Disclaimer: I do not own the characters of Thunderbolts. They rightfully belong to the creators of Marvel comics.
Summary: Jolt returns from Counter Earth, to confess to a comatose Karla about her feelings. However, she finds that the world she once lived in has changed a lot. What she learns about Karla's current activities will shock her?
It was your typical afternoon in New York City, the cars honking in traffic, people walking to work, and the various things that made New York… Well, New York obviously. However, there were also the capes, which was a nickname some of the citizens used for superheroes. There were some that were well liked by the public such as Spider-Man, the Avengers, and various other heroes. However, after the invasion of Earth by the Skrulls, times have changed. Norman Osborn, the man formerly known as the supervillain the Green Goblin, shot the Skrull queen in the head and gave Earth's mightiest heroes the advantage to win. However, his actions to saving the world have earned him to be the new Director of National Security, leader of the Avengers, and disbanding S.H.I.E.L.D. to replace it with a new peace-keeping organization called H.A.M.M.E.R. This would make it harder for the original heroes of Earth, since Osborn is now a public figure to his country.
In the distant part of Manhattan, a portal opened in a back alley and a young woman jumped out. She stood up properly, revealing to be a 19 year old Japanese-American, with long raven haired that stopped mid-way to her back, blue eyes, a toned and firm physique from all the training she went through, and still stood about 5'5". She was sporting a blue denim jacket, a pure black shirt that hugged her body tightly with red trimming and a yellow lightning bolt symbol in the center, a khaki mini-skirt that revealed her smooth and athletic legs, and white Nike sneakers with dark blue highlights and red trimming. She adjusted the duffle bag on her shoulder. Her gaze turned to see the portal closing, and emerged from the ally.
She gazed around the city, remembering how long ago she been away. Her memories of being with a familiar team, the Thunderbolts, have always ended up in good, bad, or tragic. However, she and her teammates always pulled through any rough situation. Excluding herself, her friends were once supervillains, who gave up their ways of crime and wanted to do the right thing. Today, she wanted to meet up with her old friends and hear every detail of the latest adventures.
She walked down the streets, recognizing every familiar street name, every market, and everything from her past. The young woman stopped by a newspaper stand, figuring she'd catch up on some current events. "Excuse me, sir." She spoke, getting an old man's attention.
The older man appeared to be a familiar guy with regular clothes, his hair style grey but with white highlights, a dark gray mustache, and his trademark shades. He smiled politely at the Asian and stood up. "What can I help you with young lady?" He asked with enthusiasm.
"I wanted to ask…" She said, somewhat hesitate about speaking of her old team. However, she decided to ignore her insecurities and be straight to the point. "Do you happen to know about what the Thunderbolts are doing these days?" She asked.
"The Thunderbolts?" The old man rubbed the back of his head, taking a deep breath. "I haven't heard that name in awhile. Well, from what I read in the papers, they helped fight against those… They were green shape shifting aliens." He tried to describe them to her.
"You mean the Skrulls." She said, knowing what he was trying to say. Before she joined the Thunderbolts, she was a big superhero buff and researched every superhero and villain. Also, the fact that her teammates helped save innocent lives from an alien crisis proved that former villains are heroes at heart, and put the lives of innocents first in order to help out.
"Wow, you sure know your heroes." The old man complimented with a grin, but continued with his story. "Anyway, all of Earth's heroes and villains were there, battling the Skrulls. However, the Skrulls had some device that was inside the Wasp, which gave those aliens an ace in the hole. Her body emitted some form of energy that harmed those on the battlefield, and Thor was the one to put a stop to the madness."
The young girl's eyes widened, in shock and horror that one of the classic heroes she grew up with died, and this time it was permanent. She covered her mouth, not wanting herself to crack from the sudden death, and regained her composer. "What happened afterwards?" She asked, referring to the invasion. This was challenging, keeping her emotions in check from the sudden rush of new information.
The old man lifted down his shades, sensing the pain within those young eyes. In his mind, it felt like this girl was from another continent, but grew up in the area and missed out. However, he wouldn't bring it up if it harmed her emotional. "I think you might want to know the Skrull Queen did live, and every hero was about to finish her off… That is until Norman Osborn took the killing shot that ended the invasion for good. There, all the Skrulls were taken into S.H.I.E.L.D. custody." He explained, knowing there was more to the story. To see the young girl listen to anymore, it might break her heart.
"Please, there must be more than you're telling me." The Asian youth begged, pleading the old man to continue. "Norman Osborn is the CEO of Oscorp. How can a businessman like him be able to fight?" She asked
"Alright… This is the part where this gets ugly. Way before the invasion started, Osborn was confirmed the Green Goblin. The government offered him a second chance, and he came into position as Director of the Thunderbolts in this C.S.A. group. Anywho, he had the Thunderbolts as hero hunters, those who opposed the Superhuman Registration Act get taken in. Boy, the team he had was ugly and gruesome if you ask me." He shuddered.
