Chapter One

Location: Seattle, Washington, United States

Just outside an unsuspecting bank, a dark grey SUV car drove in with a screeching dash and stopped just by the big main entrance as all four side-doors opened, revealing a gang of members dressed in white body-armoured suits with helmets based on billiard balls: A purple-striped gang member, 12-Ball, an orange-striped gang member, 13-Ball, a green-striped gang member, 14-Ball, and a maroon-striped gang member, 15-Ball, each of them concealing a form of firearms.

Slamming the doors shut, the four anonymous bandits rushed on their way through the revolving doors and one of them already started firing into the air, frightening the innocent people inside into sudden submission.

"Allright, everybody, faces down, hands up!" 12-Ball shouted with a threat to his tone as he waved his gun about the frantic civilians. "Get on your knees and practice your prayers if you have to".

With such a message loud and clear, most if not all of the people within the bank, workers, customers, and otherwise, soon went down one by one. All with hands behind their heads, some down onto their knees while others were indeed laying flat face down to the cold marble floor.

"Obviously, we don't want you facing anywhere except straight down to the floor right now," 13-Ball added. "Now then, here's a test for ya lot. If anyone here not only knows where the vault is, but also the combination to such, do please feel free to raise a hand. Assuming none of us decide to shoot a hole through it just for laughs and kicks".

However just then, something else, someone else, captured the collective attention of all the people, including the armoured thugs.

"Not so fast, criminals!" A valiant male voice called. "You've met your match with..." The voice paused just before a man in full suit of red, silver, and blue grew from out of nowhere and into normal size. "Ant-Man!"

"And the Wasp!" another, more female voice added as a woman in a similar suit of yellow and black stripes with thin metallic wings flew in as well.

"Crap, these avenging guys," 12-Ball cussed the obvious. "Of course they would be here too".

"Indeed, four on two, huh?" The superhero identifed as 'Ant-Man' observed. "Sounds like an even enough fight to me".

"If you wanna put it like that," Wasp replied while she took a striking pose. "The usual?"

"Yup, the usual," Ant-Man nodded at her before he too struck a standoffish pose.

The dynamic duo swooped forth as Ant-Man swept under the crooks' feet and Wasp flew around each of the crooks' helmet-clad heads, causing them to become disoriented and slightly loosen their grips over their weapons. Ant-Man tackled 12-Ball and 14-Ball while Wasp took on 13-Ball and 15-Ball.

"So where's the rest of your little gang?" Wasp teased while flying side-to-side and back-to-forth, dodging any fire or punch that went her way. "Were they a little bit too embarrassed of having to wear silly attire like that?"

"Coming from you and your ant boyfriend here, lady," 13-Ball snarked.

"How would we know where the other guys are or what they're even doing?" 15-Ball grumbled rudely. "We're just doing our job here".

"Don't exactly recall robbing banks and blackmailing people's lives against their will as a 'job'," Wasp retorted.

Once they had ran dry of bullets, the four billiard ball bandits whipped out what clearly meant to be cue sticks while surrounding the Wasp and Ant-Man who looked at each other with some amusement at the choice of weaponry. As the thugs charged from all around, the two avenging heroes kicked and blocked nearly every swat and strike from those sticks. Soon they shrank themselves down as Wasp took hold of Ant-Man and took through the small yet vast air. 14-Ball spotted the two small heroes and took another swing at them, only to hit 12-Ball right on the side of his helmet, sending accidental pain to his head.

"Dah! What was that for, you chud?" 12-Ball accused.

"Just trying to get those lil buggers," 14-Ball said while looking about for them.

"Then quit trying and actually start getting them!" 12-Ball yelled before he too prepared and poked his stick through the air around him, hoping to hit the tiny two.

Just nearby, the two tiny Avengers floated in mid-air with Wasp still carrying Ant-Man with her as they watched the four goons make fools out of themselves.

"I guess you can say they're about to butt heads with each other," Ant-Man observed with a little play on words.

"Haha, puns, how do you come prepared with these kind of jokes, honey?" Wasp faked a chuckle with a sheepish smile behind her helmet and mask.

"Bit of levity, darling," Ant-Man replied.

And so, the two flew forth once more, soaring around the thugs' heads again before Ant-Man delivered a kick on one of them, causing the foe to bang heads, or rather helmets, with another. Soon enough, after a few more moments of tiny tracks and aerodynamics, the four gangsters were finally down and beaten, while Ant-Man and Wasp unshrank back to normal human size and stood with triumph. All the while, the former hostages watched and marvelled at the astonishing sight.

"Looks like we won this game of pool," Ant-Man nodded.

"Sure did, and with as little damage as possible, aside from maybe the crooks' craniums perhaps," Wasp gave a little fistbump to Ant-Man. "May this be a story to tell the other heroes about".

