This one's super long bc of the delay, consider it three chapters in one. I do a couple change in perception techniques without a hard line in this chapter, lmk if they work! :D
I'm going to do a few small changes to chapters 1 and 2, nothing major just edits to dialogue so that things are smoother and a couple fixes to glaring errors like sentences getting cut off halfw
Try to find all of the gameplay quotes in this one, the guy who finds the most gets an approving nod
Also as you see I've changed it from M to T, the story will be exactly the same tho
Peter slipped through crowds of students desperate to escape the cold, moving down the steps of the bright lecture hall wearing an all gray Adidas hoodie, cargo pants, and a pair of white gym shoes that squeaked from the snow stuck to the bottom from outside. He made his way down to the front row, seeing his fellow international students from two nights ago lined in the first two rows tired but alive. One familiar face sat behind him, she was a dark-skinned, African woman of average height with long, beautiful and voluminous black braided hair up in a bun with white hair accessories and her bright, brown eyes staring bored at the chalkboard with "AI: An Introduction to Computer Science, Engineering, and the Future" up in quick, sloppy handwriting by an old, short, frizzy haired Latina woman wearing a blue sweater and white pants. Peter caught Hana's eye sitting in the front. She wore a pink, long-sleeved shirt with "BTS" in slanted white letters over the chest and a pair of white jeans and black boots. He gave her a small nod and a smile before sitting down next to her and turning around. "I didn't expect to see you outside of- you know."
"I've been here for a semester already," she said with the signature Wakandan accent. "'You can't stay home forever,' brother said, 'you need to see the world,' brother said," she scoffed. "I can go on a plane and see the world any time, even he breezed through this computer science program."
"Okay, but look at the kind of things you and your brother build back home. I don't think anything here would challenge you, so leave us mere mortals alone," Peter chuckled, "a degree at Oxford is nothing to laugh at, though."
"I guess it's cold, it's early, and I'd rather be in pajamas right now," Shuri said.
Hana laughed, looking back and extending her hand. "Honestly, same. Hana Song."
"Shuri," she said, making Peter's face go completely pale.
"Is there something wrong, Peter?" Hana asked.
"Look in the back," Shuri said with a small, knowing smile. Peter glanced up toward the back of the lecture hall, seeing two tall, bald, Wakandan women with brown eyes wearing civilians' clothing keeping an eye on Shuri safely from above.
Peter nodded. "Just making sure you're safe."
Hana looked toward the back as well, squinting in case she was missing something. "What am I looking for?"
"I was saying that the farther you go back, the less likely you are to get called on," Shuri covered, "since you guys are in the front, I'd say your prayers now."
Hana scoffed. "You're only a seat back, what if she decides to call on you instead?"
Shuri smirked. "She won't."
"And why is that?"
Shuri stood up, wearing a white shirt with "Oxford CS" in blue over the chest with a pair of blue jeans and black boots. "I'm the graduate student instructor for the course."
Hana's jaw dropped. "How old are you?"
"Seventeen," Shuri chuckled, stepping over the knees of stunned eavesdroppers on their conversation. "Good luck. Don't die, Peter."
"Always helpful, pal," Peter said, watching her pull a laptop from her black backpack and putting it on the table next to the lecturer's podium.
"Is she your friend from New York?" Hana asked.
"We met there," Peter said, "under some pretty strange circumstances."
"Everything about you seems strange," Hana said.
"Good morning to you too," Peter said, pulling out his laptop. Starcraft was still open on his laptop, but he quickly closed it before he thought anybody would see.
"You play Starcraft?" Hana asked. "What's your username?"
"Human Spider," Peter said, making her cover her mouth while she laughed. His eyes narrowed. "What's so funny?"
"You're the guy who ran away a few nights ago," Hana said, "I waited for you to get online yesterday like you said but you never did."
"D. Va," he hissed.
"Sounds like somebody's still salty," Hana taunted. "It's okay, since our program's making us work together over the semester, I'll have plenty of opportunities to kick your butt until you stop feeling bad about it."
"Not everyone gets to practice by joining the military's mech suit brigade," Peter said.
"So then you knew that playing against me is futile," Hana said with an evil laugh.
"Are you kidding?" Peter said. "Pro-gamer to soldier and actress, you're the game's leading player in stats and notoriety." He swallowed his pride like a chalky, white pill. "I guess I'm nowhere near good enough to beat you… yet."
"How about never," she winked, turning toward the board.
"Welcome, aspiring engineers, computer scientists, any doctors in here?" the professor said.
Peter and Shuri were the only two to raise their hands.
"You're going to have a bad time," the professor said, rousing a laugh from the class. "Don't worry, you'll be fine. My name is professor Hidalgo, I will be guiding you through your intermediate to advanced education in applications of techniques and theories you already know to the cutting edge of machine technology in the world today. First, we will do a short problem, think of it as a self-diagnostic. Our graduate student instructor this semester will display the question momentarily."
It seemed like a fairly simple number theory problem, but soon after starting it, everyone in the room figured out otherwise. "Gum?" Hana said, holding out a stick to Peter.
"Sure, thank you." Peter popped it in his mouth and continued typing. "What did you get?"
"Point seven three," she said, putting concern on his face. "I take it you got something else?"
"Point nine nine," Peter said.
"It's obvious," the tall, bookish-looking British boy in a black turtleneck and black jeans with wavy blonde hair and bright blue eyes said, leaning over to look at Hana's laptop. "Everything you did was correct. It's what I got too."
"Can I see how you did it?" Peter asked.
"No, try again first," he said, smiling at Hana. "I'm Carlisle, and you are…"
"Hana," she said. "I think-"
"We should form a study group, you know?" he said with a wide grin. "We could get a headstart on studying!"
"That's great, but we should double check our-"
"Here's my number," he said, handing her his iPhone. "You can put yours in mine as well, or I could just text you later."
"I mean, okay," she said in a huff, quickly taking the phone and adding him to her Facebook instead, "but I think we made a mistake. We should do it again, just to be safe."
"I'm pretty sure it's point ninety nine," Peter said, with the other guy not even meeting his eye.
"Then you must have done something wrong," he said, pointing up to the board where the question's answers were listed as a poll, with Peter being the only student brave enough to answer the way he did. "So, Hana, where are you from?"
Peter just turned back toward the board while Carlisle and Hana "hit it off," mainly with the blond and charming brit making sure Hana had every piece of his contact information. "Does anyone feel confident to explain why they got their answer?" Shuri asked, silencing the lecture hall.
Carlisle, Hana, and Peter's hands went up, with Carlisle's airing the most confidence.
"Front row, black sweater," Shuri said. As soon as he said his first word, it was over. "Wrong. Anyone else?"
Carlisle hid his red embarrassment with laughter. Peter kept his hand up.
"Adidas," Shuri said, smirking as he calmly gave his short explanation. "Good job."
Peter felt the side glares from all around the room in the back of his head.
Hidalgo chuckled. "You weren't actually supposed to get that. What this problem was leading into is the creation of the first ever complete AI, J.A.R.V.I.S. at Stark Industries and the first problem Doctor Tony Stark taught it how to solve. This shows our crucial role in understanding it, all the capabilities we want a machine to have is defined by what problem we want it to solve, and if the problem is solving problems, then we are teaching it to think better than us. What that question is meant to do is to orient you with the scale of application this field has, both the power and the danger of it. It's good to know that some of you are already familiar with it.
Now, let's get started, just give me a moment to boot up my laptop."
"Dang, you were right," Hana said, peering at his laptop. "Can I see how you did it?"
"I'm heading to the library later today," Carlisle cut in, "I bet you and I could figure out where we went wrong."
Hana rolled her eyes. "Yeah, um, or I could just look right here?"
"The lecture is starting," Peter said, "I'll show you later."
Hana ignored Carlisle's aggravated scoff as the whole class absorbed as much as they could of the 90 minute lecture. Peter seemed to be the only one in the front enjoying it, actively asking questions the entire time. For him, this was review. The lecture finished with the shuffling of backpacks and laptops being put away. Peter stood up and bravely walked over to the professor.
"Professor Hidalgo," Peter said, extending his hand. "I'm Peter."
Hidalgo shook his hand. "Do you have a last name?"
"Peter Parker," he said half-laughingly. "I just wanted to introduce myself. I interned under Doctor Stark for a while back home, and I learned quite a bit about Jarvis- I'm still playing with Legos compared to you and him, of course. It was pretty exciting to say the least."