More of this new information, of what happened before the Skrull invasion made the young girl's stomach twist. "Gruesome? What do you mean?" She asked, and afraid of what she might hear.
"Well, you best that you not find out. Trust me, this team was the worst, and the only thing that them worth while were the three members that acted like heroes: Songbird, Radioactive Man, and what was that woman's neck… I think it was something Stone."
Her ears perked up, having heard Moonstone to be back in action. "You mean Moonstone." She said. Last time she remembered Moonstone, she was fighting her former teammate at the Avengers mansion when she helped them and the Thunderbolts take her down. She was last seen in a comatose state, and in her mind she could probably be somewhat heroic when on the right path. Also, the fact that poor Songbird was on Osborn team made her feel sorry for not being there for the team. She was the 'heart', the moral compass and she left a scumbag like the Green Goblin get his hands on them. Also, she was surprised that Radioactive Man was considered a hero to the American media.
"You sure know your research. Well, after the invasion, Osborn was made a war hero, and landed the position of Director of National Security and took over Tony Stark's position. From there, he disbanded S.H.I.E.L.D., and replaced with his own peace-keeping organization called H.A.M.M.E.R. And seeing the Thunderbolts weren't needed anymore, he resigned from his position in the C.S.A., disbanding the team and being made official leader of his own Avengers team." The old man finished his story, handing the young girl a newspaper with Osborn as the Iron Patriot with his helmet off, with his team of Avengers stopping a group of techno-armored thieves.
The Asian-American gave the old man the money for the paper, taking it and studied it carefully. When the old man finished telling his story, it made her wonder what happened to the world she lived in. The world that did a lot of good, and showed that despite its flaws, there was good underneath it. Now, someone like Osborn, who was a total control freak and nutjob, probably had villains underneath those classic costumes. Some of them she didn't recognize either like Marvel Boy and Sentry as examples. "Thanks for the paper. "Thanks for the paper." She said, smiling at the old man. "Do you know where I can find Mr. Osborn?"
"Oh that's easy, see that tower over there." He said, pointing to the Avengers Tower, which was not forgettable since there was a giant S standing over it because the Sentry lived there.
The raven haired woman smiled, bowing politely to the old man and waved goodbye. When she walked away, that smile faded and rushed to a nearby alley. From there, she did a quick costume change, wearing a familiar black and yellow spandex, with red trimming, red elbow and knee pads, a black domino mask with big red lenses, and her hair pulled back into a ponytail. However, with her greater control of her powers, she can now generate blue electricity just like her electric form. 'Watch out Osborn! Jolt is back in town.' She thought in her mind, putting her clothes in her duffle bag, swung it over her shoulder, and flew off to Avengers Tower
In Avengers Tower, a beautiful woman was reading her psychology book. She had long wavy blonde hair, a pair of mysterious blue eyes, a curved and leggy physique due to her tall height since she was 5'11". She was wearing a scarlet red blouse that revealed a bit of her cleavage, a silver necklace, black pants made out of the purist silk that hugged her legs, and left her feet bare since she was lying on her bed.
Karla Sofen, formerly Moonstone and the current Ms. Marvel, was enjoying her relaxing day due to being no criminal activities for the moment. Well, that's mostly because Osborn had whatever deals he was making with his secret Cabal. She only knew Dr. Doom was in cahoots with her 'boss' about something. She did wish she was in charge, if her plans hadn't been on hold when the Thunderbolts were disbanded. However, if something did happen to the Goblin, like a major meltdown she'd take over. Although, she would be answering to Victoria Hand, Norman's 'puppet' she viewed the mysterious woman in her mind. The only time she felt in charge was when she was the leader of the Thunderbolts. Not the group with half the psychos and goody-two shoes, early incarnation. The blonde psychiatrist shook her head, slamming her book down on her bed.
Just when she was about to think, a knock from her door was heard. Karla quickly adjusted her body frame, looking like her reserved self and placed a mysterious smile on. "Door is open." She said.
When that door opened, it was none other than her boss and leader of the Avengers. "Karla, pardon me if I interrupted your personal time." Norman said, having that confident smirk on his face.
The tall woman gazed at her book, gazing at the midnight blue cover in gold letters saying 'How to Save People'. When the Thunderbolts disbanded the first time, she took a ride to the airport. When she got there, she given a going away present by Hallie Takahama, her youngest teammate gave her a book. Hallie figured since the former psychiatrist might go back to her job, and use what she learned as a Thunderbolt, she could use that book to help people on the right path.
She turned her gaze back to Norman, shaking her head. "No, I just finished reading." She lied, knowing the composed businessman and director wouldn't fall for it that easily.