Just then, the distant sounds of police sirens could be heard from beyond the front doors, much to the convenience of Ant-Man and Wasp and the inconvenience of the four billiard ball bandits.

"Let's leave the rest of this to the normal local authorities, shall we?" Ant-Man said to Wasp.

"Yes we should," Wasp nodded before the two shrank once more and took off to parts unseen by normal eyes.

Location: Unknown

Deep in the depths of an underground facility, the headquarters of a sinister and nefarious terrorist organisation, the Behemoth Horde, resided. Its insignia, a pure-white stylised humanoid skull with elephant-esque tusks and demon-like horns protruding from it, not unlike an oni mask, was permanently etched onto nearly every door and wall of the hived base.

Within the facility were two equally gruff figures, one masculine and the other feminine, in dark tight suits and uniforms firmly marching down a long, cold, metallic hallway dimly lit in ominous lights of grey and white. Their rhythmic footsteps emitted clopping sounds the reverberated along the way. that Approaching the end of the corridor, one of the figures tapped a few numbers on the pad next to the hatch door and gave a handprint scan.

A few metallic clattering sounds were emitted as they briefly echoed in the underground atmosphere just before the door itself split down the middle and slowly parted aside, eventually unveiling a huge, vast, and sterile laboratory. With a few more several floors that went even further down underground, there were a couple of glass boxes that each contained a strange, unique, and peculiar item or creature. Most of such cages were surrounded by Adaptoid guards, close-circuit cameras, and tall glass panels with holographic imagery projected onto them.

Without further hesitation, the two authoritarian figures entered the laboratory and continued marching on forth. Without a considerate glance, they passed by a few strange yet subdued beasts in unshatterable glass cages: two giant snapping turtles, one dark-green and the other crimson-red, and a gigantic scarlet beetle. The creatures uttered low crackles and expressed weak sneers at the humans.

Soon enough, the two figures approaching a particular individual, a somewhat short man wearing thin round spec glasses, a white shirt, bright-red-and-black-striped necktie, dark-blue trousers with suspenders, and a white open lab coat. The bald dome of his cranium seemed to be elongated upward into the shape of an egg. This man closely observed some footage on one of the glass screens just before he turned his head to notice the two comrades looking over him.

"Ah hello, friends," the egg-headed man greeted with a wide grin that exposed his flat upper teeth.

"How's the plan coming, Egghead?" The male figure asked.

"Going naturally well as you may wish, Comrade K," Egghead answered.

"And that includes the bombs, does it not?" The female figure questioned.

"Yes, that most especially, Comrade X," Egghead confirmed. "In fact, some of our good friends, Protector and Time Master, are just about set off one near a capital city. While Hijacker, Porcupine, and The Voice shall divert and distract any and all superheroes that may happen to be in that general area".

"Good..." Comrade X slightly nodded in approval. "If what we had learnt is true, than humanity itself has some secrets that even it doesn't know yet, or even comprehend..."

Location: Olympia, Washington, United States

Meanwhile, elsewhere, a young woman with short copper-brown hair, dressed in a light-blue shirt and denim tights, walked out of the backdoor of a building and out of yet another long dance training session before wandering straight onward and down the seemingly tranquil street, holding a big bag strapped around her shoulder. The mild air bothered her thinly covered skin yet she didn't want to make it obvious.

Her light-hazel eyes slightly looked down at the pavement before and beneath her as her mind raced with fresh thoughts and memories, woozy memories of spinning and twirling in each and every session. Scrambled words of her trainer, words of criticism, striving to be better and perfect at what she did. A warm huff of bothersome breath escaped her lips, just before a distant booming sound rang in her ears, causing her jolt and halt in her steps.

She quickly turned to see what exactly it was. Up all above her line of sight, a bluish-green mist began seeping in between the various buildings. In an act of panic and human instinct, the girl turned and fled the other way, already desperately hoping to find some remote cover or at least somewhere to avoid the strange and abnormal fog spreading out at all ways possible.

The woman took a barely sharp turn around a corner while huffing a weak breath or two. Even though she was fast, the cloud was somehow faster still. As the mist overwhelmed her, she coughed off the bitter gas but it still found its way upon her system. Feeling something run down her dry throat, she soon slowed down on her vague tracks, her dizzy mind already starting to spin fast, and faster still, as did her whole vision.

Her stomach started churning intensely and sweat ran profusely down her skin before she collapsed onto her weak hands and knees upon the hard floor. Then her skin began slowly ripping and peeling away, soon did her almost completely drenched clothes, as something green and glowing emerged from within her. Looking at herself with widened shock, the woman passed what seemed to be her final breath before her metamorphosis would be complete.

Soon enough, in her place stood what seemed to be a large green cocoon, emitting hints of smoke and vapour, surrounded by small shredded pieces of flesh and clothing. Within the chrysalis, the faint silhouette of a human figure in a curled up foetal position slightly pulsed. Something beyond human, something inhuman...

To be continued...