Shuri chuckled at that. "I'm glad to see you have a solid foundation for the course, and it's extremely rare for him to accept interns as young as yourself," the professor said. "I have to go now, but you should come to my office hours, I'd be glad to talk about it and answer any questions you might have."
"I will!" Peter said with enthusiasm. "See you on Monday, professor."
Peter walked out with Hana and Shuri in the cold, where the snow fell softly on the icy sidewalks of the busy, vibrant college town. "Let me know when you and Hana meet up," Shuri said. "I have always wanted to try a Starbucks- we don't have them back home."
"Sounds good," Peter said, "maybe now that you and your brother are here together, you'll get in on some of the action this time."
"Who's your brother?" Hana asked.
"He's an Oxford physicist who goes all over the world on goodwill missions, but he's here for a few days on business with Stark Industries," Shuri said. "He said he'd let us tour the facility he works at while he's here." Her entourage stopped behind her with a click of their heels, eyeing Peter and Hana suspiciously.
"We must go," one of her bodyguards said.
Shuri rolled her eyes. "I guess I'll see you later- what does your schedule look like?"
"My last class today ends at 12, it's a solid four hour class block today," Peter said, "I was going to head back to my host for a while, help her with some errands."
"If you want, I'll be touring London with the girls all day," Shuri said, waving to them as she walked away. "Text me if you're down!"
Hana watched the way her two "friends" walked, perfectly aligned and in step with each other. She laughed to herself, knowing that he and Shuri thought that she couldn't see a set of undercover guards. She continued walking with him and a couple of other students from their program to their next class. "So, you said you were an intern at Stark Industries? It must be pretty exciting to get to work with an Avenger, especially after what happened in New York."
"I was actually left on house sitting duty whenever he'd go off to fight," Peter said, making her laugh, "most of my internship was learning how to clean suits."
"Certainly you did more than that," Hana said, "obviously some of it paid off today."
"You seemed pretty bored yourself," Peter joked, "I'm guessing most of the technical applications we talked about in class, you got to use in a very practical setting."
"It's why I'm able to crush you online," Hana teased.
Peter's face twisted into a small frown. "You… you're horrible."
Hana laughed playfully, pulling out her phone. "Here, add your number and let me know when you want to study, or get embarrassed again."
"I'm going to swipe my hand across your keyboard when we play next time," Peter said, putting his number in. He received a winky face text moments later with a bunny icon next to it.
Hana gasped. "Actually, a friend of mine is visiting this afternoon and wants to meet up at The Eye at two, wanna go? We can meet Shuri there earlier too."
He felt his phone buzz in his pocket. "Let me just check my-"
"We can get coffee afterwards," Hana said, putting her hand over his phone before he could look down at it. "You can show me how you did that problem there."
Peter looked anyway, seeing a text from Lena. She wasn't going to be there anyway. "She just canceled." Peter smiled nervously, putting his phone away. "Absolutely," he said, stopping with her in front of their next lecture hall. "I'll meet up with you right after class at the bus stop."
"See you there, Peter," Hana said, standing outside the lecture hall. She waited until he went inside and went around the back of the building. Carlisle gawked at her from afar and she scared him off with a simple wave. She pulled out her white phone, seeing a flashing, orange and grey symbol that looked similar to a peace sign with the center cut in half and detached from the top suggesting an unconventional way of maintaining it. "Angela," she said, "you were right."
"Great, this means I have something else to rub in Lena's face," Angela said victoriously with a Swiss accent, "and he was right under her nose the whole time. What gave it away for you? As soon as T'Challa revealed himself, I had a hunch about the identity of the kid trailing him."
"He 'interned' under Iron Man," Hana said in a quiet, hushed voice, "said he was 'house sitting,' but held intricate, albeit public, knowledge about Jarvis. He was the only kid there under Iron Man's watch, so it's consistent with our footage of the event in New York."
"Can you get him into London, so we can see him in action?" Angela said. "Winston just wants confirmation, since he was too fast for most of our cameras to catch."
"I'm sure something will come up," Hana said, "especially after what happened to you this morning, now Reaper and company are getting bold."
"But he'll be in London, with you, today?" Angela asked.
"Of course," Hana said, blowing a bubble and popping it to chew it more. "He was practically shaking when I asked him."
"A lot of people would be, you are a pretty famous celebrity right now," Angela chuckled.
"Okay yeah, but, chill?" she said. "How about yourself? Did you find him?"
"I've scoured the hospital I'm working at where he's supposedly visiting as a guest neurosurgeon, no luck," she said. "He, or she, is supposed to be on my staff as well, but none of them fit our criteria."
"He's gotta turn up somewhere," D. Va reassured her.
"I'll admit, it was much harder finding a magician in a red cape than I thought," Angela said, "but another Avenger came right to me."
"Who?" Hana asked.
Hana gasp. "T'Chaka?"
"No, his son, T'Challa, took the mantle from him and is carrying it quite well," Angela said, "apparently he was the one in New York."
"Then how will you go about changing objectives? Your original target is in London right now!"
Angela's scheming giggle sounded promising. "T'Challa's taking me out to dinner tonight."
"Lucky you," Hana said.
"Among you, me, and Satya," Angela said, "this leaves sixteen more to find. There are 19 of us as well, if we all do our part then we should be ready to formally introduce ourselves in no time. Get to class."
Hana hung up and counted the three they found on her fingers. "T'Challa, Tony Stark," she said under her breath, looking up as something made a crunch in the snow on the top of the lecture hall. She smirked. "Peter?"
Peter watched Hana several buildings away go into the lecture before she was late. He reached into his pocket for a discreet, black flip phone and pressed the center button. "Your Highness," he said, "somebody's keeping tabs on us."
"I'm going to dinner with a member of their organization tonight," he said, "after the attack today by the Reaper, she owes me an explanation as to who the Reaper is and what he wanted with her. There's a reason this organization is presenting themselves to us in this way, so let them think they have the drop on us."
"So that woman that was on the plane wasn't just setting off my Spidey-Sense for kicks," Peter said.
"Shuri let me in on their entire conversation," he said, "but they are expecting us and Tony after I finish this press conference in London, I'm not exactly sure for what just yet. We were supposed to meet afterward with him for a meeting, but some of our friends got delayed until tomorrow morning."
"He called everyone in."
The gravity in T'Challa's voice filled Peter with a sense of impending danger. "I have a bad feeling about this."
"Me too," T'Challa said, "but with everyone here, we'll keep him in check if whatever he decides to do is dangerous. He's been paranoid ever since that day."
"I would be too," Peter said, "gods falling from the sky, frozen super soldiers, the guy on the side of the green bean cans coming to life, all reminding him of his mortality."
"And we will keep him from doing something he regrets," T'Challa said, walking back into the conference room and smiling at Angela and the Prime Minister. "Don't forget, we'll meet tomorrow morning. We'll send someone to pick you up. See you soon."
T'Challa put away his phone and walked back into the conference building.
"Your Highness," the Prime Minister said, "we still have just a couple more questions we said we would answer."
"Of course," the king said pleasantly, returning to the podium. He watched the clock carefully as the hours went on, answering everything with the fairness and regalness his position called for him to be. Security shuffled the reporters out and swarmed the Prime Minister before anything else like Reaper had the chance to leave. T'Challa and Angela walked out beside them, stepping out into cloudy but busy and lively city. He checked his watch. "One thirty."
"Do you have somewhere you need to be?" she asked.
"I was going to get something to eat," T'Challa said, "you can join me, if you'd like. I have some questions about the Reaper, about 'Mercy,' I like to get my business out of the way before we play."
"I would be happy to," she said, walking next to him into downtown. They found a casual but fine dining building near Westminster Abbey where mostly other men and women in business came in for a quick bite to eat, moving in and out at their leisure. The smell of pasta lingered in the air. "Welcome to Bon Gusto, sir," the old host said with a British accent. "Table for one, yes? I can get you seated right away."
"Oh, we're together," Angela said, her smile fading at the host's eyes shifting back and forth between her and her date for the day.
"Is there a problem?" T'Challa asked, making him step back.
"No, not at all," he said with his best smile, "right this way."
Angela and T'Challa followed him to a booth adjacent to a window where they could watch people moving back and forth but those outside couldn't look back at them. The sat across from each other and smiled, taking the menus. "We have a special daily appetizer, the Bruschetta Pizzaiola with mozzarella and a fresh basil garnish, if you would like to try it today. I can also start you off with drinks."