Norman knew Karla was finding a way to manipulate him of what she was thinking, but he felt it was something minor. "Well good, because we're going to have an Avengers Day in front of the tower in seven minutes. So look your best doctor." He informed, leaving her bedroom.
Karla knew about that Avengers meeting. It was Osborn's way of wanting to impress the media and the world, but inflate his ego. There wasn't anytime for conflict, so she decided to go with the flow. Once she heard that door close, she went over to her dresser to put on her Ms. Marvel costume.
Once all of the 'Avengers' were outside, Norman waved to the beloved citizens of New York to show good faith. Sure, he was still considered a villain to some of the people, but he wanted to show them he valued the world and the people's needs. He placed on his helmet, becoming the Iron Patriot. "Citizens of New York, we still live in dark times… However, with me leading H.A.M.M.E.R. and the Avengers into action, we will strike back those who threaten our ways of life." He spoke, being brave and patriotic.
Ms. Marvel had her gaze on their beloved leader, mentally shaking her head. Sure, she got to muck up Carol's good name, get the luxury, and freedom. It wasn't enough for her. She wanted more, but for now she would let things play out.
"Norms sure knows how to please the crowd, eh Sofen?" Hawkeye said, grinning like crazy.
Ms. Marvel gazed at her 'teammate', who was secretly the professional assassin Bullseye. The fact that he wore Clint's old costume amused her. Hold up, when did she start having sudden thoughts of her former 'boyfriend'?! She threw those thoughts out, rolling her eyes at the blue and purple cladded archer. "Just shut up and look nice for the camera." She hissed in a low voice.
Hawkeye smirked inwardly, thinking he might hit a nerve in the good psychiatrist. He would have his fun some other time. Right now, he was enjoying the attention he deserved.
"However, that does not mean there are days when we Avengers can relax and get to know our citizens. On Avengers Day, we wish to know all of the people in New York." Iron Patriot explained, raising his hand to gesture his Avengers to spend out. "We will sign autographs and pictures, just to show you that we would like to be your friend as well."
Ms. Marvel sighed, knowing this might be a long day. Still, he enjoyed the idea of messing with the fans minds that she was actually the famous heroine and not Carol Danvers. The blonde woman felt an electrical sound in the air, her blue eyes catching where it was coming from. She saw a young woman land near the sidewalk, and instantly recognized her. 'No, it couldn't be… Is that Hallie? I thought she was still on Counter Earth.' She thought, remembering the last time she saw her she helped the Avengers and Thunderbolts fight against Karla. It was that day when the power of the twin Moonstones inside her, corrupted her mind and was left comatose. Those weren't Karla's best days when being under Zemo's control. However, she looked at the young youth, seeing her body filled out, she looked older like in her late teens, but she was still the same height she remembered four years ago.
Jolt saw a tall blonde dressed up as 'Ms. Marvel' gazing at her. She felt a mixture of wanting her presence to be known, and scared that her mission to expose Osborn… And not seeing her old teammates would have been all for nothing. Still, something about her looked familiar. It was a big risk, but she turned her attention to the Ms. Marvel wannabe in her mind, and headed in her direction. "Excuse me… I was wondering if I could have your autograph." She said, having a slight smile on her face, getting a piece of paper and pen from her duffle bag.
Ms. Marvel wasn't sure if this was the same girl, seeing how she dressed up like Jolt. It could've been a look-a-like or a clone. Still, she wouldn't tell Norman yet. Last thing he needed was a former Thunderbolt after his head, send in the units of H.A.M.M.E.R., or have his current Thunderbolts eliminate a young woman. "Who shall I make this out to?" She asked.
Jolt was surprised, hearing Karla's voice again made her day. Sure, she was wearing Carol's classic costume, but she'd ask later. She handed the tall woman the paper "Make it out to my biggest fan… Hallie Takahama aka Jolt." She said, placing a confident smile on her lips.
Ms. Marvel stopped writing, not writing Jolt's name on it. Her head slowly turned, gazing at her former teammate. It couldn't be Hallie, she was on Counter Earth! If she exposed one bit of who the current Avengers were, she'd lose her chance at her long awaited freedom and didn't want to be locked up in Thunderbolts Mountain. Still, she could pretend to nice to Hallie, placing on a fake smile "Hallie… Haven't seen you on in awhile."
Ever since Warren Ellis took over the Thunderbolts, I despise how Karla's character development went down the drain. I reread all of the Thunderbolts comics in her early adventures, and showed a gradual step to show that Moonstone had a conscious. Also, it showed that she cared about her teammates, but didn't show it on the outside. So since Norman threw her into the sharks without the support of her friends, that was the last straw. Also, I missed Jolt with a passion and started thinking about her. Plus I enjoyed her and Karla's interaction with each other, and wanted to make their relationship something more. So despite how much Marvel writes about her and Norman, it's time I gave out a true story and bring on the noise to Stormin' Norman!