown.
"So do I. I am sorry, Steve." He sat back down, and puffed his cigar. "God help us all."
1 - In "Brotherhood Evolution", the Brotherhood of Mutants became the government-trained team known as X-Factor.
2 - In Chapter 59 of "The Brotherhood Chronicles"