"That sounds wonderful," Angela said, "I would like the appetizer with a hot tea, please."
"And for you, sir?" he said.
"Likewise," he said, sending him away. T'Challa set his eyes on the helicopter-crashing angel.
"Can I help you?" Angela said with a smirk.
"Tell me a little about yourself," he said.
"Are you talking to Angela, or Mercy?" she asked.
"Surprise me," he said playfully, waiting for her to answer. He reached over his shoulder, pulling off a tiny, white caduceus that had been pinned to his back. He slid it across the table, putting it carefully in her hand. "And be a little better at it this time," he said in a low voice.
"I won't ruin it now, but," she said, "Reaper's mission was to kill the both of us, and all of our friends. You breaking their top assassin set them back. It's only a matter of time before they try again."
He figured that if she could say their name in public, she would have said it already. "What do they, what do you, want with me?"
Angela looked up at the ceiling. "Five years ago, you could look up confidently, knowing just what, and who, was out there, and go back to your daily business," she said, looking back at him, "but for the past year, the world has been silenced in fear. A man who called himself a god came down from the sky with an army that came from a realm vastly superior to our own, and all the powers in the world couldn't stop it. No amount of bullets, no amount of money from any man in the world could control them and make them bend to their will. A group outside their influence called the Avengers sweeps in with its own otherworldly force laying hidden from the ignorant and arrogant for so long and does exactly what they can't. They're afraid of you, T'Challa, and they were afraid of us. Akande has since joined their ranks, given that my organization cannot carry out an investigation to prevent something terrible from happening, we came to you."
"So then you know who broke him out of the prison I put him in," he said, now entirely intrigued. "Why not come to us directly, instead of luring us out like this?"
"Because as of now, we don't exist, and knowing your organization's connections to the UN, we'd be shut down before we even started," she said, sliding an orange and gray, tiny earpiece on a business card across the table. "However, what you did in New York inspired us anyway, and given our mutual enemy's activities ramping up excessively since then, we've decided it's time to come back."
T'Challa read the card, memorizing the coordinates present and sliding it into his wallet.
"Meet me there tomorrow morning," she said, "our president would greatly appreciate your time, and tell you all we have on our friend, Akande. It's not the first time we've tangled with the likes of him."
"Then your knowledge will prove invaluable," T'Challa said, "with my database allowing us to do an in-depth analysis of his motives to determine where he will strike."
"I wouldn't want to be on the other end of this investigation," Mercy said, "you and I are going to work very well together."
"Yes," he said expectantly, tapping his fingers on the table. "What's your role in this organization, Angela?" he asked.
Mercy smiled proudly. "I'm the medic," she said, "the suit was originally for responding to crises worldwide in the aftermath of the Omnic Crisis, now I just moonlight as the world's leading nanobiologist."
"Very humble," T'Challa chuckled. "I am very much interested in Mercy, and what your agency can offer to the world," he said, "but tell me about Angela."
"Were you not surprised?" she said.
"I was left thunderstruck," he said, striking her back with a stare from his piercing, amber eyes, "for more than one reason."
Angela gasped, slapping his arm playfully. "Stop!" she laughed, tapping her chin. "What about Angela?" She smiled. "I like snowsports, especially skiing, I like to dance and do gymnastics, a little martial arts of course, mystery books and dramas. I especially love botany, for medical research, and of course, opera. This isn't speed dating, Your Highness," she said. You'll get to know more about me as we go along."
The king laughed as the waiter came with the drinks and appetizers, scuttling away to the kitchen. "Fair enough," T'Challa said, "but you can't blame me now that we've talked, I want to know just as much about you as you do me. "
"Where's the fun in that?" she asked him.
'"It's only fair," he said. "You have many layers, Angela, each one more perplexing than the last."
"Then we can take our time tonight," she said seductively. "I certainly wouldn't mind teaching you a thing or two about me, I'd be very interested in peeling some of your layers back while we're at it."
They stared at each other in a tense silence, with Angela waiting to see if he was willing to play ball. "Well then, Miss Ziegler," he said mysteriously, "I might be willing to learn."
The waiter came back. "Are you ready, or do you need a little more time?"
"We're ready," Angela said, looking down at the menu and seeing the window completely blocked in the reflection of the glossy cover.
"To leave," T'Challa said, glaring out of the window. "I'll handle the bill." She looked up and he took her hand, leading her over to the window. Helicopters flew over Big Ben, with six men standing in a line looking down upon the people. "And them…"
"Oi!" a shrill, Australian man's voice screeched from the top of Big Ben, nearly a half-mile dash down the road. "Me and my mate, Roadhog, got a message for any Bruce dumb enough to play Two-Up with Reaper and think they can get away with it!"
"Junkrat?" Angela said, running outside with the king. "What could they want?"
"Get down," T'Challa said quickly, diving toward the restaurant with Angela as a gunshot cracked through the sky and hit the ground right where the king stood.
"How did you know?" Angela gasped.
T'Challa tapped his ear. "It is not just my strength and speed that are enhanced," he said, turning toward the shooter perched on the building on the other end of the street, "but my hearing as well!" he shouted. He stepped into the middle of the street and the crowds parted as the Vibranium suit folded over him, revealing his true self to legions of fans stricken with excitement, relief, and fear. "I heard your steps from miles away, Kraven! You cannot catch a simple spider, what on Earth makes you believe that a Black Panther would be any easier?"
A tall, muscular man wearing a leopard-skin garment that covered his arms and back with a lion's brown mane around the back of his neck and wearing a pair of cheetah-skinned pants with black combat boots jumped straight down from the building. "King T'Challa!" he bellowed with a rough, deep Russian man's voice, slinging his rifle over his back and wielding a set of machetes. He had the look of an old, European huntsman with the thick but short, black mustache and beard, piercing brown eyes that were cold and ruthless, and wild, black hair that was short but unruly like the mane he stole. "Your actions this morning were honorable and formidable, but when my prey presents itself, Kraven the Hunter will take advantage!"
"You know him?" Angela whispered.
"He's a very resilient foe who started hunting a higher caliber prey when he got bored of hunting big game," T'Challa said, "may this be his last safari. I can handle him while you get yourself ready."
"You may have bested me last time," Kraven chuckled, "but I am no longer alone in the hunt. These six fine huntsmen that were supplemented to me will be more than enough to bag the elusive Black Panther!"
"You are a discount Klaw," he spat with a booming voice amplified to a panther's roar by his suit, "if whoever sent you here could have afforded his prices, he would be here, not you!"
"This Bruce is pretty mouthy," Junkrat said, followed by the roar of motorcycles as Angela watched the six figures scale down the famous clock tower. "C'mon boys, let's shut 'im up!"
Black Panther watched Kraven charge him from the front and heard the other six "huntsmen" from behind, but he stayed calm and collected as always. "Peter," he said into his helmet communicator, "it appears what our friends predicted would happen came to pass."
"Yeah, I can see it," Peter said into his phone, watching the six figures ride down the side of the tower while he and Hana stood against the glass in a pod connected to a large Ferris Wheel. It touched down and the two undercover agents rushed out, hearing the revving motorcycles in the distance.
"Stay here," Hana said, tapping the bunny icon on her phone. Within seconds, a pink rocket the size of a minivan soared overhead and circled around the South Korean soldier.
"My host is here right now with her family," Peter said with genuine concern on his face. "They could be killed!"
"Trust me, Peter," Hana said, knowing what he was going to do next with a confident smirk. "You won't want to get in between them and me, it's not going to be pretty!"
"Sorry, but," Peter said, dashing down the road, "as long as she's in harm's way, I'm not just going to let her get hurt!"
The pink rocket morphed before their eyes into a 13-foot tall, humanoid bot that reminded him of a cross between Voltron and Alien with a long head acting as the cockpit that she backflipped into. The tinted glass closed over her and the control panels lit up. She put her right hand on a controller resembling a computer mouse while her other hand inputted commands on a panel like a keyboard, making the mech's feet light up with rocket fuel. She passed him overhead. "You'll just slow me down, I'll make sure your host's safe!" she taunted, her voice coming out of the bot with a booming presence that was completely opposite to her behavior in class and on the bus. "I'm taking the point, don't worry- I got this!"
Peter watched her burst over Britain with rockets in her feet and hands, leaving him trailing behind on the ground. It didn't matter to him, however. He'd catch up to her soon. He snuck through the alleyways, pulling out his phone again. "Shuri, where are you right now?" he said with a hushed voice, pulling off his hoodie and revealing the baggy, red and blue jumpsuit underneath. It was fit with a webbing outline over his chest and arms, with a sleek, black spider emblem on his chest and a thicker, blockier red spider on his back. He slipped his pants off and reached into his backpack, exchanging his gym shoes for a pair of light red boots. He stuffed his clothes in his backpack and tapped a singular Kimoyo bead on the zipper, making it vanish before his eyes with a blue flash of Vibranium.
"I'm backing up my brother right now," Shuri said, with Peter hearing the sounds of metal on metal in the background, "but with the other six coming, I would suggest hurrying it up. It appears the woman he is with is taking her sweet time helping him out! Wait until mother finds out he's trying to date her too!"
"This is supposed to be a test of some sort," Peter said, slipping on a baggy, red mask with white eyes that had black, camera shutter-like borders that focused in on what he was seeing. His mask attached to the rest of the suit magnetically and the costume tightened around him, showing off his lean, muscular body he hid underneath his street clothes. "Maybe it's not what they had in mind, but Spider-Man is getting an A for London's sake!"
"Stop with the theatrics and just get here!" Shuri said.
Spider-Man aimed his hand at the corner of the building he hid behind and pressed his palm with his fingers to make a devil sign with his hand, firing a thick line of white, synthetic webbing with a distinct thwip noise as it flew through the air and attached to the building from a small device on his wrist. Peter yanked himself up to the rooftops with one strong pull, watching Hana maneuver around the buildings toward the fight downtown. Hana's radar beeped with a blue dot appearing behind her and gaining fast. Hana glanced at the camera feed aimed behind her, seeing the blue and red spider swinging and flipping from building to building catching up fast. He vanished in a purple flash and reappeared next to her, pointing finger guns at the star before streaking toward Big Ben. "He's fast," Hana said in her headset, pressing a red button in the center of the panel, "but if he thinks he's going to outdo me, then he has another thing coming!"
"It's not a competition, D. Va," Angela said, rising into the air with a golden and white aura around her in her Valkyrie suit. She brandished her staff with a warrior's cry and followed Hana and the American agent down the clock tower behind the six messengers. "Remember, we're trying to get them to help us."
"It doesn't have to be a contest for me to want to win, Mercy," D. Va giggled, locking onto all six targets, "I'm not a good loser."
Mercy chuckled. "Then you'd better move faster," she said, watching T'Challa flip over two machete swings as the six sent to help the hunter closed in on him. Black Panther looked down at his seven opponents, the sun appearing through the clouds to cast a black shadow over the king to instill fear into those foolish enough to challenge him. He met Kraven's eyes with his silver, piercing gaze, opening his arms and dropping a multitude of small smoke bombs over the battlefield. T'Challa vanished into his ring of opponents as a black flash, leaving Hana and Mercy in awe as they rushed toward the smoke behind the other Avenger. "I think any record you think you're going to get, Black Panther's going to shatter it."
All seven of Kraven and his troupe choked on the smoke. "I thought you liked gunsmoke, Kraven!" T'Challa taunted, dodging three slashes of his machete and catching a fourth with his claws. Kraven kicked him in the chest and slung his rifle back over his shoulder.
"It's the best smell in the world," he said, firing at the king's feet as he slunk back into the smoke. "Second to only roasted Panther!"
Black Panther flipped back, seeing six other bodies through the smoke rushing toward him. "Sister," he said, "what would you recommend for this mission?" He caught a long, brown tongue and yanked the amphibian man toward him, crumpling him over his fist and tossing him aside.
"Keep Kraven awake for questioning, the other six are just henchmen," Shuri said, hearing the grunts in pain of Junkrat as T'Challa kicked him off his motorcycle and into Roadhog's gargantuan stomach. T'Challa whipped three Panther-shaped throwing stars that flew on their own in the air, letting out piercing screams that blew the smoke and the other three opponents away. "As for the rest of the mission, I feel like an upgrade in aesthetic is in order."
T'Challa took several rifle butts to the head and the king rolled back, crossing his arms and blocking a blast to the face. "Shuri…"
"You're so lame, brother," Shuri said, with T'Challa practically hearing her eyes rolling from his communicator. "Iron Man has old white boys who scream into a microphone, we outdo him in tech and we can outdo him here as well!"
"It's not our style," T'Challa said, hearing the sounds of war drums similar to the Zulu military with a modern flair and beat from the best musicians in Wakanda blast out from black, Vibranium speakers suspended above the battleground, "but maybe just this one time. Is this a Kendrick remix?"
"Humble," Shuri said, "Kraven needs to sit down."
"I still don't know about this," he said warily, dodging bullets left and right. A chain wrapped around his neck from Roadhog and with a yank the Australian was airborne.
"You wore the Wakandan equivalent of Crocs to your coronation ceremony to make the elders happy," Shuri said, "I think they will forgive you if you indulge just this once."
"If I had said that I wanted music, you would have said the opposite," T'Challa said, backflipping off Kraven's chest and slicing two opponents in the face.
"Well yeah," she said as a matter of face, "your musical taste is trash!"
"Listening to the same Beyonce song for an hour on repeat does not count as a musical taste," T'Challa snapped, "so you are one to talk!"
"Don't you dare insult the Queen Bey," she spat, "one more word and I shut down your suit!"
T'Challa scoffed and went to throw a punch, finding his arm to be locked in position by his side. "This is why I leave you at home!" he said, hearing her laugh as she granted him control over his suit again.
He pushed past Kraven's rifle and drew his fist back. Kraven smirked, pulling out a snub-nosed pistol and jamming it in the king's chest. "I've never owned a Vibranium rug," Kraven hissed, pulling the trigger but finding the gun no longer in his hand. "What?!"
"Hey everyone," Spider-Man said, landing on a parked white van and tossing Kraven's gun away.
"Spider-Man!" Kraven exclaimed.
"You miss me?" Peter taunted, yanking his other hand back and slamming Kraven into the side of the van. He flipped into the circle of foes back to back with the king. "What, did you get bored or something? Hunting spiders isn't a very new thing, y'know? One can of RAID will save you a lot of trouble, let me tell you-"
"No, I did not forget you," Kraven growled, rising to his feet. "In fact, you have just created a very rare opportunity for me."
"As if getting beaten to the musical stylings of Grammy Award winning artist Kendrick Lamar wasn't enough?" Spider-Man said.
"I will kill two birds with one stone," Kraven said, charging again, "and put your heads on my wall!"
"Technically," Black Panther said, "neither of us are birds."
Spider-Man gasped. "A quip, Your Highness?"
"It won't happen again," Black Panther said sternly. "Remember what I taught you."
"I'll take pumpkin head and frog guy," he said, "we've got backup coming."
"Remember they're testing us," T'Challa said, "at this rate, we fight like we're taking them down ourselves."
"Roadhog, Junkrat, stay with me," Kraven ordered. "The rest of you, put down the spider, but keep him alive, I must be the one to crush him under my boot like the bug he is."
"Aw, you do care," Spider-Man said, firing two weblines from his wrists at "pumpkin head" and "frog guy." He whipped them into the base of Big Ben and catapulted himself toward them, kicking them hard in the chest and flipping back. "And he sticks the landing!" he said, bouncing on his toes. "Are you guys okay? I've never thrown a couple of dudes into a building as famous as that one before, one of you dying on it would kinda kill the thrill of it."
"You'll pay for what you did to my cousin, Spider-Man!" the pumpkin-headed villain said with a woman's light, British accent. She wore a metal, high-tech pumpkin mask set ablaze by a green fire, wearing a green, scaly jumpsuit with green metal boots and gloves with a black utility belt.
"Okay, one motive down," Spider-Man said, "what, you're the pumpkin bomb that Green Goblin kept throwing?"
"I am Mad Jack, cousin of the man you put in jail, Mysterio!" Mad Jack hissed, letting her hands roar to life in green fire.
Spider-Man chuckled. "I get it, you're mad, Mad Jack, Jack-o-Lantern, that's cute, you're clever-" Spider-Man dodged the frog man's tongue with quick reflexes. "Out of all the X-Men villains, Kraven finds you, Toad?"
Toad was a short, sickly-looking man with pale, green skin, scraggly black hair, and sick, yellow eyes under a pair of goggles. His teeth were rotten and brown with a fly stuck in between two of them, and all he wore was a pair of grey jeans and a green striped shirt with a light brown coat. "I live here," he said with a reptilian rattle to his deep voice.
"I'd imagine you have trouble finding a roommate," Spider-Man said.
Toad chuckled. "Touchy, aren't we? Do I make your Spider Senses tingle?"
Spider-Man gagged in his mask, flipping over them and landing on the side of the clock tower. "Never say that to me, or about me, ever again."
"I'm gonna eat you up, bloke!" Toad spat, punching through cement with his tongue as Mad Jack rocketed toward him.
"God, that's even worse!" Spider-Man whimpered, dodging a green fireball from Mad Jack as she rounded the side of the building. He dodged a spray of bullets and a lightning bolt from the other two below and flipped around the corner, running on the side of the building and firing a short bolt of webbing to counter another fireball. He dodged tongue jabs from behind without even needing to look and caught onto Mad Jack's leg. "You ever see that old Bruce Lee film, the Big Boss?" he said, pulling himself through the air and rattling her brain with a flying kick that sent her crashing onto a rooftop of another building across the bridge over the Thames. "Well, if you haven't, the final kick is kinda like that!" he shouted, swinging across the bridge with Toad and the other two assigned to his death following him. Spider-Man and Toad landed on the building with amazing vertical leaps and Mad Jack rolled to her feet. "So, who dropped you guys off?" He ducked a tongue swipe but took a kick from Toad to the chest. "Someone isn't skipping leg day," he chuckled, knowing he'd feel that tomorrow. "No, but seriously, who are you working for?"
"I don't know how many fights you've actually been in, kid," Mad Jack said, "but the more you talk, the faster you die!"
"She lied," he finished for her in a narrator's voice. Toad's tongue crashed through a generator and Peter fired a web bolt at his mouth. Toad flipped forward with surprising agility and dodged several of the spider's strikes with a contortionist's flexibility, punching him twice in the chest. Spider-Man fell off the side of the building but shot himself back into the air. "I'm sorry, but," he said, clashing with both of their furious and fast strikes in the air, "I can't take either of you seriously. You look like a clearance Halloween decoration and Toad's just… gross…"
"Toads can swallow spiders whole!" Toad said, kicking Peter onto another rooftop.
Peter rolled to his feet, winded by the strike but still fresh in the fight. "Please, just stop talking."
D. Va and Mercy recorded the two fights from overhead. "Are you seeing this, Winston?" D. Va said, seeing the other two assigned to Peter scaling the building quickly. "I knew they were good, but Peter was something I would have never expected, having an entire team of these people on our side is going to be amazing. It's going to make our little coffee trip far more interesting now."
"What, you're planning on 'catching' him?" Mercy said, watching T'Challa flatten the two Australians to the wall while brushing off a shot to the back.
"I'm considering it," D. Va said, "you're introducing King T'Challa to Winston tomorrow, I figured letting Spider-Man know that his secret is safe with somebody else would make it easier for me to bring him on board as well."
"We'll need to keep them alive for that to happen," Mercy said with a sigh, diving toward the king. "Must violence always be the solution?"
D. Va dived toward her classmate instead, firing several warning shots around the duo scaling the building to grab their attention. "Game on, boys!" she called out, using one swipe of her arm to knock them into the center of a war museum courtyard where knights re-enacted medieval combat for the observing crowd with a guide explaining to them the nuances with every stance and weapon. "Lightning bolt, british blaster, you're dealing with me now!"
The lightning bolt rolled to his feet wearing a red and yellow mech suit standing at just seven feet tall with a tinted, glass helmet that hid his identity. "Union Jack," he said with a British accent to his partner. "Who in the hell is this?"
Union Jack rolled to his feet, wearing a black and red jumpsuit with the union jack across his chest, a machine gun across his back and pistols in both hands. "She's a MEKA user, Shockwave," the gunman spat, "from South Korea!"
"What are you doing here, little lady?" Shockwave said, blasting her head on with a bolt of lightning. D. Va gasped as the machine slid through the grass from the impact.
"I was in the area and decided I'd fly around looking for jerks who deserve a good butt-kicking," D. Va said, rolling to her feet and crunching a grenade tossed by Union Jack in one hand. "Do you guys know where I can find some?"
Union Jack and Shockwave turned to each other and laughed. "We're going to have fun with you," Union Jack said, looking back and finding their opponent no longer there.
"Up here, creeps!" D. Va said, her mech jutting out two wing-like thrusters from her back and taking off.
"This one's annoying," Shockwave spat, taking off after the celebrity.
"What am I supposed to do?!" Union Jack shouted.
"I don't know!" Shockwave said, keeping his eyes on the cute girl in the mech suit. "Now you're all mine!"
D. Va flipped around, facing him with rotating arm cannons. "Yeah, I don't think that's a good thing."
Shockwave felt several shotgun blasts hit him in the head and chest, barely denting his armor but bouncing him back. D. Va giggled as she spun around a lightning blast.
"Do a barrel roll!" she said with a nasally voice, firing several small missiles at the electric enemy that burst in his electric field.
"You can't touch me with those!" Shockwave's laugh was cut short, taking a punch to the stomach that folded him over her shiny, metal fist.
"Wasn't trying to," she said playfully, slamming him into the ground with him on her fist.
D. Va put Shockwave on the defensive while Union Jack sprinted all the way to the fight between T'Challa and Kraven, but he was intercepted again by the pink demon from above.
"Don't rage quit on me now," D. Va taunted, landing in front of him and Shockwave and lunging forward.
"Is that D. Va?" Roadhog asked, yanking T'Challa back with his chain hook.
"Maybe you're just hallucinating," T'Challa said, striking out out spit from the pig with a spin kick. Kraven hit him with his blade again, causing a purple streak to ripple through the helmet. "Don't worry, after today I'll have all of you needing a doctor!"
A golden and white flash swept Roadhog and Junkrat away, crashing them into the side of the restaurant and throwing them into their motorcycle. "You needed a doctor?" Mercy said, spreading her wings and spinning her staff.
The two Australian attackers rose to their feet and Mercy got a good look at them. Roadhog was a tall and wide, pink, pot-bellied, heavily tattooed man wearing a pig-shaped gas mask with an ensemble ripped straight from Mad Max and a short blond ponytail. He swung two hook chains in his brass knuckled fat fists next to his partner, a short and scrawny, pale man with a wooden leg in similar attire with a long, pointy face with sharp features, crazy brown eyes, spiky blond hair and looking at the healer with a crazy smile from ear to ear. "Never liked going to the doctor," Junkrat said, scuttling to their motorcycle and hopping into the sidecar, "no matter how much of a Sheila she may be! Let's ride, Roadhog!"
Roadhog hopped on the Harley that looked like it had been scrapped together from junk pieces of other motorcycles, letting out a maniacal laugh and revving it up at full throttle. Mercy swung her staff at a smiley-face mine whipped at her, but the mine stuck and burst to blast her through T'Challa and Kraven. "Mercy!" he exclaimed, turning toward the charging vagabonds and kicking them off their bike. With one punch the king cleaved right through it and prepared to strike again but the angel wasn't put down so easily, firing several blasts from her handgun at them to drive them back while the king pummeled them into the nearest streetlight. Kraven kicked T'Challa in the side, giving his partners a chance to breathe.
"Don't just stand there!" Kraven shouted.
"That bastard destroyed our ride!" Roadhog roared, stepping back to avoid several blasts aimed toward his pudgy feet.
"Keep your eyes on Kraven, Your Highness!" Mercy said, deflecting several hook swings and out maneuvering several blasts of shrapnel from their handguns. She landed in front of them and deflected a grenade launched from a homemade weapon in Junkrat's hand, spinning her staff again. "You're going to need to do a lot better than that if you want to take me down."
Junkrat giggled, aiming his blaster while Roadhog spun his hooks. "I'll hook you," Roadhog spat.
"And I'll cook you!" Junkrat laughed.
"That sounds simply unhealthy." Mercy raised her staff, blocking a hook to the face and deflecting a shrapnel grenade that nearly sliced her cheek open had she not leaned back. The blast knocked her to the ground but she wasn't down for long, sweeping Junkrat off his feet and kicking Roadhog in the stomach. Mercy stumbled back with a sharp pain shooting up her leg. "It's like kicking lead!"
Roadhog beat his belly and swung again with Mercy rolling out of the way, firing her blaster at his legs and making the swine fall flat in his back. Mercy stepped back, her eyes widening at Junkrat's nefarious laughter. "Looks like you've stepped in it now!" he said, triggering a second mine blast that crumpled her into the side of the restaurant.
Mercy was dazed but not out, batting another grenade away and into a nearby car that shredded the front seat with shrapnel. She gasped as Roadhog's hook wrapped around her leg and she braced herself, covering her head as she slammed into the office building across the street. Junkrat chuckled to himself, punching Roadhog in the arm.
"That's why I'm paying you that twenty five percent share," he told his bigger friend, keeping his eye on the blonde beauty even while Spider-Man, Toad, and Mad Jack swung back into the battleground with D. Va, Shockwave, and Union Jack turning the street into a Roman Candle light show. "Wanna see why I get the 75?" he said, pulling off one of several spiky tire-like wheels on his back. He twisted a knob in the center and steam blew from the center, making the wheel spin with a hum.
"Because you're greedy?" Roadhog said bitterly, throwing his hooks again.
T'Challa rolled in between the hooks and caught them in mid-air, ripping Roadhog toward him and kicking him into the other end of the street. "This ends now!" he roared over Junkrat's humming wheel rushing toward him with the beeping of a bomb.
"T'Challa!" Mercy shouted. "Wait-"
A red and gold flash intercepted the spinning disc of death and the block shook as it exploded in the air with the force of a ballistic missile. The fight came to a halt as all the combatants looked to the sky, watching two floating in shining armor that outclassed D. Va's by decades and an Indian woman in a blue, form fitting costume and black, thigh high rocket boots descend through the smoke. "You're right, Your Highness, this ends, now," the bitter man in the red and gold suit said, flipping up his golden mask to reveal an aggravated Tony Stark. "Jarvis, cue the music."
Blaring guitar chords from "Shoot to Thrill" overpowered Shuri's sound systems from all around the block, striking fear into the hearts of those who had never faced him in combat before and silencing the city.
"Showoff," Shuri said grumpily.
"You should have brought the better speakers," T'Challa said to her, helping Mercy to his feet, "you know he's never going to let us live this one down. He's always trying to beat Vibranium."
"No way," Junkrat said in awe, dropping the mines in his hands.
"Who's that?" Roadhog asked.
Junkrat continued looking up at the gleaming steel knights and the warrior of light, swallowing nervously. "Iron Man."
As Iron Man, Tony was decked out in a tank of red and gold, shining steel plates combined with artillery located all over his body, from two glowing blue phaser cannons on his hands, the rocket thrusters from his boots and the small blades on his back, and the shining white orb hidden behind bulletproof glass in the center of his chest. His eyes glowed piercing blue under slits while the mask was down, with the lower edge of the mask forming a scowl on the suit's face. "Dunno why you're so impressed," Roadhog said. "I'm gonna take that arc reactor right from his chest and sell it, scrap the rest of him to build one hell of a new bike!"
"That guy built his first suit outta junk in a terrorist shithole in Afghanistan," Junkrat said, "he's got one hell of a head on his shoulders, with the guns to back it up!"
"What, ya think we're outclassed?"
"No question," Junkrat admitted with a crazed smile, "so let's at least give him one hell of a first impression!"
Iron Man, Black Panther, and Spider-Man lined up in the street with the other four heroes behind them. Kraven did the same, with his hired hands wiping the dust and asphalt from their clothes.
T'Challa and Kraven stood opposite of each other in the center of their small squads, with Kraven's team looking far more weathered and beaten than the fighters they had previously outnumbered. "Alright," Iron Man said, aiming his hands at the enemy with a high pitched humming coming from his hands. "Who threw the frisbee?"
"The duo that you saved from dealing with me," T'Challa said coldly.
"You look like you had your hands full," Iron Man said dismissively, setting his sights on Junkrat and Roadhog. "Now which one of you wants to taste rocket fuel for the next week and a half? Mine is grape flavored!"
"I'll take Oinkie over there," the second man in Iron Man armor said. He was a bit taller and bulkier than Tony's suit was, with black and gray as the color palette and glowing red eyes. His arsenal seemed far more ballistic than Iron Man's, with a pair of twin gatling guns perched on his shoulders each holding a stock of missiles. "Satya, go crazy."
"I intend to, War Machine," she said, "and it's Symmetra." Symmetra's blue and gold dress she wore as a costume was very form fitting with her toned thighs exposed, white, steel armor over her arms and jutting back and up from her headpiece and long, blue, flashy earrings. A triangle formed between the corners of her hard-light visor and a small, white extension over her forehead holding a blue crystal, more than likely the crystal and sides of the headpiece held the visor in place. She manipulated white and blue hard-light in her free hand, with her other hand occupied by a white, claw-like gun that had glowing white energy waiting at the end of the short, round barrel.
War Machine pointed the guns on his arms at Roadhog. "I'm gonna be diplomatic just this once," he said, "y'all can come quietly, and we don't have to do this. It looks like you were getting your asses beat before we got here, don't make it embarrassing."
Kraven pointed his machete at the king. "Enough talk, I return to my babushka with a Vibranium coat!"
T'Challa leaped through the air, sparking the brawl again with a flying kick to the face. War Machine sighed and Iron Man clapped his shoulder. "Maybe next time," Tony said, rushing across the battlefield. "Let's ride, Rhodey!"
The two squads of seven clashed again, with Symmetra finding herself face to face with Union Jack. She gasped at the gunman's quickdraw, holding out her free hand and wincing at the sound of cracking glass. She opened her eyes again and laughed at the bullets barely breaking her thin barrier. "You're shooting at the same thing over and over again," she said, pushing the wall toward him and firing her energy gun at him. "You lack imagination!"
"It doesn't take much of that to take you down," Union Jack said, dodging the beam of white light aimed right at his head. The beam curved around and hit the back of his head with a burning impact. Jack winced in pain and stumbled forward, allowing Satya to deliver a rocket knee strike to the nose.
Satya cringed as his nose snapped from the blow. "Mercy, you think you can fix this?" Symmetra asked, diving behind and around parked cars to dodge wild gunshots. She planted a solid light burst from her gun into his chest, blowing him to the ground and giving her the chance to rush him.
"I'm a little busy right now, Symmetra!" Mercy said.
Satya frowned, kicking one gun down the road before he could grab it. She held out her free hand again, bouncing several sawed-off shotgun shells off the wall of light. She folded the wall in on itself and whipped it at him, flattening him to the nearby building. "It's slanted to the left," she said, ducking shots left and right. She got in close, taking a punch to the face but returning quickly with an uppercut of her own. "Now to the right. It bothers me."
"Pay attention to what's important!" Jack hissed, dropping a grenade at her feet and rolling out of the way.
Satya yelped as her light barrier shattered, sending her tumbling back with shots just barely missing her. She kept rolling back, with her light beam taking the form of a white cobra that kept Jack at Bay with long fangs. Symmetra hopped to her feet and the snake curled around her, smirking with its owner at their adversary. "I did. You're out of bullets."
Jack pulled the trigger again, his confidence draining with the empty click of his pistols.
She pointed her snake at him and the beast charged. "It seems perception is your weakness after all!"
Jack prepared to wrangle it but T'Challa flew overhead instead, taking Jack to the ground with him while Kraven laughed. Symmetra watched the king roll to his feet and pull the dazed Jack up with him, knocking him out with one solid spin kick to the chest that took the wind out of him.
"That looks like it hurt," she said, ducking at more gunshots overhead as War Machine roared overhead.
"Come on, little piggy!" he shouted, firing a small missile at Roadhog's feet to knock him to the ground. "Let's take you to market!"
Roadhog whipped his chain hooks at his opponent who was just toying with him. "Push off!"
War Machine cocked his fist back. "Not likely-"
Kraven slammed into Roadhog and the Aussie scrambled to his feet, thanking the stars for the intervention. They didn't shine for him, however, taking a punch to the face by the king pushing past him toward his real opponent.
"I had a cool pig pun and everything, man," War Machine said in disappointment, flying off to help Iron Man.
Tony didn't need it, holding Junkrat against the wall with an energy phaser from his hand. "We'll put you two down under the jail," he said.
"That hurt," Rhodey said, seeing another black flash shoot past Junkrat and leaving him unconscious.
"Yeah, not as much as that," Iron Man said. "I'll get the kid, you make sure his little friend sees him in class tomorrow."
"Got it," Rhodey said, bursting toward D. Va and Shockwave.
Mad Jack looked up at the three armored titans above them, giving Mercy the chance to throw the fiery femme fatale out for revenge off of her. A well-placed shot with Mercy's hand blaster at Mad Jack's glove killed the fire, while the black flash acted again in putting the rest of her out with a blur of a strike. D. Va and Rhodey groaned in pain above them as Shockwave overloaded their suits, with D. Va falling flat on her back. Shockwave blasted Rhodey high into the air and landed on D. Va's chest. "Lights out, kid."
"I'm right here!" Mercy assured her over her own fear, dashing toward them as fast as she could.
"It's not her bedtime yet!" Spider-Man shouted from above, zipping past him with a strike that shattered his mask and sent him spinning to the ground. Toad kept Peter occupied, but Mercy wasn't just a fighter.
Mercy stood over the dazed D. Va, wiping the blood from her nose and lip. "Let me get you patched up," she said.
"No, I can still fight," D. Va said, standing with Mercy and looking toward the battlefield. Symmetra joined them, watching the four Avengers go to work on Toad and Kraven.
"If there's a fight left, that is," Symmetra said, wincing while Toad hit the ground tongue first from Peter's kick.
The rest of the heroes watched T'Challa catch Kraven's last machete and crush it in one hand. "You're done, hunter," he said, kneeing him in the stomach and punching him in the face. "Give up, this does not need to go on any longer."
Kraven used his last bullet to fire the king in the forehead. His entire mask glowed purple with a humming energy. "I will never yield to the likes of-"
T'Challa hit Kraven's head with a headbutt, reflecting the shotgun blast at point blank. Kraven hit a car and landed face first on the ground, out cold. T'Challa tightened his fist. "They all yield."
"That man is durable," War Machine said, flipping up his mask to reveal a dark-skinned, pleasant face, brown eyes, and a friendly, white grin. "All that kinetic energy would have popped anybody else's face like a balloon, just give this guy some vodka when he wakes up the next morning and he'll be fine."
T'Challa greeted his old friend with a quick hug and a hardy handshake. "James Rhodes, back in action?"
"You know it," War Machine said, "I actually liked the vibe Shuri's playlist had going on, I know you guys didn't just let Tony beat you at that."
"See? I told you!" Shuri said from inside their communication system.
"Where are you right now?" Tony asked the young genius. "And yes, I did beat you this time, deal with it."
"Starbucks," she said plainly.
"But you're here, in the UK?"
"Uh, yeah?" Shuri said in confusion. "Why?"
Tony looked around, counting T'Challa, Peter, and Rhodey on his fingers. "Clint, Logan, Bruce," he mumbled under his breath. "Where is everyone else?"
"What is he talking about?" Symmetra asked.
"Avengers business," Tony said quickly, "Rhodey, Your Highness, kid, scratch tonight, I know I told Black Panther this but you guys, if we're the only ones who responded today then that means the rest are nowhere near us right now. I expected a couple stragglers, but I didn't expect it to be this bad."
"Yes you did," Rhodey said.
"Okay, I did," Tony said, "schedule a party for eight and everybody shows up at nine, the point is that this isn't a party, this isn't fashionably late, it's just gross, okay? You're the only guy who showed up this morning ready to rock, when you said the rest were 'delayed' I would have at least appreciated an ETA from the rest of the team." He glanced at Symmetra, keeping her prying, suspicious mind at bay with no more information. "Be there tomorrow at a time I'll disclose when I'm not in front of strangers," Tony ordered, "or you're off the team."
The three non-Avengers' eyes widened at the harsh conditions.
"You can't do that," T'Challa said, "that is not how you convince people to heed your words, Tony."
Tony and the king locked eyes in a quick battle of wills, but the stress and the fatigue in Tony's face wore him down first. "I know, I know," Tony sighed. "This is really important, and if I don't get everyone's opinion on it, then we can't move forward. I'll see you tomorrow."
"I think you owe our new acquaintances here some thanks for keeping things stable while we were getting here," James said, gesturing to Hana and Angela.
Tony rushed to them with his best business smile, shaking Hana's hand quickly. "Hey thanks you did a good job," he said dryly, doing the same for Angela before taking off into the sky. "Be there on time!"
War Machine shrugged at the women. "Don't take it personally, he's going through a lot right now."
"Hey thanks you did a good job," Hana mocked, scowling up at the billionaire as he and his partner vanished into the sky.
T'Challa walked up to Mercy, letting his Vibranium helmet fade away. "There are some errands that I must attend to, regarding this new information. Will I see you tonight?"
Mercy floated above the ground, preparing to take off. "Count on it."
"Then I will pick you up," T'Challa said, turning to Spider-Man. "Just remember your pickup time when Tony tells you. I'll have other business tomorrow morning, so it will be up to you to remember."
"Will do," Spider-Man said, waving to the Panther and the angel fleeing the scene. He turned to D. Va, finding her already gone. He looked at the crowds of people forming around him, simply chuckling nervously before taking off himself. "See ya!" he exclaimed, swinging miles away from the battleground until he was back in the same alleyway with his backpack. He pulled the Kimoyo bead off his stuff to reveal it again, taking off his mask and taking in a sigh of relief. "Man, there were a few close calls back there," he mumbled to himself.
"Tell me about it," Hana's voice said from the other end of the alleyway, making Peter want to cling to the building and crawl away.
Peter whipped around, going pale at his classmate seeing him in the suit. "This... isn't what it looks like."
Hana chuckled. "You don't need to lie about it," D. Va said, walking up to him without fear. Peter turned around, standing face to face with her MEKA. "I'm a superhero too. The only difference between us is that your organization is allowed, mine isn't. I want to change that, so does Mercy, so does Symmetra. We need your help."
"What are you talking about?" Peter asked, bumping into the bot.
She sent him a text, hearing his phone buzz to her delight. "Be there tomorrow, before your Avengers meeting. Lena will have you back in time for the pickup."
"No, just me and Mercy for right now."
Peter and Hana locked eyes for a moment, giving Peter the moment to calm down. "You knew all along, didn't you?"
"We've been tracking the suspects for your identity for months," D. Va said, "you were on the shortlist thanks to me, Lena considered you far too nerdy for your alter ego. I'd say you did a pretty good job hiding it."
"Yeah, I'm hiding it," Peter said, keeping his insulted sentiment to himself.
"You were, until you confirmed how close you were to Stark," D. Va said triumphantly.
Spider-Man looked at his phone, seeing an unlisted number sending him coordinates. "How do I know I can trust you? Who are you working for?"
The MEKA heard the tension in his voice and slid in between them, only to get pushed aside by the spider. D. Va admired his strength, thanking god that she didn't have to test him herself. "You'll know tomorrow morning. It's imperative that you come alone."
Peter could tell this was a trap of some sort. "My Spidey-Senses aren't tingling, at least not yet," he told himself. "Is this why you brought me out here?" he asked.
"Partially," D. Va said, "it's nice just to get out every once in a while with a friend or two, in the MEKA I'm either swarmed by enemies or fanboys way too old to be watching my movies."
Peter couldn't help but laugh. "I thought you said I was boring."
"You still kinda are," D. Va joked.
"I'm still down to get coffee."
Peter sighed. "Alright, give me a sec to get changed."
"You don't sound so excited now," Hana said.
"Every time someone finds out who I am, I die a little inside."
"I'm on your side?" D. Va said, turning around and standing lookout at the edge of the alleyway.
"Just don't tell anyone, alright?" Spider-Man said. "Besides, everyone you've told already."
"You'll have to beat me in-game before I say anything."
Peter tapped on her shoulder and she turned around, seeing him back in his street clothes. "Coffee's canceled."
"Aww, you must like me," Hana giggled at his aggravation, tapping her phone and sending the MEKA bot away in its rocket form on standby for the next time she was needed. "I know a place not far from here," she said, leading him down the sidewalks of London with civilians none the wiser to Peter's identity, although some did double take for Hana. "There is much we need to discuss."
On a plane, hurdling over the seas
"Yes, I would like an orange juice, please," the tall, muscular, fair-skinned man with a chiseled jaw, short, neat blonde hair and heroic blue eyes said to the stewardess, sitting in the economy class, middle seat of his row in a crowded plane cruising over the Atlantic with his friends by his side. He wore a pair of blue jeans, brown boots, and a white shirt with dog tags around his neck. He nudged his friend sitting in the aisle seat. "Isn't that nice, Sam? So much better than peanuts in a bag even I can't open."
Sam was another tall, muscular soldier, with dark skin, short black hair, and intelligent brown eyes with the same heroic aura around him and dog tags, but far less interested in the flight than his friend was. He wore a similar ensemble, a red tee shirt with gray jeans and a black jacket for his arms with combat boots. "It's so lush, Steve," he said dryly and bored, keeping his attention on Candy Crush on his phone.
Steve gasped, graciously taking the Minute Maid orange juice box. "It comes in boxes?"
Sam paused the game, pulling out his earbuds and turning his head to stare at him in disbelief. "You've… never seen a juicebox?"
Steve poked the top with the straw, pushing it all the way down. "He's been unfrozen for only a year, Falcon, this is his first commercial flight too as well as mine," the Nordic mountain of muscle sitting in the window seat said with a deep, smooth, and hearty voice with a moderate accent. "He still has much to learn, perhaps process fruit extract housed in a flimsy rectangular prism was not available during his time. I'm glad you found this small joy, Steve Rogers. We do not have these 'juice boxes' on Asgard." He looked like he would bust out of his seat and clothes at any time, towering above his friends with long, wavy, golden locks, a short, neatly trimmed full beard, and lightning blue eyes that looked down at the seat in front of him. He wore blue jeans, Timberland boots, a black shirt and a gray jacket over it that the stewardess could tell was barely keeping his biceps inside. The stewardess noticed a black and gray metal handle jutting out from under the seat in front of his, inscribed with phrases and runes in a language she couldn't make out that enchanted her with its blue glow.
"Would you like one, sir?" she asked him, chuckling nervously at the two strange men. "Maybe you could tell your friends that they can buy these at, uh-" She cleared her throat. "-where did you say you were from again?"
"Asgard," he said with a cheerful grin, only affirming that she was going crazy by the drained look of confusion on her face.
Sam rolled his eyes. "Let me explain," he said, extending her hand with a reassuring smile. "I'm Sam Wilson," he said, "the Falcon."
He pointed with his thumb to the glowing man watching the clouds roll below. "That's Thor," he said, "God of Thunder."
"Hello," Thor said kindly.
"And here?" Sam said to the man in the middle. "Steve Rogers. Captain America." Steve simply nodded in agreement and Sam rolled his eyes, the plane and the stewardess silent except for Steve's loud sucking of the last of the juice from the box. He let out a satisfied sigh.
"A straw on the side, how convenient." He looked up at the stewardess, seeing her stunned in awe of the trio of heroes. "Thank you, ma'am."
"You- you're uh," she stammered, stunned by their presence. "You're very welcome." She blushed. "I just wanted to tell you that you saved my father's life a year ago, in New York," she said earnestly. "Anything you want for the rest of the flight, I'll give you for free. It's the least I can do."
"No need," Sam said, "we were just doing our duty. I'm glad we made an impact."
"Keeping the American way of life secured since 1942," Steve said with a shiny smile.
"Until you became a Fourth of July popsicle," Sam said.
"Wasn't going to mention that, pal," Steve said, shaking the stewardess's hand. "I hope your father's doing well."
"Ditto to Steve's 1942 comment, to whatever number that translates to in Asgardian time," Thor said, "but for Asgard's way of life."
"We knew what you meant," Sam said shortly, smiling back up at the stewardess. "Thanks again."
She nodded, pushing the snack cart back to the front of the car. The row was quiet again, with Sam barely putting in one earbud. "I have to pee," Thor said bluntly, standing up.
"But you didn't drink anything-"
"Excuse me," Thor said, climbing over his friends and standing up at full height.
Sam's earbud came close to his ear again as Thor strode to the bathroom, but Steve wouldn't let his friend rest so easily. "Sam, help me out with the 'in-flight' entertainment they describe in the safety manual here."
"You read those?" Sam asked.
"You never know," Steve said, studying how Falcon's fingers seemed to dance on the screen stuck to the back of the seat in front of them.
"Do you want a TV show, movies, or music?"
Steve stroked his chin, leaning forward at the screen deep in thought. "Do they have Citizen Kane?"
Sam scrolled through the list. "No, but they have every kid's film that has ever been released."
"Why is that?" Steve asked. As if on cue, a baby's loud wail made the entire plane groan. "Okay," Steve shrugged, "how about some music?"
Sam moved to the second list, skipping all the pop and going straight to jazz.
Steve chuckled. "I remember a couple of these guys," he said, letting out another gasp and pointing to one name in particular. "Miles Davis?"
"You know him?" Sam said, handing him a pair of earbuds and leaning his head back.
"He blew up, didn't he?" Steve said in astonishment, putting in both.
Sam smiled. "You've got a lot to catch up on, my friend," he said, putting in his earbuds again and closing his app to close his eyes too.
"I remember that kid as a guest musician at a club on 52nd street in Manhattan," Steve said, waking him back up, "an absolute Killer Diller on the trumpet."
"You'll enjoy that," Sam said, "Kind of Blue is considered a national treasure now."
"Gosh, really?" Steve said. "Well isn't that just swell."
Sam closed his eyes again, only to feel a tap on his shoulder from his window seated friend.
"Killer Diller," Thor chuckled, climbing inconveniently back over them.
Sam looked at Thor and back at Steve. "Do either of you need to get up again soon?"
"I'm alright," Steve said.
"You look tired, Sam," Thor said, "take a nap. We'll be in England in the morning."
"Yeah," Sam said, leaning his head back and just barely grazing the headrest.
"It was the last concert Bucky and I went to before we went knocking on the Red Skull and Hitler's door," Steve said nostalgically, clapping Sam's shoulder and making him jump in his seat.
"I bet that must have been an important concert," Sam said, "if you had any footage, museums would be knocking on your door instead, more than usual nowadays-" Sam yawned.
"Oh, were you trying to sleep?" Steve asked, leaning back in his chair feeling a bit guilty. "Didn't mean to wake you. I'll tell you in the morning. A long day of fighting the bad guys can take it out of you."
Steve closed his eyes, folding his arms and tapping his foot along with the music. Thor was occupied as well, glaring at his iPad with an electrifying glare. "I will defeat you, tiny sprite man," he muttered to his game, "what are you to me? I'm the God of Thunder!"
Sam let out a sigh of relief, his eyelids embracing each other in a warm hug as his body sank into slumber. Another tap on his knee sprung his eyes open like a reverse bear trap.
"Sorry," Steve said, standing up and sliding past his knees uncomfortably. "OJ went right through me."
Sam sighed again in disappointment and just looked ahead at the "enjoy your flight" message on the screen with his face twisted into a scowl.
"Victory is mine," Thor chuckled mischievously under his breath, showing his screen to Sam. "See, the opponent reels in defeat, putting his profanities in all caps. No one on the internet knows I'm actually Thor, and would crush them given they attempted any of their threats behind this screen."
Sam continued looking forward. "14 hours late and a delay," he said bitterly, "I knew I should have taken the Quinjet with Nat."
WELCOME BACK BOYS AND GIRLS
NEW OVERWATCH CHARACTERS INTRODUCED/MENTIONED: SATYA (AS SYMMETRA), JUNKRAT, ROADHOG, HANA (AS D. VA), WINSTON
NEW AVENGERS INTRODUCED/MENTIONED: CAPTAIN AMERICA (AS STEVE ROGERS), SAM WILSON, THOR, DOCTOR STRANGE, SHURI (ALTHOUGH SHE WON'T TECHNICALLY BE AN AVENGER), BLACK WIDOW, WAR MACHINE (JAMES RHODES)
WHAT DID YOU THINK OF THE BIG BEN BRAWL? WHAT WILL T'CHALLA AND PETER DISCOVER IN THEIR DISCREET DEALINGS? WHO IS AKANDE WORKING WITH, OR FOR? WILL FALCON SURVIVE THE FLIGHT TO ENGLAND? WHAT HAS TONY SO WORKED UP THAT HE NEEDS THE WHOLE TEAM? FIND OUT NEXT TIME (WHICH WON'T BE FOREVER I PROMISE Y'ALL) ON PANTHER… SPIDER… IRON BALL Z!
A COUPLE THINGS TO LOOK FORWARD TO IN THE NEXT CHAPTER:
-BLACK PANTHER AND SPIDER-MAN MEETING THIS SHADOWY ORGANIZATION
-TONY STARK ASSEMBLING THE TEAM IN LONDON TO REVEAL WHY HE'S BEEN SO ON EDGE
-CAP, FALCON, AND THOR SHENANIGANS WITH THE OW CREW
-AND YES, THOR, CAP, AND FALCON'S IDENTITY ARE PUBLIC. THIS IS CANON. LIKE ACTUALLY. FIGHT ME.